The 5 Minute Interview: Anne Cassidy, Author

‘I’m like a swan: calm on top but flapping underneath’
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The Independent Online

Anne Cassidy, 55, writes crime stories and thrillers for teenagers. Her 2004 novel ‘Looking for JJ’, was awarded the Booktrust Teenage Prize and was short-listed for the Whitbread Prize. Now it has been turned into a play and can be seen at the Unicorn Theatre until 25 November.

If I weren’t talking to you right now I’d be...

Trying to write my next book. It’s about a girl who goes back to the home she was in as a child and finds out the terrible thing that happened to her there.

A phrase I use far too often...

I’m afraid someone else would have to tell you that. I wouldn’t use it if I was aware of it.

I wish people would take more notice of...

What is going on in other countries, Third World countries. It’s something we don’t hear nearly enough of in the newspapers or on the news.

The most surprising thing that happened to me was...

When someone turned my book into a play. You could have knocked me down with a feather.

A common misperception of me is...

That I am a very confident person. I’m a bit like a swan: calm on the top of the water but with legs flapping frantically underneath.

I am not a politician but...

If I were, I would make care for the elderly free and luxurious. It is bad enough getting old, without being in the equivalent of a workhouse.

I’m good at...

Writing stories. I’m also good at organising people around a table in a restaurant. It’s not a skill I will ever be remembered for but it helps an evening go ok.

I’m bad at...

Being in places where there are a lot of other people, for example, cinemas. I don’t want to sit next to lots of people to watch a film, and I especially don’t want to hear them talk throughout.

The ideal night out is...

I love to go to the Tate Modern. I don’t particularly like looking at all of the art, but I love to go to the members’ room to sit on the balcony and look at the Thames, and drink wine.

In moments of weakness, I...

Give in. Whatever it is that I am fighting, I usually give in. It has done my son well over the years.

Nick Appleyard

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