Carol Ann Lee collected Anne Frank memorabilia, including first editions of the Diary in any language, from an early age. Although not Jewish, she developed an interest in the Holocaust and identified with Anne Frank. She studied history of art and design at university and then followed her early interest and interviewed Holocaust survivors and worked in the Manchester Jewish Museum. She has worked for the Anne Frank Trust and on its touring exhibitions. Carol Ann now lives in Amsterdam.
Carol Ann Lee
About Carol Ann Lee
An Interview with Carol Ann Lee
More About Carol Ann Lee
Place of birth & birthday:
Wakefield, Yorkshire. 20 March 1969.
What is your favourite book?
Non-fiction: The Diary of Anne Frank
Fiction: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
What is your favourite song?
Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush
What is your favourite film?
What is your most treasured possession?
Three things - but one is a secret so I can only mention two and they are: a letter written to me by the poet Ted Hughes and two Japanese dolls given to Otto Frank which were passed on to me by Buddy Elias, Anne Frank's cousin.
When did you start writing?
I wrote my first book when I was about seven, but it wasn't very good! Professionally, I had my first article published in 1992; it was a review of a gig I attended.
Where do your ideas and inspiration come from?
Places mostly, or things I've read about in passing in newspapers and magazines, and things that people have told me. I find other writers inspirational too - reading about their lives and work.
Can you give three tips to become a successful writer?
1. Get on with it. So many people say, 'oh, I've always wanted to write a book' but the point is they never have and probably never will.
2. Find a good agent. They will do all the horrible stuff (like dealing with contracts) that eats into your precious writing time, as well as keeping your spirits up when things aren't going as well as they might.
3. Read. Read as many books as you can lay your hands on; that way you'll keep your brain active and can also stay ahead of the competition!
What is your favourite place in the world and why?
Keeper's Cottage on the Menabilly estate in Cornwall. It's like a house from a fairytale, and is literally a stone's throw from the house where my favourite author - Daphne du Maurier - lived. It's within the sound of the sea but surrounded by woods.
What are your hobbies?
Walking, reading, watching films and spending time with my son, River. We're avid fans of Doctor Who and Robin Hood.
If you hadn't been an author, what do you think you would have been?
Find Books by Carol Ann Lee
I dread to think, because I'm not much use at anything else, except perhaps art. I used to work in Waterstones though, so maybe I could have my own bookshop, selling second-hand books, down in Cornwall and within walking distance of a cafe that specialises in local food and ice-cream. Oh, and my dream job would be playing Doctor Who's assistant!
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