Although writing has always been a lifetime passion for Annika, her route to full-time writing has been circuitous and she formerly worked within journalism and the timber trade before severe illness and motherhood gave her an opportunity to pursue her dream.
Annika’s First Prize win in the ‘Writing Magazine’ short story competition was the much needed impetus and confidence booster for her to complete the first novel, ‘Island Girl’, which is currently in the final editing stages. Annika is also working on the last edits of her first short story collection which she hopes to self-publish very soon.
As well as writing, Annika is an avid reader (a world without books is unimaginable for her), a keen gardener, walker and she enjoys travel (in spite of her well-documented fear of flying!)
For the past two years blogging has become an important part of her life and she deeply values the friendships formed here on WP via the warm encouraging and uplifting comments. She lives in the South East of England with her husband and teenage son.
My personal motto:
The following quotes from ‘Illusions’ by Richard Bach have often have often been the keystone in Annika’s life, giving her strength in face of adversity and courage when faced with new challenges.
“The simplest questions are the most profound. Where were you born? Where is your home? Where are you going? What are you doing? Think about these once in a while, and watch your answers change.”
“Argue for your limitations and sure enough, they’re yours.”
“You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however.”
- A typical (work) day begins with… a delicious bowl of cereal, granola, berries and fruit yoghurt in the sunlit living room!
- I lose track of time… when reading, writing, blogging.
- I have always… been true to myself, often at a personal price.
- I have never… smoked.
- Home means to me… being with my family in a cosy safe environment where I can totally relax and unwind.
- I am inspired by… my mother whose strong, positive and loving spirit never wavers and whose trust and belief in life seems unconquerable.
- I would like to meet… my Mormor (maternal grandmother) again. I often imagine sitting down to chat with her, give her hugs and most of all introduce her to my son, let her listen to him playing the piano – they are so alike in many ways and I know she would love him so.
- My worst character trait… is being a bit of a perfectionist! I can come across as rather impatient at times.
- My best character trait… is my loyalty and faithfulness to friends and family and ability to listen and empathise with others.
- The best advice I was given… “Believe in yourself, you’re strong.”
Extract from ‘The Whiteout Years’ by Annika Perry…one of the short stories featured in her soon-to-be published collection:
Out of the blackness Carl spotted the sign for the village. Two kilometres. His fifth year here and the road felt as familiar as the one he drove every day to work. How could that be? How could he feel so at home in a place he’d visited so infrequently?
He started to in shock, eyes blinded by a kaleidoscopic sheet of colour. Blinking, he saw more rainfalls of brilliant reds, whites, purples high in the sky. Another rocket swerved to the right, evaporating high up in the dark. Firework upon firework followed. Carl was late, the plane had been delayed and it must already be midnight. The start of a new year. As he drew closer to the village Carl saw that it had excelled itself. Now he could hear the distant
thunder of the rockets, the odd whoops of delight from the crowd.
Three years since his last moments with Karin. Three years since days, weeks, months, years ceased to matter. Her parent’s had survived their loss; he never knew how. At their insistence Carl came every year to visit them. Whilst he held himself responsible for the accident, they had taken it upon themselves to save him. A lost cause, he told them repeatedly. He’d tried to escape their care and concern – to no avail. So, here he was again. Late.
Suddenly a wall of brown appeared in his lights. Large eyes gleamed in the headlights and instinctively Carl slammed on the brakes. The car spun to the side and with a smash it stopped; then suddenly it lifted and twisted up into the air before landing on its roof with a cushioned thud. Outside Carl heard the sound of an injured animal, the pained barking of an elk. As the car spun slowly, Carl saw the huge animal steady itself, before sheepishly trekking into the trees.
He heard her breaths next to him, the harsh rasping and puffs of warm air upon his cheek. Tiny wisps of vapour floated in front of his face, warmth meeting cold. Carl started to shake, then thought of Karin and reached out to her, to protect her. The seat was empty. It was all wrong. Where was she? Wasn’t she driving? Why was he in the driver’s seat? She must have escaped? Gone to get help? He heard her voice in the distance, “Keep safe! Live.”
“Karin!” Carl shouted her name until his voice was hoarse, quaking with the cold. His hand, blue and black, fought to release the seat-belt buckle. Karin, he had to find her.
She was driving, laughing, singing away as they took an unknown short cut to her parents. He should have said no. He should have told her to slow down. Be sensible. No, he had told her, she’d shouted back. “Sensible is not living, this is!” and with that she’d turned the wheel first one way and then the other, skidding round and round. He’d been furious, his temper frayed with fear. Seeing this, Karin had thrown herself around his neck, nestled her face into his neck, kissing him, comforting, all the time muttering, “Sorry, sorry.”
After a while the car chilled and conscious of the time and the fireworks display, they set off. “Please, Carl, sensible is okay but remember to live, to live wildly, madly. Promise me.”
“Wildly, madly,” the words echoed in his mind, around him. “Please live…” the silent voice begged of him.