‘The Roses Grow Wild’ is Annette Bettè Kellow’s debut novel; a bohemian love story set in the vibrant East End of London.
A novel, which is said to be in the style of Lena Durham’s TV show ‘Girls’ and captures London life with a passionate honesty and authentic realism of time and place…
Annette recently graduated from Central School of Speech and Drama, and Ela Their Writing Academy in New York. She is a model, an actress, a writer and has written films focusing on fashion, art and poetry for brands such as Illamasqua, Gucci and Fifi Cachnil… so how could I pass up the opportunity to interview this super smart and sassy lady just days before her book launch?
I couldn’t. Here it is.
POPPY: Why did you want to write THIS book?
CLEVER ANNETTE: I wrote this book to highlight some issues, including depression and struggles that I believe many young people face in todays over saturated society – the characters are all kinds of dreamers and I also wanted to show some things that have been happening in London including fashion, music, culture, art and areas.
POPPY: What is your favourite thing about London?
CLEVER ANNETTE: You can be inconspicuous! It is a great big ball of pressure but it is also mysterious in itself, which has some charm in it – also coming from a tiny town in Devon, where if you wear a vintage fur coat you’re looked upon as a nutter, it’s great to be more ‘free’ in London, no one bats an eyelid if you wear pyjamas out shopping.
POPPY: Big pants or little pants?
CLEVER ANNETTE: Absolutely huge pants! I have a pair of 1940s ones that are verging on bloomers.
POPPY: What was the hardest part of writing this book?
CLEVER ANNETTE: Probably writing about depression within women, which I have suffered from in periods after being homeless at 15, because nearly all of the characters have their own situation of not seeing straight at times.
POPPY: What’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever done?
CLEVER ANNETTE: Once I got caught throwing a Ferrero Rocher at Toby Anstis’ head at a charity bash because he was rude to me, he was not impressed. I am not very good in social situations and always end up saying the stupidest of things.
POPPY: Red sauce or brown sauce?
CLEVER ANNETTE: Brown (with bacon!)
POPPY: What’s your favourite item of clothing?
CLEVER ANNETTE: A 1940s jumper with embroidered flowers
POPPY: Who’s your hero?
CLEVER ANNETTE: I admire strong women like Hedy Lamar, Regina Spektor, Audrey Hepburn and I am big fans of Molly Parkin.
POPPY: What’s your biggest regret in life?
CLEVER ANNETTE: Not realising sooner that one should not have regrets – when you know that you kind of start living in the present.
POPPY: If you weren’t you, who would you be?
CLEVER ANNETTE: My dog Dorothy! Her life is so simple and sweet and all she wants is a warm cuddle at the end of the day.
POPPY: What’s your number one piece of advice to an aspiring author?
CLEVER ANNETTE: Don’t bother looking up how other authors did it, or the best way to finish a novel or get an agent – just write from the heart, keep writing every day because if you stop for a day, then it may not get finished. Oh and love what you do, then you will be fulfilled!
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