Shetland-set tale 12 years in the making

The Shetland Eagle author Anne Taylor. Picture by Jane Coltman
The Shetland Eagle author Anne Taylor. Picture by Jane Coltman

It may have been 12 years in the making, but pensioner Anne Taylor is incredibly proud of her first novel being published in the year she turns 70.

After working with children for most of her life the Swarland woman has now turned to writing, with a story which came to her more than 12 years ago.

The Shetland Eagle came to Anne in a dream.

“I have no idea where the it came from,” she said.

“One morning it was just there, out of the blue, with all these characters, plays, storylines, twists and turns and Shetland, and I have never been there before.”

It tells the tale of a father who takes his baby girl from Russia to live in Shetland in 1918, after his wife dies in childbirth. The emergence of the Second World War finds him returning to his homeland on a secret and dangerous mission helped by the Norwegian resistance and partisans. Here he begins to piece together the mystery surrounding his wife’s last words and discovers the shocking betrayal by a priest all those years ago.

And for Anne, who celebrates her 70th birthday this weekend, writing it down was completely alien.

“The only thing I had written before was 200-word article for Yours Magazine,” she said.

“For years I didn’t do anything about it, working full time I didn’t have chance.

“When I retired I decided I had to put it down on paper as it had niggled away at me for years and I thought I should do something about it.

“So I sat in my office and wrote it all down.”

It was published through Grosvenor House and will soon be available to buy from Alnwick’s WHSmith’s store as well already being online at Amazon.

She added: “I am incredibly proud of it. One of the best things was getting that first book delivered and having it in my hands.”