Writing Superheroes: Annie Whitehead

She’s “Eavesdropper”, cleverly disguised as a mild-mannered pre-school music teacher. Read on and find out more…

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According to Wikipedia, ‘a superhero is a type of heroic character possessing extraordinary talents, supernatural phenomena, or superhuman powers and is dedicated to a moral goal or protecting the public.’ Sounds like a writer to me!

Join me as another one of these unsung superheroes invites into their personal ‘batcave’.


All good superhero stories, have a sequel–something else happens after he first foe is vanquished. How does your sequel begin 

It begins with a broken oath which will have far-reaching consequences …

headshotAll super heroes have their mild-mannered secret identity. How has yours grown and changed since you started life as a superhero?

I’m still the “Eavesdropper”, cleverly disguised as a mild-mannered pre-school music teacher, but I’m beginning to fine-tune my listening-in skills, because when I overhear things I’m already thinking about which of my characters will eventually say those words. My disguise is not as good, now, however, as people ask me about my writing more than they used to!

Do you have any side kicks or a new superhero team member? What are their superpowers?

My team of sidekicks has diminished somewhat, since two of my ‘kids’ have now left home. But, as a result of ‘getting out there’ on social media in the last 12 months, I have met some other fantastic authors who are always on hand to help me if I need technical advice. Their superpower is one they all have in abundance: Generosity.

Have your superpowers grown and changed since your last adventure?

Everything I do second time round is a little bit more finely-tuned. I know more about formatting than I did last time. But, oddly, my second book was actually written before my first, so it’s been a weird process going back to my first ‘baby’ after I let the second one out into the big wide world.

What new supervillian have you faced on your latest project and how did you vanquish it?

Tech-Monster returned for Part II. Our heroine had to grapple with yet more complex computer programmes, social media platforms and digital images. But she battled through, relatively unscathed, and managed to put Tech-Monster back in his box. For now …

What new lessons have you learned during this new adventure?

I’ve learned not to be afraid to ask for help.

What have been the best/most memorable experiences along the way?

Revisiting my first set of characters, and dressing them up smartly to face the outside world. And this time I haven’t felt so alone, as I’ve got a great support network now of fellow writers. I thought that being long-listed for HNS Indie Book of the Year would boost my confidence, but I’m just as nervous about letting this second book go out on its own as I was with the first!

 If you did this again what would you do differently and what would you not change?

I’m not sure I would change anything. I enjoy the whole process from first draft to publication. And each time it happens, the Tech-monster gets less fierce. One day he might just evaporate altogether.

Tell us about you new book and why we need to drop everything and get it now.

My new book, Alvar the Kingmaker, is a sort-of sequel to To Be a Queen, in that the characters are descendants of those in the first book. In 10thc Mercia, Nobleman Alvar knows that securing the throne for the young and worthy King Edgar brands him an oath-breaker. As a fighting man, he is indispensable to the new sovereign, but his success and power gain him deadly, murderous, enemies amongst those who seek favour with the king.


Alvar must fight to protect his lands, and his position, and learn the subtle art of politics. He must also, as a man of principle, keep secret his love for the wife of his trusted deputy.

Civil war erupts, and Alvar once again finds himself the only man capable of setting a new king upon the throne of England, an act which comes at great personal cost.


His career began with a dishonourable deed to help a good king, now he must be loyal to a new king whom he knows will be weak.

Can he bring about peace, reconcile with his enemies, and find personal happiness whilst all the time doing his duty to his loved ones? And what of the fragile Queen, who not only depends upon him, but has fallen in love with him?

What’s in store for you in the future? Do you have any other big projects on the horizon?

I have one more completed manuscript in my loose Mercian ‘trilogy’, which I hope to publish in 2017. And my latest project is a non-historical fiction, which I was encouraged to complete by Fay Weldon. It’s at the ‘somewhere between first draft and ready-to-edit’ stage, and is so different from my Mercia books that I’m considering publishing under a different name. “Annie Tech-Terminator” maybe?


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    • Carole in Canada on March 6, 2016 at 9:31 am
    • Reply

    Good Morning!

    I am late to the game for your series of interviews of Annie Whitehead. I just read them through and checked out her website and I am awed by her depth of knowledge. Actually, I think she and my husband could talk for hours as he basically reads history tomes and loves classical music. I did go and put May 1812 on my wishlist as that one really intrigues me. Also Annie and my daughter would have lots to talk about too…she (my daughter) has been riding since she was 6 and currently has two horses and one pony along with two children (2/4), two dogs, one cat, and I can’t forget her husband! To have Annie for dinner would certainly make for an entertaining evening where I could soak up all the conversation between her and my family and maybe, just maybe get a query in here and there about my favourite place in the world…Scotland. Thank you Maria for this fun and enlightening interview series!

  1. Hi, I enjoyed this no end. Thanks for sharing and hosting Annie. A lovely blog by the way. Annie has a fab one also. Up, up and away….I’m off to find another superhero.

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