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Grandchild lends name to author

By This is Somerset  |  Posted: October 28, 2008

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LITTLE Amelia Carr isn't three years old yet, but already she has a famous name.

Her grandmother, Radstock author Janet Tanner, has borrowed it as her pen name for her latest book, Dance With Wings.

Mrs Tanner, who combines her career as a best-selling author with being a Radstock town councillor, has had her first book published as Amelia Carr.

"I have a new publisher, Headline, and they wanted to give me a fresh start. The book is different from the short works I have been writing recently and they wanted a new name for a re-launch," she said. "Amelia Carr seemed like a good choice because it was short and sweet."

The author of about 20 novels in her own name, Mrs Tanner believes in doing thorough research for the background to her dramatic and romantic tales.

For Dance With Wings she used her experience as a pilot – she has a private pilot's licence – to tell the story of two women, Nancy and Sarah, grandmother and granddaughter.

Nancy joins the war effort in 1942, inspired by the great air transport pioneer Jackie Cochran, and the story sweeps forward to 2006, when Sarah finds out about all the long-buried secrets in her family background.

Mrs Tanner does not do a lot of flying these days. "It's a bit too expensive," she said.

But this year, she got caught up in another piece of intensive research, this time about sailing on a full-rigged ship.

During the summer, she was a volunteer with the Jubilee Sailing Trust, climbing the rigging of a great tall ship, the Lord Nelson.

"So, I have started a sailing saga," she said.

"It's mostly set in the 1970s. I knew nothing about sailing at all but practically everyone I meet now has some connection to it. The book will be set in Cornwall. My sister kept a boat on a tidal river near Falmouth."

Married to former Radstock policeman Terry Tanner, with two daughters and four grandchildren, Mrs Tanner has a busy life, and is very involved with local issues.

But she does not plan to use her local government experience as background for a book. It's not quite colourful enough, she thinks.

Mrs Tanner will be signing copies of Dance With Wings at Midsomer Norton's Reflections store on Saturday, November 8, from 10am to 12.30pm.

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