Can you tell us a bit about where you live now, and where you were brought up?
When I was six years old, my parents emigrated from Germany to live in northern British Columbia. It was cold up there in the winters and I was so happy when, after ten years of freezing, we moved to Vancouver Island where I have spent most of my adult life.
If you had a choice where would you choose to live, and why?
I love living here on Vancouver Island and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. We have clean air, clean water, a temperate climate, and a good system of government that safeguards our rights and freedoms. Many other places are great for visiting, but for a place to live, the island is perfect. It has the ocean, as well as forests and mountains. Can’t wish for much more.
Have any places you’ve visited been the inspiration for a book?
Yes, all the settings in my novels are places I’ve become familiar with. I have spent time on the waters of the BC coast with my husband, a commercial fisherman, and this setting is used in my novels The Wind Weeps and Reckoning Tide. We have traveled to Mexico and camped on the mainland as well as on the Baja Peninsula. This is the setting for Orion’s Gift. My other novel, Julia’s Violinist, is based on stories inspired by my mother’s postwar experience in the part of Austria-Hungary that became Czechoslovakia, but I remember some of the places for the setting from having lived in the area as a child.
How important do you think the setting is when you write a story?
The setting of a story has a huge influence on what events are able to take place in the story. My novels each have settings that are rather unique and so they add a certain flavour to the story. Readers will hopefully come away with new insights into what life would be like in settings that are probably quite different from what they are used to.
Orion’s Gift is set in Mexico’s Baja Peninsula. What made you choose this as the setting for your book?
I saw a woman camping alone on a beach in Baja. She never left her van and didn’t seem to enjoy the beauty all around her. I wondered why she had bothered to come all that way and yet looked so sad. It was the nugget of inspiration for a book. Also, having spent many months living in this area, I felt I had an intimate knowledge of the places and customs of the people who live there. That gave me the tools needed to make the story authentic.
What is your idea of a perfect day?
Spending time in a small boat in the Bay of Conception, watching schools of dolphins go by, or exploring some of the secluded bays along the beaches, swimming in those bays, and enjoying the sun and the sea – those were perfect days in Baja.
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To find out more about Anneli and her books visit -
When Kevin and Sylvia, both on the run from abusive relationships, meet and fall in love, two things stand in the way of their happiness. One--the secrets they keep from each other. Two--their abusers hunting them down. Will fear become their nemesis, or will passion and trust surmount the violence and hostility they have endured? The exotic landscape of Mexico's Baja Peninsula provides the backdrop for this story of romance and treachery.