Monday, May 17, 2010

Interview with Author Anne Bradshaw

Anne Bradshaw was born in Caernarvon, Wales and grew up in Cheshire, England. After fifty-one years in England, she and her husband moved to the USA. They have four children and several grandchildren. She is an “avid reader and scribbler,” writes books, screenplays, youth short stories, and articles. Anne's motto on her blog says: “Not Entirely British!”

"Anne Bradshaw has collected a smorgasbord of FHE ideas to delight any and every family. From foil dinners to teaching scriptures and songs -- this book is full of ideas to make family time the best it can be. Ideas come from families worldwide, a sampling of ways to love those that love you the very most!" - Amy Freeze, Fox News Chicago.

I’m so excited about this interview. For those who may not know the term FHE, it means “Family Home Evening.” What is Family Home Evening? It’s special time you spend with your children, where you teach them good principles, play games, have fun, and sometimes argue. Hey, no family is perfect!

Anne, please tell us about your new book, “Famous Family Nights."

My main purpose in writing Famous Family Nights was to provide a uniquely entertaining and informative book that would help others gain fresh enthusiasm for holding family home evening.

It's all too easy to quit when things don’t go right, but after reading stories from parents whose children are now grown, and from children… now parents themselves, I'm all the more convinced that quitting is a sad choice. Learning how most of them struggled at times, and what happened as they persevered, was a revelation that had me punching the air and grinning. Some stories are so funny, while others are tender. Many include great ideas. Many share long-term results.

In addition to prominent names, I included many talented people who were less well known and struggling to make their way in their chosen profession. I love anything that is a win/win situation, and this book is just that - participants, readers, publisher, author - we all win. The entries are not only from entertainers and artists, but also from achievers in the world of sports, business, and service to the community.

At this time, we are all concerned about our children traveling the straight and narrow path, hoping they won’t go astray from our teachings. Where did you get your ideas for this very timely book?

The ideas in "Famous Family Nights" are written by LDS personalities from several countries, taken from real life experiences. Many of the stories are hilarious, many are serious, but all are anecdotal and help us realize how very human we all are, no matter what our position in life.

I love the fact that it's taken from real life experiences. Do you use an outline when you write or play it by ear?

When writing fiction, I use a rough outline, and then let the story unfold. Sometimes the outline changes, and that’s okay, as long as there is a riveting beginning, exciting middle, and a believable and satisfying ending.

George Dyer, an International Opera Singer, wrote about your book, "After reading the first few stories in this book I let out a sigh of relief and a chuckle as I realized my family really wasn't so dysfunctional when it came to family home evening experiences after all! It provides wonderful ideas, and also helps us realize how important family time is to our children - whether they know it or not." I love this quote. Tell me your thoughts about this review.

Yes, I also enjoyed reading this from George. I thought he hit the nail right on its proverbial head. Most of us tend to feel our family nights are the only ones in the whole world that aren’t as perfect as we would like. But we all have challenges with which to work (some more than others), and following the advice of Prophets by consistently providing this family experience—no matter how it turns out—will bring promised blessings in the end. One of the major blessings is the building of warm and loving feelings that last a lifetime.

What does your family think about your writing and are they supportive?

Our children have long since left the family nest, but yes, they are supportive. Some of them even read and critique my manuscripts. When our oldest grand-daughter’s picture appeared on the cover of a previous book, “Please, No Zits! & Other Short Stories for LDS Youth,” it was fun hearing her tell her friends about it. Many of them didn’t believe her at first when she said her grand-mother wrote the book. I had to write on her Facebook page as proof.

Now that's what I call real support: reading and critiquing your manuscript. Tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.

The real me loves collecting recipes, the majority of which sit in boxes, unused. Why? Because I’m a lousy cook. I invariably manage to do something wrong and the delicious looking dish ends up bland, burned, or looking disgusting. Thank goodness for crock-pots. Throw everything in, cook for hours, and dinner is edible . . . most of the time.

Now we all know the real you! Being a lousy cook is just fine as long as everyone is well fed and you have your reliable crock-pot. I love it! And besides, it’s a great way to inspire husbands to help out in the kitchen. Right?


Beth at Aunties said...

Thank you! I am thrilled to win your booklet on help in writing our family history.
Family and history are so important to me. We are on the East coast seeing lots of church and national history sites, visiting our family, and making cherished memories for our granddaughters baptism.

My email is

I adore Anne and her wonderful ideas. Would it be too presumptuous of me to want to also enter this contest? I have followed her for a long time and this would be great and a benefit to our 12 little ones.

Thank you again! I will email you my address.:)


Unknown said...

I'd love to win this book. I'd share with my whole family, my husband had a big family all with growing familys. This would be a great book for all of us.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

No need to enter me, Linda. I'm dropping in to say thanks for the e-mail. I've got this posted at Win a Book for you.

Unknown said...

This sounds like a great book! I love books that are centered around family!


apple blossom said...

Oh this sounds like a really helpful book. Please count me in thanks.

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Cheryl said...

This sounds like a great book. I am such a stick in the mud that I need all the help I can get.

Thanks for the chance to win.


cg20pm00(at)gmail(dot)com said...

Great ideas in a very clever presentation. I am always surprised that such a well researched and very used subject can be revisited and receive so much new energy and enthusiasm! Great job!

Judylynn said...

This sounds like a great resuorce for families!

Please enter me in this giveaway - Thanks!


Lisa said...

This sounds like the perfect solution to all those times when FHE was really just a family fight that began and ended with a prayer and the serving of the obligatory dessert. My family has always been manipulatable with sugar. Thanks or check out ""

Rees Family said...

This sounds like a great book. I am always looking for fun ideas for family night. Thanks.

Linda Weaver Clarke said...

Congratulations, Cheryl! I know you'll enjoy this book. What a wonderful way to help a family become closer!