Tuesday 4 December 2012

Guest Author - Annemarie Neary

It is with great pleasure I introduce 

Photo courtesy of the author

Author of

A Parachute in the Lime Tree
Published by The History Press Ireland


April 1941. German bombers are in the air, about to attack Belfast 

Oskar is a Luftwaffe conscript whose sweetheart, Elsa, was forced to flee Berlin for Ireland two years before.War weary, he longs for escape.

In remote Dunkerin, Kitty awakes to find a parachute trapped in one of the lime trees. When she discovers Oskar, injured and foraging for food in her kitchen, he becomes a rare and exciting secret.

But Ireland during the ‘Emergency’ is an uneasy place, and word of the parachute soon spreads.

Meanwhile Elsa is haunted by the plight of the parents she left behind. With the threat of Nazi invasion, she feels far from secure.

A chance encounter with Elsa, and Charlie, a young medical student, finds himself falling in love.

Oskar, Kitty, Elsa and Charlie. Their lives intertwine in a climate of war, exile and ever-uncertain neutrality.

Annemarie welcome to jaffareadstoo ...

What inspired you to become an author? 

I always wrote a bit but only started taking it seriously about 4 years ago. Now, I can’t imagine not writing – I'm obsessed with it. I don’t really see myself as an author. Somehow, that seems too big a word for what I do.

Where did you get the inspiration for A Parachute in the Lime Tree?

I grew up in Ireland and it always seemed to me that we were at the edge of things. Ireland was neutral during the war and that sense of being on the periphery is fertile territory for fiction. All my stories start with a ‘what if?’ In this case, what if a man fell from the sky?

What comes first the plot, or the people?

For me, the people come first (or perhaps, the dilemma). The plot emerges by pulling coherent strands out of a large mass of material once the initial splurging has taken place. 

Where did your research for the book take you?

I read a huge amount about the period, most of which I never even used. I also spent at lot of time in the newspaper library – photos and small ads are so illuminating. I corresponded with various people, both on and offline (a former Luftwaffe crew member, the widow of a German internee in Ireland, people who just lived in Ireland during that time.)

Do you have a special place to do your writing?

I work at home most of the time – at a desk overlooking Clapham Common. That means red buses, dog-walkers, and the thump of footballs. I work in the London Library too because sometimes it’s best just to turn your head to the wall.

Can you share with us your next writing project?

I have finished a second novel, working title Siren. I hope to send it out on submission very soon. I have also got enough stories for a Venice collection and I'm developing ideas for a couple more. I love writing short stories, but each one takes a huge amount of work as I do a lot of re-writing. I'm roughly 35,000 words into third novel. I haven’t looked at it for several months, so I hope it’s still bubbling away inside somewhere.

And finally for fun.. 

What books are on your bedside table? 

I have an awful lot of books on my bedside table that I never seem to get to. My husband sleeps like a cat, 
so it’s hard to read in bed without waking him. However, these are the books at the top of my pile 

Annemarie , thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions and for giving such a fascinating insight into the writing of your book A Parachute in the Lime Tree.

Jaffa and I wish you continued success with your writing.

Find out more about Annemarie on her website


  1. Great questions, Jo. Many thanks for inviting me over!

  2. Thank you Josie and Annemarie for a lovely interview. I am reading Annemarie's book at the moment and really enjoying it.

    1. Hi Lindsay - Thanks for your lovely comments - I am so pleased to hear that you are reading and enjoying A Parachute in the Lime Tree.


Thanks for taking the time to comment - Jaffareadstoo appreciates your interest.