Annah Faulkner's debut novel, The Beloved, won the Queensland Premier's Literary Award for an Emerging Queensland Author in 2011. It was commended for the FAW Christina Stead Award, won the Kibble Literary Award and was shortlisted for the 2013 Miles Franklin Award.
Annah's writing dates back to her teens, with sporadic bursts of poetry and short stories appearing in newspapers and magazines. 'But life interfered. I had to earn a living.'
Work as an administrative assistant did not engage Annah for long and she returned to college to study Traditional Chinese Medicine. Fascinated by energy in all its forms, she was particularly drawn to acupuncture. For years she happily ran her own practice but eventually a desire to convey the effects of emotions on disease to the lay-person led her to write a non-fiction manual from the traditional Chinese medical perspective.
This undertaking reignited her passion for writing and in 2000, she wrote and published a short humorous biography, Frankly Speaking.
Writing, she said of this venture, was the easy part. Distribution was the problem. So, in the manner of the Little Red Hen, she did it herself. With a knapsack stuffed with books she fronted any shop in Brisbane and on Queensland's Sunshine Coast that would take them. 'Maybe they felt sorry for me or maybe they simply wanted me gone, but most people took them and, fortunately, they sold.' The first print run of 1500 was vacuumed. A second followed in 2001.
Encouraged her success, Annah penned a more serious work, The Blood of Others, a 5000-word story which was published in 2007 by Antipodes, the North American Journal of Australian Literature.
Meanwhile, work on early versions of The Beloved had won the Marian Eldridge Award for Australian Women Writers and the Varuna/Macquarie Bank Longlines Award. Later it was shortlisted for two publisher fellowships (Hachette and Penguin) and in 2011, it was awarded a Varuna/Pan Macmillan publisher fellowship.
'I don't find writing easy. I sharpen pencils (yes, still), check emails, play freecell and do cryptic crosswords. In extremis I do housework and even write author bios for publishers, all to avoid the intense commitment required to produce something that satisfies me and, hopefully, the reader. But eventually, I surrender to the notepad or keyboard. It's what I do. It's who I am, and although I'm late to publication, I have no intention of quitting the scene any time soon.'
Annah and her husband divide their time between Queensland's Sunshine Coast and beautiful Tasmania. Her second novel, Last Day in the Dynamite Factory, was published by Picador in July 2015.