Celebrity of the month | November 2013 | Author – Annie McDowall

Annie Mcdowell


Annie lives in South London. “Charity Begins with Murder” is her first novel and was longlisted in the Mslexia first novel competition. She had tremendous fun writing “Poisoned Pens”, her second novel, which is is unlike any writing residential she’s ever done. *It’s pure mischief,” she says. She is a charity CEO and executive coach.

LNL Questionnaire as Completed by:

Annie McDowall

Your favourite virtue?



Your favourite qualities in a man?

Being at peace with himself; having clear and decent values; humour; intelligence; creativity; beauty; smelling nice

Your favourite qualities in a woman?

Being at peace with herself and knowing her strengths; having clear and decent values; humour; intelligence; creativity; beauty; not conforming

Your main characteristic?

I listen well.  My mind’s always juggling loads of different things – I can find it hard to get really focused – and when I do it can border on obsessiveness!!  Oh dear…

What draws you most to your friends?

They’re all bright and thoughtful.  They have strong values. Most are creative in some way or another. We enjoy the arts together, we share history. Most have jobs that mean that they make the world better for people.


Given the opportunity what would you most like to change?

In me? I wish I’d had more confidence when I was younger, I wish I’d not wasted as much money or time.  In the world?  Where to start: I’d like there to be less waste and carelessness, I’d like everyone to take more responsibility for themselves, for their environment and for their fellow human beings.

Who would you most like to take out for dinner?

Right now a friend I haven’t seen in a while who’s busy writing a book and being elusive.  Oh, and Meryl Streep.

Your idea of happiness?

A long train journey through interesting landscapes, sitting in the quiet carriage listening to an audio book or radio play; swimming in a clear warm sea; travelling to exotic places – the start of the adventure and the sense of freedom it brings.

What is your favourite way of spending the day?

I’m lucky that I have work that I enjoy – I run a small charity, and I also do some coaching work.  But when I’m not working I love to go on walks in the country, mostly in woodland.  I also like exploring new towns.

Whose life other than yours would you most like to have lived?

I’m happy with living mine!  But Colette’s was pretty interesting, and very unconventional


Where would you most like to live?

York, Edinburgh, or Vancouver.


Who is your favourite author?

How can I choose? Alan Bennett is very special.  I love Jackie Kay’s work. Sarah Dunant for historical fiction, Sara Paretsky for crime, Rohinton Mistry for his passion and lyricism, for the way he crafts living characters and exposes the best and worst of human nature.


Who is your favourite poet?

Jackie Kay


Your favourite heroes in fiction?

Mr Darcy, of course!!  And Jonathan Kellerman’s character, Alex Delaware.



Your favourite heroines in fiction?


Heidi; Catherine Earnshaw; VI Warshawski; Marcia Muller’s Sharon McCone; Stoner McTavish


Your favourite painters?

David Hockney; Berthe Morrisot; Vermeer; Matisse

Who is your favourite composer?

JS Bach

What is your favourite Film?

Gregory’s Girl


Your favourite food?

Masala dosa; jacket potatoes


Your favourite drink?



Who do you most admire?

Hard to say: public figures are often flawed.  There are people I know – friends or work colleagues – who quietly go about transforming or saving other people’s lives, putting good in the world.  Some are teachers, some work in health care, some campaign or advocate: they’re neither rich nor famous, but they’re the ones I admire the most.


What is your present state of mind?

Knackered: it’s Friday!


For what fault have you most tolerance?

Inability to manage money


Your favourite motto?

Every cloud has a silver lining…





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