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Ashworth, Annie

ASHWORTH, Annie
(Sanders Ashworth, a joint pseudonym, Annie Sanders, a joint pseudonym)

PERSONAL:

Born in England; has children. Education: Earned a university degree.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Stratford-upon-Avon, England. Agent—Mary Pachnos, Gillon Aitken Associates, 18-21 Cavaye Place, London SW10 9PT, England.

CAREER:

Writer; journalist.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Tesco Debut Novel of the Year, 2004, for Goodbye, Jimmy Choo.

WRITINGS:

NONFICTION

Window Dressing, Boxtree (London, England), 1997. Shelving and Storage, Boxtree (London, England), 1998.

Floors and Flooring, Boxtree (London, England), 1998.

Children's Rooms, Boxtree (London, England), 1998.

(With Meg Sanders; under joint pseudonym Sanders Ashworth) Trade Secrets: Christmas, Orion Books (London, England), 2002.

(With Meg Sanders) Fat Club, Andre Deutsch (London, England), 2002.

The Good Web Guide for Small Businesses, Good Web Guide (London, England), 2002.

(With Meg Sanders) How to Beat the System, Orion Books (London, England), 2003.

(With Meg Sanders and Karen Dolby) Trade Secrets: Parenting—Everything You Will Need to Know from Conception to Eighteen, Orion Books (London, England), 2004.

(With Meg Sanders and Alexandra Fraser) Trade Secrets 2001, Orion Books (London, England), 2004.

(With Meg Sanders, Katherine Lapworth, and Alexandra Fraser) Pocket Trade Secrets: Mother's Day, Orion Books (London, England), 2005.

(With Meg Sanders) The Property Chain: The Definitive Guide to Buying or Selling, Renting or Letting, Building or Improving Your Home, Harper-Entertainment (London, England), 2005.

(With Meg Sanders) Pocket Trade Secrets: Christmas, Orion Books (London, England), 2005.

(With Meg Sanders) Celebrity Fit Club Weight Loss Programme, Michael O'Mara Books (London, England), 2005.

(With Meg Sanders) The Madness of Modern Families, Hodder (London, England), 2006.

FICTION; WITH MEG SANDERS; UNDER JOINT PSEUDONYM ANNIE SANDERS

Goodbye, Jimmy Choo, Orion Books (London, England), 2004, Warner/5 Spot (New York, NY), 2006.

Warning of Gales, Orion Books (London, England), 2005.

The Xmas Factor, Orion Books (London, England), 2006.

Busy Woman Seeks Wife, Orion Books (London, England), 2007.

ADAPTATIONS:

The "Trade Secrets" series books have been adapted as a television tie-in, BBC-TV, United Kingdom.

SIDELIGHTS:

Writing under the joint pseudonym Annie Sanders, Annie Ashworth and Meg Sanders have created a successful series of novels about the everyday lives of middle-aged women balancing domestic responsibilities and their own dreams of independence. Their debut novel, Goodbye, Jimmy Choo, originally published in England in 2004, appeared in the United States in 2006. Additionally, writing together under their own names, the collaborators—who both live near England's Stratford-upon-Avon—have published numerous popular nonfiction how-to titles, including the "Trade Secrets" series, adapted for a BBC2 television program.

In Goodbye, Jimmy Choo, two London women, Maddy and Izzie, have been displaced to the country when their husbands take new jobs. Each feels dislocated, and together they forge a friendship and eventually a business selling an herbal cure, a recipe for which Maddy uncovers in an old family journal. Though they find business success, they still must cope with their domestic lives: Maddy's husband dies and Izzie's marriage is less than perfect. Reviewing the American edition in Booklist, Aleksandra Kostovski found Goodbye, Jimmy Choo a "charming novel," as well as a "refreshing departure from the single-girl-in-the-city brand of chick lit." A Kirkus Reviews critic, however, was less enthusiastic, feeling that "the book suffers from long-windedness" and "thinly drawn" characters. A more positive assessment came from a Publishers Weekly reviewer, who felt the same novel was a "refreshing debut." Similarly, Library Journal contributor Lisa O'Hara thought Goodbye, Jimmy Choo was "an especially enjoyable novel." Ashworth and Sanders, writing as Annie Sanders, have written two other novels, Warning of Gales, about three women and their children who share a vacation home in England's Cornwall, and The Xmas Factor.

Ashworth and Sanders work differently in collaboration for their nonfiction and fiction works. With nonfiction books, they simply divide the book, each writes one half, and then they create an introduction together. With their novels, however, they work more closely in tandem. As the women explained on the Orion Books Web site, "Because we write collaboratively we have to agree [on] the basis of the novel—the plot, atmosphere, characters, theme—before we write one word.… Then we write a very tight synopsis and the back story to the characters. We then work chapter by chapter, writing half of each one separately, then paste them together and sit side by side reading it through and ironing out the inconsistencies."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, March 1, 2006, Aleksandra Kostovski, review of Goodbye, Jimmy Choo, p. 68.

Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 2006, review of Goodbye, Jimmy Choo, p. 156.

Library Journal, April 1, 2006, Lisa O'Hara, review of Goodbye, Jimmy Choo, p. 86.

Publishers Weekly, March 27, 2006, review of Goodbye, Jimmy Choo, p. 56.

ONLINE

Armchair Interviews,http://www.armchairinterviews.com/ (September 14, 2006), Andrea Sisco, review of Goodbye, Jimmy Choo.

ChickLit,http://www.chicklit.co.uk/ (April 1, 2005), "Talking to Annie."

Fantastic Fiction,http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/ (September 12, 2006), "Annie Sanders."

Fresh Fiction,http://www.freshfiction.com/ (March 10, 2006), Lissa Staley, review of Goodbye, Jimmy Choo.

Gillon Aitken Associates Ltd. Web site,http://www.gillonaitkenassociates.co.uk/ (September 12, 2006), "Annie Ashworth and Meg Sanders."

MediaBistro.com, http://www.mediabistro.com/ (November 14, 2005), Rachel Kramer Bussel, "It Takes Two to Make a Book Go Right: Are Two Authors Better Than One?"

Nights and Weekends,http://www.nightsandweekends.com/ (September 14, 2006), Kristin Dreyer Kramer, review of Goodbye, Jimmy Choo.

Orion Books Web site,http://www.orionbooks.co.uk/ (September 12, 2006), "'Annie Sanders' Q & A."

Reader Views,http://www.readerviews.com/ (September 14, 2006), Paige Lovitt, review of Goodbye, Jimmy Choo.

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