Annie Writes a Book
There are some people that come into your life and it feels as though they have been there the entire time. For me, Annie DelSignore is one of those people, and she came into my life through a weird app called Bumble BFF. She is pure inspiration to my life. Our friendship is less than a year old, but it’s clear that our wavelengths are constantly synced no matter how far the distance. I know many of you are probably wondering, “Huh…Bumble BFF? Did these two accidentally meet on a dating site? Was Caro on a dating site for women and then they decided to ‘just be friends?’” No! You crazies. Bumble BFF is a thing now. It’s not much different than the actual dating app. You log in hoping to find someone cool to hang out with, swipe, and pray you don’t connect with a psycho. Thankfully, Annie was only half psycho.
We swiped, we connected, and the next day I received a “Hey, girl, hey!” message from her. After some chatting and coming to the realization that we both desperately needed friends in London, we decided to meet up in Covent Garden with a few of my other friends. The connection was instant, she fit in perfectly, and the rest was history! It’s not a surprise that I love to write (you are reading my blog, remember?), but when I found out Annie was also a writer, I instantly pictured myself in a cute café writing AND NOT ALONE! This is where Annie’s travel tale begins.
Annie is an English teacher in Dallas, Texas. Last summer, she decided to travel to London to find inspiration and continue writing her book. That’s right, A BOOK! How cool is that. I’ve always dreamed of writing a book, but a blog will do for now. She has been working on this book for two and a half years and has poured her heart and soul into it. When I first asked Annie about her book and how it inspired her to travel, I wanted to know EVERYTHING. My first question was how this book came to be and obviously what the heck it was about.
So, a few years ago, Annie’s mom became really into learning about her ancestry. She went down the deep rabbit hole of Ancestry.com and tried to understand the questions of who they are, where are they from, and what makes them who they are. Yes, she admitted that it was a borderline identity crisis. This led her mom to start researching her grandmother’s life (Annie’s great-grandmother), who no one in the family had the chance of meeting because she died before Annie’s mother was born.
The facts that Annie gathered were that her great-grandmother was from a big family that lived in Edinburgh, Scotland and had also lived for some time in London, England. She had a twin sister who died when they were about 18 or 19 years old, and the twins had been weirdly close their entire lives. The mysterious thing about the death was that there is no record as to what the cause was or any story surrounding what had happened. Once her sister died, Annie’s great-grandmother packed all of her things and left London by herself and moved to London, Ontario, Canada. She left her whole family behind and started a new life for herself at the age of twenty!
When Annie was talking about the background of how her idea came to be, I could tell this book was close to her soul. She spoke about the bravery that it took her great-grandmother to leave everything she had ever known behind after something so tragic occurred to her. The idea of why her great-grandmother had traveled across the world was a constant question in Annie’s life, and she started to question it more and more. The more answers her mom gave, the more questions Annie would come up with. There was only so much her and her mom could understand from Ancestry.com, and the only way to have these questions answered was to create her own story. Which is why she is writing this book!
Annie writes Young Adult and Paranormal Fiction (freaking awesome, right?), so naturally the book contains mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of the twin, which ultimately follow the character of her great-grandmother to Canada. There are demons. And magic. And love. Not only are weird things happening in her book, but also directly in Annie’s life as she is writing said book! She has found herself multiple times writing things that are way too close to the truth. The twin sister in the book is named Katherine, and it turns out that her name in real life was Kathleen. WEIRD!
Annie also found herself writing certain scenes with how she would react to the circumstances because it felt right to the story. Well, when she was speaking with her grandmother and asking questions, her grandmother would give examples and tell stories THAT ANNIE HAD ALREADY WRITTEN! Annie could not stop talking about how cool of an experience it was and how badass she felt writing about it.
While Annie was living in London for the summer, she had the chance to travel to Edinburgh to see the exact area that her great-grandmother was from. Her great-grandmother had worked at a teashop on Princes Street (so cute, right?) and she would have daily views of the castle on the hill. This was one of the destinations that Annie and her mother went to see. Of course, the teashop was no longer there, but they were still able to stare in awe at the castle and know that her great-grandmother had been in that exact location doing the exact same thing. Annie describes, “Being able to be in the space and the city that was hers was so cool. I felt so attached to it and felt so in awe. To me, this person is so real and that’s why I’m taking my time on it. I want to do the story justice.” I mean, that’s a tear-jerker for SURE!
I feel so lucky to have met a friend like Annie who constantly reminds me that if you have a passion for ANYTHING, just go out and do it, even if it takes you more than two and a half years to finish. She has given me endless inspiration to continue traveling and writing these stories. The travel experiences her family members had in the past have brought questions and stories and endless wanderlust to their ancestors. This led Annie to travel across the world and pursue her passion (and meet me!), and that is so freaking amazing to me! Isn’t travel all about following our dreams?
I will leave you with my second favorite Annie quote from this interview:
“I will say that being over in London for 2 months, that really pushed me to do more writing. It was what I needed because I had been teaching for so long and there is never enough time with teaching. I was in this not so great mental space and coming to London was so life changing. Not just because I met you, which was one of the highlights of my entire life, but it gave me that push. I told myself I was here to write, so I had to write. Nothing was cooler than being able to go to Hyde Park and sit in Hyde Park and do some writing about someone who had also sat in Hyde Park.”
So, now I’m going to go sit in Hyde Park and write another blog post for you!