Anne Clarke – Believing in fairies

Anne was born and raised in Ireland, the eldest of three sisters. She studied French and psychology in Trinity College Dublin and left with an M.A. She has almost ten years experience in public relations working agency-side on projects for brands like Guinness, Marks & Spencer, Coty, in Ireland and later in an independent agency in London, on American Express, Disney, Cadbury and learndirect, amongst others. Anne is married and lives in east London. Her interests include writing and reading fiction, theatre going, drinking cocktails with amusing names and shopping for shoes.

Anne, you are a successful PR director and currently writing your own book. What does it feel like to have your own creative project rather than just using your creativity for your clients?

I love generating ideas for my clients – it is fun and challenging – we work within the guidelines of their brand and target audience. For my writing however I can go as far as my imagination will take me, and that seems to be a long way. Having my own creative project is a different form of brainstorming as well – it is more about freeing the subconscious, giving myself a whole day to ponder a character and then just writing to see what comes out. It is a slow idea movement – they seem to percolate over months rather than the quick turnaround brainstorming I use for work. With my book I am writing just for me (at the moment!) so I can go with any of the ideas that take my fancy rather than incorporating feedback from lots of sources. It is lovely to have that mix of different types of creativity.

Tell me a little about the story, your inspiration and why it is important to you.

My story is a modern Irish fairytale. It just popped into my head one day as I was walking to the tube station in East London. I walked past a woodland area one misty morning and the birds were singing and I wasn’t quite awake (no coffee yet) and I thought in a very childlike way – ‘what if there were fairies in that forest?’. Then I got to the tube station and it wasn’t too packed so I actually managed to get a seat (magically some might say) and I wrote down my alpha-state thoughts. Then the ideas began to drip, drip through as the months went by and I made different connections and had more thoughts on the early morning walks. I love this story because it is a fun and pure outlet for me. It is also a lovely connection to home in Ireland. I have done lots of research into Irish folklore for it and that is fascinating too so all in all it gives an exciting and different outlet for my creativity which I think benefits my agency work and stops me from becoming too jaded.

I think of fairies and get almost giddy with excitement. What do you think it is about fairies that lightens the heart so much?

I think most people have believed in fairies at some point during their childhood so it taps into something deep inside our subconscious and reminds us of simpler times. It also gives us the chance to think that anything is possible, they could be at the bottom of the garden or having a party in a hillock – why not? They open up a world of possibilities – a world that lives alongside ours and that you might be able to see, sometimes in the half light, if you are very lucky. Fairies add a bit of magic and sparkle to everyday life and that can only be a good thing.

It is interesting that we are all pretty much introduced to some ‘magical being’ in our childhoods and then the majority of us choose to stop believing. What do you think the world would have more of if we continued to believe in magic, sparkle and possibility?

I don’t know if we even choose to stop believing, it just stops maybe because of peer pressure or the realities of life bearing down or whatever. If we continued to believe I think we’d almost certainly be more optimistic and less cynical. Our imaginations would be open to the possibility that anything could happen and that would make us more creative too.

Anne, your optimism is a joy to be around as is your creative being and curious nature. I am so excited to read your book and experience some fairy mischief.

Is there a believer in your family?

© The Red Barn Cooperative

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5 Responses to “Anne Clarke – Believing in fairies”

  1. 1 Candice April 6, 2008 at 6:31 pm

    [E]very time a child says, “I don’t believe in fairies,” there is a fairy somewhere that falls down dead. ~J. M Barrie, Peter Pan

    I think that people who can’t believe in fairies aren’t worth knowing. ~Tori Amos

    Other poetic fairy quotes can be found at fairyquotes

  2. 2 Samantha Grayson April 7, 2008 at 1:31 am

    I without question believe in fairies

  3. 3 Bridget April 7, 2008 at 10:11 am

    I love that this story idea came out of a brief passing thought on the way to a busy day in the office. Just a brief “what if there are fairies in there” thought between action items of the day. It reminds me of when I used to believe (as a child) that my stuffed animals had conversations when I left the room.

  4. 4 Ella July 6, 2008 at 5:42 am

    I am also writing a book about fairies, I don’t intend it to be published and I am only writing for pleasure, and I love finding time to disappear into the world I have created for a few hours and let my characters tell their story.

  5. 5 コーチ アウトレット July 30, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    Thanks for finally writing about >Anne Clarke
    – Believing in fairies | <Liked it!

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