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  • Holly Brunnbauer

Behind the scenes with Anne Freeman

Updated: May 1

ME THAT YOU SEE by Anne Freeman


Behind the scenes with Anne Freeman - author of ME THAT YOU SEE

Looking for a page-turner that's full of surprises? Read ME THAT YOU SEE, a contemporary fiction novel by award-winning author, Anne Freeman.


Let's go behind the scenes to find out how this novel came to be.


Scroll down for:

  • Story idea

  • Favourite scene

  • Fun fact

  • Writing routine

  • Publication

  • Future

  • Book recommendation


ME THAT YOU SEE by Anne Freeman

ME THAT YOU SEE

Follows Lexi, a barista turned cam model, as she reluctantly stumbles towards a life of authenticity.


 

STORY IDEA



What came first – character or plot?


I think they may have arrived holding hands! Although, I’ve been fascinated by online sex work for a while, so maybe that came first. In fact, there’s a mention of fictional cam site, Camnation, in my debut novel, RETURNING TO ADELAIDE. In ME THAT YOU SEE, Lexi ends up working for Camnation so we get a peek into the lives of the women behind the webcam.


FAVOURITES




Who's your favourite character?


I think my favourite character, apart from Lexi, is her best friend’s mother, Vien Pham. She turned up at the beginning of the story and I honestly thought that was it for her. But she had other plans and returned at the end to play an important role in Lexi’s transformation. She sprang onto the page with such vibrancy and spunk that she’s a bit of a scene stealer!


FUN FACT




Share a fun fact about your novel.


You only want one interesting fact? I could give you one per page! Like most of us, I’m something of a bowerbird when it comes to collecting scraps from life. I suppose the main one is that I drew on my time as a promotional model to bring authenticity to Lexi’s experience of being a “body for hire”.

Another is that the love interest’s three-year-old son, Lucas, was based on this really earnest kid that my son was at kinder with!


DRAFTING & EDITING




Describe your first draft process.


I’m clean and slow. I’m a recovering perfectionist whose recovery is questionable.


What didn’t make it into the published version?


There was a whole epilogue! It took place a year later and tied everything up too neatly. I probably wrote it just for me, to be honest, but I took a friend’s advice and deleted the sucker so that the final chapter, which is the current epilogue, was more of a mic drop. I might actually send it out as a newsletter bonus.


WRITING ROUTINE




Describe your routine while you were writing this story.


When I was writing ME THAT YOU SEE I had a pre-schooler and a toddler at home. I wrote in scraps of time. Often, I’d write while Edie napped and Davie snuggled up to me on the couch watching Bluey. It was quite the juxtaposition considering my book is about online sex work!


PUBLICATION JOURNEY




How did this book come to be published?


My debut novel, RETURNING TO ADELAIDE, was published by Hawkeye Publishing after I longlisted in their 2021 Manuscript Development Prize. ME THAT YOU SEE shortlisted the year after and, fortunately, Hawkeye were happy to have me back for a second time!


FUTURE




What's next?


I am! I’m halfway through my third and it’s getting to that great time where your world and your characters are established and it’s flowing beautifully.


With this one, I’m using a dual timeline to contrast my protagonist’s experience of first love and endless possibilities in her twenties with a suburban family life under threat in her forties. It’s set against the backdrop of the Melbourne underground rave scene and demonstrates how the decisions of our youth can cause ripples for decades. It explores themes of chronic illness, lost identity, sextortion and second chances.


BOOK RECOMMENDATION




Share a recommendation by an Australian author.


I’m going to share one that’s so new it’s not out yet! Can I do that?


It’s called FORGOTTEN. It’s by debut author Casey Nott and will be released by Hawkeye Publishing later this year. It’s a women’s contemporary fiction novel that is wise, warm and witty and I will be recommending to everyone, especially mothers! Ava wakes after an accident to find she's forgotten the past decade. She then stumbles to reconcile the life she's woken into, complete with a new husband and a pre-schooler, with the woman she believes she is. The premise is so relatable and each sentence drips with authenticity, humour and insight that makes the reader feel seen.



 

Australian Author, Anne Freeman

ANNE FREEMAN

@annefreemanwrites


Anne Freeman is a fiction writer, copywriter, social media content creator and publicist. From her little teak desk on Wurundjeri land in Melbourne, Anne writes contemporary fiction about women who are stuck in life and the extraordinary ways they shake themselves loose.


They’re always engaging and sometimes funny with reluctant adventures, sexy escapades and friendships that uplift.


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