Friday, April 8, 2016

Interview with Anne Turner Coppola, author of Fly Away Free

Inside the Book:

Title: Fly Away Free 
Author: Anne Turner Coppola 
Publisher: Xlibris 
Genre: Juvenile Fiction 
Format: Ebook

The story begins when Tessie Farrell, an older woman living in South Florida, is walking her dog and rescues a baby osprey whose parents are killed by three young boys raiding the osprey’s nest to steal the baby ospreys. Taking the rescued baby osprey home, Tessie contacts the police to report what happened. After caring and feeding the baby osprey and building a cage for the bird, Tessie finds herself exhausted. Lying down to rest, Tessie is transported back in time, when she was a ten-year-old girl living with her parents on a dairy farm in northern New York. Devastated to learn that she is adopted, Tessie is taunted by her classmates as she struggles to understand why she was unwanted by her biological parents. In her isolation from children her own age, she creates her own fantasy world with the help of Dolly, a horse that is boarded at the farm and whom Tessie adopts as her pet horse, and two pet geese, raised and nurtured by Tessie as hatchlings. While Tessie roams her fantasy world with Dolly, she meets and befriends an older woman, Maudie, who will play a very important role in helping Tessie find herself as she learns to accept who she is and to find acceptance by those around her. This is a story of courage, self-discovery, and love, and a young girl’s struggle to overcome the pain of being adopted.
Fly Away Free is available for order at

Question1- How did you come up with the title of your book?

The title of the book is taken from a dramatic scene near the ending of the book, when the geese, fully grown, are leaving Tessie to join a flock of geese flying south to avoid the cold north country winter. As her mother and father console their heartbroken daughter, her dad says “Let them go, Tessie.“ “If you really love them, let them fly away free.”
Question2- What is you”r writing environment like?

At the time Anne was writing Fly Away Free, 1993, we lived in a three bedroom home in the Coconut Grove neighborhood of Miami, Florida. I went off to work in the morning, and Anne had the house t6o herself and our two dogs, Beauregard and Heidi. One of the bedrooms served as an office and computer room. The house was an open floor plan- light and airy with many windows. The dogs, and an occasional telephone call were the main distractions.
Question3- What are some of the best tools available today for writers?

Connecting with other authors and readers on Social Media has been an exciting experience. Websites like Facebook and Twitter foster a strong community.
Question4 – What inspires you to write?

Anne was a teacher who taught children at all levels of learning- elementary, midlle and high schoolers. She loved her students, particularly her elementary kids. I believe she had these stories germinating  for some time, and only needed the the right opportunity to begin. That opportunity, I believe, came when she retired and had the time to sit down and write.. I also believe that Fly Away Free was close to being autobiographical. Anne identified with Tessie Farrell, Fly Away Free young heroine, and although she wasn’t adopted, Anne was raised in a foster home, on a farm in northern New York at the age of twelve, after her father died two years earlier, and following her mother’s hospitalization for severe depression. Certainly, Tessie exhibited many of the same emotions that Anne must have felt throughout that difficult period in her life.
Question5 – Did you learn anything while writing this book?

I’m sure that Anne had to do a little background search on geese.
Question6- What is your favorite quality about yourself?

As her husband of many years, I think I can say that her empathy for the ‘underdog,’ her sensitivity to the needs of others, and her persistence guided her in her writing.

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