Anna Ralph (aka Barker) is an award-winning novelist and journalist. Her first novel The Floating Island (Arrow, 2008) won a Betty Trask best debut award from the Society of Authors. It was inspired by the real floating island on Derwentwater in the Lake District and tells the story of Matt, a 15-year-old boy, who rows out to the island with his younger brother to plant a flag with disastrous consequences.
Her second novel Before I Knew Him (Arrow, 2009) was also inspired by the landscapes of the North-east and in particular the coast of Northumberland. Much of this novel, which was shortlisted for a Good Housekeeping good read award, drew upon the themes Anna had begun to explore in the first book: love, sexuality, memory, trauma, obsession and betrayal.
Before she embarked on her publishing career, Anna worked as a journalist, in public relations and as a copywriter. It is this extensive experience in varying forms of communication and her experience as a published author that feeds into her work with the RLF, teaching writing skills and mentoring students.
Anna lives in Durham with her daughter. She is currently working on a novel called The Sea Child for which she has received grants from the Arts Council and the Society of Authors.