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Meet the Author: Anna Parkinson

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Anna Parkinson is a writer, healer and former BBC Untitled-1producer. She will talk at Watkins Bookshop on April 2 at 6.30pm about her book Change your Mind, Heal Your Body.
Click here to find more information about the talk.
Meet the Author is a series of short interviews prior the author’s talks at Watkins Books.

Which books and author inspired you to get started writing?
I have always loved books and especially classic fiction authors from Raoul Dahl and Philip Pullman to Trollope and Tolstoy but curiously none of those wonderful writers have inspired me to write fiction – yet. the author who inspired me to write was actually a seventeenth century herbalist who was my ancestor. John Parkinson was herbalist to Charles I and a passionate advocate of plants for healing and for their beauty. In 1629 he published the first book in English about decorative gardening, a treasured  book called Paradisus Terrestris Paradisi iin Sole (Parkinson’s Earthly Paradise). Reading this book after my father died resonated so deeply with me that I couldn’t rest until I had unearthed (excuse the pun!) this man’s extraordinary story and told it in my book ‘Nature’s Alchemist’. I think I have always found the ‘facts’ of life more extraordinary than fiction and revealing those unseen aspects of reality
inspires me. It has been my experience to discover the power of plants to heal and the power of the mind to change physical ‘reality’ and it was this experience that inspired my recent book for Watkins: Change Your Mind Heal Your Body.

What are your goals and intentions as a writer?
I like to open people’s eyes to their power to make positive changes for themselves, and to remind them to look deeply at the most simple things they may have overlooked: from the potential in their breathing and thinking to the support that is available from simply available plants. I feel that the ‘exotic’ is very close to home. We might go a long way to find it but it only has meaning if we can make it live in our hearts. We are all more extraordinary and more able that we tend to think we are. If anything I write can inspire people to value themselves more and respect our environment, then I am happy.

What empowers you in your daily work and life?
I am empowered by this connection with the natural environment. I love cities, museums, theatre and even shopping from time to time, but I need to get my feet on the earth on a daily basis and when I can’t my connection with the natural forces of the planet is in my mind. I meditate on this daily and this keeps me in contact with forces greater than me that I can use to draw physical strength and insight from. Increasingly I watch animals, birds and insects and I know that they are teaching me how to live in harmony with the planet.

What is your next project?
I have been teaching and running workshops to give people the tools to heal themselves. Now I am working on a book that shows the exotic in our daily reality and how through understanding it we can connect with places beyond geographical and physical limits. I don’t want to say much more than that because this project is still evolving!

Is there anything you would say to your readers?
I would say ‘Understand your value. Our culture and our society which can seem so overwhelming, even oppressive, is something that we all create together. So you, your feelings, your actions, matter. You are important.
The more you appreciate and cultivate yourself, the happier you will be
and the more you will be able to give to your loved ones, friends and our
society.’

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Anna Parkinson
Change Your Mind, Heal Your Body
Watkins Publishing

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