Anna Barker is an award-winning novelist, poet, and short story writer. Writing as Anna Ralph, 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 shortlisted for a Good Housekeeping Good Read award and tells the story of unlikely friends, David and Leo, who are bound by a shared summer – and secret – they had sworn to forget. It draws on themes Anna had begun to explore in her first novel, namely: love, sexuality, memory, trauma, obsession and betrayal.

In Rain Hare Anna ventures into short fiction with tales that explore the connections we make and lose. All the stories are disconcerting and moving in equal measure and as with her earlier work, all are rooted in northern landscape. Anna lives in Durham with her partner and daughter. She is currently working on a collection of poetry.