Thursday, 12 September 2013

Debut Spotlight: Annette Bettè Kellow

Today's debut spotlight feature highlights The Roses Grow Wild by Annette Bettè Kellow which is being published by Chipmunka Publishing on 20th September.

The Roses Grow wild is an account of a young graduate, Emily, suffering a mental breakdown and suicide survival.

Set to the backdrop of London's East End decadent vibrancy, The Roses Grow Wild is a bohemian love story set in a modern street style. Focusing on broken dreams, hardships, aspirations and mental health within young twenty something's, also known as the 'Facebook generation,' it emulates the inner twining of what really happens when the artistic youth revel in following their dreams.

This is a classic love story containing a pulsating twist. A young writer whom has always been an observant outsider falls in love, and has a relationship with the young poetic heartthrob on the scene. When it becomes twisted and loses its momentum, so does her mind. The landscape is populated by aspiring writers, rock stars and fashionistas who stave off the credentials of other close creative's, emulating a flimsy film of pretence.

As the cracks break, so does her day-to-day surviving. As we follow her quest to gain happiness and mental health back, we ask ourselves time and time again, where do all the broken dreams go?

Book Extract

He said meet on the corner. That’s what most people do, don’t they? Meet me on the corner and of course I knew it was time to go to another dodgy reckless Whitechapel cafe and I was entirely ecstatic to hear about all of his day and he whispered that he’d ‘wrote another chapter’. ‘A wonderful love story,’ he said. 

He opened the little coffee cup stained notebook and began to read me some chapters. I closed me eyes. His intentions were always good.

My back was straight as a board and my skull nodded to the vowels and continents of, ‘yes, yes I see’ and just as he went to shut the book, just as he went to pick it up and put it back in his bag, I saw it- my name clear as a bell on a calf’s squealing neck bathed in the abundance of spring sun, at the bottom of the page with the tiniest miniscule shape of a heart in black biro next to it. 

You would barely notice it, unless you looked in finely tuned observement. You could barely notice it, but as sure as the Queen of Hearts snapped down last minute onto the table, bargained into the last winning bet of triumph, it was there. And I wanted to dance in between the ashtray-topped tables but he didn’t see that I saw, so I simply stated, ‘I think that story is going to be just marvelous, Henry’.

I said the same to Pandora later that night, the story and its invigorated stimulant of a fuelled journey and she screwed up her face like she’d just heard that I’d been having sexual dreams about Osama Bin Laden.

‘Oh come on, honey. Books are great but they’ll rot your brain like a plank of old wood,’ she accused.

‘Driftwood, timber or oak?’ I enquired. ‘Actually, don’t answer that.’

It was a few days later when we were walking along Redchurch Street, Pandora attempting to look saucy through double layered Edie Sedgwick lashes for the party that she insisted I ‘just had to attend’.

‘Scenester’, I laughed to myself, as it was the third traipsing out that week. Every single time I never really knew why I went, sitting in the corner looking at the others, drinking a tumbler of paint stripping vodka. I could never fit in with those aloof, cool sorts of peoples. I just couldn’t quite say the right sort of thing.

I knew about bands. Old music. Fashion. Funny art facts but for some peculiarity I did not get in with the sour soaked posse that ruled in royal shordo land.

It was the look on their face that they fixed on me as I began to talk. Their faces entirely expressionless, just gravitating, chewing my words around which somehow needed to make a difference to their blanched ‘show-me-something-different’ attitude.

It never normally did. That was the point, I would get all nervous. Those eyes. Those eyes that looked like they couldn’t quite believe anything you said, even though you were just filling in the gaps with small talk. They’d turn their heads after approx forty five seconds of stumbled conversation.

On arriving, Pandora flittered around her ‘darling thang’ Johnny like a sweet Cottington fairy from 1907. 

Sitting beside me, slouched in a baggy t-shirt, with large letters stamped across the front that said WOW, was a fashion student whose parents had manors in France and New York. Her fringe was very straight, as were her long shiny American Apparel leggings, which she pushed out with high-heeled Doc Martins. She talked in a Trustifarian accent and I could tell that her inheritance was going to be off the richter scale. She talked about all of the good things in her life quite loudly and kept looking me up and down like a peculiar piece of mould polluting her side.

I was armed with the infusion of willing the ground to swallow me as I stared into the glowing floral lampshade trying to guess the year it was made. I eventually decided on 1973.

But Pandora’s wings grew mightier by the second. She began dancing all slow in the middle of the room, her micro mini mirror ball dress showing glimpses of lime green lace pants, which I knew were from Dorothy Perkins, whilst everyone stopped chattering to gaze. She seemed to enjoy every moment; the impish peeks so she pushed her hips out even further, rocking side to side. One of the cool kids took off his square frames to get a better look.

Annette Kellow is a 28-year-old female whom trained at Ela Their Script Academy in New York for a period. 

At times, she has made various films, from dealing with mental health issues in New York to poem films in Paris, which have also debuted at Cannes, BFI, NY and for the last two years, been chosen to launch the Portobello Film Festival.

To find out more about Annette why not visit her website or follow her on Twitter @Annettebkellow.


  1. I love you to bits, dear cousin. This book extract was a delight to read. It tackles such a poignant topic in the form of literary novel. It's about time mental health should be looked at as a health condition which in reality, touches everyone at some point in their lifetime. I went through a tough time in my life back in 2009 which i got through, due to the support of family, friends and the NHS. Bipolar knows no boundaries. It took hold of me, for a spell, and now i'm in control of my well-being enough to keep it at bay and lead a completely normal life. Look at M.I.N.D mental health charity for more info and support.

  2. This extract was a joy to read. It's refreshing to find a book which features the journey of a young character that tackles a mental breakdown. It affects more people than you kbow. Just look around you in any city and you're bound to see strong survivors tackling their woes and demons. They're there. You just need to look carefully. One day mental health will be seen as equal in attitude as we are to physical health. Beautifully written, I can't wait to read this novel.