Anita Salemink was born in Groessen, near Arnhem in the Netherlands.

She is the middle child of Gerard and Sjan Salemink, with an older sister and younger brother. When Gerard was a teenager, he emigrated to Australia. He was the first emigrant to fly over the North Pole instead of travelling the long way around by cruise ship, as was the norm in the 1950s. The story proved unique enough to be reported in a local newspaper. Working various manual jobs, Gerard enjoyed his newfound independence, having left the constraints of being the youngest of nine siblings.

He met Sjan, and the couple got married in 1960. They returned to the Netherlands, where Gerard set up a copper and brassware factory. Wanting to expand, Gerard moved the family to Ireland at the beginning of the 1970s. The Irish branch proved successful, and he grew to two more branches located throughout southern Ireland.

The first seven years the family lived in a bungalow overlooking Limerick City. According to local folklore, their fellow countryman, William of Orange, besieged the city from that exact location back in 1690. The local stories started Anita’s love for history that continues to the present day. After primary school, Anita attended Laurel Hill, a convent school in the city centre.

1975, the IRA kidnapped the Dutch industrialist Dr Herrema, who lived nearby. The family moved to the countryside, leaving the repeated bomb scares and the daily threat of political violence behind them. They moved into a beautiful Georgian house with a Gothic entrance and 144 acres of woodlands and fields. After stumbling on a mysterious graveyard, Anita wondered about the history of the estate. She discovered a treasure trove of local folklore, which many years later inspired her to write her first novel.

In 1980 the family moved back to the Netherlands where she attended Art College in Arnhem. Anita remained in Arnhem and still lives there with her husband in a nineteenth-century Dutch townhouse. Working as a visual artist, she also teaches painting to amateur enthusiasts in the evening. Anita published a story in the Dutch national newspaper The NRC called Vriendschap (Friendship), which stimulated her to keep writing. After completing various Coursera courses, e.g. Plagues, Witches and War, the World of Historical Fiction, she started the Faber Academy course ‘Writing a Novel’ in 2015 and graduated in 2016. 

Since then, one of her flash pieces was longlisted in a Retreat West Flash Fiction Competition. She was shortlisted with her Novella (title withheld) in Mslexia’s Novella Prize, and just recently she won a Twitter competition at Grindstone Literary with the opening of her Novel (title withheld). The Dublin based literary magazine Silver Apples published a short memoir Wild Children in their issue Oxymorons. In Wild Children, Anita reminisces her first weeks in Ireland when everything was strange and new to her. 

She painted the watercolour on the cover of Shooter Literary Magazine; issue seven, titled New Life. She is currently working on a speculative novel for adults set in WWII.

(<500 words)