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Ally Kennen  
   

Ally KennenAuthor of BULLET BOYS

Ally Kennen comes from a proud lineage of bare-knuckle boxers, country vicars and French aristocracy.

She grew up in an isolated farm on Exmoor, with no flushing toilet, dead tadpoles in the taps, and annual rat infestations. The farm was a foster home to many children and teenagers. Ally has worked as a classroom assistant, nursery nurse, museum guard and archaeologist. She is also a professional singer.

Ally lives in Somerset with her husband, small daughter, smaller son and baby four chickens and a curmudgeonly cat. No woman has ever beaten Ally in an arm wrestle.

 
   
In Her Own Words

“I grew up on a small organic farm on Exmoor. My parents still farm cows, pigs, sheep, chickens, turkeys and ducks. I have one brother. My parents fostered children for many years, from when I was about three or four till I was thirteen. They started again when I was eighteen and fostered for another five or six years.

When I was young, we farmed dairy cows, which make a lot of mess. There is half a mile of muddy road up to the school bus stop. In school assemblies I would usually leave a small pile of dried mud in my place, which I had picked off my shoes. In winter, my school uniform smelled of smoke because it had dried over the fire. We had an outdoor loo, called an earth closet, which had no flush. You had to do what you did, then cover it up with sawdust. When I was eight, we got a flushing loo which I thought was deeply sophisticated (though once I did fall in the septic tank!).

There were no shops, pubs or buses (except the school bus) and hardly any people. As a child, I spent a lot of time on my own, reading, playing in the mud, building dams and messing around the farm. I was always scruffy and sadly I still am! At school I liked writing stories and liked the idea of being an author, but I also wanted to be a runner, an archaeologist and a naturalist.”

 
 
   
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