Everyone, please welcome Annalisa Crawford to Write with Fey. She is answering my questions and sharing interesting little tidbits about herself and her book, Our Beautiful Child.
Annalisa, tell us about your current release.
Our Beautiful Child is a collection of three supernatural/Gothic novellas all set around the same pub. Ella is running away from her nightmares, Sally is running away from the memories of previous boyfriends and Rona is running away from university. And they all find a lot more than they bargained for.
Page Count: 114
Publisher: Battered Suitcase Press
Release Date: June 9th 2014
1. Why did you choose the setting for Our Beautiful Child?
The pub and the bridge that are so important in all the stories are local to me – I spent a lot of time in the pub when I was in my teens. It’s very old, and there were ghost stories attached to it. The bridge is right ahead of you when you drive towards my town. Whenever I’ve been away, that’s the sight I long to see again, and makes me feel at home.
2. If your book had a soundtrack, give us a list of a few songs that would be on it.
-Ella’s Story fits well with Silent Lucidity by Queensryche
-The Traveller would be Brilliant Disguise by Bruce Springsteen
-Our Beautiful Child was inspired by False Alarm by Cherry Ghost
3. How did you come up with the names for your heroines?
I’m lucky in that as soon as I start thinking about a story, the characters are fully formed, along with their names. Originally, though, before the stories became the collection, Rona was called Emma. However, I already had Ella (too similar) and her name is in the title, so I didn’t want to change it. It took me a lot of searching in baby name books to find Rona, but as soon as I read it, I knew it was the right one.
4. Rona is a great name! What would women find irresistible about your hero?
Hmm, I’m not sure I’d call any of the male characters heroes. In Ella’s Story, the ‘hero’ dumps Ella, but he does the right thing in the end. In The Traveller, Murray is quiet, dark, sultry, and a bit of a tease – he’s probably the guy most likely to be irresistible. Our Beautiful Child has no hero – the narrator is the closest to it, but he’s dead!
5. He's dead? Oh my! Is there a teacher (or teachers) you would like to personally thank for his/her influence
None of my teachers particularly influenced me, but I see my old English teacher at the gym a lot. I always thought it would be cool to tell him what I’d achieved, but the timing was wrong, and eventually I’d waited too long and it would have been a weird conversation. The other day, a friend told me he’d mentioned my books to my teacher, who said I’d always shown a lot of promise – I’m happy with that!
6. Share three random facts about you.
- I’m a Doctor Who geek. My Doctor (the one I grew up with) is Peter Davison, but Matt Smith is definitely second. I can’t wait for the new series.
- I recently broke my toe when a 30kg dumbbell fell on it at the gym.
- I have five tattoos, and would love more, even though I really hate the pain.
7. Ouch! That sounds painful. I hope your toe is healing fast. Have you ever experienced something unusual that influenced a story?
One of the scenes in Our Beautiful Child is based on something that happened to me – when I was little there’s a possibility that I lived in a haunted house. My mother maintains I used to sleepwalk and move the furniture around, but I’m convinced that I wouldn’t have been able to do that at the age of three!
8. If you could write anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
On a beach, so I can hear the sea as I write.
9. Your advice to new writers.
- Learn the rules (grammar, style, POV etc) and then break them, knowingly. There’s a difference between that and someone who doesn’t know the rules in the first place.
- Learn the business. I read a lot of writing magazines when I first started submitting, so I learned all the dos and don’ts. Mostly, it centres on being professional and really considering the direction you want your writing career to go in. There are so many blogs and forums full of people sharing their knowledge – use them!
10. Tell us about your writing process.
I get a vague idea, then I think about it for a long time – sometimes at the gym, sometimes with a pad of paper on my lap covered in doodles – then I’ll have another idea that kind of fits with the first, but not quite. I’ll doodle some more, walk the dog, watch far too much TV, and then… I’ll have another thought like “It’s not her husband, it’s her son” and everything suddenly becomes clear and I write madly, longhand. Then it gets typed up, rewritten, scrawled over, rewritten again (many times) until one day I declare it perfect. And then I send it to beta readers…
About the Author:
I live in Cornwall UK, with a good supply of beaches and moorland right on my doorstep to keep me inspired. I live with my husband, two sons, a dog and a cat.
Despite my location, I neither surf nor sail, and have never had any inclination to try. I much prefer walking along a deserted beach and listening to the waves crashing over rocks. For this reason, I really love the beach in the winter!
Thank you, Annalisa, for telling us about your fascinating collection of stories!
Please leave a comment and show Annalisa some love. :)