Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
Today I’m very happy to share with you the answers Annalisa Crawford, author of Grace and Serenity, gave to my questions! Read on to discover her replies and more information about both herself and her book!
Where did you get the inspiration for the book/series?
Sometimes, rather than starting with a story idea or theme, I challenge myself to write in a specific way. With Grace & Serenity, I challenged myself to push my character to the limit, to throw every kind of pain at her. Early drafts were a lot worse, not least because whereas the published book takes place over a two year period, it started out being over fifteen!
What is your writing process?
I start with the briefest idea or (as above) challenge. What if my character has no memory – why not? What if I survived a suicide pact (my first published book)? What if X is the serial killer not Y? Then I let the story wander around my head, imagining scenes over and over until the characters become fixed and then I write those scenes. Usually they’re completely out of order. I keep writing until I have the first draft – which I’ve learnt will resemble more of a really detailed outline. I consider myself a pantser rather than a plotter, but the plan just takes a different form. Then there are multiple drafts and complete rewrites before I think I might have something good.
In short, my process is a mess and takes far too long, but I’m getting quicker, and it works for me.
Do you write using pen and paper or on a computer?
My first drafts are mostly written using a beautiful fountain pen I was given on my 21st birthday. But subsequent drafts are on computer, printed out, and scribbled on in different colours.
Who is your favourite character out of your stories and why?
I published a trilogy of novellas a few years ago, and in one of those stories is a woman called Rona who is psychic – she’s a young, sweet, empathetic character. The ending of the story altered dramatically because I liked her so much.
If you were a character in your story, which would you like to be?
Oh my poor characters! I do such horrible things to them, I don’t think I’d want to be any. Maybe a small supporting character? But even then, I’ve created characters just to kill them off… No, I can’t answer this one.
How and why did you choose the names for your main characters?
The characters appear to me fully formed and named. I really don’t have to do anything. In the case of Grace, I had the title of the book before anything else, so I knew her name wasn’t going to change.
Thank you so much for answering my questions, it certainly sounds like you enjoy being cruel to your characters! I love writing using my fountain pen, too, though only for personal letters and notes ☺
Read on to find out more about Grace & Serenity and Annalisa Crawford….
Living on the streets is terrifying and exhausting. Grace’s only comforts are a steady stream of vodka, and a strange little boy who’s following her around.
At nineteen, Grace has already had a child and endured an abusive marriage. But she’s also had her baby abducted by her vengeful husband and been framed as a neglectful mother. Even her own parents doubted her version of the story. So she did the only thing that made sense to her—run away.
The streets are unforgiving. Winter is drawing in. And Grace isn’t prepared for the harsh realities of survival. At her very bleakest, a Good Samaritan swoops into her life and rescues her. With a roof over her head and food in her stomach, she longs to see her baby again.
But nothing ever comes for free.
Author Bio – Annalisa Crawford lives in Cornwall UK, with a good supply of moorland and beaches to keep her inspired. She lives with her husband, two sons, and dog.
Crawford writes dark contemporary, character-driven stories, with a hint of the paranormal.
Over the years, she has won several competitions, and had many short stories published in small press journals and online. Highlights include being placed 3rd in the Costa Short Story Award 2015 and being longlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize and Bath Short Story Award in 2018.
Social Media Links –
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/annalisacrawford.author
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