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August 29, 2014

Author Interview with Annalisa Crawford

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.

Genre: Supernatural/Gothic
Page Count: 114
Publisher: Battered Suitcase Press
Release Date: June 9th 2014

 BUY LINKS:


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!

Author Links: 


Thank you, Annalisa, for telling us about your fascinating collection of stories!


Please leave a comment and show Annalisa some love. :)


44 comments:

Pat Hatt said...

Ouch to the toe, need some steel toe boots at the gym lol always nice when names and such are fully formed as you begin as well.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The narrator hero is dead? Sometimes a dead hero is best.
Sorry about your toe! That hurts just thinking about it.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I liked hearing about the setting for the stories. And I'm with you on walking on the beach rather than going into or on the water. :)

Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

A 30lb wgt might have crushed your toe. Very cool that your teacher said that about you. Congrats on the release.

Cherie Reich said...

Congrats, Annalisa! Loved learning more about you. Ouch about the toe!

Chrys Fey said...

If I ever lift weights in a gym, I'll remember to wear steel toed boots. ;)

Thanks for leaving a comment for Annalisa!

Chrys Fey said...

I think having the narrator dead is is interesting.

Thanks for commenting, Alex!

Chrys Fey said...

I like walking on the beach more than going in the water, too. :)

Thanks for commenting, Madeline!

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks for visiting Annalisa's interview, and for leaving her a comment, Susan! :)

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you for commenting, Cherie! :)

Annalisa Crawford said...

Thanks for a great interview, Chrys, your questions were really fun to answer. And thanks for sharing the Cherry Ghost song, it gives me a good reason to listen to it again :-)

Annalisa Crawford said...

I've always been lucky with my characters. Steel toed boots are a good call!

Annalisa Crawford said...

That narrator was one of my favourite characters to write.

Annalisa Crawford said...

There are some hardy local people who swim in the sea in the middle of winter! I guess the 3 of us will just be sitting on the rocks with a coffee :-)

Annalisa Crawford said...

Susan, I'm always surprised when teachers remember me - I always thought I slunk around under the radar.

Annalisa Crawford said...

Thanks Cherie - funnily enough, 'ouch' is exactly what I said. Because I was working, and training a young teen, I limited myself to 'blimey' as my strongest swear word!

Chrys Fey said...

You're welcome, Annalisa! I'm glad you had fun answering my questions. I had fun getting to know more about "Our Beautiful Child." :)

Suzanne Furness said...

I've just started reading 'Our Beautiful Child' and enjoying it very much. Great interview, think it would be weird to meet an old teacher and tell them about my writing. Sadly, I think they would be stunned, I'm sure I showed little promise at school!

Loni Townsend said...

My 4yo is very adept at moving furniture, though I think the haunted house angle is much better. :)

Unknown said...

Like others have said: ouch about the toe! And I loved reading about your writing process. Mine is actually very similar (but I don't write longhand). Great interview, Chrys and Annalisa, good luck with your book!

Chrys Fey said...

Then this interview going up now is perfect timing for you. :)

It would be pretty weird seeing my old teachers, especially since I later left high school...

Chrys Fey said...

A story about a 4-year-old moving furniture and the mom thinking it's ghosts would be funny, though. ;)

Chrys Fey said...

I actually tend to write in notebooks a little more than on the computer. I suppose if I had a laptop, or something portable, that would make a difference. lol

Annalisa Crawford said...

I'm so glad to hear you're enjoying it, Suzanne :-) English was the one subject I was quite good at!

Annalisa Crawford said...

It's possible I was a very strong child, but haunted houses make a MUCH better story :-)

Annalisa Crawford said...

Thank you, Quanie. It's not the most efficient process, but I've tried planning and it doesn't work for me.

Kelly Hashway said...

Ooh, the pub sounds like a creepy good setting. ;)

Lisa Thomson said...

Thank you Chrys for such a great interview. I love the writing tips, Annalisa. (your name is so pretty). Your process sounds so interesting. I'm happy to hear I'm not the only one who watches T.V. then gets random ideas. A haunted pub sounds fascinating.

Yanting Gueh said...

It's wonderful to meet Annalisa and learn about her book. I love the sea, not because I like to swim (I can't, not that well anyway) but because of its sound and smell. Our Beautiful Child sounds good. I'll check it out right after this. I've often thought cafes make excellent setting for stories, but pubs, ah ... perfect for spirits with stories to tell and who can't seem to leave.

Chrys Fey said...

I agree! Thanks for commenting, Kelly! :)

Chrys Fey said...

I get random ideas while watching TV, too. I suspect there are a lot of us out there. ;)

Chrys Fey said...

I can't swim much at all either, Claudine. But the beach is so beautiful and relaxing. :)

Annalisa Crawford said...

It certainly has atmosphere :-)

Annalisa Crawford said...

I'm hooked on crime series at the moment, even though I don't write crime! Maybe I'm going to be influenced in the future :-)

Annalisa Crawford said...

I used a cafe in a short story from my previous collection - be warned though, it's a weepy :-)

Unknown said...

I've seen Annalisa's Our Beautiful Child on several author blogs over the last couple of months. It sounds so beautiful and mysterious. I added it to my TBR list already and will be looking forward to reading it.
And what an awesome interview, Chrys! I loved the questions. Silent Lucidity and Brilliant Disguise are two of my favorite songs=)
Congratulations on your release, Anna, and I look forward to sharing it with others!

Chrys Fey said...

I have too, and I've been wanting to host her for the longest time to help promote it. I'm glad I started doing interviews so I could. :D

Shannon Lawrence said...

I love the advice to learn the rules then break them. I agree that there's a difference. Your stories sound intriguing. I enjoy writing different stories around a theme. Good luck with your book release!

Annalisa Crawford said...

Thank you for the kind words, Gina and Chrys :-) I hope you enjoy the book.

Annalisa Crawford said...

Thanks, Shannon :-)

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you for leaving a comment, Shannon! :)

Kelly Steel said...

Thanks Chrys for such a great interview. Congratulations Annalisa!

Chrys Fey said...

You're welcome, Kelly! :)

Annalisa Crawford said...

Thanks Kelly :-)