Saturday, 23 May 2015


Coincidentally Today I have only UK Authors on my blog
The first UK author featured with her book is
Annalisa Crawford and her book
Our Beautiful Child.

Title: Our Beautiful Child 
Author: Annalisa Crawford
Release Date: 3rd July 2014

BLURB from Goodreads 
"The Boathouse collects misfits. Strange solitary creatures that yearn for contact with the outside world, but not too much. They sit, glass in hand, either staring at the table in front of them, or at some distant point on the horizon." ... so says the narrator of Our Beautiful Child. And he's been around long enough to know. People end up in this town almost by accident. Ella is running away from her nightmares, Sally is running away from the memories of previous boyfriends and Rona is running away from university. Each of them seek sanctuary in the 18th century pub, The Boathouse; but in fact, that's where their troubles begin. Ella finds love, a moment too late; Rona discovers a beautiful ability which needs refining before she gets hurt; and Sally meets the captivating Murray, who threatens to ruin everything. Three women. Three stories. One pub.



What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
I’m Annalisa Crawford, I was born in Plymouth UK, and I now live near Plymouth. I haven’t branched out very far, but I think it’s the best place in the world. I’m close to the sea, the moors, and all the fantastic places of both Devon and Cornwall.

Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
Yes, I did. I wrote my first ‘novel’ sitting on my bed aged about 11, and never really stopped. It didn’t occur to me that I wouldn’t do it, and I didn’t have a back-up plan.

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?
My latest book, Our Beautiful Child, was published last year. Twenty words? Here goes: It’s a collection of three stories linked to a pub, The Boathouse. Paranormal, surprising, with strong women, and some twists.

Do you have a "lucky charm" or "lucky routine" you follow when waiting for your book to be accepted by a publisher?
I always used to kiss the envelope before I posted it, but now everything’s online I can’t do that. I’m pretty good at being able to forget my submissions, so I just move on to my next project.

How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
Years, many many years. And so far, I’ve only written novellas!! I write, rewrite, leave it to simmer, shorten it, start something different, lengthen it, rewrite it from scratch. I’ve got a couple of projects waiting for me to return to which I began around 8 – 10 years ago. It’s probably not the most efficient way to write. But, I also write short stories, so there’s always something going on.

What genre would you place your books into?
My books are considered Literary Fiction by a lot of people.

What made you decide to write that genre of book?
It wasn’t a decision I made, really. I like to focus on the characters, to dig deep into the whys of a story rather than the whats. I want to make my readers think, and to have their own opinions about what has happened. I love leaving the endings (slightly) open, and it’s great when I talk to someone and they have a different impression than I intended. I have the answers, but I never tell people what they are.

Do you have a favourite character from your books? and why are they your favourite?
I like the narrator of the title story from Our Beautiful Child. He’s a ghost, but over the course of the story he still manages to grow and change. Also, he surprised me the most because I didn’t know he was going to be a ghost when I started writing!

Where do you get your book plot ideas from? What/Who is your inspiration?
I’ve found ideas in newspaper articles, songs, what-if thoughts as I drift off to sleep. A novel which is currently on submission was going to be about a group of people in a happiness study, but out of nowhere a very strong character popped up and turned the whole story on its head, and now it’s no longer about happiness but about a cult.

Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
When I’m planning to start a new project, I always buy a new notebook – a really pretty one - and I have to write the first draft with my fountain pen. Apart from that, as long as there’s tea/chocolate/wine available, I’m happy.

Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
Yes, it’s a bad habit, and I’ve tried to stop, but I can’t.

What was the toughest/best review you have ever had?
I’ve got a two-star rating on Goodreads for Our Beautiful Child which says “Eh… Not sure what the hype is about for this one.” It made me quite happy, because I didn’t realise I had ‘hype’ J I’ve had a lot of really wonderful reviews for all three of my books.

Would you ever ask a reviewer to change their review if it was not all positive about your book/books?
Not at all. A review is that reader’s opinion of my book. If they think the book is bad, it’s their prerogative to say so. I think it can look a bit suspicious if all the reviews of a book are 5-star.

Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
Titles tend to come first, then the first line, then the last paragraph. And then I fill in all the missing pieces. I really struggle if I don’t have that title in place – and they very rarely change once the book is written.

Are character names and place names decided after their creation? or do you pick a character/place name and then invent them?
Character names come first. I try to avoid place names as much as possible, or I set the story in a real place.

Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
The story normally dictates the traits. Cat and The Dreamer deals with the effects of a teenage suicide pact, where one girl dies and the other survives. Obviously, the survivor has specific introverted traits due to that incident – she might have been a very different person if that event hadn’t happened.

Do you basic plot/plan for your book, before you actually begin writing it out? Or do you let the writing flow and see where it takes the story?
I let my writing flow. I’m bad at plotting, it feels too constricting. Sometimes, I have to go back and write in a different direction, but most of the time it works for me.

Have you ever suffered from a "writer's block"? What did you do to get past the "block"?
Due to the way I write, I suffer writer’s block regularly. I get to a point where nothing makes sense and I need something to get started again. At those times, I do have to just wait for the inspiration – which usually comes in the middle of the night, or while I’m on the cross trainer at the gym – my eureka moment.

Is there a certain Author that influenced you in writing?
There are two authors I can’t read while I’m writing, because their voices are so strong I end up copying them – Margaret Atwood and Chuck Palahniuk! A long time ago, Suzannah Dunn (who now writes historical fiction, but back then wrote contemporary) published a couple of short books – one was a novella and the other was about 56,000 words – which made me realise I didn’t have to stick to the short stories I was writing at the time.

What is your favourite book and Why?  Have you read it more than once?
I adore Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I have read it yearly for a very long time, and I watch the BBC version of it whenever I’m ill. It’s a beautifully written book, and Mr Darcy is my literary crush – even when he’s being proud.

Do you think ebooks will ever totally replace printed books?
I hope not – see my answer about treasured childhood books for my reason.

Did you read a lot at school and write lots of stories or is being a writer something newer in your life?
I read and wrote a lot, probably more than I was supposed to. I remember convincing my primary school teacher to let me write a sequel to a story I’d written in class instead of the work she wanted to give me!

Do you have a treasured book from your childhood? If yes, what is it?
I had a tiny version of Heidi – it had a blue hardback cover and wafer-thin pages. It felt so much more special than any of the other books I had, very grown-up. I hope I still have it, in a box somewhere, but I haven’t seen it for years.

What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
Read a lot, don’t be afraid of rejection, and always be original.

Where can readers follow you?
Facebook page:
Goodreads author page:
Other: Website

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