Interview with Annalisa Crawford
What genre would you say your novels fall into, or do they defy classification?
My tagline is: Dark contemporary fiction with a hint of paranormal, which I think is vague enough to cover most of what I write while still giving the reader a good idea of what to expect. The dark, contemporary, and paranormal emphasis varies from book to book.
What made you choose that genre?
I write the story I want to write, and then see which genre it fits into afterwards. My first publications were short stories in literary journals, so genre was never a focus for my writing. That seems to have carried through to my novellas and novels.
How long does it take you to write a book?
It varies so much. My latest release, Grace & Serenity, went through years of rewrites and abandonment. My next book, due out next summer – although based on a previous idea – was written in 15 months.
What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I’m currently on furlough from my day-job, so I’ve tried to give myself a much more rigid structure than I normally would so my days don’t just drift. When I’m working, I fit writing around my shifts, squeezing it into a couple of hours here and there.
Ideally, I have a workout first thing, deal with social media and blog reading over a cup of tea (or two), then settle to write by about 11. I eat at my desk. At 4, I walk the dog. Depending on where I am in a project, I either stop for the day at that point or carry on into the evening. Once I’m in the middle of writing, nothing can stop me.
Tell me something about yourself your readers might not know.
I’m not sure I’ve got many secrets, to be honest. Through my Facebook page, Twitter account and blog, I’m pretty open about most things. I’m a big fan of silly 90s romcoms like Music and Lyrics, and 50 First Dates, but that’s all I’ve got!
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I was about 16 when I wrote my first, unpublished and thoroughly destroyed, novel about a girl whose cousin was in a boy band who came to stay with her and her grandmother one summer, at the height of their fame. It was very bad because it’s what I thought I should write not what I wanted to write.
After that I focused on short stories until my first novella, Cat & The Dreamer, was published in 2012.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I love working out and weight training. I read a lot, obviously, and enjoy walking my dog. I’ve got a small nature reserve at the end of my road, with the most fantastic views across rivers and countryside, so we mostly end up there.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
Probably that I’m not always telling the story I think I am. I don’t plan my novels (I’m more of a pantser) so sometimes – usually in the middle of the night – I’ll get a random thought that changes everything. If those little nuggets give me shivers, I know I’m on the right path.
How many books have you written?
I’ve had five books published – a novella, two short story collections, a novelette trilogy, and a novel. It’s taken me a while to build up to being a novelist, my style automatically veers towards shorter pieces.
Do you Google yourself? What did you find that affected you most (good or bad)?
I do. I’ve discovered myself on competition longlists that I hadn’t been told about and found new reviews that way, so it’s a good thing. It’s also dispiriting when you discover your books on pirating sites. Authors make so little from their books, and yet people still want to steal them from us.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
Be a writer. It’s such a cliché but it’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. I toyed around with being an architect for a while, but you have to be good at maths and the studying and subsequent career would have got in the way of my writing. I actually ended up becoming a library assistant (books, so obviously!) and then a fitness instructor (which surprised me, because at school I was always the last to be picked for any team).
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have on your computer?
Actually, only three. One which I’m working on, one complete but I don’t think will go anywhere, and one that’s just notes. In my head, I’ve got two more, so there’s plenty of material to keep me going.
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 canine writing partner, Artoo.
Annalisa writes dark contemporary, character-driven stories with a hint of paranormal. She has won several competitions, had short stories published in small press journals and online, and is the author of several short story collections. Her first novel, Grace & Serenity, was published in July 2020 by Vine Leaves Press.
My titles are:
Cat & The Dreamer http://getbook.at/CatandTheDreamer
Our Beautiful Child http://viewbook.at/OurBeautifulChild
You. I. Us. http://getbook.at/You-I-Us
Grace & Serenity http://getbook.at/Grace-and-Serenity
Critique Service for Writers
Join the D.I. Sterling Mailing List for News, Updates and Giveaways