Hello everyone and welcome to another interview! Today is finally Annalisa's interview. It's definitely one of the most fun ones I did thus far, because she interviewed me at the same time, so it was even more like a conversation. If you're wondering about my interview, it's here. But without further ado, here's what I discovered about her...
Thanks so much for agreeing to be interviewed! First things first. Tell us a bit more about yourself?
Hi Misha, thanks for having me - I've always been a writer, but I was told I had to have a proper job (by my mum), so I became a library assistant, and then retrained to be a gym instructor a couple of years ago. I married my best friend from school, a musician, so he understands my need to write, and that's really helped over the years!
Out of pure revenge for putting me into the deep end... Why do YOU write? ;-P
It's always been part of who I am - I can't understand how people don't write. I've always had a vivid imagination, and writing my daydreams down made room for new ones!
What are you working on right now?
I've got two things bubbling away. One is a novel about a guy who creates a religious cult. The other is a ghosty story about an artist. The latter is the one I ought to be working on because the tone and theme is more closely related to my published novella than the cult story - and I'm thinking like a marketing department!
So when you have two works like this, which one comes first, the one you love or the one you should be working on? Or do you try to do both?
It doesn't happen often, so I'm not sure. The one I should be working on needs some research, so I'm doing that at the moment. I have to know about old cameras and developing film. As soon as that's done I'll get writing properly. At the moment, I'm hoping it will be another novella - but until I start, I won't know. After that, I'll get back to my cult!
Who's your favorite character that you wrote and why?
Oh that's a great question. My favourite ever character was a guy called Murray - I based him on 2 guys I had crushes on at school, which pretty much explains it, doesn't it? He's a good guy with a bad guy vibe, the kind of guy that walks into a bar and has every woman watching him. Unfortunately he kind of knows it.
He sounds wonderful. So do you create characters to suit a plot or build a plot around your characters?
I get everything, all at once - like I'm watching a film. The characters, plot, title, first paragraph, last paragraph... Sometimes I need to go back to tweak the character or plot to suit what happens later, but as a die-hard pantser, that's par for the course!
Were you always a pantser or did you come to the dark side after plotting didn't work for you?
I remember plotting a novel once, because it was spread over about 12 years - each chapter was a different year - so I needed to keep a close eye on ages, real-life events etc... but I felt tied down to my original idea rather than being able to follow what the characters wanted to do. So some of it felt forced. So I'm a pantser at heart, and love it!
What is the one piece of advice that you wish you had when you started writing?
I'm naturally stubborn, so if someone had offered advice, I'd have done the opposite! But that stubbornness has stood me in good stead for all the rejections I've notched up over the years - without it, I might have given up submitting. You have to have a particularly thick skin to brush off a rejection and move on.
Yep, I can see how that would be useful. What do you do with the rejections that you get?
Erm, honestly? I save them. And I - oooh, I'm such a geek... I have a database where I organise my submissions etc, and when I get a rejection with a comment, the comment gets added to the database. I can then see at a glance all the comments for a particular story - it's worth doing because they all contradict each other, which makes me realise that it's not always the story that's wrong, it's just the wrong reader for the story.
That's an excellent idea. I'm definitely keeping it in mind for when I query. Finally, where can people find you on the Internet?
All over the place!
I blog at Annalisa Crawford - Wake up, eat, write, sleep
Thanks for having me, Misha. It's been really fun!
Thanks again for this great interview, Annalisa. I really enjoyed getting to know you more.
Anyone else want to sign up to be interviewed? You're more than welcome to let me know. Just put "Tuesday Interview" in as the topic.
Then, I'm in a bit of a fix. I had a cancellation for Guest Post Friday on the 17th. The theme is "Challenged" so it's even an easy topic. So even (and especially) if you want to shamelessly plug your newly released novel, feel free to contact me with "Guest Post Friday" as the subject.
My e-mail address: mishagericke(AT)gmail(DOT)com.
So what piece of advice do you wish you had when you first started writing?
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