Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Interrogating Anna Faversham

Anna Faversham prefers living in the past with smugglers and highwaymen.

How do you strike the balance between writing something you want to write and writing something that people want to read, in terms of the compromises you make, if any?

I write what I’d like to read myself. There’s a quotation with over 12,000 likes on Goodreads and it is “If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.” Toni Morrison.

‘One Dark Night’ fell into my head one sleepless night and I began what has now become an absorbing hobby. I joined an online writing site and I received the discipline of criticism. That soon made me aware that I needed to pay attention to other readers unless I just wanted piles of papers stacked away in a cupboard or a rarely opened laptop folder labelled ‘books I have written’!

What excites, attracts or appeals to you about the genre(s) you write in.

I’m one of those people who is interested in more than my head can carry and therefore I’m not sure I can stick to one genre. I love the idea of time travel. The very thought of being able to go back and see how people really lived appeals, as does the concept of what might have happened if just a few actions were changed. So ‘Hide in Time’ was the second book I wrote but the first I published. I was not very interested in history at school but now I love it.
I reckon that love, in its many forms, drives so much of what goes on in the world so romance is, thus far, my main genre.

Do you have a box, drawer, folder etc where you keep thoughts and ideas for future stories? Such as names you have come across, bits of dialogue, ideas, characters - even if you have no idea when you might use them?

I started writing many years ago, long before I seriously thought of publishing a book, and so I have an entire drawer of a big filing cabinet stuffed with folders for such things as plot ideas and characters. If I live and write until I am one hundred, I’ll not be able to use them all.

I remember driving along the shoreline and seeing a huge moon. My husband was doing the driving so I was free to grab a notebook and scribble down a description of one of the most fabulous moons I’ve ever seen. I was writing ‘One Dark Night’ at the time and so the post-it note was plonked into the A4 book I keep for each book and now it appears in the book as “A paper-lace moon, the size of a dinner plate, hung in the pink-flecked eastern sky.” The description doesn’t do it justice.

How do you manage plot bunnies (ideas that invade your mind that aren’t usually helpful to the story you’re writing but breed

Plot bunnies breed so mine are stuffed in a cage at the bottom of whatever I’m writing and occasionally I get around to taking a look at them if I’m wondering how to shape the next chapter. Then the poor leftover bunnies get transferred to that big filing cabinet – just in case!

How much of you is in your characters?

Some of my characters are inspired by real people, often historical characters. I refer to them as the coathangers! I wrap them in colourful coats and then they probably hardly resemble the original person at all. One of the reasons is because bits of me, or the me I would be in certain situations, creep into characters. Not telling you which bits!

Which of your characters is the you that you’d most like to be? Or be with?

Fortunately, I’m happy being myself, so that is not a problem and quite frankly, I’m not at all sure I’d like to live in the nineteenth century. But your question about who I would like to be with is going to set me thinking for years to come. My initial answer has to be that I quite like my heroes and my heroines would be good company too. I could more easily answer a question of who I would not like to be with.

Do you become so wrapped up in your writing that your spouse wonders if they're married to you or one of your characters?

I have so much going on in my life that writing has to be compartmentalised. I’m definitely me when my husband is around otherwise he’d start taking notes for a visit to the doctor.

What type of book do you like reading? Is it the same genre as you write?

I enjoy a good crime thriller and a historical crime thriller is often top of the list for me. I had thought that I couldn’t write anything other than romance but the sequel to ‘One Dark Night’ is currently more crime thriller than romance.
I’m not sure I know enough about modern day crime to write in that genre – practical research could prove unwise.

What is on your near horizon?

I’m a third of the way through the first draft of a sequel to ‘One Dark Night’. Then I want to write another time travel story which is sitting patiently waiting. Then I want to write about the… better stop there as I have a long queue. If anyone could donate some time to me, I’d use it for writing.

Where can we find you for more information?

There’s a little bit more info on There’s also a contact page where you can email me.

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