Please Welcome to Blood Rose Books Today:
If there was one author you could co-write a novel with (they can be alive or dead) who would you choose and why?
Elena Ferrante. Her work is beautiful and such a pleasure to read. Also, I’d love to know her real identity!
Your debut novel Only Daughter was just released, can you tell us a little bit about the process to get here?
It’s been a long process! I wrote the novel when I was twenty-five working nights at a cinema. It took me a long time to get it to a point that I was happy with. When it was finally there I sent it to some US agents, and was so lucky to be pulled out of the slush pile by MacKenzie Fraser-Bub. She found a great publisher: Mira Books. They have been such a lovely group of people to work with!
From debut novel to having Only Daughter optioned for a movie, can you share with us some information about the possibility of Only Daughter becoming a movie? Will you be directly involved in the process?
I have been to Los Angeles twice in the last twelve months to discuss the film option. The Producers at Universal and Working Title were so respectful and we had some great chats about how the book would be adapted. The Screenwriter, Erin Cressida-Wilson, is an amazing woman and a fantastic writer so I know the film will be amazing! We stay in touch via email and share our influences: stories and essay from me, photographs and paintings from her. It’s all been very exciting but also a lot of fun!
What have you learned about yourself and your writing in this whole process?
I’ve learned to have a thick skin, and that perseverance means as much as talent on the road to publication.
What do you think would be the hardest or most challenging genre to write a novel in and why?
Probably picture books. You have to get the characters, rhythm, story and tone perfect and have less than 300 words to do it.
Only Daughter sounds like something out of the news, were there events that inspired your novel?
Not directly. The story in my book is entirely fictional, but I definitely was inspired by the idea of imposters. I was surprised to find out that the impersonation of missing persons has happened countless times throughout history. Martin Guerre in 16th century France. Anastasia Nikolaevna in Russia and Walter Collins in Seattle both in the 1920s. Even more recently is Nicholas Barclay in 1990s Texas. The more I read about these occurrences, the less far-fetched my story seemed.
The Imposter character was one of my favourite aspects of your novel, was it intentional for the reader to know very little about who the Imposter was? What do you think defines her as a character?
The imposter was a really fun character to write. She is an interesting dichotomy. In the book she lies to everyone constantly. She looks for their weaknesses and plays off them, lying and performing to everyone she meets. However, what sets her apart from Bec is that she is always honest with the reader. Underneath all the characters she plays and the lies she tells, she has no idea who she really is and that terrifies her.
You decided to alternate between 2003 and 2014, and two different points of view on top of that. Did you find it hard to change from one mind set to another while you were writing?
It was incredibly hard! So, after just a few chapters I stopped. Instead I wrote the whole novel from Bec’s perspective and then went back and wrote the chapters from the imposters perspective. This created problems of it’s own, but I don’t think I could have done it any other way. When I write I have to be in the characters head 100%, and I don’t think I would have been able to do that if I was swapping back and forth.
Do you have any information on upcoming works or events that you are able to share?
Yes – I am currently working on my second novel DOLLS. I am so excited for this project. It will probably be out this time next year. I am also involved in a true crime podcast called ‘Dead and Buried’ which will be launching later this month.
What is one book (other than one of your own) that you think should be a must read for everyone?
I recently read THE GIRLS by Emma Cline and I absolutely loved it! I think that it would definitely help the world understand teenage girls a bit better.
I want to thank Anna once again for taking the time to do an interview with me. I highly recommend her debut novel Only Daughter and I am very excited for her second novel Dolls. I also want to say congratulations to her for already accomplishing so much. Anna has very nicely provided a giveaway to go along with her interview, so fill out the rafflecopter information below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway