SMP: Welcome, Annalisa! Please tell us a little bit about yourself, such as: your family, where you live, pets, favorite color, favorite film, favorite book, favorite scent.
AnnaLisa: I’m based in Cambridge, UK, where I live in a small Victorian house, and work as a crystallographer. I share my house with three cats. I loved The Big Easy, Skyfall and The Lord of the Rings (film and book). There are so many books, it’s impossible to choose a favourite, although at the moment I’m loving Sarah Pinborough’s ‘A matter of Blood’ and Jon Courtenay Grimwood’s ‘Pashazade.’
Honeysuckle is my favourite scent, although if I was shopping it would be Guerlain’s ‘Nahema.’
SMP: Please share your favorite holiday memory.
AnnaLisa: My most persistent holiday memory is being in a taxi crash in Zanzibar. We skidded on the wet road, rolled down a hill and demolished a bus stop. My brother-in-law broke his collar bone and the nearest working X-ray machine turned out to be three days boat, train ride and car drive away in Zimbabwe. Very traumatic. Zanzibar was a paradise though.
SMP: How long have you been writing? Have you always wanted to write?
AnnaLisa: It’s been very up and down. I dabbled in short stories and poetry (bad) as a teenager, and wrote my first full-length novel (unpublished) in my early twenties. During my late twenties and early thirties, my full time job was very demanding. I did a diploma in Creative writing five years ago, and since then I’ve been writing fairly intensively (to the extent that I resent my well paid job).
SMP: Do you write in a single genre, or more than one? What do you find most compelling about your genre(s)?
AnnaLisa: I’ve written romance, science fiction and urban fantasy. I read them all, and I’m trying to combine them in my present writing. The most compelling thing for me in any genre is character. I love a memorable character, and I like a plot where the hero and heroine overcome all obstacles (from a death star, to a career disaster) together.
SMP: Tell us a little about your writing journey.
AnnaLisa: I’ve written short stories, poetry, but I love novels, and that’s what I want to write. I’ve had a few short stories published, but ‘Children of Poseidon’ will be my first full-length novel.
SMP: Tell us about your process. Do you plot/make outlines for your WIPS, or are you a total pantser?
AnnaLisa: I started my writing life as a pantser, but last year I did the Entangled Nano Smackdown, and part of the process was the production of a plot. I’m a complete convert now, and my plots are getting more and more detailed. It makes life so much easier.
SMP: What has been your most significant inspiration on the road to publication?
AnnaLisa: Too many to count. Local writing workshops, the Open University creative writing courses, and the people I met there. The most exciting thing was the acceptance of my first short scifi story by ‘Lady’ magazine. Closely followed by my successful pitch to Soulmate. The explosion of urban fantasy as a genre inspired me as well; there are so many great stories out there.
SMP: What advice would you give an aspiring writer?
AnnaLisa: Keep writing. Do something everyday. Write what you love to read.
SMP: Tell us a little about your current or upcoming release: your inspiration, main characters, setting, etc. What was the most difficult process? The easiest?
AnnaLisa: ‘Children of Poseidon: Lykos’ will be released (hopefully) in January. It’s the first part of a trilogy, starring three half-brothers. The idea came to me when I did a charity sea swim in very bad weather. The current kept bashing me on the rocks, and when I’d finished, I wrote about how it had felt. I used that as the basis for my heroine, Lila’s, escape from people traffickers. She jumps overboard from her captor’s ship and swims for a small island in Scotland, where she is found by Lykos, one of the sons of Poseidon. Lila is stubborn and determined, and her sister is still held captive on the ship. She is determined to persuade the autocratic and suspicious Lykos to help her. Lila and Lykos’s story is set in Britain. The easiest part of the process was writing the first draft. I did it during Nanowrimo, and it was pretty much an infodump. The most difficult (but also the most satisfying) is the editing.
SMP: Any final thoughts you’d like your readers to know about you or your books?
AnnaLisa: Not sure…this is my first, but I hope there’ll be many more.
SMP: AnnaLisa, thanks so much fort visiting with us today!
Annalisa has included an excerpt from her upcoming Soul Mate Publishing release, Children of Poseidon: Lykos.
The Children of Poseidon may rule the seas, but someone forgot to tell this to the women they try to conquer.
Stormy seas, sexy sea gods, and temperamental witches. Who said being immortal wasn’t complicated?
Lila thinks she has life figured out—Raise her orphaned, powerful, teen-witch of a sister, then settle into a drama-and-teen-free existence.
Lykos knows he has life figured out. Protect his citizens and control his lovers. And stay away from witches. Except … what’s the son of Poseidon to do when an auburn-haired beauty enlists his help to save her teen-witch sister from his half-brother?
Monsoons have nothing on the turbulent passions between a sea-god and the woman he claims.
I can’t drown. I can’t die. Not yet. I have to get to shore.
Lila mentally repeated her mantra as she half swam and half crawled through the surf. The glimpse she caught of a line of low cliffs gave her a new spurt of energy, and for the first time since she’d jumped overboard, she was sure she was going to make it. The sea became rougher and she was weak from exhaustion by the time she realized she had almost reached the safety of dry land. She hadn’t a clue which land it was but, after several hours of struggling against the ocean, any land was the Promised Land. The waves retreated, and her feet touched the bottom, leaving her thigh deep in calm water. She curled her toes into the firm sand and shaded her eyes to gaze at the low cliffs beyond the wide beach. A tall cylindrical tower rose from the highest point of the cliffs, outlined against a rich blue, cloudless sky. Though the sun was bright, she shivered from the sharp gusts of wind, which had begun to whip the surface of the sea into white plumes.
A wave broke behind her and crashed forward, lifting her up and bringing her down. Her legs wobbled and she braced herself against the strength of the surf propelling her towards the beach. She staggered, almost regained her balance, then a second wave forced her to her knees. Flailing to stay upright, she rolled over and over in the surf, then was dumped face down in shallow water.
Lila choked and spat out a mouthful of water, pushed herself to her hands and knees, and stared at the damp sand in front of her. No, she was not imagining it. She blinked, shook her head to clear her vision, and blinked again. Two large, bare brown feet were planted in the sand, not six inches from her hands. It was an effort to lift her head, but she called on her last reserves of energy, and told herself not to panic. The pirates, or whatever her kidnappers were, couldn’t be here already, could they? Her eyes moved over long muscular legs, a ragged kilt in a faded tartan, to a flat stomach, broad suntanned chest, and finally a face. She hesitated, mesmerised.
Tawny golden hair blew about a face; beautiful and fierce as a tiger’s, and even though she knew she was gawping, she couldn’t tear her gaze away.
She coughed more seawater out. He was still there; real, not a fantasy or a mirage. What mattered was that it was the face of someone she had never seen before, definitely not one of the raggle taggle pirates. Tension faded from her stomach muscles, leaving her weak. Behind him, the light of the morning sun cast a golden glow on his shoulders. He loomed over her, and a growing sense of helplessness made her think that throwing herself on his mercy and begging him for help might be a good plan.
Hi AnnaLisa. It’s so nice to learn more about my Soulmate Sisters (and Brothers). Although you live “across the pond” your journey is much the same as ours. Writing is such a part of who we are. Congratulations and best wishes for much success with Children of Poseidon: Lykos. I look foward to reading it.
It;s great to hear from everyone about their lives and their writing. There’s so much variety and vibrancy…truly inspiring.
Hi Annalisa! I’m fascinated about your day job as a crystallographer. What a fun thing to do, but I’d never get the work done for all the pretty, sparkly, shiney distractions. I’d be pretending to be some queen of the gemstone world or something with all the colorful crystals surrounding me. Ha! Do you incorporate any of that in your stories? Nice excerpt. As I read, I felt myself surge upward onto the beach. Good job, can’t wait to read more!
Hi Jaye…thanks for your comments, I’d love to be the queen of some gemstone world. Have you read the Dark Jewel’s trilogy by Anne Bishop?
I’m a protein crystallographer….the crystals are microscopic, formed of millions of molecules, in mathematical arrays. Sometimes they sparkle (under a microscope), but no, I don’t incorporate them in my stories. You’ve given me an idea though, I need to think about it….
Love the interview Annalisa!
“Keep writing. Do something everyday. Write what you love to read.” < — BEST EVER.
and the book sounds awesome! can't wait to check it out!
Thanks for your lovely, encouraging comments. It’s great to be part of such a supportive group….
Sounds like you’ve had an interesting literary journey! I love mythology; can’t wait to read your book! 🙂
Love the excerpt and can’t wait to read the whole book. Good luck with the release.
Great interview! I have been getting into Crystals for a hobby! Very fascinating! I love the cover art of your book! It draws you in before reading a thing…I did read the except though…great!
Thanks ….I liked the cover too….
I enjoyed your interview. It’s always fun to read about authors from another part of the world. Your job sounds intriguing. What does it involve? I look forward to reading your book.
Thanks…my job involves using huge expensive pieces of equipment to look at tiny samples in order to work out how our bodies work. I’ve been over to the US to use the Advanced Photon Source in Argonne near Chicago, but mostly we use equipment in the French Alps and Oxford, UK. Recently it does seem to eat into writing time…shame it pays the bills…..
LOVE your book cover!! What does a crystallographer do? It sounds very scientific… or very New Age. I’m dying to know 🙂 –kate, writing as Katie O’Boyle
I’m afraid it’s scientific…a sort of physics. One day I might be New Age. I’d love to hang out round Stonehenge and Glastonbury.
I love the book cover too…the artist’s done a great job
Very cool cover & story! Can’t wait to read it:) Ditto on the awesome cover!
I love the cover too. The story sounds fantastic and everyone loves a man in a kilt.
Annalisa, interesting interview. I must say your job title could lend itself to some interesting interpretations in the writing world. Good luck with the book.