Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Interview With Anna

This Anna is not the same Anna who wrote the poem a couple posts down, but she has written quite a bit of poetry. She's also written two novels (most notably a wonderful fantasy story called Stars Over Llorleya) and has a few more in the works. She was kind enough to answer a few questions for The Story Club, and I hope you enjoy the following interview. :)

When did you start writing?
When I was seven, I drew the cover for a short story, "The Four Flower Fairies." I never wrote it. The first novel I actually started writing was a ripoff of the Redwall series by Brian Jacques called The Warriormaids, which I never finished. I was nine.

What first inspired your novel Stars Over Llorleya?
I had this crazy dream about a girl reading in a tower who walked out and immediately got besieged by suitors. So, minus the lovesick swains, I wrote the "Strange Sort of Prologue." After that, I just made it up as I went along. I remember I was reading Anne of Green Gables at the time, which inspired Gilligan.

Your faith always comes through in your work; your novels, specifically, contain many Christian themes and ideals, and characters often pray and refer to God. Was it at all difficult to incorporate this very real faith into an imaginary world like Llorleya, with imaginary beings such as elves and fairies?
It was very natural for my characters to talk about God and pray - honestly, I would have been at a loss to do otherwise. What I do find difficult and ended up ignoring in Llorleya is what I call a "working theology" - how Jesus came and died in a fantasy world for fantasy creatures. I'm doing much better with working theology in the SciFi/fantasy novel I'm writing now.

Where do you get the names for your characters?
Ha! Great question. Everywhere. Sometimes I *gasp* intentionally take them from other novels. Sometimes I decide, "This character needs a sensible name," or, "He needs a British name," or, "She needs a name that no one in their right mind would name a kid today, as long as it sounds pretty." I hear words and write them down to use later. My current list includes Bellea, Fiodor, Iresa, and Davide.

Who are some of your favorite authors?
Ouch! First names that come to mind - Tolkien, C.S.Lewis, Jane Austen, L.M. Montgomery, Brian Jacques, Gail Carson Levine, Douglas Bond, Randy Alcorn, Rick Riordan, Ted Dekker, Shel Silverstein, Jeffrey Overstreet... and many more.

Who has been your greatest supporter in your writing?

My parents for funding me in more ways than one, and the folks at Apricot Pie. I wouldn't be a writer if not for Apricot Pie, I'm completely certain of that.

Is there any music you like to listen to while writing?
Any and all. Most recently, the Doctor Who soundtracks and Owl City.

You completed a novel of high fantasy when you were only 13, do you have any advice for other aspiring young writers?
I can pass on the two most helpful things I've heard, not that I can put them into practice as I'd like to.
One, Bonnie Trenga in The Misplaced Modifier: "Having a problem? Just rewrite the sentence."
Two, Advice to Writers for the Daily Press, Joel Chandler Harris: "When you've got a thing to say,
Say it! Don't take half a day.
When your tale's got little in it,
Crowd the whole thing in a minute!
Life is short, a fleeting vapor--
Don't you fill the whole blamed paper
With a tale which, at a pinch,
Could be cornered in an inch!
Boil her down until she simmers,
Polish her until she glimmers."

Thanks, Anna! :-D
You can read her works at her apricotpie profile, and she also has a blog.

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