Living on the streets is terrifying and exhausting. Grace’s only comforts are a steady stream of vodka, and a strange little boy who’s following her around.
At nineteen, Grace has already had a child and endured an abusive marriage. But she’s also had her baby abducted by her vengeful husband and been framed as a neglectful mother. Even her own parents doubted her version of the story. So she did the only thing that made sense to her—run away.
The streets are unforgiving. Winter is drawing in. And Grace isn’t prepared for the harsh realities of survival. At her very bleakest, a Good Samaritan swoops into her life and rescues her. With a roof over her head and food in her stomach, she longs to see her baby again.
But nothing ever comes for free.
– When and where do you prefer to write?
I happily write at any time, there’s no structure to my day. I work part-time so I have to be flexible. Having been furloughed for the past few months, I’ve been zooming through a first draft because I can write every day. I have a small study where my computer lives, but first drafts are written longhand, so I’ll curl up on my sofa with my dog beside me.
– Do you have a certain ritual?
Not really. I normally use the same fountain pen for first drafts, but it doesn’t bug me if I don’t. I find it pretty easy to just dive in and write.
– Is there a drink or some food that keeps you company while you write?
Tea! Endless mugs of tea. I have large mug that actually contains two standard mugs, and I easily drink 5 or 6 a day. Chocolate is a daily necessity too.
– What is your favourite book?
I have several I like to re-read, but Pride & Prejudice is my all time favourite book. I love the humour, the depth of the characters, the peek into a different world. The writing is so warm and inviting, it feels like a great big hug at the end of a hard day.
– Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?
When I start writing, I never know what genre it’s going to be – I just write the story. I call my books dark contemporary fiction, so they’re as loose as they possibly can be. I often sneak a bit of paranormal into them, but in such a way that the reader is left to make their own mind up whether it’s truly paranormal or not!
– Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?
Very rarely – I’d feel too much responsibility. I do, however, find myself slipping into my characters – a gesture or a snippet of conversation I’ve had with someone or a turn of phrase.
– Do you take a notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?
I have a notebook in my bag, but rarely use it. Ideas usually occur to me on my dog walks, so it’s hard to stop and write – my dog Artoo likes to keep moving and nudges me if I stop. I use the very unreliable method of repeating the idea/perfect sentence until I get home to write it down.
– Which genre do you not like at all?
I’m happy to give most genres a try, though I would probably avoid fantasy unless it’s written by someone I know. I think it’s the length of fantasy books which puts me off more than the content.
– If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?
I’m not sure I’d want to co-write with anyone – or that anyone would put up with me. I’m very opinionated and I have a horrible feeling I’d try to overrule someone else’s ideas. Writing, for me, is a solitary pleasure.
– If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?
My grandparents came from Ukraine, and I’ve always played with the idea of fictionalising their story – battling their way to Britain during World War II. Even if I never wrote the book, I’d love to know if there was information out there about them. As a family, we know very little.
Thank you, Annalisa Crawford and Rachel’s Random Resources
About the author
Annalisa Crawford lives in Cornwall UK, with a good supply of moorland and beaches to keep her inspired. She lives with her husband, two sons, and dog.
Crawford writes dark contemporary, character-driven stories, with a hint of the paranormal.
Over the years, she has won several competitions, and had many short stories published in small press journals and online. Highlights include being placed 3rd in the Costa Short Story Award 2015 and being longlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize and Bath Short Story Award in 2018.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/annalisacrawford.author