7 May 2012

AUTHOR INTERVIEW



Today, we’re visiting, author, Anneli Purchase, in her beautiful home province of British Columbia, and the setting for her latest release, The Wind Weeps.  Anneli also publishes articles on coastal life for Canadian magazines and works as a freelance copy-editor.  Besides all this, she still finds time to enjoy mushroom picking, gardening, fishing and bird watching.  Anneli, welcome to The Perfect Plot.

   

Please, tell us about The Wind Weeps.

ANNELI: It's the story of Andrea, a naive city girl from Ontario who comes to BC looking for love and adventure.  She enjoys the remote coastal life and her new friends but finds that three relationships are more than she bargained for. And the choices she finds herself making land her in a situation that becomes life-threatening.

Sounds intriging with both romance and adventure. What attracted you to this genre?
  
ANNELI: As a young woman I always enjoyed an adventurous life. And who doesn’t like a good love story? To me, it seems like the perfect combination—a life of love and adventure—as long as nothing goes wrong.

But it's thrilling when things go wrong in a book, and The Wind Weeps does not disappoint.
 Do you have a favourite character and if so, why?

ANNELI:  Andrea is a good, kind person who seems to need protection, so I empathize with her, but I also began to like Monique much more than I first intended. Monique’s character grew on me to the point where I often found myself talking in her dialect without realizing it.

Yes, I found Monique's French accent catchy.
The backdrop for The Wind Weeps is set around the commercial salmon fishing industry in British Columbia.  How did you go about researching this?

ANNELI: My husband has been a fisherman for over thirty years and I’ve sometimes fished with him. He was my main source of information on all things related to fishing and boating.

And that familiarity does come through with the detail in your story.
 What's your favourite scene?

ANNELI: I love the suspense in the scene where Andrea tries to make a run for her life.

It definitely kept me on the edge of my seat, and your knowledge of the topography came through to make it very real.
 How long does it take you to write a book from start to finish?

ANNELI: I’ve worked on The Wind Weeps for about three years. Many rewrites and tweaks.

And what do you have in store next for your readers?

ANNELI: I’m finishing up another love/adventure story set in Baja California. I also have a third novel written, ready for a final rewrite before publishing. After that, I want to write a sequel to The Wind Weeps.


So, there's a lot for your readers to look forward to.
What is your writing process?  Do you plan your manuscripts before you start writing or do you start writing and see where it takes you?

ANNELI: I have an idea of my characters and their dilemmas and then I plan the storyline from start to finish. But sometimes, by the time I get near the end of writing the first draft, I feel that I want to change the ending. I rewrote the ending of The Wind Weeps about eight times, but I’m happy with the way it turned out. It’s important to know when to stop revising.

That's a good point.  Knowing when to stop.
Do you have a favourite place and time to write?

ANNELI: Early morning works best for me. The house is quiet and I have uninterrupted thinking time. When I’m on holiday I enjoy sitting on a quiet beach with a notebook. I’ve written many scenes like that, in a school exercise book. Then I take the notebook back to the holiday “home,” revising as I transfer the notes to my laptop.

Sounds idyllic sitting on a quiet beach to write.  But if you're at home with all the bells and whistles going on around you, how do you unwind after a long writing session?

ANNELI: I have a large garden full of weeds that call to me. As I dig in my garden I’m usually plotting what to write next. So maybe that’s not really unwinding. To be honest, I find that I’m constantly thinking about my characters and what they might be doing next.


I like that your weeds call to you.  Mine have given up on me.
What do you find is the hardest part of writing?

ANNELI: Getting started is the hardest part for me, but I’ve found that writing one sentence fixes that problem. I try to start where the action is and then work around that. One sentence leads to another and another. At the end of the writing time that first sentence has long been rewritten and changed.

You're right.  It doesn't work if you just sit waiting for ideas.
Of all the characters you’ve created, does one hold a special place in your heart?  Why?

ANNELI: In my third novel that I hope to publish soon, I tell the story of Julia, a woman who lost her husband and her home after WWII. She remarries and during the struggle to rebuild her life, she is contacted by her first boyfriend from her late teen years. Her gentle character and her love triangle dilemma touched me deeply.

How much research do you do for your books?

ANNELI: I do as much research as it takes to get the facts right. There is nothing worse for losing credibility than to make stupid mistakes that could easily have been avoided with a bit more research. Much of my research comes from personal experience, but the rest is from the Internet and from interviews with people who have firsthand knowledge of my subject matter. If I’m unsure, I always try to find out the facts before I write.


So much time and energy goes into every book, doesn't it?  Do you have any words of advice for aspiring writers?

ANNELI: Join a writing group and a critiquing group, and take the advice of experienced writers when they critique your work. Never assume you know it better than they do. We all have a lot to learn and our writing skills can always improve. Workshops at writers’ conferences are also very helpful.

Wise words.  Is there anything else you would like to share with us, Anneli?

ANNELI: In these days of self-publishing it is especially important to have a copy-editor go through your work before publishing. I’m always so disappointed when I begin to read a book that appeals to me and I find errors in the first pages already. Then I dread what the rest of the book holds and I wonder why, so close to achieving his goal, the author didn’t get a copy-editor. I am a copy-editor, but I get someone else to check my own writing too.

Anneli, it's been great visiting with you today and hearing about The Wind Weeps.  Where can readers learn more about you and find your books on the web?

Amazon.com (paperback or Kindle): http://amzn.to/KpAB7G
Smashwords  (other e-book formats): http://bit.ly/yPQvEP
Twitter: @anneli33

30 comments:

  1. Great interview Jill!...sounds like a very interesting novel you wrote,Anneli. I love mixed up love storys. I also love the photos. I've always wanted to visit Canada but never have.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If there is one place on earth you visit, Crazy Fox, it must be British Columbia! You will love it.

      Delete
  2. Thank you, Jill, for welcoming me to your blogspot today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Anneli. It's been my pleasure.

      Delete
  3. When Andrea makes a break for it was my favourite scene in the book too - very edge of the seat stuff.
    I like the sound of the WWII book, will have to put it on my reading list.
    Great interview.
    Sue

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment, Sue. I'm waiting for the WWII book too.

      Delete
    2. I hope to get that book out there as soon as I get more writing time. (I think all authors look for more time to write.)

      Delete
  4. Some great advice Anneli and also some very stunning photos! Great questions Jill, glad I stopped by.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lovely to have you here, Linn.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the visit and for your comments, Linn.

      Delete
  5. Lovely interview and great photos! Am so looking forward to reading your book, Anneli. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you'll have a chance to read it soon, Kit. Thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
  6. Great interview for a great book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comments. I've enjoyed being here today.

      Delete
  7. Great interview, Anneli/Jill. Some good tips and advice in there, too. Moving on to a new project is a daunting task, but it is important to know when to put the pen down! I agree totally with the editing advice. Sometimes, you just can't see the errors, rather reading what your mind tells you is there. The weeds... Oh, I get that. My thinking time comes with major (neglected) household chores or decorating. The weeds have been strangled into silence by younger, tougher weeds. :) x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, Sheryl. We can't always see our own errors. That's when you need a copy-editor!

      Delete
  8. I have nothing to ad to emandyves comment. She said it all.
    A great interview for a great book!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your comment, Feusi. A great book and a great setting too. BC is such a beautiful place.

      Delete
  9. I enjoyed "The Wind Weeps" recently and though I have seen much of British Columbia I really would like to follow Andrea's lead and do a coastal trip..maybe on a much larger boat..with a Captain and crew!!
    We visited Australia and New Zealand many years ago and what a delightful vacation. The locals were wonderful;it was an experience to be remembered.
    Dawn

    ReplyDelete
  10. I agree, Dawn. One of those boat trips up the coast from Vancouver to Alaska would be marvellous.
    I'm glad you enjoyed Australia and New Zealand. I was in the South Island in Queenstown recently and drove down to Milford Sound. There certainly are some lovely places to visit.

    ReplyDelete
  11. There's something romantic about the seashore and coastal areas. That's why I love living on the coast. Thanks for reading my book, Dawn. Glad you enjoyed it.

    Anneli

    ReplyDelete
  12. Great interview, Jill and Anneli! Love finding out more about the writing of The Wind Weeps. And as an aside, my weeds have given up on me too... I delegate that to the husband/kids now, with not much success. Great feature, thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Great to hear from you Nicky. My weeds have turned into my flowers!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I love your titles, Jill. And your locations. One advantage of living in drought-stricken Texas is that there are not many weeds. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Kaye. Australian weeds grow without water and do better than the flowers I plant.

      Delete
  15. Sonja Forrester15 May 2012 at 21:57

    Enjoyed the interview! Some interesting questions and honest answers. The Wind Weeps is a wonderful book. I have read it twice and still found myself so enthralled in the plot that I often forgot to breathe! I became Andrea in this story. It would make a fabulous script for a film. Thanks for posting this interview on your blog!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your kind comments,Sonja. I enjoyed this book too. The reader gets swept away! Remember to breathe though.

      Delete
  16. Thank you, Sonja. I'm so glad to hear that you enjoyed the book. I would love to see it made into a movie someday. It would lend itself well to that kind of thing with all the action in it.Thanks for visiting the blog.

    ReplyDelete