I am unbelievably excited for today’s interview to the point this might be complete rambles of unreadableness because I got to interview the author of one of the book series that got me into reading, The Lake Series by AnnaLisa Grant!! A massive thank you to her from me for being literally the most adorable and sweetest author. Also her answers were so humble and personal and cute and ahhh! So just give her so much love because she was genuinely nice to me and there are no words for how cute and supportive she was, so please go and support her for me ❤
Not only is she a huge inspiration to me but also to one of my best friends, Cara who I talk of often so she agreed to answer Cara’s question too. Anyway…I will stop babbling in starstruckness and get on with the questions 🙂
Firstly, can you tell us a little about yourself and how you started writing?
I actually started writing as a form of coping. My father had been in a terrible car accident about 5 months before I began writing The Lake. All the “what ifs” were running through my head when I finally had a chance to stop and breathe. When the story of a young girl who survives the accident that kills her parents started rolling around in my head, I thought I’d write it down to get it out and then quietly move on with my life. But Layla Weston had other plans! Three books and a novella’s worth of plans!
Out of all your books what was your favourite to write and why?
That’s a tough one. It’s kind of like asking which of my kids I like better. LOL! But, I think I really have to say it was The Lake Series. As my first books, it was a much more organic process. I feel like I let the characters speak to me the most.
Who is your favourite character you’ve written and why?
I used to say Layla Weston because she overcame so much to get to her Happily Ever After. And I still adore Layla for those reasons. But then I wrote Victoria Asher. Vic gets plucked from obscurity in Oxblood and finds herself going from being a waitress at a rundown diner in Miami, Florida to being an international secret agent. She’s a female James Bond or Jason Bourne. I love writing the layers of her personality as she goes between being feminine and falling in love to being a total badass in fighting bad guys!
How do you keep/get inspired when starting something new or are having writer’s block?
I subscribe to “write what you want to write.” That means that when a story pops in my head, I take that as inspiration. If I can’t write it right away, I make as many notes as I can on it and then fit it into my writing schedule.
I have found that I had to make peace with “writer’s block.” I usually hit it around the 42,000 words mark. I’ve learned that I need to step away from the book for a day or two and just marinate on the story. Give my brain a chance to calm down and listen for my characters.
How long did it take you to write/come up with the scene in the first lake series book where Will declares his love in front of everyone at the work trip?
Oh wow! No one has ever asked me that. Well done! When I knew they were going to go on that retreat, I knew it would be the place Will declared his love for her in front of everyone. He was going to have to do something to force his father’s hand. Gregory Meyer would never let it be publicly known that his son had humiliated him so Will knew the veil would be lifted and they could at least stop hiding. So when Layla asks him if there’s any way he can stand up to his father so they can be together, she sets Will up, really, to have no other choice. It was one of my favorite and easiest scenes to write. And the song that she and Tyler are dancing to when Will cuts in is “She Is Love” by Parachute.
What is your favourite: food? Salt & Vinegar Potato Chips
movie? Sliding Doors or Inception.
book other than your own? Hunger Games
As a high school student myself, what was your favourite subject when you were my age?
Even though I wasn’t a big reader in my younger years, I always liked my English/Literature class. Especially in my senior year (grade 12). My teacher made stories like Beowulf and Brave New World come alive!
Who would you say was your biggest writing (and non-writing) inspiration as a child?
I’m sad to say I didn’t have a writing inspiration as a child. I wasn’t a big reader then. But I’d have to say my biggest writing inspiration now is probably C.S. Lewis. His writing is so honest full of heart. My biggest non-writing inspirations have always been musicians, although, some of them could be considered writers as well. I’m inspired by the stories they tell with their music and lyrics, and there are several songs that have helped inspire or move scenes along in my writing.
If you could say anything to your younger self what would it be?
Don’t be afraid. Everything bubbling inside you is leading you to a place you could never even imagine.
Are you working on anything right now?
Yes! I just sent the first draft of a novella for the Havewood Falls shared-world series to my editor. Reclamation is my first YA paranormal story and I’m pretty excited about it!
Cara asks: “How did you manage to create characters that melted her heart and made her fall in love with books?”
Awww! That’s the best compliment ever! I never want to write characters that are just like every other character out there. I want there to be honesty and vulnerability in them. There has to be reality where readers feel like they can connect, and fantasy where they can escape. I think that recipe has really been what my readers have responded to.
And finally can you please tell readers how best to contact you?
Absolutely! I LOVE hearing from readers!
P.O. Box 281
Matthews, NC 28106
I’m so sad it’s over!! She is genuinely the kindest and most adorable person EVER!! You totally need to read The Lake Series if you love contemporary romances with an honest and emotional side. I have thanked her about a million times already over the emails we exchanged but thank you again for letting me (and Cara) ask you questions and for being so open and nice and adorable and such an inspiration to me as a writer and in general I just love you and I sound so soppy but oh well! I can’t wait to read what you have in store for us next – TBR priority!! ❤
Thanks and Happy Reading,