Presenting...Annalisa Crawford

Today I'm turning over my blog to a fellow blogging buddy and published author...Ms. Annalisa Crawford.  While she's entertaining you, I'll be off stirring up more interest for WRiTE CLUB.  Enjoy!!

Hey DL, it's great to be here today, thanks for inviting me over!

Shadows of Autumn is the story of a missing child. When a body is discovered, her mother has to wait before she knows if it's her daughter or not.

This is one of my favourite stories and I'm proud of it for two reasons:
  1. I was only twenty when I wrote it, a long way from having children of my own, and certainly even further from having to deal with teenagers. But the voice of the mother was so clear to me. I could feel her anguish and pain; I could understand her point of view when actually I was much closer to her daughter's age.
  2. I received some of the best comments for this story:
    • QWF:  Your handling of prose is deft and light: simple words but extremely effective.
    • Story Cellar:  Some telling description in what you did not say, superb sense of mood and atmosphere.
    • Real Writers: Well focused, unusual because I want to know the story behind the husband. There is a lot going on beneath this seemingly simple story.
Note the progression of the title!
I hope you'll forgive me for sharing those comments, but they were the words that made me realise that maybe I could do this thing.

This was another story that needed a slight rewrite for the collection - I had to include Facebook. Nikki is a teenage girl, and has teenage friends - as soon as I read it, the omission was glaring. It's not important to the story, but it would definitely have jarred the reader a little bit, or greatly dated the story... I really need to write some new ones!



About Annalisa
I live in Cornwall, with a good supply of beaches and moorland right on my doorstep. I live with my husband, two boys, a dog and a cat. Despite my location. I neither surf nor sail, and have never had any inclination to try. I much prefer walking along the beach and listening to the waves crashing over rocks. For this reason, I really love the beach in the winter!

Buy That Sadie Thing here (this link should take you direct to your local Amazon)
Follow Annalisa here, or Like her here
Read her blog here

33 comments

  1. Thanks for hosting my 8th day of the tour, DL!

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  2. Annalisa, Good post. Wherever revisiting the past in writing it always needs to have current touch ups, but you can also leave it generic and leave it as the past- a remembrance. IMHO, things like FaceBook will date the book. Much like email, MySpace and a few other things. In ten years teens may be saying Facewhat?

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    1. That's a good point, but the story didn't have enough detail to set it in the past, so it just looked like an omission. Now, because Facebook is mentioned, it will be datable (not dated!) :-)

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  3. Positive comments can be very helpful in encouraging writers to move forward. Congrats on our publication :-)

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    1. Thank you. Those comments were lovely to read! Back then, everything was via snail mail, and there were days I really didn't want to open the envelope!

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  4. Sounds like you are doing really well updating the old stories though! Glad you came back to so many.

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    1. I really enjoyed giving them a new lease of life :-)

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  5. Hi DL and Annalisa - what wonderful comments to receive - and no wonder you're proud of them. I love the story line and especially with the comments - there's obviously a lot to it ..

    It's interesting that thought about what will be relevant in a few years .. will we have ditched Facebook, as many have done with MySpace, will Twitter still exist ...

    Good luck to you and cheers DL for a great guest .. Hilary

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    1. Thanks Hilary. I can't imagine what social media we'll be using in years to come. But then... I never saw Twitter getting as big as it has!

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  6. It's always great to hear from Annalisa, and I couldn't agree more with the reviews of the story and your writing style.

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  7. I'd be proud of those comments, too! :)

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    1. Thanks Dana. I wish comments on rejections were still a standard thing - there must be so many good writers who get disheartened.

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  8. I loved this story, it was one of those that I really wanted to know more about!

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    1. Thanks Laura. I'm really pleased you liked it.

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  9. You should be justly proud of these comments and the story. I found it very emotional.

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    1. I had a tear in my eye when I was writing it, because I didn't know which way the ending would go.

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  10. Hello, Annalisa! Your story sounds so good. What a harrowing event for any parent to go through. It's awesome you were able to get inside a mother's head like that at only age 20!

    Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

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    1. Thanks Laura. It's just goes to prove you don't necessarily have to write what you know :-)

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  11. Wonderful comments on an excellent story. That's amazing you wrote it before you had kids.

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    1. I never actually realised how different I'd feel after having kids. Before I had them, I'd see a sad news story and feel sorry for the parents. Afterwards, I'd find myself in tears. They really do change your outlook on everything.

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  12. Most teenagers I know are on Facebook, so it's good that you decided to include it. I've been rereading a couple YA books I loved when I was younger, and they include references to things like cassette tapes and 80s bands; there were even references about computers and how "advanced" they were because of the tasks that they could do, which are now viewed as basic tasks. So references to things like that can make the book even more relatable to people of this generation and even more interesting to people of future generations. It lets them know what the culture was like during that time period.

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    1. I like it, too, when I 'get' a reference - it's like I'm in on the joke! Ah, cassettes... happy memories of winding them up with a pencil.

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  14. It's a great story. You wrote it at the age of 20, without 'motherly experience' and nailed the mother's POV. Well done.
    Writer In Transit

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    1. Thanks Michelle. I'm not even sure I could write a story like that now, I'd be in floods of tears from the start.

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  15. It's wonderful that editors gave you such positive feedback. Especially the one about wanting to read the father's story because there was so much going on under the narrative. It's great when people want to read more. :-)

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    1. Yes, that critique really did make my heart leap :-)

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  16. Good for you Annalisa! I wish I'd have started writing novels at 20--maybe I'd have something to show for myself by now. lol

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    1. I just always knew what I wanted to do with my life. I'm lucky to still be doing it!

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  17. Those are fantastic comments!!
    It's interesting how quickly the technology has changed in recent years and how quickly some social sites have become so integrated into our lives!

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    1. I realised recently though, that although my kids would be glued to various devices if I let them and I use technology a lot too, my characters don't - they're no where near what we would call normal levels.

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  18. Hey, I just downloaded a free copy of That Sadie Thing today; look forward to reading it.

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