Do you want to play a game? No, this isn’t some weird ‘Saw’ horror malarky, but a game of ‘blog tag’ that’s circulating at the moment. I was tagged by Zoë Harris, who writes in the New Adult genre. Her current project, ‘The Eidolon Cycle’ comprises of three books that can be read in any order but each enriches the overall story and experience. I’m being presumptive here – but I can’t wait to beta read Sweet Alyssum.
The blog tag game involves answering questions about your current work in progress.
What is the working title of your book?
I’m in the middle of several, but I’ll concentrate on the one I’m editing. It’s called Anna.
What genre does your book fall under?
I’ve always found it hard to ‘pigeon hole’ work, but I think that Anna would primarily be classed as speculative fiction, though it would also fall in the literary fiction box as well. It’s a difficult piece of work to define. I don’t say that with any sort of ego or dramatic flair – it’s simply an unusual read that doesn’t fit into many categories.
Give a brief synopsis of your book.
Anna is a speculative literary novel about one woman’s fight for survival in a damaged, socially regressed world where might is right;
a dysfunctional society only a few steps from our own. Stripped of her identity ‘Anna’ is a persona adopted by a woman who has not only lost everything, but who blames herself for each and every loss. A tale about identity, Anna explores issues of subjugation and abuse. The three parts address different aspects of identity in a collapsed society, moving from dystopia, to utopia, to the state of nature.
Part One concentrates on the wild and corrupt lands, now inhabited by those who have cast aside the rules of society, forming new regimes and laws, while abusing and minimising the rights of women in a once equal and diverse country. The development is steady and inexorable, with explict abuse only introduced towards the end. The primary oppression is psychological and moral. Anna escapes, pregnant by her abuser.
Part Two is set in a developing community, where people have tried to preserve and rebuild civilised ways. It appears the beginning of a better world, an aspiring utopia. But in this new world cracks soon begin to appear beneath the idyllic surface. Neverthless, Anna
survives and begins to rebuild herself.
Part Three shows that regardless of what horrors we inflict on the world, hope springs, and nature rebuilds. Anna at last confronts the
man who owned her, who stole her identity in the most profound way.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
Anna actually started as a technical writing exercise. I’m not the best when it comes to grammar and punctuation (though, I’m not terrible!), and I wanted something to work on with my editor, Rob. I would write around 2000 words and send it to him for his review. We soon realised that the story was something quite different and it went from there.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Blimey. I honestly have no idea. I never picture Hollywood actors when I write! I’m open to suggestions … Anna herself is late twenties, dark hair, British and attractive, but with an air of sadness about her. Ideas?
Her antagonist I find easier to picture – Dougray Scott. I think he could do the role justice!