Author interview with Ann Troup

Today on Becca's Books, I'm absolutely deeeeeelighted to be joined by the wonderful Ann Troup, whose debut novel The Lost Child is published today by Carina! Before I begin my onslaught of questions at the poor woman, I'd like to wish Ann an absolutely FANTASTIC publication day! The Lost Child looks like a gripping, gritty read and I cannot wait to get stuck in!

So, let's get this author interview started!


B ~ Ann, have you always wanted to be an author? Where did it all start for you?

A ~ Hi Becca, thanks so much for having me. I'm chuffed to bits to be here. It all started when I was at school, as soon as I learned how to write it became a given. I suppose I have always wanted to be an author, but like a lot of others I was always told that it was a pipedream. I've never been one who likes being told what's what, so I did it anyway and here we are.

B ~ Can you describe your journey to publication to us? Were there any set-backs? 

A ~ Oh dear, I'm probably going to be despised for this. I wrote the book last year, submitted to two places in February. On the same day that Carina made the offer for two books I had a rejection from the other. I honestly believe that fate was on my side that day, so many brilliant authors have to fight so hard for publication I feel really guilty that I got my break so quickly.

B ~ Your debut novel with Carina is titled The Lost Child, and from the sounds of things, it's going to tell quite a grizzly tale. Where did you get the idea for this novel? 

A ~ It's not as dark as some of my plots, but my editor did ask me to tone down a few things... I'm obviously a bit hardened these days! In a previous incarnation I was a psychiatric nurse and I came across so many situations that raised 'what if...?' questions. The idea for The Lost Child has been fermenting for a long time; I just needed to wait until the characters had decided how they wanted me to tell their stories. In my experience people don't always behave in predictable ways, I wanted to explore that in the book and think about the fall-out that might occur when a child goes missing.

B ~ The setting of The Lost Child sounds bloody brilliant and so fitting for your book. Hallow's End has me conjuring all sorts of dreary, miserable images up. Is this what you hoped to achieve?

A ~ It's fantastic that you have that sense of the setting. I wanted to 'paint' Hallow's End as a place stuck in time having had its soul sucked out by events and attitudes. It's not all dreary though; there are some pockets of hope.

B ~ Can you tell us a little bit about the story within?

A ~ Now this is hard! It's difficult to sum it up without including spoilers. The shadow of the lost child has hung over the village for thirty years, it's only when Elaine meets the sister of the lost child that things start to unravel and finally make sense. With a little help from friends they discover the fate of the child, but don't bargain for what the truth will bring or what the consequences will be. Let's just say that the truth may well set you free, but there is always a price.

B ~ Who are some of your characters that your readers can expect to meet? 

A ~ There are quite a lot, so I'll just mention a few favourites. There is Brodie Miller, a feisty teen who likes to take matters into her own hands. She is determined to lay the ghost of her sister to rest and doesn't think about the consequences of her actions. You will also meet Ada and Albert, the eccentric and old-fashioned owners of Hallow's Court - Albert is a beaut, I loved writing him. Dan has to get a mention as the love interest... Last, but not least, I have to mention Derry because he binds the whole story together with his innocence and pure heart.

B ~ How long, all in all, did it take you to finish writing The Lost Child?

A ~ The first draft took about a month to bash out, then another month to polish it (I'm extraordinarily lucky to be able to write full time). The final, final polish took place a few weeks ago with edits and copy edits.

B ~ Ann, when not writing, where can we expect to find you? 

A ~ At the moment faffing about on Facebook or Twitter! I love engaging with people and am prone to doing rather too much of it. Other than that I'm a bit of a home bird these days, but you might find me on the beach near to my home chasing about with a small white dog or at home making something for someone as I am also an artist.

B ~ What, in your opinion, is the perfect writing accompaniment?

A ~ Just one? Can I have three? Coffee, Radio 4 and a small white dog who is more amusing than he is an effective muse.

B ~ What would you say is your favourite part of the writing process? Creating your characters? Laying out the setting? Choosing a title?

A ~ It takes me longer to choose a title than it does to write the book! Which proved fruitless with this one as the publisher chose The Lost Child. There isn't an aspect of the process that I don't enjoy, but I really love that moment when a character enters my head fully formed and dictating the terms of their story.

B ~ What emotions are you hoping readers will experience while reading The Lost Child

A ~ Ultimately I'm hoping that people will feel a sense of satisfaction at having read a tale well told. This is hard to answer, I want to entertain but I'd also be very happy if readers were able to engage and empathise with all of the characters, even the 'bad' ones. You don't have to like them, but I'd be happy if you 'get' them.

B ~ Have you started working on anything more? If so, can you give us a few little hints?

A ~ I'm currently working on a second book for Carina, which has a similar tone and flavour to The Lost Child but a very different cast of characters, a town setting and a brand new dark and twisty plot.

B ~ Ann, I know you're brand new to Carina but have you been published anywhere else?

A ~ No, but I did have a little flirtation with self-pubbing a while back and learned a lot. I still love the book, but it was too soon to put it out into the world and though I did have it edited it still needed work. It did have some success, but I should have done a much better job - readers deserve the best we can do.

B ~ What are your thoughts on the editing process? Love it or hate it?

A ~ Surprisingly I quite enjoy the structural edits, I know that they are going to improve the book. Copy editors are probably the unsung heroes of the process, though I do get a bit narky when they want me to dumb down. I am never happy when editors assume that readers are unintelligent, they couldn't be further from the truth.

B ~ Do you have a lot of support?

A ~ Yes I'm happy to say that I do. My family are very supportive and you will already know that the Carina authors are an amazing, generous and incredibly supportive group.

B ~ Where do you hope to get with your writing in the future?

A ~ I think we all know that few people become rich through writing, but it depends on how you measure the riches. I'd just like to keep making books happen, retain the opportunity to be published and above all entertain readers until they tell me otherwise.

B ~ Do you have any tips for aspiring authors out there?

A ~ I sometimes wonder if there isn't too much advice already, there are occasions when I find all the advice stifling. I'll just say two things, if you want to write just do it and don't let anyone say you shouldn't. Break the rules, but do it with style (except for the adverb rule, never break that one - adverbs are the words of the devil and should be used exceeding spare) *checks through answers for extraneous adverbs*

B ~ How will you be celebrating The Lost Child's publication day?

A ~ My husband keeps hinting at a surprise, but I'm not holding my breath. I'll probably spend it refreshing the Amazon page and willing the number to improve! Joking apart, I will more than likely be sitting here, working on the next book and hoping that everyone enjoys The Lost Child as much as I enjoyed writing it. 

B ~ Any parting comments?

A ~ Just a huge thank you to you for having me and a big shout out to all the wonderful bloggers who give their time and attention to our creations - you are all immense!


You can find The Lost Child on Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US
You can find Ann Troup on Facebook | Twitter | anntroup.wordpress.com

~ Author Bio ~

Ann lives in Devon in a small house just a pebble's throw from the beach. She shares her home with her husband and a small white dog, both occasionally allow her to be inattentive to them so that she can write. Her many skills include an unparalleled ability to consume coffee and the gift of being able to kill houseplants by merely admiring them. In addition to that she is a great proponent of the Miss Havisham method of housekeeping, which includes regarding cobwebs and dust as nature's ornaments. Her debut novel The Lost Child is out today!


   



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