Interview with Annabel Frazer

Describe your desk
I don't have a desk! I mostly write on the train. I'm so used to it now that I struggle to concentrate sitting at an ordinary desk at home. Which is fine because my children, husband or cats invariably interrupt when I'm halfway through a sentence.

I think enviously of Virginia Woolf's room of one's own, George Bernard Shaw's writing shed and Evelyn Waugh's solution, which was to leave his family at home and go off and rent a farmhouse to write, but most of us don't have those luxuries.
When did you first start writing?
I don't ever remember a time when I wasn't writing. My first proper attempt at a story was in primary school and it was several chapters long and had a proper lot, although it was sadly derivative (Enid Blyton). I remember being told that anyone who wrote a novel before they were aged thirteen was hailed as a genius and reflecting that I had plenty of time. Sadly, I didn't make that deadline, but I have been writing ever since.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book is a short story which is inspired by Mary Stewart's novella Wind from the Small Isles and her short story The Lost One, which both feature the same heroine, adventurous young Perdita West. Rumour has it that a third story was planned, but it was never written. I couldn't resist trying to fill the gap and The Sea Raven is the result.
What do your fans mean to you?
The internet is a wonderful platform because it means you can actually be read and that means more to me than anything. I'm old enough to remember life before the internet (and computers, for that matter - as a child, I used to bang out stories on a battered old typewriter and I remember thinking word-processing a marvellous invention). The creation of a platform where writers can share their stories and readers can find them is wonderful. I love thinking that someone I've never met is perhaps puzzling over my plot and characters as I puzzle over other people's.
What are you working on next?
My latest novel is called The Crooked Man and I've been working on it for a while. It's a detective story/thriller and the careful plotting these genres demand has been a revelation to me. It starts when a man is murdered in the audience at a Wimbledon tennis match - and figuring out a method and a reason for this has taxed me to the limit.
Who are your favorite authors?
I love Mary Stewart, Agatha Christie, Patricia Wentworth, Ian Fleming... All vintage authors in that list. In terms of current authors, I like Robert Harris, Kathy Reichs, and Catriona McPherson's Dandy Gilver books.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Being a mum, trying to interpret what my cats are thinking, working, reading, watching tennis, daydreaming and trying to bat away new ideas for stories. That's one of the biggest challenges for writers - too many ideas, all saying write ME. Listen to those voices and you'll never finish anything!
How do you approach cover design?
I absolutely love vintage cover designs using typography, artwork and illustrations. I am not a fan of photographic covers. So my approach is to look for an illustrative image I can get permission to use which is relevant to the story. If I can't find one, I'll go with a simple typographic look. I love the pulpy look of the original Ian Fleming paperbacks and early Agatha Christies and Patricia Wentworths and would love to emulate that look - but I also adore the simple pleasures of an old Penguin cover.
Published 2018-02-05.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Sea Raven
Price: Free! Words: 15,670. Language: English. Published: February 5, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Short stories, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
(5.00)
A romantic adventure in the spirit of Mary Stewart's much-loved romantic suspense stories of the 1950s-70s, set on an island ferry travelling to the Shetland Islands.
The Day The Earth Caught Cold
Price: $2.50 USD. Words: 98,600. Language: British English. Published: April 2, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
The Day The Earth Caught Cold is an adventure in the old-fashioned tradition of the British apocalyptic thriller, in which a stiff upper lip is (mostly) maintained. What do you save, when it looks like everything will be lost? Can anyone be trusted, when the framework of law and order has gone? And if you fall in love on a journey, is it expediency or propinquity, or something more?