Friday, 13 March 2015

Author Interview: Anna Mc Kerrow

About   Anna McKerrow    ~ 

 Anna McKerrow works on creative writing projects for the reading charity Booktrust, 

which is where she became interested in Young Adult fiction. (It wasn’t around 
when she was 15; she went straight from Judy Blume to Jackie Collins). 

She has also published four volumes of poetry and teaches creative writing in adult education. 

Anna is interested in all things magical, reads the tarot and is a Reiki healer. Her 
favourite place in the world is Glastonbury, and she loves the sacred sites of the 
south west of England, where she grew up.

 She believes passionately, like Alan 
Moore, that creative activities such as writing are a kind of magic in themselves. 

Anna can also be found on Twitter   Tumblr    and her  Blog  .

Check out my Crow Moon review Here!! 

Crow Moon Blurb: 

Danny is a fun-loving 16-year-old looking for a father figure and falling in love with a different girl every day. He certainly doesn't want to follow in his mum's witchy footsteps.

Just as his community is being threatened by gangs intent on finding a lucrative power source to sell to the world, Danny discovers he is stunningly powerful. And when he falls for Saba, a gorgeous but capricious girl sorceress, he thinks maybe the witch thing might not be such a bad idea...

But what cost will Danny pay as, with his community on the brink of war, he finds that love and sorcery are more dangerous than he ever imagined?

Wickedness and passion combine in this coming-of-age adventure.

Find out more about Crow Moon here !

It was a cumulative thing really. I started it not really knowing what it was, just this irreverent (and originally quite sweary) boy's voice, and I had an idea about having to survive on the land, but more of a bushcraft kind of idea. My title at the time was A Young Witch's Survival Guide, which I still like. Then I had a separate piece of writing which was about a character a bit like my aunt finding an energy portal in her bedroom. That was completely off the top of my head one day. Gradually over time the Greenworld developed and I wove in my pagan interest, and the plot about the energy portals against the backdrop of a war for fuel only emerged after a good couple of years' writing, and thinking about environmentalism.

In my opinion setting is really important, and a really useful tool to writers for creating mood. You can make the setting reflect and intensify the feelings of the characters, and reinforce the theme of the story. For me it was a bit of a no brainier to set a story about magic and romance in Cornwall, a place imbued with mystery and with a tradition of witchcraft that stretches back through hundreds of years. Cornwall/Devon is also a bit of its own country too - Kernow - and when the floods last year cut it off from the rest of the country, in effect, by disabling the railway, that seemed all the more appropriate for the Greenworld: annexed off due in part to natural disaster.

Very, of course, and thankfully we're not short of them these days! To me now I think it's more about presenting a cast of strong women rather than one being the exception, and male characters that are emotional and might need to be rescued too - but also that no characters are two dimensionally strong or weak, and that you can see the motivations for their actions. We all do things wrong and we all do crappy things to other people at some point in our lives - we're human, that's what being human is. So actually I wrote Saba as quite a vain and selfish character in some ways - she uses her beauty to get what she wants and doesn't really consider the feelings of others. But also, Danny reacts to her keeping him on the hook by getting a little bit on the side, and neither of them is very honourable in that way. The reality is that they're 16, they don't know what they're doing, and neither does anyone, really. This kind of thing happens all the time, to people of all ages. There's a strength in being honest in representing relationships more as they really are than a romantic ideal, I think - ironically really, within the context of a story about magic. But magic's real, of course. Just like love. But neither are easy.

Yes, I absolutely always did! It was the thing I was always best at. I read about 5 books at a time when I was younger and re-read my favourites to tatters, to the extent that I could repeat them. I think that meant that I started absorbing the writing, the rhythms, the language. That said, while I wrote a bit as a young person, I stopped probably between 16-24. I started again when a friend gave me a notebook for my birthday and started writing poetry and did that for about 10 years until I started writing prose, which led here!

Mind you, I also wanted to be a ballet dancer and a singer. I still love singing but the ballet's probably off the table by now....

Keep going! Just write as much as you can and don't expect each thing you write to become anything. You need to do a certain amount of writing that doesn't go anywhere to practice your skills, like how you'd practice your scales if you were learning the guitar. always aim to get better and consciously make yourself take on criticism - but at the same time believe that you're good. Crippling self-doubt helps nobody. It's a waste of time.

A huge thank you to Anna for allowing me to conduct this interview, and for her being such an awesome and funny person, I really enjoyed chatting with her. 

Also a big thank you to those at Quercus for putting us in touch and for recommending Crow Moon. 

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