Interview with Anette Gisby

Q: Can you tell us a bit about your books?

A: Shadows of the Rose is my short story and novella collection, which has stories mainly in either science fiction or horror genres, but there are also a few quirky ones that defy explanation, even to me! The stories are very varied, but all have an ending with a twist, which are the sort of stories I prefer to read. I can only ever write what I like to read. My favourite one in that collection is The Witch Hunter, where a young woman is accused of sorcery, but the witch hunter sent to condemn her is not as he seems… I really enjoyed writing that one, and a lot of people who’ve read the collection, cite that one as their favourite too, so there must be something in writing what you enjoy. :-)

Silent Screams is my first novel, which various people have referred to as horror, mystery, psychological thriller and family saga, so I think you read into it what you will! It tells the story of Jessica, a young woman who full of dark secrets, tries to commit suicide. She refuses to tell anyone why, but her psychiatrist is determined to find out. As the book progresses, we discover not only Jessica’s secrets, but those of people around her and Jessica comes to the conclusion that some should have remained buried…

Q: What plans do you have for the future?

A: I’m just putting the final touches to a paranormal mystery, Drowning Rapunzel, where the heroine sees visions of people before they die, but her brother, a doctor, just thinks she’s going mad and commits her to a mental institution. When the women she has visions of, start turning up murdered, she becomes the prime suspect…

I’ve also just started on a science fiction novel, but it’s early days yet and I’m not sure where the story is going (or rather where the characters want to take it!) Most of the time I don’t have an outline except in my head, and I find that I surprise myself with which twists and turns the story might take!

Q: What are some setbacks that you experience when writing?

A: Sometimes I get so many ideas that it’s hard to settle to writing just one novel at a time, I’m afraid that I’ll lose the other ideas if I don’t start writing those as well. I do get blocked sometimes, when the words just don’t seem to come. If that happens, I just have to leave it for a while, do something very mundane and it usually helps get some perspective on things.

The world won’t end if I don’t write for a day or two. :-)

Q: Where do you get your inspiration from?

A: I’m a very avid reader, so books and other stories are a jumping off point. I also like thinking, “What if?” and see where I end up with that. I normally start off a book or a story with a character and fit the plot around them. A character will pop into my head and I start thinking about them. Who are they? What do they do? What are they like? What happened in their past? What might happen in their future? Who will they meet?

Good music helps to inspire me, as do good books, in that I wish I could write like that. Bad books inspire me in another direction, in that I wonder if I could better!

Q: Who are some of your favorite authors? What are you reading right now?

A: I love anything by Sheri S. Tepper, Juliet Marillier, Nina Osier, Charles de Lint and Issac Asimov. All their books are just so imaginative that you can forget the world for a while and get taken to a new one. I also like Faerie Tale by Raymond E. Feist. I love to get lost in a good book.

I’m reading “Yarrow” by Charles de Lint at the moment, a book that combines elements of folklore and science fiction, two of my loves so that gets points on both counts.

Q: When you’re not writing, what do you like to do to relax?

A: I love the sea, but we don’t get there very often. I love the sound of the waves as they lap against the sand, or the crash of surf against rocks. There’s just something about those sounds that soothe me. Ruined castles are another favourite to explore and I’ve always had a soft spot for the middle ages, especially Robin Hood.

Q: What has the Internet meant for you as an author?

A: First of all, it has helped me find publishers, as I am in the UK, but there are a lot more publishers in the US. It has also helped me to promote my books either free or at very low cost (very essential if you are on a budget.) I can also connect with my readers, I have my own newsletter and website, and I enjoy learning new skills. There’s a lot an author can do on the internet to promote their work, I think with so many books being published now, any avenue that helps an author or their work get noticed is good to have.

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