Thursday, February 28, 2013

Interview with Andrea Baker

1.    What inspired you to become an author?
A story that wouldn’t go away!  I know that sounds cliché but it is true.  I’ve always made up stories – starting with what we would now call fan fiction for the Chronicles of Narnia as a child, but when I graduated, I stopped writing them down, thinking that it was childish and I needed to grow up.  This story – book one of the Worlds Apart series, just wouldn’t go away, and I ended up having to write it down so that it would stop interrupting my dreams!

2.    Do you have a specific writing style?
That’s a very difficult question to answer really, because I’ve destroyed so much of my old work.  However I’ve tended to always write in the first person, putting myself in the shoes, so to speak, of the main character and telling the story from that viewpoint.
Having said that, I am trying to write another book from the third person, and am finding that quite difficult.  It would be hard for me to write in the first person though, as it is about a little boy.

3.    Which is your favorite genre to write?
My favourite genre is paranormal, because my favourite genre to both read and watch is paranormal too.  I particularly love real world settings, as I used to describe them as “edge of reality” – existing just outside the realm of the world we live in.  That’s what I started with in Worlds Apart.  The world I’ve built within the series is now far more complex than that, but it started out within our own planet, and you might just recognize the others too…

4.    Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete?
I titled the book itself quite early on – as this book is about Leah, and her journey to find the truth, it was natural to name it after her, and it was Leah from the very start.  The series however was much harder, and I didn’t settle on this name for quite a while, and even right before the final edit I was torn about whether to change it – but by then it was more a case of realizing how many other “Worlds Apart” there are out there!  But the series title makes sense too, so I resolved to keep it.

5.    Is the book, characters, or any scenes based on a true life experience, someone you know, or events in your own life?
The character names are personal – Leah was my Great-Grandmother’s name, and was the name I wanted for my second child, which we never had.  Likewise Ben was a name I always loved for a boy, but wouldn’t have chosen in the end because it wouldn’t go very well with our surname.  All of the locations are real too – despite being told there are no properties as old as the Castle and Leah’s cottage still standing by someone critiquing my work, all of the locations in my novel are real.  The insides of some of the buildings may not be accurate, because I’ve never had the opportunity to physically go inside, but the buildings, their ages, and the locations are all real.
That’s as far as reality goes however - while I have drawn on a couple of local myths about the Castle during the story, nothing else is real, not even the characters themselves.

6.    What book are you reading now?
I am currently reading a horror novel by Will Macmillan Jones called The Showing.  I’d thoroughly recommend it to anyone who likes edge of your seat suspense!

7.    What is your current “work in progress” or upcoming projects?
My current work in progress is book two of the series.  I’ll admit to having struggled to start with on this one, not because I didn’t know where the story was going, but because I was trying to write it from someone other than Leah’s perspective.  I’m still working on it, and am not yet convinced that I’ll stick with that perspective, although the flow is much better now then it was.
I’ve also got another, completely unrelated project.  It is semi-biographical in that it is based on the life of my own Grandfather when he was a boy, just before the second world war, during his evacuation, and afterwards.  It is simply entitled “Alfie”.  I want to do it real justice though, as he and his family went through some real hardships, but to do that I need the time to research the factual history properly – not so much his story, but the historical facts surrounding it.  Time is something I have very little of right now.

8.    Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I can, but remember it is a work in progress, and therefore more than a little rough around the edges - this short piece is from Alfie:

I heard the drone over the noise of the playground.  Confused I looked towards the sky, surely there wouldn’t be bombers here, in the middle of the countryside?

The shadows on the horizon grew, and suddenly I recognized the shape of the German bombers, I screamed to Teddy to grab our youngest brother and get inside, but it was too late.

A lone bomber dropped away from the rest, seeming to follow the road that led past our school.  Before the teacher could get us all inside I heard the put-put of gun fire, and as one child fell, I realized that the pilot was aiming straight into our playground.

Why, what had we, innocent eight year old children, done to that pilot to warrant being shot at like that?  Absolutely nothing, except being born on the wrong side of the channel.

9.    Do you have a song or playlist (book soundtrack) that you think represents this book?

I do have a playlist that I wrote to when writing Leah.  It features quite an eclectic range of songs, from “Feeling Good” by Muse, “Everybody Hurts” by REM, and “Someone like You” by Adele (a later edition to the list).  However I am really lucky to have a piece written for the book, called “Leah”, by Jonathan Hood.  You can hear a short excerpt if you want to by checking out my
Book Trailer, but make sure you listen through the credits too!  It’s only a short section of the music, but I think it captures the mood of the story very well.

Worlds Apart-Leah
Andrea Baker

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Taylor Street Books

ISBN:   978-1480083684
ASIN:   B009P4C3GG

Number of pages: 173
Word Count: 60,000

Book Description:

Leah knows that her mother died in a car accident when Leah was small and that her father, who used to be the gentlest dad in the world, has become increasingly controlling and occasionally violent.

She also knows that her recurring dreams are telling her something more about how and why her mother died, and why her dad turned nasty, but they are becoming progressively more disturbing and confusing.

When Leah meets Ben, she is excited to have a friend she can confide in and have fun with, but is he what he seems?

The voice of Leah’s mother repeatedly tells her to rely on her instincts, but when Leah is run over in a freak accident and Ben’s family take over her welfare, are they protecting her or using her?

And why would anyone, good or evil, bother with an ordinary girl just about to go to university?

About the Author:

Andrea Baker has written stories and poems all her life, although most of them no longer exist.  After graduating from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth in Economics and Marketing, she convinced herself to stop making these stories up, believing it to be something a "grown-up" should not do.

Since then she has spent most of her career working on major programmes across both private and public sector.  Of all the ideas that continued to occur to her, Worlds Apart has been the most insistent, refusing to go away.

Andrea Baker lives and works in the beautiful English county of Warwickshire, with her husband and daughter.  Kenilworth, the base for her Worlds Apart Series, is just a few miles away from their home.

Twitter:  @RoseWall15


Andrea Baker said...

Thank You so much, I had a great time :).