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Grace & Serenity by Annalisa Crawford - Book Tour

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Grace & Serenity
Living on the streets is terrifying and exhausting. Grace’s only comforts are a steady stream of vodka, and a strange little boy who’s following her around.

At nineteen, Grace has already had a child and endured an abusive marriage. But she’s also had her baby abducted by her vengeful husband and been framed as a neglectful mother. Even her own parents doubted her version of the story. So she did the only thing that made sense to her—run away.

The streets are unforgiving. Winter is drawing in. And Grace isn’t prepared for the harsh realities of survival. At her very bleakest, a Good Samaritan swoops into her life and rescues her. With a roof over her head and food in her stomach, she longs to see her baby again.

But nothing ever comes for free.

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Author Q&A

1. Favorite childhood memory involving books?
My family lived in Manchester. We would visit them once or twice a year, a five-hour car journey. I would start reading a Famous Five book as we left home, and by the time I finished we were there. Magic!

2. Did you want to be an author when you grew up?
Yes, I could never imagine doing anything else. I was the kid who sat in her room on the hottest day of the summer holiday and doodled in notebooks. Sadly, every couple of years, I would get really embarrassed by my writing and throw it all away. I always started writing again soon after, but I wish I hadn’t done something so daft – it would be fascinating to read them again.

3. What is the first book that made you cry?I’m a late starter when it comes to crying over books. The first time was when I was pregnant and hormonal and read The Lovely Bones – I couldn’t get past the first two pages without breaking down. My first non-hormonal weep was The Book Thief. 
4. How long, on average, does it take you to write a book?Far, far too long. Grace & Serenity started life in 2003. It got shelved, rewritten, shelved, completely gutted and started again, shelved, and eventually rewritten. My next novel is slightly older. But now I’ve run out of old ideas to mess around with, I’m hoping I can speed up the process a little. Either that, or I’m working on  the book that’ll come out in 2037…
5. How do you select the names of your characters?My characters appear to me, fully formed, including their names. With Grace & Serenity, the title came first, before I had any idea what story it was going to be. So, Grace was right there from the beginning.
6. What creature do you consider your "spirit animal" to be?Probably a cat. Quite slothful, observing the world, napping, with occasional spurts of manic activity. If it needs to be more exotic: a tiger, for all the same reasons 😊
7. What are your top 5 favorite movies?                The Usual Suspects
                Ten Things I Hate About You
                Reservoir Dogs
                It’s a Wonderful Life
8. What fictional character would you want to be friends with in real life?Elizabeth Bennett – she’s such a fun, sparkly character, always searching for adventure. Plus, I’d get to dress up in gorgeous outfits and have my hair done.
9. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?When you’re writing, know the rules but don’t be afraid to break them.
When you’re publishing, either traditionally or self, know the rules and follow them to the letter!
10. What book do you wish you had written?So many. Today, because I’m looking at it on my bookshelf right now, I’m going to pick The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender about a girl who can pick up on the emotions of people by eating the food they’ve made.

Crawford writes dark contemporary, character-driven stories, with a hint of the paranormal.
Over the years, she has won several competitions, and had many short stories published in small press journals and online. Highlights include being placed 3rd in the Costa Short Story Award 2015 and being longlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize and Bath Short Story Award in 2018.

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