– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘The End of the Road’ blogtour, organised by Love Books Tour.
About the Author :
Anna Legat is a Wiltshire-based author, best known for her DI Gillian Marsh murder mystery series. She dabbles in a wide variety of genres, ranging from satire to dystopian. A globe-trotter and Jack-of-all-trades, Anna has been an attorney, legal adviser, a silver-service waitress, a school teacher and a librarian. She read law at the University of South Africa and Warsaw University, then gained teaching qualifications in New Zealand. She has lived in far-flung places all over the world where she delighted in people-watching and collecting precious life experiences for her stories. Anna writes, reads, lives and breathes books and can no longer tell the difference between fact and fiction.
The fight for survival has begun.
All-out war spins out of control, and it doesn’t discriminate. Governments fall, continents are obliterated, deadly viruses consume everything in their path, and what’s left of humanity is on the run. Caught in this global refugee crisis are a few unlikely survivors.
Tony, a philandering London lawyer, escapes the doomed city and his own murky past as he evacuates to the continent.
A hapless flock of Belgian nuns prays for a miracle as they watch their city turn to rubble.
Bella, a naïve teenager, thinks she is going on holiday when her father drags her across the globe to New Zealand.
Reggie, a loyal employee of a mining corporation, guards a hoard of diamonds in the African plains, fending off desperate looters.
Alyosha, a nuclear scientist, has been looking for the God-particle in Siberia, but now the world is at an end, he wishes to return home to Chernobyl.
A pair of orphaned children are cowering in the Tatra Mountains, fearing the sky will fall in on them.
Will they find an escape route before it is too late? Or are they doomed to fail?
First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂
Thank you for having me, Stefanie!
Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I have been many different things in my long and illustrious “real-life” career. I read law at university and qualified as an attorney in South Africa, working in the legal field for more than fifteen years. I then had a change of heart and took a postgraduate course in primary education in New Zealand. I spent twelve happy years teaching youngsters how to write stories, and sometimes how to count and play cricket. But ever since I was a little girl in the depths of the Polish countryside, I would do little other than make up stories in my head. I travelled extensively and lived in many exotic locations, but the greatest amount of action would always happen on the pages of my books.
Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I adored Jules Verne. His sci-fi adventure stories inspired me to come up with my own. I read all of his books. When I got older, in my teenage years, I absolutely fell in love with the dark, moody writing of Dostoyevsky. I suppose it reflected the state of my own mind.
Later in life I went through various stages and genres. I discovered Stephen King and Anne Rice in my mid-twenties. I had a long heroic fantasy stage, reading David Gemmell like he was going out of fashion.
Ruth Rendell has been my writing idol for many years. In her heyday, she was the pioneer of the modern psychological thriller, incisive and brilliant at getting into the psychopathic mind. It is thanks to her literary influence that I choose to write crime fiction over other genres.
Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
The aforesaid Ruth Rendell. I would ask her what she did to achieve such authenticity in portraying the criminal/psychopathic mind. Did she allow herself to go into the darkest corners of her own soul or did she research in other ways?
If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
I would love to invite Georgie, the heroine of my debut novel, Life Without Me. She helped me break onto the publishing scene. I owe her quite a bit and would like to thank her. Also, we are quite similar so we would have a lot to talk and laugh about. It would be a very laid-back tête-à-tête.
Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I always light a candle when I start writing. I have no idea where this ritual originated, but now I struggle to get down to writing when I run out of candles. They are the top of my shopping list.
Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
Oh yes! Life, the people I meet, the experiences I go through provide endless sources of inspiration. I watch, observe, dream and collect personalities and events to develop them into plots and characters. However, I do not caricaturise people. My characters are composites of all sorts of individuals I have come across in my colourful life and travels.
Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I am a plotter who often gets carried away and strays into uncharted territories. I let the characters and events take over and have been known to change the direction of travel as well as the final destination of some of my books. They do tend to come to life and force my hand.
Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Do read. Read, read, read.
Don’t become a clone of other writers no matter how much you admire them. Develop your own style. Be unique.
What are your future plans as an author?
I will continue writing and experimenting more widely with new and diverse genres. A Conspiracy of Silence, book 5 in my DI Marsh detective series is to be published in October this year. This will be followed by new cozy crime mysteries next year.
The End of the Road is a dystopian novel and I would like to develop this genre further, possibly into a time-travel or alternative history series.
I love black comedy and satire. At the moment I am working on a humorous magic realism novel, Paula Goes to Heaven. I have been working on it for quite some time, rewriting and repositioning it, but I hope I am nearly there. Some novels take for ever. Others just write themselves.
Last, but not least: Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
This extract belongs to Bella’s story. Bella is a young woman who has travelled with her family to New Zealand to escape The End of the Road:
They have been sailing for weeks, heading north-west and following the stars. Their waka is alone, all others having gone their separate ways, either by accident or by design. Kauri says that Africa is the safest place to head for. Small Pacific islands will sooner or later all be under water. They must head for the African continent with its high mountains, vast plains and rich vegetation. The chances are that people there have no reason to fight any wars and that there is peace and quiet in Africa. Bella has heard it all before, but she doesn’t correct him – she lets him live in hope.
The meteorite shower takes them by surprise. Flaming missiles plunge into the waves and stir the ocean all the way to its unreachable, unexplored depths. Geysers of steam, ten times the size and pressure of Rotorua’s hot pools, rise and syphon their white fury into the sky. The whanau huddle up together, but they are torn asunder and hurled into the raging waves. Mother Pomare flies out like a white albatross, her arms outstretched, her white hair splayed. Kauri is no match for the missiles from outer space – he tries to hold on to his children, but they are snatched from his arms and flung into the waves; he follows them, dives in and disappears.
Nothing remains of their waka, nothing but splints of ancient redwood. They are tossed in the sea and animated by the assault from the heavens above. Smoke blots out the sun; it erodes the screams for help in Bella’s throat and burns her eyes. She is pulled into a whirlpool of water and fire, and then spat out onto the oily surface dotted with the debris of their boat. Very quickly the sky quietens, and in its image, the sea settles to a steady, rocking motion. Beneath the flapping waves, sharks begin to circle.
Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Anna Legat.
The Magic of Wor(l)ds
P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!