Publisher: Battered Suitcase Press
Publishing Date: 10th June 2014
Blurb Description: “The Boathouse collects misfits. Strange solitary creatures that yearn for contact with the outside world, but not too much. They sit, glass in hand, either staring at the table in front of them, or at some distant point on the horizon.”
… so says the narrator of Our Beautiful Child. And he’s been around long enough to know.
People end up in this town almost by accident. Ella is running away from her nightmares, Sally is running away from the memories of previous boyfriends and Rona is running away from university. Each of them seek sanctuary in the 18th century pub, The Boathouse; but in fact, that’s where their troubles begin.
Ella finds love, a moment too late; Rona discovers a beautiful ability which needs refining before she gets hurt; and Sally meets the captivating Murray, who threatens to ruin everything.
Three women. Three stories. One pub.
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1. The scariest experience you've ever had:
-- I’m such a wimp, I try to avoid scary things. I once lost my son in a supermarket when he was about 4 years old. It turned out he was actually playing hide-and-seek, and after a frantic 5 minutes searching (which felt like five hours) with my heart in my mouth, he popped out of a rack of clothing with a loud “Boo!”
2. Your opinion on limbo/ the afterlife/ the underworld:
--I’ve actually had written different ideas about this in different stories, so it’s hard to define my actual beliefs. I’m 80% sure there must be something else after this life, but depending on my mood it could be a Heaven-type place, a return to Earth as an angel or reincarnation!
3. What does it feel like, with your book out for the world to read?
--Our Beautiful Child was accepted almost two years ago, and been in existence for about ten years, so it’s been a long time coming. Nothing quite prepares you for the joy and fear of a new book being released – and the feeling that I should have always just had one more rewrite. Perhaps publishing books is my scariest experience.
And now, onto your masterpiece,
4. Do tell us about your inspiration behind the boathouse- and all of it's absolutely eerie tales:
--The Boathouse pub is based on a pub in my hometown where I spent a lot of my youth– there were a couple of vague ghost stories about the place (no one liked to go to the Ladies alone!) and I suppose they just lingered in the back of my mind. The first scene I wrote was the opening scene of The Traveller with the low ceilings and candlelight – that pub sprang to mind, even before I considered there might be a ghostly element. I never plan any of my stories – the opening lines come to me complete, and then I just keep writing. I’m often just as surprised as my readers at what happens.
5. If you could be Ella, Sally or Rona, who would you be (the one that fits your personality most) and why?
--There’s an element of me in all my characters, and Ella, Sally and Rona are no exception. I think I’d like to be Rona – she’s a strong character who handles everything relatively calmly – but I’m probably more like Ella, slightly over dramatic, especially when things don’t go my way!
I suppose I could say that my new found favourite genre consists of the Supernatural (no, not blood sucking vampires or hot werewolves) but more of the spooky- day to day stuff like dreams or déjà vu- that freak me out more than anything!
Annalisa Crawford is, put simply, BRILLIANT! I finished the whole book in the matter of an hour. Her prose, the way she describes situations, characters, and what they feel is absolutely uncanny!
Our Beautiful Child is a collection of three stories centred around three women, who each find (I’m going to call it something) in an 18th century pub called the Boathouse!
I wouldn’t know how to describe this book for the life of me! Each story had me leaning back for a minute, just recollecting, before I felt the compulsive need to start the next! The second was by far my favourite- because that ending was one I did not see coming!
I would just give it my strongest recommendation- even if you don’t usually do the horror genre- this will make you want more!
*Thank You to the publishers, Battered Suitcase Press and the author for giving me this opportunity.**