Caring for her three children had been Anna’s only priority in the aftermath of losing the man she’d loved since she was seventeen years old. Forced to move forward with her life, Anna enrolled in college where she made a friend who had been there and done that. She also hired a sexy younger man to tutor her in math who also taught her how to have fun again. And she met a man who wanted to love her whether she wanted him to or not. Will the lessons Anna learnt in her first year of college give her strength to live again? Or will her inability to let go keep her from having a second chance at love?
Will Anna be able to make peace with her past so that she can embrace her future? Anna’s journey of love explored in the pages of ‘Love You, Always’ will be examined by myself and her author, Cristin Cooper, today to find out how happy her ending can be. Cristin, thanks for sharing Anna with us today. Where did Anna, her family and friends come from?
Originally the characters were me and my family. The day before I began writing it years ago, my husband had been in a car accident. He’s fine! But I couldn’t sleep thinking about all the what ifs. I finally went to my computer and wrote the prologue and first chapter.
Thank goodness your husband is fine! As much as I love tragic or sad story, I really do prefer that the situation is fictional. But it’s good to see that you were able to twist those unsettling what-ifs after the accident into something positive. Did these questions continue to fuel the book after the first chapter?
This book was filled with bits of pieces of me and my family. The way Anna relates to her kids is similar to me. Anna, like me, spends ways too much time in her head and over thinks everything.
*Laughs* As much fun as it can be hanging out in your head, sometimes you do need to get out of it and get things done. Was getting the story done, incredibly rewarding for you?
Just finishing it was rewarding. Years ago, I had written the prologue, first chapter, wrote a detailed outline then set it aside and forgot about it. I just happened upon it and like an itch that needed to be scratched, the story wouldn’t leave me alone until I sat down and finished it. I was working full-time at the time so I got up extra early to write in the morning then after making dinner, I wrote some more until late into the night.
Do you feel that routine of early morning and late night story crafting worked well, or would you have changed your approach getting to that end sooner?
I wouldn’t change a thing. It’s perfectly imperfect. I will always wish it was better or I had been a better writer but it was an amazing learning experience.
I love that you’ve embraced your tale warts and all! That ability to see your work as it truly is will leave you in a great stead to learning more in the future. What was the most important thing that you have learnt when you had just reached the end of this novel?
The whole process was a learning experience. I had never written a novel before and had no idea what I was doing. Each rewrite taught me something else.
What about the writing process kept bringing you back to tackle each new rewrite?
Writing is my therapy and I find myself getting antsy when I haven’t written in a while.
So, I’m guessing that you have a huge list of ideas you’d like to flesh out in the future so that you can prevent yourself from getting antsy? Correct?
Yes, I have a file on my computer filled with more than forty book ideas. If only I was a faster writer…
*Laughs* Keep writing, I’m sure with every passing book you’ll get faster and faster at getting those wonderful tales into the hands of readers! Are the book ideas in your file complete with endings, or do you just take the germ of an idea and happen upon the ending after you start typing?
I usually know how the book will end before I start. I’m big on outlining and timelines. For me, it makes writing easier by allowing me to focus on the actual writing.
Are there any other techniques that you use to keep that focus on the actual writing?
I wish I could write every day but I’m a mom of four kids and life happens. Generally, I write four or five days a week but I don’t usually set a word count unless I have a deadline.
Life does happen, but you’re doing well if you can manage to carve out even a little time to write when you have four kids running around. Does having limited writing time translate into an absence of writer’s block? What happens when you get stuck in part of the story?
If I get stuck on one story, I move to another.
Do you find that music also keeps your writing flowing?
When I’m writing, I don’t listen to music because it’s distracting but I will listen to music before to get me in the mood for whatever I’m writing. So the music changes depending on what I’m writing.
After the mood for writing has passed, do you move into the mood of editing, or is editing something that you like to pass on to fresh eyes?
After I write a chapter, I’ll do a read through and usually use Grammarly to do a general proofread but once the book is finished, I send it to an editor who does an edit then a proofread.
So our readers can be reassured that there are more tales like Anna’s in the pipeline, can you share what you and your editor are currently working on?
I have too many book ideas that are fighting for attention. I’m working on the third book in my Until Series then I will write the third book in this series.
*Laughs* Too many book ideas, too little time! Cristin, thank you for sharing a little insight into Anna’s love and life, and I hope that those completing book ideas declare new winners soon so that you can add the third instalments to both of those series.
Excited to read the book we discussed today? Find it here on Amazon: ‘Love You, Always ( ASIN: B00WH6L8YC )‘.
Want to find out more about Cristin Cooper? Connect here!