Monday, March 4, 2013

Drowning Rapunzel by Annette Gisby

Annette Gisby grew up in a small town in Northern Ireland, moving to London when she was seventeen. She writes in multiple genres and styles, anything from romance to thriller or erotica to horror, even both at the same time. When not writing, she enjoys reading, cinema, theatre and travelling the world despite getting travel sick on most forms of transport., even a bicycle. Sometimes you might find her playing Dragon Quest or The Sims computer games and watching Japanese Anime. She lives in Hampshire with her husband, a collection of porcelain dolls, cuddly toys and enough books to fill a library. It's diminishing gradually since the advent of ebooks, but still has a long way to go.

Recently released from a mental institution, Beth Gregory accepts a job as a live-in secretary/PA to the reclusive painter Josh Warrington. Beth's long red hair fascinates him from the first moment he sees her and Josh wants her to be his Rapunzel for a series of fairy tale paintings he's working on.

Beth has two major fears: that she will be sent back to the mental hospital and the visions which landed her there in the first place will return. They do; this time giving her glimpses of murders before they happen. Beth becomes the main suspect in the murder investigation and then she has the most disturbing vision of all: she will become the next victim...

Q) What inspired you to write this story?
Funnily enough it was inspired by a Pre-Raphaelite painting, La Belle Dame Sans Merci by Sir Frank Dicksee. It’s in a gallery in London and we bought a print of it in the gift shop. That painting was on the wall opposite our bed and I saw it every night and every morning and I wondered what it would be like to have the skill to paint. I couldn’t draw anything to save my life, not unless you count stick figures. But I was thinking about it more and more and I thought to myself, well I can’t paint myself, maybe I should write about a character who could paint.

Gradually the character of Josh formed in my head and then I needed someone for him to paint, his muse as it were. In the painting by Sir Frank Dicksee, the queen of Faerie had long red hair, which reminded me a bit of Rapunzel, one of my favourite fairy tales and the character of Beth became more fleshed out. She would be his Rapunzel, as he always painted fairy tales and the story started from there.

I also loved Victorian gothic romances and books like Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier, so I wanted it to have a setting like that, some sort of old mansion. So all these different things inspired the story and it is one of my favourites that I’ve written.

Q) How long did it take you to write?
I think it probably took about six months for the first draft then another few months for editing, so probably nearer to a year all told.

Q) What is your favorite thing about writing?
The same as reading, it lets you into a different world that you may never otherwise visit.

Q) What is your least favorite thing about writing?
Trying to promote your work. I know it has to be done, but it takes away time from writing your next story. It can be hard to juggle everything. I am trying my best to resist Facebook, when I had a google email alert the other day. There is a Facebook page with my name on it, someone else seems to have made it, but there’s nothing there, just my name and that I’m an author. Very strange indeed.

Q) If you could be any famous person for one day, who would you be and why?
Oh, that’s a difficult one! Hmm, maybe Peter Jackson who directed Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, I loved those films and we even wrote a book about it, New Zealand with a Hobbit Botherer. It’s where I dragged John around all the film locations during our trip to New Zealand as he tried to his best to see New Zealand and I tried my best to see ‘Middle-Earth’. It was wonderful fun.

Q) What is the oldest thing in your fridge and how old is it?
I think it’s probably a jar of mustard. I don’t eat it, my husband does, but it doesn’t come in small jars so it tends to get left for a long time, especially if it gets shoved to the back and John doesn’t remember it’s there. He never thinks of moving things from the front to see what’s at the back.

Q) What can readers expect from you in the future?
I have a few different stories in progress at the moment. I’m not sure which one will get finished first, I tend to flit from one project to the other, I have a very scatter-gun approach. Two are short stories, one is a novella and one a novel, but all of them are male/male romances. My short story collection, Shadows of the Rose has also been re-released with a new cover for a tenth anniversary edition. I can hardly believe it has been ten years since it was first out.

Thank you for having me!

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Annette Gisby said...

Thank you for hosting me on my book tour :)


werejumpinbooks said...

I have already added this to my TBR! Thanks for not only sharing the book, but the interview as we too have little jars that get left behind, not mustard, but like little jars of fruit, and I usually don't find them till I am cleaning out the refrigerator. Thanks for the opportunity to win this book.