The final book in Anna Caltabiano’s Seventh Miss Hatfield trilogy, THE DAY BEFORE FOREVER, is out Thursday 24th November and we can’t wait! Anna has taken a break from her studying to talk to us about writing rituals, book recommendations and things that are stranger than fiction. . .
Who is your favourite author? Now this has to be the hardest question. Though I like my modern, still-living authors, I’m a huge fan of the classics—Dickens, Fitzgerald, Austen. They’re my holy trinity.
What book do you most often recommend to friends? Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes. If you haven’t read it yet, go get it immediately. To me, it’s one of those magical books that has something for everyone.
What is your favourite SF or fantasy world? I was just introduced to Garth Nix’s Abhorsen trilogy this summer. Ancelstierre and the Old Kingdom have completely captured my mind.
What is your favourite SF or fantasy character? My first SF book that I remember reading was Stranger in a Strange Land. Because of this, Valentine Michael Smith will always have a place in my heart.
Do you have any writing rituals? Whenever I write by hand, I always write in blue pen. I tend to outline a few chapters ahead while I write my first draft. And then, it’s lots of Earl Grey tea to finish the draft.
Other than writer, what would your dream job be? I’m currently in an eight-year medical program at university, so hopefully I come out of this a doctor!
What is the best thing about being a writer? You get to work in your pyjamas! And free books from author friends!
What one item could you not live without? My phone. I’m regrettably one of those millennials glued to my phone. There’s an app for everything, including those moments when you need to find the biological name of an obscure flower found in the Florida Keys ASAP. I’ve also been known to write a chapter of a novel on my phone when I’m without my laptop.
Tell us something that will surprise your readers. My ophthalmologist calls me a Cyclops because I have one eye that’s near-sighted (my father’s exact prescription) and one eye that’s far-sighted (my mother’s exact prescription) and see the world in 2D instead of 3D, when I’m not wearing my one contact or my glasses. Some things are stranger than fiction.
What makes you happy? Friends, family, and lots of chocolate.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? Every word you write and every word you read will never be a waste. The good books, the bad books—they all teach you how to write well.
If you could dine out with one of the characters from your books, which character would it be and where would you go? I think I would take Henley out for some ice cream. We all know he’d get the strawberry flavour!
What book are you currently reading? Near to the Wild Heart by Clarice Lispector. I just started, and it’s blowing my mind already.