Hello! Welcome to my blog! I’m absolutely delighted to share a wonderful Q&A with author Abbie Greaves as part of #TheEndsOfTheEarth blog tour today! Abbie will be chatting about her writing routines, techniques and inspirations!
The Ends of the Earth
Mary O’Connor has been keeping a vigil for her first love for the past seven years.
Every evening without fail, Mary arrives at Ealing Broadway station and sets herself up among the commuters. In her hands Mary holds a sign which bears the words: ‘Come Home Jim.’
Call her mad, call her a nuisance, call her a drain on society – Mary isn’t going anywhere.
That is, until an unexpected call turns her world on its head. In spite of all her efforts, Mary can no longer find the strength to hold herself together. She must finally face what happened all those years ago, and answer the question – where on earth is Jim?
5 Questions to Abbie Greaves about Writing
1. What’s your writing routine like, and where do you work from?
If I had to summarise it in one word I would go for ‘random’. I’ve worked in so many different places over the past few years, innumerable flats and cities, planes and trains and beds and lawns and sheds – you name it, I have probably written a chapter there at some point or another! I do my best and most focussed work in the mornings with no internet and complete silence. Currently, I have a desk set up in my sitting room in Cambridge, UK.
2. In your two books, The Silent Treatment and The Ends of the Earth you have used past and present timelines to incredible effect, could you tell us why you like using this technique?
In The Ends of the Earth, Mary is by nature very private. In order for readers to connect with her, I knew they would need to understand how she came to be this way, and the key to that lies in her past. Balancing past and present timelines is so tricky though and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel frustrated that I keep getting drawn to this technique! That said, I believe that there is no present, no future, that isn’t shaped to some extent by our past, so I’m sure it will remain a feature of my writing.
3. Where do you regularly draw creative inspiration from?
It varies! For The Silent Treatment it was a newspaper article that I read whereas for The Ends of the Earth, it was the freneticism of my daily commute. I’ve had sparks of other ideas from images, locations, snippets of overheard conversations…If there was one common denominator, it would be aspects of my day to day life. I’m a magpie for personal experience.
- What draws you to addressing the themes of depression and loss in your work?
It’s hard to think of anyone in my own life who hasn’t been affected to some extent by mental health struggles, and as such, depression and loss have always felt a part of the stories I want to tell. My hope is that the more these themes are discussed in fiction of all genres, the more the issues themselves will be normalised, and readers encouraged to seek help, should they need it. For me, the best books always strike the balance between light and dark, so I always strive to ensure that there is brightness woven throughout my books too.
5. I read that you’re a plotter rather than a pantser; in what way does this technique help you with writing? And why not the alternative?
I tend to work with a broad outline (the beginning, the end, maybe a few major events in-between) and perhaps a line or two for each chapter, although these are always subject to change. For me, it helps sustain narrative momentum. I don’t trust that I wouldn’t go off-piste and round in circles given complete liberty. I suppose it also reflects the sort of books that I like to read myself; I get nervous if I don’t feel like the story is going anywhere.
About the Author
“A bit about me. Well, I was born in Oxford and from an early age, I read everything – cartoons, the Argos catalogue, cereal boxes. I wasn’t that fussy, really! Most of all I loved books, which led me to study English Literature at university. After graduation, I spent three years in publishing, during which time I wrote my first novel, THE SILENT TREATMENT. It tells the story of a couple, Frank and Maggie, who have been married for forty years but who haven’t spoken for the last six months.
My second novel is called THE ENDS OF THE EARTH in the UK and ANYWHERE FOR YOU in the US. It’s out now and it tells the story of Mary, a woman who has been keeping a seven year vigil for her first love.
For more information about me and news about my writing, check out my website: http://www.abbiegreaves.com. You can also follow me on Twitter @AbbieGreaves1 or on Instagram @abbiegreavesauthor where you’ll also find out more about what I’m reading myself and what I get up to when I’m not at my desk. See you there!” (taken from the author’s Amazon page)
The Ends of the Earth is out NOW in hardback, ebook and audiobook!
To purchase a copy, you can follow the links below:
Follow the bloggers on #TheEndsOfTheEarth blog tour!
With thanks to Najma, Abbie and Century for my blog tour invite and Q&A!