Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Just a quick note: Annalisa will be my last guest this summer. I will be back in September with guests. Other than Monday Musings, I will be taking off July and August to focus on some personal issues. I will still be visiting here and there, just not as often. 

My guest is UK author, Annalisa Crawford. She likes to tantalize readers by writing intriguing stories that touch on the unexplained. 
The paranormal genre is hugely popular in today's writing and viewing market. Lines get a bit blurred with all the sub-genres. The bottom line is the paranormal genre encompass happenings beyond the normal human experience and can't yet be explained by science. 
Annalisa's topic is why she doesn't consider herself a true paranormal author but is compelled to add she does utilize elements of the paranormal. Fascinating.

What do you think of when you hear the word paranormal?

Personally, I think of demons, werewolves, zombies, vampires… especially vampires! More than that, I think of grave peril; whole towns in danger of being burnt to the ground by rampaging demons, or being sucked into a vortex.

I don’t write about any of these things, and yet I’m compelled to add the words with elements of paranormal, shades of paranormal, hints… to my chosen genre.

The term paranormal, to me, means there’s been a certain amount of world-building –a world where these characters are out in the open, and non-paranormal characters are aware of them. You could be walking down the street and meet a vampire. You might not be that concerned; you might even flirt or fall in love. You would not run away screaming; they would not be altogether hideous.

My paranormal tends to be more internal. You won’t meet a werewolf, but you might meet a man who thinks he is one. You might stand behind a woman, in a queue for the bus, who’s left the Devil back at home, in the form of her cat. You might share a coffee with your boss who’s listening more intently to the voice in her ear than you. And the voice will be very real.

In one of my short stories, a girl splits in two. It could be literal or a metaphor, and what I really like doing – what my mum really hates – is letting the reader decide for themselves. I always know what I believe, but I want readers to make up their own mind. After all, that’s what people do daily, isn't it? They choose whether to believe they’re looking at a picture of a ghost in the newspaper or not.

I think the power of the human brain is the most paranormal -the most unexplained - subject of them all. We have no idea what we are truly capable of, or what really exists outside our realm of consciousness. One of my favourite books when I was younger was a collection of unexplained stories: telekinesis, time slips, the Bermuda Triangle, spontaneous combustion. And I plan to write about all of them.

And if I can completely baffle my mother in the process, all the better!

I’d like to say a huge thank you to Sia for letting me blog here today.


Three women. Three stories. One pub...

“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.


I live in Cornwall UK, with a good supply of beaches and moorland right on my doorstep to keep me inspired. I live with my husband, two sons, a dog and a cat.

Despite my location, I neither surf nor sail, and have never had any inclination to try. I much prefer walking along a deserted beach and listening to the waves crashing over rocks. For this reason, I really love the beach in the winter!



Annalisa Crawford said...

Thanks again, Sia, and have a great summer off :-)

Natalie Aguirre said...

I think we're all taking some breaks this summer, Sia. Hope to see you some.

And Annalisa's use of paranormal elements sounds like it creates interesting stories.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

People make up their minds every day - well, you couldn't have made it any simpler to understand!
Will miss your regular posts over the summer, Sia, but as I'm on a Mondays-only schedule as well, I understand. Hope everything is all right.

Liza said...

Sounds like some intriguing reading here. I love stories that make me think. Happy summer, Sia!

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I am a huge fan of Annalisa!! Have been blogging friends with her for over a year and a half! Have a great summer Sia :)

Nick Wilford said...

I think this is an excellent approach, as we don't truly know if this stuff exists. And it's always good to let the reader make their own connections on certain things!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Annalisa Welcome to the guest side of Over Coffee.

I enjoy stories set around the unexplained. I know when I was a kid I really enjoyed shows like the Twilight Zone which allowed the viewer to draw their own conclusions to a certain extent. I've always been fascinated by the mysteries of places like the Bermuda Triangle.

Crystal Collier said...

When I hear paranormal--in reference to books--I always assume there a dash (or heavy dose) of romance as well. I think it goes with the modern trope. I love that you take a more literary approach to the paranormal genre, Annalisa.

(Sia! I've nominated you today. =)

~Sia McKye~ said...

Natalie Yah, breaks are necessary. I usually take a couple of weeks off in the summer.

Alex in the 5 years I've been blogging this will be the first time I've taken a summer off. The Mondays only will give me time to be with family and get back on track with my own writing as well.

Keith Thanks. It will be a good one.

Lisa Thank you! :-)

Annalisa Crawford said...

Natalie - thank you!

Alex - I really have tried to write stories with a fixed ending, but I always through in one extra sentence that throws it all away :-)

Liza - my favourite books are the ones where I close it, at the end, and sit with it in my hands, just thinking about it :-)

Keith - thank you. I'm so glad I met you :-)

Nick - just like in real life... dun dun duuun ;-)

Sia - I remember watching Hitchcock's Tales of the Unexpected. I'd love to watch them again now.

Crystal - hmm, yes, romance too. I've tried it, but I like to kill off people far too much to allow them a proper romance! I'm not sure what that says about me :-)

Dani Harper said...

Really enjoyed the post. Annalisa, you explained your work so clearly! Looking forward to checking out your stories. Really enjoyed the comments too --- I loved the Twilight Zone, the Outer Limits, and Hitchcock's Tales of the Unexpected.Let me throw one more name into the mix: Ray Bradbury! Wishing you a low-stress summer, Sia,with lots of positive energy.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sia - great guest here and I love Annalisa's explanation - certainly opens up my eyes and that grey matter to rethink things ..

I do enjoy knowing about the unknown ... but I'd rather not be swamped by zombies or paranormal traits ..

I shall enjoy Our Beautiful Child .. good luck for your sales .. and baffling your mother even more ..

Then Sia have a peaceful summer .. and enjoy taking some time to recalibrate ..

Cheers to you both - Hilary

M Pax said...

I do love your writing and now you're screaming at me like a Siren with words like that. :)

Hello to Sia!

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Enjoy your break Sia!!!

You are so smart Annalisa. The brain is a powerful beast!

Annalisa Crawford said...

Dani - Ray Bradbury? Good call!

Hilary - I know, those zombies are such pests, aren't they? :-)

M Pax - thank you :-D

Elizabeth - smart? I must hide it well, most of the time then :-)

Shah Wharton said...

Great post Annalise, and it's worked, it's totally enthralled me to your book. As a psych graduate, I appreciate science's limited knowledge of the brain. It is fascinating and scary, or at least it can be if we think enough, question enough. :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I have a series of short stories I would like to write and I don't consider them paranormal either. But technically, I guess they fit that genre.

Christine Rains said...

Love this post! The human brain is definitely the most unexplained thing of all. I love stories that make me wonder as yours do.

Tara Tyler R said...

so transcendent!
so ethereal!
great definition of paranormal and your use of supernatural elements to let the reader interpret!
congrats Annalisa!

And Sia! thanks for commenting on my broken branch falls blog tour!