Monday, 16 July 2018

The Write Stuff with... Vanessa Carnevale

This morning it's my pleasure to welcome Vanessa Carnevale for today's stop on the blog tour for her latest book The Memories of Us.

One of the questions I’m most often asked by readers is where my ideas for a novel come from. It’s a discussion that I enjoy having, because I find the creative process as wondrous and fascinating as my readers. The whole concept of making a book, of making something out of nothing is exciting and one of the things I love most about writing.

For me, ideas can come from anywhere. A ‘what-if’ type question, a news article, an off-the-cuff comment someone makes about something, a setting, or a single character. More often than not, my story ideas begin as little seeds. I hold and nurture them for a little while, not quite sure what surprises they hold or what they’ll blossom into. 

I have a process when an idea comes my way whereby I play a bit of ‘hard to get’ with it. I’ll think about the idea for a bit allowing me to daydream about characters and the feel of the story, along with potential story problems and challenges characters in the novel might face. Then I park the idea, setting it aside to focus on something else. If the idea, which is often still very embryonic and far from fully formed, keeps pestering me, as in, it slowly becomes something I simply can’t stop thinking about, then I decide to give it some more attention by way of brainstorming to see if I can give it some shape. It really is a case of using my intuition to guide me as to whether the story feels right.

Novels take a long time to write and revise, and I need to feel excited about the characters and possibilities of the story in order for it to sustain my attention over the months I will inevitably spend writing and researching.

The idea for The Memories of Us, my latest novel, came to me on a Saturday afternoon as I was performing the mindless and not very exciting task of folding laundry. My train of thought had somehow led me to thinking about how our memories and our pasts shape us. I started thinking about things like fate versus destiny, and how the big moments of our lives can often lead us down one path or another. A question then popped into my mind: if I had my time over, would I live the same life twice? From there, I knew I had an idea for a story and shortly after that Gracie’s character came to me. After a life-altering accident, Gracie finds her life completely unrecognisable and as a result, no longer knows who she truly is. The novel follows her journey of self-discovery while she also attempts to answer the question of whether she can be with the same romantic partner she can’t remember since the accident.

At the time I started writing the book, I knew the story would be set on a flower farm but I wasn’t aware of what an integral role flowers would play. That’s the beauty of the creative process. You can never be completely sure what exactly will make it onto the page!

One moment can change your life

When Gracie Ashcroft wakes after a crash with severe amnesia, she must choose whether to live a life through other people’s memories or to start a new life all her own.

Discovering her late mother left her an old flower farm, Gracie leaves her fiancé, best friend and the home full of forgotten memories behind, hoping to learn who she is now.

Torn between wishing she could remember and afraid of losing what she now has, Gracie starts to wonder: if you had your time over, would you live the same life twice?

All book titles in bold are Amazon UK Affiliate links which will earn me a few pence if anyone clicks through and makes a purchase - any money earned will go towards buying books or gifts for giveaways.

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