Hey guys! Below you’ll find an interview with Lisa Cresswell the author of Crawdad. You can also enter a giveaway as well!
What is your writing process like?
Hi Melanie! Thanks for hosting me. My writing process is a little chaotic these days. When I’m rough drafting a new idea, I usually write it longhand in a notebook. I’ve tried writing straight to computer, but I can never seem to do it. Writing a first draft requires a lot of time, some spent with my eyes closed, trying to see everything that’s happening. I probably spend as much time imagining as I do actually writing. The second draft is the one that gets typed up and printed out for the next go around of edits.
Are your characters based off of people you know?
Yes and no. My characters aren’t 100% of anyone I know, but I use little bits and pieces of real people I know. If I see someone with a distinctive look, I may use them as a character model. Incorporating mannerisms from real people helps make a character seem more real, I think, so I like to do that.
Regarding your characters, do you relate to any of them?
I relate to all my characters in one way or another. I tend to think of them as real people that I love and care for, even when I do terrible things to them. In Crawdad, I definitely relate to Jamil’s situation of having a dream that seems unattainable due to a lack of money and support. I’ve been there myself.
Did you have to do any specific research for your book?
For Crawdad, I did have to study up on geography because I’ve never hitchhiked from Alabama to South Carolina. Which way to go? What cities would you pass through? And of course, because I don’t have an unlimited travel budget, I researched the various locations online. I love Pinterest because you can search for any subject or place and find fabulous photos for inspiration. Check out my Crawdad pagehttps://www.pinterest.com/peach83352/crawdad~/ I also had to research jazz music and trumpet playing, as well as band auditions. It never feels like work though. I love research.
How did you come up with your book’s plot?
The characters in Crawdad came to me several ways. I don’t watch television, but I keep up with the news online and on NPR. I happened to hear a story on NPR about some teenagers who had received band scholarships to go to college and how hard it was for them to study while being in a big marching band. It seemed like such a great story that it stuck in my mind for awhile. Other (less happy) events in the news also gave me ideas that ended up in the book. Some of those event surprised me. I didn’t set out to include police brutality and school shooting. They just sort of happened.
What was your favorite scene to write?
That’s a hard one to answer. There’s so many scenes in the book I love. I love when Jamil finally meets his dad. I love the trumpet audition. I love the interaction between Aisha and Naomi. And I really love when Angel makes it home. I hope readers love it as much as I do.
Why is diversity in books important to you?
Because the same old thing all the time is boring. And because the world isn’t flat. It has dimension. There are seven billion people in the world and every single one of them has a story. The vast majority of them are not white. I want my stories to reflect the world.
Is there anything you would change about your book?
Not really. I often wish I could write more words and make my stories last longer, but when I read them, they feel like they’re the length they need to be.
Can you share any plans for new novels with us?
I have two manuscripts I’m querying and a scifi sequel in mind to my novel Vessel, but nothing concrete to share yet. I often write fantasy, but every now and then, a contemporary story pops out, like Crawdad and my first book, Hush Puppy. I think those end up being my favorites.
How can we keep up with you?
I blog fairly often at www.lisatcresswell.blogspot.com and I’m a Twitter addict, heaven help me @peach83352 . I love hearing from readers. You can see all my books on my website www.lisatcresswell.com Come say hi!