1) So, who are you & what have you written?
I’m Anna Mazzola and I write historical crime fiction and strange short stories. My debut novel, The Unseeing, is based on the life of Sarah Gale who in 1837 was charged with aiding and abetting the murder of another woman. The Unseeing was published in July, and comes out in paperback on 26 January 2017. I’m currently writing my second novel, which is about missing girls on the Isle of Skye. You can find out more at my website, or come and say hello on Twitter, HERE. Find me on Facebook, HERE and on instagram, HERE.
2) Why do you write crime fiction?
I didn’t specifically set out to write crime fiction, to be honest, but that seems to be what I’m drawn to. I’m fascinated by what leads people to do terrible things, and what happens to those who are left behind. My favourite novels are ones which manage to combine compelling plot with excellent writing, and that’s often crime-based novels.
3) What informs your crime writing?
I’m also a criminal justice solicitor (dealing with people failed by the justice system or abused by the state), so I suppose the themes that interest me tie in with that – justice, injustice, loss and other cheery topics. However, I write historical fiction, so I’m mainly relying on research and imagination. And caffeine.
4) What’s your usual writing routine?
Ha! I wish I had a ‘usual writing routine’. Like most writers, I work around other things (including small children) so I tend to write whenever and wherever I can. On days when my children are at school and nursery, I drop them off, buy coffee, rush home, spend an hour or two catching up on work emails, publicity and admin, and then switch on the Freedom app to try and write or edit uninterrupted for 2 to 3 hours. I’ll then snatch the extra hour here and there. The only constants are coffee and relative silence. I often wear ear defenders when writing: it makes me look like a lunatic and thus deters people from trying to talk to me in cafes/on buses.
5) Which crime book do you wish YOU’D written, and why?
Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood, which is based on the case of Grace Marks, a Canadian girl convicted of murder in the 19th century. It’s dark, it’s clever, and it’s so bloody funny. I’ve read it five times and every time it gets better. It’s not shelved in the crime section because it’s by Atwood, but it’s a crime novel. For financial reasons, it might also have been handy had I written The Girl on the Train!