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Interview at Whistecraig

Hi, Rachel!  Welcome to my blog!  I am so excited to have you here today to talk with my readers about your new book, Anon, Sir, Anon.

Readers, I hereby introduce to you Rachel Heffington.  To learn more about her and her book, you can read my earlier post here or you can go to her blog.

Rachel kindly permitted me to interview her today.  Below you will find my questions in bold and her answers in regular print.

Ready, Rachel?


When did the idea for Anon, Sir, Anon occur to you?  Did you start writing immediately? The idea occurred to me rather randomly after reading a book on Classic British Detective Fiction. I love mysteries, in theory, and wanted to write one of my own. And I did begin writing fairly quickly. The whole thing worked up very easily the first draft. It was the second draft that bit my tail.


Looking back on your finished product, name one thing (an element, technique, or scene) that you are extremely pleased with. I am very pleased with how I managed to describe things. I was taught that description ought to be used sparingly. It’s not true. It can be used, but it must be used in a clever way so the reader isn’t conscious of being described at. I worked for my “verbal painting” in Anon, Sir, Anon and I am happy with it.


In writing this story, were you a pantser (writing as you go without foreplanning) or plotter? It began as a “pansty” effort but of course you can’t possibly write an effective mystery without a plan. To be plain, it quickly became a plot when I realized that the author had to know what was going on if the reader would be able to.


What time period is Anon, Sir, Anon set in? The early 1930’s in England. November of 1932, to be exact.


Who is your target audience? I should not say “anyone,” for that sounds like bad form. I will say that, due to the nature of certain topics addressed, it should please readers of both genders, age sixteen and above.


Pick a side character and tell us a little bit about him/her. One of my favorite side-characters who came out of the second and third edits is Old Mr. Fields, the father of Vivi’s friend, Jimmy Fields. He is an old farmer whom some describe as “senile” and has dementia, but for all that he’s a dear. My grandmother has dementia and so the social awkwardness such a thing can supply was natural to write. I spent very little time with him this round, but I still enjoyed the scene we had with him.


Is there something you like to do simultaneously with writing?  Drink tea?  Eat chocolate?  Listen to music? I like to drink tea when I remember I have brewed it. Often, I become engrossed with my work and forget my cup. I am never too busy for chocolate. And it is only when my mind is in its toppest of forms that I can bear listening to music while I write. I prefer a quiet room.


If people fall in love with the characters of Anon, Sir, Anon (as I'm sure they will), have they a hope of seeing them again in future stories? They most certainly shall! I intend for this to be a series of some books, each generally independent of the others, but all working together with Vivi and Farnham as the detective pair. I have begun Book Two, Scotch’d The Snakes, and am excited to see where it might go.


Thanks for the fun questions, Esther! I am so glad you chose to host me on your blog today. It has been a pleasure.

Likewise, Rachel! Thank you so much for coming!

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