Ask the Author: Annie Woods

“Ask me a question.” Annie Woods

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Annie Woods When I made the outline for the story, Tyler was just supposed to the this classical jock. You know, the kind of really arrogant and annoying guy you can see in any high school tv show or book, so I had no specific person in mind for him other than that. He also was not supposed to have such an important role in the plot. But then when I actually started to write the book, it all changed. He really worked his magic on me and made me so interested and intrigued that I just wrote more and more about him... For example (*tiny spoiler alert*) the ending twist as such was always the plan, but not that Tyler should have such a big role in it.

I really liked getting into Tyler and showing that there is so much more to him than just the arrogant jock he appears to be at first. It was so much fun to get to know him better and better, layer by layer! So, to me Tyler kind of is a real person in my life now... But I don't think there was a real person that was my inspiration (not deliberately at least) when I wrote about him, it was more that I got to know him. I've also been thinking about who I would cast as Tyler, if there would be a First Came Forever movie, but I'm not really sure. For Sasha I would cast Kit Harington, but for Tyler I haven't found the perfect match yet...
Annie Woods Thank you so much for the interest, Dorothy! <3

I have asked my publisher, but they have not been able to give me a precise date other than that the e-book will be released approx. 2 months after the paperback release. The paperback was released on August, 31st, so the e-book should thus be released by the end of this month presumably.

As soon as the publisher tells me that the book is due to go up, I will let you know.

The e-book will be available via the Kindle store, Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.
Annie Woods Thank you so much, Thea, it means the world to hear that you loved First Came Forever and want to read the next book in the series!

I’m actually almost done with the first draft of the manuscript for the second book now. It’s been so wonderful to develop the characters even further, I really think of them as real life persons and it’s like they’re telling me where the story shall go rather than me creating it. As for the second book, all I can say is that here is a lot going on. Some unexpected twist. Some truly heart-wrenching decisions. And Erica’s life will take yet another change of direction.

But if you, or anyone else of you that have read the book, have any suggestions or ideas or persons you’d like to get more attention in the next book, or persons you don’t like and want me to “get rid off”, please reach out to me! I’d love feedback and to hear what you wish for!

When re-reading the manuscript you always make a lot of changes and add or remove parts, so your feedback might still set the story on another direction.

Once the manuscript is complete, I will provide it to my publisher, who will then work its magic on it, which usually takes about 6-12 months. So if we’re lucky, the next book could be released already by next summer! Fingers crossed…
Annie Woods The parts about writing a book that I like the most is when the characters takes over, when they kind of create their own story. That happened several times for me when writing First Came Forever. It was especially Tyler and Francesca who worked their magic on me. They were never meant to play such important roles, but they just grew on me and made me so interested and intrigued by them that I just wrote more and more about them…

I really liked getting into Tyler and showing that there is so much more to him than just the arrogant jock he appears to be at first. It was so much fun to get to know him better and better, layer by layer!

And also Francesca. At the beginning she was just the villain of the story, but then I started thinking about why and how she’d become the person she was, so then she “told me” me her sad background story and it all made much more sense.

The most complex character for me to write, was probably Sasha. I wanted to make him into a real person with flaws too, not just the cliché perfect fairytale prince. So I needed to understand and explain his background and why he wanted to change his life, so it would make sense for him to fall for someone like Erica. To do that, I really needed to dig into the kind of person Sasha was and how his upbringing reflected his values. Writing about Sasha and Erica, I strongly felt that even though he’s the oldest, the richest, the most experienced of them, it was he who needed to be saved by her, not the other way around.
Annie Woods Oh, there are so many. So, so many. I love YA authors Marie Lu, Cassandra Clare, Veronica Roth, Sarah Dessen, Jenny Han, contemporary authors Maggie O’Farrell, Curtis Sittenfield, Nobel prize winners Toni Morrisson, Nadine Gordimer, Doris Lessing… And an all time favorite is Joyce Carol Oates.

My favorite dystopian is the Legend series. My favorite guilty pleasure is Twilight (yes, I have read it and seen the movies like a million times, totally embarrassing). My favorite modern take on Romeo and Juliet is Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkelis. My favorite literature world is the Shadowhunter world. I love the Mortal Instruments and also the new Dark Artifices one, even though I have not yet finished Lord of Shadows. (I also love the Netflix Shadowhunter series; so much better than the movie.)

But if I have to choose just one book, I would go with We were liars by E. Lockhart, for the twist. (OMG, the twist in this book!) I won’t say anything more, don’t want to make any spoiler alerts, but it’s such a jaw-dropping moment when you understand… something that changes the whole story. I just realized I have to read it again. Like NOW! (:
Annie Woods The image of Erica Lindell and how she moved to US for love came to me on a vacation in California over four years ago, so it’s a story that I’ve been carrying with me for a long time.

Driving along Highway 1 the plot and the other characters crystalized; how she meets Sasha and falls heads over heels in love with him, but how difficult even such a strong love can be when reality hits with their different worlds and the mixed feelings for Tyler that intrudes Erica’s mind.

Then it was the song Moonlight by Stevie Nicks that gave me the final direction for the book, and the courage to start writing it. When I learned about how the song is a combination of Stevie’s own personal relationship and the love story between Bella and Edward in Twilight it just hit me how to get the story I’ve had in my head for so long together. That it should focus on something both ancient and up to today.

So, First Came Forever is a love story of the same kind as Bella and Edward’s, but instead of a vampire tale, it’s a conventional kingdom and its old-fashioned rules that forces Erica to decide what is worth giving up for love.

The story in First Came Forever is a lot about finding your directions in life. To find out who you are and feel comfortable in your skin. To stay true to yourself and make your own decisions even though they are heartbreakingly hard.

For over four years now, I have been living with Erica, Sasha, Tyler and all the other characters in the book. Actually, so long that I think about them as real-life-persons, like old friends that I wish the very best for. I am so excited about sharing the story with you and for you all to meet the characters; I really hope that you will get to love Erica, Sasha and Tyler just as much as I do.

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