Fresh Off the Starship

Fresh Off the Starship: Ann Crawford Interview

Does this book have a special meaning to you? i.e. where you found the idea, its symbolism, its meaning, who you dedicated it to, what made you want to write it?

Yes, definitely. I met my husband—a former Kansas farmboy—in 2006. When he took me to his family’s farm in Western Kansas, I (a bi-coastal, ocean-loving city slicker) fell in love with the land and the people. When I told my friends and family I was moving to Kansas to marry a man I just met and be a stepmom to his 2 teenagers, they were…well, aghast isn’t quite right, but close. And it wasn’t that I’d just met him and he had 2 teenagers…no, it was, as they all said, KANsas?! They would’ve been less surprised if I said I was going to climb Mt. Everest, which I’ve seen 6 times during several world travels. I wanted to write a story that celebrates this heartland and these wonderful folks, right there in the center of “flyover” territory. I used to consider it that, but certainly not any more.
I also heard a line long ago from Starman, which goes something like “you humans are at your best when you’re at (facing) your worst.” I always wondered what it’d be like to see Earth for the first time but as a fully conscious, adult being—all the magic, miracles, love that we take for granted, plus how beautiful, powerful, and amazing we truly are.
I dedicated this book to my dear friends Grace and Ashanta, who are as wise and wonderful as Missy is…once she figured out how to be a human, that is.

Where do you get your storylines from?

They just come to me, usually in the form of the characters first. They come pounding on the door of my mind, saying, “Yo—write my story!” How could I ever say no to that? LOL. The words they want to say come first, then comes the world they live in, then the background.

Was this book easier or more difficult to write than others?  Why?

This one was so easy—I wrote and published this book in 5 months…while working full time! I drove back and forth through Kansas late two nights (on both sides of a weekend, going to and from a conference farther east), and the whole story came to me. I often speak my books into the Notes on my iPhone and then email that to myself. I think I wrote half the book on that trip.
I do some of my best thinking—for life in general and for my books—while driving, especially at night.

Do you only write one genre?

“Genre” is tricky for me, because I’m so all over the map. I write under the umbrella of women’s fiction but then my books can include chick lit, visionary fiction, scifi, fantasy, paranormal…and sometimes all at the same time!

Give us a picture of where you write, where you compose these words…is it Starbucks, a den, a garden…we want to know your inner sanctum?

I’m so happy to tell you where I write: in what I call my “nest” overlooking a beautiful
garden, a babbling brook, and grove of trees that look like a place Arthur and Guenevere would’ve frequented. I sit on a sofa with my laptop on a big flat cushion in my lap, looking out the window at that gorgeous view. I have a desk but I never use it. The most important part of my writing nest is that it has a door that shuts…and when it’s shut, everyone in the house knows not to interrupt me.
Oliver, my parrot, sits beside me. He also seems to know not to interrupt me. But when I get up from a writing session, he certainly wants some attention—which often includes scratching his neck and food.
The view is lovely in all seasons, but right now—spring—is the best, what with the newly green grass after the Colorado-winter brown and the flowers are blooming. And the best part? The HOA takes care of the whole thing, allowing my husband and I time to tend to our creative passions. He’s a bass player and practices and gigs a lot.

And finally, of course…was there any specific event or circumstance that made you want to be a writer?

Oh, I’ve wanted to be a writer ever since I could hold a pencil in my hand. My mom was very, very ill as I was growing up (and died when I was a teenager), but she read to me quite a bit. I cherish those times with her and books will always feel special to me.
Stories open the door to myriad new worlds. I’ve always wanted to pass that seeing-beyond-what’s-here magic to as many other people as I can.
Being a writer is not an easy life, though, at least during the day-job years. I once wrote an article called something along the lines of, “Why Didn’t I Want to Be a Veterinarian?” There were times when I tried pursuing other paths. Nope. Writing kept tapping me on the shoulder, saying, “Nice try. Who are you kidding? I’m your path.”