An Interview With Greta Cribbs
Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself?
I am currently a stay-at-home mom, which is great because it gives me time to pursue my many interests, one of which happens to be writing. I also obsessively study Spanish and take dance lessons. I have a degree in music education which I still use, despite the fact that I am not currently employed, by teaching a small but dedicated group of piano students. In addition to these things, I am a certified instructor of Yoga and Pilates.
The title of my new book is Amelia's Children. It is a paranormal mystery told from the point of view of Sarah, a young woman who has just returned to her hometown after a failed attempt at an acting career. She is immediately attracted to David, a handsome stranger who has just come into town on "personal business". As she attempts to discover what that business is, she learns that there is more to David's story than meets the eye, and she eventually begins to suspect that it is all tied to Amelia Davis, a local woman who was murdered thirty years ago, but whose killer has never been caught.
How long have you been writing, and how many books have you published to date?
I started writing poetry when I was nine years old. I completed a novel, a ghost story, when I was twelve, but never published it. Throughout my teens and early twenties I was too busy pursuing my career in music to do any serious writing. I still wrote poems, and I started working on a book here and there, but never had time to finish anything. Amelia's Children is my first published work.
Why did you write this book? What was your inspiration?
Okay, I have to say that I hate having people inside my head, so I find this question a little embarrassing, but hey…publishing a book is about putting myself out there for all to see right? So here goes. Three things were going on when I started Amelia's Children.
First of all, I had just gone through a job loss, so I threw all of the frustration I was feeling after that experience into my narrator, Sarah. Her dissatisfaction with life and her feeling of not fitting in anywhere is exactly where I was in my own life when I was writing the book.
Second, I had just finished watching Twin Peaks, and was feeling more than a little frustrated with how all of that ended. I mean really, weren't all Twin Peaks fans frustrated when that show came to a close? This was the inspiration for a lot of the setting of my story. Interestingly, though, in the beginning I tried to avoid the whole "murder in a small town" thing. Of course I already had the small town setting, but I beyond that all I knew was that the story was going to center around David and an evil villain. At first I had no idea what unspeakable crime the villain had committed. Determined that it would not be a murder, I ran through multiple scenarios in my head. It soon became apparent, however, that none of those scenarios were going to work. I needed an event that was powerful enough to bring together all of the minor characters who were crucial in moving the story along. An unsolved murder in a small town turned out to be the only thing I found sufficient.
Third, I am a huge fan of Supernatural, but just like with Twin Peaks, I was frustrated with the direction some of the storylines had taken over the years. I am one of the loyal seasons one and two fans, and I miss the creepy atmosphere the show used to have. I also loved Sam Winchester's character in the early seasons. It was the idea of everything being somehow about him, and not in a good way, that first hooked me on the show. A large part of David's character is drawn from that.
What did you enjoy most about writing your book?
My favorite part about writing this book was the characters. There was an interesting evolution of this, though. I started out being head-over-heels in love with David. My feelings about him are why I chose a female narrator. I needed the audience to see him the way I saw him. But the more I wrote, the more I started to fall in love with Sarah's brother Will. I originally intended for him to be a relatively minor character, but as the story unfolded he started to come alive for me. He's actually at the center of what, in my opinion, is the most touching scene in the whole book--a scene I didn't even think of until I was about half-way through writing it.
What did you hope to accomplish by publishing your book?
I hope to find a connection with readers who like their fiction a little on the mysterious and creepy side. I also hope that they will love my characters the way that I love them. And who knows, maybe someone will see something in my book that I didn't see.
When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
When I was twelve and writing that first book, being a writer was the only thing I wanted. I already had the interest in music at that point, but I was not dreaming of that as a career. Then high school came along and my interests changed. The desire to write remained with me, it was just pushed down and tucked out of sight. When I lost my job I needed a new creative outlet, so I sat down at the computer and wrote a book.
How do you research your books?
Because I set my book in a town very much like the one where I grew up, and based the narrator's character primarily on myself, I didn't have to do too much research for this book. When I started writing the details of the murder, though, I wanted that to be as accurate as possible, so I visited several medical websites and read up on various ways a murder victim could die. Creepy, I know, but it was just research for a book. We have to get our information somewhere, right? I also visited some psychology websites to help me in my descriptions of other characters who were affected by the crime.
What’s your next project? Any upcoming book secrets you care to reveal?
I've just started working on my next project. It's also a paranormal book, but it is not a mystery. It's more of a family drama that centers on a young man who was born with a very unusual psychic ability. Yeah, I know, it's more of that Sam Winchester vibe. What can I say? A fan is a fan.
Greta Cribbs has worn many hats over the years, from mom to schoolteacher to choir director. She constantly seeks out opportunities to indulge her many interests, but writing is the passion that has been with her the longest. She wrote her first poem at the age of nine and has been crafting stories ever since. Amelia's Children is her first published work. You can follow @GretaCribbs on Twitter for the latest information about her writing and other projects she is working on.
Amelia's Children is available at Amazon