You may already know this, but The Fandom combined two ideas. An idea by Angela McCann, in which a group of fans are transported into the world of their favorite story, and my own pre-existing novel entitled The Gallows Dance. So I feel like I need to break this question into two parts: the inspiration for my first novel, The Gallows Dance, and my inspiration for the final novel, The Fandom.
The Gallows Dance is a world in which mankind is divided into two camps, genetically enhanced, and non-genetically enhanced. This was inspired by my daughter’s birth. I just couldn’t bear the thought of her ever feeling not good enough, or feeling she had to change in order to be ‘perfect.’ I do feel our society is obsessed with perfection. We’re given a very narrow definition of beauty, and then pressured to adhere to it by altering our natural appearance. Often this is at a financial and more importantly, emotional, cost. There’s also huge pressure on young people to achieve at exams, and to be healthy, glowing citizens. This is obviously hugely damaging for people with Learning Disabilities and/or health issues. I wanted to highlight this obsession in my book. I guess I wanted to make the world a more accepting place for young people. I know a single book can’t change society, but you know, if it helps just one person feel more comfortable in their own skin, then I’m a happy lady!
The Gallows Dance was also inspired by my Psychology background. I’ve always been fascinated by group dynamics: the way one group lifts themselves up by shoving another group down. We’ve seen it throughout history, and it feels like we’re seeing it more now, and this breaks my heart. The way the genetically enhanced people subjugate and humiliate the non-genetically enhanced people was written to highlight this issue. Again, in the hope that raising awareness of an issue may help readers think and talk about it.
Which makes my book sound a bit soap boxy, but I really hope it isn’t!
The ‘fandom’ part of the book was obviously inspired by Angela McCann, as it was her idea. But during the actual plotting and writing of the book, I was just filled with my love of all things nerdy and fandom-ish. The world of the online fandom kind of passed me by due to my age, and the fact I was so focused on my career and family in my twenties and thirties. But I’ve always been obsessed with stories and bands and TV programmes. I have a list of embarrassing fandom stories. Just a taste: at ten, I painted a giant mural of Buddy Holly on my wall, it was terrifying, and in my early twenties, I held a Moulin Rouge mystery party, to which only four people came. So embracing all things fandom came so easily, and it was an absolute joy to indulge the part of myself who loves The Hunger Games andTwilight and Harry Potter.
Sorry, that was a long answer!
Who was your favourite character to write and why?
I loved all my characters, even Alice. But ultimately, it has to be Violet, the protagonist. I just connected with her so easily. Probably cos she reflects aspects of myself: she’s awkward, geeky and can’t climb trees, and she overthinks everything.
Do you belong to any fandoms and if so which ones?
The obvious ones, like Harry Potter and The Hunger Games, though I tend to dip in and out depending on how busy I am and how much I need them. I actually have my own little fandom with my dad. We are a fandom of two. We love all the same bands and music and sci-fi. And we both obsess over stuff.
If you ended up the main protagonist in YOUR favourite book how do you think you would react/adapt?
Well now I’m a Mum I think I’d be the super-organized annoying character who problem solved, carried a clipboard and provided healthy snacks. So basically, imagine Hermione Granger and make her a little more nurturing and snack-obsessed, and that would be me. I flatter myself, I’m sure. But in my head, I would be a middle-aged Hermione dishing out carrot sticks! Bring on the Dementors, cos I’ve got stable blood sugars.
What are the most rewarding and most challenging parts of writing a book?
One of the most challenging parts for me is fitting it all in. I’m a single mum with two young children, and I work part time as a psychologist. It means sometimes I can feel like I rush things and haven’t given it my best, and that can be frustrating. Another challenging part is just that screaming anxiety that everyone is going to hate my writing. I manage it with distraction and denial and by listening to my mum when she tells me I’m the best!
The most rewarding part for me is the actual writing itself, I love pouring myself on to a page, and sitting back and feeling like I’ve really built something with words. Okay, that is an actual lie, the best thing is having lovely people telling me they like my book.
When reading The Fandom I felt that there was an emphasis on strong female leads. What do you think are the main qualities that makes a strong female protagonist?
This is such a good question. I think just making them human. So don’t make them too brave or selfless or clever. They should be filled with self-doubt and difficulties and broken bits like the rest of us. It makes them more believable, but more importantly, easier to relate to. And then, when they do something really brave or selfless or clever, there’s more of a character arc, and we, as readers, can think,maybe I could do that. The reason I loved writing Violet so much was she was a bit feeble, physically and emotionally, just like me!
Publisher: Chicken House
Publication Date: January 2018
by Anna Day
Cosplay ready, Violet and her friends are at Comic-Con.
They can’t wait to meet the fandom of mega movie, The Gallows Dance. What they’re not expecting is to be catapulted by freak accident into their favourite world – for real. Fuelled by love, guilt and fear, can the friends put the plot back on track and get out? The fate of the story is in their hands ...
AMAZON UK | WATERSTONES | BOOK DEPOSITORY
Make sure you keep an eye out for all things Fandom this month as there are plenty of posts coming your way! Check out the rest of the tour on the pages bellow and I hope you enjoyed the Q&A with the awesome Anna Day!! Last but not least, if you haven't already, go pick up your copy of The Fandom now.
If you haven't already check out my review of The Fandom HERE