Bettyann Craddock Interview, plus links to author biography, book summaries, excerpts and reviews

Bettyann Craddock

Bettyann Craddock

An interview with Bettyann Craddock

Bettyann Craddock shares her experience in writing The Culling Dark and the reason why several publishing houses rejected her work -– an artful oxymoron.

Writing fictionally by inspiration is a deeply satisfying experience. The story as it unfolds becomes a frontier for the writer, the characters within the story alive, weaving themselves of their own volition for the author to record. It is a quickening experience, providing an irresistible impetus for the craft.

The writing of The Culling Dark was very much this sort of experience. The characters took on their own life, the progression of the narrative, the continual weaving of dream, was the result of watching and recording. When the members of Gamma escaped into the wilderness, their journey unfolded throughout, so that when they stood before the doors of Oz, I, too, felt in awe.

The craft of writing is the pursuit of tasty words that smack of truth. At times the words jump from finger tip to screen, at others it is a painful labour, the birth of them arriving only after great strain. When Major and L'Abri stand in the ruined square, and Major becomes spooked by the extent of the death that had occurred there, the descripting paragraph was such an effort.

Tone is everything in the narrative. The tone of the narrative in The Culling Dark is purposely, deceptively naïve. For this reason, when first trying to publish, several houses commented in the rejection that they weren't publishing children's books at this time. Had they taken the time to read further they would have found that the tone is in direct opposition to what takes place within the narrative. The tone with the characters in contrast to what occurs in their lives becomes an artful oxymoron.

There are many characters in the book. The reason becomes clearer toward the end, where the reader begins to understand that he or she has witnessed the beginnings of a new civilization. Replete with myth, seasonal rhythm, political grounding, and a history that dictates the future for the next generations, The Culling Dark makes the reader privy to the creating foundation for those who come after.

As a child my imagination was the only escape from the dramas of the adults around me. The turmoil kept my young life in constant flux. Today I am thankful for this; the result is the habit of indulging a rich fantasy life, by which you, the reader, now benefit.

I write because I love a good story. When I wrote The Culling Dark it was for my own entertainment, the kind of story I might tell myself but for the first time setting it to paper. It is my hope that in entering the world of my imagination, the reader comes away at the close with a deep satisfaction of a story well told.

Unless otherwise stated, this interview was conducted at the time the book was first published, and is reproduced with permission of the publisher. This interview may not be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the copyright holder.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: I Found My Tribe
    I Found My Tribe
    by Ruth Fitzmaurice
    Ruth O'Neill was only 28 when she married film director Simon Fitzmaurice in 2004. Changing her...
  • Book Jacket: The Art of the Wasted Day
    The Art of the Wasted Day
    by Patricia Hampl
    Patricia Hampl wants you to know that daydreaming is not a waste of a day. Nor is spending time ...
  • Book Jacket: Circe
    Circe
    by Madeline Miller
    Towards the end of Madeline Miller's novel Circe, the titular nymph is questioned by her son ...
  • Book Jacket: All the Names They Used for God
    All the Names They Used for God
    by Anjali Sachdeva
    Pre-publication press has already compared Anjali Sachdeva to Kelly Link and other genre-blending ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Music of the Ghosts by Vaddey Ratner

A love story for things lost and restored, a lyrical hymn to the power of forgiveness.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Other People's Houses
    by Abbi Waxman

    A hilarious and poignant novel about four families and the affair that changes everything.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Leavers

The Leavers by Lisa Ko

One of the most anticipated books of 2017--now in paperback!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T E H N Clothes

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.