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May 2018: Debut Novel Inspiration
~ Coralie Moss ~

CTR asked:
QUESTION: What inspired you to write your debut novel?

Coralie Moss said:
The genesis for my contemporary romance, Invisible Anna, occurred during a conversation at a potluck supper. I was sitting on a cushion on a rug, as were other people; more were standing in clusters or sitting together on couches. The lights were low, my plate was almost empty, and I was having a conversation with a man—younger than me—who was also a local business owner.

I felt a shift in the room, and the quiet whoosh of a door opening. Someone new was joining the party; my back was to the entranceway. The man next to me—the previously mentioned younger one—looked up, smiled (not at me) stood and left our conversation. My mouth was open, words were hovering in the air mid-sentence. It appeared he didn’t care to hear the rest.

Color rose in my cheeks. My stomach plummeted, and even though my husband was nearby, chatting with a cluster of newly-made friends, I felt abandoned and alone.

I felt…invisible.

And later that evening, after relaying the experience to my husband, I had the idea for a story about a menopausal woman facing a big birthday and, perhaps more challenging, facing the sense of invisibility that—for some of us—accompanies aging.

The opening scenes really flowed. And lucky for me, NaNoWriMo was around the corner. I used that month to get down 2k-3k words every day. The first finished version had three POVs, and after I let the manuscript sit for a couple of months, I sent it to the person who is now my trusted editor.

She gave me difficult advice: make it all first-person from Anna’s POV, then go back in and go deep third. I swear my fingers and eyeballs were bleeding by the time I’d done as she suggested (and if asked, she might say she never expected to hear from me again. We’re now on our 4th manuscript together).

One of the most heartening—and sometimes depressing—aspects of writing Invisible Anna, was how many women shared their own stories of feeling ‘invisible’. I tried to honor those stories by weaving them into Anna’s.


Invisible Anna by Coralie Moss cover

Invisible Anna

[Contemporary Romance]

On the cusp of a new decade, Anna Granger thinks she knows who she is: widow, attentive mother, accommodating businesswoman. But with the Big 5-O comes the realization she’s rendered herself all but invisible. Longtime clients aren’t renewing, her adult children are moving on, and—hardest to admit—men no longer look at her, only through her.

Anna’s best friend takes the reins and organizes an uplifting girls-only weekend in Vancouver, where lingerie shopping and a beginner’s intimacy workshop reconnect Anna with her body. And when emails from former flame, Daniel, move from hinting at rekindling their romance to the offer of an all-expenses-paid trip to Cabo San Lucas, Anna takes another step out of her comfort zone. Small-town island life goes from humdrum to hopping with the addition of Liam, the visiting New Yorker who rents the cottage next door.

As romance reorganizes Anna’s personal life and her client list grows, dreams she abandoned when she embraced motherhood clamor for attention. Though the future holds no guarantees, can Anna claim her newfound confidence and find her way back to herself?

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