Interview with the Author: A. L. Crouch~

A.L. Crouch, author of the Guardian series, graduated with honors from North Carolina State University with a degree in English. She currently teaches high school creative writing in her hometown of Cary, North Carolina. She is a member of the NC Writers’ Network and spends her summers off from teaching formulating tales of suspense and the supernatural. When she’s not at work raising up young writers or keeping her readers jumping, she is spending time with her husband and two sons exploring the majestic mountains and coasts of North Carolina.

Thank you for joining us for this interview. Our first question: What inspired you to write your first book?
I knew I would be an author when I was in the 1st grade. I knew it like I knew the sun would rise the next day. But then life happened. A lot of life. I found myself a single mom: broke, empty and raw. I was 33 years old and my dream of becoming a writer was as lost as my self-identity. Everything turned around when I found a church family which grounded me and helped me make sense of the mess my life was. That’s when I started to write again. It wasn’t until I met my now husband that I found the confidence and drive to try this writing thing out for real. So God has been my inspiration, my husband my encouragement. Both knew I have amazing stories to tell and I wouldn’t be where I am without them.

Guardian is the first book in the Guardian Series. I carried this story inside of me for most of my life. I’ve always felt like there was someone out there, someone I couldn’t see, who was looking out for me. I used that for the basis of my novels. So what exactly is a guardian angel? I think the answers to that are infinite. That is what The Guardian Series does – it will make you question what you believe. Perhaps it was my Guardian who told me that it was finally time to release these stories.

What books have most influenced your life most?
Wow, hard question. There are so many. I’m also an English teacher, and every semester I re-read To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I am continually amazed by the truth, sincerity and innocence that Lee was able to portray in her first and only novel. It is hands down the best book ever written and it makes me cry each and every time I read it. It’s impossible not to be touched by the beauty in that story.

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt enthralled me as a youth. I read it when I was about 8 or 9 and I still remember the feeling of being completely captivated and spell bound by that story. I used to think it was the best feeling in the world – being entirely consumed by another’s words. Now I know that creating your own, dreaming up your own characters and worlds, is greater by far.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I am really enjoying Billey Coffey’s work. His book, The Devil Walks in Mattingly, is the kind of creepy-good I love in a story and that I hope to capture in my own.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Just thank you. Thank you for picking up one of my stories and letting me transport you into my imagination. There is no greater honor to me. So, thank you!

What’s your strangest talent?
My strangest talent is not strange as far as talents go as much as it is strange that I should have it at all. Turns out, I can sing . . . and not just sing, but SING. I was recruited to my church’s worship department a couple of years ago. I sing on stage in front of hundreds of people all the time, and it is an incredibly terrifying experience for me. I am such an introvert. I love to be quiet in my little corner, pleasantly trapped in my own head. Singing forces me out of my comfort zone, but it has been life changing in so many ways and I love it.

A. L Crouch is the author of: Guardian ~ Fifteen years ago, Alexandra Nolan witnessed her parents’ murder on the side of a dark mountain highway. Now she wants nothing more than to forget Saluda, North Carolina and the life she once had there. When she is called back to the sleepy, mountain town to reclaim her family home, Alex is forced to face her fears and the memories she has tried so desperately to suppress. When the same evil that claimed her family returns for Alex, she must learn to rely on her broken faith and the strength of her Guardian, Donovan, to survive.

But there is a problem.

Alex cannot see him. Donovan exists in a reality apart from Alex and her lack of belief limits their interactions to spoken words and fleeting glimpses. With her life staked on her faith, can Alex open her mind enough to see before it’s too late?