Thanks for visiting my writers’ chateau. Every Monday, I chat with a new author and have been very lucky to have so many talented wordsmiths visit my humble abode.
My staff, especially Henrietta (“Cook”) and Claude (my esteemed butler), work very hard to ensure that all guests get star treatment and that everything runs smoothly.
But…I have just learned that Henrietta and Claude have eloped (it was bound to happen!) and will be returning from a three-week honeymoon on July 7th. (Oh, dear…I should have paid more attention to the rumors going around.)
In the meantime, while Henrietta and Claude luxuriate in Luxembourg, dance their last tango in Paris, and waltz in Vienna, please check out my wonderful past guests whose interviews you may have missed the first time around.
And join me in wishing Henrietta and Claude a very happy marriage.
TweetAnn lives in West Texas with her handsome hubby and three rescue pets. All For Love is Ann’s first Contemporary Romance novel. She is the author of the Middle Grade/Young Adult books: The Phantom Pilot, and The Phantom Student. She is hard at work on Book Three, The Phantom of Crybaby Bridge. Though published by a small press, The Phantom Series is currently available only through the author.
Time to chat with Ann!
What is your latest book?
My latest is a contemporary romance/family drama called All For Love. It’s the story of a woman who will do anything for the man of her dreams. Even after she discovers that he just may be the worst thing that ever happened to her. It was published by 5 Prince Publishing.
What else have you written?
I’ve also written The Phantom Pilot, and The Phantom Student. These two books are part of a series for Middle Grade/Young Adult readers. I recently reacquired the rights from the company who first published them. Now, I am trying to decide whether to go with another small press, or simply publish them myself. At this time, they are available only through me. I’m almost finished with the third book in the series, The Phantom of Crybaby Bridge. When it is finished, I will have to decide how I want them to be republished.
How often do your characters surprise you by doing or saying something totally unexpected?
My characters do surprise me sometimes. I love it when that happens!
Is it important for you to know the ending of a book before you write it? The title?
Yes! I have to know the ending or I get completely bogged down. I think I just have to have that goal to work toward. Titles are actually the fun part.
Some writers edit excessively as they write; others wait until a novel is finished to do the bulk of the editing. How about you?
I write as much in the rough draft as I can, but when I start anew each day, I usually go back and edit some things just to get my brain back on track. It sort of jump-starts my thinking.
Do you have any advice for first-time authors?
Pay attention to your point-of-view from the very beginning. I have a lovely novel in my “ugh” file that needs to be completely rewritten because I thought I could do 3rd person omniscient. Come to find out, I can’t. In my version, it simply devolved into whiplash-inducing head-hopping.
Can you tell us about your road to publication?
I’ve always loved making up characters. I took a fiction elective in high school, and I was hooked. In college, I won a few short-story contests and that gave me the confidence to enter other contests. Locally, I won quite a few (plus one in The Alfred Hitchcock Magazine). Then I met an editor through my writer’s group, and she steered me toward small press publishing.
What do you like best about the books you read? What do you like least?
All I will say is that life is too short to read bad fiction. If it doesn’t grab me within the first few pages, I put it down and move on.
Do you allow others to read your work in progress, or do you keep it a secret until you’ve finished your first draft? Can you elaborate?
I do allow my critique group to read it, especially things I’m not sure about. They give awesome feedback.
Do you write anything besides novels? Care to share?
I write short stories and dabble in poetry (doesn’t everyone?). You can read a couple of each on my blog. I also tried my hand at self-pubbing a short story, Chems. It’s the tale of a chemically altered soldier who was given some of the characteristics of a zombie. I love that story, but I think it needs a better cover. I also don’t promote it like I should. It was sort of an experiment on my part.
Do you dread writing a synopsis for your novel as much as most writers do? Do you think writing a synopsis is inherently evil? Why?
I used to dread it. Then someone told me about this One-Sentence Pitch that made it so much easier. Once you fill in these blanks, then you can write the synopsis.
My novel is about ________ who must ________ in order to___
Where do you live now? If you had to move to another city/state/country, where might that be?
I live in West Texas alongside coyotes, rattlesnakes, and scorpions.
If I could afford to live anywhere in the world, I would choose a beach house on a bluff somewhere in the good old USA. In fact, I love Texas, but I wouldn’t mind a vacation home for eight or ten months a year.
What’s the coolest surprise you’ve ever had?
My husband surprised me on my birthday once by renting our entire community pool for the party—we lived in a small town at the time—and inviting everyone we knew. And somehow, he kept it all a secret!
What are the most important traits you look for in a friend?
Acceptance and an open pocketbook. Er, I meant to say an open mind!
Care to brag about your family?
Yes I would! My dear hubby is very supportive—he is my backbone. And my lovely daughter is also an author. She writes under the name Sara Barnard. You can find her work on the 5 Prince website, too.
If you could have one skill that you don’t currently have, what would it be?
I would love to have the gift of gab. I am terrible at socializing.