Thank you for spending a little time with us here on the blog today, Ann!
You’re quite welcome, I’m excited to be here.
Where are you from?
I am from Rochelle, GA.
Married with children, pets, or annoying roommates?
To be honest, I’m separated from my husband after being verbally and emotionally abused for the second time. I have one daughter from the marriage with my first husband, no pets, though I did have a guide dog several years ago.
I can’t imagine what that was like for you, but I admire and applaud your courage.
Are family and friends supportive of your writing?
Somewhat, though I get more support from my writing friends.
Are you self-published, traditional, or hybrid?
I am self-published after working with a print on demand publisher, who didn’t pan out.
Are you a full-time writer or do you also work outside the home?
I am a full-time writer, both as an author, marketing my own work and as a professional freelance writer.
How long have you been a writer?
All Total, I’ve been a writer for over 8 years.
How long did it take you to write your first book?
A year and a half.
What’s the easiest part of storytelling for you? The most difficult?
The easiest part of storytelling for me is the part when I can get in my zone and let the words flow. The hardest part is when I get ready to get into that zone and my muse decides to bail out on me. LOL
Have you held or attended any book signings for your work?
Yes, I had a book signing in Atlanta on October 26th.
Pantser or Plotter?
A little in between, I plot a little, then I pants a bit and finally, I go back and layer more into the parts of the story I’ve already written. Some people call this onioning.
Introvert or Extrovert?
Somewhat of an introvert. I’m private when it comes to releasing my emotions, Yet, when I’m around family or talking with friends, I’ll gladly have a conversation.
Have you ever taken the NaNoWriMo Challenge?
Yes, I have taken it every year since 2014. Although I won once, I still love the thrill of attempting to write 50k in 30 days and talking to other writers.
Do you belong to any writing or critique groups?
I do, I am a member of Behind Our Eyes, the organization for writers with disabilities. I am also on several writing and author groups on Facebook.
Finish the sentence, “Some days I hate writing because ____________.”
Some days I hate writing, because I don’t know what to write.
I’m not yet familiar with your work, Ann, what’s your favorite genre to write or do you only write in one genre?
I write in more than one genre. I have infused three of my books with Christian fiction, mystery and suspense, and I’ve even thrown in a little romance when the characters lead me down that path. I have published a children’s book with adventure and mystery as well.
What’s your favorite genre to read?
I love Christian fiction, cozy mystery, some memoirs and romantic suspense.
What are you reading now?
I’m in the middle of a Christian romance called Finding Joy and I’m listening to an audio book called The Christmas Star.
Favorite beverage to read with?
Coffee or Peppermint Tea.
Where do you get the most writing done?
I get the most writing done for now, sitting at the table in my parents’ camper. However, writing isn’t just sitting down at the computer and typing on the keyboard. I also get most of my brainstorming done out on the front porch when it’s warm outside.
Do you have pets who “help” or inspire you?
Totally addicted to social media or could you live without it?
I don’t think as a writer I could totally live without social media, but I am more addicted to blogging than Facebook or Twitter.
If you could change one thing in your writing journey thus far, what would it be?
Trying not to be so comma happy. LOL! I find that when I write, I like to place commas everywhere and make longer sentences than usual. However, when I edit, those commas come out and I write short sentences.
What’s the inspiration behind your latest release? Who’s your favorite character?
There are quite a few sources of inspiration for A Journey of Faith: A Stepping Stones Mystery. First of all, I was inspired by the dreams I had of climbing after getting separated from my first husband and working on getting my divorce. The second is a song called A Good Rain by Dan Seals (written by Charlie Black and Jenny Yates).
Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.
This song was the inspiration for the following excerpt, from a scene in Chapter nine, where Jim Peabody tells Becca Martin about how he lost his farm.
“Well howdy their Bill, I ain’t seen you in a coon’s age. Jim Peabody, where in tar nation have you been and what took you so long to get back. It’s long past supper time! I was about to come out lookin’ for you.”
“He’s all right, Miss Mary. I found him stuck in a snow drift drowning’ his sorrows in the snow. Now don’t you worry your pretty head none, I brought him home in one piece.” Bill guided Jim to the front door.
“Well I’m glad he’s home safe. I kept supper hot for ya. You go in, get your coat off and sit by the fire. I’ll get your supper in a minute. Hey Bill, why don’t you come in for a bite to eat and a hot cup of coffee?”
“I’d love to Miss Mary, but I got to head on to the house for the misses will have supper waitin’ for me too.” Bill climbed back onto his snow plow.
Well, you tell Miss Lola I said hello and I want her fried apple pie recipe.”
“I sure will do it. You all have a good night, ya hear?” Bill pulled away from the house as Mary closed the door behind her.
The next few days passed in a haze for Jim Peabody as snow continued to cover the land. On Friday, the banker swooshed up the driveway in his souped-up snowmobile. “Howdy Jim, I am here to collect the property taxes on your land.”
“Here’s $200 of it. I have tried to ask for jobs, sell the land or anything to get the rest but nothing doin’ in this snow.” Jim sagged against the door frame. “Ya might as well come in out of the cold.”
The banker stepped inside the house. “You were supposed to have the money by today. Not next spring, today Peabody.
“Now listen here Mr. Hotshot banker, you try making money off of land that got hit by the drought and is now snowed under til God only knows when and then tell me that you can get blood out of a dried-up turnip. Ain’t you got any heart man?”
“I don’t need blood, just the money you owe me. Ya hear?”
“Now wait just a minute young man, my husband like to froze to death getting stuck in a snow drift a few days ago from goin’ out and looking for any type of work to do just to keep a roof over our heads.” Connor never treated us like no accounts. We worked hard to get where we are today and I don’t appreciate your attitude, Mr. Billings.”
“I don’t give a rip what your husband did or didn’t do young lady. I own this branch of the Mid-South Bank and I aim to get every penny we’re owed from this and other pieces of land in these parts. I’ve looked at Connor’s records when my firm bought this bank and I see now just why the bank couldn’t earn any money, because the previous owner took food and other goods produced by you farmers instead of cold hard cash. I intend to make this bank earn a profit.”
“Well mister big shot, you’ll lose customers and your branch will shut down in a heartbeat because around here, people don’t have all that profit you keep talkin’ about.” Jim stamped his foot in anger.
“You, young man, need to watch your mouth. I’m sure your mama raised you better’n to talk to upstanding folks like us in that manner. You ought to be ashamed of yourself.” Mary clenched her fists at her sides.
“Ma’am, we’re not talking about my mother. We’re talking about my money that your husband owes on this farm. You have 24 hours to come up with the other 500 dollars to pay off the debt you owe or you can pack up your stuff and get out. That’s the bottom line, in a nutshell.” The banker stormed out the door and drove away in his fancy snowmobile.
My favorite character is Becca Martin, because I felt as if she pulled me into her story. At times I saw the scenes playing out in my head like a movie, and at other times, she started taking her journey and beckoning me to follow her.
What’s your next project or release?
I have two projects in the works. One is called Journey to the Mountaintop, which is the sequel to A Journey of Faith. The other is called The Accessibility of Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing: Uploading Your Manuscript in Four Simple Steps. This book was written to help aspiring authors with and without visual impairments self-publish their own books after getting them edited, formatted and getting covers made for them.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
As a matter of fact, I do. I have quite a bit, but to keep it short, I would like to advise aspiring authors to join writing or critique groups either on a local level or on line. Also, I don’t care what you write, but write and write often, even if you don’t write every day. Writing as often as you can will inevitably help you improve your craft.
Thank you, Ann! Much success to you!
Thanks for having me.
Look for Ann around the Internet!
(Ann is also published as Ann Harrison and Ann Barnes)
Ann’s latest release is A Journey of Faith: A Stepping Stones Mystery.
Twenty-eight year old Becca Martin witnessed a tragic accident at the age of twelve. Sixteen years later, she embarks upon a journey that she believes has somehow been chosen for her by God. During this journey, she hears a voice in the back of her mind crying, God help me!, as memories she didn’t understand as a child begin to resurface in her nightmares and during the journey itself. Was this tragedy a freak accident, or is there more to the incident that meets the eye? Can Becca conquer her fear of mountain climbing while she embarks upon this journey?
The owner of Sweet Water State Park calls Zac Johnson and Jason Miller of the Tensiltown Police to investigate various incidents out on the bike and foot paths. During their investigation, Jason meets Becca along her journey and they both feel strongly drawn to each other. She longs to help the police of this small village investigate these incidents, but in order to do so, she must face her fear of climbing the rocks at Sweet Water Park, while caring for her ailing aunt and helping her uncle to run the diner.
Jason vows to stay close beside her every step of the way, but can she fully trust him and the girl in the white robe that seems to pop up out of nowhere when trouble arises? Who is the real bad guy? How does God reveal what happened on that unforgettable day on the rocks with her family? Does the memory of the incident help the police solve this rock climbing mystery? Find out more as the author pulls you into the first novel in her spine-tingling, heart-warming Stepping Stones mystery series.
Other books by Ann
Inner Vision: An Electric Eclectic Book
Stories Outside the Box
Maggie’s Gravy Train Adventure: An Electric Eclectic Book
Ann is also included in the following anthologies:
The December Awethology light volume
Gems of Strength