When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Since I was a kid, I always LOVED horror movies and books and wanted to write them. I've worked on newspaper and yearbook staffs in high school and college and worked for magazines, TV stations and newspapers in my adult years.
How long does it take you to write a book?
Interesting question. This varies. It might only take me a week or two to write the first draft, but the real work comes in with edits and revisions after that. The series I'm working on now has been in my head for six years.
What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I've been self employed for several years so getting into the swing of full time writing was not too difficult for me. On atypical day, I get up, go to the gym and get back late morning to take care of my customers, etc. Then I normally write in the afternoons from noon until dinner. In the earlier days, I wrote all day and into the night, but had to find time for balance in my life.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I enjoy injecting humor into my work. Yes, it may be a dark brooding story, but always with a few laughs along the way. I try to include things that crack me up and hope others find it amusing too.
How do books get published?
You write your best work, submit it to publishers and if they choose to publish it, then it is turned over to an editor who works with you on revisions and then it's released.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Ideas are everywhere. Sometimes I see something during the day I think would make a good story, other times an idea floats into my mind, or more likely a question arises. I find myself asking, “What if?” a lot. That's always a good place to begin a story.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
My first book was a fiction piece I wrote when I was about twenty five. At the time I was very self critical so I ended up throwing it out. If I only knew then what I know now…I didn't start writing books again until 2001 when I began doing nonfiction and publishing those. Then I wrote my second novel around 2004 and stopped again until 2007 when I finally decided I wanted to pursue this on a more full time basis. I love writing fiction more than any work I've ever done.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I love to exercise. The endorphin rush really helps me stay focused on other things. I am an avid spin cycle person, I love yoga, hiking, watching movies and a few drama programs, reading books - of course.
What does your family think of your writing?
My family is the reason I do this now. My mom read some of my early work and told me she thought it was good enough to publish. My parents and brother in particular have been a huge support. Without them, I wouldn't be doing this.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
How much I love getting lost in these other worlds. I knew I wanted to do this, but I never imagined enjoying anything as much.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
In fiction I've written eighteen novels and at least a dozen short stories. I've lost count…
Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?
Keep going, keep reading books on the craft, listen to your editors. I see a lot of writers who argue with the editor. From my experience, the editors only have your best in mind and want to help you make things better. I never recall a time when the suggestions didn't make my work better. I think the writer has an attachment to the book - I mean it is our baby, right? But there is a point where you have to let it go and look at it as a saleable product. Be open to suggestion.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I do. I've had the pleasure of having readers tell me how much they enjoyed my work, which is a real thrill. One reader who read all my fiction says she now recognizes books by me just by the way they are written which is really cool. That means I am doing my job in developing my voice. That said, I can't rest on my laurels. I still have much to learn in this business. I believe it's a lifelong endeavor. I hope to hear more from readers in the future.
Do you like to create books for adults?
I've always enjoyed writing for adults, even in nonfiction. I believe there is a real service to humanity in helping adults get up out of their mundane lives and escape into the worlds we fiction writers create. Fiction gives people escape and opens their minds to the possibilities that exist in the world. I love it!
What do you think makes a good story?
People must identify with the characters and in my mind, there must be a plot laced with intrigue to get readers to turn the page. Even in romance, I think there must be an underlying plot underneath the story of the love affair.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I wanted to be a newspaper writer, which I have done. I also wanted to be a counselor which I've also pursued, and finally, I told my mom when I was little that I wanted to write novels, so finally I am doing that. It feels really good!
Tell us about your latest releases
With Red Rose Publishing, my latest is Lady in Red, a spooky tale about a couple of ghost hunters who go off to a haunted hotel for the weekend to investigate and discover more than they bargained for.
With eXtasy books, my latest sci-fi romance is The Glob.
Here is a review from Night Owl Reviews who gives The Glob 4.5 stars:
Original and hilarious, The Glob is a quick and entertaining read with just the right amount of spice. Alex, the alien who's taken human form to blend in on his mission to earth, is fabulous. He lands on earth in search of plastic bags to feed his people and discovers earth isn't at all what he pictured. A kind of Mork meets Mindy, his view of earthlings and their habits is hilarious, especially when he discovers sex. The author's storyline is fast paced, and the sex scenes, hot, hot, hot.
Several projects in the mix right now. I'm doing several stories for a Tarot theme for eXtasy which will be coming out this year, some new novels, maybe some more stories with my characters from my Beyond 2012 Trilogy.
That's your sci-fi, right?
You know I love sci-fi! Tell us more…
The stories begin in the year 3033 and we see the end result of some of the poor decision making made in the year 2012.
Book one - Beyond 2012: Return to Love - Mankind is genetically modified to consume only fructose corn syrup and thanks to an evil Queen, men and women are segregated and used for reproductive purposes only. One woman, Myra, fights to bring men and woman back together and end the cycle of darkness. She falls in love with an alien named Cecil who helps her and teaches her about steak ( an aphrodisiac) and physical intimacy.
Book Two - Beyond 2012: Return of the Reptilians The Great Shift occurred but darkness is still looming. Myra's brother Thomas always had a dark streak. Now he must fight those urges if he wants to continue to have a relationship with Cecil's sister, Cecilia. Can he tame his nature and find true love?
Book Three - Rise of the Queen - Here we go back to the beginning, to cataclysmic events of 2012 and find out how the future Queen Devlyn wound up like she did. All the pieces of the puzzle are wrapped up as she falls in love with Nelek, commander of the Reptilian star fleet.
Annette, Thanks for Hanging Out With Us For A While!
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