Saturday, January 15, 2011
Today I had the pleasure of interviewing Anne K. Albert who writes riveting stories of mystery and suspense.
JANETTE: In order that we can to get to know you, as a person, a little better, why don’t you tell me about who you are? Do you like to travel? Do you like to try new things? How about exotic foods?
ANNE: I love to travel. I think I was about thirteen when I asked for my very own suitcase. It was a ridiculous idea, really. My parents were poor and could not afford to travel, but I remembered thinking how wonderful it would be just to pack a few of my things and pretend. Once I got a job, I spent most of my salary on travel. It’s still one of my priorities. It’s interesting that I rarely return to a place regardless of how much it impressed me. There is always somewhere else to go and see.
As for trying new things. Oh, yes. I get bored with the same old same old. It drives my husband crazy sometimes, but then I’ll remind him how exciting his life is - thanks to me!
I enjoy all sorts of exotic foods, although I’m allergic to jalapeno peppers so that limits my intake of spicy foods. And I draw the line at deep fried bugs. I don’t care how nutritious and full of protein they might be, I can’t do it!
JANETTE: What aspect of who you are drew you into writing romance?
ANNE: I believe in the power of love, and happily-ever-afters. I married my high school sweetheart. And I’m a real softy. How could I not write romance?!
JANETTE: How many novels have you written, and of those, how many have you sold?
ANNE: I’ve written five novels to date. DEFENDING GLORY (number five) and FRANK, INCENSE AND MURIEL (number four) are published. Books one and two will likely never see the light of day. It’s not that they’re completely awful, but it’s probably easier to just write a completely new book than struggle with all the required revisions. However, I may pull out book three one day and see if it can be salvaged. Maybe it’ll work as a novella.
JANETTE: As a full-time writer, how hard was it for you to get where you are today? Did it take long to reach that status? Were there a lot of rejections? Did they dishearten you? How long before that glorious call? What would be your advice to new writers?
ANNE: Twenty years after I placed fingertips to keyboard to write a story I got “the call”. So, yes. It was a long haul. Along the way I received at least thirty agent rejections and ten or more editor rejections. My advice to pre-pubbed writers is simple. Never, ever give up. Never!
JANETTE: Is there a story or character you’ve written that is closer to your heart than the others? Why is it? Who is your favorite character or story someone else has created/written about?
ANNE: I’m especially partial to Val. She’s a secondary character in FRANK, INCENSE AND MURIEL, first book of the Muriel Reeves Mysteries, and she is Muriel’s aunt. Val is off the wall, does and says outrageous things, but generally has a heart of gold and would never hurt a fly. I admire her spunk.
As to my favorite fictional character, it’s a toss up. Like most women I’m fascinated by Janet Evanovich’s Morelli and Ranger. Both are larger than life hunks. At the other end of the spectrum is Agatha Christie’s Poirot.
JANETTE: Do you have any real-life heroes?
ANNE: Not anyone specific, although I’m always intrigued by ordinary people who are faced with extraordinary circumstances and make not only the best of the situation but inspire us to be all that we can be. I find that aspect of humanity one of our more enduring qualities.
JANETTE: There are those of us writers who are known as “Pansters, Puzzlers, Plotters, and Patch-workers. (And there could be others out there, too.) LOL! What type of writer would you say you are?
ANNE: Definitely “pantser”. I rarely have any idea what is coming next. Even worse, I rarely remember what has already transpired! I have a two-second brain that somehow manages to weave together a wisp of an idea into a full fledged story…but it’s always a struggle.
JANETTE: Does your writing life allow you much time for a personal life?
ANNE: Fortunately, I’ve never had that problem. Family has always come first. Enjoying life’s experiences, and all it has to offer, comes second. Writing is a necessary component of my life, and I have no qualms of sitting at the computer for 8, 10 or even 12 hours at a stretch if need be. However, when there’s something else to see or do, I’m there! Life is too short to squander it on just one thing.
JANETTE: Tell me about what you’re currently writing.
ANNE: I’ve just begun “Defending Hope”. Set on a fictional northern Minnesota island where troubles outnumber residents, it is the second book of the Piedmont Island Trilogy. DEFENDING GLORY, the first in the series, is available now in either e-book format or print.
Next will be VAL AND TYNE DAY’S MURDER. It’s second in the Muriel Reeves Mysteries series, and one I’m especially looking forward to write because Val is center stage. It should be a lot of fun.
JANETTE: How long does the planning on a new story take you before you are ready to begin work on it?
ANNE: As I mentioned above, I’m a pantser, so I don’t really plan anything. I just get an idea, usually involving a dead body or another crime, and then I sit down and write. I need to find out who did what, and why, and it has to happen in a chronological order. I can’t skip from one scene to another unless that’s the order in which the action takes place.
JANETTE: What are your preferences in reading? Do you have any favorite authors that you admire?
ANNE: I read mainly romantic suspense and mystery. If the story has a touch of humor, that’s all the better. I love authors who string together a story so effortlessly that I zip through page after page without stopping to take a breath.
JANETTE: What other successes and accomplishments have you achieved during your lifetime?
ANNE: I'm very proud of my marriage to my high school sweetheart. He's my best friend, and I'd be lost without him. I'm also very proud of my relationship with my daughter. It's such a joy to stand back and watch her grow, mature, make decisions that are best for her, and allow her to be the best that she can be.
As for my books. I'm especially happy to see them in print because they're exactly what I've always wanted to write. Books that entertain, have equal parts mystery, suspense, and romance. With a dab of humor, and not a single swear word or sex scene to be found. Like Frank Sinatra, I'm proud because I did it my way!
JANETTE: Where are your books sold, who are your publishers, and what are your contact URLs?
ANNE: My books are available at Amazon.ca, Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Allromanceebooks, Omnilit, Payloadz, and from my publisher, Vanilla Heart Publishing.
JANETTE: I have enjoyed getting to know about you and your books a bit better, Anne! Thank you for allowing me some of your time to be interviewed on my blog.
ANNE: Thank you, Janette. It was my pleasure!
Romance through the mists of time and Love through the dimensions of reality
Posted by Janette Harjo at 6:11 PM