Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Authorsday: Anne K. Albert

(1) When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Anne - Until I reached a ‘certain’ age, I never imagined ordinary people could be writers. It seemed like such an incredible occupation--this ability to create worlds with words!

Then, in the late 1980s, working as a display advertising sales representative for a small weekly newspaper I came face-to-face with a computer. I fell in love with the sound of fingertips flying across the keyboard. That’s what inspired me to write my first book! I love that sound. It’s music to my ears.

(2) How did you pick the genre you write in?

Anne - I grew up reading Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, and Trixie Belden books. Later I discovered Agatha Christie, Erle Stanley Gardner and other whodunit authors. Realizing I could combine a mystery with a little romance and humor just makes me smile! It’s such fun to combine all three genres into a fun, fast-paced read.

(3) Do you plot or do you write by the seat of your pants?

Anne - I’m very much a pantser. It took me a very long time to accept this process. I wanted to find an easier way to write. I tried outlining for two manuscripts, and included loads of details, twists and turns. But when it came time to write those stories, I couldn’t get do it. It took years for me to figure out why. The answer? I already knew how the story would end! Where’s the fun in that? I realized I’m my first reader. I write to find out what happens next.

(4) How many rejections have you received?

Anne - I received at least thirty agent rejections and ten or more editor rejections. It was frustrating to read positive comments about my work, yet not have anyone willing to take me on. I hate to admit it, but eventually I said enough. I quit searching and did not write for almost a year. A close friend encouraged me to give it one more try and re-submit. Thankfully I took her advice, and sold six months later.

(5) What place that you haven’t visited would you like to go?

Anne – Ireland. It’s on my bucket list. I. Just. Have. To. Go. There!

(6) What’s your favorite food?

Anne - Anything my husband cooks! All joking aside, he’s much better at it than I am. He’s able to taste a dish in a restaurant, analyze it, and then re-create it at home. It’s wonderful.

(7) What is your favorite writing reference book and why?

Anne – Without a doubt it’s Dwight Swain’s ‘Techniques of the Selling Writer’. It’s a multi-layered how-to book that will benefit beginners as well as bestselling authors.

(8) Who is your favorite character in your book?

Anne - I’m especially partial to Val, Muriel’s aunt. She is off the wall, does and says outrageous things, but has a heart of gold and would never hurt a fly. I admire her spunk.

(9) Where do you write?

Anne – I can write anywhere, but my favorite spot (weather permitting, of course) is inside our van. I jokingly refer to it as my “cone of silence”. It provides a cozy cocoon-like environment with zero interruptions. No telephone, no computer, and no visitors.  

(10) What was the hardest scene to write?

Anne - Nailing the first scene is always the most difficult part of the process for me. It’s not necessarily my least favorite, it’s just a little frustrating and time consuming – especially when I’m so anxious to get on with the story! I’ll usually write 10 to 20 versions of the same first scene. Most are variations on a theme with subtle changes that may seem insignificant to the reader, but are major obstacles for me. I have to get it ‘right’ before I can move on to writing the rest of the story. The initial process is often two steps forward and one back, but I’ve learned to accept it. It’s just how I write.

Author Bio:

Anne K. Albert has taught high school art, sold display advertising for a small town weekly newspaper, and worked for a national brand water company, but now writes full time. Her stories chill the spine, warm the heart, and soothe the soul…all with a delightful touch of humor.

Book Blurb:

Frank, Incense and Muriel: It’s the week before Christmas when the stress of the holiday season is enough to frazzle anyone's nerves, but to find a missing woman Frank and Muriel must deal with an embezzler, femme fatale, kidnapper, and of course, Muriel's eccentric, (but loveable) family whose desire to win the coveted D-DAY (Death Defying Act of the Year) Award just might make them all a little crazy.


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for featuring me on your blog, Chris. It's been a pleasure to chat with you today!

Smoky said...

Enjoyed reading this, Anne. And you've obviously got a great hubby. Mine does most of the cooking here, too, and he's a fabulous chef! How can you not love a man who cooks?

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Anonymous said...

Thanks for dropping by, Saif!

Anonymous said...

Hi Smoky! I do have a keeper for a hubby. We were high school sweethearts, and still each other's bestfriend. (I'm blessed!)