Visit her website at http://www.anneholly.webs.com and her author blog at http://anneholly.blogspot.com
Anne’s first full length release comes out in 2011 from Wild Horse Press, and is tentatively scheduled for May 2011. She hopes to have some various shorts come out before then. The novel is a contemporary romance set in Manitoba, Canada, and in Australia. It revolves around the themes of loss and healing, and the risk in having a marriage end badly and deciding to try again; and, of course, about irresistible attraction, and the power of love to force us out of our protective shells. Josie, an optimist, must bring the damaged Theo back to life, and the results are often funny and poignant. Purchase details will be available on her website or the Wild Horse Press site as they become available.
1. Why did you become a writer…was it a dream of yours since you were younger or did the desire to write happen later in your life?
I think I have been story making well before I could actually write. We were not an electronic family when I was a child, so my main entertainments were drawing and making up jokes and stories to go with them. Later, I wrote a lot because it was a sly way to pass time in school when I was bored (while still looking like I was just taking notes). So, basically, story telling and writing started first as entertainment, and then, as I came into myself, a way to explore the world in a safe, creative way. In many ways, these two motivations are still my main reasons for writing.
In addition, I also gained some minor fame in high school for my writing and won a few contests, so that really added to my enthusiasm - from then on, it was big ambition for me to write and publish.
2. What was the inspiration for your latest work of fiction?
My May 2011 release was inspired by reading an article on postpartum depression and psychosis, which is a narrative theme in the book. I wanted to look at the long term impact of the problem. Also, it takes place in two environments I find fascinating - the wilds of northern Canada and the bush of Australia.
3. Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
I am embarrassed to say that every hero I write is basically based on my image of one of my movie star crushes mixed with men I admire in my real life. And every heroine is some version of me. That way, I get to write myself living happily every after with my crushes! However, it is all based on my imaginary versions of all these elements, of course.
4. What was the most interesting research you had to do for any of your books?
Buffalo ranching! I learned way more about buffalo than I ever thought I would.
5. How do you go from an idea for a book to the birth of the story? Is the process the same for every book you write?
I do outlines, character sketches and synopsis first, and then I attack, changing things as need be. This has always been my process, I think. I inhabit my characters for a while before I really hit my stride. They all live in my imagination for a while, like a cast of characters, until I am ready to tell their story. A fanciful way to describe it, I know, but I always love my main characters, and know them very well. In terms of practical process, I aim for at least 1K words a day, come rain or shine, which works well for me.
6. Do you have any advice for beginning writers on how to write a book? Do you have any advice for them regarding promoting that book once published?
Advice for new writers: Write. That is the only way to go from an idea to a book. Write, write, write. It will never go past idea if you don’t. Force yourself if you have to on days when it doesn’t flow. Also, there is no such thing as “waiting until a good time” to write your book - do it now, because no “perfect time” really exists. Finally, keep a blog, even if it’s just private. This is a great exercise.
Promoting...Man, I don’t even know that world well myself, yet.Set up your sites/profiles, and start making connections, right away. Be friendly with your fellow writers. Ask them for advice when you can, and watch what others do, and how to make unique headway. And, most importantly, don’t get discouraged - if you can’t afford as much promotion as others, you can still do what you can, so be happy with it. Learn to do things for yourself, and make the most of your resources. Above all, don’t tie your feelings about your book with your sales figure. Your own pride in your book is your best sales asset!