You can visit Anne at her website, blogs and facebook / twitter pages.
The desire to write hit in my mid forties. Until then, it never occurred to me that ordinary people could be writers. Authors, I thought, were like aliens - not from this world! I’ve since discovered that’s not necessarily true. Writers come in all shapes, sizes, and species!
Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
My characters are all fictional, but many are composites of people I would like to know. They’re larger than life, more compassionate, braver, wiser, and more articulate than real people.
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? How long does it take you to write a book?
I’m a seat-of-the-pants writer. Each book begins with a vague idea of a person, place, thing or event. Often it’s a blurred, even distorted image, but I’ve just learned to just go with it.
Writing for me is like driving in the fog. I can only see a few feet in front of me, but as I inch forward one image after another comes into focus. The writing process is equally unclear for me! I have no idea what’s going to happen from one sentence to the next until it happens. It’s frightening, but an exciting and exhilarating process at the same time.
It usually takes me six to eight weeks to complete the first draft. By the time I reach “the end”, I know what’s happening, what should have happened, and what should not have happened! The revision stage is all about adding, deleting, and changing bits and pieces so the story flows.
Love that description of your writing journey for each project. I can totally relate to that formula for writing. Are you currently working on any new book projects?
I’m thrilled to announce the second book of the Piedmont Island Trilogy series, PROTECTING HOPE, will be released in e-book format in August 2011, and the print version will be available in September 2011.
Congrats! 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?
Writers learn to write a book by writing one. Then another. And another. Each completed manuscript is an improvement over the last. I read somewhere that the average writer will complete four or five manuscripts before she gets published. I’m definitely average! DEFENDING GLORY, my fifth completed manuscript, was my debut novel.
As for promotion, I’d advise to start with the basics. Website and blog. Facebook and Twitter. It’s important to understand self-promotion is hard work. Often, more time consuming than writing a book. However, as my editor has pointed out, self promotion is a marathon, not a sprint. Working at it a little each day will add up over the course of a year.
Very true...love that line about self promotion being a "marathon, not a sprint." Only if we give up, do we dampen our chances of success. Who is your favorite contemporary author? Are you currently reading any contemporary novels?
I don’t have a favorite author, but there are many I admire. I read what I write – mysteries and romantic suspense stories. Since I made the decision to be a writer, I find I’ve changed as a reader. Now, I’m not just reading for pleasure. I also analyze and study the author’s technique. I like to see how they tackle transitions, point of view, character traits and flaws, hooks, etc. Discovering something new is as exciting for me as a fast-paced plot!
Agree with that. As a writer, my reading experience has changed also. Do you have any writing idiosyncrasies?
I write in chronological order from page 1 to the end.
What’s the most challenging aspect of writing for you? ~ POV issues; using too much passive voice and not enough active voice; trouble creating active and engaging dialogue; using too many similar words in starting sentences; or something else?
The first scene is always the hardest. I’ll often write and rewrite that initial scene ten to twenty different ways. The changes themselves may be minor, but the start of the story has to ‘feel’ right before I can continue.
It’s an inefficient way to write, not to mention frustrating, but I’ve learned this is how I write. It’s my process. As a writer, I’ve learned to trust the process…even if I sometimes can’t put into words what exactly that process is!
Defending Glory is the first book of the Piedmont Island Trilogy series where troubles outnumber residents. It tells the story of a woman who believes unconditionally in the Lord and a man who is convinced there is no master plan, no purpose in life, and most certainly no merciful God in Heaven.
Suffering from survivor’s guilt and unable to resume his career with the FBI, Mac McKeown moves to northern Minnesota to start over as a general contractor and forget that fateful day that changed everything. When he discovers the body of the man who ended his career on Glory Palmer’s property, along with a warning for her to leave while she still can, Mac realizes his past has come back to haunt him and an innocent woman’s life is in danger. He vows to keep her safe during construction of the retreat, but can he protect his heart as well?
It is available in e-book or print format at:
Barnes & Noble link: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Defending-Glory/Anne-K-Albert/e/2940011112805/?itm=1&USRI=anne+k+albert
Thank you for featuring me today, Joanne. It was such fun. I’d like to give away an e-book copy of Defending Glory to one commenter who will be selected at random. I’ll announce the winner on my Anne K. Albert blog on (8/15/11).
Anne, so glad you stopped by today to be interviewed. I enjoyed chatting with you.
We'd love to hear from every one. Please feel free to comment to enter for a chance to win Anne's book. You have from now until next week.