Anna discovers new stories in between slaying dragons and leading the children of her realm on a musical revolt against normality.
1. What is your most recent book, whether you have one about to be released, one your currently working on, or one released recently in the past?
My current book is A Risky Gamble: Book Two aboard the Trivial Venture. It's the second fast-paced, swashbuckling adventure with Captain Ithaca and crew! It's a fun series, this book will be releasing at the end of August. *Editor's Note: Here's the link to Anna's first book, Trivial Venture, on Amazon; I am definitely inclined to pick up a copy after this interview!)
2. Why do you think people would want to read it? What is its most compelling quality?
Well, it's a little bit of everything; a little rebellion and adventure, a few smoldering looks and awkward moments, all tied up in a comedy of errors. It's lighthearted and quick, perfect for if you just need a quick break from the everyday humdrum.
The characters are darlings and knaves, depending on who we're looking at. And I think the everyday frustrations of Ithaca trying to make her way in the world are very relatable.
3. Who is your favorite character that you’ve written and why?
Ohh, I love this one! Of all my darlings, I am most proud of Alanor, from Return to Masonry. She was a challenge to write, and turned into a beautiful and complex young woman. With her help, I was able to explore and shed light on some of the realities of living under abuse and neglect (Something I've noticed is far too prevalent in the world).
Alanor, Slate and the whole cast helped me work through struggles of grief and loss and self doubt, and truly took on lives of their own, and I'm very proud of that.
4. What is the hardest thing you have to do when you create a character and what’s the easiest?
The hardest moment is trying to allow the character to “grow up” without me. It really is a lot like child rearing in a way; I start with a fragment of an idea, just this little glimpse. I encourage it to come out and empathize with them, and all of a sudden they are their own person and I have to sit back and figure out how this singular personality will react in the bizarre life events I've thrown at it. It's daunting, and electrifying all at once.
The easiest... is that first glimmer. The excitement of opening up a new world drives me through the first phases of writing, and it's a lot of fun.
5. How do you deal with writer's block?
Oh goodness... The short answer: I beat my head against the brick wall until it falls down. It's more complicated then that, perhaps. I jump to a different project, or I run through writing exercises. Basically, I just keep writing SOMETHING, anything until my brain gets working again.
6. What is the one book that changed the way you write?
Oooh, that I've read you mean? Hmmm.... I'd have to go with Digital Fortress, by Dan Brown. It's a fascinating espionage story, and they way he set it to paper was beautiful. He had a knack for bringing everything full circle, pulling everything together that I really admire. It's something I've tried to emulate and make my own.
7. What is the nerdiest thing you've ever done?
That's really hard to choose, but I believe that would be using Dr. Seuss to explain Narcisism; We were debating a socio-cultural point in a drama class, and I made a point about someone having a Yurtle the Turtle complex. Or maybe I was talking about my cat... Either way, Yurtle the Turtle was the perfect example for the topic.
8. What is one item on your Bucket List that you haven't completed yet?
I have not learned all the languages I want to yet. I have quite a list, and only a few under my belt.
9. If you could spend one week anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I believe I'd go to Scotland, first. I hear it's quite lovely. Perhaps I'll take my fiddle and learn a few new ditties.
10. What is your most prized possession?
Having lived sparingly over the last few years, the one piece I made sure I always kept near was my Great-grandmother's violin. Even traveling, I made sure my pretty 'Gwen' stayed with me.
11. What is the best piece of advice you have been given in regards to your writing?
Ohh... The most helpful was probably from my journalism professor from college; he helped me learn to convey the most information in the fewest words. And that's definitely something that stuck. (I have a tendency to ramble on a bit at the keys...)
12. What is one piece of advice you would give to someone who wants to write but doesn't know where to start?
Why, I would invite you to tea so we could figure it out! It always helps to have someone to walk with you on those first few steps. Everyone's beginning is different, but I've always been partial to “Once Upon A Time...”