Monday, August 19, 2013

Talking with Ann Anderson

Welcome Ann Anderson today....

To get us started can you tell us a little about what you are working on or have coming out?
Currently I'm focusing working on two stories, one for a secret submission call and the other is a kind of sequel to one of the stories I already have out. I also have a story contract with Storm Moon Press and that should be coming out sometime next year.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Alaska, or somewhere else really cold. I'm a cold weather person, through and through.

If you had a reporter follow you around for the day, what would the readers get to see in your daily schedule? 
Probably me at my PT job and/or one of my editing jobs. If it's a lazy day then they'd probably see a lot of video gaming and cleaning and maybe a bit of writing.

When you begin your stories, do you go with the flow, or go with an outline?
It's usually a bit of both. I generally start with an idea that I write down, because too much detail just makes me frustrated, and then I go with the flow, allowing my characters to take me from point A to point Q however they see fit while using the idea I wrote down as a focus.

Is it hard coming up with titles or characters names?
Sometimes unbelievably so. And it's always been a problem for me. I had a college professor who told me I couldn't hand in any story/poem without giving it a proper title. It was a good exercise in making me think of titles, but it sometimes took so long. It almost never happened when we wrote off of short prompts in class. My problem with character names is I always want to start them with the same letter. There was one story I had written and every single character had a name starting with D, and I didn't notice it until a roommate pointed it out.

Is music a factor for you while you are writing? Do certain songs put you in the right frame of mind to write certain stories?
I listen to music all the time. When I'm not plugged into my computer with the music software going or listening to the radio, I've got a playlist going in my head that I sometimes sing along to. Most of the time I just need the music because it helps me focus, otherwise I can get easily distracted, but there are times I'll pick a song for the emotion it evokes. Like Joshua Radin's "What If You", Five Finger Death Punch's "Far From Home" or "September" by Spoken. I also have my zoning music, which is all of Loreena McKennitt's songs, because I'm so familiar with them and they're very soothing.

What do you feel is the most important thing that a first-time author should know? 

Just go for it. Don't think about all that can go wrong or how people might view your work, just write it, edit it, and submit it. And have some kind of support network. Even if that network is just one person, some days it's that one person that can make our world so much better and be the voice of reason we sometimes desperately need.

By King's Order
Genre: M/M, Fantasy
Buy at Publisher

Aldrick's required two years as a soldier are nearly finished, and then he can finally return to his simple farming life. Then he is forced into joining the hunt for a griffin egg, a suicidal mission that Aldrick wants no part of. His plans to avoid the matter are shattered when he comes across an injured griffin and soon finds himself far more invested in the matter of griffins than he ever wanted.

The morning dawned bright and found a motley dozen soldiers milling about the courtyard waiting for someone to lead them. Aldrick scanned the group from a safe distance, noting familiar faces and watching for those who looked even less enthused than he to be on this mission.
Striding forward, commanding silence without even a word, was a Captain who had made a name for himself through his brutality towards others, especially anything not human. Aldrick had long since learned to suppress his shiver of revulsion whenever he saw the man's cold, cruel eyes—a lighter shade of brown than his own—but today he noticed a nasty spark in their depths that couldn't be ignored.
"So they're sending me with a bunch of good-for-nothings? Have any of you even seen a griffin?" The Captain sneered, contempt so heavy in his voice that it nearly had visible form. "I thought not. We'll be heading to the Blackwood Hills and splitting up along the base. It will allow us to cover more ground and hopefully create enough of a distraction that someone can sneak into the nesting ground and take an egg for Their Highnesses. Let's go."
Having worked with the Captain before, Aldrick was prepared for the abrupt command, but some of the other men who had been fortunate to never cross paths with the Captain weren't prepared, and found themselves assaulted by the Captain's criticisms of their character and training. Aldrick thought, not for the first time, that if the Captain weren't so cruel and didn't carry an air of imminent violence around him, he would be quite attractive with his chestnut colored hair and mildly muscled physique. But those where the kind of thoughts that could have him killed, so Aldrick pushed them to the side, determined to make the last of his moments before he knew he'd be facing off against an angry griffin.

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