A big welcome to today's guest author, Anne K. Albert.
A: Nothing makes me happier than a book with a murder to solve, a hero who will give his life to protect the heroine, and a happily-ever-after. I write and read books that chill the spine, warm the heart and soothe the soul…all with a touch of humor.
Q: How long does it take you to complete a novel? How many drafts do you go through?
A: Without interruptions, I can write the first draft of a novel in about six to eight weeks. However, since the release of my debut novel, it’s been difficult to find any time to write. Most of my days and nights are spent online tackling social media.
As to number of drafts, edits and full revisions I do, I refuse to count! It could easily be 15. Maybe more. I joke I just do it until my eyes bleed. (It’s a horrid image, my apologies, but my eyes really do hurt!)
Q: Do you plot out your story ahead of time, or do you think it up as you go?
A: I’m a seat-of-the-pants writer which means I just go. I have no idea what will happen from one sentence to the next until I write it down. That said, I write in chronological order, so the beginning has to ‘feel’ just right before I move on to the rest of the book. I will often write 10-20 first scenes (all variations of each other) before I hit upon the right one. This process used to drive me crazy, but I’ve learned that’s just the way I write. Still, if I could find a better (easier) way to write I’d adopt it in a heartbeat.
Q: After becoming a published author, what surprised you the most?
A: The majority of promotion and marketing these days falls onto the author’s lap. I had no idea how time consuming it could be, or that it would distract from my actual writing. As a result, I’m behind deadline. That’s the downside of blogging, tweeting and sharing on Facebook.
Equally surprising, however, are the perks of social media. I’ve met some wonderful people online who have become friends. What a gift!
Q: What’s the most important piece of advice you would give to a fledgling writer?
A: Write. Write often. Finish what you write. Treat writing as a job (because it is). Be open to new ideas, suggestions, and ways of doing things. And never, ever give up.
Q: What do you think about writing contests? Have you participated in any? What’s the benefit to an unpublished writer?
A: Writing contests are a superb training ground for the unpubbed writer. I entered my first contest shortly after I joined RWA, and like most newbies expected to win. My scores, however, put me at the bottom of the heap. (I ranked #98 of 100 entries.) I was devastated, but the judges explained why I scored so low. I worked hard to follow their advice, and entered more contests. Slowly, (as in years not months!) I moved up the ranks, became a finalist and eventually the winner. Contests are a great opportunity for an unpubbed writer to get feedback and build writing credits. Winning a contest can move you out of the slush pile and onto an editor or agent’s desk. I highly recommend entering contests as well as judging contests. Sometimes it’s easier to see what not to do in someone else’s work!
Q: There’s been a lot said about the future of publishing and the possible death of the print book. What’s your take on eBooks, self-publishing, and such?
A: The publishing world is changing, but then, so is the world and humans by nature resist change. Libraries were once filled with papyrus scrolls and stone tablets. The invention of the printing press did not make libraries obsolete, it just make reading more accessible to people regardless of their wealth or rank. I believe eBooks and self-publishing will achieve a similar positive result. Statistics indicate book sales increase with the purchase of an e-reader, plus readers around the globe can download a book (even mine!) in seconds. It’s an exciting time to be a writer.
Thanks Jennifer for this opportunity! Blessings to you and yours.
Thanks to you, Anne, for visiting with us today. It was a pleasure!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Anne K. Albert writes the romantic suspense Piedmont Island Trilogy series. DEFENDING GLORY, book one, was released in September 2010. PROTECTING HOPE, second of the series, will hit the shelves this fall 2011.
Anne also writes the cozy, comedic Muriel Reeves Mysteries. FRANK, INCENSE AND MURIEL, first of the series is the recipient of the 2011 Holt Medallion Award of Merit.
ABOUT THE BOOK - Defending Glory
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?
WIN THE BOOK
If you’d like to be entered to win Defending Glory, just leave a comment on this blog. I’ll pick a winner at random on Monday, September 12. Please leave an email address so we can contact you if you're the winner. (To prevent spammers from trolling for your email, please use this format with the brackets--you [at] yourmail [dot] com--or something similar.) Since this is an e-book, you will receive an email from Anne with information about how to download your book. Good luck!