Friday, September 9, 2011

Interview & Book Giveaway with Author Anne Mateer

A big welcome to one of the sweetest gals I know... debut author Anne Mateer!

Q;  Have you always wanted to be a writer?
A:  I’ve been a reader for as long as I can remember, but in 4th grade I was given the opportunity to attend a couple of summer honors camps—one for science, one for poetry. In the science class, we dissected a frog. Ew!! In the poetry class, we learned about poetry and then wrote our own. Bliss! From that moment on I knew I could make words work together and that I wanted to be a writer. In middle school I discovered historical fiction and fell in love. I wanted to weave together history and fiction but from a more overtly Christian perspective. (This was pre-Janette Oke!) Lo and behold, here I am!

Q:  What was your inspiration for Wings of a Dream?
A:  My grandmother was a born storyteller and often told us stories about her family. Long ago I heard about how her mother died while her father was fighting WWI in France and how her mother’s niece came to care for them. Only many years later, when piecing the story together by year, did I realize that my great-grandmother died in the influenza epidemic of 1918. After my grandmother passed away in January of 2000, I knew I wanted to spin this situation into a novel, but I couldn’t quite solidify a story and characters. Nine years later, after I’d learned much about writing and finished 4 other novels, the story fell into place. I’m still humbled and amazed that Bethany House liked it!

Q:  Do you plot out your story ahead of time, or do you think it up as you go?
A:  I’ve always been a seat-of-the-pants writer, mostly because I enjoy being surprised by the story and the characters. However, my first book contract was for two books—the first completely finished and the second only a paragraph blurb! So this past year, in order to make my deadline, I have learned to be a bit more deliberate in my planning for the story, mostly so I could avoid all the rewrites I experienced with Wings of a Dream to address weak plot points! Several things have helped me to map things out a little more beforehand, including Snowflake software by Randy Ingermanson, How to Find your Story by Jeff Gerke, and the writing software Scriviner, though much still takes shape as I go.

Q:  What’s the most important piece of advice you would give to a fledgling writer?
A:  Before you can move forward, you have to understand that talent alone is not enough. Just as an athlete who is naturally gifted must still work to hone his or her skill in a sport, a writer must work at craft—and be willing to learn! Read craft books. Attend conferences or listen to conference workshops on CD. Join a critique group. Write, write, write.

Q:  What do you think about writing contests? Have you participated in any? What’s the benefit to an unpublished writer?
A:  I entered several contests before I was published. They are a good way to get some feedback, to see where you are. However, my biggest caution is a person’s motivation. If it is all about the win, you’ll often be disappointed and discouraged. If it is about learning and growing as a writer, you’ll ALWAYS be a winner!

Wise words, Anne. Thanks so much for visiting with us today! And now I'd like to add my thoughts about Wings of a Dream...


How do I love this book? Let me count the ways.
  1. I love that it's a historical novel written in 1st person. Brilliant! It made me feel like I was right there with Rebekah, facing each trial and each triumph.
  2. I love how the story is as much about Rebekah's growth as a person as it is about romantic entanglements. The character arc is realistic and compelling.
  3. I love how the prose flowed so seamlessly that I never wanted to put it down. Have you ever stood in the kitchen and stirred pots on the stove with one hand while holding a book with the other? Yep, it's that kind of novel.
  4. I love that well-earned writing success has come to such a hard-working, lovely person as Anne. Yes, we are friends, but that's not why I'm recommending her book. It's just plain great!
  5. And last but not least, I love that I can add Anne Mateer to my list of must-read authors. I'm looking forward to the next one!


Anne Mateer is a three-time Genesis Contest finalist who has long had a passion for history and historical fiction. She and her husband live near Dallas, Texas, and are the parents of three young adults.

ABOUT THE BOOK - Wings of a Dream

Rebekah Hendricks dreams of a life far beyond her family's farm in Oklahoma, and when dashing aviator Arthur Samson promised adventure in the big city, she is quick to believe he's the man she's meant to marry. While she waits for the Great War to end and Arthur to return to her so they can pursue all their plans, her mother's sister falls ill. Rebekah seizes the opportunity to travel to Texas to care for Aunt Adabelle, seeing this chance to be closer to Arthur's training camp as God's approval of her plans.

But the Spanish flu epidemic changes everything. Faced with her aunt's death, Arthur's indecisiveness, and four children who have no one else to care for them, Rebeka is torn between the desire to escape the type of life she's always led and the unexpected love that just might change the dream of her heart.


If you’d like to be entered to win a copy of Wings of a Dream, just leave a comment on this blog. I’ll pick a winner at random on Thursday, September 15th. Please leave an email address so I 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.)  Good luck!


Jillian Kent said...

Hi Anne! Hi Jen!
Anne, I'm still trying to figure out all the details of the Snowflake Method. I use it and I want to go to Randy's workshop at ACFW, but I really need to be in another continuing ed. at the same time. So I'm hoping that I can pick up the details from the CD. :) What's been most helpful to you with that program?
I'd love to get a copy of your book.

jilly11 (at) cinci (dot) rr (dot) com

Anne Mateer said...

Honestly, I use it after I'm a little way into the book or synopsis of a story. I have a hard time using it at the very beginning. (It's that seat-of-the-pants thing!) But the biggest thing I've learned and use from it is the scene spreadsheet. Of course the beauty of Scrivener is that I can put those scene descriptions on "cards" and move them around with ease. This helps me keep up with that while I'm actually writing the book, so that's nice. So I really use a hodge-podge of Randy's method and Jeff Gerke's worksheets, then put all those ideas into Scrivener and write!

Judy said...

Wings of a Dream sounds like a great book to read. Anne is a new author to me and I'm looking forward to getting to know her by reading her books. A book tells me a lot about the author. If I like just one of your books, I am a die hard fan!!

Enjoyed the interview with Anne! Thanks Jen for allowing us to get to know a little about her. Thanks to both for this giveaway.


Anne Mateer said...

I sure hope you like the book, Judy! I'd love to have a die hard fan!

Anne Mateer said...

Jen, how did I just now see your sweet words about the book! Quite humbling, especially coming from someone I respect so much as a writer, let alone a friend! So glad the Lord connected us all those years ago! :)

Jennifer AlLee said...

Anne, I've been going in so many directions I realized this morning that I forgot to add my personal thoughts to the bottom of your interview, so I dashed in and added them. Which is why you only just now saw them.

Sending you cyber hugs until I can give you a real one in St. Louis :+}

Marji Laine said...

I'm so intrigued by this book! I've read quite a lot about it but promised dear hubby I wouldn't download anymore until I finish what I have. May just have to break down and beg! :)

Marji Laine said...

I forgot to leave my email address - duh! marji.laine(at)gmail(dot)com

Anne Mateer said...

I know what you mean, Marji! So many books, so little . . . money! I'm glad I can give a copy to one of you sweet people!

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windycindy said...

What an interesting lady Anne Mateer is! I always enjoy learning more about the person behind a book.
Historical romances are a favorite
genre of mine...
Many thanks, Cindi

Jo said...

Hi Anne,

This sounds like a great book and one that I want to read. Please enter me.


misskallie2000 said...

Hi Anne, Wings of a Dream sounds like a wonderful story that I wouldl love to read. Enjoyed your interview. Thanks for stopping by to chat and share with us.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Anne Mateer said...

So glad y'all stopped by!

Martha A. said...

It sounds wonderful!! Pre-Janette Oke? You don't look old enough to be pre-Janette Oke!!! Those were some of the first Christian fiction I ever mom read them aloud to me at age 6 or 7....and I was hooked!

Susanne Dietze said...

Hi Anne and Jen! Great interview. I am LOVING Anne's book (so don't enter me into the contest).

I'm curious about the Snowflake software. I've tried the Snowflake method with pen and paper, and I found it very helpful. I have more trouble with plots than I do with characters, so it definitely showed me where my action got sparse.

Thanks, ladies!

Anne Mateer said...

Yes, Martha, pre-Janette Oke! I was about 12 when her first book got published, though I didn't read until a couple of years later. But I appreciate you thinking I was younger than that! ;)

Thanks for your sweet words, Susie!

by Pegg Thomas said...

Sounds like plenty of tension and decisions to be make in this story. I like that kind of read.
twinwillowsfarm at gmail dot com

Katherine Hyde said...

Anne, you've come a long way from Mt. Hermon 2005! I loved your writing then, and I can't wait to see how it's matured in Wings of a Dream.

katherine [at] kbhyde [dot] com

P.S. I'd be lost without Scrivener! :)

Jennifer AlLee said...

And the winner is... Martha A! ?Congrats! I'll be sending you and email to get your mailing info.

Thanks to all who stopped by, and a BIG thanks to Anne for visiting with us :+}