Wednesday, November 17, 2010
I began writing when I was very young and my biggest dream was to be a published author. I’ve always known that my faith and my relationship with God would be a part of my writing. I want to write books that entertain—but that I am comfortable recommending to my thirteen year old cousin or my ninety year old grandmother. My books aren’t preachy—but the characters definitely rely on their faith to get them through tough situations.
That's the kind of books I write, too. Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
Any day spent with my entire family. I am blessed to be a part of a large family—lots of aunts, uncles, and cousins. We gather frequently—lots of food, board games, and laughter. Those are the best days—when we’re all together at my grandmother’s house.
How has being published changed your life?
I have a full time job outside of writing—and I’ve had 4 books release over the past year and a half. Since I got my first contract, my life has become busier than I ever expected. There are lots of days when I wonder how I’ll ever get everything done! But overall, it has been such a blessing. I love hearing from readers who enjoy my books—that is really what keeps me going.
What are you reading right now?
I’m re-reading the final Harry Potter book…in preparation for the upcoming movie opening. Next on my list is The Help because so many have recommended it to me.
What is your current work in progress?
I’m working on another Love Finds You book that is set to release next year—it takes place in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. I’m also working on a book for Barbour that is set in Charleston, South Carolina—it releases in 2012.
What would be your dream vacation?
I spent a semester in college living and studying in a villa just outside of Florence, Italy. My dream vacation would be to do that again—minus the school work! I’d love to rent a villa in Tuscany—eat lots of pasta and gelato, read a few good books, and just sit in the sun and soak up the beauty of the area. No deadlines, no phones ringing, no emails…just me and a couple of my best friends. That would be a dream vacation.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
Sounds like a plan to me. If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
Hmm. This is tricky. I’m going to break the rules and go with 3 people and say my 3 best friends from college: Vickie, Kelly, and Kristy. We don’t even all live in the same country anymore (one of them is a missionary in Paraguay) so to be able to spend an evening catching up and laughing in person would be so much fun!
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I like to garden—flowers or vegetables either one. Something about having my hands in the dirt relaxes me. And I’m trying to turn myself into a runner—I’ve completed three 5Ks over the past few months, and am trying to get up the courage to start training for a half marathon. We’ll see how that goes! I also love to cook, especially desserts.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Honestly, procrastinating is my most difficult obstacle. Some days it is too easy to think “oh, I’ll write that scene tomorrow” when I know I need to buckle down and get my word count in. So really just staying disciplined is my biggest challenge.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Read! Especially books that are in the genre they are interested in writing in. My biggest piece of advice is always the same—join American Christian Fiction Writers. That is such a great resource. And since I’m one of those former Genesis contest winners who went on to be published, I always advise entering—the feedback is a fantastic way to gauge where you are with your writing.
Tell us about the featured book.
Love is Grand is the third book in the Walk in the Park series. It’s set at the Grand Canyon. Ainsley Davis is a widowed park ranger, raising a toddler alone—and she sees danger around every corner. She’s become fearful of everything—including love. Here’s the back cover copy:
Ainsley Davis had it all. . .
. . .a job she loved
. . .a husband she adored
. . .a baby on the way
But after her husband’s unexpected death, she left her job and retreated to the safety of her parents’ home. Two years later, Ainsley is still there, raising the baby alone and envisioning danger around every corner. When her position as a park ranger at the Grand Canyon reopens, she realizes God may be trying to tell her to return—if she can face the fears that hold her captive.
Fellow ranger Dustin Cooper is thrilled to have his old friend back. But Ainsley isn’t the fearless girl he remembers. Even so, Dustin pushes her to put her trust in God and jump back into her life.
Policeman Jake McGuire fled to the Grand Canyon after an on-the-job mistake. He’s determined to live a stress-free, anonymous life. Until he meets Ainsley. Suddenly he realizes he’d like to be a hero again—if only in her eyes.
Can Ainsley regain her zest for life—despite the risks—and find the right man to walk alongside her? If so, she may be surprised to find that even the second time around, Love is Grand.
Sounds interesting. Please give us the first page of the book.
At least a full minute had passed since either of them had said a word. Ever since her husband’s untimely death, Ainsley Davis’s life had been filled with uncomfortable silences. It was like people didn’t know what to say to her. But today, she was the one without words. Ainsley shifted uncomfortably in her seat, avoiding eye contact with Dr. Sinclair. Not that she was counting or anything, but the ticking of the wall clock was hard to ignore.
“It’s okay. Take your time.” He finally broke through the silence and peered at her through wire-rimmed glasses. “I know it’s difficult.”
She wondered if his cardigan sweater was supposed to make her have a warm and fuzzy Mr. Rogers flashback. Even Fred Rogers and his theatre of puppets couldn’t make discussing her husband’s death any easier. “I’m not sure what ‘moving on’ means to me.” She used her fingers to make quotation marks in the air. “Besides, how do I know if I’m even ready?”
Dr. Sinclair rubbed his chin thoughtfully. “The first step was realizing that you needed help. I know coming in to speak to me hasn’t been easy. But you’ve made lots of progress here.”
How can readers find you on the Internet?
My website: http://www.annalisadaughety.com/
My blog: http://www.princessofpatience.blogspot.com/
I have an author page on Facebook and am also on Twitter.
Thanks so much for having me on here, Lena!
My pleasure, Annalisa.
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Posted by Lena Nelson Dooley at 2:27 AM