Dear Readers, I’ve known Ane for years. It’s a great honor to introduce her and her debut novel to you.
Welcome, Ane. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
All of my characters have small bits of me in them. For instance, Claire moves before she thinks, getting her into some mishaps. She also speaks without a filter. I've often wished I could really say what I think, but I don't. Most of my characters, however, are a composite of two or three people.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I don't know if you'd call it quirky, but it sure fits with the above question. It was when I worked at a manufacturing company. I moved too fast, once again without thinking, and the tie on my blouse got caught in the paper shredder.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
Being ADHD as a kid, I didn't think about writing, but I was a storyteller. Unfortunately, they called it lying back then. So I internalized my stories and played them out with my dolls, spending weeks on each story before moving on to the next.
As an adult, I put it all away, except for making up stories for my kids. In 1996, I became creative arts director for my church and started writing scripts. I've written short sermon starters to full-length musicals. I didn't turn to novels until 2003.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
My favorite genre is women's fiction. I like romance if there's more to the story than just the romance. I'm crazy about romantic comedy. I draw the line at suspense and thrillers. Brandilyn Collins will tell you I'm the Queen of the Big Honkin' Chicken Club.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Ha! I don't have any to keep. Seriously, my world isn't as crazy as it was years ago. Maybe that's why God didn't call me to write until I was in my 50s.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
Names are important to me. Once I have an idea about who the character is, what the personality is like, I go to the Baby Name Survey Book. That tells you what image people have of a name. That's for my main characters. For the supporting cast, I either use the Social Security site for names popular for the year they were born, or I use the Behind the Name site that gives the etymology of first and surnames.
I also keep a spreadsheet, alphabetized by both first and last names. I don't want too many beginning with the same letter.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Probably my son. In spite of me, he's turned into a wonderful man, who loves God. Other than that, I'd have to say the musical I wrote for Easter, He Knew My Name. When my church performed it, we had 27 people give their lives to Jesus. And isn't that why we write?
Of course, it is. If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I had one idea that was funny until I got it down on paper. Then it was a bit on the sick side. I've got a whacked sense of humor. PETA doesn't like me much. I suppose I'd be a dog. They're loyal and loyalty is a quality I highly regard.
What is your favorite food?
Anything cooked by my Chef Son. Other than that, its sushi.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
The first draft. Creating is the hardest part for me. I have a loud inner editor and shutting her up is nearly impossible. I've tried to throw down a fast first draft, but it just ends up frustrating both of us. I finally decided I have to write my way.
Now I edit as I go. But once I complete my first draft, it's ready for my critique partners. When I apply their critiques, it's ready for my beta readers, then my agent.
I edit as I go. I can’t help it either. Tell us about the featured book.
With a friend like Claire, you need a gurney, a mop, and a guardian angel. When attention is drawn to the slackened tourist trade in Chapel Springs, and their livelihoods are threatened, Claire and Patsy join forces to address the town's revitalization in hopes of drawing back the tourists. But they never guessed the real issue needing restoration was their marriages.
Please give us the first page of the book.
Claire Bennett couldn't remember when the tradition began—meeting her friends at the bakery,
'n' Doughs, before the workday started. It must have been after their nests had
emptied, since none of them had any tag-alongs velcroed to their ankles.
Whatever the cause, stopping for a chat and a hot cup of coffee got her
creative juices flowing. Okay, maybe that was the caffeine and sugar, but she
couldn't imagine life without her girlfriends.
She wished she could share her deepest heart with Joel. They used to talk, sort of, but something changed between diapers and soccer. It was around the time she started going to church without him. She shuffled through a pile of leaves on the sidewalk. The dry crunch reminded her of their conversations. He wasn't much of a talker and never had been, but he'd become noticeably quieter lately.
A spring breeze played with the edge of her shirttails as she stepped up onto the boardwalk along
Sandy Shores Drive. She paused and with
her hand, shaded her eyes against the rising sun and welcomed the tremolos and
wails of the loons floating up with the mist, lifting off .
She searched the reeds along the shoreline for their distinctive black and
white neckbands. Like Yankees, they'd soon migrate back to the north. She'd
miss their plaintive cries. Time and time again, she'd tried to capture the
emotion in her pottery, but so far she hadn't found a way to translate sound
into form. Chapel Lake
Not seeing the loons, she scanned the width of Moonrise Cove for Joel's boat. Near its center, a lone fisherman—not her hubby—had anchored his dinghy in the fog. Joel was probably angling off
But that lone boat in the foggy Cove would make a melancholy painting. Maybe
she'd suggest it to Patsy. With the image in mind, she hurried on to the
bakery. Henderson Island
Soft light poured through the picture window of
Dee's 'n' Doughs. As she pulled open the glass door, the
brass bells attached to a quirky wrought iron hook shaped like a loon, announced
her arrival. She paused on the threshold for a moment, closed her eyes, and let
the heavenly aroma of yeast, vanilla, and almonds entice her. That indulgence
alone would probably add another inch to her waistline. When she opened her
eyes, her studio/gallery partner, Patsy Kowalski, was chuckling at her.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
My website is www.anemulligan.com and I'm President of Novel Rocket. I'm on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest. Good gravy, when put like this, I'm all over the place. LOL
Thanks for having me,
We redheads need to stick together.
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Chapel Springs Revival
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