NORMANDY TRIP COMING UP FAST

Hi all!

Just a quick note to remind you to follow my Normandy Journal beginning March 31 and don’t forget to enter my drawing (enter via website at http://www.booksbyanna.com) for a special gift from my trip!!! All best, Anna

Published in: on March 20, 2014 at 8:38 am  Comments (1)  

I’m going shopping for one lucky reader…in France!!!

Hi all,

Quick note to remind you that when I go to Normandy (and in celebration of the release of Book 2 of the Peacemakers series – SIMPLE FAITH)  I plan to shop for a special gift that one of you could win. Complete the contact form o9n my website at booksbyanna.com to enter your name in the drawing and then watch for announcement of winner in mid-April!  All best, Anna

Between Books…

I finished revisions and edits for the final book of my PEACEMAKERS series a few weeks ago. Now I am coming to terms with the fact that for the first time in several years I have no projects on the horizon. There are proposals out under consideration but nothing definite. It is times like these that a writer faces the possibility that her “career” has run its course. The question of “What if there are no offers?” raises its mocking head.

Whenever I teach a workshop for writers, I always find a way to work into the content my mantra: The only reason to write is because you cannot NOT write. It is something that has carried me through a number of droughts in my career–times when I could not give away a story idea much less sell one. In those times I would wallow in self-doubt for some time and then I would get so anxious to write something–anything–that I would go in search of a possible new path. Those forays into new territory such as screenwriting and thriller/suspense conferences paid off every time. I found new energy for my stories, new possibilities for my characters and renewed energy to keep writing.

This last year and a half has been a time of major changes for me in my personal life. In so many ways I realize now that within those changes lies the renewal of my focus and energy for story-telling. Because of the challenges I have had to face and find my way through, I have a whole new understanding of what my characters face as they traverse their life challenges. In short life has made me a better storyteller.

So perhaps soon there will be a call from my agent with an offer on one of those proposals–or not. Perhaps I will need to put those ideas aside in favor of something different. I’ve done it before.  And perhaps I will be led down new paths–another screenplay…a play for the stage…a collection of short stories…a children’s book… There are options and choices–always. And so to my fellow writers who struggle with their desire to share their work, I encourage you to consider new avenues and possibilities–think outside the box that is traditional publishing or even traditional story-telling. Write–not because the endgame must be publication or praise or awards. Write because you are a writer/storyteller–and that’s what you do!!!

Where does the time go?

Okay here it is the middle of January and I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that a New Year has begun! Of course that means new projects and it also means TAXES!! My late husband was always in charge of that particular beast. He was organized. I am of the throw everything in a shoebox and sort it out as needed variety. So here it is time to sort!!!

I suppose one of the good things about starting a new year is that one is inclined to set goals and make resolutions.  What I find as a writer is that it’s difficult to do that. Oh, I used to make all kinds of goal/resolutions–this year I am going to publish three books; this year I am going to win a major award; this year I am going to make a bestseller list; etc.

The problem with those goals/re3solutions was that I had no way to achieve them–they were dependent on outside forces. The only thing I had any control over at all was writing the very best book that I could and establishing my “brand” as someone whose characters touch hearts in a very real and human way.  Having been in this business for a number of years now and having made most of the rookie mistakes writers tend to make I have “Zen-ed” into a frame of mind that allows me to let go of the need to “prove” myself with awards and lists.

These days I do the one thing I teach whenever I deliver a talk or workshop–in those settings I always tell my audience of writers (usually) that the ONLY reason to write and tell stories is because I can’t NOT write and tell stories. It’s in my DNA and double negative or not that is the bottom line. So goal for this New Year: write the best stories I can and whether they sell or win awards or not, move on to writing the next story and the next and…

Oh yeah, and get more organized about filing those receipts and papers I’m going to need for preparing taxes!!!

 

Published in: on January 14, 2014 at 7:46 pm  Leave a Comment  

Market research, demographics and other bits…A message to readers!!!

Yesterday I received an e-mail from a reader with a common complaint: why are there no romance novels (or very few) where the lead character is legitimately struggling with her weight or physical appearance? She has a point–one that I as an author ith a non-perfect body or face–have longed to address. What if there were a story where the hero was hot and hunky and he fell for the heroine who was less than perfect and gorgeous? What if she struggled with her weight and had finally come to terms with her body only to have Mr. Perfect walk into her life? What if her first instinct was to lose the weight and remold herself into what she thought he would want? What if he loved her for other reasons–her quirky sense of humor, her love of children, her brain? And what if instead of wishing she could change how she looked on the outside, he loved her for the woman she was?

Talk about fantasy fiction!! The truth is that market research among the 18-34 yr. old demographic that publishers cherish seems to report that what women want from a romance is the hot hunky hero and the beautiful (although, of course, she doesn’t realize that she’s beautiful)quirky, sassy, fill-in-the-blank heroine.  So if you like the reader who wrote me are perhaps older than that 18-34 range and perhaps not cover girl material and you are a fan of romance who BUYS books and you would like a dose of real world when it comes to your characters, write to the publishers, not the authors. Authors have little power (unless they are Nora Roberts or Debbie Macomber). But YOU have enormous power–let the powers that be know what you want and back it up with stats that say how many books (e-books or print) you and as many friends as you can round up buy. Tell them what you want as well as what you are weary of in terms of characters and storylines. (Do you really truly want to read another book with a billionaire cowboy who needs to get married for reasons having nothing to do with love?)

Okay, stepping off the soapbox–your turn!!! Let me know what you’re thinking! Anna

If you missed the $2.99 e-book deal…

I’m giving away copies of ALL GOD’S CHILDREN on GoodReads

PLUS…

if you click the link to follow this blog your name is entered for a monthly prize drawing

PLUS…

if you post a review (objective and honest!!!) of ALL GOD’S CHILDREN on amazon.com and let me know, you’ll be in a drawing for a set of THE WOMEN OF PINECRAFT series.

Published in: on September 20, 2013 at 7:14 pm  Comments (1)  

Just released…again

Today I received my “author” copies of my novel: THIS SIDE OF HEAVEN--a story I wrote several years ago now all dressed up with a new cover and a novel that is still dear to my heart. In the first place the setting moves from NYC to Madison WI which are two of my favorite places in the world. In the second place it follows a 40-year marriage from the first meeting to its heart-rending end.  Thirdly it reminds me a lot of my own marriage–the ups and downs of two opposites who were attracted from day one but who had to navigate the highs and lows of any long-term marriage. I hope you will pick up a copy of THIS SIDE OF HEAVEN and let ‘s see how many of us have been married as long as ZOE and SPENCER!!  [SEE POLL BELOW!]

All best,

ANNAThis_Side_of_Heaven

Published in: on September 11, 2013 at 5:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

E-BOOK FOR ONLY $2.99

The e-version of ALL GOD’S CHILDREN will be available for a SHORT time–

ORDER THE E-BOOK BETWEEN SEPT. 8 AND 14 FOR ONLY $2.99!!!Image

Published in: on September 5, 2013 at 8:56 am  Leave a Comment  

Down to the Wire–As Usual!!

One of these days I am going to learn that if I would just stick to a schedule of writing x-number of words per day I would complete a novel WAY ahead of schedule. Instead I always seem to be coming right down to the wire. It was the way I worked all through school–I was the one who started a term paper the day before the due date. But what I find is that the closer I come to deadline, the more active my imagination becomes. I have dreams about the characters and they play out scenes I had not envisioned before. The story often takes a new and more interesting direction and the words begin to flow again.  Right now I am completing the third book in my PEACEMAKER series. Book One: ALL GOD’S CHILDREN is available now; Book Two: SIMPLE FAITH will be out in the spring and this one–SAFE HAVEN–will be available a year from now in Fall, 2014.

REMINDER: If you are reading this but not following my blog you might want to hit the “follow” button in the upper left corner. Those who sign on to follow are automatically included in a monthly drawing for prizes!!!

Little Free Libraries Make a Wonderful Tribute!!

Last fall I was looking for a tangible way I might honor the memory of my late husband and a friend mentioned the Little Free Library movement. [Google them if you don't know about this!!!] So I decided to donate a “library” for the condo community where I live in Wisconsin. The results have been incredible–neighbors I have never before talked to or met over the five years we have lived here are calling to thank me; people are gathering at the library to drop off and pick up books and talk about what they are reading; and the guy who designed and built this particular unit has been asked to help some local Boy Scouts build and install four community liraries in the greater area.  It has truly been a labor of love and remembrance and it will serve as a reminder to me and others every time we pass it of L’s love for me (as a writer) and for books and reading!!Image

Published in: on August 11, 2013 at 6:42 pm  Leave a Comment  
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