For our first author Q&A I am delighted to introduce Anne Stryker. She is a romance author who loves animals and fantasy, so without further ado:
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Well, I’m something of a Jack of all trades. I dabble in most crafts from knitting to polymer clay. I do a fair amount of doodling and, of course, I write a lot. Most things pop up and fade out only to pop up again later (what I like to call living life in phases), but writing remains throughout it all.
Aside from artsy things, I have a tiny zoo (gerbils, dog, hamster, fish, and rabbit), my favorite color is pink, and I love mythology and fairy tales!
Brief description of your most recent book?
My most recent book is Lurking in the Woods, and it’s the first in my fantasy romance series Beyond the Veil. It follows Bryn as she receives a cabin from her late grandmother and goes on to discover magic is real and a gate to it resides in her very own, and very new, backyard… That a handsome wolf guardian and danger are just around the corner is the icing on the cake.
How did you come up with titles for your novels?
Um…well, sometimes there’s a certain line in the book or theme, and I just play off of that. Or, when that fails, showers. All the ideas come during a shower, and the titles magically appear in the steam on the mirror.
What part of the writing process do you find the most fun?
The writing part! Sitting down with the vaguest idea then watching it sprout into something incredible and vivid is one of the best parts. It’s when I get to watch my movie and explore all the details.
Can you tell us some of your methods on writing or planning a novel?
I try everything, so I’m not sure it would be very easy to pinpoint… Sometimes I go with a brief hint of an idea. Sometimes I draw up an outline. Sometimes I use a mood board. Sometimes note cards, sticky notes, whiteboard…chalkboard even. Whatever I feel like playing with when an idea hits me. Occasionally, the entire story is me following a dream, as was the case for Hovering Above Chaos. Each child (story) is different!
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
It energizes me! I get really excited about each story and each idea. It’s like watching a movie and typing up what I see happening.
How many hours a day do you write?
It really depends. Sometimes I write the entire day, skipping meals, and forgetting there’s a world outside the one I’ve made. Other days pass without any time put into writing. I don’t work on a schedule even though I’m supposed to according to every writing blog ever, but so far things have worked out well.
Whats you favourite under appreciated novel?
Howl’s Moving Castle. So many people I know have only ever heard of the movie! And the book offers so much more. It’s a story still filled with the life of the film, but things make so much more sense. I think I read it in a day when I picked it up, and I might reread it someday too–something I rarely, if ever, do.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Over a hundred. I have stories about spies, super heroes, prisons, dryads, Greek mythology, fairies, mermaids, dragons, angels, wolves, vampire (only one), and more. Some are finished and unpublished. Some are a part of a series. Some are just the beginning. Some don’t even have a placeholding name. One’s titled ‘Please edit me, love’…and has been for a couple years at least.
What does literary success look like to you?
Publishing a fully-edited book, and then, if you intend to do so, publishing another; repeat. If your life goal is only to put out one book, that’s great. Make it the best you can, but if you want to keep publishing and your passion is writing stories, don’t let anything that happens or that is said about the first book hold you back from publishing the second.
In the end, literary success isn’t the sales or the reads, it’s finishing something you are proud of and remaining proud in spite of fear and insecurity. It’s achieving the dream and becoming braver and better. Play against the you of yesterday and win.
I would like to thank Anne for taking the time to answer our questions, if you enjoyed reading her interview and would like to get to know more about her or her books you can follow her blog or her twitter:
Places to find Anne Stryker: