WRITING PROMPTS & THOUGHTS & IDEAS (oh my) INTERVIEW BLITZ
Anne holds a Master’s in Counseling and Bachelor’s in Classical Liberal Arts. She has had a passion for writing historical fiction ever since reading Rosemary Sutcliff’s novels as a preteen. She wrote her first full length novel at fifteen. She is a military spouse and mother to a little boy, “Joe-Joe.”
Her inspiration for Scorched Earth came from moving to the Colorado Rockies. She loves reading Christian fiction and wanted to weave a lighthearted tale about love, rivalry, and the taming of the west.
When not writing, you can find Anne reading Dr. Seuss for the 100th time, vainly attempting to potty train Joe-Joe, or working on her fixer-upper house with her husband.
rem: Welcome to my blog, Anne. Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
ANNE: I grew up as a homeschooler in the D.C. area. I married my college sweetheart the summer after graduation and spent the next few years traipsing over the United States as a military spouse. We are now settled in Denver, CO with our four-year-old son, Joe-Joe who keeps our wits sharp and our legs tired. For example, last time I told him that he couldn’t watch a movie, Joe-Joe enlisted some divine help. “You can’t say ‘no’ to me, Mama, because God doesn’t want us to be mean.”
rem: He sounds like quite a pistol! Tell us three things about yourself.
ANNE: I’m a mental health counselor, military spouse, and Christian author. I have a passion for looking at the world just a little differently than everyone else and talking about spiritual issues with the millennial generation.
rem: We have that in common—looking at the world differently! (methinks it’s part of the writer’s life) What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream? What’s your favorite cookie?
ANNE: Right now, I enjoy cherry ice cream. As for cookies, I prefer donuts, especially Krispy Kreme.
rem: Gotta love Krispy Kremes! If you could have any super power what would it be?
ANNE: I’ve always wanted to fly. Since I was in elementary school, I’ve been banking on that Isaiah 40:31 means I’ll get to fly in heaven. Sure hope I’m right. Can’t wait!
rem: Ya know, I think I’d choose that too! (said the little birdie) Which Muppet do you most resemble? Why?
ANNE: Muppets, are those the puppet people? Forgive my cultural ineptness. I was homeschooled.
rem: hee hee Coffee or tea? Sweet or un? Flavored or not?
ANNE: As a mental health counselor, I have to take a stand against overmuch coffee. As a stimulant, caffeine is bad for your mental health. I drink my tea straight.
rem: Ouch. I’m gonna have to pretend I did not see that… Kids or pets? Names and ages?
ANNE: I have one son, Joe-Joe aged 4. No pets, unless one counts the stuffed snakes Joe-Joe keeps convincing me to sew for him. They bite people too. I would think they’d have a little more respect for me after I sewed them, but according to Joe-Joe, they don’t.
rem: Wicked snakes! Superman or Batman?
ANNE: Superman, he’s such a clean-cut, all-American hero. (I don’t go for the bad boy, anti-hero type very often.) Captain America is an all-time favorite of mine too. I love his line about Thor from the Avengers: “There’s only one God, Ma’am, and I’m pretty sure He doesn’t dress like that.”
rem: He has a good point! Vacation: beach or mountains?
ANNE: I live in Colorado and miss my East Coast ocean every day. Last year, for our anniversary, my husband and I flew to the San Diego beaches. It was lovely.
rem: Lovely indeed! (and ps, I’m a tad jealous of you in Colorado!) What is your most treasured possession?
ANNE: My computer’s hard drive. I’ve almost lost story drafts before and the mere thought of losing thousands upon thousands of words can send me into a panic.
rem: Just the thought puts me in near panic…. What is your greatest fear?
ANNE: Besides losing a novel the day before it’s due to the editor? But seriously, probably that my husband will get deployment orders again.
rem: I can sure understand that! What is your greatest regret?
ANNE: Playing bubble spinner in certain college classes. J
rem: Bubble spinner, eh? What is your favourite quotation and why?
ANNE: 2 Tim 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” NKJV As a mental health counselor, I work with a lot of people who struggle with mental illness. There is a huge stigma against mental illness and people in the midst of depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues can feel like there is no hope. This verse always encourages me that no matter how strong the grip of a mental illness, God still loves His children. While mental illness may devastate a person’s brain, it can never remove God’s spirit from us.
rem: So very true. I find it interesting, I am three weeks post-op today, and people have been so generous in helping out. Struggling with RA though, people don’t understand and don’t think or know to offer help; same with depression. (then again, I don’t ask for help when I need it) I also suffered with depression for many years—but ya know what? Father truly did give me a spirit of power and of love—and a sound mind! (as sound as a writer’s can be… LOL)
What do you do as a hobby?
ANNE: Obsessively follow presidential politics. Given the state of our nation, one would think this hobby would spike my blood pressure, but I actually find it relaxing.
rem: Now that’s different! What do you most value in a friend? What quality do you most admire in a man or woman?
ANNE: I most value loyalty in a friend. As for what I admire most in a man or a woman, probably compassion and humility.
rem: I agree, without loyalty there’s not much to base a friendship on. When reading, what makes or breaks a story for you? Your fiction pet peeve?
ANNE: The story has to have a cohesive plot without plot holes. I could not sit through the numerous Pirates of the Caribbean movies for that reason. My pet peeve in fiction is “too sweet to live” heroines who end up apologizing for existing. To be completely honest, I probably go overboard on the other side with my heroines and make them a little too ‘wicked.’ 😉
rem: Yeah, I can’t handle squeaky clean characters; they’re not real. Which book have you read the most in your lifetime?
ANNE: The Bible for sure.
rem: Can’t go wrong with that! Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
ANNE: I love Gilbert from L. M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables Series. Who wouldn’t fall for a guy who’s been madly in love with you for years? Also, I was named after Anne of Green Gables, so perhaps I’m biased.
rem: If you could chose to be a character in a book, who would it be and why?
ANNE: I would choose the most boring book I could find where nothing happens to the heroine and she doesn’t have to risk her life, or lose her best friend, or starve and freeze for days in pursuit of an adventure. In other words, I don’t want to suffer any of the things I put my heroes and heroines through.
rem: Makes sense. Then again, wouldn’t you be bored? jus’ sayin’ Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read?
ANNE: I love historical romance, the clean kind. I always enjoy Deanne Gist, Jody Hedlund, Mary Connealy, and Siri Mitchell’s books. Michelle Moran has some fun ancient world ones.
rem: I love good historical fiction, too. Which is more important: plot or characters?
ANNE: Plot. If the plot catches my interest, I’m willing to put up with jerky characters.
rem: What would you do if you weren’t writing?
ANNE: Clean my house more? Actually no, that’s a lie. I’d probably read obsessively.
rem: Bahahahah! I might have to borrow that answer… Tell us a little about your writing journey.
ANNE: I’ve been writing since I was a child and finished my first two novels, which I hope never see the light of day, as a teenager. Six years ago, I started my writing journey in earnest, making lots of mistakes and finding an awesome agent along the way. In six weeks, the book I started back then will go to print with Olivia Kimbrell Press.
rem: Congratulations on finding an agent! What is your Writing Routine? Where do you write: In a cave, a coffeehouse, or a cozy nook?
ANNE: Right now, I wake up before my 4-year-old son and stay awake after he goes to bed at night. I have a favorite snuggly red blanket that I use as I sprawl, in very bad posture, on our sectional and type until I fall asleep. (My husband works the swing shift in case you hadn’t guessed that.)
rem: What makes you struggle as a writer? How do you handle it?
ANNE: Fear of failure and worrying my work isn’t good enough for publication. I force myself to write the first draft no matter how horrible I think it is, then edit it from there.
rem: Do you prefer the creating or editing aspect of writing? Why?
ANNE: I love thinking up a new plot and I love putting the final edits on a manuscript as I read beta readers’ glowing reviews. It’s all that in-between, actually-writing stuff that’s hard work. 😉
rem: What do you enjoy most about being a writer?
ANNE: Ever since I was a child, I’ve made up stories in my head. Writing allows me to get the “voices in my head” onto paper.
rem: I love the way you put that—“…get the “voices in my head” onto paper.” What are your top 3 recommendations for a new writer? What 3 things would recommend not doing?
ANNE: 1. Be sure you actually want to be a writer. There are many more profitable careers. 2. Select genre carefully. Some genres are much easier to break into than others. 3. Work on your social media and blogging presences. Author platform is too important to delay until after you’ve written the book.
As for the not to do
- Don’t quit your day job.
- Don’t send out queries/publish before soliciting many critiques.
- Don’t give up.
rem: Meh, I didn’t select my genre (women’s fiction) it chose me. And I didn’t even know about media and presence until after I published! Where do you get your greatest ideas for writing?
ANNE: Weird but true fact, I watch Disney youtube videos when I’m experiencing writer’s block. My 4-year-old son thinks it’s great.
rem: The Muse is everywhere! Do you have a favorite book or work that you’ve written? If so, why?
ANNE: I love my four book Ancient Rome series (the Love & Warfare series) that is coming out starting in April of this year. Ever since reading Rosemary Sutcliff as a child, I’ve been fascinated by the Roman Empire. I also took Latin in college.
rem: Ooohh, fascinating! (appeals to my historical interests) You recently signed with an agent. Tell us a little about your latest book. What is your current project?
ANNE: I signed with Linda Glaz of Hartline Literary Agency almost two years ago now, but just got my first two book contracts last year. I’m currently finishing the fourth book in my Love and Warfare series. It will release this summer. The hero in this book is driving me insane at present, but I hope to have a better relationship with him after a few more revisions.
rem: Those characters can be fickle, can’t they! My last main character wasn’t speaking to anyone in the story but she also wasn’t speaking to me! I had to have a little chat with her so we could get the story told! What is one take-away from your book(s) that you hope readers identify with?
ANNE: Grace. As a Christian author, I like to show examples of grace in all the books I write. As my 4-year-old tells me every day, God loves him even when he’s bad and disobeys Mama.
rem: I think as a Christian author, we should include something of our knowledge of Father in our writing, even if we don’t market as Christian Fiction. I understand you are licensed as a foster parent. Tell us how you became active in this and how it has impacted your life.
ANNE: When I was about ten, a foster mom at our homeschool PE group brought four beautiful little girls to our local park to play. Over the next months, I fell in love with those toddlers. Ever since then, I’ve known I wanted to be involved in foster care. Right now we are waiting for a placement.
rem: What a beautiful memory. Thanks for joining us today, Anne. It’s been a pleasure having on my blog!
You can connect with Anne at
#anneevans, #writingpromptscrew, #authorinterview, #plumpuddingbride, #whatsaforeverfamily, #whatsafosterfamily