Triple dip today!
That's right, THREE interviews by acclaimed and accomplished authors!
So put down that spreadsheet and relax, as we talk with Anne Seidel!
Anne Seidel is a Southern California native, currently living in the heart of Orange County, and frequently watches fireworks from the "Happiest Place on Earth", through her home office window. Her love of mysteries started with Saturday morning cartoon sleuths. Though she has just recently started her publishing journey, there is no lack of mysteries brewing in her brain for Sam Gordon Mysteries and is eager to share them with you. When she's not plotting a murder mystery, she loves to travel, especially a good road trip. Of course, what better inspiration than a long, lonely highway, whether it's here in the states or driving on the "wrong" side of the road in the UK, Anne gets inspiration from just about anywhere, anything, anytime. Keep in touch by signing up for her monthly Anne-A-Gram newsletter for news and special offers. www.anneseidelauthor.com
Facebook page: Anne Seidel Author
Star Trek or Star Wars? This is a loaded question – LOL It’s fun to watch the original series, but I can’t watch it for more than an episode, maybe two. The subsequent series are okay. I never watched them regularly. I did enjoy the new movies with Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto. With Star Wars, I can settle in and watch the movies, well not ALL the movies- I just can’t watch Jar Jar Binx- apologies to the diehard fans.
DCU or MCU? MCU All the way! Well, ¾ of the way. I am a Wonder Woman fan.
Firefly – gone too soon or overrated? Gone too soon… but I love how it also lived on when Nathan Fillion dressed as his Firefly character in Castle and how it was frequently referenced in Big Bang Theory.
Reboots – a great idea or a lack of creativity? I think as long as they put a new twist or angle on it, and it was good to begin with, and they don’t screw it up… I probably need to give this more thought.
A book that pleasantly surprised you? A Forest of Vanity and Valor by A.P. Bestwick. It’s a dark fantasy retelling of Robin Hood.
Coffee, tea, or cacao? I like all three but if I have to pick one it’s coffee, with hazelnut creamer.
Favorite hangover recovery recipe? It’s been a really long time since I had a hangover, but I loved greasy, tomato-y food. I’m not a hair-of-the-dog kind of girl but a slice of meat lovers pizza or a famous star with cheese… perfect.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? I was always a scribbler. I wanted to tell stories. I think I started writing screenplays to tell the stories that were so vivid and visual in my head, that seemed the natural way to go. Novel writing and genre fiction became a realization when I was writing the early draft of Bullet Through the Art.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books? There is no lack of ideas. I have a healthy imagination. For this series I have twelve story premises and the first six are well thought through already. Then I have seven or so other series ideas. Two are more middle grade adventure, three are other cozy mystery series, one is a sci-fi adventure and I recently started world building for a cozy urban fantasy. It’s a thing.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing? I have a full-time Monday – Friday so my writing schedule is somewhat sporadic. I do have 3 pre-set days for writing. The time can range from 1 hour to 4. I’ve recently started writing every day, but at a low word count or short period of time. The idea being that it creates a daily habit. Some days it’s just time and I don’t meet the words. But it’s amazing how much progress you can see with 250 words a day.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk? If I’m having a hard time focusing, I listen to Led Zeppelin and I’m able to write.
When did you write your first book and how old were you? Not too long ago I came across a little booklet I wrote in 2nd grade. It was a class assignment. It was called Fortunately...Unfortunately. I wrote about our family getting a dog. Each page was basically one sentence with what look like cave drawings for pictures. It went something like this: Fortunately, we got a new dog. Unfortunately, the dog was scared. It went on for maybe 10 pages. It had a construction paper cover and neatly stapled spine - LOL
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Travel or couch potato – LOL one extreme to the other.
What does your family think of your writing? They are some of my loudest cheerleaders. I have to stop my mom from forcing my book into strangers' hands.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books? I think one of the most surprising things I learned was that a writer can suffer burnout. I had pushed myself so hard to write a Christmas themed novella, not just writing every day but thousands of words every day. While it showed me that I could do it... I was so burnt out that I didn’t write for nearly 3 weeks. So, I don’t push like that anymore. I’d rather be more consistent with fewer words.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite? Three total. I’ve written 2 novellas and Bullet Through the Art is the first novel in the series. The one I'm working on now is my favorite ;)
Do you have any suggestions to help someone become a better writer? If so, what are they? There are so many books, blogs, articles and workshops that can help you with craft, so definitely make use of those, but the one other thing that I would recommend to anyone that wants to become better, is find a genre specific critique group. You will learn more about your own writing than anywhere else.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say? Yes! I have a newsletter and readers frequently send me emails, especially if there is a question or poll in the newsletter. They are so fun, and I love hearing about their traditions or where they live. They’re absolutely wonderful.
What do you think makes a good story? Any story that resonates with the reader will be a good story.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? Oh lord, what didn’t I want to do? When I was 9 I was going be a researcher and find a cure for epilepsy, oh and I wanted to be a writer too. Then I wanted to be an actress for a millisecond, then corporate attorney, then a cross country truck driver… at 16 I wanted to be a race car driver – Dad loved the idea, mom hated it. She was much happier when I announced I wanted to be a psychologist. That didn’t last long either.
What is the first book that made you cry? The one that comes to mind is “Where the Red Fern Grows” – I cried buckets!
Does writing energize or exhaust you? Energize. Definitely. And that doesn’t mean that I don’t get tired. Now editing is a different story – LOL
What are common traps for aspiring writers? Comparing your writing journey and success to another who has been doing it so much longer.
Does a big ego help or hurt writers? I think it helps to have a thick skin and to be confident, which is different than a big ego. If you have a big ego, just be able to back it up with quality product.
What is your writing Kryptonite? Research rabbit holes. Honestly research can be so much fun, and it will take you away for hours and days. It’s like watching puppy and kitten videos on social media… or so I’ve heard.
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym? No
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want? Hmmm… I’d like to think that I’m delivering reader expectations in a fresh way, so that it’s interesting for them to read.
Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly? I guess it depends on what they are writing. This could be good for non-fiction, or even true crime if they didn’t want to insert bias. Seems like that would be harder to do with fiction. It would certainly be hard for me.
Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you building a body of work with connections between each book? All the story ideas are part of a series. I like the idea of building a fictional community that can connect with a reader community.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be? Don’t let anyone dissuade you from a creative path.
How did publishing your first book change your process of writing? This is kind of where I’m at now. I had no idea what I was doing when I first started scribbling Bullet Through the Art, by hand in a spiral notebook. So, with this next one I have characters that already exist and a world that’s been built although I’m still building it out. So, I’m doing a little more plotting and feeling my way around a process.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer? So far, as an indie author, the best money spent is on my mail delivery service (MailerLite), and then for the book itself is on the cover designer.
What was an early experience where you learned that language had power? My dad didn’t believe in dumbing down conversation for kids. So I had a good vocabulary at a young age. I can remember being 9 or 10, and I don’t remember what I said, but I remember the expression on the adults’ faces and knew that I’d had an impact. Words and how we use them… Can start a war or bring peace.
Do you write novels, novellas, short stories, episodic fiction, poems, screenplays, or something else? What is your preferred format? I started writing screenplays when I was in junior high. The teen angst was palpable. I don’t know where those are now, but that was always how I wrote my stories. It wasn’t until Sam popped into my brain and wouldn’t leave that I realized it was likely a novel.
Are you traditionally or self published? Or both? Do you feel there are advantages to one over the other? I am an indie publisher. I never wanted to do it any other way. I love the creative control I have, and I actually like the business side too. Which I know many authors don’t.
What is the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything? Chocolate
What does literary success look like to you? Literary success morphs, for me. Right now, with the first novel in the series, the first marker would be if anyone, other than family and close friends buy the book, then it will be, do the readers like it… eventually I’d like to be writing full time as well as create my own indie publishing company and help other authors on their publishing journey. Whatever form it takes, I want to enjoy what I write and have fun while I do it.
What do you have coming next?
With this first release, I know I’ll be learning a lot. Marketing, ads, and the business stuff. My goal is to get the next 2 books in the series out next year. I’ve started writing the next book in the Sam Gordon Mystery series. And if I can edit fast enough and get a good cover in time, I will have a Christmas novella out in December. And if not, you can expect a Christmas in July release J I’m worldbuilding for a cozy urban fantasy and having lots of fun with that. I’ve also got a sketch outline for a sci-fi adventure. The idea factory is working overtime.
Surprise! It’s murder.
Surprise parties never seem to go as planned and this welcome home party is no different.
Globe-trotting amateur sleuth Sam Gordon returns to her hometown of Orange Grove to care for her injured aunt.
What she thinks will be a time to reconnect and have fun with family and friends turns into a masterpiece mystery when a man turns up dead in her aunt’s art studio.
Will she paint herself into a corner or will she catch the killer before it’s too late?
With its plucky heroine, a puzzling whodunit, and plenty of humor, this addictive new cozy mystery will keep you guessing until the very last page.
If you like an amateur sleuth in a twisty whodunit with quirky characters, then you’ll love Bullet Through the Art.