Guest Author Interview: Ann Charles

Every Monday, the Janes will be bringing to our readers an interview with a guest author who is experiencing their own unique publishing journey. This Monday, I’m pleased to share with you an interview with the awesome Ann Charles.  After her fun interview, be sure to read her bio so you can see where to find Ann. Her books are a lot of fun – almost as fun as she is. :-D

Q1. Tell us about your publishing journey.

My journey has gone like this:

Learn craft, write, submit
Rejection, drink wine
Learn more craft, write more, submit
Rejection, eat chocolate and drink wine
Learn even more about craft, write more, submit
Acceptance from agent, celebrate with wine
Rejection from publisher, eat a lot more chocolate
Learn more and more about craft, learn a lot about platform and marketing/promo, write write write, agent submits.
Go to acquisitions with publisher; buy wine and chocolate to prep to celebrate
Rejection, get a speeding ticket, drink whole bottle of wine
Win national awards for books, celebrate with margaritas
Rejection, get soused on margaritas
Join up with others to create a small press and publish my books (*see below)
Acceptance from readers, a feast of chocolate, wine, margaritas, and more!
Keep writing, learning craft and platform/marketing/promo, and publishing

I wish I could tell people that after fifteen years of writing and five years of having my agent hit her head against brick walls in New York on my behalf, I landed a publisher, sold ten million books, and now spend my days on an island in the Caribbean putting “the lime in the coconut” and drinking them both up. BUT that would be fiction, just like my books. In truth, after fifteen years of trying, I decided to join up with a new small press publisher called Corvallis Press that planned to begin building their company with my books. I wanted to prove that there is a market for my style of books and voice, and Corvallis Press allowed me to go forth and do my damnedest at doing just that. We’ve published two of my books so far and will release my third this October. In addition, we’ll be putting out our first book by another author this fall, and I’m thrilled to get to just play “publisher” on this book.

Q2:  What’s the funniest thing to happen to you along your road to publication and what was the most exciting?

One of the funniest things would be when I wrote two endings for one of my early mystery/romances. In the real ending, the hero receives a nasty wound, but lives to have a happily ever after with the heroine. In the fake ending, I let the hero die from his wounds. As a practical joke, I gave the fake “horribly sad” ending to one of my critique partners, Jacquie Rogers. The next day, Jacquie calls me from her doctor’s office. She’d taken the book’s ending there to critique it while waiting for her appointment. She doesn’t even say, “Hi, how are you?” She just starts yelling, “No! No! No! You can’t kill him, dang it!” I laughed so hard, and then filled her in on the joke. After she’d walloped me good, she laughed, too.  

The most exciting is easy—I won the 2010 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense and was at the ceremony to accept it in person. The runner up for this was winning the 2011 Golden Heart award for the same book for Best Novel with Strong Romantic Elements. I still sleep with those awards on the one night a month when my husband allows me to bring my awards and printed books to bed with us. LOL!

Q3:  What has been the most challenging thing related to publishing you’ve had to deal with on your journey?

Learning how to be a publisher. After spending the last 8 months as a publisher in addition to an author, I now understand much more about the publishing business. I have crammed so much into my brain this year that I’m afraid I’ve lost some key information—like simple math and the ability to remember why I walked into a room two seconds after I get there.

Q4:  Who is your favorite author, and what are you currently reading?

I can’t pick just one favorite author. There are so many awesome ones out there whose books are instant buys for me. In addition, I’ve met a ton of wonderful, generous authors whom I gush about and I haven’t even read their books—they are just so kind and generous and fun that I’m hooked.

Currently, I just devoured two of Vicki Lewis Thompson’s Cowboy series in one day when I was supposed to be writing and I have 3 more in the series to read. Can you say HOT and SEXY? Holy smokes! Vicki knows how to make the pages burn.

Q5:  What’s coming up next for you?

Well, releasing DANCE OF THE WINNEBAGOS, the first book in my Jackrabbit Junction Mystery Series, is front and center in my vision. We have the cover ready now. The book is in final editing. Next comes promo and blog tours for it.

At the same time, I’m working on writing book 3 in the Deadwood series, DEAD CASE IN DEADWOOD. Writing a book while acting as a publisher for another one, as well as continually promoting, is keeping me running like a chipmunk on Red Bull.

Thanks for this opportunity to hang out, Cassiel! I appreciate you letting me bend your ear.

And thank you, Ann, for taking time out of what sounds like a very busy schedule to come and speak with us. I don’t know how you have time to do it all!

Ann Charles is an award-winning author who writes romantic mysteries that are splashed with humor. For her first book, Nearly Departed in Deadwood, she won the 2010 National Daphne du Maurier for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense award AND the 2011 National Romance Writers of America Golden Heart award.

Visit her at www.anncharles.com, read her weekly post at www.plotmammas.com where she polls and learns from readers about how to be a successful author, or find her hanging out on Facebook (Author Page or Personal Page) or Twitter (as Deadwood Violet).

You can also find her at www.1stturningpoint.com, where she and over two dozen other authors, reviewers, and PR consultants have joined together to teach and share (and learn from each other) all sorts of great information about promotion for both unpublished and published authors.

She lives near Seattle with her clever husband, charming children, and one hell of an ornery cat.

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Posted on September 12, 2011, in guest post and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. Great interview and your books sound like a great combination of fun and mystery. I’ll definitely check it out.

  2. Oh, I would have given anything to be in on the gag with your critique partners when you killed off the hero. Oh, my gosh, you love to torment people. And you do such a great job in your books, which keeps people turning pages.

    You done good, Ann, so proud of you!

  3. Ann, I remember that stunt you pulled on Jacquie. Gave me a good laugh all over again!

    Wonderfully fun interview, Cassiel & Ann!

    • Hey Wendy (Jacquie and my other critique partner)! Thinking back to that stunt still makes me chuckle, too. She was so pissed at me for killing the hero. LOL! I’m so evil. ;) Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Love this interview, Ann. I learn a little more about you with every interview. Never enough margaritas. And I didn’t realize you critique with the one and only Jacquie Rogers. Lucky you. Thanks for the laughs. And good luck with the rest of your journey.

    • Hi Theresa–Yep, Jacquie and I have been critique partners for about 15 years now. Wendy Delaney is also one of our partners. We formed the group back in the 90s. Jacquie always make me laugh. She’s a hoot! Thanks on the “good luck”!

  5. Hi Ann

    Love hearing about your journey! Especially the wine. I’ve killed more than my fair share over this business too!

    Good times are coming – stay focused, keep your ass in that chair and you’ll come out all right in the end!

  6. Ann, the wine and chocolate part sounded pretty familiar to me. The margarita additions cracked me up. What a fun post. I’m already eager to read the first book of your new series.

    • Thanks, Edie! I bet many authors are familiar with that wine and chocolate routine. It’s how we make it through the constant rejection, right? Ugh! I still think about Galaxy Girls periodically, wondering if/when #2 is coming out. Thanks for stopping by here!

      Ann

  7. I’m glad you came out of the closet as a critique partner abuser. Maybe there’s some help for you now. Naw, you’re still laughing. Hmph. And BTW, send some of that wine and chocolate over here. Hell, send the tequila, too.

  8. Hi Jody! Thank you for being such a great Tsar and stopping over to say, “Hi!” Lots of cyber love coming your way, Toots! :) Ann

  9. Susan, thanks for having me here. The journey has been long, sometimes hard and painful, but often fun. It’s nice to finally get to start meeting readers and enjoying this part of the journey. Thanks for the “friend” hookup on Facebook! I’ll look for you on Twitter, but just so you know, I suck at Twitter. :) Ann

  10. As usual, your interviews are as much fun as your books!

  11. Thanks Ann, for joining the ‘Janes”. Wow! What a fun journey you’ve had. And congratulations on your publications. Heading right over to Facebook and Twitter (I know, for those who are listening in, I finally got a Twitter account :P ) to ‘like’, ‘follow’, whatever :)

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