Ann Shorey ~ THE PROMISE OF MORNING - Book Giveaway
What led you to the career choice of becoming a writer?
I’ve always enjoyed making up stories, but I was discouraged from pursuing writing as a career when I finished school. Everyone said I needed to do something that would help me make a living—a “real” job. Finally I reached a point in my life where I wanted to be a writer more than anything, and fortunately my husband was fully supportive. Since then, the Lord has opened many doors for me.
Many times, people (and other authors) think you have it made with several books published. What is your most difficult problem with writing at this time in your career?
Finding the time to write while busy with marketing, edits, and general family distractions. With the first book, I had plenty of time to write it, since I had no contract. Now, with contract deadlines, I’ve had to be far more disciplined. I’ve learned “no” is an acceptable response when I have too many requests to handle.
I’ve always loved stories set in earlier times. I enjoy learning a bit of history in story form. As I write an historical novel I have to be careful not to travel down too many rabbit trails. One research tidbit leads to another, and before I know it I’ve spent half an hour reading about something I don’t even need in my story.
What are you working on right now?
I have an idea for a series emphasizing the importance of women’s friendships. Since I love historical periods, the stories would be set immediately after the Civil War in Missouri. Each book will have a separate protagonist, but the women will be connected by their friendship with one another.
What other books of yours are coming out soon?
The Dawn of a Dream, Book 3 in the At Home in Beldon Grove series, is scheduled for release in April of 2011.
Right now, I’m busy with Book 2, The Promise of Morning, which released in March of this year.
What was the last movie you saw in a theater? Did you like it? What snacks did you eat?
What a fun question! We just saw “Toy Story 3” in 3-D. Yes, I liked it. We haven’t found many movies out lately that we wanted to see, so this one was a safe choice. When we go to the movies, we time it so we can have a popcorn supper—popcorn and Cokes. Once in awhile we add a box of Junior Mints for dessert. (smiling)
You’ve just found a magic lamp and the genie has granted you three wishes. What are your three wishes?
My first wish would be for a housekeeper who would come in every week. Much as I try to ignore dust, sooner or later I have to devote time to cleaning.
Second, I’d wish for office space in one of those buildings where they rent individual offices, and tenants share the services of a receptionist. Working at home, although I have a wonderful home office, comes with so many distractions! Pets, laundry, telephone, etc.
Third, I wish I could write faster. I’d love to be able to fly through thousands of quality words a day.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Honestly, I enjoy almost every genre, both fiction and nonfiction. I’m not a fan of science fiction, although I like some fantasy novels. My two favorite books from this past year are The Art of Racing in the Rain, and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I love reading and have a blog where I review and recommend books I’ve enjoyed—friend to friend. You can follow my reviews at http://www.annshorey.blogspot.com/ .
Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
The biggest change has been that the amount of free time I have to read for pleasure is limited. Within that reading time, now I find I read with an editorial eye. I’ll notice a misused word, or information dumps, for instance.
What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
First of all, persevere. When you receive a rejection, learn from it and press on.
Secondly, make it a point to attend at least one writers conference a year. I can’t stress enough how important the face-to-face time with an editor or agent can be to your career. Attend every workshop you can while you’re there. Conferences are also a great way to network with other authors.
Third, never stop learning and practicing your craft. Read craft books and writer’s magazines. Either find a critique group in your area, or join an online group.
Are there any themes in The Promise of Morning that you hope the reader sees?
The title carries my main theme of the importance of keeping promises. Several characters in the novel either break promises (with disastrous results) or are sorely tempted to do so. Being faithful to your word was my theme from the beginning. Having Revell title the book The Promise of Morning was an extra bonus.
Who would you say are your readers?
Women of every age are my most faithful readers, and that includes young teen girls as well. Several men have contacted me to say they enjoy my novels, which pleases me.
What kinds of things can readers expect from your books?
Readers can be assured that my stories are “family friendly.” There are no sex scenes or bad language. They can also expect a page-turning novel featuring issues that women face today. The big difference is my mid-1800’s protagonists don’t have the options that are available to today’s women. So my characters have to be resourceful.
How do you do the research for your historical books?
For quick questions, you can’t beat the internet. I keep Google open while I write. However, for deep background I have to know much more than I put on the page. For that, I have stacks of books I buy for research. Each novel has its own stack. My office is piled with reference books.
What are the best and worst things about research and writing?
The best thing is learning facts about history that I didn’t know before. The worst thing is not having time to read every book from cover to cover. I have to cherry-pick to find the information I need. Someday I’ll go back and read all my research books.
Tell me about the story of your book.
Here’s the back cover blurb for The Promise of Morning:
“Life in Beldon Grove on the Illinois frontier in the 1840’s isn’t easy. For Ellie Craig, the graves of her three infant children make it unbearably lonely, despite the love of her husband Matthew. When she uncovers a family secret that suggests she may not be as alone as she thought, Ellie is determined to find the truth.
Meanwhile, Matthew Craig faces controversy in the church he pastors when a man arrives in town claiming to be both a minister and the son of the town’s founder. Will Matthew find the courage to redeem his church? Or will he return to itinerant preaching, leaving Ellie even more alone than before?”
Introduce your story with the first page.
Ellie Craig brushed the last leaf from the surface of a granite marker embedded in the soft earth. “There, Lizzie.” She crooned her daughter’s name. “Isn’t that better?”
She dropped an empty tow sack in front of the next stone to protect her skirt, then lowered herself to her knees. “Mama’s here, Susanna.”
While her hands busied themselves pulling out dead grass that surrounded the gray-flecked slab, Ellie tried to remember what Susanna had looked like. Two months old she’d been, and never strong. Just like Georgie, who rested next to his sisters under the third inscribed stone.
Tugging at the muddy sack, she moved to her son’s grave. She shook her head and let the tears fall. “Ah, Georgie, my precious little boy.” Ellie kept her voice to a whisper. “Such hair you had—so bright, like a new penny. But you left me too, didn’t you?”
Where can we find you on the web?
My website address is http://www.annshorey.com . Please stop by and send me a message.
To have the possibility to receive a copy of The Promise of Morning leave a comment with your email (name at domain name dot com). Giveaway closes Sunday, July 25, 2010 at midnight (CST). Only US postal codes.
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