Author Spotlight Interview: Anne Conley

Welcome to Author Spotlight Interviews! Today The wonderful Anne Conley has answered a good-sized list of questions for you readers.

  • So where are you from? I’m originally from Houston, TX, where I met my husband. We moved up to East Texas shortly after marriage, and have lived here for 12 years. Our own little slice of paradise.

 

 

  • Tell about us about your latest works. I just picked up one from each of your two series’ and am not sure which one to read first. It depends on whether you prefer Paranormal Romance (The Four Winds series) or Contemporary Romance (The Stories of Serendipity). The Four Winds is about God’s archangels, Uriel, Rafael, Gabriel, and Michael. He decides to let them fall in love, where they experience every human emotion they’ve never had, for the first time. This series contains sex, as well as elements of Christianity, so be forewarned. That throws some people off, but hey, Christians have sex every day, right? I would hope so, some of my friends wouldn’t be here otherwise. 🙂
    The Stories of Serendipity is a series that takes place in a fictional small Texas town. It features characters in their thirties and forties, just trying to live their lives, but falling in love in the process. Most of the books deal with serious issues (addiction, Human Trafficking, HIV) but not all of them. It is a series of books, but each book is a stand-alone with some of the same characters and places. So it doesn’t matter which order they are read in, correct? Right.
    I’ve also written two stand-alones. One, The Best Laid Plans of Boys and Men, just released today (1/7/15), and is about the whirlwind romance of Taylor, a twenty-three year-old cosmetologist, and Alexander, the forty-one year-old lawyer who is suing her. That certainly seems interesting!
  • How many books have you written? Which is your favorite? Currently, I’ve published 14 stories of various lengths. My favorite, at the moment, is Falling for Grace, Book Two in the Four Winds series. I have no idea why, specifically, except it takes place in Galveston, TX, and I’ve always wanted to live there. I’ve passed through there a time or two, it is a pretty nice place.
  • What inspired you to write your first book? My husband encouraged it, actually. I’ve always written in journals and things, but when I told him I had a story about this couple (Claire and Max, from Neighborly Complications) running around in my head, he told me to go for it.
  • What are your current projects? Currently, I’m working on finishing up The Fixer Upper, another stand-alone novel about a reality TV host and his victim, er, I mean, client. I’m also working on a new series of books about a securities team. It’s going to be different and exciting. I’m really looking forward to getting into that one. I’ve got the first two written, they’re going through the revision stage, but I’m anxious to be finished with other projects so I can totally immerse myself in them.

 

  • What books have most influenced your life most? This is a hard question… Lisa See’s Snowflower and the Secret Fan is one of my all time favorites, but Stephen King really sparked my imagination when I was growing up. I’ve always loved everything by Ray Bradbury and Shakespeare as well. The creativity involved with these people is astounding. With Snowflower and the Secret Fan aside, our book tastes were the same growing up. Love SK, RB and WS.

 

  • What book are you reading now? Right now, I’m beta reading Drawn to You for Vanessa Booke and really looking forward to its release.

 

  • Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? Haha! Not really. It seems like I’ve always written. I won a creative writing contest when I was in the 6th grade, telling a story about how Fred Flintstone invented the lightbulb, and in College, for my College Math final, I wrote a thirteen page paper featuring Mathew Mattox, PI, a film noire type mystery involving a parabola graph. I’ve always managed to incorporate writing into my life, somehow.

 

  • Do you ever experience writer’s block? If so how do you combat it? Pen and paper. That forces my brain to work a different way than with my keyboard. I’ve also found long drives down country roads to straighten out my thoughts when I’m having a particularly difficult plot issue.

 

  • What is one random thing about you? I can lick my chest. Ok..That is random and now I am picturing Gene Simmons licking his chest…awesome! lol

 

  • What is your preferred medium of writing? My laptop. It goes with me everywhere, but I always have a notebook with me as well.

 

  • What is one mistake you have made in your writing/publishing that you would avoid in future? Publishing something that’s not ready for the public.

 

  • What is your favorite positive saying? When things get hard, I just quote Matthew McConaughey in Dazed and Confused, “Just keep on living.” Reminds me of Dory from Finding Nemo, “Just keep swimming.” both are very wise people.

 

  • What is your favorite book and why? Lisa See’s Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is a great book about women, their relationships, and their friendships.

What is your favorite quote? Dr. Seuss, Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.

  • If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why? Good question! I have no idea, honestly. I could see you have written a modern version of Romeo and Juliet.

 

  • What does your writing process look like? I think about a book/story/characters for months before I outline it. Then I let it sit while I work on something else. Then the rough draft happens, just to get the story down, and let it sit while I work on something else. Then revisions, multiple times. I read and re-read, making notes in my manuscript and fixing things, letting it sit between reads while I work on other things. Finally, I send it off to beta readers, and then revise again before it goes to my editor. I usually have four projects going at the same time. Lots of authors can’t work that way, but I find I can’t really do it any differently.

 

  • Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? Time management. I can market myself and sell books, or I can write more books. I can’t seem to do both, successfully. I feel your pain, as I’m sure all other authors do. It is hard marketing and writing.

 

  • What do you like to do when you’re not writing? I read and spend time with my family. It depends on what’s going on in my life as to which one of those comes first. 🙂

 

  • Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)? LOL. Not really, except I get up and write at 5:30 am. That’s probably pretty strange…

 

  • Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad? Yes, I read them. No I never respond to any of them, unless it’s to thank them for the review on their blog (never on Amazon or goodreads). Unless a reviewer is personally attacking the author, I say to just find the positive in the review (there’s almost always some positive) and focus on that, ignoring the rest. If it’s a personal attack, report it if you can to the webhost, but ignore it personally. There are mean people everywhere, and you can’t really do much about it. Best advice I have ever heard!

 

 

 

Published by Courtney M. Wendleton

I'm an author with an associate's in psychology. Interested in a lot of different things, and love controversy. The more controversial the better, but that's not all I'm interested in. Can be a bit confusing at times, but that's normal!

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