Author Interviews

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Interview with Author

Anne R. Allen

I am really excited to talk to Anne R. Allen. She is one of the hardest working writers I know and has recently been in a publishing frenzy.

Tell us about your latest novel

I’ve published five novels in the past three months with my digital publisher, and they’re slowly coming out in paper—in slightly different order—with another publisher, so it’s hard to define “latest.”

Two of my Camilla Randall mysteries, Ghostwriters in the Sky and Sherwood, Ltd, have just been made available for Nook, and the prequel, The Best Revenge, which is set in the 1980s, debuted this week in paper. All three are also available for Kindle on Amazon.

They feature amateur sleuth Camilla Randall—a perennially broke socialite and manners columnist—and her gay best friend, screenwriter Plantagenet Smith. They’re a fun sleuthing couple—kind of Nick and Nora Charles for the 21st century.

Ghostwriters in the Sky is set at a writers’ conference in California’s wine-and-cowboy country north of Santa Barbara. (It’s also the setting of the popular oenophile film, Sideways.) It’s a fun read that should appeal to any writer who’s gone to a conference or is thinking of going to one—spoofing all the obsessed writers and goofy wannabes.

Sherwood Ltd takes Camilla to a wild, unorthodox publishing company in the English Midlands, near the real Sherwood Forest. She falls for the owner, a charming, self-styled Robin Hood, who turns out to indeed be an outlaw engaged in some very shady enterprises. Unfortunately, he may also be planning to murder her. It’s inspired by my own experiences working for a small publisher in Lincolnshire from 2002-2005.

The Best Revenge introduces Camilla and Plantagenet in the 1980s, when the Savings and Loan scandal caused a recession much like the present one. When Camilla’s patrician family loses everything, she seeks refuge with Plantagenet in California. But he has developed heterosexual tendencies and an inconvenient girlfriend, so Camilla has to move in with wild-partying friends. To make things a whole lot worse, a famously debauched TV star ends up dead after one of their parties, and Camilla is arrested for murder. In order to clear her name and find the real killer, she must turn to a friendly sanitation worker, a dotty octogenarian neighbor and a muckraking journalist who once ridiculed her—who also happens to be her boss.

Describe your book in 15 words or less

Ghostwriters in the Sky: Murder at a Writers Conference. Whodunnit? Ghosts, gangsters, the cross-dressing dominatrix, or the bogus agent?

Sherwood, Ltd: Penniless socialite becomes a 21st century Maid Marian, but is “Robin” planning to kill her?

The Best Revenge: A 1980s celebutante loses everything—even her gay best friend—then is accused of murder.

Who are your favorite writers and why?

Tough question, since I have so many. I have the works of a lot of fabulous Indie chicks on my Kindle TBR list. But I do love Nick Hornby, (whose work would probably be called “chick lit” if he were female) and Marian Keyes.

I realized recently that my work was influenced by three types of books I read when I was a teen: The classic mysteries of Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Josephine Tey, 2) The sophisticated Dorothy Parker-type humor I read in my parent’s issues of the New Yorker 3) The romantic suspense of Mary Stewart.

I think in my own work, I’ve tried to braid together all three of those threads.

What is your favorite quote about writing?

Actually, it’s one of my own—from a popular blogpost from last year. It got picked up by Quotes4Writers on Twitter and makes the rounds about once a month. It’s about “Mirandizing” our friends—the ones who are always looking for themselves in our novels. I’m thinking of having it printed up on a tee-shirt:

“I’m a novelist. Anything you say can be taken down and used against you in a work of fiction.”

What is your next project?

I’m very excited to be writing a handbook for writers with Pay it Forward author Catherine Ryan Hyde, who has been my mentor for many years.

Its working title is How to be a Writer in the E-Age

Authors Comments

I’d like to thank you, Cheryl, for starting the awesome group of independent women authors we call the Indie Chicks. You’ve been our leader and guiding light as we’ve written and marketed this anthology. It’s such a wonderful, supportive group: women helping each other, and giving the proceeds to charity. I’m also pleased to be part of the MWiDP team with you. I think we’re really going to take off this year.

Anne R. Allen's website: http://annerallen.blogspot.com

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Interview with Author

Katherine Owen

Tell us about your latest novel

“Seeing Julia” is the story of Julia Hamilton, 27, who is intent on building a life with Evan and their young son, looking forward instead of back; but then, Evan dies. A desperate Julia wonders if she can really start over again, when she encounters Jake Winston, Evan’s mysterious best friend from Yale, which leads to a connection neither seems prepared for. Now, Julia battles grief and guilt while her sessions with Dr. Bradley Stevenson trigger memories from her past, pain she thought she’d dealt with long ago. Her best friend Kimberley insists this thing with Jake is a new beginning, but Julia’s not so sure, realizing the loss of so many may define her after all. Months later, Julia faces financial ruin and turns to Jake for help, but the venerable attorney has his own complications that further test his loyalties. Then, Julia learns of a betrayal by the one person she thought she knew, betrayal that leads her to question everything and everyone she believes in, including herself.

Describe your book in 15 words or less

A young widow must learn to embrace her past, reveal her secrets, and trust herself.

Who are your favorite writers and why?

I’m a huge fan of Audrey Niffenegger, “The Time Traveler’s Wife”. Not only is the writing fantastic, but also because I admire the way she broke all the writing rules with that book (constant switching back and forth from the present and past; multiple points of view, straddling genres of science-fiction (with time travel) as well as an epic love story line ~ all in one.). The story stays with you for a long time. I still think about Henry and Clare.

Another writer I really admire is Dylan Landis, “Normal People Don’t Live Like This”. Landis’ style is literary; exceptional, really. She can cover a plot line in two paragraphs or as little as a few sentences and readers just have to catch up. I love that technique and want to do more of that in my own writing with upcoming work.

Other favorites include Tess Callahan, Jennie Shortridge, Tish Cohen and Danielle Younge-Ullman. All these women writers are incredible and write about “broken” female heroines which is within my own “wheelhouse”. I’m a huge fan of all of these authors’ work because they exemplify such talent in different ways.

What is your favorite quote about writing?

I have many! If you follow me on twitter at: katherineowen01, you’ll get a regular sampling of those. Here’s one I come back to time and again.

“The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But, above all, the world needs dreamers who do.”
~Sarah Ban Breathnach~

What is your next project?

I’m in the final production stages with my third novel, “When I See You”, which I hope to release in the next few weeks.

Here’s the tagline/back cover for that one:

He breaks his promise,
more than once.
He makes another.
Will she believe him?
Can he keep it?

Authors Comments

Being a writer is a dream come true; and the solitary, angst-filled routine while I’m writing works for me. Yet, the thing I enjoy so much is after releasing these works into the world and garnering “loved it” reactions from my readers. It’s the best!

For more information about Katherine Owen, visit these links:
Website: http://www.katherineowen.net
Blog: http://www.katherineclareowen.com
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Katherine-Owen/e/B004Z3BG3I/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
Follow her on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/KatherineOwen01
Connect on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KatherineOwenauthor
I’m on Tumblr, here: http://katherineowen.tumblr.com/

Katherine Owen's website: http://www.katherineowen.net