I love reading the authors responses to Inside the Writer's Mind. This week, we have Anne Evans, author of Plum Pudding Bride. I love that cover!
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Same DiNamics Books: Writing can be a daunting prospect, what made you decide to share your story with the world?
Anne Evans: Ever since my mom taught me how to read, I’ve devoured every story I could get my hands on. By the time I became a teenager, that voracious love of reading turned into a desire to put my own stories into words.
SDB: Who has influenced you as an author?
AE: Rosemary Sutcliff, an English author of dark historical fiction for children, inspired my love of the ancient world in general and the Roman Empire in particular. While I dabble in all eras, Ancient Rome remains my favorite time period to write (or read) about.
SDB: What is your writing method? Do you outline first or do you purge your brain on paper until your story is told?
AE: My view of outlines and stories is similar to Pride and Prejudice’s Elizabeth Bennet’s view of poetry and love.
``And so ended his affection,'' said Elizabeth impatiently. ``. . . I wonder who first discovered the efficacy of poetry in driving away love!''
``I have been used to consider poetry as the food of love,'' said Darcy.
``Of a fine, stout, healthy love it may. Every thing nourishes what is strong already. But if it be only a slight, thin sort of inclination, I am convinced that one good sonnet will starve it entirely away.''
I love outlines, but only once I’ve gotten a good idea of the raw emotions behind the story and what drives my characters. Otherwise, an outline can quickly quench my writing muse.
SDB: How long does it take you to write your story, from getting it down on paper to publishing?
AE: The longer I write, the faster I’m able to crank out a novel. My record so far is 2 ½ months for a 100,000 word novel, while pregnant and throwing up no less. As for how long to get published, I currently have multiple novels languishing on my hard drive waiting for a publisher.
SDB: Can you tell me a little bit about your book(s) without giving away too much? Why should I read it?
AE: Next month, I’m coming out with four books set in Ancient Rome, the Love & Warfare series. It follows the story of a Roman family, the Paterculis through two generations, almost three decades, and four love stories. The stories are set during the reign of Emperor Domitian and Emperor Trajan. Look for the first two books, For Life or Untiland When Gambling . . . to come out this May.
SDB: How much of yourself is in your character(s)?
AE: I am strongly against basing characters off myself. In the end though, I usually end up accidentally giving each protagonist at least a touch of myself. After all, you can’t write a truly empathetic character, unless you empathize with him or her yourself.
SDB: What advice would you give to an aspiring author?
AE: First, make sure you actually want to travel this long, underpaid, and rejection-laden road. Second, make sure you’re writing in a genre that sells well. Publishers (and readers)likely won’t take a risk on a non-standard story for a new author. Third, start building your author platform, blog, and social media sites now.
AE: A speaker at a writers’ conference told me once, “If there’s any way possible you can stop writing, stop. An author’s life is unenviable at best.”
I’ve tried multiple times since I was a teenager to stop writing. I never succeeded. I have stories in my blood and that’s why, no matter how many rejection letters I get, I keep writing.