Thursday, November 19, 2009
Author Spotlight: Annette Snyder, Novelist
Thank you so much for stopping in today. Well... Let's get down to it, shall we?
What inspired you to write your first book?
I was in a museum with my kids. There was an exhibit on orphan trains that ran across the USA and stopped at all the little towns giving homeless/parentless children away. While I was reading one of the stories on a story board, someone tapped me on the shoulder and said, “My name’s Sally. Write about me.” When I turned around, no one was there but I had this idea for Sally Murphy. Turned out to be a great story plus seven.
Wow! what an interesting inspiration, Annette. Gives me chills:) How many books have you written?
I’ve got twelve pubbed books, counting my December release, Travis Pass MegaBook II. If you’re into historical reads, it’s a great bargain as you get 3 books in one. Travis Pass MegaBook I released in October. I’ve got another that I’m submitting and maybe 30 that I have to get ready to go out. Then I could actually name three characters right now begging me to write their stories so—MANY!
You are a busy little bee, aren't you? How do you decide on their topic?
My stories usually just come to me. When I get the idea, I write whatever comes into my head. The very first draft is really really rough and hardly even readable but I get the beginning, middle and end down while it’s fresh in my mind. I put it in an idea folder if my muse stops there and I go back and rework it when the urge strikes or I have time. Sally Murphy tapped me on the shoulder. My grandpa Doda whispered to write a story about whistles for him…which you can read on my website. They say to keep a pad and pencil by the bed, well, I leave my computer on and it’s not unusual to find me at my desk in the middle of the night.
LOL I know exactly what you mean. The other night I woke from a sound sleep with a title rolling around in my head then some story ideas so insistent that I had to get up and find my notepad and jot them all down because I knew they would be long gone in the morning. Then the next morning I did an outline for the story line of a new novel! Amazing how the writer's mind works, isn't it? Do you write to make money or for the love of writing?
I once read an interview with a famous author, and I don’t remember which one, but she said only the top 10% of writers actually make money doing it. I also talked to a famous author and asked him what he thought was the catch to make it and he replied, “Luck. Just plain luck.” So I guess I write because I love it and hope that someday I’ll have some of that luck!
You and me both, but I truly love the art as it is my stress relief when reality becomes too overbearing. I am able to lose myself in the worlds I've created:) What are some traditional methods of marketing you have used to gain visibility for you and your book(s)?
I do the bookmarks and the flyers, speaking engagements and talking to the local booksellers. Promoting with people I know. I advertised with a group in Romantic Times and next year have purchased advertising in a Nebraska magazine because I’m a Nebraska author.
What are some unique methods?
I joined a regional marketing group that co-ops with other Nebraska producers and gets my novels to many more eyes than I could on my own. It does cost a little, but I’m finding the publicity is expanding my fan base and, because it’s a co-op, much of the marketing that I wouldn’t normally be able to afford, is done because I’m in the group. I also write a bit for one of the regional papers when they ask for stories about things. Usually they give away a short blurb about who the writer is so, since it’s a regional newspaper, I get to reach thousands of readers for free.
Do you write every day? Or when the muse strikes?
I write every single day. Sometimes it’s just a little, sometimes so much I don’t get anything else done. I hold a real job so I don’t write from 8-5 unless I’m off!
My latest release, November’s, is Eureka Springs. It’s the second in a series and it tells the story of one of the secondary characters from Viveka’s War, released in January and getting some awesome reviews.
Congratulations on your great reviews, Annette.
How do you come up with your title and main characters’ names?
In Viveka’s War, I knew I wanted my heroine to have an unusual name as it’s a story based on my grandmother’s life and she has an unusual name. For Eureka Springs, the main character reminded me of my great uncle and he had a girlfriend so I named the characters after them. Usually, I try and pick names for the time period unless the characters tell me otherwise.
Do you put pieces of yourself or your life in your stories? Doesn’t every author?
Well, I know I do:) How long did you write seriously before your first book was published?
Me, too! My first novel took three years to complete and two more years to publish, so a grand total of five years.
How many manuscripts had you written by the time you had your first publication?
By the time Sally Murphy came out, I had five or six more in the works.
Why do you write?
I write because one day I woke up in the middle of the night from this dream about two hot guys in a forest that found a woman and felt the need to save her. I woke up, wrote it down and it turned into sixty thousand words. That book is far from publishing stage as I’ve learned so much in the last years about writing, but someday I’m going to revamp it and see if anyone wants it.
Hmm...that sounds like something I would like to find out more about. Sounds quite interesting, Annette. Do you have an upcoming release? Eureka Springs came out November 1st.
Here’s a blurb:
Beginning life in a new direction is harder than Ruth Seidle realizes when hidden secrets surface. With an obscure past exposed, can Ruth forsake lies for honesty in effort to correct past mistakes?
John Vickers loved one woman. Tragedy, and an affair uncovered, forces a new path for him. Can he put distrust aside and let another close to his heart?
Where can we find your upcoming release? When will it be available?
You can purchase this title, along with all my others at http://www.whiskeycreekpress.com/ and you can find out about them and more on what I do at http://annettesnyder.atspace.com/
Are any of your characters modeled after people you know?
My husband is the main character in Liberty Road. He tells everyone that he’s the hero in a romance novel.
Fun question (possible blackmail material down the line, LOL) What is the most uncharacteristic thing you have ever done? Please, no censoring? I have no qualms about placing a content warning on my blog!
There was a hotel in Lincoln, Nebraska with a swimming pool on the roof. My boyfriend at the time, and some friends, took the elevator to the highest floor we could, snuck out the fire escape (I think it was 10 floors up) and climbed to the roof for a swim. We did get caught by the security guard who was watching the elevator and knew no one was rooming any higher than the fifth floor. He ushered us out of the hotel. It was a big thing for me as I’m afraid of heights and going on that fire escape was so terrifying. Still, the water was warm and the view of the city from there…amazing!
Great story, Annette. Thank you for sharing it. The most important thing is you didn't let your fear of heights stop you, LOL
As a great big thank you to Danaya and her readers, I’d Like to give away a copy of Eureka Springs, with a handy book tote for all your reading needs, to one lucky winner who comments on Dayana’s blog for my interview. Just post a comment for your chance to win and thanks for joining me here today!
Oh boy! A Prize to boot! Thank you, Annette for dropping by. It's been great getting to know you better. I will be looking up your work. Best sales to you with your new releases and don't be a stranger. I'd love to see you back.
More about Annette:
My novels are available at www.whiskeycreekpress.com as well as www.fictionwise.com and their affiliates. My work is also available at www.growneb.com and their year round and holiday stores, some local stores in my area and at The Great Platte River National Archway Monument in Kearney, Nebraska.