26 September, 2014

#Interview :: Ann Swann, #Author of Lilac Lane

Ann lives in Texas with her husband and rescue pets. She loves libraries and book stores and owns two e-readers just for fun. Ann writes what she likes to read. Her paranormal book series centers around a couple of teenage ghost-magnets: 
Stevie-girl and the Phantom Pilot, 
Stevie-girl and The Phantom Student, 
Stevie-girl and The Phantom of Crybaby Bridge 
have all been on Amazon’s bestseller lists for scary tales and ghost stories.

Ann also writes a Romantic Suspense series for 5 Prince Publishing: 
Book One is Stutter Creek (Amazon bestseller), 
and Book Two is Lilac Lane. It was just released in July. 
Book three will be out in 2015. 

Ann’s other published novel is All For Love, a women’s novel of heartache and hope. It has also been an Amazon bestseller for Literary Fiction. 

Ann’s story, Soul Gardener, was originally published in Timeless, an anthology of paranormal love stories. She has also published short fiction in The Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, The Binnacle, The Rusty Nail, and several local magazines and anthologies. She also has an apocalyptic horror novel coming out in 2015. 

Public contact information of Author
Blog I Facebook I TwitterAmazon Author Page 

Debdatta, Thank you for always supporting Indie Authors. And thanks for allowing me to take over your blog with my ramblings. ~ Ann 

When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer/ a storyteller? 
I was a preteen when I wrote my first story. 

What inspires to write? 
Everything seems to inspire me. From snippets of conversation to rocks lying in the middle of my walking trail in a pattern suggesting a buried skeleton (those made it into a story called Skeleton Rock – original title, right?).

How did you come up with the idea for your current story? 
Lilac Lane is set in the same place as Stutter Creek, my previous suspense novel. But that is as far as the similarities go. In my “day job” I do research for an online journal specializing in legal cases. That means I go to various courthouses in my area and look up information. Unfortunately there is no shortage of domestic violence cases. And I always knew I would write about such a story. Only in Lilac Lane it becomes more of a revenge story…

Is there some stories tucked away in some drawer that was written before and never saw the light of the day? 
I have tons of stories that have never seen the light of day—even a novel or two. Someday, when I run out of anything else to do, I plan to revise some of them. There is one in particular that nags at me to be rewritten. It’s a little horror story.

Tell us about your writing process. 
I am a planster. That’s a cross between a plotter and a panster. In other words, I write a brief plot idea complete with main character descriptions and backstories, and then I let the characters run. I love to have marathon writing sessions, hours upon hours. Some of my best writing is done when I’m half-asleep (I’ll come back to it the next day and think, did I write that?). But usually it’s catch as catch can. I have lots of irons in the non-writing fire (kids, grandkids, elderly parents, part-time job). But recently, I found that I CAN write on my laptop in the car while hubby drives. I used to get carsick if I tried to do that. But now I’ve learned if I look up every few seconds—and stop at the first sign of nausea—I can do it. This made our most recent weekend trip seem very short indeed.

What is your favorite scene in the book? Why? 
My favorite scene in Lilac Lane is when Ella is searching the house for the source of the noises she keeps hearing and comes to her bedroom closet. It gave me shivers writing that scene. I think something did touch the back of my neck at one point.

Did any of your characters inherit some of your own quirks? 
Oh, yes. A little of me is in every character—the good ones and the bad ones. Ella’s lack of self-esteem is a prime example.

Do you read? Who are your favourite authors and how have they influenced your writing style?
I read all the time. I started with the usual books like Little Women and Call of the Wild and moved up from there. I love any book or story that makes me want to open it and start reading it again as soon as I finish. That doesn’t happen often. I have to say Stephen King’s early work did that to me—I reread The Dead Zone, The Shining, and The Stand several times. I love the scares in those books, but it isn’t just that—I also read Jaws and The Exorcist and I never wanted to read them again. I think Stephen King’s lure, for me at least, is his ability to create stay-with-you characters. He firt grabbed my attention with his short fiction—One for the Road, The Last Rung on the Ladder, and The Woman in the Room are three stories that have stayed with me over the years—and those last two aren’t even in the supernatural vein. But speaking of veins, Anne Rice has that same character-creating ability. I must have reread Interview With the Vampire three times—in quick succession. Is it any wonder I don’t write about vampires? Between King and Rice, I thought it had been done! But having said all that, I have to admit that my first love was Edgar Alan Poe, the master of the macabre. His Black Cat story, and novels The Masque of the Red Death really wowed me. Then there was The Tell-Tale Heart. Need I go on? Oh, yes, John Steinbeck. I am still in awe of his work. Read The Chrysanthemum. It’s one of the best short-stories ever. And Ray Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine, and Shirley Jackson . . . okay, I’ll stop now. I could go on though. What writer doesn’t love to talk about books? No, I have to say one more thing; I love nonfiction, too. National Geographic still has the best pieces on our changing world. And I don’t want to imply that I don’t read Indie books, I do. But I’ve been criticized for championing my author friends so I don’t do that anymore even though some are TERRIFIC writers. (You know who you are). But trolls can be vicious. I think sour-grapes rule a lot of those small minds.

What is the best piece of advice you have received, as a writer, till date? 
Get a good editor. 

What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing? 
Read everything, write all the time. Get a good editor. LOL.

What would be the Dream Cast for your book if it was to be turned into a movie? 
For Lilac Lane, I would cast a young Sandra Bullock as Ella because SB has that girl-next-door thing down pat. Her son, Nick, would be played by a kid named Ty Simpkins, he has that slightly-haunted quality Nick would need. As for the bad guy, Anson, how about Rob Pattinson? Shocked, you say? Check out this pic from a recent movie he filmed. I think he’s got that crazy look needed to play Anson. The question is, does he have size twelve boots?  Wait a minute, RPat could also play the love interest, Chet Boone. Oh my, what a dilemma! But so could Mark Wahlberg, he looks tough but tender. He also seems to be a good dad, that’s what the Chet character needs to convey.

How do you spend your free time? Do you have a favorite place to go and unwind? 
Yes, my walking trail. I have pics posted on my blog

Can you share with us something off your bucket list?
I want to visit my ancestor’s old castle. I was told it was stripped from the family when King Henry split from the Roman Catholic Church.

What do you have in store next for your readers? 
I am working on book three set in Stutter Creek. I won’t say the title; the last time I did that, my title appeared on another book while mine was still in the editing phase. I’m sure it was coincidence, but it still makes me leery of putting it out there.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with your readers? 
Yes, to keep up with my latest releases, just go to Ann Swann’s author page on Amazon and click the button that says “stay up to date.” Easy-peasy. Oh and visit me on FB or on my blog. As you can see, I love to chat.

Ella and her son survived her ex-husband's drunken wrath. They are starting a new life in a new town, Stutter Creek. She's even met a real man. A gentle wild life biologist named Chet Boone. But now, her ex has been released from prison early. Is that him driving past their new house late at night? Is he the one causing the strange sounds and flickering lights? Can they survive a second round with a madman?