Hi all! Let's give Ann a warm welcome. Be sure to leave a comment and get in the drawing for a freebie.
Bio: Ann Shorey has been writing for over fifteen years. She’s been published in the Adams Media Cup of Comfort series, and in Chicken Soup for the Grandma’s Soul. Ann has also written articles for various local and regional publications. After completing a nonfiction historical narrative in 1998, she realized she had uncovered a treasure trove of inspiration, and turned to fiction as a way to put that inspiration to good use.
Ann teaches classes on historical research, story arc, and other fiction fundamentals at writers conferences. She works in Sutherlin, Oregon, where she lives with her husband, Richard. The Edge of Light is her first novel.
1. Plug time! Please tell us a little about your latest release and why readers should run out and buy it as soon as it hits the shelves. The Edge of Light is set in 1838 in what was then frontier Missouri and Illinois. When Molly McGarvie’s husband, Samuel, succumbs to cholera, her unscrupulous brother-in-law takes over the family business and leaves Molly to fend for herself. She knows she must head out on her own, but it’s a dangerous journey and soon she faces the loss of another family member. Somehow she must find a way to earn a living, restore her family, and fend off some unusual suitors. There are enough plot twists to keep readers up past their bedtimes!
2. How many full manuscripts did you write before you sold? Or if you’re pre-pubbed, how many have you written to date? I wrote two other full manuscripts, and re-wrote this one several times.
3. In your opinion, what’s the most fascinating thing about writing? I write historical fiction, and am continually fascinated by the way women lived in earlier times. In fact, learning more about these women’s lives if what prompted me to write fiction in the first place.
4. What’s something you can tell us about yourself that most people don’t know? In my dream life, I’d own at least five or six rescue dogs. I love dogs, and we have one that we did rescue, but we don’t have space for more.
5. When did you start writing for publication and what did people say when they found out? I started with nonfiction back in the 1990’s, and had a few things published. I think until this book deal happened, most people thought of it as my “hobby.”
6. What is your favorite food? Chocolate.
7. Tell us a little about your family. My husband, Richard, and I are empty-nesters. Our daughters have fledged and flown, although they all live close enough to allow for frequent visits.
8. Who are your favorite authors? Way too many to list them all. Barbara Kingsolver is at the top of my list, but I also like mystery writers Elizabeth George and Tony Hillerman. Bonnie Leon and Rachel Hauck are two wonderful ACFW-member writers.
9. What are you reading now and what’s in your “to be read” pile? Right now I’m reading “Longings of the Heart,” by Bonnie Leon. “Shade,” by John B. Olson, “A Passion Most Pure,” by Julie Lessman, and “Love Starts With Elle,” by Rachel Hauck, are at the top of my “to be read” pile.
10. Do you set out to write each story with a particular theme or does the theme develop as the story does? I find the theme develops as the story progresses. If I start with a fixed idea it’s too limiting for me.
11. Do you have a particular method for tracking the details in your story? Can you tell us a little about this? I keep a chapter-by-chapter log as I write. Nothing fancy. I use a yellow legal-size pad and jot down the highlights of the chapter, date (in the story), and POV character. Details of the characters are spelled out on the character sheets that I prepare before beginning to write. I’ll go back to these sheets and add information if something happens in the story that I need to remember.
12. Who has had the most influence on your life in general? In your writing life? Becoming a Christian 30+ years ago has had the greatest influence on my life. Humanly speaking, my mother shaped the person I am today. In my writing life, I’ve been blessed with a wonderful mentor and friend, Bonnie Leon. She cheers me on every step of the way.
13. Do you have an agent? If yes, did you have the agent before you sold your first book or after? If you are yet to be published, you can skip the second part of the question. Yes. My book was in committee at the publisher when my agent responded to my proposal, so in a way I had the sale and the agent at the same time. She was a tremendous help through the contract process.
14. What advice do you have for a beginning author? Follow your dreams. Don’t get discouraged and quit. If the book you’re working on gets rejected over and over, take what you’ve learned from rejections start another one. We get better with every book, as long as we don’t stop learning.
15. Any parting comments? “The Edge of Light” was inspired by the life of one of my female ancestors. Some of it is true, most of it isn’t. I’d love to hear reader’s guesses as to which parts are which. I can be contacted through my website, www.annshorey.com
Ann, thanks so much for a fantastic interview and congratulations on your book. I look forward to reading it.