Today we sit down for a visit with contemporary romance, new adult romance, and humorous romantic suspense author Ann Everett. Learn more about Ann and her books at her website and blog.
When did you realize you wanted to write novels?
I never intended to write novels. Only short stories to enter in contests. However, one of my shorts suddenly became 25,000 words and I wasn’t done with it, so it had to be a book.
How long did it take you to realize your dream of publication?
Again, I never wanted to be published. But I did want to improve my writing, so I joined a writing website. One of my readers there suggested I submit (the short story that turned into a book) to a small press in her area that happened to be taking open submissions. I did, and they accepted.
Are you traditionally published, indie published, or a hybrid author?
Hybrid. I was originally published by the small press I mentioned above. During my 3-year contract with them, I learned a lot about self-publishing. When my contract ended, I reclaimed the rights to the two books they had and added three more I’d written and self-published all five. Then in 2016, I submitted a book to the Kindle Scout program, and Amazon’s imprint, Kindle Press published it.
Where do you write?
I have a corner in my spare bedroom that serves as my office.
Is silence golden, or do you need music to write by? What kind?
I prefer silence, but since I score my stories, sometimes I listen to the song I’ve chosen for a particular scene just to get me “in the mood.”
How much of your plots and characters are drawn from real life? From your life in particular?
In my humorous mystery series, Tizzy/Ridge Trilogy, a whole lot of it comes from my real life. Most of the characters in those stories are people I know or family members. The stories even take place in the town where I grew up, Brownsboro, Texas. Since my sister and I both love to bake/cook, I made us owners of Sweet Thang Bakery. Since it’s fiction, I made us younger and gave us bigger boobs!!
Describe your process for naming your character?
This is a biggie for me. Because Texas is known for our crazy names, I spend a lot of time choosing them…especially for secondary characters. In my latest book, True, Joy Dell Dalton has a storyline, although she is not the main character. That is a great Texas double name!
Real settings or fictional towns?
Mostly real, but in my Bluebird, Texas Romance series, Bluebird is fictional.
What’s the quirkiest quirk one of your characters has?
In just about every book, at least one of my characters is quirky. In my most recent series, Chirp, main character, Blaze is on the spectrum, (Asperger’s syndrome) so she has no filters and says what she thinks. In True, the protagonist writes crazy songs…like, There was Nothing Between us but Your Penis! So, she’s pretty quirky.
What’s your quirkiest quirk?
Oh, I have so many, and I give most of them to my characters. If I forget something, I won’t turn around and go back home. I don’t do turnarounds. Bad luck.
If you could have written any book (one that someone else has already written,) which one would it be? Why?
Any by either Susan Elizabeth Phillips or Jennifer Crusie. I love everything they’ve written. They both write multiple storyline stories, which I started doing with the Bluebird, Texas series. Since I love to read that type of story, I discovered I love writing them as well. Each of the books in that series has three romances happening at the same time.
Everyone at some point wishes for a do-over. What’s yours?
If you’re talking about books, then…all of them! I did rewrite part of the first book I published. Even added a character! After that, I vowed not to read any of my books again once I hit publish! I just have to let them go.
If you’re talking about life, it would be to finish my college degree. I should have. Not really a regret, but a missed opportunity.
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
Lord, I have so many. But one of my main peeves is people who are constantly late…like my sister. She is never on time. It bugs the crap out of me!
You’re stranded on a deserted island. What are your three must-haves?
Good Internet connection. Computer. Credit card.
What was the worst job you’ve ever held?
“Worst” can cover so many things. I had one job where the boss was a total idiot, one job with more drama than necessary, and one where office-politics played into everything. The crazy thing is I didn’t hate any of them. I’ve usually worked two jobs for most of my life. A day job, then a part-time night job. I’ve owned a toy store, a gift shop, a lawn and landscape business, and a cleaning service. The hardest was the lawn service. Laying grass (sod) in Texas heat is no picnic! So, I guess that would win the “Worst Prize.”
What’s the best book you’ve ever read?
This is the question where I think I should answer with some really deep title, but I no longer read books like that. Since I write romance, I mostly read romance. But if I had to choose from every book I’ve read in my life, it would have to be The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. In a few pages, he sums up how we’re willing to give up everything for someone we love. That’s a true romance story.
Ocean or mountains?
I like looking at pictures of both, but since I’m terrified of water and heights, I don’t want to be at either! No cruises for me. No vacations in a majestic setting.
City girl/guy or country girl/guy?
Country girl all the way. I grew up in a town with 304 people. Everyone knew everyone. You’d think I’d want to experience something bigger, but nope. I thought the world stopped at the city limit sign and never wanted to live anywhere else. I’ve lived in cities and liked of all of them. Lubbock, Texas is my favorite. I now live in a town of about 15,000…that’s plenty big for a girl raised in Podunk!
What’s on the horizon for you?
That’s the beauty of life. We never know.
Sometimes it takes losing everything…
True Shanahan must be the unluckiest woman in the world. Either that or she’s cursed. After another failed relationship, True leaves Dallas with a broken heart and new attitude. It’s time to walk on the wild side. But when she makes a wrong turn and ends up in Bluebird, Texas, the only man she wants is anything but reckless.
…to find all you’ve ever wanted.
Ritter Malone is the town’s favorite son and has the local hero awards to prove it. Seems he’s always in the right place at the right time. But when he crosses paths with True, his life takes a turn he never sees coming. Her songwriting skills may be questionable, but her ability to turn him inside out is indisputable.
Welcome to Bluebird, Texas.
Where a chance meeting gives two people a chance at love.