Please welcome Ann DeFee author of eight Harlequin American Romances. Ann’s debut book was a double Rita finalist in 2006 and in 2008 she won a Book Buyer’s Best award.
How long have you been published?
My first book came out in July 2005 and with my February 2009 release that makes a grand total of eight. In addition I have Top Gun Dad slated for October 2009 and I’m working on a 2010 book.
What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?
Don’t get discouraged, keep learning your craft and submit. If you don’t send out your work it’s like wanting to win the lottery but not buying a ticket.
What's the strangest thing you've ever eaten?
Kidney pie at a B&B in Scotland. Or perhaps it was the mystery meat I had at a Samoan birthday party. I swear it looked like a pig leg, but that was debatable. Then there was the slimy stuff (it could have been fish or mammal, again not sure) I had at my son’s wedding reception in Copenhagen, Denmark.
What comes first: the plot or the characters?
Sometimes it’s the plot, sometimes it’s the characters. Honestly, it all seems to come out of the ether.
When you looked in the mirror this morning, what was the first thing you thought?
Wow! That hair would look right at home on Don King. It’s those curls, you know. They do whatever they want, whenever they want. LOL
What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?
Classics like Gone with the Wind and To Kill a Mockingbird are my favorites. As you can see I’m partial to southern literature.
What are you reading now? I’m into my Rita submissions. This year it’s a case of the good, the not quite so good and the ugly. But, the nice thing about judging the Rita contest is that I read books I probably wouldn’t normally buy.
Do you re-read your books once they're in print?
Nope – I already know how they end. LOL
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
This is a shameless plug; my favorite (currently) is The Man She Married which is available in stores next week. You’ll love Maizie, the heroine. She’s been married twenty + years and her hubby’s spending way too much time watching sports, so she decides to make him jealous. Can you say “big oops.”
Do you hear from your readers much? What do they say?
I’ve had some very poignant and heartfelt letters. The readers make this all worthwhile.
Are you working on anything at the present you'd like to share? I’m working on The Glory Place, a story that takes place during two days of a revival preacher’s wake. It’s set in the Appalachians and features his daughter’s path to redemption.
Did you ever eat paste or Elmer's glue when you were a kid?
Are you kidding? I was more into Milky Ways and hot fudge sundaes.
What did you do career-wise before becoming an author? I’m a Certified Land Use Planner, and in that capacity I worked for a city managing real estate development projects.
What helps inspire you when you write? Do you have any ‘rituals’ (like music, candles, and a favorite scent) that helps you find your writing zone?
The thing that keeps me pecking at the keyboard is a deadline hovering over me like a vulture just waiting to pick my bones. Yew! Way too graphic.
What do you want to know about the future? This one is personal and very micro - when will I be able to sell my house? We’re in a real estate crisis, you know!
Can you taste the difference between Pepsi and Coke?
I could do that blindfolded.
If so, which do you prefer?
Have you ever made a crank phone call?
Haven’t we all? Don’t you remember the “is your refrigerator running” gag?
Who's you're personal hero--past or present?
As a group, I have to say our Founding Fathers. They had the courage of their convictions and they put their names on a document that would ensure the loss of their freedom and fortune if they ended up on the losing side. In my mind that takes incredible guts!
What is your dream car? That one’s easy – a black Porsche 911 Carrera.
If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be?
The Holy Lands. When I was kid (as a Southern Baptist) I was convinced the Holy Lands were at least the size of Siberia. I mean really, how could folks get lost for 40 years is a place that was no bigger than a medium sized Texas county? What’s wrong with asking directions?
If you were locked in a closet for one hour who would you want in there with you? A locksmith or a professional burglar – anyone who pick the darned thing.
If you were stranded on a deserted Island what kind of hero would you want with you--A Cowboy, a Viking Warrior, a CEO, a Forensics investigator, a Chef or an Accountant…and why?
I would actually prefer a survival specialist (did I mention that my husband was the Director of Operations for the Air Force Survival Schools? He’s even spent the night in a igloo he built) but since that wasn’t one of the options I think I’d go for a cowboy. At least he’d know how to build a fire and roast some little critters.