Inside A Beautiful Mind – Kayla Krantz

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Good Morning Everyone and happy Friday once again.  This week on Inside A Beautiful Mind I am going to be chatting with a talented writer and an amazing editor as well, the lovely Kayla Krantz.13599021_1151162121592144_1017001741_n

KADE: Good Morning Kayla, Thank you for taking time away from your hectic schedule to chat with me. Would you mind telling us about your upcoming book?

KAYLA: My upcoming book, Alive at Sunset, is book two in my Rituals of the Night Series. It’s the sequel to Dead by Morning. These books are all psychological thriller and horror, meant to explore what goes on in the minds of both a serial killer and their victims.

KADE: I am a bit biased about these books because I have had the honor of reading Dead by Morning and I have to say the readers are in for an amazing treat. Alive at Sunset sounds like it will not disappoint. So, what inspired you to write your first book?

KAYLA: I was inspired to write Dead by Morning by a reoccurring dream that I have. Or rather, reoccurring figure in my dreams.

KADE: Wow, that is creepy and incredibly interesting. So your books are books are based on real life experiences?

KAYLA: Basically, Dead by Morning was a twisted version of my own high school experience. I didn’t have a lot of friends, I stuck to myself a lot much like Luna. I never really took stock of what the other kids did. I had a handful of friends, but beyond that, I got picked on a lot so I would dive into books at school to avoid confrontations.

KADE: Oh, Kayla. I am so sorry to hear that. But on the up side your haven within the pages of the stories that protected you has obviously exposed you to the power that books hold and the basis of an incredible career choice. What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

KAYLA: My favorite part of Dead by Morning would have to be the part at the dance. It’s a real turning point in the story where Luna starts to see past Chance’s annoying demeanor and realizes that there’s something actually dangerous about him.

KADE: I remember that part. That does seem to stand out in my mind too. How did you come up with the title?

KAYLA: I went through a string of titles, unable to decide on one that fit the tone. I was watching a “Family Guy” episode and one of them said. “We’ll all be Dead by Morning.” And I just thought, “Dead by Morning” that’s perfect!13617941_1151161734925516_3070828_n

KADE: Ha ha, that is too funny. The universe speaks to us all if we pay attention but I like the fact that it seems to have a sense of humor as well. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

KAYLA: The toughest criticism I’ve gotten is that the story simply isn’t believable. The thing about that is this could be considered an urban fantasy book. Of course it’s not believable—I don’t want it to be. It’s supposed to be a twisted observation on reality to show the twisted thoughts and feelings of someone slowly losing their mind.

The best compliment I’ve gotten is that people can see my book playing out as a movie in their heads while reading.

KADE: Now wouldn’t that be incredible? I can totally see it. Fingers crossed for you Kayla. Do you have any unique or quirky writing habits?

 KAYLA: I don’t know about quirky but I have a very OCD writing routine. When I begin a new story, I have to write it out in a spiral-bound college-rule notebook with a fountain pen. It can’t be a composition book because I just don’t like those. After finishing my first draft, I rewrite all of it on loose-leaf college-ruled paper with binding tape that I keep in a three-ring binder. When that copy is finished, I finally begin typing it up.

KADE: That is a lot of work but I completely understand as everyone has their way of writing. If this process works for you and keeps the stories flowing then keep on pushing those fountain pens to their demise. Good job. What’s the strangest thing you have ever had to research online for your book?

 KAYLA: The strangest thing I’ve probably researched is what car is typical for jerks to drive.

KADE: Ha ha, that is a strange search but I am sure google would know. Give us an interesting fun fact about your book.

 KAYLA: All of my characters are based on real people, except for Chance. He’s based on a reoccurring dream figure that I’ve seen since the ninth grade.

KADE: Oh nice. This was probably helpful in knowing how to write them and express their mannerisms in the story. So when you do being your writing process, do you work with an outline, or just write?

KAYLA: When I start a new piece, I usually jot down on my ideas in a loose type of outline similar to the steps of the “hero’s journey.” When I actually get to writing, I stick to it and sometimes, I diverge. It all depends on what directions the characters decide to go!

KADE: That is true. When they want to take you down a different path it is best just to let them. They know where to go and sometimes they have a way of surprising you with what they see. So now that you have a few books under your wings, we need to know when did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?

KAYLA: I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I first started writing short stories when I was four, and I had a habit of it all throughout elementary school. I didn’t finish my first novel until I was fifteen, however.

KADE: Wow, that is quite an accomplishment for a fifteen year old. Impressive to say the least. How did you choose the genre you write in?

KAYLA: I never really set my mind to writing a particular genre. I actually wanted to write more horror work, but the ideas I had were more thriller/suspense in nature so I just went with it.

KADE: That is smart of you not to press the story to go in a direction that it wasn’t meant to go and to let it develop naturally. Where do you get your ideas?

KAYLA: My ideas come from a variety of places. Sometimes from songs, from a word, or simply an item. A lot of ideas I’ve had have actually come from dreams.

KADE: It sounds like you are very open to inspiration, ready to take it and run with it. That is wonderful. Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

KAYLA: From little on, I’ve always been very inspired by Stephen King. I absolutely adore how out of the box some of his work is and the deeper meaning some stories such as The Dark Half have.

KADE: Yes, Stephen King is an amazing inspiration. I can see why you adore him. We should all be so lucky to have such an imagination and wisdom. Since you have been writing for quite a while and are seasoned with how to manifest and actually see your creations to their completion. Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

KAYLA: Never give up. Writing is a tough business but wear your battle scars proudly and never let anyone take away the joy it gives you.

KADE: I agree one hundred percent. Protecting your joy is important. Great advice Kayla, thank you. Do you have any favorite quotes or sayings?

KAYLA: “Normal is an illusion. What’s normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.” —Morticia Addams

KADE: Oh I really love that…Very lyrical and profound but it is true. Now for some fun stuff. Tea or coffee?

KAYLA: Tea for sure!

KADE: Sweet or salty?

KAYLA: Sweet, of course! Chocolate is one of my best friends.

KADE: I hear you, chocolate is divine. Would you like to share with us a passage that will give us a glimpse into the world you built?

KAYLA: Chance stayed where he was and looked around the people near him. At the sight of him alone, a couple girls ran up to him and Luna guessed they were asking him for a dance. She smiled a bit to herself…maybe if he got distracted with the other girls he would forget she was there. As she watched, he shooed the girls away with a simple movement of his arm, and Luna’s hope turned to disappointment. He walked over to her, searching her eyes with his.

“What’s wrong? Don’t like the paparazzi?” He laughed.13624845_1151161818258841_1916210121_n

“You should dance with those other girls.”

“Why?” he asked, scrunching up his face.

“Because I want to go home.”

He shook his head. “No way, you’re not going home without at least giving me one dance.”

Luna slumped her shoulders. “Do we really have to?”

“Do I have to tell David that you didn’t follow his orders?” he asked, tipping his head to the side.

Luna closed her eyes for a long moment to hold back the building anger. She knew he’d keep his promise. “Fine, you win.”

He smiled and held out his hand to her. “Of course I did.”

Reluctantly, she set her hand in his. His skin felt clammy beneath her fingers, like he had been sweating. Luna wanted to pull her hand back, but she forced herself to keep it there. He closed his fingers around hers and pulled her onto the dance floor. The music turned to a slow, sappy song, forcing them to slow dance. He forced her arms up onto his shoulders and set his hands on her waist.

As he stepped to the music, she searched his expression for any sign of compassion. “Why do you do this to me?”

“Do what?”

“Make me go to things like this. I mean, I know you don’t like me. What could you possibly want from me?”

He looked back at her, and for a minute, he didn’t speak, as if he had been caught off-guard by her question. “I can’t tell you.”

“You can blackmail me into going on dates with you, and you can have your friends kidnap me, but you can’t tell me why you do it?” she asked in disbelief.

“Look, you’ll find out eventually, and you won’t like it, I know. I try hard to get you to feel something toward me so that when you find that out, you won’t fight me,” he whispered in her ear.

“Find what out? What could be so bad? Do Susan and Kate and all of them know what it is?” She pulled back to watch his face carefully.

“No, they don’t. No one does. Just keep quiet, okay?”

“Does this have to do with the thing you hide in your pocket?” Luna asked him a bit louder. “Do you have it on you now?” She reached her hand forward to try to touch the side of his pants.

A couple people around them turned to look as she raised her voice to him. Chance caught her wrist easily in his hand, returned their stares, and smiled nervously before looking back at Luna. He had to resist the urge to shake her into silence as he let go of her arm.

“I don’t hide anything in my pocket okay?” he snarled. “That’s all just your imagination, Luna. Now drop it.”

Part of her was frightened by his sudden anger. He was hiding something from her…and from everyone else as well.

“Okay, we’re setting up to play,” a voice called from the stage. “We need a volunteer singer to help us out.”

“How about Chance does it?” Luna heard a nearby girl suggest.

The anger dissolved from Chance’s face as he turned to the girl who had spoken. Luna realized that all of his rage had been solely directed at her, and she felt oddly cold at the thought.

“Yeah, I’ll do it. Why not?” she barely heard him say.

He let go of her and moved through the cheering crowd toward the stage. The band took its place, and Chance stood at the microphone. He looked completely comfortable up there, normal, as if he weren’t the center of attention. The band began to play “Every Breath You Take” by The Police, and Luna watched Chance observantly. He began to sing the words gently, and his voice surprised her. It sounded beautiful.

As Luna watched him, she knew he looked like any other teenage boy. The girls around Luna cheered him on, but she stayed silent. His eyes flicked to her as he reached the chorus of the song, and they flashed in the lights. She knew there was something bad about him. Something that separated him from all the other teenage boys and made him a danger to the people who called him ‘friend.’

KADE: Oh, I love that part. This is such a good book. Thank you Kayla for that passage. Now that we know that there are a lot of incredible works out there just waiting to be read by the wonderful Kayla Krantz, would you mind sharing with us the best way to stay in touch with you and where to learn more about your books?13617941_1151161734925516_3070828_n

KAYLA: Blog: http://kaylakrantz.wix.com/horror#!blog/c112v

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/kaylakrantzwriter

Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14006736.Kayla_Krantz

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/KaylaKrantz

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Kaylathewriter9

LinkdIN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kayla-krantz-0306a2b9

Other: Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/KaylaKrantz77/

Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/user/KaylaKrantz

 

KADE: Just want to say a HUGE thank you to Kayla for hanging out with me today. And a big thank you to all of you readers out there for taking a moment to support your Authors. If any of you know of someone who would like a few minutes of limelight Inside A Beautiful Mind with me, please email me at kaybee.cook@gmail.com and place Author Interview in the topic space.

Enjoy your Friday folks, you are awesome and please be kind to your Authors, leave a review. See you next week, Peace!

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Inside A Beautiful Mind – Angella Cormier

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Good Morning Everyone and happy Friday once again.  This week on Inside A Beautiful Mind I am going to be chatting with a fellow Canadian writer and Maritimer, Angella Cormier.

KADE: Happy Friday Angella, would you mind telling our readers a little about yourself?

ANGELLA: Angella_Headshot2016DMy name is Angella Cormier (aka Angella Jacob – I returned to my maiden name in the past year). I have lived in Dieppe, New Brunswick for the last twelve years, where I am raising my two sons, working as a freelance graphic designer, as well as a self-publishing consultant. I try to put ink to paper as often as I can too, as this is where my passion remains and probably always will.

KADE: Welcome Angella, thank you for hanging out with me today. So, tell me about your upcoming book?

OakwoodIslandCoverSet to be released on August 23, 2016, Oakwood Island is a mystery/horror book which began as a series of short stories that I wrote, all based on this one island where mysterious events plagued the residents. Eventually, my friend and sometimes collaborative partner Pierre C Arseneault joined me in taking the stories one step further. Together we created a bigger story that eventually became the novel it is today. This will be our second book collaboration, the first being Dark Tales for Dark Nights, which was a collection of short stories published in 2013 by Artemesia Publishing in New Mexico, USA. Here is the synopsis for Oakwood Island:
There are mysterious and evil things lurking on Oakwood Island. Things so strange that the locals are left wondering if their small coastal community will ever be the same. The police are concerned when Maggie, the local waitress, shows up at their doorstep having escaped a kidnapper. The strange symptoms of a mysterious illness that seems to be growing stronger baffles her nurses and doctor.

A few locals hold some of the answers, but will they be able to save their neighbours, and better yet, do they want to? What is watching them as they try to hide? The residents are all part of a much bigger mystery than they realize.

The island holds many secrets, but will they come out in time to save them all? Caught between past and present, good and evil both find their place on the island, but which will prevail, and at what cost?

 

KADE: Oh I love it. Congratulation on your release date. This sounds like such an incredible story. Can’t wait to read this. What inspired you to write your first book?

 

ANGELLA: The first book that was published with my name on it was Dark Tales for Dark Nights, a collection of short stories in the horror genre. This book came about after having met my friend Pierre. We had always wanted to become writers, and with mutual passion for stories, dedication and hard work, we crafted a series of short stories that became our first collaborative project and publication. It would be safe to say that we inspired each other to write. As for the genre, horror and the paranormal have always fascinated me since a very young age, and so it was natural for me to write in this genre.

KADE: You are a girl after my own heart, paranormal is such an intriguing genre…it sounds like you have had a lot of fun writing this novel. Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

ANGELLA: Most stories come from a real life seed that is planted in my mind but that my imagination runs with at full speed. For example, seeing an old truck behind me at a stop light with a couple of burly men and a young woman made my mind wander and think about who they could be and what kind of scenario the young woman might find herself in with these two men (real seed that created “The Girl from Idlewood” in Dark Tales for Dark Nights). Another good source are my dreams. I have always had very vivid and strange dreams, which helps when you write horror fiction. For this book in particular (Oakwood Island), most of it was created from our imagination (Pierre and I), but a few elements were taken from seeds that we both collected and expanded upon. One in particular was a report on CBC radio about a unique ant species. Ideas really do come from anywhere!

KADE: I guess then you probably have years of ideas just waiting to be brought forth into word. That is wonderful. What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

ANGELLA: Honestly I loved writing all of them, but if I had to pick just one chapter I’d have to say it would be a close tie between Chapter 5 (Norah) and the Epilogue. Chapter 5 was great fun to write as it was the one where I could really let my imagination run wild. The epilogue is also great because the very last scene at the end of the book came to me as I was writing out this last part of the book. I felt like it came together very well at the end. I’m used to writing with an outline and so this experience was very different and enjoyable for me.

KADE: I can see how that must have been really fun for you. Allowing your mind so much freedom can be very exhilarating. How did you come up with the title?

ANGELLA: Originally, the title came up when I was writing ideas for another story I had in mind, back in 2005 about an island where the forest played a big part. The trees were primarily oak trees, and so that’s where the title for Oakwood Island was born. In 2011, when I started writing the short stories (that would later become a full novel) I decided to use the same imaginary island for this series.

KADE: It sounds like the name was supposed to be, even if it was born from another project it stuck in your mind for a reason. There is just something about an island that helps to enhance the mystical lore of a tale. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

ANGELLA: Strangely enough, both the toughest criticism and the best compliment have been about my descriptivism in my storytelling. Some people enjoy reading short and to the point sentences, with just enough descriptions to get by. Others enjoy long and very intricate descriptions of the surroundings and scenarios. I tend to visualize in my mind a scene, sort of like watching a movie play in my mind. I then describe what I see and let my characters come out and play. It’s a technique that works for me. I’ve learned to listen to constructive criticism and take from it only what will help me grow as a writer. I have been told my writing was too flowery, just as I had been told that I gave a reader goosebumps while reading because they could really picture themselves there. So all in all, I think it balances out.

KADE: Well, that is a sticky one. I believe, that is when you just have to write for you because no matter how hard you try, you will never please everyone, so you must please yourself…and your characters since they have to live the story. Ha ha. Do you have any unique or quirky writing habits?

ANGELLA: Unique and quirky? Probably not. Unless you consider listening to haunting music to be either one of those. I usually do a search on YouTube for haunting, mysterious or dark music. It sets a perfect backdrop to the scenes I’m trying to create in my mind and fills my space with the kind of energy I need to bring to life the dark scenes I want to bring forth for my readers.
KADE: I totally understand. Music has such a powerful effect on one’s ability to create scenes in our invisible movie theaters in our heads. That is a wonderful way to keep the story moving and flowing in the right direction. What’s the strangest thing you have ever had to research online for your book?

ANGELLA: There would be quite a few things I could list here. The first one that came to mind was “What year were coffee makers with timers invented?” and “What kind of hand saw can cut human flesh?” (Did I mention my books aren’t for kids?)
KADE: Yes, those are some pretty different searches to dive into on good old Google. And thanks for the heads up about your work not being for kids. We don’t want to scare any of our future writers before they are ready for it. Give us an interesting fun fact about your book.

ANGELLA: If you pay close attention, you should find a few nods to a favourite author of both Pierre and I within the pages of Oakwood Island. If you can’t figure it out after reading the book, send me a message and I’ll be happy to discuss!

 KADE: Oh that is fun. I will have to make sure I pay close attention when I do so I don’t miss it. Do you work with an outline, or just write?

ANGELLA: Personally, I always use an outline. I need to know exactly what is going to happen to my characters in advance. Otherwise, if I just wing it and write without an outline, I have found that’s when I get writer’s block. By using outlines, I prevent this problem. I have a system that I use now with index cards. Once I have the main outline established, then I break down my chapters/scenes on the index cards. It’s a process but works for me.

KADE: Totally understandable especially since it is your project. Whatever keeps the words flowing is the main thing, so if your system works for you and it is not broken then there is no need to fix it. Can you tell us about your experiences in getting your first book published?

ANGELLA: My first publication, Dark Tales for Dark Nights, was published by Artemesia Publishing based in New Mexico, USA (www.artemesiapublishing.com). When I first started writing the short stories based on Oakwood Island (and had not yet any sort of idea that we’d eventually collaborate and publish!), I was posting them on a website that we had just started (www.mysteriousink.ca). I was happy to share my stories with those who wanted to read them. Having a pre-existing connection via social media with the publisher, he started taking interest in the stories and asked to read more. So we sent a collection of short stories that both Pierre and I had collaborated together to create, and within the next year our first book was published. Once we decided to take Oakwood Island and turn it into a novel, we took down those initial short stories as we reworked them to fit into a novel format.

KADE: Wow, that sounds like a wonderful way to break into the publishing scene. How wonderful for you to have a publisher ask you for your work. Great job. When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?

ANGELLA: The first time I realized that I wanted to become a writer was when I was twelve years old and had written my first poem. My first official book, however, was finished in 2012, in collaboration with Pierre C. Arseneault. (Dark Tales for Dark Nights) I had always been a voracious reader as a child. I remember when I was maybe five or six years old, when I would hear a new word, I’d ask how it was spelled and I would “air-write” it with my index finger over and over until I memorized it. Odd? Maybe, but it helped me retain a lot of words from a young age. I wrote many poems as a young girl and scribbled thoughts and journaled. In December 2015, I self-published a collection of these poems in a book titled “A Maiden’s Perception – A collection of thoughts, reflections and poetry by Angella Cormier”. It was the first of what I hope will be a series of three poetry collections. This first one is a collection of some of my writing as a young girl and young woman.

KADE: It sounds like you had a wonderful beginning to your writing career as a child. That is so inspiring to see how a young dreamer can bring their hopes to fruition with some determination and courage. I am so happy for you. How did you choose the genre you write in?

ANGELLA: Having started my love affair with reading from a very young age, I also took a very passionate interest with everything mysterious and paranormal very early on. Horror and mystery is what I have been reading for most of my life, and so it was only natural for it to be the genre to explore in my writing.

KADE: Yes, that sounds like a perfectly logical choice. We normally carry our childhood interest forward with us, even if we don’t realize it right away. Imagination is such a powerful force if we give it a chance to evolve. Wonderful. Where do you get your ideas?

ANGELLA: Honestly, everywhere! From seeing something in person, to a dream I may have, a random thought or flash of a thought in my mind that I know I need to jot down, to a news report or tidbit of information I come across. All the seeds for ideas in my stories have their own story too, in that how they came about. It still fascinates me to this day when I get jolted awake by an idea that comes rushing out of nowhere into my mind. I’d like to think it’s the writer’s equivalent that jumping out of a plane to a thrill seeker. The excitement that comes with it is hard to describe.

KADE: I love it. I have never thought of it that way but yes, I think that you are absolutely right about that, the rush for a writer would totally hold up in comparison. Thank you for that insight. Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

ANGELLA: When I was growing up I remember certain authors that I really enjoyed reading: Agatha Christie, Dean Koontz and my favorite writer Stephen King. To name just one or two books that influenced me is impossible, as each and every read is a little bit more added to the inventory of imagination that never stops growing.

KADE: Yes, I agree. Every book one picks up gets credit in building the mind you own. We are so lucky to have so many to draw from. Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

ANGELLA: Read and write. That’s really the only advice I can give that I know without a doubt is required. Without those two things, one cannot be a writer.

KADE: Plain and simple, I like how you see it. Make perfect sense to me. What is your favorite quote or saying?

ANGELLA: “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.” – Albert Einstein.

KADE: Oh I love Albert. He really did have a Beautiful mind. Now for silly time…Tea or coffee?

ANGELLA: Coffee (and lots of it) in the daytime and herbal tea in the evening.

KADE: Haha excellent answer…Sweet or salty?

ANGELLA: Oh my goodness, sweet all the way!

KADE: So now we know how to get on your good side. Would you like to share with us a passage that will give us a glimpse into the world you built?

ANGELLA: “Running out into the cold January night was enough to snap Maggie back into reality. Her short legs, weak and tired already, began running shakily. On her feet were a pair of oversized men’s work boots that she had grabbed in haste at the trailer. Her legs shook with each pounding step she made in the white blanket that covered the ground. She had also grabbed a large parka from the dead body, along with the boots, to ensure she wouldn’t freeze during her sprint to safety. The coldness produced little vapour clouds escaping from her mouth every time she exhaled a deep and ragged breath. She could feel her lungs hurting already, trying to get as much air in her as possible. Though her eyesight was blurry, she kept on, trying to not think too much. Keeping her focus on her heavy and strenuous steps, she ran, her long brown hair sticking to her face from the sweat that had started forming on her forehead. Her body was reacting to whatever had been done to her. But she needed to keep those thoughts out of her mind and just get help.” – Excerpt taken from Oakwood Island, Chapter 1, “Maggie”OakwoodIslandCover

KADE: That is wonderful Angella. I love your voice. This sounds like it is going to be an incredible story and one to watch for this August.

Would you mind sharing with us the best way to stay in touch with you and where to learn more about your books?

ANGELLA:

Website: www.MysteriousInk.ca and http://shadowdragonpress.com/oakwood.html

Facebook page: Mysterious Ink – Pierre C Arseneault & Angella Cormier https://www.facebook.com/Mysterious-Ink-Pierre-C-Arseneault-Angella-Cormier-167392516657647/Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6943245.Angella_Jacob (Soon to be updated with maiden name)

Twitter: @AngellaCormier

LinkdIN: www.linkedin.com/in/angella-jacob (Soon to be updated with maiden name)

Email: Angella@mysteriousink.ca

KADE: Just want to say a big thank you to Angella for hanging out with me today. And a big thank you to all of you readers out there for taking a moment to support your Authors. If any of you know of someone who would like a few minutes of limelight Inside A Beautiful Mind with me, please email me at kaybee.cook@gmail.com and place Author Interview in the topic space.

Enjoy your Friday folks, you are awesome and please be kind to your Authors, leave a review. See you next week, Peace Out!

Inside A Beautiful Mind – Anne. A. Wilson

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Good Morning Everyone and happy Friday.  This week on Inside A Beautiful Mind I am going to be chatting with the lovely Anne. A. Wilson. I have had the pleasure of meeting this incredible woman online about a year ago during a query discussion on Twitter.  She went out of her way to be kind and helpful to me and for that I will be forever grateful as the writing world can be a bit overwhelming at times.

Thank you Anne.

So without further adieu, here we go.

Anne A. Wilson author head shot 2016

KADE: Happy Friday Anne, would you mind telling our readers a little about yourself?

ANNE: I live in Fountain Hills, AZ, with my husband and twin teenage boys. When I started writing (under my own name, by the way), I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. So I began with what I knew, which was life as a helicopter pilot. My work is fast-paced adventure fiction that includes romantic elements and lots of action. Writing dialog is what I like best.

KADE: Anne, your life sounds so incredibly fascinating…and I have to admit when I was growing up, I wanted to be a helicopter pilot so you are living this little girls dream. Now, I am so curious about your upcoming book. Would you tell us about it?

ANNE: CLEAR TO LIFT is set in the high peaks of the Sierra Nevada and is about a female helicopter pilot, a rule follower by nature, who has been assigned to an anything-goes search and rescue squadron in the boonies of Nevada, far from her stable life and fiancé in San Diego. But when she meets a brave mountain guide on a daring rescue mission, he introduces her to a new world of adventure, and it’s not long before she’s questioning every truth she thought she knew about herself.

KADE: Oh, that sounds like quite an adventure indeed. I am intrigued. What inspired you to write your first book?

ANNE: I was running, listening to music, and was thinking about what novel I wanted to read next. This led me to contemplate “Anne’s ultimate escape novel.” By the end of the run, I had the premise for a story, so when I got home, I sat down and wrote the first chapter of the story I wanted to read.

KADE: It is amazing what running can do for one’s mind. What a wonderful development that turned out to be. Great job. Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

ANNE: I kept journals when I was deployed at sea, so many of the scenes you see in my debut novel, HOVER, are things that really happened to me. CLEAR TO LIFT is also based on some actual experiences I had while flying search and rescue.

KADE: So your book is based on some real life events? That certainly adds another element of excitement to it as well. I can’t wait to read it. What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

ANNE: For CLEAR TO LIFT, probably the last recue scenario because it was loosely based on an actual rescue during the 100-year flood that affected Yosemite and Reno, where we rescued thirteen people.Clear to Lift flying without doors

KADE: That must have been interesting to write for sure. Almost like reliving the rescue over again. How did you come up with the title?

ANNE: “Clear to lift” is a standard call given by an aircrewman that tells the pilot she is clear of all obstacles and the helicopter is ready to take off. It has a double meaning, though. In my novel, the main protagonist, Alison, needs to shed a lot of layers, lose some baggage, and basically, get “light.” At the end, she’s clear to lift, to take off, to move on in her life in a manner that is more aligned with her true self.

KADE: Oh, I like that play on words. I thought the name was wonderful before but I truly adore it now that I understand its true meaning. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

ANNE: I’m rather anal about details (I majored in engineering), so I have a tendency to explain everything. So lots of streamlining in the editing process for me! The best compliment I’ve gotten is from readers who say they couldn’t put my books down. It doesn’t get much better than that as an author!

KADE: No, I agree. That has to be the best compliment ever. Do you have any unique or quirky writing habits?

 ANNE: Gosh, not really. I know I always have a cup of coffee on my desk when I write, but other than that . . . ?

KADE: HA ha, I think that is pretty standard for a writer to have something to sip on while in creative mode. What’s the strangest thing you have ever had to research online for your book?

 ANNE: When I was stationed in Fallon, NV, we used to fly over brothels way out in the middle of nowhere. In CLEAR TO LIFT, when I was considering including this bit in the novel, I had to look up brothels in the area, check out images, and even watch you tube videos. An enlightening bit of research, I must say!

KADE: Ha ha, yes I can imagine that search was definitely a mind altering quest for sure. Give us an interesting fun fact about your book.

ANNE: Erick Schat’s Bakkery in Bishop, California, is a real bakery, and you should go if you’re ever in the area. I describe it in detail in the book, but because the book hasn’t released yet, you’ll have to trust me on this one. Just go.

KADE: You had me a ‘bakery’, but I will make a note of that just in case I ever get to go there. Do you work with an outline, or just write?

ANNE: For my first six books (I wrote four before my debut that I never tried to get published), I just wrote. Although, with my current book, I’m trying outlining for the first time. It’s a different genre—thriller, this time—so I need to have some things figured out ahead of time for this one.

KADE: I can imagine that switching your practice was strange for you but yes, thrillers tend to be a different beast to write, so outlining can definitely keep you on track of your objective. Note to self: Anne is writing another book, a thriller…yes! J Can you tell us about your experiences in getting your first book published?

ANNE: After writing HOVER, I queried literary agents for almost a year. I found my agent, Barbara Poelle, through a Writer’s Digest webinar on how to write query letters. As part of the registration, you received a critique of your query. Based on that query, Barbara requested my full manuscript. After she read it, I had to do two more months of edits before she offered representation. She then shopped the manuscript to several publishing houses—about three months—and then I was signed by Macmillan-Tor/Forge.

KADE: Sounds like a lot of stressful moments for you while you went through the process but your efforts definitely paid off. Congratulations on your success! When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?

ANNE: I was forty-three years old when I started. I wrote four books before I wrote my debut, HOVER. It took me about seven months to write the first draft of HOVER and then many, many months of editing after that.

KADE: Yes, it always seem to be those pesky edits that take forever to do. But seven months is pretty great for writing an entire manuscript. How did you choose the genre you write in?

ANNE: I didn’t choose a genre. I just wrote the stories. Unfortunately, my stories don’t slot well into a specific genre. My publisher markets my books as women’s fiction, but HOVER, for example, has been reviewed as a thriller, romantic suspense, and women’s fiction. So I have no idea where I belong! This is not a good thing in terms of marketing and I don’t recommend it. In my case, though, I needed to write the stories as I needed to write them—something that was organic to me and not forced.

KADE: I agree with you one hundred percent about you having to write the story the way you needed to. It is your story and one shouldn’t manipulate the vision just to fit into a convenient slot. Where do you get your ideas?

ANNE: They usually pop into my head when I’m running. I also get ideas when I read other books. It gets a sort of chain reaction going and opens the door to all sorts of possibilities.

KADE: Yes, running or walking I have always found to be an excellent way to tap the mind’s well. Sounds like you have a million ideas ready to be put onto paper. Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

ANNE: THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. Just fun and adventurous and non-stop. One of my favorites of all time.

KADE: Oh that is a good one. Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

ANNE: Be patient. Enjoy each step. Work hard, butt in chair and all that, but be patient with the publishing process. Rarely does anything happen overnight in this business. It will save you a lot of heartache if you take the long view with your writing career.

KADE: Very sound advice Anne, thank you. What is your favorite quote or saying?

ANNE: “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, magic and power in it. Begin it now.”   –Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

KADE: Excellent quote. Simple, to the point and very effective. I love that. Okay, now for a couple of fun questions. Tea or coffee?

ANNE: Coffee.

KADE: Sweet or salty?

ANNE: Ooh, so tough. Salty.

KADE: Would you like to share with us a passage that will give us a glimpse into the world you built?

ANNE: Sure. This is from a rescue scene where the helicopter is hovering next to a cliff to recover an injured climber. It’s snowy and cold, the wind is erratic, and the main protagonist, Alison, isn’t so sure about proceeding with the rescue attempt given the sketchy conditions.

Hap stands on the skids—our landing gear that looks like skis—facing the helicopter’s open door. He wears his climbing harness, to which a rappel device is attached, and a rope runs through this, secured on one end to the anchoring system in the helicopter, while the rest of the rope hangs far below.

“Hap’s ready on the rappel, ma’am.”

“Clear to jump,” I say.

“Copy. Man’s off the skids!”

Hap leaps backward and slides several feet down the rope to arrive below the skids. From there, he lowers himself the roughly fifty feet to Will and the first victim.

“Hap’s adjacent the victim,” Beanie says. “Starting his swing.”

“Copy,” I say, imagining Hap kicking his legs out, like you would on a playground swing, to get the rope moving back and forth, so he can move into a position where he can reach the rocks.

“Swingin’ good now!” Beanie says, although the call really isn’t necessary, as we can all feel the helicopter rocking.

Come on, Hap. You can do this. Please do this.

As Beanie makes his calls, informing the crew of Hap’s progress, I blink my right eye, trying to clear the drop of sweat—sweat?—that just dripped there. It irritates, stings a bit, but I can’t move my hands from the controls to wipe it.

“Ma’am, I’m gettin’ a negative hand signal from Hap!”

“What?” Oh, no. “Can’t he—?”

“No, ma’am. He can’t reach the victim! We’re gonna have to slide closer, if were’ gonna make this happen!”

Closer . . .

“Sir?” I ask, reaching for a lifeline.

“You got this, Alison. You haven’t budged since we started. I know you can do it.”CLEAR TO LIFT cover for hardback

I grind my teeth, and a steady trickle of sweat—oh yeah, it’s running now—slides down the back of my neck.

“Ma’am?” Beanie asks.

Deep breath in. Oh . . . all right. Shit. “Call me right.”

“Okay, ma’am, you’re clear to slide right eight,” Beanie says, using the number of feet to the stopping point he’s chosen. “Clear to slide right five, four, three, two, one, steady. Steady right there, ma’am. We’ve got two feet of clearance at the blade tips.”

“Copy,” I say, my jaw throbbing because it’s clenched so tight.

Two feet from blade tip to solid rock. Sweat-inducing for sure, and by far the most difficult rescue scenario I’ve faced in my short tenure with this squadron.

“And only one foot of clearance at the tail,” Beanie continues. “Do not move the tail rotor right.”

Gulp. “Copy.”

 

KADE: Incredible. Oh this sounds like a fantastic summer read to me.

Would you mind sharing with us the best way to stay in touch with you and where to learn more about your books?

ANNE:

Blog:  http://www.anneawilson.com/

Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/Anne.A.Wilson.Author/

Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8062179.Anne_A_Wilson

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/anne_a_wilson

LinkdIN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/anne-a-wilson-1b625416?trk=hp-identity-name

KADE: Just want to say a big thank you to Anne. A. Wilson for sharing with me today. And a big thank you to all of you readers out there for taking a moment to support your Authors. If any of you know of someone who would like a few minutes of limelight Inside A Beautiful Mind with me, please email me at kaybee.cook@gmail.com and place Author Interview in the topic space.

Enjoy your Friday folks, you are awesome and please be kind to your Authors, leave a review. See you next week, Peace Out!