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An Interview with Author Anne K. Edwards

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Anne K. Edwards is an author with many hats. She writes in various genres – mystery, fantasy, children's, speculative, and nonfiction. In addition, she is editor of The Voice in the Dark Ezine. In this interview, Anne talks about her ezine and her books.

When did Voice in the Dark Ezine get started?

Voice in the Dark was started about two and a half years ago as a newsletter that would be about other writers and it has continued from there.

Do you accept submissions? What are your guidelines? What type of material are you interested in?

Yes, we accept submissions which unfortunately we can't offer payment for at this time. We do serve as a place writers can try out their hand on short stories or articles. Our guidelines are simple as Voice is flexible. We like work that is well written and articles should deal only with some aspect of writing or publishing. Fiction can be almost anything except erotica; things that defame any group or religion will be turned down. If a contributor wishes to do an interview with one of their characters where they ask and answer the questions in that character's voice – those are welcome. If a writer would like to do an interview for Voice, they are welcome. If they want to do a column, just let us know. If they wish to do a review of a book, that is welcome but we do not publish reviews of vanity or subsidy presses. A self-published book that is really well done will be considered. Books that are not edited would be rejected since a review is telling a reader to pay their money and time for the book.

Is a subscription to this ezine free? How may one subscribe?

Subscription is free. To subscribe, go to mysteryfiction.net and fill in the blank at the bottom of the Resources page.

You’re also an author. Tell us about your cozy mystery novel, Death on Delivery.

Death on Delivery is the first in a series about Hannah Clare, P.I., a middle-aged widow who gets a rush when she catches a killer. She was created to be as real as I could make her and an opposite to the P.I.s who have so many problems it's a wonder they can function. She is an ordinary woman who has a family she loves and can laugh at herself. Death on Delivery itself was based on the idea: "What if somebody could buy a murder by mail and never know who the killer was." With the help of ads in the local newspaper, it worked for the murder-for-hire ring.

What are the most important things to keep in mind when writing a mystery?

Think about what age group you're writing for. Characters are based to a degree on life experience and a 55-year-old reader will understand a character thinking about being overweight, smoking too much, wrinkles, and not having enough time for a grandchild, while a 25-year-old wouldn't consider those things necessarily as important as child care, clothes, boyfriends, or the like. A character who is "over the hill" has already lived through those problems as has her audience. A young P.I. with a younger slant on those shared problems of child care, clothes, and boyfriends is much easier for the younger audience to identify with and understand. So once you decide to write a mystery, decide the audience, then think about plot and characters to appeal to them.

I understand you’ve also ventured into the world of children’s books. Your picture book, Jeremy and the Dragon, was recently released by Twilight Times Books as an ebook. What compelled you to switch genres and what was your source of inspiration for this particular story?

I really have no idea where Elvis the dragon or Jeremy came from unless you accept my explanation that I have a muse that looks like the blob and lives in a swamp with all sorts of weird critters like himself. Or, if you prefer, the story was written to show that kids can use their minds to make decisions. Do you remember being seven years old and being treated like you were dumb as a rock? The dragon is something that fascinates me as much as it does kids and serves well as a symbol of the unknown or a challenge. Lastly, like other things I write, it was an idea that wouldn't go away until it was written. The real charm of the book, however, is the artwork. Lewie Francisco had created dragons with real personalities and writing another story for Elvis and Jeremy will be something I look forward to doing.

Young children never seem to get tired of dragon stories. What makes dragons so fascinating for children?

As I said above, I think dragons represent the unknown and a challenge. A child who controls a dragon in his imagination has taken the first steps into decision making and thinking independently of what an adult tells them. A child who can face a dragon and not run away in his mind can feel pride at his own bravery. Dragons represent danger, freedom, and a way to surpass one's physical limits by using one's imagination. For many, it is also their first foray into escapism in fiction to make a daily routine more fun.

Will there be more Jeremy and the Dragon books in the future?

Yes. We are working on one where the dragon learns about Christmas and Santa Claus.

Where are your books available?

You can order the ebook from fictionwise.com for Death on Delivery and the publisher twilighttimesbooks.com. Jeremy and the Dragon is presently available at Twilight Times only. It will be released as an ebook at a future date at Fictionwise. The print version of Death on Delivery may be ordered from any book store or Amazon or Twilight Times also.

Do you have a website where readers may learn more about you and your work?

My website mysteryfiction.net is really not about me. I use it to promote other writers of good books. Both of my books are listed there also. If one wants to know what I've been writing, they can see some short stories there or visit newmysteryreader.com where I occasionally have a short story published. Or check The Authors list of Twilight Times Books to see what else I've got coming out.

Author, ezine editor, book reviewer, and freelance editor for various publishers… How do you juggle all these jobs on a daily basis?

No juggling. I try to do whatever is the most pressing and often run behind. Our critters and other chores must come first. Fortunately, I share the ezine editing with Mayra Calvani who makes that part of my month really easy.

Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers about your current and/or future projects?

My current projects are to finish a new mystery for Hannah Clare called Death Reenacted. It is set in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, during the annual Civil War Reenactment and involves murders that she feels are too close to her family. The two other projects are the new dragon tale mentioned above and a book based on a much-loved Arabian gelding we lost this spring. If I can get those finished soon, I will feel very satisfied. And lastly, The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing is a project I'm proud to have had a part in. I thank Mayra Calvani for inviting me to work on it.

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About Mayra Calvani

Mayra Calvani writes fiction and nonfiction for children and adults and has authored over a dozen books, some of which have won awards. Her stories, reviews, interviews and articles have appeared on numerous publications such as The Writer, Writer’s Journal, Multicultural Review, and Bloomsbury Review, among many others. Represented by Serendipity Literary.