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Interview with Anne K. Edwards, Author of Shadows Over Paradise

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Anne K. Edwards loves to read and it was reading that led her into trying to write. It took many years before she achieved publication, but she feels it was worth the wait. She is currently working on several other projects including a new mystery. Her just released book, Shadows Over Paradise, is a suspense with a female protagonist. It may be purchased at Barnes and Noble’s stores, and ordered online from them as well and Amazon, the publisher http://www.twilighttimesbooks.com and several other online bookstores.

Why don’t you start by telling us a bit about your latest book, and what inspired you to write it?

Shadows Over Paradise came into being because I wanted to tell a story about a woman in danger who did not depend entirely on a hero to save her. She could stand on her own two feet and not fall apart when faced with danger. In other words, I wanted to avoid the stereotyped heroine who, when faced with danger, runs screaming through the woods in high heels. Doesn’t she have the sense not to wear heels in the woods or to take them off and not to scream so the villains or monsters will surely catch her?

How would you describe your creative process while writing this book? Was it stream-of-consciousness writing, or did you first write an outline?

My creative process is what I’d call a mish-mash. I write in spurts and back edit as I go. I don’t use outlines of any sort as I love to be surprised as the story unwinds. I never know what might happen next. The characters decide that. After about the second chapter of a book, they come alive for me and then I get to know them. The only thing I know for sure is that the book will have a certain ending, but getting there is all the fun. I wouldn’t call it stream of consciousness writing as I write a bit, then go back and look for trouble spots while ideas or actions are percolating for the next part I write. I tend to see the scenes as I write, like a movie in my head.

How long did it take you to write the book?

On the whole it took about four years. The problem is the same now as then: not enough hours in the day.

Have you ever suffered from writer’s block?

I wouldn’t call it writer’s block in my case. Sometimes I get distracted and end up doing something else or I simply take a day or week or month off because I run out of steam. (This means my brain gets lazy.)

What seems to work for unleashing your creativity?

Don’t laugh too loudly, but I get my best solutions or new scenes when I’m shoveling out a stall. I have no idea what the connection is.

How was your experience in looking for a publisher? What words of advice would you offer those novice authors who are in search of one?

Looking for a publisher can be very discouraging. I had that happen several times before I went with a publisher that offered me a contract after they’d had the manuscript for only a few days. I don’t know whether they know that discouraged writers are a good bet to sign or not, but I did. That error in judgement or plain stupidity on my part taught me a lot. It took seven years before I got the rights back, and the book has been republished with a real publisher. Lesson: don’t jump into that first contract without thinking about it and asking questions. It will save you a lot of time and aggravation. The trick is that publisher sold authors copies of their books for almost the same price they sold to the public. The money they make is from authors buying their books to resell. But, I am not placing the blame on that publisher. I was ignorant of how to find a publisher, I knew none of the rules of the road to getting published online. I wish I had taken the time to ask questions of other authors. That is the key to finding a publisher that will suit you best. Ask questions. Don’t sign without doing so.

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.