Welcome to ANN SHOREY who graciously accepted my invitation to be interviewed.
ANN SHOREY has been a full-time writer for over twenty years. Her writing has appeared in Chicken Soup for the Grandma’s Soul, and in the Adams Media Cup of Comfort series. She made her fiction debut with The Edge of Light, Book One in the At Home in Beldon Grove series for Revell. Current releases include Love’s Sweet Beginning, the third book in the Sisters at Heart series, and a novella in the Sincerely Yours collection, also from Revell. She’s tempted to thank Peet’s French roast coffee and Dove chocolates when she writes the acknowledgments for her books.
A J: Where are you right now and what are you wearing? You have to tell the truth.
Ann: I’m sitting in front of the computer in my office. My dog, Amber, is sleeping on the carpet nearby. I’m wearing sweatshirt over a red striped shirt, jeans, and tennis shoes. Jeans and T-shirts or sweatshirts are my writing “uniform.”
A J: If you were planning a party with Christian authors of historical fiction, which six people would you invite and why?
Ann: What a fun question! As an author of historical fiction, it would be a joy to spend time with authors I admire in my genre. I’d love to host a get-together with Lori Benton, Laura Frantz, Julie Klassen, Sarah Sundin, Bonnie Leon, and Liz Curtis Higgs. There are a number of others on my “favorites” list, but I’ve chosen my top six. I know Lori, Laura, Sarah and Bonnie personally, and love their company. Julie would be fun to visit with—I’d like to learn more about her research techniques. I’ve heard Liz speak—she’s fabulous. It would be a treat to spend time with her.
A J: What is your favorite season of the year? Why?
Ann: Autumn is my very favorite time of year. The air is cooler, but still warm-ish. The colors are beautiful. Autumn always gives me the sense of the earth settling down for a long nap. It feels peaceful.
A J: What is your favorite genre to write in?
Ann: I love writing historical fiction. My writing journey began with my ancestors’ memoirs. I wanted to learn more about their lives, so turned to fiction to answer my questions. My novels are set in the mid-1800s, from pre- to post- Civil War. Women’s lives haven’t changed all that much—we just have more resources than we did back then. So, my protagonists all deal with life situations that women face today. The part I enjoy most is showing how they overcome problems using the limited resources available.
A J: What other books have you written?
Ann: “State of Matrimony” is my second novella. The first one, “Lessons in Love,” appears in Revell’s Sincerely Yours collection. Prior to that, I’ve had two three-book series published by Revell: The Edge of Light, The Promise of Morning, and The Dawn of a Dream in the At Home in Beldon Grove series, and Where Wildflowers Bloom, When the Heart Heals, and Love’s Sweet Beginning in the Sisters at Heart series.
A J: How long have you known that you wanted to be a novelist?
Ann: I decided to write a novel about one of my great-great aunts after writing a nonfiction family history. Family memoirs dating as far back as the American Revolution were my source for the family history, but none of the memoirs were written by women. I wanted to know how they lived and coped with the challenges of life in an earlier time. My first novel, The Edge of Light, grew from that beginning.
A J: How do you organize your writing day? So many hours per day writing? Use a word count to determine when to stop? Just write until you drop?
Ann: Sometimes it’s all of the above! I write all afternoon and stop around 5:00, usually when it’s time to start cooking dinner. My goal is 1,000 words a day, but it can double if a deadline is pressing. I’m not an author who can crank out four or five thousand words a day, although I often wish I could.
A J: What facet of the writing craft comes easiest to you?
Ann: Dialogue. I love writing dialogue! Transitions from scene to scene cause me the most difficulty.
A J: What are you working on right now? Do you work on more than one book at a time?
Ann: Right now I’m plotting another book based on family history. I work on one book at a time, as far as writing is concerned. However, current projects are interrupted when I receive edits from a book that I just turned in. Then I stop and work on edits, since they normally have very short turnaround times.
A J: How did you locate your agent?
Ann: The old-fashioned way! I selected my agent from The Christian Writers Market Guide and sent her a proposal following the agency’s guidelines (This is very important—don’t think you can get by with not following their instructions!). She called and offered representation. This sounds quick and easy, but I had already received several rejections, so I wasn’t an overnight success story.
A J: Has being an author been everything you thought it would be? If not, what has surprised you the most?
Ann: For the most part, being a published author has been the fulfillment of a life-long dream. The thing that surprised me most is how much time I need to spend on marketing. There are so many ways authors need to get their name out to publicize new releases. I didn’t expect that most of the work falls on the author, not the publisher.
A J: What gave you the inspiration for this story?
Ann: My current release is “State of Matrimony,” a novella in the Oregon Trail Romance Collection. I was excited to write this story, since my great-grandparents came west over the Oregon Trail. I used some of the details from my grandfather’s memoirs as background material in my novella.
A J: Share your story with the first page of “State of Matrimony.”
St. Joseph, Missouri
Diantha Bowers dropped a wet rag next to a bucket of dirty water. After glancing around to be certain she was unobserved, she shifted her weight from her knees to her heels and dug her fingers into the small of her back to massage aching muscles. Fresh water, more lye soap, and she’d have the floor of the Litchfield & Golden Mercantile cleaned to Mr. Golden’s satisfaction. She hoped so, anyway. His moods were as unpredictable as the spring rains that turned the streets to mud. Mud that customers tracked over the floors during the day. The same mud she spent her evenings scrubbing.
She tucked an errant lock of black hair behind her ear and headed for the alley to refill her bucket. Although the sun had begun its descent to the west, the street beyond the store remained busy. Echoes from boots clomping by on the boardwalk bounced from the narrow walls between the mercantile and saloon next door.
Craning her neck, she studied the horses hitched to a rail next to the walk. One day, she’d have a horse and buggy of her own. And a house. And a family. But not now. Not while she worked as a scrubwoman. The kind of man she dreamed of marrying would never notice a girl like her.
Diantha jumped. For a big man, Mr. Golden moved as silently as a cat. She took several steps back to open a space between them. “You startled me, sir. I apologize. I’ll be done in a few minutes.”
A J: What’s next after The Oregon Trail Romance Collection?
Ann: I’m currently plotting a novelized version of my great-grandparents’ lives—how they met after the Civil War, married, and traveled over the Oregon Trail.
Thank you for inviting me to be a guest on your blog.
A J: Where can we find you on the web?
Ann: I love to hear from readers! Here’s my contact information: