Today I’m talking to Ann M. Noser. She is about to release How to Date Dead Guys, book one of the Under the Blood Moon series.
Hello Ann. Thanks for agreeing to this short interview. Firstly, congratulations on the release of How to Date Dead Guys.
Ann: Thanks for the invite. I’m excited to talk about my new book.
To someone who doesn’t know your work, how would you best describe it?
Ann: HOW TO DATE DEAD GUYS is a New Adult urban fantasy. For those not directly in the writing business, this means that the main characters are in their late teens/early twenties, there are magical elements to the story, and the action takes place in a real-life setting. In this case, in Eau Claire, Wisconsin (my home town, although I don’t live there anymore). In particular, on the UW-Eau Claire campus. The Chippewa River, which runs directly through campus, is a major “player” (so to speak) in this book. This powerful river is almost a character on its own.
What’s on the horizon for you? A continuation of your recent work, or something new?
Ann: I’m working on more things than a rational, reasonable person should be, I suppose. I’m neck-deep in edits for book two of this series, but there’s another first-draft book (a young adult dystopian) that I’m dying to finish writing as well. Plus, someday I’d really love to revise a fairy tale saga that I wrote long ago (which means it needs a LOT of work). I also continue to write veterinary articles for the local newspaper and the occasional poem.
If you were to talk to your readership in person, and you only had one shot at it, what would you say?
Ann: One of the unique aspects of my New Adult book is that it veers dramatically away from the majority of the current trend in New Adult. That is to say, romance is not the main focus of the book. Witchcraft, guilt, life, death, choices, consequences—these are the major themes of the book, with a little romance included on the side. My favourite types of stories, whether in book or movie form, blend everything together. The romance doesn’t stand alone. It has a lot of company. For something to really entertain me, it must have everything: comedy, action, mystery, magic, and drama. I want it all. And I hope HOW TO DATE DEAD GUYS accomplishes that.
There’s a lot of discussion, both online and in the press, about the ‘state of publishing,’ and the ‘rise of amateur writers.’ What do you think? Has the advent of independent publishing really just handed a loaded weapon into the hands of amateur hobbyists, or is it all about empowering authors more than ever? What are your thoughts?
Ann: I think the current state of publishing opens up a lot of new opportunities, but I worry about what is lost as well. I also fret over the discussion that young people read less than they used to, because this is unfortunate on so many levels. And I don’t mean just for the publishing business. I want everyone to develop their own imagination and reading skills. A stilted mind is a wasted life.
Getting away from books for a moment, what else are you up to at the moment?
Ann: Trail running. I’m telling you it’s the most fun ever. Adults playing in the mud like a bunch of kids (except we do our own laundry, so we don’t get into so much trouble).
For the other writers reading this, what advice do you have to offer them? What works for you when it comes to setting pen to paper?
Ann: My advice to those just starting out is this: 1) You’re not ready when you think you’re ready. It’s going to take a lot longer than you think. A lot. Longer. 2) Join a decent writing group where you receive (and give) honest, CONSTRUCTIVE feedback. (Be sure you know what “constructive feedback” really means.) Don’t write in a vacuum. You NEED to bounce your ideas off other writers, even if your great ideas fall flat instead of continuing to bounce along happily the way you planned.
Lastly, I used to do something like this a few years ago in my interviews. I’ve adapted it for this latest batch.
I have five questions for you. Ready? Here we go. Give me your honest answers.
1. If there were to be a film of your life, who would play you in the lead role?
Ann: Someone short and dorky. Hopefully they’d have better behaved hair than I do.
2. Following the same line of thought, if there were to be a film made of any of your work, who would you cast in the roles of the main characters?
Ann: Call me crazy, but I’d be way more excited about Christopher Plummer playing “Bernard” and Julie Andrews playing “Claire”. (Yes, I adored SOUND OF MUSIC as a kid and would love to see them on screen together again in something I wrote). As for “Emma”, I loved Claire Foy in LITTLE DORRIT, and she would’ve been perfect a few years ago. She’s not the right age now, I suppose. So I’d say anyone who reminded me of her.
3. What are you reading at the moment?
Ann: This interview page. Just kidding. I just finished THE FAULT IN OUR STARS (wonderful) and A LONG WAY DOWN (hilarious). Next up is the THE GIVER (heard really good things about this one—looking forward to it).
4. What are you listening to at the moment?
Ann: The ROOM WITH A VIEW soundtrack. Beautiful classical and opera music. Very calming. Perhaps I have trouble staying calm and need outside help. J
5. This is stolen directly from James Lipton, but what the heck. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
Ann:”Well, Ann, you did a lot better down there than I expected you would.”
Lastly, where do you see yourself in twelve months time? What will you be doing? Where will you be in life? Where do you hope to be?
Ann: Same house, same car, but perhaps one less dog. Just discovered my wonderful Daisy is sick and I just hope I can keep her happy and well for some time now, but nothing is a given with dogs and kidney disease. Sorry to be a downer, but this was my first thought.
Understandable, Ann. I hope you have a while yet with Daisy. Well, that’s the end of our little interview. Thanks for participating.
Ann:Thanks for having me. I really appreciate it.
Insert Author Bio Here (not sure if you want the short or long version, so included both—you choose your favourite)
My to-do list dictates that I try to cram 48 hours of living into a day instead of the usual 24. I’ve chosen a life filled with animals. I train for marathons with my dog, then go to work as a small animal veterinarian, and finish the day by tripping over my pets as I attempt to convince my two unruly children that YES, it really IS time for bed. But I can’t wait until the house is quiet to write; I have to steal moments throughout the day. Ten minutes here, a half hour there, I live within my imagination.
Like all busy American mothers, I multi-task. I work out plot holes during runs. Instead of meditating, I type madly during yoga stretches. I find inspiration in everyday things: a beautiful smile, a heartbreaking song, or a newspaper article on a political theory. For example, a long drive in the dark listening to an NPR program on the SMILEY FACE MURDERS theory made me ask so many questions that I wrote HOW TO DATE DEAD GUYS to answer them to my satisfaction.
I’d love to have more time to write (and run, read, and sleep), but until I find Hermione Granger’s time turner, I will juggle real life with the half-written stories in my head. Main characters and plot lines intertwine in my cranium, and I need to let my writing weave the tales on paper so I can find out what happens next.
Link to Site/Blog http://annandersonnoser.blogspot.com
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AnnMNoser