Joining us today is Ann Summerville, author of the cozy mystery, High Tide. She was born in England, but now lives in Fort Worth. We'll talk to her about her childhood, her writing, and what's up next.
Welcome to The Book Connection, Ann. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I was born in England, and in search of a warmer climate, moved to California before settling in Texas. I am a member of Trinity Writers’ Workshop and reside in Fort Worth with my son, two boisterous dogs and a somewhat elusive cat.
What is your fondest childhood memory?
Long walks with my dad. We lived near a London Park that had a boating lake.
When did you begin writing?
My earliest memory of a writing project was in elementary school where I won first place in a competition. Mostly, relatives received long drawn out stories in childhood letters. The past six years I have been writing more seriously, which started with publications in e-zines and anthologies.
Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?
I always keep a notebook handy and jot down thoughts, but the mornings are the best time for me to write.
What is this book about?
What inspired you to write it?
I lived in Cornwall for several years and loved the rugged coastline and quaint villages. I thought it would be an excellent setting for a mystery.
Who is your biggest supporter?
My daughter. We are both goal setters and are firm believers that if you’re willing to work hard, you can accomplish those goals. We remind each other to enjoy the journey. Her goal was to act and she has since been in several commercials and appeared in the Lone Star series. I am now publishing a novel each year.
Are you a member of a critique group? If no, who provides feedback on your work?
I belong to a wonderful critique group called Trinity Writers’ Workshop. They provide endless suggestions and friendly criticism.
Who is your favorite author?
My current favorite author is Richard Russo. I have read Empire Falls many times. It amazes me how he brings his characters to life.
Do you have an agent or are you looking for one?
I did look into “traditional” publishing and while it is a great avenue for some, I’ve found that self publishing has worked out for me.
Was the road to publication smooth sailing or a bumpy ride?
The beginning was bumpy because I couldn’t decide if I wanted to go through some of the larger publishing houses. After hearing that a writer friend had her books pulled from the shelves because of low sales I decided to look into self publishing where the books will never be out of print. Like everything, it’s a learning experience.
If you knew then, what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently?
I don’t think so, because I have learned so much the past few years. Something that might not have seemed a good idea was actually a platform to something better. I very rarely have regrets in life.
Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?
My book is available on Smashwords.com, Kindle and in printed form on Amazon.
Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?
What is the best investment you have made in promoting your book?
Blogging is a big investment in time, but I have enjoyed getting to know fellow readers and writers and it’s a great tool.
What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?
Don’t take rejection seriously. I remind myself constantly that I can have lunch with a bunch of friends and discuss a movie or book. The chances of us all enjoying the same one is slim. Just keep working to improve your craft. Study books in your genre and have fun.
What is up next for you?
I’m working on a mystery based on the Baker Hotel in Mineral Wells, Texas. The Baker Hotel has been closed for years but originally opened after the crash of 1929 and was popular with politicians and film stars. I thought it would be a great backdrop for a cozy mystery. Of course, I will be changing the name of the hotel and town in the book.
Is there anything you would like to add?
Thank you for inviting me.
Thanks for spending time with us today, Ann. We wish you great success.