Authors, Writers, Publishers, and Book Readers
It’s across the sea to the lovely country of Italy with this week’s featured author…or rather authors. I wrestled with ”Anne” at the transporter control because I wanted to go see Pompeii, but after a look from her much larger and peculiarly silent partner “Glynn”, she won out and we’re here at the ruins of Herculaneum and I must say, they are fascinating. Especially with a glass of white wine (Italian, of course). Tonight, they want to enjoy the cuisine in Ercolano. And she thinks they’re going to get a free meal. No Pompeii and I get to foot the bill for supper? Hmph!
1. Who are you and what makes you the most fascinating person in your city?
In our small mountain town, Alan Dean Foster is the most fascinating person in our community. So, right off the bat, this interview is disappointing to both of us.
‘Anne Glynn’ is a writing team. I’m Anne and my S.W.P. (Significant Writing Partner) is Glynn. On our last three novels, we received contract offers from three different publishers – but, each time, we had second thoughts and decided to self-publish, instead. Since we expect to make less money via self-pub, I wouldn’t say this makes us “fascinating”; self-destructive, perhaps.
Oh, and we’ve met Alan Dean Foster a time or two. He really is fascinating.
2. Without revealing a deep dark secret (unless you want to), what one thing would people be surprised to learn about you?
We’re your pleasant, next-door neighbors, the polite couple who keeps their yard neat and never drinks too much or has parties that get a little too loud. No one knows about the steamy stuff we write behind closed doors. And we’ve certainly kept it a secret that I’m the cover model for all of our romances.
3. What interested you to be become a writer rather than something else such as a brain surgeon?
Dead broke and struggling to pay the rent, Glynn wrote a chapter of a science fiction novel and submitted the pages to a new publisher. To his surprise, the associate editor loved the opening and asked to see the rest of the novel. Since there wasn’t a “rest of the novel”, Glynn came to me. He convinced me to provide a plot for his unwritten story and we took it from there. Four months later, the 100,000 word novel was finished…and so was the publisher. They’d decided to focus on property-based novels rather than original fiction (but told us, sweetly, how much they liked our book, anyway).
By then, we’d decided that writing together was fun. Awhile later, we sold a proposal to a work-for-hire publisher and collected our first writing paycheck.
4. Writers are readers. With which author(s) would you enjoy sharing dinner? Why?
If I get to include authors who are no longer with us, I’d go with H.P. Lovecraft. What wonderful madness was swirling in his brain? Glynn would love to chat with P.G. Wodehouse, a writer who was kind enough to respond to the very young Glynn’s fan letter.
Still, a dinner with dead authors might be off-putting if we had other guests. If we wanted to invite someone from the still breathing, non-zombie crowd, we’d both pick Stephen King. We think he’s one of the few best-selling writers who will still be read a hundred years from now.
5. If I were stranded on a deserted island (or suffering a four hour layover at the airport), why would your book(s) be great company?
As you can tell from their titles, our novellas are written to be fast, fun reads. We subscribe to Elmore Leonard’s theory of leaving out the bits that people skip anyway, so we get to the action fairly quickly. Plus, our work always contains some saucy bits – graphically-described saucy bits – so you’d have something interesting to think about during those boring deserted island nights.
6. Share your process of writing in regards to: idea and character development, story outline, research (do you Google, visit places/people or make it up on the spot?), writing schedule, editing, and number of rewrites.
We write whenever we find a few spare hours. One of us will have an idea (often, Glynn), one of us will start plotting (often, me) and, in the process, we’ll get a feel for our characters and their behavior. As light-hearted as the stories are, we try to get our research right…usually via the ‘net, sometimes through personal contact. Every story gets at least three rewrites and, usually, a couple of edits. We try to put out a new electronic novella on the first of every month but those slow movers at Smashwords can delay a “premium” release for weeks – even though we meet their standards every time.
7. “I think I have a good idea for a story, but I don’t know where or how to begin. Your process may not work for me. Any advice?”
We always start with the title. Always.
This started from our very first romance. Glynn was reading The Art of War and told me Sun Tzu’s philosophy was really about winning a battle without having to battle. Then he said, in all seriousness, that we should write The Art of Whore.
Which, in hindsight, was madness. We’d just finished a Young Adult novel. My mind wasn’t on hot and sultry at all but Glynn refused to be dissuaded. “This woman comes across this book of Chinese philosophy, this Art of Whore, and it’s all about winning love without being a whore,” he told me.
“So we’ll write a story that disappoints everyone,” I responded. “People who want a romance will never buy it and people who want to learn how to whore will return it.”
“Well, sure,” he agreed easily enough but, again, he really wanted us to try it. So I plotted the story, we wrote it, and it was greeted by a deafening silence. Readers aren’t exactly drawn to the title and not everyone enjoys a story about a flawed heroine, looking for love. Unfortunately for our accountant, we’re inspired by silly titles and flawed heroines and we’ll keep using them. So we wrote a second story, a third story, a fourth story…and we’ve always started with the title.
8. I saw an amusing T-shirt the other day which read ‘Every great idea I have gets me in trouble.” What is your philosophy of life?
Glynn’s used to be ‘Live Your Dreams’ but, a couple of weeks ago, he had a dream where he was speaking with this giant talking dog, and then the giant talking dog turned evil and wanted to eat him, so he no longer embraces this particular philosophy.
Mine is ‘Always be willing to take a chance.’ A fine life philosophy but, as it turns out, a mistake when you’re at the blackjack table in Las Vegas.
9. Please tell me you’re not going to stop writing? What’s next for you?
We wouldn’t do that to our readers. Or reader, if our sales figures are to be believed. What happens if Ye Olde Reader ends up on a deserted island, needing a bit of sultry romance to pass the night? We’ll have a new novella or novelette coming out at the beginning of every month or until we have to get real work.
10. Where can people find more information on you and your projects?
We’d planned to use anneglynn.blogspot.com but it was snatched up a couple of years ago by someone who uses our name. Instead, we found a place to rant at buymysmut.blogspot.com.