I focused my questions mainly on her novel The Burn, but before we get into the Q & A I'd like to introduce Annie.
Annie is the author of two novels thus far The Burn and Dragon Sister which were both published in 2011. She is a native of Ohio, attended Brigham Young University where she majored in English, and is the mother of two children. She now lives in Phoenix and blogs here.
Q and A:
How did you come up with the idea for The Burn?
I was reading Hans Christian Andersen’s “A Little Mermaid”, and I wondered how I could retell it in a modern setting. The mermaid lost her tail and turned into a human girl living at the bottom of the ocean in a colony. The reason why she was living there created the nuclear holocaust and the resulting dystopian theme. And the dystopian theme worked out perfectly. The original fairy tale is very dark, and so the retelling fit perfectly with that darkness.
Do you think that our world is headed in that direction?
I sure hope not. I think that humanity as a whole has enough decency not to destroy the world.
What do you love about your character Terra?
She’s brave and loyal. Once she makes a decision, she doesn’t back down.
What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?
I love hearing people tell me how much they enjoyed reading my books, or how much such-and-such scene made them squirm, laugh, cry, etc. I’ve read so many books that all you do is whip through them and you don’t feel anything. I love that people respond emotionally to what I’ve written.
Finding the time to write. I have two small children, and they and their daddy are my first priority, hands down. So finding a few minutes to squeeze in some writing is the hardest part.
What do you hope people gain from reading The Burn?
I hope they realize how brave we all can be. The people in the story do incredible things, but there are also small acts of bravery. I think we’re all capable of that.
Can you tell me a little bit about your upcoming projects?
My next novel, Bound, comes out in a couple months. It’s about a girl named Wyn. She has power, the same power that drove her mother to insanity. A power she's not sure she wants or can even wield. She is the Binder, the one mortal on earth who can seal the gate to the faerie realm. But then a man with influence and insatiable hunger in her world covets the power of the faerie realm and will stop at nothing to get it. And if he succeeds, humanity will be enslaved forever. Will Wyn be able to control the power that controlled her mother, and stop him?
I’m so excited about this one (but I say that about every book), and I’ve fallen in love with the characters and the setting.
Once that one is done, then the next project is The Reaping, the sequel to The Burn. I’ve had quite a few people tell me that I need to write a sequel. So that’s coming up too.
You are originally from Ohio and claim that people who haven’t been there are missing out. Why do you say this?
Ohio’s beautiful! Where I lived there were gentle rolling hills, lots of snow in the winter, and the autumns were gorgeous. Mounds of oranges, yellows, and reds everywhere. And of course I’m a little biased because I grew up there :)
What would you say to a writer who is thinking of just giving up?
Never give up. I reached that point about a year ago. I had sent out my manuscripts to dozens of editors and agents. I received several very nice, personalized rejections. I was getting really frustrated. Instead of playing the forever-waiting-game and never getting my books out there, I researched self-publishing and went that route. I’ve had a great experience so far.
Can you tell me one random fact about yourself?
I’m a twin. She used to be my nemesis (much to my parents’ chagrin), but now we’re best friends. She inspired the character of Jessa in The Burn.
Thanks Annie for stopping by the blog and for letting me review your novel. Best of luck with your writing endeavors.