How did you become an author?
Ah, that was the hard part! When I began writing my first manuscript I did not have a clue how to go about it. Fortunately, I discovered Romance Writers of America shortly thereafter. Via their monthly magazine, chapter meetings and online groups, I found myself in the midst with real authors. I listened, studied, and watched what they did, as well as how they worked their magic with words. I wrote five completed manuscripts. I also entered writing contests and worked my way up from finishing at the bottom of the entrant lists to placing and eventually winning contests. Finally, I queried agents and editors.
What was your first published piece?
DEFENDING GLORY is the first book of the Piedmont Island Trilogy series. It tells the story of a woman who believes unconditionally in the Lord, and a man who is convinced there is no master plan, no purpose to life, and most certainly no merciful God in Heaven. Of course, when his life and Glory's are threatened, he vows to keep her safe. But can he protect his heart as well?
Where was it published?
Defending Glory was published by Vanilla Heart Publishing in October 2010 in e-book format. The print edition followed in December 2010. It's available at Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0045JL61E)
and Barnes and Noble (http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Defending-Glory/Anne-K-Albert/e/2940011112805/) as well as other outlets.
What did you do before embarking on your writing career? Was it an asset to your writing? How?
I taught high school art, was a stay-at-home-mom for a few years, sold display advertising for a small-town weekly newspaper, and worked for a national brand water company, but now I write full time.
I believe all of my previous occupations are helpful in one way or another for my writing. One needs discipline, persistence, diplomacy, and tact to be a writer!
I also use my past, and especially the emotions I felt during specific events, to help formulate my characters. By observing real people, watching their body language, checking for facial ticks, and listening to the tone of their voice, catching their pet phrases, etc, I translate that information and use it in my stories. Engaging a reader's emotions is what telling a story is all about. It's also, I think, what makes a character memorable and walk off the page.
What inspires you?
I'm always intrigued by ordinary people who are faced with extraordinary circumstances and make not only the best of the situation but inspire us to be the best that we can be. I find that aspect of humanity one of our more enduring qualities.
Please share one of your successful marketing techniques?
I'm fairly new to self-promotion and marketing techniques and have no book sale numbers to back this up, but I think blogging (doing it consistently and regularly), guest blogging, visiting, reading and commenting on other blogs, being interviewed and featured on others, as well as participating in blog hops and challenges, has in some small way spread the word about me and my books.
Even if it has not resulted in a single book sale, I have no regrets.
In the short time I've been blogging, I have to admit I now have a serious addiction! I love meeting people from all corners of the globe and from all walks of life. Each of these individuals are communicating, sharing their thought and opinions, and being heard for the first time in history. There are no gatekeepers. Not even dictators can silence the voices. None of these people are celebrities or famous people. The internet has literally changed the course of history. Fascinating, fun, exciting times.
Speaking of interesting times, I'm currently doing the A-Z Blogging Challenge which dictates I post for 26 days during April. Each post must have something to do with the letter of the day. It's been a challenge to write the posts, but it's also been a joy to visit some of the other 1100 plus bloggers who are also taking the challenge. I highly recommend it, both as a visitor and as a blogger. Seriously, I'm going to be sad when it's over and I can't wait to sign up for the next challenge!
Any parting words?
I'd also like to thank you so much, Leanne, for featuring me on your blog today. It's been such fun. I hope readers enjoyed it as much as I have.
(You're most welcome Anne. It was a pleasure having you and I looking forward to visiting your blog in June.)
To conclude, happy reading, and of course, happy writing!