It’s my pleasure to welcome author Ann Summerville as the special guest blogger here today at Thoughts in Progress.
Ann is also a fellow blogger and can be found at her blog, Cozy in Texas. She is the author of A GRACEFUL DEATH and is here to answer a few questions about her writing. In addition, Ann will be giving away a copy of A GRACEFUL DEATH to one lucky visitors who comments on her post between now and 8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 29. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.
First a little background on Ann, she spent her childhood and early twenties in England before moving to California. Her short stories have been published in the Lutheran Digest, Long Story Short, The Shine Journal, Doorknobs & Bodypaint, Trinity Writer’s Workshop newsletters and also their collection of Christmas stories. A GRACEFUL DEATH was her first cozy mystery. She now lives in Texas with two dogs and an elusive cat.
Ann, when did you first start writing?
I remember winning first place in an elementary school writing competition and continued writing short stories, but it has only been the past few years that I have undertaken writing novels.
Is the Cornish town in A GRACEFUL DEATH fictitious?
I lived in Cornwall, on the southwest coast of England, for a number of years and combined several villages to make up the town. I would say that St. Agnes http://www.st-agnes.com/ is the closest comparison to Lowenna, the village in the book. Lowenna means joy in Cornish.
What are your goals when writing a novel?
To entertain and explore the complexities of relationships. Although my books all have a mystery element, the undercurrent brings out personalities and how people react to each other eventually forming a family of sorts.
How did you learn the craft of writing?
Each day I learn something new. The biggest influence was joining a writing group and attending writing conferences and workshops. I love reading and if I find a book I like, I study it, write a synopsis, and sometimes an outline to visualize the layout of the plot. My favorite book at the moment is Empire Falls by Richard Russo http://www.randomhouse.com/knopf/authors/russo/ . I can see why it’s a Pulitzer price winner.
Will A GRACEFUL DEATH be part of a series?
My last book, STORMS & SECRETS, was located in Texas, but I loved the characters in A GRACEFUL DEATH and am currently working on a second book called “HIGH TIDE.”
What is your advice to new writers?
Enjoy the journey and in the words of Jeffery Deaver http://www.jefferydeaver.com/ “Review rejection as a speed bump, not a brick wall.”
Ann, thanks so much for guest blogging here today. Viewing rejection as a speed bump sounds like some very good advice.
For more information about Ann, be sure to check out her website www.annsummerville.com
Here’s a brief synopsis of A GRACEFUL DEATH: "Giovanna Matthews has an acceptable life in London with her own flat, a good job, and recent engagement to the son of a Scottish landowner. But not long after her engagement to Alan, news of Aunt Grace’s death hits Giovanna like a red double decker bus. Ignoring Alan’s pleas to stay, she bundles her dog and suitcase into a rusty Volkswagen and drives to Aunt Grace’s cottage on the Cornish coast where Giovanna had spent childhood summers with her cousin. Putting her aunt’s affairs in order is further complicated when Giovanna discovers the local constabulary has its own view on Aunt Grace’s demise - A view that Giovanna vows to challenge. Unless she can discover how her aunt died and find her missing cousin quickly, she stands to lose both her inheritance and Alan."
Ann will be dropping back by during the day to answer any questions you might have and to respond to your comments. Plus, remember to leave a comment in order to enter the giveaway.