Thursday, March 14, 2013

Featured Author Interview: Ann Shorey

Ann Shorey is the author of the At Home in Beldon Grove and Sisters At Heart series, lover of flowers, wild Oregon woods, and good books.

Ann is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of The Steve Laube Agency, and is an active member of several writer’s organizations, among them American Christian Fiction WritersOregon Christian Writers, and Willamette Writers. As such, she is enthusiastic about the benefits of attending workshops and conferences. Ann is available to teach workshops on research, story arc, and other fiction fundamentals to writer’s groups

The following is a March 2013 interview with Ann.

At Home in Beldon Grove
1.         Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a wife and the mother of a lovely adult daughter. I was widowed in the late 1980’s, and since that time God has blessed me with a wonderful new husband. Richard and I will celebrate our twenty-second anniversary this April. Hard to believe the years have flown by so quickly. As empty-nesters, we spoil our dog, Amber.

2.         How did you become a novelist, and did you always want to write?

I’ve enjoyed story-telling ever since I was a child. But I didn’t seriously start writing until after I was widowed. I asked myself then what I wanted most to do with the rest of my life, and writing was the answer. I wrote a nonfiction family history first, compiled from collected memoirs dating as far back as the American Revolution. Since all the memoirs were written by men, it sparked my curiosity as to what the women’s lives were like while the men were out adventuring. So I started writing fiction to answer my own questions.

3.         What do you think is significant about Christian fiction?

I think Christian fiction fills an important need for books that are entertaining, wholesome, and present life from a Biblical worldview. It’s been exciting to see how the entire “Inspirational” genre has blossomed to the point where books from Christian publishing houses share shelf space with general market fiction in bookstores.

4.         How do you hope your readers react to the stories you write?

Since the majority of my readers are women, my hope is they draw encouragement for their own lives from seeing my characters solve their problems using godly principles. I chose as my tagline: “Yesterday’s women—Today’s issues.” Although I write historical fiction, women’s lives haven’t changed all that much. We just have better resources now.

5.         What responses to your novels have affected you the most and why?  

The first novel in the At Home in Beldon Grove series, The Edge of Light, concerns a woman who was unexpectedly widowed, leaving her with small children and few resources. One reader told me that the story helped her deal with her husband walking out on her. She, too, had small children. My character’s choices showed her that she, too, had choices. Responses like that make the hard work of writing well worth the effort!

Where Wildflowers Bloom
6.         How has being a novelist impacted your relationship with Christ?

Oh, I’m so much closer to Jesus than I used to be! I pray before writing, and have learned to trust and listen for guidance as I write my stories. Words don’t always flow, so the connection to the Lord is vital for me.

7.         Other than writing great novels, what other goals do you have for your life?

I want to continue the blessed relationship I have with my family. My husband and I enjoy traveling back roads and seeing the country, and I hope to have more time in the future to go exploring with him.

8.         What do you like to do in your spare time?

I like to be outdoors walking my dog or gardening. We live fairly near the Pacific coast, and I love beach walks with my husband (and again, with our spoiled dog). My favorite thing, though, is reading. Always has been, always will be.

9.         What can you tell us about your latest novels?

The current series, Sisters at Heart, is intended to celebrate the friendships of women. As women, our friendships bless and encourage us daily. Each of the books in the series features a different protagonist, but the women are friends with one another. So they all appear in every book and the reader can follow the lives of the characters in previous books while getting to know a new protagonist in the latest story. However, each novel is a stand-alone and can be read separately.

Where Wildflowers Bloom (Sisters at Heart #1)
[Purchase: | Amazon Kindle]

When the Heart Heals (Sisters at Heart #2)
[Purchase: | Amazon Kindle]

When the Heart Heals
10.       What stories can your fans expect from you in the days ahead?

When the Heart Heals, Book 2 in the Sisters at Heart series, just released this February. The next story in the series, Love’s Sweet Beginning, is at the publisher now going through edits, cover design, and all the other wonderful things Revell does before releasing their books.

I also have a novella coming out in 2014. Lessons in Love will be part of a collection with authors Laurie Alice Eakes, Amanda Cabot, and Jane Kirkpatrick. This has been a fun and exciting project, as Revell hasn’t produced a novella collection before. I’m honored to be part of their first one!

11.     What would you like to say to your fans in New Zealand, and others worldwide?

 Thank you so much for reading my books! I so appreciate hearing from readers. Please feel free to contact me through my website, I promise to respond to your emails or letters.

Specifically to my fans in New Zealand, I’d like to say how much my husband and I enjoyed visiting your country a few years ago. At the time, we had a nephew staying on the North Island as part of a student exchange program, so we came to visit him. We flew into Auckland and rented a car, then drove to Tolaga Bay where our nephew was living with his host family. Of course, we did a lot of sightseeing on the way. Everyone we met was exceptionally friendly and the scenery was gorgeous. Someday we’d like to go back and see much more of your country. Wonderful memories!

12.     Do you have any parting words?

Thank you for inviting me to visit with you, Ellie! Thank you, too, for your lovely website and all you do to spread the word about Christian fiction. God bless you!

Buy Ann's Books from The Book Depository

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