Exclusive Interview with
Annette G. Anders
When did you start writing?
I wrote my first novel in 2019.
What makes writing your passion?
Creating a new story is like stepping into a different world, even if the story is set in the present. The fictional characters are becoming very close friends to me, and their problems become my problems, which I want to help them fix. And knowing that readers are being pulled into the stories is the ultimate reward.
How long have you been writing?
While I haven’t written a book before 2019, I’ve always loved writing letters, keeping a diary, and playing with words in general.
What was the feeling when you published your first book?
Pride and anxiety. Pride, because I fulfilled a life-long dream. And anxiety, because I opened myself up to criticism from strangers. One never knows how a book is being received by readers and critics.
What’s the story behind your choice of characters?
I don’t really choose my characters, they develop as I write, and they reveal themselves and their personality to me in the process. It’s quite fascinating.
What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?
Nothing annoys me about it, even though marketing is not my favorite part of it, but I sometimes wish I could type faster. Especially when ideas for several books tumble through my mind at the same time.
How do you get over the “writer’s block”?
I haven’t experienced a full-blown case of writer’s block yet, but when I feel momentarily stuck, it helps to go on a car ride or a day trip for a change of scenery.
We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?
My advice is to keep writing. Even if it’s only a few sentences a day but try to stay involved in your story and your project.
If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
“Follow your dreams.”
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?
Yes, I read them and try to see the bad ones as par for the course. If a 1- or 2-star reviewer leaves feedback about what they didn’t like, I’m grateful; it gives me something to work with and I know not every story is for every reader. But I’m not too happy with the ones who freely admit right out of the gate that they didn’t even read the book or knew they didn’t like that genre/topic but still feel compelled to slam me with a negative rating.
What is the feeling when you get a good review?
Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?
There are experiences of my own life in each of my books, but I don’t make them the main problem.
What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?
The book cover is one of the most important parts of a book. It’s the first thing a reader sees and what’s supposed to grab their attention. If the story turns out to be too different from what the cover implies, a reader will be disappointed.
Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?
I’m a social butterfly and love to meet and chat with readers. Because I published my debut novel during a world-wide pandemic, I haven’t had as many in-person experiences as I wish I had. Therefore, I’m grateful for social media and modern technology to connect via Zoom etc.
How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?
Grateful and very humbled.
Who is your favorite author? Why?
I don’t have one favorite author, but Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, James Michener, and Carlos Ruiz Zafón are among my favorite writers. Their skills with world-building and creating unforgettable characters are amazing.
What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?
I don’t believe in wanting to be as big as one particular writer, but I believe in reaching for the stars, and my dream is to have readers recognize my name and await the release of a new book.
Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?
Authors are constantly honing their skills by attending workshops or conferences and by reading blogs and articles about writing. We deepen our knowledge in the art of writing, and it hopefully reflects in our newer work. Which means that while our older work might benefit from a rewrite, we might also “improve it for the worse,” because it’s not our original voice anymore. And if we allow ourselves to go down that rabbit hole, we’d forever rewrite older books and never get to write new ones. So, I guess the answer is no.