Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! This week, I’m so happy to have Ann Brodeur as my guest. I love stories about lost loves that reconnect, and it sounds like her new release is all that and more! I hope you enjoy her interview as much as I did. Read on to see how you can enter to win a Christmas ornament!
Tell us a little bit about yourself. I didn’t have a terribly exciting childhood, but I did have an active imagination. We didn’t travel, but that didn’t stop me from finding adventure in books. Perhaps it was those early years that whet my appetite for traveling God’s beautiful earth and for creating stories set in beautiful locations.
I’m a wife, mother of four, and a writer. There’s nothing we love better than packing up our travel trailer to explore Canada (and pre-COVID the United States), where many story ideas have been seeded and written down in a notebook just waiting to be told.
Tell us about your current release. My debut novel published by Anaiah Press, releases in two days on November 6. SNOWBOUND IN WINTERBERRY FALLS is a novel about uncovering the pain of the past and trusting God’s leading. It’s a story of redemption and second chances, set in the fictional town of Winterberry Falls, Vermont during the most celebrated season of all, Christmas. A winter storm thrusts my heroine back into a town that only holds bittersweet memories for her, and onto the doorstep of the man who’d stolen her heart and disappeared twelve years earlier. The only way to protect the woman he fell in love with is to stay out of her life, but what’s a guy to do when she shows up out of the blue? And how will he ever keep her safe from the secret that will destroy her family when she’s stuck in town indefinitely?
A buried story. A powerful senator. A Christmas they won’t forget.
I love questions from readers!
Who were some of your favorite authors as a child? (Book series, maybe?) What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Recently I was unearthing two boxes of favourite books I kept from my childhood in search of a new read for one of my daughters. To my delight, the books are still in excellent condition (after 30+ years) and I had a lot of fun sorting through my collection. I have the complete original series of Mandie books by Lois Gladys Leppard (all single released titles), the complete Elizabeth Gail series by Hilda Stahl and a good stash of original Babysitters Club books by Ann Martin. I also re-discovered my collection of Nancy Drew mysteries (both classic, Files, and my favourites – The Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys Super Mysteries).
At the bottom of one of the boxes was my diary I’d kept when I was ten. My girls and I read through the entries and enjoyed a laugh or two (what things a ten year old thinks about!). One particular entry stopped me in my tracks: “To be a famous Christian writer would mean a lot to me. It would mean that I may bring people to the Lord.” So to answer your question, yes. It’s always been a dream of mine to be a writer and my career path has always included an element of writing (program notes for symphonic performances, grant writing for non-profits, articles for volunteer magazines).
Though I’m not a famous Christian writer, I’m living my dream of writing fiction from a Christian perspective. Maybe someday, I’ll achieve that first part. But if my writing leads one to or back to Christ, then the whole journey has been worth it.
How do you push past the fear of your writing being average and be bold enough to sell it to a publisher (or agent or audience if you self-publish)? I think every writer experiences self-doubt at some point throughout the writing/publishing process. I’ve always been the kind of person to push through, especially when it gets hard. Artists pour so much of themselves into their work that there is always a bit of fear releasing it into the world. Writers depend on readers and their opinions, and they depend on the approval of acquisition editors if they choose to go traditional. A good friend said to me once when I received yet another rejection of my manuscript, “It’s not a definite ‘no’, it’s just ‘not right now’.” It has been a tremendous help mentally. But more than that, I know that if God has placed a story on my heart, He’ll help me write it and bring it to the right people at the right time.
What is one thing that you “never saw yourself doing” and either do it now or have done? I never saw myself eating bugs! A missionary friend brought back a specialty from the mission field – chocolate covered grasshoppers. And yes, I was one of the brave ones who ate one. And only one.
I also never saw myself camping. The first time I ever went camping was with my husband when I was three months pregnant with our twins. I hated tent camping, but he loved it (and I’m pretty sure my dislike of the activity had something to do with being unable to get comfortable on the ground to sleep with an oversized belly and having to pee every hour or two). But a few years later we bought a travel trailer and it is now my happy place.
Now it’s your turn for a question or two: What book has touched you the most in recent memory and how?
Here is where you can find Ann online:
Ann is giving away a Christmas ornament to a reader! See below how to enter to win:a Rafflecopter giveaway