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 am so happy to have Ann Marie Everson as my guest. I met Ann Marie at a writer’s conference, and she is so absolutely wonderful to speak to and so dynamic of a personality that I fell in love with her. Plus, I L-O-V-E World War II romances — and that’s what she’s giving away to one reader! Enjoy the interview and at the end, see how you can enter to win a copy of her latest release!
Tell us a little bit about yourself: I am first and foremost a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. I love God so very much I can’t imagine my life without Him. I am a wife (37 years in February), a mother, and grandmother–joy on top of joy! Professionally, I’m a writer and speaker … I am the president of Word Weavers International, the director of Florida Christian Writers Conference, and I truly enjoy working with new writers as a coach and freelance editor. Friends and family are extremely important to me.
I am owned by my dog.
Tell us about your current release: Oh, I’m so excited about this book! The One True Love of Alice-Ann is my first WWII novel and one I’m extremely proud of. Allow me to share the back cover copy:
Living in rural Georgia in 1941, sixteen-year-old Alice-Ann has her heart set on her brother’s friend Mack; despite their five-year age gap, Alice-Ann knows she can make Mack see her for the woman she’ll become. But when they receive news of the attack on Pearl Harbor and Mack decides to enlist, Alice-Ann realizes she must declare her love before he leaves.
Though promising to write, Mack leaves without confirmation that her love is returned. But Alice-Ann is determined to wear the wedding dress her maiden aunt never had a chance to wear―having lost her fiancé in the Great War. As their correspondence continues over the next three years, Mack and Alice-Ann are drawn closer together. But then Mack’s letters cease altogether, leaving Alice-Ann to fear history repeating itself.
Dreading the war will leave her with a beautiful dress and no happily ever after, Alice-Ann fills her days with work and caring for her best friend’s war-torn brother, Carlton. As time passes and their friendship develops into something more, Alice-Ann wonders if she’ll ever be prepared to say good-bye to her one true love and embrace the future God has in store with a newfound love. Or will a sudden call from overseas change everything?
If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Absolutely.
What do you think is lacking in Christian Fiction? Sometimes I think we are lacking complete honesty about what the Christian goes through today. We have enormous issues to face and we don’t always want to talk about that in Christian fiction. Let me give you an example: a dear, dear friend of mine came to me not too long ago and said, “My daughter came home and told us she is gay.” My friend cried. She asked me, “Do you think she’s going to hell?” I saw the desperation. My friend is a Christian. She loves the Lord. She raised her kids in the Word … “How did this happen?” she asked me.
We don’t like to talk about those things, I think.
Or about biracial relationships. Or a whole lot of other things. We’ve grown a lot in the nearly 20 years since I’ve been doing this, but I think we’ve got a ways to go.
Whats the first major news headline that you can remember and what do you remember? Ha! Well, I remember Kennedy being shot … but I laugh because recently discovered a diary from my childhood. On July 20, 1969 I wrote:
Went to the pool with Margaret. Had fun.
Man walked on the moon.
So apparently the pool with Margaret was more interesting and exciting than man walking on the moon! But I do remember watching it.
Who was your first Screen/Musical Crush? Peter Tork!
What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? I always wanted to write, but I took the road to nursing instead. At almost 40 years of age (really, really close to 40!) I took a walk one day and had an idea. I went home, started writing and stopped a year later (I took breaks!). One year later I signed a contract; it became my third book.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers? Enjoy the journey!
What is your preferred method of writing? (computer, pen & paper, etc.): I character-sketch and plot out using pen and paper. I write on the computer.
Who were some of your favorite authors as a child? (Book series, maybe?) I can’t say I remember too many of the authors. I do, of course, remember reading Nancy Drew. Gosh, I loved those books! And I remember reading a book titled Renee that I absolutely loved. I read Mr. & Mrs. Bo Jo Jones by Ann Head when I was about 14 or 15, which led to my sincerest desire to be a novelist. I’d said it before I read the book, but afterward, I knew one day I’d do the same.
I’m always intrigued by how writers get started…did you always have these books inside you and knew that you wanted to write them or did the idea just pop into your head one day and you decided to put pen to paper? No … they just pop right in! My husband says that when we are out and I get that far-away look in my eyes, he knows I’m listening in on other’s conversations. He’s right. There are ideas popping up all over the place!
Do you write your books for your own enjoyment or more for what you think people would want to read? In all honesty, I think a little of both.
What do you do when you hit a roadblock and have NO idea what to write? Watch a classic movie.
I assume when you start a book, you pretty much have the plot laid out. Do you ever change your mind later on in the book, and go in a different direction? I have the plot pretty much laid out, yes. But then I work very hard on the characters and allow them to tell me the fine details. Sometimes they most definitely change things up! For example, in The One True Love of Alice-Ann, I believed this one pivotal scene would go a certain way. But the character Mack wouldn’t say the words the way I wanted him to. Finally I quit writing and went to lunch. My husband said, “You’re awfully quiet.” I told him that I was having an internal struggle with my character. He just shook his head. But by the time I got home, Mack and I had come to an understanding … meaning, I let him have his way. 🙂 I really like where he took the scene!
Do you remember where you were or what you were doing when you started this story? I actually do! I was working on another project with then title popped into my head. I wrote it down because I thought … hey! I like that title! I kept working, but kept looking over at the title (totally distracting…), so I stopped and had this memory of a WWII story my older neighbors (since deceased) shared with my husband and me about his being shot down over the Pacific and her (his wife) thinking for months that he was dead. From there the story blossomed, so I stopped working on the current project and wrote out the story line. Once that was done, I was able to concentrate on what I needed to concentrate on. 🙂
Find Eva Marie online:
Find Eva Marie’s latest release online!
Eva Marie is giving away a copy of The One True Love of Alice-Ann. Here’s how you can enter to win!
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