After a busy week of getting my foot in the door in my new position at work, it’s nice to be able to sit down and look over author profiles. I stumbled across Hope Ann on Twitter a few weeks back, and since I’m a lover of fairy re-tellings, I was happy to find her! I plan on downloading her book after this, and hope to be able to do a review (after I’m done with the five other books I’m reading right now *sigh*)
Q. You have quite a few books under your belt, and it looks like you have a couple more in the makings. What are you currently working on and do you have a deadline for it to be done?
A. I have three main projects in the works right now… I have a slight problem sticking with one thing at a time. The most important wip is my third Legends of Light novella, a retelling of Hansel and Gretel. It’s progressing well and I hope to have it published in March 2017. The second major project is Fidelyon, which is a full-length fantasy novel and is in the editing stage. I’m hoping to have it read for submission to a traditional publishing house by the end of this year, or spring at the latest. The final project is Scarlet Rose, the first book of a futuristic trilogy. I’m hoping to complete a readable draft of that novel by the end of 2016.
Q. You’re very active with your caption challenges, flash fiction, and just generally being engaged with your readers/other writers. Which writing community games and challenges are your favorites?
A. My favorite challenge is the weekly six-word-story I do on my blog every week. I can’t enter them myself, but it’s so much fun to see all the different thoughts people can encase in just six words.
Q. In your book, Fidelyon, how are you most like your antagonist(s), and least like your protagonist(s)?
A. Ooo…let me think. I’m probably most like my antagonist in his stubbornness to get done what he’s determined to get done, no matter what. I am least like my protagonist in his insecurity and fear of failure.
Q. Which author, if any, inspired you to be a writer?
A. It was more a lack of authors and books which inspired me to write than otherwise. I couldn’t find the kinds of books I wanted to read, so I slowly came to the realization that I’d need to write them. I have found more Christian fantasy in recent years, and draw inspiration from a number of favorite authors, like J. R. R. Tolkien and Gillian Bronte Adams. Now I write because I’ve so many story ideas in my head and they simply must be written.
Q. You’ve put out two books in your “Legends of Light” series, both retellings of fairy tales, with the first one free. What made you decide to take this route?
A. The idea behind having my first novella free is that people can sample my writing with no risk to themselves. Then, if they like the novella, they can go on to buy my other works. I will also, eventually, be offering a free story at the beginning and end of my free novella to anyone who signs up for my email list, making it even more of a marketing tool than it now is. You can check out my free retelling of Beauty and the Beast here.
Q. I notice you’re very open about your religion. Do you find this is something that readers respond to, either positively and/or negatively?
A. I have got some positive feedback from other Christian readers and writers about my openness when it comes to my religion. So far, I’ve not got negative feedback, though I’m sure that will come eventually. But my religion is not part of my marketing. My reason for writing is to inspire others and so, while I at no time try to be pushy or preachy about Christianity, I am also very upfront about who I am and what I am offering in my stories and on my blog.
Q. You say on your blog that you like making movies. Would you be interested in doing screen plays in the future?
A. Not really. It’s been fun to make some small movies with siblings, and I’d love for some of my own books to be made into movies, but at this point I’ve not much interest in trying to write a screen play.
Q. I’m a huge fan of learning about other writer’s “writing rituals”, little things you do before and during your writing process. Do you have a writing ritual, and if so, what’s the first thing you do before you sit down to write?
A. Put on music…either YouTube music on the computer, or other music in my headphones. I write better when there is some music going on, and it helps block out background noise from the house in general.
Q. You have eight siblings that you help home school. Do you find this cuts into your writing time, or do you think it helps come up with more ideas to write?
A. Homeschooling itself doesn’t cut into my writing, because I schedule it into my day. Have eight younger siblings who like to chatter or need help certainly does cut into ‘my’ time. Learning how to balance time spent writing and time spent with family is something I still struggle with, but I’d not trade them for a silent still house despite the frequent disruptions. And, occasionally, I do get some ideas from a few of my siblings which are then jotted down in my idea profiles.
Q. If Fidelyon were to be picked up as a movie, what country would you want it filmed in?
A. New Zealand! Especially if that meant I could go there and visit the sets.
Q. What’s your favorite project that you’ve worked on so far?
A. Scarlet Rose. Perhaps because the main character is quite a bit like me, or perhaps because many of the plot lines are closely connected with imagined scenes in my own head. Whatever the case, it has been so much fun to write.
Q. As with a lot of writers, family plays a part in their lives, for good and for bad. Who in your family has been the biggest influence in your writing life?
A. Probably my father, who has constantly encouraged me in my writing (even while occasionally pointing out that a certain scene is very ‘movie-like’ and not quite realistic). He reads all my writing when I get it in a readable enough condition to reveal it, and takes interest when I talk about plots even when he must have no idea about the half of what I’m saying.
Q. Octavia Butler once said that the most important trait to have as a writer is persistence. What keeps you going even when you feel like throwing in the towel?
A. I know the downs won’t last. There are always moments…sometimes many moments, when a work feels like it’s the worst thing I’ve ever done, and that I’ll never get it right. But I know the feeling won’t last. I know that the end result will be worth the work once I’ve muddled my way through my corrections. And so I keep on, no matter whether I feel like writing or not.
Want to know more about Hope Ann? Check her out below!
Pinterest: Writing in the Light Publishing
Facebook: Hope Ann
Website: Writing in the Light Publishing
Amazon: Hope Ann
Youtube: Hope Ann
Original interview done in October 2016