Thursday, April 3, 2014

Ann Shorey Interview {Lessons in Love}: Sincerely Yours

Ann Shorey's writing journey began with a family story, turning pages of a journal into a book for relatives to treasure. That was just the beginning. Next she turned her mother's works into a three novel series called At Home in Beldon Grove. Her second series has just begun in Where Wildflowers Bloom set after the close of the Civil War bringing women's stories to life. Ann and her husband live in Oregon and her recipes too have earned her recognition. She offers good food and good food for thought! I'm so glad she could join me today.

What gave you the idea to create a confusion for your columnist in your novella "Lessons in Love?" 
Women as authors were looked down upon in the 19th Century. Nathaniel Hawthorne (author of The Scarlet Letter and The House of Seven Gables) famously referred to them as a "d---ed mob of scribbling women." So for Merrie to have her work accepted when her publisher assumed she was a man seemed like a fun idea for a novella.

Well so much for Nathaniel Hawthorne's opinion! I know Dorothea Dix received criticism while writing during the same time and hers were letters to the editor. Were you ever a columnist in a local paper? Where did you discover the insights about Sarah Josepha Hale and her influence on female readers in her day? 
I've never been a columnist for a local paper. The closest I've ever come was writing a monthly column when I was president of a local writers group. 

Initially, I came across the insights about Sarah Josepha Hale when doing research for my novel, The Edge of Light, which is set in the late 1830's. I needed recipes and housekeeping tips from that time period, and discovered a reprint of The Good Housekeeper, first published in 1839. Sarah Josepha Hale wrote that book. The forward gave a brief biography of Mrs. Hale. The book went on my research shelf after I completed The Edge of Light, but I remembered the author and her housekeeping tips when I brainstormed the types of articles Merrie would write. When I plotted "Lessons in Love," I did further research on Mrs. Hale. She was a remarkable woman.

Since you have a culinary background yourself earning awards for recipes, Mrs. Hale's book must be a treasure.  In your "spare" time, when you're not writing fabulous novels and novellas - or cooking - you teach classes about writing. What's your favorite writing subject to teach?  
My favorite isn't on technique, but rather one devoted to encouragement. I love to teach "Powering Through Rejection." I've learned a lot about the subject over the years [smile], and it's rewarding to see the hope on writers' faces when they realize they're not alone. The Q & A after the class is always fun--everyone has a story to share.

I so agree. Everyone has a story to share. What's one word of advice you always want to give your students? Would you have a word of advice for your protagonist Merrie about her writing?
My advice is a bit longer than one word: "Don't quit. Keep improving by applying the suggestions you most often hear in rejections or from critique partners. Don't stall out on one book--start another if the first one goes nowhere."

I would encourage Merrie to continue with her columns--and to heed her own advice when she weds.

Never quit. Solid advice for writers...and any commitment we make. What are you working on now?  
My agent just sent a proposal out in response to a request from a publisher. So while I wait I'm working on a novel set in a city that's dear to my heart.

Thanks for hosting me on your blog, Jane! Great questions.

To connect with Ann, please visit her website where she also has a signup for her newsletter.
She is also on Facebook

Revell has provided an excerpt of Sincerely Yours. A chapter from each author can be found here: Sincerely Yours Excerpt

A Blog Tour & other Giveaways happening!

If you would like to read some blogger reviews (and some are giving away the book as well) go here to see the list of bloggers posting over the next week or so.  Be sure to tell them you are dropping in from my blog.

Jane's Giveaway!

Meet each of the authors and enter to win a pen & stationary gift set!  A copy of Sincerely Yours will also be included. There are entries that can be done each day, so be sure to do as much as you can to increase your chances to win.

Giveaway runs from April 1- April 8.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

Winners must have a US shipping address.  Email addresses will NOT be sold to anyone, however each author will receive a list of all entries.  They will NOT sell the email list either.
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