Wednesday, February 8, 2012

DAY 2 WITH ANN GABHART

Before we begin to talk to Ann, I wanted to thank you for all the comments made Monday and Tuesday. You can enter more than once, it may increase your chances of winning. Remember when you do leave a comment to leave your name and enail address.

I've learned some things about Ann that we have in common. We both live in Kentucky, but on different ends of the state. We're both farm girls. We both do or have lived on our family farms. I still own part of mine in Tennessee, and I was the fifth generation to own the farm.

I know you don't want to hear about me, so we'll talk more to Ann.



1.      How much time does it usually take you to write a book?

My best schedule would be a year. That’s a good rhythm for me. I like having plenty of time for research and pre-writing to allow my characters to come to life and also time at the end of writing to polish and pare to make my story the best I can make it before anybody reads it. However, I have written books in six months when I had deadlines pushing me.
  
2.      What do you find is the hardest part of writing?

The hardest part is getting the story out of my head down on paper or computer screen. Especially when I hit those doldrums I talked about earlier. That nearly always happens at some point in every story. But then the hardest part is also the best part – spilling out the story and having my characters leap to life in my mind.

3.      If you could be one of your characters for a day which character would it be? Why?

Definitely Kate Merritt in Angel Sister. That would be like going back in time and walking in my mother’s shoes for a while. Kate’s not Mom, but she lived in Mom’s world.

4.      Who is your favorite hero that you've written? Why?

That is such a difficult question to answer. I get close to each of my heroes while I’m telling his story, so it’s sort of like this one now and that one then. I did like Victor in Angel Sister because he loved Nadine so much and yet he stumbled in trying to be the husband he thought she needed. I suppose I identified with his desire to be better than he was able to be. And I really like Blake Garrett in Words Spoken True. He is such a strong character he practically leaps off the page. He’s a man who has a lot of confidence in who he is and what he’s doing and yet he’s vulnerable when it comes to love. He’s also very handsome. Then there’s Ethan in The Believer. I open that story with Ethan as a little boy so very young and innocent. His world is turned upside down after a series of events lands him in the Shaker village and then again years later when he meets Elizabeth.

5.      What do you think makes a good hero?

I suppose when I’m reading about that hero, I want one who makes me smile. And that’s not a bad thing when I’m writing about a hero too. But I also want my heroes to be strong characters who are willing to fight for what they believe. At the same time I want them to be vulnerable in some way and to need to love and be loved.

6.      What do you enjoy reading?

I read all kinds of books. I like mysteries, historical stories, character stories, really all kinds of fiction. I also enjoy first person historical accounts when I’m researching an era. I feel blessed when I run across a journal or diary of someone who lived through whatever historical event I want to include in my book. I also like inspirational reading. You know what? I’m the type of person who reads cereal boxes or whatever is handy that has print on it. Words pull at me and I always want to know what they going to tell me.

7.      What is the one question you never get asked at interviews, but wish you did?

How are those grandchildren? Just kidding. I might have to write a book to tell you about all nine of them.

How does it feel to have your book on the New York Times bestseller list? Oops, I guess that might be a nice dream, but not a question I could answer – yet. (She added with a large measure of hope.)

How about those Cats? I’m a huge University of Kentucky basketball fan, but I know not everybody is. (Sigh)

Think writing related questions, Ann.

Okay, this is the question I’m picking. Seriously. What are the two most important things a person can do to continue to improve as a writer?

Oh, I suppose you want me to answer it too. All right. My answer is to keep writing and keep reading.

Thanks Ann, we look forward to hearing more on Friday. Be sure to leave your comments by noon CST, Monday, February 13.

17 comments:

  1. Sign me up for the drawing. I love historical novels, Amish/Mennonite novels, well just any fiction books. I just love the read.
    bjgalloway@gmail.com
    Barbara Galloway

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    1. Barbara, you're my kind of reading friend - a reader who just loves a good story. I hope if you read one of my books that you'll enjoy my stories. Good luck in the drawing.

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  2. I enjoyed hearing about our like roots, Katt. There's nothing to compare with roots down in country soil. At least that's what this country girl thinks. I don't know how many generations have owned the farm where I grew up, but at least 4 generations have lived on this road on various farms.

    Thank you so much for inviting me over to scribble with you.

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  3. I love Ann's books!! There are the only Shaker one's I've ever read..a really interesting lifestyle!

    marissamehresman(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Thanks so much, Marissa. So glad you enjoy my Shaker books. Not much fiction written about the Shakers. A lot of historical accounts and books about their lifestyle and workmanship. They were a unique people.

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  4. Ann - Angel Sister is still in my TBR pile, been reading the Shaker stories first. But I think I need to move Angel Sister to the top of the pile.
    Sharon
    smoore at tcq dot net

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    1. Yes, Sharon. Move my little angel sister to the top of your pile. I think you'll enjoy the story. At least I hope so. Thanks for reading my Shaker books too. My dedication in Words Spoken True is to my loyal readers who have followed me from Hollyhill to my Shaker village of Harmony Hill to Rosey Corner and now to Louisville.

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  5. A very nice article..enjoying! angadair@nwcable.net

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    1. Thanks, Angie, for reading my interview and for your comment. Love hearing from readers.

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  6. Good morning everyone! It has been so much fun to have Ann as my guest. I also love her books, and I'm looking forward to reading more of them. I would like to also thank everyone who has made a comment, and my the best woman win! Monday at noon, CST, I will draw a name and I wish it could be everyone's, but that's not possible. Continue to read more about Ann on Friday. Thanks Ann for being such a wonderful guest.

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    1. It's been fun talking to your readers, Katt.

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  7. I've only read one of Ann's books so far. I was amazed and thrilled to hear she has so many books out there because some day I hope to have them all, I was so impressed with the one I did read. Thanks for entering me in your drawing.
    I was born a city girl but now live in a small town where the opportunity to raise our own food is available and enjoyed.
    purensimplenatural at gmail dot com

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    1. Hi, Pamela. I hope if you read more of my books, you'll enjoy those stories too. Small towns are all I really know, and there's nothing better than a tomato straight from your plant to your plate.

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  8. I just finished reading Words Spoken True so it's fun to read these interviews! Looking forward to the last interview on Friday. :)

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    1. Thanks for reading my interview with Katt and even more for reading Words Spoken True. Hope you enjoyed the story.

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  9. Thanks for the great interview. I haven't read any of Ann's books yet but what from I read, I am really interested in reading. Thank you for entering me in the drawing.

    Blessings,
    Jo
    ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Hi, Jo. You have one of my favorite names. When I was a kid just beginning to write, that was the name I picked for the character I imagined myself to be in a Hardy Boy type story. Cute and smart. Nothing at all like I really was. Thanks for reading the interview and I hope if you pick up any of my books, you'll enjoy the stories.

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