Monday 27 February 2012


What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?

Ann Gimpel. I was born in Seattle and live in Mammoth Lakes, California now. There were lots of stops along the way.

Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I wanted to be a psychologist. That’s what I was first, and still am.

When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?
I suppose when my first short story was accepted for publication a couple of years ago
Did it take a long time to get your first book published?
That’s a hard one to answer because my first book never was published, nor the second. Writing is a learning curve. My third book found a home fairly quickly, however. And I recently reworked my first novel, turning it into a YA contemporary fantasy. I entered it into Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Award competition.

Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
Not anymore. I retired a couple of days ago, literally.

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?  
Psyche’s Search.
A psychologist with paranormal abilities is lured into searching for a young woman who’s disappeared. Balanced against the immediacy of planning an escape from a crumbling society in the dystopian near-future, her quest leads her into the twisted world of dark magic.

Who is your publisher? or do you self publish?
The publisher for my first three novels is Gypsy Shadow Publishing. I’ve had a variety of publishers for my ten short stories that have been accepted to date.

How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
I can turn out a 100,000 word book in about three months. It might take me another three or four to polish it.

Which of your books were easier/harder to write than the others?
So far, they’ve all been pretty easy. Fingers crossed it stays that way.

What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre? 
Oh, I think I’ll stick with the science fiction and fantasy genres. It feels like a comfort zone for me.

Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
I’m done with Psyche’s Promise, last book of the Transformation Series. It’s slated for release in July 2012. As noted, I wrote a new YA novel, Fortune’s Scion, that may well be a stand alone. I’m continuing to write short stories. Not sure what the next novel project will be.

What genre would you place your books into?
Contemporary fantasy.

What made you decide to write that genre of book?
I’ve always been a sucker for Charles de Lint and other similar authors. I really like books set in today’s world where the magic just sort of creeps up on you.

Do you have a favourite out of the books you have written? If so why is it your favourite?
Not really. Books are sort of like children. I like them all in different ways.

Do you have a favourite character from your books? and why are they your favourite?
I think I like Trevor in the Transformation Series. He’s overcome so much and still maintains his sense of humor and equanimity.

How long have you been writing?, and who or what inspired you to write?
I’ve been writing for about four years now. I spend a lot of time in the mountains with a pack on my back. Stories have always run about in my head when I have lots of solitude. I finally decided to do something about it.

Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
Oh my, I wish I did. When I’m in the midst of a novel, or even a short story, the characters run about in my head like little mad things if I’m not sitting in front of a keyboard. I have an upstairs study that looks out on a pine forest. I spent a lot of writing time there.

Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them?ie. Your partner, children, friends, reviewers you know?
Yes, I have beta readers that I ask for reviews. None of them are my immediate family.

Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?

Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
Yes, I do.

What was the toughest/best review you have ever had?
So far they’ve all been either four or five stars. My favorite was Kim McDougall’s review of Psyche’s Search, though. Because she’s an established writer herself, her praise felt really good.

Would you ever ask a reviewer to change their review if it was not all positive about your book/books?

How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books?Who designed the Cover of your books?
I designed the cover of Psyche’s Prophecy. It’s one of my photographs. (Another hobby.) I hired Laura Jochum to do the cover of Psyche’s Search. Kim McDougall will be doing the cover for Psyche’s Promise. My publisher, of course, would provide covers, but they’re pretty busy and I don’t want to be a bother.

Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
I write the book and, while I’m writing, the title emerges.

How do you market/promote your books?
I use a lot of social media including FB, Twitter, Goodreads, my blog and my website. I also have an author page on Amazon.

What do you think makes a book a really good/bestseller ?
Unforgettable characters.

What do you do to unwind and relax? Do you have a hobby?
I ski, backpack and climb mountains. I’m also an amateur photographer.

Is there a certain Author that influenced you in writing?
Not really. Some of my favorites are Ursula le Guin, Robin Hobb, Patricia McKillip and Tolkien. I also like de Lint, and Lev Grossman.

Which format of book do you prefer, ebook,hardback, or paperback?
Probably paperback, but I read a lot in e-format, too.

What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it?(ebook, hardback or paperback)
A couple of older CJ Cherryh books; one paperback, one hard cover.

Do you think ebooks will ever totally replace printed books?
I hope not.

Did you read a lot at school and write lots of stories or is being a writer something newer in your life?
I wrote poetry in school. I’ve always written a lot, though. Just not fiction until recently.

What do you think about book trailers?
I think they’re great for publicizing your books.

What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
Develop a thick skin. Ask for criticism and take it to heart. Edit the hell out of everything you write. A couple of run throughs are never enough. I still find errors on my sixth and seventh passes.

Do you or would you ever use a pen name?
I don’t think so. It’s hard enough building up a social media presence with one name. The thought of starting all over with another one is so daunting I don’t think I’d want to.

Where can readers follow you?

Your blog details?
Your web site ?
Your facebook page?
Your Goodreads author page?
Your Twitter details? @AnnGimpel

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