What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
My name is Annabelle Blume. I was born and raised in Southern California. I still live here. It’s not for everyone, but it suits me rather well.
Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I wanted to be many things as a child-a rock star, a teacher, a geneticist, an actress - interestingly enough, being a writer wasn’t something I thought about until recently.
When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?
It has taken me a long time to embrace the image of myself as a writer. I’ve evolved through many stages. I said I was a writer long before I really believed it inside. Now, when asked what I do for a living, I proudly declare, without hesitation, “I’m a writer.”
Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
Outside of raising my three children, I write for magazines as well as working as the writer/personality of The Bombshell Mommy. I’m very blessed in that the only jobs I work are writing related.
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?
Frozen Heart is one woman’s journey to discover the meaning of freedom.
Who is your publisher? or do you self publish?
Frozen Heart is published by Inkspell Publishing. I give props to those who self publish, it’s much more work than it looks like from the outside.
Do you have a "lucky charm" or "lucky routine" you follow when waiting for your book to be accepted by a publisher?
I don’t have a lucky charm. I should probably get one, as I’m terribly superstitious. I just send out the query and wait...preferably with a drink in my hand.
How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
Frozen Heart was a 3 month endeavor. It flowed quickly and I spent the majority of that time editing it. But a novella isn’t as large of an undertaking as a full length novel, so I expect me next project to take much longer.
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
I will always write Scifi and Paranormal Romance. They are my favorite genres to write as well as read. I want to work in contemporary plots as well and I hope I can do that in the near future.
Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
There’s a chance Cressenda and Beckett will get a sequel. I’m also working on a contemporary romance with some darker themes. I’d love to venture into paranormal romance, too, but it’s going to have to wait because I have a lot on my plate right now.
What genre would you place your books into?
Frozen Heart is Science Fiction Romance, more specifically, dystopian Scifi Romance.
What made you decide to write that genre of book?
I love dystopian settings, I always have. I see them as warnings. The history lessons of what could be if we aren’t careful.
Do you have a favourite character from your books? and why are they your favourite?
Tonk is my favorite character. He’s one of Cressenda’s dogs. Writing a character who has such a large presence in a book but never speaks is the ultimate exercise in “show don’t tell”. Plus, I’m one of those crazy dog lovers. I have three of my own, though all of them together still aren’t as big as Tonk.
If you had to choose to be one of your characters in your book/books which would you be? and why?
Wow, that’s a really hard question! I think Cressenda is an amazing character, but I’m not sure I’m as strong as her. Surviving on your own in the wilderness during an Ice Age is no small feat. Can I be Tilo? He’s the happiest dog I’ve ever seen!
Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
I can write almost anywhere, as long as I can see my laptop screen (this eliminates most outdoor locations). I prefer to have my earbuds so that I can listen to music and drown out everything else. If I’m writing fiction it’s almost essential to have music. I can work without it, but I’m much more productive if I can immerse myself in music.
Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them?ie. Your partner, children, friends, reviewers you know?
I have two critique partners that do full read-throughs and give me feedback before I query my books. I couldn’t imagine doing it without them. Books need as many eyes as possible before they are published. It’s so easy to miss things as an author. Your brain automatically supplies some of the details and it takes fresh eyes to see the little things that get left out.
Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?
Inkspell Publishing has a PR and Marketing team that handles advanced reader reviews and blog tour promotions. If anyone is interested in learning more about how they can receive advanced reader copies or be a stop on a blog tour, they should visit the company site and check out their Ambassador Program.
Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
I do, though I hope one day to have too many reviews to keep up with them. I think there is something to learn from each review. Either a review an help you learn where you can grow as a writer or it can reinforce what you’re doing right.
What was the toughest/best review you have ever had?
I have received several reviews asking for a sequel. That’s one of the best compliments I can imagine.
Would you ever ask a reviewer to change their review if it was not all positive about your book/books?
Absolutely not. I don’t reply to reviews, be they negative or positive. They’re there to help other readers gauge whether or not they would like the book. They have every right to dislike my book and they don’t even have to justify why they don’t like it. It’s the way the book world works. The recent problems with authors “retaliating” against reviewers who leave negative reviews is mind boggling.
How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books?Who designed the Cover of your books?
One of the greatest things about Inkspell Publishing is their art department. I’ve never seen covers as beautiful as theirs. Every single cover is simply breathtaking. As for the title, I chose it. I have a terrible time titling anything I write. I usually leave it up to my editors when I write magazine articles or when I’m writing for The Bombshell Mommy, but for my books, I spend a very long time deciding on a title and I change it several times through the course of writing the book.
How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
The character names came to me as the characters took shape. It was naming the government, The Affinity, which took real effort. I needed something that sounded official and summarized their goal of propagating the human race. I spent a few days doing intensive research to find just the right name.
Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
I knew who Cressenda needed to be the moment she came to me. Beckett, on the other hand, revealed himself to me as slowly as he does in the book. I think, for me, writing men is more difficult than writing women, you know, not being a man and all. It’s harder to navigate their emotions and present them in a realistic way. They don’t just blurt out everything they’re feeling. You have to write them more carefully.
What do you think makes a book a really good/bestseller?
If I knew what made a bestseller, I’d already have one. I don’t think, in this day of social media and the ability for things to become “viral” at a break-neck pace, that there is any rhyme or reason to what makes a bestseller. As for a good book? That’s completely subjective and what I find to be an amazing book may be utter crap in someone else’s eyes, and vice versa.
What do you do to unwind and relax?Do you have a hobby?
Relax? What’s that? I’m kidding. I like to read. I know it’s cliche, but a day in bed doing nothing but reading is wonderful. I never get to do that for a whole day, but sometimes I get an hour or so of uninterrupted reading time.
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Wow. I feel like I have a lot in common with this author. I wanted to be lots of things in younger years too and it took me a long time to call myself a "writer." I also have a story about a woman's journey to freedom. (Totally different plot, of course, but similar character transformation.) Great interview! :DReplyDelete
This is an excellent interview. I really got a sense of who Annabelle is as a person and as a writer.ReplyDelete
Enjoyed this interview. I've read the book (wonderful!) and really loved getting more insight into the author's mind and where she's coming from when she writes.ReplyDelete