Tuesday 7 February 2012

Meeting Ann Summerville

Ann Summerville
Today my guest is author Ann Summerville. Ann wrote her first short story before her age reached double digits. Born in England, she moved to California in search of a warmer climate, before settling in Texas (one of my favourite states in the USA!) A multi-pubbed author, Ann is a member of Cowtown Crimesolvers, the Fort Worth Chapter of Sisters in Crime. and currently lives in Fort Worth, near her daughter and son-in-law, with her son, two boisterous dogs and a somewhat elusive cat.

Welcome to my blog, Ann! I'm looking forward to hearing more about you and I'm so happy to have written a guest post FIVE STEPS TO WRITING A NOVEL for your blog today.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Spending time with my family, which continues to grow. My daughter is expecting twins in April.

In one sentence, how would you describe your book to someone who knows nothing about it?

The Berton Hotel delves into the mystery of a woman, who disappeared in the 1930s from a prominent Texas hotel, and her great-granddaughter’s quest to find out what happened to her.

What are your strengths as a writer?

The one comment I have consistently heard from readers is that they have a feel for where the story takes place and are immersed quickly into the location and the story.

Even more than writing the dreaded synopsis, I hate outlining. Do you outline your books?

I start writing a chapter or two. I step back and take a look at where the story is going and then write an outline. I find it helps when I need to change something in the story or add a character.

Czechoslovakian author Milan Kundera, when interviewed by Lois Oppenheim, said, “I understood one very simple thing: an author, once quoted by a journalist, is no longer master of his word." At what point do you think a story no longer belongs to the author?

Once you have an agent and/or editor your story is no longer yours. That’s why I prefer to self-publish. I have many author friends whose books were changed so much by their agent/editor that they “lost” characters and ended up in an entirely different genre.

Thank you, Judy for inviting me to your blog today. I love that with blogging you can meet up with friends on different continents.

Ann, I agree with you that one of the many joys of blogging is that you can make new friends all over the world. Talk about a global village!  And good luck to your daughter in April with her expected twins. You'll have a double dose of joy! 
You can connect with Ann on her website www.annsummerville.com or her blog www.cozyintexas.blogspot.com or on Twitter @cozyintexas. 

The Berton Hotel is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Other e-reader formats are on Smashwords.com.


Ann Summerville said...

Thanks for inviting me today, Judy.

Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

Lovely to have you join us, Ann :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Judy - great thoughts from Ann - interesting about how the publisher/agent can change things .. and that's great that her readers feel the sense of location she's created for her books.

Great connection into Texas .. oh! - just twigged she's Cozy in Texas - brains in England are cold at the moment ... cheers to you both - Hilary

Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

HILARY: I'm not surprised your brains are cold in England at the moment - have seen the photos of all the snow on the TV. Brrrrr! Hope you and your Mum are warmly wrapped up. And I love Texas! (All those JT Edson cowboy books I read as a kid!)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Judy .. Mum's a hot bod - so her window gets opened, blankets stripped off and she's a happier bunny! I'm slowly cooling off - as the sun disappears off this corner! Heating on soon. It's getting colder though - but not much snow - as the air is so dry ..

I read masses of fairy stories and folk stories .. and watched cowboy movies - can't remember any cowboy books!

Cheers - hope your parents are having a peaceful time .. Hilary

Lauri said...

Love author interviews, thanks both of you.

I'm traditionally published but I don't have an agent since we don't use them here in Southern Africa (though- if one in UK is stalking- please give me a call!!).

What I've found is that editors won't change your story if you are adamant it should not be changed. If it is such a big problem that it can't be reconciled you might have to part ways with the publisher but I've never had that. I made my case and in every instance I won. So don't let that put you off going the traditional publishing route.

Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

HILARY: I'm like your Mum - get hot so quickly, so much prefer cooler weather. Hope she's well, and you have a great weekend!

LAURI: Thanks for that tip Lauri, I've always kind of felt that An Editor's Word is God-like and can;t be challenged! So I'll remember your words. :)

Patricia said...

I am getting ready to review a novel written about a newly retired person and her neighbor who is a children's author. His editor so changes the book that after years of work the author is told no one will like the book anymore!

I reviewed a book last year that the agent and editor did not get good pre-reviewers for it and a great book is kind of sitting on the shelf lost.

I think it must be hard to see things new...

Many folks around here self-publish and the rise of e-books is amazing. Our Library carries so many that are now free.

Then again reviews are now free...and I have lost my income :)
I just hope folks do not give up reading...What will we do then

Very nice interview thank You Judy

Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

Patricia, that's always been my fear about putting my book in other people's hands - that my vision will get swamped under theirs. I know I made mistakes in my first novel, but at least they're *my* mistakes!

Sorry to hear about your loss of income :(

Glad you enjoyed the interview!