Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Greetings campers, I'm proud to kickoff my Writer Wednesdays with Ann Charles, author of Nearly Departed in Deadwood and Optical Delusions in Deadwood. I was introduced to her book by a coworker who gave me her mini book and I ended up winning the full book on the Blog Tour De Force hosted by the wonderful Indie Book Collective (
This in turn lead me to a good rapport with Ann and I ended up scoring the ARC of Optical Delusions. She generously allowed me to read her book and I gave it a 5 Fairy Rating.

She also helped me out with a wonderful interview and is giving away an e-copy of Nearly Departed in Deadwood for one of my fellow bookworms to take a look at. And if you already have that one, we will give you a copy of the second Deadwood book.

I am known for my quirky interview questions so when I feature my other Writers, be prepared for quirky questions mixed in with bookish questions:) I hope that this blog will continue to grow as I add more reviews and other exciting features in the future.

Don't forget to comment here for an entry to win Nearly Departed in Deadwood. Make sure to leave your email address so I can find you easier.
Extra entries 1 each for GFC, Networked Blogs Follow, Twitter and Facebook Follow

I sat down and penned an interview for one of my first solid book reviews featuring the wonderful Ann Charles and her Deadwood Books. I loved Violet's spunk from the first book and her crazy cast of friends and family had me giggling inappropriately at times. Humor in a book is always a bonus. I'm a quirky interviewer, you never know what I'm going to throw out there for you to answer. I want to thank Ann for taking the time out of her book writing to do this interview for me. She has graciously allowed me to do an e-book giveaway with this review. 

Author Interview:

Ann Charles:)

What are your thoughts about indie/small press versus traditional press??

I think that an author should shoot for a career that involves all forms and means of publication. There is no reason we have to settle on just one route. Experiment with different publishers, build name recognition on several fronts, and enjoy the process while writing more wonderful books to share with the world.

Who is your favorite superhero and why??

Can I be an evil villain instead? They get to have all of the fun, money and power without the constant responsibility and worry that comes with being in charge of keeping the world safe. I love Megamind, as an example. He turns out to be a hero, but as villains go, he’s one of my favorites.

How do you envision your books before you write them? Are they shown to you in chapters? Or do you see the beginning, middle and ending?

I’m what many call a “pantser” in the author world, which means I write by the seat of my pants. I get a couple of plot ideas in mind, put together a high-level plot paradigm with all of my subplots listed, wait for that opening line to hit me right between the eyes, and then explore the story as I go. Every time I finish a chapter, I pause to daydream and brainstorm what comes next. I have a general idea of the beginning, middle, and end, but I allow myself the liberty to change things along the way.  

How do you see your characters?? As names or pictures? Or in the flesh??

When it comes to my secondary characters, in pictures—the moving kind. I often have an actor or actress in mind, sometimes even a role that actor or actress played. That gets me started. Then, as the page count grows, the character morphs and becomes the characters you read on the pages of my books. For my primary characters, it’s a mixture. I try not to pick ad actor or actress because I want them to take their own form in my mind, to develop somewhat unique traits so they become more real.

What is your favorite genre to read??

That’s tough because I’m a fan of horror, adventure, mystery, and suspense. However, I always love romance in stories when it is well done. I’m a genre mixer through and through, from what I love to what I write.

If you became a millionaire overnight, how would you spend it?

Honestly, I don’t know. I have several friends and family members for whom I’d want to buy things in return for all of the help and support they have given me over the years. One thing I’d definitely do is pack up my husband and kids and take them somewhere warm and fun—I’m thinking Disney World. We’ve had one of the coldest, wettest fall-winter-spring seasons on record here in Western Washington. I want fun in the sun!

How do you overcome writer's block??

Plow through it and write total crap, knowing that I can always go back and edit it. I listen to a lot of music to help me work through the pages of crap, as well.

How many books do you see in the Deadwood series??

Currently, I have twelve planned out at a high level—as in I know the general overall mystery of the books. I figure that I’ll go with my gut and the readers feelings. If I get to ten and it feels like it’s time to stop, I will. If I get to twelve and the series is still going strong and people aren’t sick and tired of Violet, I’ll keep writing. The overall story and characters arcs I have planned can shrink or grow as needed.

What words of wisdom would you pass on to future aspiring authors like myself?

Be patient, persevere through rejection after rejection, and treat writing like a business. Remember, you are an entrepreneur. That means you have to think of your books as products. To be successful, you have to learn all aspects of the writing business—craft, accounting, sales, marketing, publicity, research and development, quality assurance, and janitorial...wait, that last part is only if you have little kids like I do.

And the last crazy questions: If you could have lunch with a famous person, dead or alive who would you choose??

Groucho Marx in a heartbeat. My cheeks would hurt for weeks after that lunch.


  1. Great interview Heather, very different! I'm a follower already :)
    If I win, first book please.

  2. It's Rae again. I am a Facebook follower too,

  3. Patrick Swayze would have been my answer to that last question, He's my "drool" idol and I'd like to talk horses with him since I missed seeing him at a horse show when it was sold out! I've been to the Blackhills as a kid. These look like some great books to read!

  4. Ann your series look great, and next payday I promise to check them out, and before then I will at least go and download the sample so that I can see what they are about. Great answers to those questions! You're right about being the villian! Have you seen The Green Hornet movie yet? Hilarious!

    Heather, great interview, and cool questions. Great way to share things about the author, other people might never know had you not asked.

    Good Luck with your series Ann!
    Patria Dunn-Rowe

  5. Heather, thank you for having me. I'm jazzed to be your first Writer Wednesday guest! Very cool.

    Rae--Thank you for reading and saying, "Hi!" It's great to meet you. Good luck on the book name drawing.

    WildAboutHorses--I'm still sad about Patrick. I'm sorry to hear you missed seeing him, that would have been cool. Thanks for commenting and good luck on winning the book.


  6. Excellent interview! I've read Nearly Departed in Deadwood and I loved it. I already bought the second as I can't wait to read it and if I win I'm definitely giving it as a gift. I think everyone should experience Ann Charles. I love the writing crap for Writers Block too.

    Keep up the great work Ann.

    Heather I'm following via GFC and FB.
    bkwalkerbooks at comcast dot net

  7. Patria--Hi! No, I haven't seen Green Hornet yet, but I really want to! What's the actor's name who stars in it, Ryan something? I like him mucho mucho. Thank you for checking out my books and good luck with the drawing. Thank you for stopping by (Heather's questions were fun). I hope you enjoy Violet and Deadwood. --Ann

  8. Yay, BK! Great to see you here. Very cool of you to give NDD as a gift. Thank you for the kudos and your support. You always make me smile! Some days I swear all I can write is crap, crap, crap. On those days, I dream of salt-rimmed margaritas. ;)


  9. Nice interview. I assume your work is set in Deadwood, SD rather than a fictional place? Love that area. The Black Hills are beautiful. I would love a copy of the first in the series if I get lucky enough to win. I added you but I didn't see a fan page. Did I miss it?

  10. Hi Becca,
    Yes, my books are set in Deadwood, SD. I'm a huge fan of the Black Hills and the history there. It's great to mean another Black Hills fan. Do you go there often? Live near there? Good luck on the drawing! Thanks for saying "hi."


  11. Definitely need a copy of the Optical Delusions in Deadwood!!! Pick me, pick me!....I have referred about a dozen folks over to the Deadwood side of life. Love your work Ann!

    jneil98290 - Snohomish loves Ann Charles

  12. Becca Dale,
    What fan page were you asking about. Ann's or mine??

    thanks everyone for the comments:)

    Heather Powers

  13. oh gosh I forgot to put my email (Jan Brown on fb)

  14. Jan, LOL! Thank you for stopping by and Ann loves Snohomish, too! :) --Ann

  15. This was a great interview--chock full of so much info. The way Ann explained her writing process--what being a pantser breaks down like for her--is worth its weight. And I love the idea that she has 12 books planned out already!

    I want to second the be open to lots of different ways of publishing idea. I just (after 11 years--can't really say 'just' :) got an offer from a traditional publisher for my debut novel. But I was exploring several different options before that happened, and I remain a big fan of the indie scene. I think there are advantages to both sides of this particular fence.

    Great blog!

  16. Great interview ladies !!! what a hoot !! and I loved Mega mind !!!! Id love to have lunch with hmmmm,,, Id love Damon from Vampire diaries to snakc on me for lunch !! ** giggles ** he is a bad boy !! evil in his own ways but hey !!! We can all dream !! I think its great that you already have so many books planned out !! Great postive attitude will get your everywhere !!
    I am a GC follower
    I follow you on twitter I am run_with_wolves
    I also follow your facebook pages

    Thanks ladies WOuld love to read book one :O)

    please feel free to pop on over to my blog for a cuppa anytime


  17. jan (snohomish) what is your email address??


  18. Becca Dale what is your email??

  19. Jenny, congratulations on the trad. publishing contract! Woo hoo!!!! That's great. Good luck with a bright future. Thank you for saying, "hi!"


  20. Hi Katrina,

    Damon, huh? Fun!! Sexy lunch time fun. :) Thank you for the kudos on the interview--Heather asked great questions. It's great to "meet" you here.

  21. Much love to you as always, Ann!

    Regarding The Green Hornet, you're thinking of Ryan Reynolds in Green Lantern. That comes out later this month.

    Great interview, as always. I've already started reading "Optical Delusions..." and loving it so far. It's a great lesson on how to write an effective sequel.

    -- George S.


Thanks for commenting:)