Monday, March 5, 2012

Ann Herrick, The Farewell Season


Today, my guest is YA author Ann Herrick, who is discussing her current release, The Farewell Season. 


AUTHOR:  Ann Herrick
BOOK TITLE:  The Farewell Season
PUBLISHER:  Puddletown Publishing Group

      1.   Why don't you start with telling us a little about yourself? What genre do you write in and why? I grew up in Connecticut and now live in Oregon with my husband, who was my high school sweetheart. I write YA coming-of-age and/or romance. I'm interested in people and how they relate and react to each other, and find the restlessness of teens especially fascinating.

      2.     Tell me about your current book which you are promoting. The Farewell Season is a story of how love endures and love heals. Eric used to think he'd live forever, but not any more. As football season starts, he hopes he can live normally again after the death of his father, but his refusal to face his grief results in anger at his coach, fights with his sister, resenting added responsibilities, and disillusionment with football. It takes a special relationship with Glynnie, a girl who is dealing with the divorce of her parents, to open his heart to love again and see he is angry with his father for dying and the way to get through grief is by grieving.

      3.     How long have you been writing? I started my first book when I was eleven, but I never finished that one. I thought, who am I to write a book? I'm not Jane Austen or Charles Dickens or Walter Farley! About twenty years later I mentioned my interest in writing to a friend, and she insisted I go to a writing meeting with her. I went, started writing again and haven't stopped since.

     4.     What got you interested in writing, and what inspired you to write your first book? My parents read to me and I got my love of reading from them. I read everything from comic books to magazines for kids to books. I was reading The Black Stallion series and tried to write a book about a girl and her horse, but that's the one I never finished. Still, the idea of writing stayed in the back of my mind.

5    5.   Do you outline before you write? If not, what’s your initial process? I don't outline, but I do write a short synopsis. Of course, I don't follow that synopsis very faithfully once I start writing, because the characters start to take over.

6.     What comes first: the plot or the characters? A smidge of plot comes first, but my books are really character driven.
      7.     Which of your characters do you love/hate/fear/pity the most and why? I really like Glynnie in The Farewell Season. She's smart and she's tough, but underneath she is very vulnerable. Eric, from the same book, is also vulnerable, but he hides that even from himself, sometimes with behavior that borders on obnoxious. Also, I like Josh from my book The Perfect Guy. He's kind of a dream guy, and he's a favorite of many readers. I've written a couple of characters that are the love-to-hate type, but often there is no actual villain, just conflict between some of the characters.

8.     What was the hardest part of writing your book? Research!
     9.     Did your book require a lot of research? Yes. Even though football is only a  backdrop, I had to do a lot of research about the game and about practices. I was lucky to be able to ask coaches and players the many questions to which I needed answers. How long does it take to write a book for you? It takes me about a year.

10.  What are some of the challenges in your writing process? Finding time where I won't be interrupted, and trying to remember ideas I come up with in the shower or driving, places where I can't just write down those ideas right away.

11.  Describe your writing space. My office is in a small spare bedroom. My computer on an old dining room table, there's a small desk in one corner, file cabinet in another and lots of books, papers and magazines scattered around.
12.  What do you like to do when you’re not writing? I love to read, of course, take long walks in the neighborhood, go to football games (Go Ducks!), and watch old movies.
13.  What books or authors have influenced your writing? I think every book I've read influences me one way or another. For YA I especially like Louise Rennison, Sarah Dessen and Meg Cabot.
    
      14.  What so you see for the future of publishing and e-books? I think e-books will grow in popularity, but I think we'll always have print books, too. Paperbacks did not replace hardcover, audio books did not replace paperbacks. There's room for all kinds of formats when it comes to books.

15.  What are your current books out right now and what are the books coming up for
release?
            The Farewell Season
            Snowed In Together
            How to Survive a Summer Romance (Or Two)
            All's Fair in Love and Words
            The Perfect Guy
            Summer Replacement
            I am polishing my latest manuscript, The Real Me.

      16.  What is your marketing plan? I  blog, I tweet, I'm on Goodreads and Facebook. I do in-person signings with other authors, which I like, because it's great to talk to readers face-to-face. But mostly I keep writing more books.

      17.  What advice would you give a new writer just starting out? First of all, just write. Don't worry that it has to be perfect. That is what re-writing is for! Don't give up. Be persistent when it comes time to submit your work to an agent or publisher, if that is the route you take. If you self-publish, have people who know something about writing help critique and proofread your book.




EXCERPT

THE FAREWELL SEASON


I wanted to pulverize Davis. Rolf could, if he wanted to. Or he could mouth off right back of him. But he wouldn't. That just wasn't his way. Instead, he forced a big grin and said, "Yeah, I'm running for Dictator-for-Life. Do I get your vote?"

A bunch of the guys laughed, myself included.

For a second, Derek stared, a scowl of confusion on his face. Then he mumbled a selection of swear words and stomped off.

Still, he'd achieved his goal, curbing Rolf's enthusiasm. Rolf wanted to please everybody, and had a tough time accepting the fact that there are some guys you can't please no matter what. He needed to be more thick-skinned. I felt the anger rising in my throat just thinking about a jerk like Davis trying to bait Rolf.

"Excuse me."

I felt a tap on my shoulder.

"What?" I snapped.

"Hi." Glynnie offered a white, even smile. "Could I interview you? For my column?"

I shrugged.

"Don't worry, I'm not a muckraker." She let out a small laugh.

"Look. Write what you want. I never read my press."

Glynnie's big, brown eyes widened slightly behind her horn-rimmed glasses, and for a second a look of disappointment crossed her face. "Whatever."

Then it was her turn to shrug before she whirled around and headed toward the parking lot.

As I started to trot away, I blinked hard to fight off tears of frustration. Jamar was injured. Rolf was putting too much pressure on himself. I was unfocused and snapping at an innocent girl just trying to do her job.

So much for my big-deal, long-awaited, awesome senior season.


6 comments:

  1. First, Ann, I have to say I just love your photo!

    It's great that you married your high school sweetheart. I had to wait until college to find mine!

    It's great that you have such talent for relating to young adults in your writing. I wish you much success!

    Morgan Mandel
    http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

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  2. Great interview, Ann, I enjoyed it feel like I know you better now. I wish you continued success with your books!

    Joan

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  3. Thanks Joan, glad you stopped by!

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  4. Very nice interview, ladies. It's always a pleasure getting to know the author. The cover is fascinating, and I really enjoyed the excerpt. Looks like a great read.

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