Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Annette Snyder, Respectable Affair





AUTHOR:  Annette Snyder
BOOK TITLE:  Respectable Affair
PUBLISHER:  Whiskey Creek Press

Why don't you start with telling us a little about yourself? What genre do you write in and why?

I call a small town in the heart of the Midwest, habitat of cornfields and combines, my home.  In an old house, with my husband and two dogs, I sit and write. 

My four grown children visit often and the grandkids cause beautiful havoc. 
All my life, I paid attention to things around me, stories from my parents, friends, grandparents and great-grandparents and one day I compiled those stories together and wrote a book.  It was that one book that started a wave of ideas and the story characters just keep pestering me so I continue to write all the time, work when necessary and vacation as much as possible. 

As far as genre.  I write romance/adventure and I haven’t settled on one era.  Right now, I’m working on a contemporary novel.  The next one will probably be another sotry in my 1800’s series at the prodding of my oldest daughter.  She said once, “What are you writing now.”  I told her I was working on the Packard Series but next was probably Sashay’s story from the Travis Pass Series.  She was so excited because she wants to know what happened to Sashay.  All that from someone I couldn’t force a book on while she was growing up—now she reads more than I do.

Tell me about your current book which you are promoting.

Here’s a blurb for Respectable Affair, third novel in my WWII series inspired by a reviewer who read Eureka Springs:

Between Virginia Seidle’s terrible jaunt with men and Nolan Vickers’s upheld honor toward his institutionalized wife, no one in town openly faulted the pair for banding together to raise Nolan’s son, John.  When love blossoms, would people be as accepting? 

Can Nolan and Virgie put their clouded pasts behind and keep their affair respectable?

How long have you been writing?
When does a writer start writing?  We’re all forced to write the day we start kindergarten aren’t we?  Or perhaps even before that by our parents.  I first got the bug by starting a daily journal during my teen years.  That morphed to poems—really bad ones and an attempt at a mystery novel that I can’t even remember.  When I went to college, I took a creative writing class and my professor praised my work.  “You should do this for a living,” was what he wrote on several assignments.  I knew only the top people in writing ever made money in doing it and I wanted to make money.  Then I fell in love and traded my college years for family—and there’s no money in that either!  But there is inspiration and, during those diaper changing, baby bottle years, I found a lot to write about. 
What got you interested in writing, and what inspired you to write your first book?
I had a dream about two men in a secluded forest community of outcasts who found an injured woman left for dead.  I woke from that dream and wrote it down.  It became a trilogy of three short stories.  I discussed the story with a friend.  In that discussion, she told me about her family history and how her ancestors ended up in South Dakota.  I mixed her story with the story of my immigrant family and came up with Travis Pass, the first novel in my 1800’s series.  That was my third book published.  The story of the men in the forest?  Well, I’m still working on getting that to a publishable stage. 
Do you outline before you write? If not, what’s your initial process?

I don’t outline but I make a really rough draft.  It’s almost unreadable because I don’t worry about spelling or grammar. Once I get that to the point I like, I go back to the beginning and expand.  Sometimes the story flows the way I thought it would and sometimes the characters change the plot.  It really depends on the situation. 


What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Staying motivated and balancing real life with writing life is difficult.  I have a full-time job, a part-time job, laundry, dishes, all my countertops are cluttered and I don’t even want to think of the pot and pan cupboard in the kitchen—ugh! By the time I get home from the real job, there’s still supper to cook and oh, you know, all those chores.  Then there’s the book marketing and all that.  Plus I run a blog.   I took a short vacation from work to write and paint three rooms and the painting took so long I only got a few chapters finished on my current writing project.  Having enough time is the biggest challenge.   
Did your book require a lot of research? How long does it take to write a book for you?


I am a fortunate woman.  I just turned fifty and until a year ago, I had two grandmothers born in 1911 and 1915.  They lived through all those tough times—The Great Depression, WWII, no running water, farming without tractors, no cars—all of that stuff I took for granted growing up.  Grandma and Grammie were a wealth of information.  I’d just pick up the phone and ask.  Viveka’s War, the first novel in my WWII series was actually based on Grandma’s life.  I gave her a copy when it released and she read it using a page magnifier.  After she finished, she summoned me and said, “This sounds remarkably familiar.  It was a good story. You did a good job.”  


What are some of the challenges in your writing process?

I’m terribly unmotivated in the fall and I have to force myself to write.   Between the months of November and January, when Nebraska is buried under feet of snow, I just want to curl up under a blanket and watch TV.  Soon as the weather turns toward spring, I’m ready to work again.  

Describe your writing space.
Messy.  I just remodeled my office and got this awesome computer desk on craigslist—it’s got great shelves for my blue willow, Occupied Japan pieces I inherited from my great-great uncle along with the additions to that my family has given me.   First time in my life that I have a spot for my collection that I’ve been storing in boxes for 30 years. 
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I have a real and awesome job I love.  Interesting enough, it’s at a landfill and I do a wide variety of things.  I love traveling and try to go somewhere at least twice a year…haven’t been yet this year and I’m going through vacation withdrawals—as one of my editors knows,  I love the smell of the airport.
What are your current books out right now and what are the books coming up for release?
My latest release, Respectable Affair, came out in May.  I was inspired to write that book by my grandmothers.  It follows Viveka’s War and Eureka Springs.  I’m currently working on Going Twice, another novels in my Packard Family contemporary series, which I hope to have done by the end of July.  



Where can people learn more about you and your work?

My website’s a great start  http://annettesnyder.atspace.com  I also run a blog  http://annettesnyder.blogspot.com  I’ve got affiliation with several online writers and readers groups and my work is available at www.whiskeycreekpress.com and other online avenues.  Google me, and I pop right up. 


EXCERPT

Once she resigned to change, Virgie’s life became easier. She enjoyed her classes. She joined the staff at the campus newspaper and volunteered once a week as a Candy Striper at Eureka Springs Hospital. She had civil conversations with her family on Sundays when the phone rates were low. They didn’t mention Frank Walters and Virgie didn’t ask. Not that it mattered. As the first year blended to the second, she filled her life with things other than love for a questionable man. Passing her affection to memory wasn’t as painful as she thought and maybe, just maybe, her parents were right in sending her away to school.
“…And, when I was at the hospital today, you’ll never guess who I saw.” Virgie talked over the top of her wine glass, her voice loud enough for her girlfriends to hear yet soft enough not to inform the bartender behind the counter. “You’ll never guess!” After she started the conversation, she remembered the gossip she endured back home and felt a little guilty. It was a waste of energy to spread rumors and as mean as it was a waste, but it wasn’t like Virgie was telling anything that wasn’t true or that anyone would care what she said. It was mere conversation over drinks.
Rebecca took a sip of her beer. “I give. Who?”
“Oh, come on! You didn’t even try! What kind of game player are you!” Audrey protested. “I guess Professor Hafting!”
Virgie shook her head. Her wavy, dark hair bounced at her shoulders. “You won’t guess.” She looked at Rebecca to give her one last chance.
“I’m studying to be a lawyer. I don’t guess. I base my decisions on facts.” Rebecca paused for a second and then the sarcasm on her face brightened with a smile. “Oh, all right! Ms. Forester from the Admin. Office.”
Virgie took a drink. “Nope. You’re both wrong. It was Nolan Vickers.”
“Who?” they asked in unison.
“Nolan Vickers. The guy that picked us up the day we moved here from the bus stop. He shuttles guests for the college once in a while in that old wood station wagon. Apparently, his wife is a little off.”
Rebecca huffed. “I’ll say. She was pregnant the last time we saw her. That would make any girl off.”
Virgie took another drink. “Well, she isn’t pregnant now. In fact, they have the cutest little baby boy, but she is in the hospital. The psychiatric ward.” Virgie whispered the tail end comment.
“What for?” Audrey asked.
Virgie shrugged. “Nobody tells me that stuff. I just know, with a cute little baby like that and a handsome husband like Nolan Vickers, why would anyone go…you know.”
Audrey giggled while Rebecca shook her head offering her advice. “Do I have to remind you girls that we’re in school to learn, not to pick up husb…”
     “Well, well, well. If it isn’t Virginia Seidle. What luck meeting you here?”


3 comments:

  1. Here I am after being called in to work and working late. Thanks Penny for hosting me today with this great post.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Better late than never, and your post will be up tomorrow, too, so keep on letting your friends and fans know!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I enjoyed the tidbits about your life and how you became interested in writing by writing poems and journaling. I know your instructor's comments that you ought to write for a living made you deliriously happy.
    I love the premis for Respectable Affair.
    all the best to you Annette.

    ReplyDelete