AUTHOR INTERVIEW – ANN SUMMERVILLE
Today, I am so please to introduce my friend and fellow member of Trinity Writers’ Workshop, Ann Summeriville.
Ann Summerville, author of A Graceful Death, High Tide, Storms & Secrets, and The Berton Hotel was born in England, and in search of a warmer climate, moved to California before settling in Texas. Her short stories and flash fiction have been published in the Lutheran Digest, Long Story Short, The Shine Journal, Doorknobs & Bodypaint, Associated Content, Trinity Writers’ Workshop newsletters and also their collection of Christmas stories. Ann resides in Fort Worth with her son, two boisterous dogs and a somewhat elusive cat. www.annsummerville.com
At the end of the millennium, Lily found herself driving toward a small Texas town where her great grandmother had disappeared over fifty years ago. Expecting to escape from yet another relationship in California that hadn’t ended well, the first person she meets is a charming Texan with brown eyes and blond hair. While trying to avoid anything that might resemble a romantic encounter, Lily gets to know the citizens of Crystal Wells and uncovers a lot more than her great grandmother’s disappearance in 1935. A mystery buried deeper than one of the local wells may bring to light more secrets than Lily has bargained for.
Welcome, Ann, could you answer a few questions about yourself and your writing life?
First off, tell me a little bit about yourself.
I grew up in London, and after living on the English coast for a few years moved to California before ending up in Texas. I love the simple things in life, a walk in the mountains (unfortunately we don’t have any around here), working in the garden, an afternoon with my family.
What inspired you to write your novel(s)?
The first book I published, A Graceful Death, was inspired by the Cornish village that I lived in for about ten years. If you’ve ever seen Doc Martin, you know what a delightful backdrop Cornwall is.
My latest publication, The Berton Hotel, came about after a Sunday afternoon drive to Mineral Wells, Texas with my family. We wandered around the Baker Hotel http://cozyintexas.blogspot.com/2009/11/baker-hotel.html which has been closed for a number of years and I could picture all kinds of mysteries uncovered during the renovation should it ever open again.
What’s your latest book about?
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.
Could you share an excerpt:
Welcome to Crystal Wells.
Lily glanced at the sign, wondering if her great grandmother, Ermenia, had passed here before leaving and if she’d thought about the young daughter she’d left behind. Vanished, without a trace, disappeared into thin air. Lily conjured up all the phrases used when her great grandmother was mentioned.
She’d had three days of driving to think about her decision. But what was the force pushing her toward this desolate town? To solve the mystery of Ermenia’s disappearance, to get away from a disastrous relationship, to advance her career? Lily was still unsure.
The Darth Vadar theme blasted from her bag, and with one hand on the wheel, she fumbled between the lipstick case, receipts, antibacterial gel and credit cards before feeling the smooth mobile phone.
“Stop calling,” Lily yelled into the phone without connecting to the call. She snapped it shut with a finality she did not feel.
As far as she was concerned there were two types of men. Deserters like her father and control freaks like Eric. Lily tossed her phone and it fell amongst the jumble in her bag.
Could you tell us about your characters?.
Lily carries with her the betrayal of her father who left and unfaithful boyfriends. She has trouble trusting the people who live in Crystal Wells even though they welcome her quickly (people in Texas are very friendly). She also grew up hearing stories of her great-grandmother who vanished and wants to find out what happened to her.
Where can we buy your book?
The book is available in print form on Amazon and for e-readers on Kindle. It’s also available in digital form through Smashwords.Com.
Tell us about your writing goals. Any new projects?
My goals for this year are to complete the screenplay of A Graceful Death and finish Gwinnel Gardens which is the third book in the Lowenna Series. Favorite characters, Gia, Holly, Susan and Rose will all be involved in solving the murder mystery.
Which fiction genres do you consistently read?
I keep trying to read other genres, but always return to the cozy mystery.
If you weren’t writing, what do you think you would like to do?
I like to be involved in the community and currently volunteer at a local crisis pregnancy center. I also help out with the Linus Project which provides hospitals with quilted baby blankets to give to sick children. If I didn’t write I would spend more time helping out wherever there’s a need.
Why did you choose the settings you use in your books? Have you ever lived near those locations or visited them?
I live in Fort Worth where Storms and Secrets is based and I lived for many years in Cornwall. Although the village in the Lowenna series is fictional it’s based on a combination of several villages. St. Agnes and Trevaunance Cove are two I’ve used for descriptions.
What do you think the future holds for the traditional bookstores?
Sadly, I don’t know how they can continue. With so many people working from home and using the computer for everything from ordering clothes to contacting friends, I think e-books will overtake the market. We had a wonderful local book store where many of the writers from Trinity Writers’ Workshop held book signings and it closed last summer.
What importance do you place on reviews of or comments about your books?
It depends on the reviewer and the reader. I have got to know and come to respect many bloggers who do wonderful reviews and I would definitely listen to feedback from those. I remind myself that when I go to the movies with friends we rarely come out with the same opinion of the film. Liking or disliking a book or movie is subjective.
Where do you write?
I usually write at home where I have easy access to research notes.
If (when) you became a best selling novelist with all the wonderful cash coming into your bank account, with what groups and organizations would you share your windfall?
Babies and Animals – I would purchase a new building for the crisis pregnancy center and buy land for a no-kill shelter. Best Friends has a wonderful facility in Utah that began quite modestly, but they have saved so many pets. That would be my inspiration.
Thank you Ann for sharing information about your writing life.
Thank you for inviting me to your lovely blog today Sharon.