Author Spotlight time once more. It’s now Mystery Thriller Week from February 12 to February 22, 2017. This is the first of the final four author interviews all to be featured this week. Next up in the series of author interviews running in conjunction with MTW2017 is Anne Carmichael. Welcome, Anne …
Anne Carmichael was born in Lexington, KY, “Thoroughbred Horse Capital of the World” where she is the Executive Assistant to the President of one of the larger thoroughbred horse farms.
She majored in Fine Arts at the University of KY and began her writing career in 2000.
Anne is the author of the Magoo Who Series, which includes Book 1: Magoo Who? Life Through My Eyes; Book 2: May I Be Frank; Book 3: Silent Vigil and Book 4: Magic & Miracles: A Homecoming and Darby at the Derby, whose release coincided with the 2015 Kentucky Derby.
Released during the 2015 Holiday Season, Polar Opposites, is a wonderful story of a lost boy and a lost polar bear cub who, although polar opposites, must form a bond and rely on each other to survive on the brutal tundra.
JUST RELEASED December 2016 – Anne breaks into a new genre with the release of her first full-length mystery novel, Elderhaus, is sure to be a bestseller.
Anne can be found on her Facebook blog, Geri-Antics: The Ramblings of a Crazy Old Broad.
Elderhaus by Anne Carmichael may be purchased using the links below:
Why do you write?
I express myself best in writing. Like many writers, I’m a confirmed introvert, so writing allows me to give a voice to my thoughts. I never considered being a professional writer until I began to see all my friends retiring and wished I could do the same. One day, I saw a blind cat on Facebook who had over 18,000 fans. I approached the cat’s owners about writing a book about him and the rest is history…The Magoo Who Series (4 books) was well received and lead to opportunities to write a book about a Derby horse and another about a polar bear. Those books, while not technically children’s books were not challenging and I longed to sink my teeth into something that required more skill. My first adult mystery novel, Elderhaus was released just this week. [Ed. Note: this interview is published some 8 weeks after it took place]
What are you currently working on?
Elderhaus, a mystery about a century-old house with a sinister history, was released this week, so I am already 30,000 words into my next two novels. #8 will be called The Manifest and is about a ghost train and the other is called, Finding Joy. Finding Joy is basically my memoir which focuses on my life as an adoptee. I’m hoping that by writing it, I will unravel some of the subconscious impacts of being ‘abandoned’ at a very young age, as well as help other adoptees sort through their personal baggage.
From where did you draw your inspiration to write your latest book?
Elderhaus was originally just going to be another of my little animal books, focusing on senior dogs. My initial outline called for the main character to buy an old Victorian house to remodel in her retirement and one by one, senior dogs would show up at her door. Eventually, the dogs would become her #1 priority and ‘Elderhaus’ (German for old house) would become a rescue for senior dogs; but as the opening quote in the book states, ‘Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans.’ ~ John Lennon
As soon as I gave my heroine a name (Gertrude Klingenfelter, which came to me in a dream), I began doing research on the name and that lead me to a more in-depth study of Nazi Germany during WWII. The backstory that evolved changed the entire course of the book.
Which writers had the most influence on your decision to write?
My favorite writer is Ernest Hemingway, although I can’t say he inspired me to write or that my style was influenced by his. As I mentioned earlier, my writing career was just materialized on a whim at the right time…karma, if you will.
What was the last book you read?
Mary Higgins Clark’s Sleeping Beauty Killer.
Do you suffer from writers’ block?
Not thus far. When I have been interviewed or done a Q & A session at book signings, I always say that I don’t write my books…I’m just the typist. By that I mean when I sit down to write, I might have a vague idea of what the book will be about, but they truly write themselves. Even I have no idea where they will take me or how they will evolve — just like I mentioned with Elderhaus. I had no earthly idea how the mysteries would be solved. I was excited, as I hope my readers will be, to find out how it would end.
Biggest frustration as a self-published author?
I have basically been traditionally published. My first two books were published by Cohesion Press, a young company in Australia. When the third book in the Magoo Who Series was set to release, Cohesion decided to publish only one genre-horror/sci-fi, but since the Editor-in-Chief and I had formed a great working relationship, he agreed to edit and format my books for me and he does all the wonderful covers. His time is limited, however, as he and his wife have another business, so since Elderhaus was a full-length novel and his time was very limited, he recommended one of Cohesion’s former editors, who has a new company called Phoenix Editing and Proofreading. She did the editing of Elderhaus and Cohesion continued to do the formatting and cover layout for upload to Amazon (eBooks and print). I actually did the cover illustration of Elderhaus myself!
My greatest frustration is that I have to do all the marketing and promotions myself. I wish I had been writing back in the day when publishing houses paid authors up front for their work and did all the promotion for them.
Reviews for books are vital. Any tips on getting more reviews?
From time to time, I’ll post a meme on Facebook that says ‘If you want to thank a writer, leave a review’, but it’s like pulling teeth to get readers to leave a review.
Do you use social media? If so, do you like using it?
Social media (Facebook) is my greatest source of new readers. I have 11,000 ‘fans’ who are finally beginning to interact on my Public Figure page. I’m not a fan of Twitter.
Who is your biggest fan?
There are several who follow me religiously, but the one who comes to mind is a little girl who showed up for one of my book signing events. She sat in the front row and hung on every word and when she came up to get her book signed, her father told me she’d read all of my animal books five times and even took them with her on vacation. She (miraculously) won the door prize that day.
Many people have a bucket list. What is #1 on yours?
Retire (I still work part-time as the Executive Asst to the President of a thoroughbred horse farm), write and travel.
Any special message for your readers?
Thank you for your loyalty and support over the past three years. I look forward to providing you good reads for many years to come.
Anne, thank you! An enchanting interview … and what a beautiful book cover! Well done you!
Gertrude spent the better part of her adult life scouring Europe for Helmut Klingenfelter, the father who vanished not only from her life and that of her mother, but had forsaken everyone in his past. With midlife looming on the horizon, Gertie made the decision to stop chasing the ghosts of the past and return to her childhood home of Pitch Pine, where she purchased a century-old house at 1211 Castle Lane sight unseen. Elderhaus, as it came to be known, had a mysterious past of its own, one that would threaten more than Gertrude’s desire for finding happiness.
Top Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful read. Good range of characters and suspense
By Ken Kerkhoff on January 20, 2017
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wonderful read. Good range of characters and suspense. Your interest picks up to a point where you have to see the finish. Good mystery with a lot of suspense!
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read ~ love how the characters were described in …
By hopeful159 on January 4, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excellent read ~ love how the characters were described in much detail. Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Looking forward to the next by this author.
5.0 out of 5 stars Really good read!
By sugarless49 on December 17, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Could not put it down! Very easy to read great flow from writer. Advise anyone that likes a good mystery to read.
If you are starting out as a writer then I thoroughly recommend checking out ProWritingAid. It is a spell-checker, ‘grammarist’ and editor all rolled into one bundle.
It saved me a fortune. I used it to self-edit my last book so it was ready to be professionally edited. Indeed, if funds are limited it can cut out the need for a professional editor.
It’s useful too even if you don’t plan to write a book.
My #1 Tip for all indie writers – it’s essential to have a social media presence. How are readers to know about your work if you don’t tell them about it? Read this article of mine and I seriously urge you to try out my recommendation – it’s FREE to try!
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