Anne Hogue-Boucher, welcome to the Author Spotlight and once more I look forward to the interview, perhaps for reasons best known to the two of us. More of that later.
Anne Hogue-Boucher is the author of Exit 1042 and the upcoming Now Entering Silver Hollow, due to launch in time for Halloween 2016. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia but enjoyed growing up in Hollywood, Florida and living in Vermont (but not all at once). She enjoys breathing, writing silly biographies to prove she doesn’t take herself too seriously, cats and dogs, and laughing (sometimes all at once). Anne has a miscreant zombie in her hamper that insists the “stars are right.” If anyone knows a good recipe for zombie repellant, please let her know. You can find her on Twitter, Quora, and Facebook, as well as her blog: The Macabre Author (where she is often serious).
Where to find Anne:
Anne’s The Macabre Author blog can be found here.
Why do you write?
Writing has always been a refuge for me for as long as I can remember. While I am a bit of an extrovert, I find I require periods of escape and enjoyment. Creating something fills that need, and I can make a world that’s entirely my own.
What are you currently working on?
I’m putting the finishing touches on a book that’s taken me a long time to fix up just the way I want it. I started it for a NaNoWriMo project back in 2012, and it will be ready for Halloween publication. It’s called Now Entering Silver Hollow—but you can call it Silver Hollow if you like. It’s a short story cycle, also known as a composite novel about the lives of people in a town where strange and horrible things happen.
From where did you draw your inspiration to write your latest book?
For Exit 1042, I was inspired by growing up on The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits, but especially The Twilight Zone. I like things that aren’t what they appear to be, for good or bad. For Now Entering Silver Hollow, I drew inspiration from Shirley Jackson, Joyce Carol Oates, and H.P. Lovecraft.
Which writers had the most influence on your decision to write?
My biggest influences are H.P. Lovecraft and Stephen King. Their worlds have enchanted me since I first picked up The Lurking Fear and Carrie. I think I was about nine years old. After that, Shirley Jackson and Joyce Carol Oates. My father was a huge fan of horror and science fiction, and my mother loved sci-fi as well, so it’s really all their fault.
What was the last book you read?
I’m currently re-reading a lot of older books that I enjoyed, and am giving a second read of Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King. That’s a current favorite of mine. I am overdue for a trip to the bookstore to pick up some new work.
Do you suffer from writer’s block?
No. Once I realized writer’s block is a lie we tell ourselves to make excuses not to write, I never had another problem with it. I do suffer from writer’s fatigue, however. There are moments when I’m so tired or am ill I can’t write, or I’ll try to write but nothing that comes out is anything I like. That’s when I leave it for later and nurse myself back to health. Then it’s back on the laptop and as a good friend of mine says, ‘tippy-tappy.’
Biggest frustration as a self-published author?
People think you’re not a “real writer.” That makes me laugh. I’ve been published by a traditional publisher, too—so am I half a “real writer,” then? I understand there’s a certain amount of self-published dreck for sale that never went through an editing process, but there’s a lot of traditionally published dreck out there, too. It’s a minor frustration on the whole, though.
Overall, I enjoy being responsible for the whole process. That means if something breaks down, I don’t have to look too far to figure out what went wrong, and I am the one who shoulders the responsibility.
Reviews for books are vital. Any tips on getting more reviews?
Be kind to your readers, and be civil. Ask politely for reviews and invite constructive criticism. While it’s great to get loads of five-star reviews, it’s also an unrealistic expectation that 100% of your readers are going to give everything you do five stars. Everyone has different tastes, and I think respecting that is a good way to invite people to review your work.
Do you use social media? If so, do you like using it?
I do! I have a page on Facebook, a Twitter account, and on and on. I love using different platforms for different things—not just as a marketing tool. That wouldn’t be enough to keep me going. I like to learn from others and social media is a good place for it.
Who is your biggest fan?
My spouse. They are the toughest editor and the greatest cheerleader for me. Without that extra push and caring I wouldn’t be writing.
Many people have a bucket list. What is #1 on yours?
I don’t really have a bucket list because I think that’s a surefire way to lead a dissatisfied life. While I’d like to go to England with my spouse, if that never happens, I’m fine with it. I don’t put stock in bucket lists. I have enough existential baggage as it is, ha ha.
Any special message for your readers?
Thank you for reading my work and enjoying it. I’m glad when you have as much fun with my work as I do, and I hope you’ll keep reading and having a good time.
That was a real pleasure interviewing you, Anne. Now to let you into a little secret – Anne and her friends caused a spike in visitors to my blog over at Expat In Bacolod.
Some months ago I was in the habit of writing a series of posts about self-development issues. I took Anne’s Quora answer to a question as the basis of my post and created a meme with a quote from Anne. A lot of folks seemed to like it.
Another secret Anne has kept from you, I guess because she is both modest and thought it inappropriate. She offers editing services through her blog. Click here to find out more.
You can find Anne’s current book Exit-1042: A Short Story on Amazon.
A lonely highway. A diner in the desert. No way out. What happens when there’s no means of escape? Derrick and Sara, two traveling artists on their way to an art show, wind up on an all-too long, all-too strange trip where the destination is not what they expected.
Top Customer Reviews
By Amazon Customer on August 29, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed this story! The writing was great, the tension building was masterful, and the end was not at all what I expected. Ms. Hogue-Boucher spins a tale that starts out with her characters in a mundane situation that quickly escalates to uneasy, then eerie, then to an end that I would never have suspected, but found very pleasing.
This short story is well worth the short time it takes to read; you will find yourself well entertained. I’m looking forward to more stories (and books!) from this author.
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