Thursday, September 18, 2014
Ane Mulligan writes Southern-fried fiction served with a tall, sweet iced tea. She's a novelist, a humor columnist, and a multi-published playwright. President of the award-winning literary site, Novel Rocket, she resides in Suwanee, GA, with her artist husband , their chef son, and two dogs of Biblical proportion. Chapel Springs Revival is her debut novel. "With a friend like Claire, you need a gurney, a mop, and a guardian angel." You can find Ane at her website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.
Have you always wanted to be an author? If not, what made you decide to write, and how long have you been at it?
I had no idea I would be a writer. I was five years old when I saw Mary Martin in PETER PAN, and I was struck with a fever from which I never recovered. Stage fever. I submerged myself in drama through high school and college, but, alas, Broadway never found my phone number.
As a kid, I was too ADHD to sit and write, but I loved to tell stories. Back in the stone age of my youth it was called lying. I spent a lot of time in the principal's office, until one day, he listened to me tell one. He recognized the future writer and I was off the hook. Until I grew up and learned to direct my energy, I played out my stories with my dolls, some lasting for weeks.
In 1996, I began writing plays for my church. My first one was published through LifeWay and the editor took everything I sent after that. It wasn't until I had left a job and was looking for something to do and Hubs said, "Why don't you write a book?"
And with those words, the idea was born for my first ever novel. Yvonne Anderson was one of the first people who critiqued my work. As a playwright, I knew dialogue. But that was all I knew. POV? Never heard the term. Omniscient? That's what God was. Show don't tell? How do I tell a story without telling? Yikes! But Y stuck with me, along with some other crit partners.
How sweet of you to say that, Ane! Really, though, we learned from each other along the way. What do you love about being a writer, and what do you like the least?
It's not that I dislike it, but creating the first draft is the hardest for me. I love the editing process, and my favorite part of all is the building of characters. I love to brainstorm and to dig deep into their psyches to discover their fears and secrets.
How do you get your best ideas?
From life. My debut book, Chapel Springs Revival, came from a conversation I overheard at church. Well, she was sitting right behind me. I couldn't avoid hearing. The young woman said, "I just learned that God has a perfect mate picked out for me, so I'm going to divorce John* and go find him."
In the sequel Chapel Springs Survival, I used something out of our son's life. There are stories everywhere, if you just look.
Writing is a sedentary occupation. What do you do for exercise?
I have a walking route I like. It starts at the coffee pot, goes through the refrigerator and past the chocolate cupboard before ending up at my writing chair.
Umm... that doesn't count, dear.
What do you mean? Well, okay. I go to the gym three times a week with a good friend who feeds me story fodder.
Do you have any pets? Do you own them, or they you?
Anyone who follows me on Facebook knows all about our English mastiffs. When our old dog died, I didn't want another one. I wanted some time to travel, but Hubs and Son couldn't stand it. Within two months, we drove to Alabama and picked out Shadrach.
Christmas 2012, Hubs and Son decided we needed another one to keep Shadrach company. I said absolutely not. Absolutely Not's name is Oliver Twist.
Shad is eight years old and a respectable 220 pounds. Ollie will be bigger. At 18 months, he's already taller than Shadrach, and the vet thinks he should come in about 235 when he's full grown.
Mastiffs are like two-year-olds. They definitely own us.
A 200-pound two-year-old? Now there's a horror story waiting to be written.
Thanks, Ane, for stopping by and making us laugh. (You're so good at that!)
Readers, don't forget to come by tomorrow, when you can enter to win a free copy of Ane's debut novel, Chapel Springs Revival!