Anne K. Edwards enjoys a life shared with her husband and several cats who rule the household and lives of its inhabitants. She is an avid reader, reviews ebooks, writes in several genres, and enjoys meeting other writers. She’s currently touring the blogosphere to promote her latest book, Dark of the Heart.
About the book
A runaway son has returned to the Tyles family fold after an absence of several years. A frightened boy when he left, Joey Tyles has returned a bitter man bent on revenge on the family that made his childhood a hell.
Find out more on Amazon.
Q: Congratulations on the release of your latest book, Dark of the Heart. What was your inspiration for it?
A: The daily news of children being abused by parents who prefer the varied states of inebriation to caring for the young they bring into the world. Imagine the lives of children who live in constant fear of beatings or go hungry and cold because a parent puts their own desires first. The single mother who brings a new boyfriend into the home without caring how he will deal with her children, the father who comes home from work after a long stopover at the nearest bar, parents who stay together, perhaps hating each other, and take their anger out on hapless offspring, are some of the examples that inspired me to tell this tale and show its results.
A: In Dark of the Heart, Joey Tyles returns to a home he fled as a terrorized boy. He has become a bitter man with only a hunger and hatred in his heart. If he cannot feed the hunger, he will seek revenge in it place. He is the personification of an abused child turned adult desiring what it never had nor will ever have—mother love. There is a dark cloud of sadness that follows him as he recognizes some of the reasons for being as he is. Any capacity for love or pity he might have is drowned by hatred for those responsible for his misery.
Q: What was your creative process like during the writing of this book and how long did it take you to complete it? Did you face any bumps along the way?
This is a story that took years to develop and an equal number of years to write. The writing process required several rewrites until I was satisfied with the overall development of plot and characters. The bumps were many. I ran into writer’s block at times that made me set the story aside to take up something easier to write. There were times I found I didn’t understand a character and had to start over with getting to know them. If I found them boring, it meant new characteristics for them and rewriting their parts of the story. Luckily that happened only once. I wondered often if this was a tale worth telling, even though I felt certain it wouldn’t find a publisher who believed in it. I guess it is a bit of a moral tale, but I dearly hope it isn’t preachy.
Q: How do you keep your narrative exciting throughout the creation of a novel?
A: I try to keep action in each scene and use it to link all the parts of the story together. I don’t necessarily mean physical action, but anything that will move the story forward, develop the plot, develop characters and perhaps show a depth to their natures as we’d find in living people. The varying of emotions, dialogue, reactions and not using the passive voice. Mostly, I hope I write with realism that makes the story believable.
Q: Do you experience anxiety before sitting down to write? If yes, how do you handle it?
A: No. If I’m having any sort of problem at all that prevents total focus on what I’m working on, it is a lost cause for that time. Maybe it’s avoidance of a sort, but I find anything that interferes with focus means the time is wasted and what is produced will need to be rewritten. There are other things on other projects to occupy what would otherwise be lost time.
Q: What is your writing schedule like and how do you balance it with your other work and family time?
A: I have no schedule because there are so many interruptions due to cats, errands, people at the door, and so on. I keep the phone unplugged when I work, but short of posting a ‘don’t bother me’ sign in the driveway, I allow for the interruptions. One problem is that I am nosy and always want to know what they want, so it isn’t always some one else’s fault.
Q: How do you define success?
A: If I get a book published, it is one type of success. If it is read by others, that’s the best success. If one wants to get rich, don’t be a writer. It rarely happens… Success is that sense of satisfaction I get when someone says, I read your book and enjoyed it. Isn’t that the highest compliment a writer can have?
Q: George Orwell once wrote: “Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.” Do you agree?
A: In one way or another, I agree absolutely, but I call it an itch that can’t be scratched. It persists forever.
Q: Anything else you’d like to tell my readers?
A: Write what you want, not what someone else tells you to write. Be true to your muse. When you have others read your work, no matter who, do not let them talk you into changes. If they do this, tell them to write their own book. Too many critics haven’t the foggiest idea of what a writer is trying to say. But do listen to good criticism and see if any of it applies. Use only what you want to keep the book your creation. Too many fingers on the keyboard, can ruin the work.