Monday, January 28, 2008

Speeches and Book launch for Summer of Joy

Finally got those galleys corrected and off to the editor. I'm hoping I made the story read better. I like to read books that don't jar the reader away from the story because of awkward wording and so that's the kind of book I want to write. I even sometimes read my final copy aloud so that my ear can catch what my eye missed. And then I still miss stuff. Like those too many stills.

I didn't lose my voice and I was able to give my speech at the Anderson County Historical Society. I told them I was talking about the history of one Anderson County writer -- me. That's the only history I know well enough to talk about for very long. I like reading history, but I'm not exactly a sponge when it comes to facts and figures. I remember things that happened that I think might make a good story, but I wouldn't want anybody quoting me. The temperatures plunged that night and we had windchill temps that sound scary when they talk about them on the radio and t.v., so the place wasn't packed. But we still had a good time and the people asked lots of good questions. That's what I like best about giving speeches. The question and answer time. I used to do a lot of school visits and kids could come up with the best questions. One thing most everybody always wants to know is how long does it take to write a book. And that's not a one answer fits all. It's according to the book and according to the writer and according to what else is going on in the world around the writer. Not to mention the level of inspiration. Some stories are harder to dig out of the brain than others.

I'm hoping to do more talks in the future. I'm coming up with some good motivational topics and of course, I'm always ready to talk about my writing. I'm doing one speech on "Where in the story of Jonah are you?" Another is "You didn't mean me, did you, Lord?" But although I enjoy speaking, my first love is writing. I'm ready to get started on a new book.

I'm still not sure I've named this blog for the final time. I've changed the name three times already. I'm thinking about another name, but maybe I'll wait another week and think more.

I went to Georgia last week with Darrell and his group, The Patriot Quartet. They had a couple of great concerts or singings as we've always called them in the Southern Gospel world. And the bus ride was long, but we had fun. Next trip for me is the South Carolina Book Fest in Columbia. But before that I'm having a book launch at the Corinth Bookstore in Frankfort, Kentucky. That's a great store run by some great Christian people. Come by and see me on Friday, February 15 and get your copy of Summer of Joy autographed. Also my interview with Novel Journey will be posted February 2.

Till next time, keep the faith and never, never forget the power of prayer. Ann

Monday, January 21, 2008

Colds, red noses and deadlines

Hey everybody.

Hope you have all escaped the cold bug, but alas, I did not. Our preacher came down with something the week before Christmas and managed to pass it along to everybody in our church. We have a small congregation (average around 40) so it wasn't exactly an epidemic, but there's been a lot of coughing going on while he preaches ever since. I thought I'd gotten over it a week ago but no such luck. It came back with vengeance. So I went to the doctor. Not something I do often. I think it had been over a year since I'd gone to a doctor because I was sick. I usually just tough whatever it is out. But this time I gave up and decided I needed medicine. Then I get home and read in the paper where antibiotics or no other medicines help sinus infections a bit. But at least I feel as if I'm doing something to help get better. I don't want to lose my voice. I'm supposed to give a speech Thursday. You think if I whisper, that will make everybody pay more attention? I've heard teachers say it works. And there's always makeup for red noses. That lasts until the first time you have to blow your nose again. Oh well. They're hometown folks so they'll be kind. I hope.

I'm still working on my galley corrections for The Outsider. I thought I was through and then I remembered the editor asking me to check out all the many, many times I used the word still. I still don't know how my mind could have gone on vacation and let me type still so often. Still, I do seem to like the word. It must have been my comfort word in this book. One other book it was the word just. So now I'm paying the price for my comfort zone and having to do some rewording. And I was sure I had it so perfect the first time. Well, actually not. I never think I have it perfect. I could probably rewrite till the cows came home and still (oops, there's that word again) find things to change.

I got my new book, Summer of Joy. That's exciting. Hope everybody else will be excited to read more about Jocie and family.

More next time.


Monday, January 14, 2008

The different types of books I've written

January is speeding along. I'm busy working on edits for my novel, The Outsider, that is scheduled for publication in August. It's a bit of a departure from my Hollyhill books and is more the traditional historical romance. My Hollyhill books are family dramas with lots of different characters while in The Outsider the story centers around the heroine and hero in the book.

I've written lots of different books. The first book I wrote way back when was a Gothic. It never saw the light of day because gothics were going out of style before I got it off to an agent. I hadn't noticed that in my little corner of the world, and really I was too young to know I needed to pay attention to market demands. I may still be too young. Well, I can't say actually young although I still feel young most of the time. Except after I've run after the grandkids all day. Just saying I have grandkids proves I'm not so young. Right? But grandkids are worth having a few gray hairs and aching joints.

But back to the different kinds of books I've written. After the gothic, I tried historical romance and published a couple of those. I enjoyed the historical romance genre and might have stuck to writing those if the editors had cooperated. So then I tried young adult novels. Published eleven of those for young adults and middle readers. Really enjoyed writing those too. It's fun getting fan letters from readers just discovering the magic of books. But alas, the editors stopped cooperating again. I wrote a couple of mysteries. Tried some other things, but then decided to do as the writing experts say and write what I knew. And that was small town country life. So I came up with Jocie and her family and friends and now I'm enjoying writing these family stories where people live and love, laugh and cry, and do their best to be the kind of person the Lord wants them to be.

That's sort of me. I'm just trying to write the best stories I can and hoping people will be glad they picked up my books to read. And of course, I'm a work in progress as a Christian as all of us are.

Next time I'll share some of the ways I actually put all those words on paper over the years.

It tried to snow here today, but it didn't last. Snow your way? Or are you in the sunny south?

See you next time.


Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Journal writing and my first dog, Ollie

I'm figuring out what exactly I want to write about in my blog. I've been a journal writer forever, but that's writing to myself. Now this may be writing to myself too, but it's like leaving my journal open out on the kitchen table where anybody can read it. That might be okay. I've done some of my best writing in journals. How about you? Are you a journal writer? I could never keep one of those daily diaries because as a kid not enough exciting happened EVERY day. When I was a kid, didn't much exciting happen any day. I grew up in the country and we pretty much stayed close to home and had to spend a lot of time doing chores. But I did get to read a lot. Oh, the joys of reading. And thank goodness and the Lord for libraries. Also I loved walking on the farm so it wasn't so bad.

Plus I got to have a dog. I'm a dog lover for sure. I don't want to ever not have a dog. My first dog was a shepherd spitz mix. I named him Ollie after the man who gave him to me. He and my father raised tobacco together and I guess I'd talked about how much I wanted a dog while we were stripping tobacco. I was maybe ten. Without a doubt that was the best present anyone ever gave me, so I thought it was an honor to name the dog after him. I'm not sure he agreed, but he was a good sport about it. Ollie was a good dog, but not overly friendly. When I started dating, I had to run out and chain him up or he tried to bite my dates. Maybe my dad was training him while I was at school.

Dogs are the best friends.


Monday, January 7, 2008

Hi, Everybody!

Hi, everybody. I'm just a country girl who's been writing forever. I hope to share some of what I've learned about writing over the years and some about being a country girl through and through.

I'm an author with 16 or 17 published books. My newest one will be out next month, February 2008, and is titled Summer of Joy. It's Christian fiction. That's what I've been writing for the last five or six years. Before that I wrote historical romances, middle reader books and books for young adults. I tried to write some mysteries but I suppose they weren't mysterious enough.

I'm getting my website overhauled so check it out in the next few weeks.

I'll tell you more about growing up in the country next post. Wouldn't want to give away all my secrets the first day. These blogs have a ravenous appetite for words.

Ann H. Gabhart