Talkshow Thursday: Meet Ane Mulligan
ANE: Thanks for having me, Linda. You’re right, I’ve tried my hand at several things. Strangest of all, a failed job search led to my husband telling me to stop looking for a job and write a book. He figured I’d spent so much money buying books, I could write one of my own. And he was right!
LM: What is your favorite part of the writing process: research, writing, or revising?
ANE: I love research and revising. Then again, I love when my characters take over the story and go places I hadn’t expected or thought of before. But editing and revising is my favorite part. That’s where the magic happens.
LM: Your books cross several genres within the fiction realm, and you have also contributed to a non-fiction publication. What made you decide to write in multiple genres, and how is the writing process different?
ANE: I never thought of them as different genres. In When the Bough Breaks, there is an issue dear to women’s hearts: family and adoption. The fact it reads like a romantic suspense or mild political thriller is beside the point. Really. I write fiction set in the South, with a bit (some with a lot) of humor, and women helping women deal with life’s issues. My new series which launces next summer (2020), is true to my brand. All my books have an ensemble cast of strong women who traverse life’s issues together.
LM: Research is an important part of the writing process. What are some of the ways you have researched your books, and did you conduct your research differently for your fiction and non-fiction books?
ANE: I’ve travelled to locations, used the internet, and queried the members of ACFW. In Chapel Springs Revival, I wrote myself into a corner at the 50k word mark. I needed a geologist and fast. In ACFW, I found someone whose husband was a geo geek. He knew a lot and connected me with a PhD who knew the rest. I was able to carry on with a minor tweak.
LM: How do you decide which genre to write for each subsequent project?
ANE: This historical series was started before my first book was published. At the time, God kept all the doors shut in the pub world. I was going to pub boards all the time, but no contract came out of them. My agent suggested trying historical. But after 30k words in, she said I needed to choose. I chose contemporary at the time.
After the last book in the Chapel Springs series published, my agent said my brand had been established. The historical book was true to my brand, just in another era, 1929-30. So I pulled it out, finished it, and it was contracted quickly.
All that to say, if I remain true to my brand, my readers will read the books in any genre.
LM: What advice do you have for fledgling writers?
ANE: Number 1 is to enjoy the journey. It could be years before you publish. Network and make friends. Then, write what’s on your heart, not to market.
LM: Here are some quickies:
Favorite vacation spot: mountain lake
Favorite childhood author: Julie Campbell. She wrote the Trixie Belden series.
Favorite season: Fall
LM: Where can folks find you on the web?