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Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Interview with Our President--Debut Author Ane Mulligan. The Picture of Perserverence!

While a large, floppy straw hat is her favorite, Ane has worn many different ones: hairdresser, legislative affairs director (that's a fancy name for a lobbyist), drama director, playwright, humor columnist, and novelist. Her lifetime experience provides a plethora of fodder for her Southern-fried fiction (try saying that three times fast). She firmly believes coffee and chocolate are two of the four major food groups. President of the award-winning literary site, Novel Rocket, Ane resides in Suwanee, GA, with her artist husband, her chef son, and two very large dogs. You can find Ane on her Southern-fried Fiction website, Google+, Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Tell us about your debut book.

Chapel Springs Revival is a romp through miscommunication in marriage and in general. The town of Chapel Springs is in need of reviving to being back the tourists. Little did best friends Claire and Patsy realize their marriages are in as much need of reviving as the town.

Your cover isn't the run of the mill stock photo. Tell us how it came to be.

Not long after I was contracted, I was talking with my publisher about the cover
for Chapel Spring Revival. I knew I wanted the village instead of a person. As we talked, I mentioned my husband is an artist, and Eddie said he could do the artwork for the cover if I wanted. Did I ever!

However, when Hubs agreed, he didn't realize Chapel Springs only existed in my mind. Even there, I didn't have the visual of the buildings, but the feel of everything, the ambiance. He had quite a job of pulling that out of my imagination. I mean, there isn't a lot going on in there, except voices and stories, but somehow he did it. And one day, I walked into his studio and Chapel Springs sat on his easel. 

NR: Leave a comment for Ane and be entered in a drawing for a copy of her book. 

To be entered in a drawing for a giclee reproduction (print on canvas, ready for framing) of the original artwork for her cover (only 3 giclee have been made) go to here

Your writing journey has been a crazy wandering path. You've been around since Noah got off the ark. Tell us what happened.

It's true. I started writing novels in 2003. After about four years, I was going to committee, but every time something weird happened. Well, besides the fist few rejections. Then I went to pub board, but the acquiring editor retired and her hard drive was wiped clean. The hard drive on which my novel was waiting.

Then my second agent retired to go into publishing. They were publishing works that authors had received back their rights. I hadn't published the first time yet, so that was out for me. When I signed with Sandra Bishop, I warned her to be very careful.

But Sandra wasn't intimidated. She worked hard and finally, after close to a twelve-year journey, my debut book released yesterday.

What are the three main things that changed the way you write?

That's easy because these were real "light-bulb moments" in my writing career.

The late, wonderfully funny Ron Benrey's Magic Paragraph was the first. It has served a proven tool in my writing. With permission granted from Janet Benrey, here is the Magic Paragraph (and I highly recommend anyone get his book, The Idiot's Guide to Writing Christian Fiction)
1.    Signal which head to enter
2.    Twang an appropriate sense, emotion or mental faculty
3.    Show appropriate action
4.    Repeat if necessary

The next was Debra Dixon's GMC: Goal, Motivation, & Conflict. If you don't have it in your personal library, get it. Use the link here, because if you go to Amazon, it will cost you four times what it will on her site. What I got fro her book is motivation is the foundation for plotting. If you know the WHY the character does what she does, your reader will follow her through anything.

The third one is the "Lie" the character believes about themselves. This deepens motivation. If we know that, we can know the core motivation. This totally changed the way I saw my characters and plotting. Author Amy Wallace and I sat in a Starbucks when she taught me about the lies.

I'll climb off my soapbox now.

How much of you will we find in your debut book characters?

I think all characters have some of their creator's traits. Claire is like me in that she moves before she thinks. I'm forever getting hurt or into a mess because of it. Another trait of hers I wish I had is she speaks without a filter. I sometimes wish I had said what was in my mind, but I'm too inhibited. Quit laughing. I am.

What are three things most people don't know about you?

Are we sure we want them to know? Okay,
1) I'm the founding president of a start-up community theater, Players Guild@Sugar Hill. We just presented out first production this past weekend.
2) I once sat in England's former Prime Minister Maggie Thatcher's seat in the House of Commons dining room.
3) For several months when I was about four, I shared a car with my daddy and the German scientist Wernher von Braun every morning.

What's next?

The sequel to Chapel Springs Revival is done. It's called Chapel Springs Survival—can they survive the revival? It was a blast to write since it was written in retaliation. Our son got himself a modern day mail order bride and didn't tell us until nearly two years after her met her. I told him for keeping his mother in the dark, the story would go in a book. After all, it's not nice to fool Mother. It's not safe either.

With a friend like Claire, you need a gurney, a mop, and a guardian angel.

Everybody in the small town of Chapel Springs, Georgia, knows best friends Claire and Patsy. It's impossible not to, what with Claire's zany antics and Patsy's self-appointed mission to keep her friend out of trouble. And trouble abounds. Chapel Springs has grown dilapidated and the tourist trade has slackened. With their livelihoods threatened, they join forces to revitalize the town. No one could have guessed the real issue needing restoration is personal.

With their marriages in as much disarray as the town, Claire and Patsy embark on a mission of mishaps and miscommunication, determined to restore warmth to Chapel Springs —and their lives. That is if they can convince their husbands and the town council, led by two curmudgeons who would prefer to see Chapel Springs left in the fifties and closed to traffic. 


  1. You go girl! Thanks for a great post.

  2. Very interesting and about (dang) time! Knock 'em dead, Queenie.

    1. LOL - thanks, Mike!! All the editing you did to my columns helped me, you know. :)

  3. So proud of you, Ane. Well deserved!

    1. Thanks, G. Without you and my Silverarrows, it never would have happened. :)

  4. I love this fascinating interview, Ane, and can't wait to meet the characters of Chapel Springs!! Wishing you much success!

    1. Britney, thank you so much! I hope you like them as much as I do. They're really a hoot!

  5. learning something new about you every day! Thanks Gina for the interview, Ane is soo interesting :)

    1. Ask Gina and she'll tell you about when she met me and thought I was whacked, Deanna. You are really piling up the points!

  6. Too inhibited to speak what's on your mind? Now that made me LAUGH. And riding in a car with Wernher von Braun--now that is impressive, even if you were only four. So excited for your book launch! I'll be there!

    1. LOL Shhhh, Ruthy. Don't tell anyone!! Thanks, my friend. See you Saturday!!

  7. Congrats Ane, and I love the cover, and can't wait to read the book and to see you at conference, and ...(I thought I would get all the run-on sentences out of my system before I work on my next story!)

    1. Thanks, Rose! LOL I have a gazillion of those sentences. That and exclamation points. I work out my penchant for those in email and Facebook. LOL