What’s your name or pen name?
Most of my works are written under my real name, Ann Fields. However, my romance novels are written under my pen name of Anna Lawrence.
What are your genres?
I started my writing career in 1990 as a romance writer. I wrote four full-length romance novels and one romance novella for a Mother’s Day collection. All published by Kensington Publishing Company or Black Entertainment Television. Then, I woke up one day and realized romance writing was no longer a challenge so I took a screenwriting class and wrote a couple of screenplays. I learned I don’t like screenwriting nearly as much as novel writing so I turned to mainstream writing and ended up writing several novels as well as many short stories.
What have you written?
My published works include: After Hours, Second Time Around, Love Everlasting, Bouquet and Give and Take. Unfortunately, these titles are out of print. I do however have available my latest book, Fuller’s Curse, a short story in an anthology titled The Writer’s Block: A Legacy of African American Literature, and a non-fiction book on time management for writers titled, Stop Stalling and Write.
When did you begin your writing career?
I bought a new car in 1990 and wanted to pay it off sooner than the payment terms so I thought about ways to earn extra money and decided to do what I love — write. So even though I didn’t acquire my first publishing contract until 1995 I count 1990 as the start of my writing career because that’s when I made the conscious decision to follow my passion.
Are you a full-time or part-time writer? How do you make time to write?
I alternate between writing full and part-time. Since 2010, I have been writing full-time but recently, I needed more money to market and promote my book so I took a short assignment. As soon as I wrap up the assignment, I’ll be back writing full-time and marketing my works. In the meantime, I am writing and marketing part-time in the evenings and weekends. To acquire more time to write, I refuse more social engagements than I accept and I prioritize my life. Finally, I try not to allow anything to interfere with or upstage my writing time. When I’m writing, I write.
What’s your writing process? (Number of days you write per week, a.m. or p.m., specific music you play while writing, or anything else that you feel is a vital part of your creative process.)
When it is time to write, I draft a scene per writing session. The next time I sit down to write, I edit and refine that scene and draft the next scene. And so on and so on… I find this method works best for me rather than trying to write a certain number of pages or words per session. I also monitor my energy level. When I feel myself starting to tire, I wrap up that writing session. I find that works best for me rather than try to force the writing. As far as my writing environment, I prefer to write in silence and I am lucky that I can write anyplace–coffee shop, library, home, etc. I do have one requirement (other than my laptop) and that is to have my ratty, old black sweater with me. I’ve had that sweater forever and it’s been with me during the writing of most of my books.
Do you keep a journal? If so, for how long? Do you find it helpful for your professional writing?
I am a journal writer. I find it very therapeutic and comforting. It is the only occasion I can be 100 per cent honest, 100 per cent of the time. I received my first journal–a diary really–when I was in seventh grade. My first “boyfriend” gave it to me as a gift. I wrote in it but fell more in love with article-writing for the school paper and writing short stories. So the journal was demoted. I picked journal writing back up in the early 2000s when I started trying to find my true life path. Now, I rarely miss a day journaling. What’s interesting is that I use less stream of consciousness writing nowadays and more targeted writing related to my dreams, spiritual impressions and ‘dejavues’. I guess my journals have become a way to understand the deeper meaning of life and purpose. I don’t really know if there is a connection between journal writing and my professional writing. I guess some of the spiritual truths I uncovered in journaling have found their way into my novels but again, I really use journal writing as a way to learn more about Ann and this thing called life.
What’s your inspiration?
My inspiration to write comes from my desire to fulfill my life purpose. I am on this Earth to write. My ministry is writing. I am unhappy when I allow too many days to pass by without putting words on paper. I can’t imagine life without the power and magic of words, or reading a great story, or writing a passage that makes my soul sing, or creating a character that feels as real as my family. I get so excited when I start a new project and the excitement comes full circle when I type ‘the end.’ It feels good to create, to go from an idea to a finished manuscript. There’s no joy like it for me.
What kind of legacy do you expect your writing to leave?
If I can make readers think… If I can challenge a reader’s paradigm… If I can entertain or touch a reader’s emotions…then I claim that as my legacy. I also enjoy working with aspiring writers and helping them achieve their writing dreams. If I can lead one person to write one book or direct a budding writer through the publishing process or introduce the joy of creative writing to kids…then that too I consider a worthy legacy.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Don’t expect too much too soon. It takes time to learn to write at a level that is worthy of publishing. Then, it takes time to build an audience, to connect with readers. Give yourself lots of time. Use your “introductory” time to learn the craft of writing, learn the business end of writing and familiarize yourself with marketing.
What’s on your bookshelf or in your e-reader library?
I am a broad reader. On my bookshelf and e-reader, you’ll find thrillers, horror, mainstream, women’s fiction, children’s, and teens. I also enjoy reading poetry, short story collections, non-fiction and greeting cards.
What are you currently working on?
The sequel to Fuller’s Curse occupies my writing mind currently. I had not planned for Fuller’s Curse to be a sequel but midway through the rewrites, a second storyline came to me and next thing I know the Tremont family is demanding I write their story. So I am working on Tremont’s Curse, and really liking where it is going even though I am a year out from ‘the end.’
Latest release and book blurb?
Deborah Fuller-King is a bored homemaker who finds new purpose for her life when she adopts her daughter’s school project—completing the Fuller family tree. In search of her roots, she travels from Dallas to Partway, Texas where in the 1860’s Charles Fuller, a newly-freed African American slave, founded the town that was originally named Fullertown. There, her genealogical research reveals some terrifying information about her family—part fact, part legend. While delving into the facts, hoping to disprove the legend of the BlackHeart, family members begin to die horrible deaths—one by one. Alarmed and frightened, Deborah turns to the one person who knows everything about the family…Mattie Fuller.
Ninety-something-year-old Mattie knows the answers that Deborah seeks, but she’s not ready to share her knowledge with Deborah. Not yet. She could tell Deborah all about the curse that shadows their family, but to share the information would unleash a hell storm that would destroy the entire Fuller clan. Instead, Mattie confides the only thing that can be done to save the Fullers—a sacrifice so complete that it would free not only the Fullers, but other cursed families.
Does Deborah have the courage to complete the saving act and thereby end the Fuller’s curse?
Tell us about your main character? What actress or actor would you cast to play him or her in a movie about your book?
I actually have three main characters in Fuller’s Curse. Deborah Fuller-King is a dedicated nurturer to a workaholic husband and a college-bound daughter. She appears simple on the surface but is actually complex because of her emotional depth brought on by difficult life experiences. The major decision or act in the storyline rests on her shoulders. She carries the heavy load in the story. The actress who could bring her to life on the screen is either Alfre Woodard or Viola Davis. Mattie Fuller is another character on which the story pivots. She is a strong presence. Quiet, short of words, but larger-than-life. Of all the characters in this book she came to me first and in vivid form. She is a presence to be dealt with and therefore would require a really strong senior actress to pull her off. Maybe Ruby Dee. Rounding out the top three characters is Hope King. She was the quietest of the three characters; I had trouble getting her to open to me but she, like her mother, is surprisingly complex. I really like KeKe Palmer for the role of Hope.
How can we purchase your work?
Fuller’s Curse is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online e-tailers as well as independent bookstores across the nation. Stop Stalling and Write is available on Smashwords.
How can we stay in touch with you?
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