In reading the "about you" on your page, you mention that writing is only a portion of your life. What does a "normal" writing schedule look like to you? Or is there nothing normal about it?
I prefer to have a “normal” writing schedule—though 2016 has not brought any such days thus far! My best schedule is to write an hour or so mid-morning, then a couple of hours in the afternoon. I can usually get my word count done in those few hours of intense writing, and its about as much in a day as my brain can take. The harder writing times are at the research and brainstorming stages of a book. Those are much more time consuming for me than the actual writing, though revisions are also times where I work many, many hours each day!
I can definitely understand the research-and-brainstorming stages being more difficult!
Besides writing, what are some of your favorite things to do?
I consider myself a reader first and foremost, so I still read a lot. I usually have three or four books going at any one time: a non-fiction book, a fiction physical book, and a fiction ebook—with often a research book added to those. I also enjoy crocheting and any kind of tangible history—visiting museums and historic homes, that kind of thing.
Sounds like a ton of fun!
What is the easiest part of writing for you?
Characters. They just seem to appear in my head and take up residence, pretty much fully formed.
What is the hardest?
Plot. While my head is peopled with characters, they don’t come to me already living their story. In other words, I have to work at making things happen to them rather than just enjoying their company!
Do you find your real life reflected on the pages of your books?
Absolutely! It might be in little ways, such as a character dealing with whatever is irritating me at the moment, or in bigger ways, such as creating a character based in large part on someone close to me. Or sometimes it’s just using stories to address the issues I see those I love dealing with on a daily basis.
That is very neat!
Why historical fiction?
I’ve always loved history. Even in elementary school I gravitated to the books in the school library that revealed life in another place and time. Books like The Little House on the Prairie series orStrawberry Girl or Caddie Woodlawn. As I grew older I discovered that I loved reading real history, too, and ended up majoring in history in college.
Which story has been your favorite to write? Which character?
That is such a difficult question! I have loved each story and character for very different reasons. But I think the favorite book to write was probably At Every Turn. It was my second contracted book, so I didn’t have that nervousness of wondering if it would ever find a publishing home. Plus its historical setting and premise was a brand new topic for me, and I loved learning about it. Also, the story itself was just plain fun.
My favorite character to write is even tougher, because there are so many! I’ll have to go with two: Irene, the older woman who befriends Rebekah in Wings of a Dream and Blaine, the self-sacrificing hero in A Home for My Heart. Both were wonderful characters who exemplified Christ in their actions toward others. They are who I want to be.
At Every Turn was a fun book!
Who are the authors that have most inspired you?
There are so many! In my early years, Laura Ingalls Wilder, L.M. Montgomery, and Louisa May Alcott. Others include: Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, and Eugenia Price.
What is the #1 thing you'd say to an aspiring writer?
Don’t be afraid to write books that don’t get published. My first 4 novels are still in my computer, and while I might someday re-write them (and I mean completely re-write, using only the basic story premise from the original!), I am fine with them never being published because they were HUGE in my personal development as a writer. They were not failures. They were building blocks to being published. They made me a better writer.
Resounding "yes" to that tip!! :)
Thanks again for taking your time to "visit" my blog!
My pleasure! Thanks for asking!
Anne Mateer has loved reading and writing stories since childhood. In 2000, she began studying the craft of fiction and working toward publication. Ten years later, she received her first book contract. Anne is a three time Genesis contest finalist, a Carol Award finalist, and a contributor to A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts.
Anne and her equally history-obsessed husband live in Texas. They are the proud parents of three young adults who spent many family vacations touring historical sites.