Monday, May 17, 2010
Annette Snyder's Eureka Springs
Annette Snyder, author of Eureka Springs, is my guest today.
Annette, welcome. When did the writing bug bite, and in what genre(s)?
I wrote in high school, but later life and kids seemed to take up all my time. One day my father-in-law gave me a computer. It wasn’t long before I had my first draft of my first story, 2003. It took me a few years to decide what to do with my work and then, in 2005 my first novel was published.
When you started writing, what goals did you want to accomplish? Is there a message you want readers to grasp?
When I was growing up, people would tell me that with my stories, I should write a book. That was my goal. I didn’t ever imagine that I’d write more than thirty and that I’d have thirteen published, but in 2010, that’s how many I’ll have out—so far. I like to read about real people with real lives and real jobs so, that’s what I wanted to write and I think my readers can relate to my characters. I also wanted to write Midwestern stories about life surrounding small towns and the relationships that form within those.
Briefly tell us about your latest book. Series or stand-alone?
My next published novel is Drive-Thru, releasing this year. It’s the second in my Packard Family Series, the first being Intimate Flames, released in 2009. Drive Thru is a story of a single mom working a job that gets her by. She likes the stability in her life and wants to keep it that way. It all works for her until one fateful night when a handsome film star crashes into her car and causes emotional upheaval.
How do you develop characters? Setting?
I went to a class last year giving by a former US Poet Laureate. It was a memoir writing class but I still gained some valuable info--like picking the setting first. It was something I always did, but with admission of experience from the multi-published author who taught the class, I learned that I was on the right track. My characters develop on their own. I’m not sure I even pick the physical properties or the names. Once, I was in a museum reading accounts of an exhibit and someone tapped me on the shoulder and said, “My name’s Sally. Write about me.” I turned around and there was no one within thirty feet of me but I had this amazing idea for Sally Murphy, my first published book.
Do you have specific techniques to help you maintain the course of the plot?
My characters usually lead the way. When I first get an idea, I rush to type it out. I get the main idea and direction of the story, write down the basics of some characters and have a few ideas that I’d like to happen before the end. As I go back and actually work the novel, I add or subtract events depending on the lives of the characters. By the time I finish the second draft, I’ve got a good idea where the story will end up. In Viveka’s War, I didn’t have a clue that one of the main characters would die until the third draft. I had to go back and fix the scenes to accommodate that shift all because the character took a trip with his girlfriend.
Share the best review (or a portion) that you’ve even had.
My novels have received stellar reviews at places like FAR, RTBookReviews, Coffeetime, Howling Good Books, GoodReads, so many I couldn’t possibly list all the sites. On my website, http://annettesnyder.atspace.com I list one or two reviews for each book.
What are your current projects?
I’m working on a novel concerning a secondary character in Viveka’s War and Eureka Springs. I got the idea for the novel from a reviewer who said Eureka Springs gave a hint of another story with Virgie’s character and I ran with that. I decided I also wanted to know how Virginia Seidle got where she did. Hoping to get that story done by June 2010.
Where can folks learn more about your books and events?
I keep an updated website http://annettesnyder.atspace.com
Readers can also find me at www.growne.com and at my publishers www.whiskeycreekpress.com
Annette, thanks for the interview. Continued success!