Hello there and welcome to The Same Six Questions! Today, my guest is Annette Lyon. Welcome!
Thanks, Andy! I live in the Rocky Mountains with my husband, four kids, and a cross-eyed cat with an attitude. I'm a novelist, freelance editor, knitter, and avid reader. I'm claustrophobic, half Finnish, a cum laude English college grad and a word nerd. Oh, and a chocoholic. I read weird books (dead bodies, poisons, weapons) for fun and call it research.
The Same Six Questions
1. Have you published a book yet?
seven novels and a chocolate (yes, chocolate!) cookbook. I've indie published a punctuation and grammar guide (at the prodding of colleagues: "PLEEEASE! Help me understand how to use commas!!!"). There, Their, They're: A No-Tears Guide to Grammar from the Word Nerd. My newest release on Kindle is The Golden Cup of Kardak, a fantasy about two siblings who go on a quest to rescue their captured warrior father before his execution so he can save the kingdom. To do that, they must find the hidden prison and bring him a magical goblet. With the help of a wounded solider, they face near-capture by the ruthless enemy army, a maze of underground caverns, kidnapping by giant hairy creatures, and attacks by flying monsters with razor-sharp talons. Somehow they must find the courage to complete their mission.
2. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I caught the bug right around age eight, when I piled pillows on a chair to reach my mother's typewriter. (Yes, a typewriter. I'm that old.) Beverly Cleary inspired me with The Mouse and the Motorcycle. As a result, my first attempts at writing revolved around rodents: Mean Marvin the Mouse was followed by Raymond's Runaways (about a group of mistreated hamsters).
3. What was your first lengthy piece of fiction (say, >1000 words)? What was it about? When did you write it? Do you still have it?
For a creative writing class in high school, I co-wrote a screenplay with a friend based on our favorite novel, The Blue Castle (a lesser-known title by L. M. Montgomery of Anne of Green Gables fame). I made two copies for us and got them comb bound. Mine is still on a shelf in my office.
4. When was your first indication, "I can do this (write)"?
I had inklings along the way, but I didn't take the praise from my 3rd grade too seriously. It wasn't until I joined a critique group and got amazing feedback that I learned first, what I didn't know, and second, that I really can do this writing thing. And that I love it. Getting published with the company I wanted to be with took nearly 8 years, but I did it. Writer confidence levels swing between "I'm a total idiot to think I can do this" and "I'm awesome!" The pendulum never stops swinging. So even now that I'm published, it's validating to get recognized with awards (Utah's Best of State medal for fiction in 2007 and the 2010 Whitney Award for Best General novel) and, especially, to get emails from readers who love your work.
5. If you could meet one of your characters in real life, which would it be?
I'd love to spend a day talking to Markanus from my YA fantasy, The Golden Cup of Kardak. He's got some seriously cool stuff in his past, but I know only a bit of it. He'd probably want to talk about battle stories, and while that would be fascinating, eventually I'd get him to open up and spill the beans about his lost love.
6. It's a dark and stormy night...you're alone in the house...there's a knock at the door...you open it, look out, and proceed to scream like a little girl. What's on the doorstep?
I find a package with a prepaid trip for a month in England, where I get to visit all of the literary spots of my dreams. (And then as I visit each site, I proceed to scream like a girl--and likely cry.)
Thanks so much for sharing with us, Annette! For more of Annette and her writing, check out her blog, Web site, and Twitter profile.
On Thursday, my guest will be Jennifer Rainey. Stop on by!