Lone Star Literary Life Blog Tours
Book Three in the Stutter Creek Series
They call him the Killer Cartographer because he carves the map coordinates of each victim on the femur of the one before. Then he tattoos the information on his skin. Can detective Kendra Dean bring him in or will she become his next tattoo?
What was the hardest part of writing this book?
The hardest part of writing is convincing others that you aren’t simply wasting time on the computer—especially if your books don’t pay the bills yet. After the writing is done, then comes the marketing -- but that’s another story isn’t it?
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
I always enjoy that point in the story when I have to let the mean-me out to play. If you’ve read any of the Stutter Creek books, you will probably know what I mean.
Who are some of your favorite authors you feel were influential in your work? What impact have they had on your writing?
Edgar Allan Poe, Ray Bradbury, John Steinbeck, Mary Stewart, Stephen King, and Tabitha King. Those are some of my favorite authors. I also loved the short fiction collections of Alfred Hitchcock. I guess you can see why my writing leans toward the macabre.
What did you find most useful in learning to write? What was least useful or most destructive?
The most useful thing I learned about writing was that old saw, “Write what you know.” Until I heard that, I assumed my actual experiences were too boring to write about. But after a teacher told me it was okay to write what you know, I wrote a short story about an incident from my childhood, White Curtains, and it won first place in a short-fiction contest. That was all I needed to keep me going.
The most destructive or least useful thing I ever learned was actually quite cruel. I had a creative writing teacher in college—I won’t mention any names because I think he has surely crossed over by now—and he read one of my horror stories aloud in class while intentionally mispronouncing one of my character’s names. He apologized to me later even though I never said a word about it. A week after that, he suffered a major heart attack and couldn’t finish out the semester. It was a very strange occurrence and I intend to write about it someday . . . if I can ever understand what actually happened. I know it can’t really be all connected, but the idea of Karma keeps popping into my head every time I think about it. That was many years ago and I know he recovered from that first heart attack. After that, I never gave it a second thought. I still have that story in a box in my closet. Maybe I should get it out and dust it off.
How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?
Names are very important. Sometimes the characters name themselves (or I suppose the Muse does it), but I also run contests on my blog from time to time (the one running now ends February 14th) in which readers can enter to have a character named after them in a future book.
I also have a partially completed novel in which the main character—a small town sheriff—is named with a combination of my grandchildren’s names. I won’t print it here, I’m superstitious that way, but I hope to finish the story in the near future.
Are you a full-time or part-time writer? How does that affect your writing?
I still hold a part-time job (researcher for http://www.CourthouseNews.com) because as I mentioned earlier, my books don’t yet pay all the bills. Someday, they will. Until then, I’ll keep carving out chunks of time and trying to convince people I’m really not just wasting time on the computer.
What are some day jobs that you have held? If any of them impacted your writing, share an example.
I’ve done everything from cleaning other people’s houses, to waiting tables, to teaching elementary school (for many years). But my all time favorite job was delivering newspapers from my car when I was a young mother trying to take college classes and keep my little one out of daycare (she went with me). I delivered the papers at all hours of the night—starting about one o’clock in the morning on weekends—to throwing them in the middle of the afternoon during the week. I loved everything about that job and recently wrote another story, Winter, based on a simple episode from that time. It’s flash fiction, which is another of my favorite forms of literature.
What do your plans for future projects include?
I have a speculative novel coming out soon. It’s called Takers: Apocalypse in Eden.
Ann Swann was born in the small West Texas town of Lamesa. She grew up much like Stevie-girl in The Phantom Pilot series, though she never got up the nerve to enter the haunted house. Ann has done everything from answering 911 Emergency calls to teaching elementary school. She lives in Texas with her husband, Dude, one rescue dog, two rescue cats, and a part-time box turtle named Piggy. When she’s not writing, Ann is reading. Her to-be-read list has grown so large it has taken on a life of its own. She calls it Herman.
Books by Ann Swann
2011 Stevie-girl and The Phantom Pilot – Cool Well Press
2012 Stevie-girl and The Phantom Student – Cool Well Press
2013 Stevie-girl and the Phantom of Crybaby Bridge – Createspace
2012 All For Love – 5 Prince Publishing
2013 Stutter Creek (Book One) – 5 Prince Publishing
2015 Lilac Lane (Book Two) – 5 Prince Publishing
2016 Copper Lake (Book Three) – 5 Prince Publishing
2016 Takers: Apocalypse in Eden – coming soon
“Bamboozled” Alfred Hitchcock Magazine
“Aftermath” Binnacle Magazine
“The Gap” and “In Search of Water” The Rusty Nail (previously published in The Sandstorm)
“Soul Gardener” Timeless: Cool Well Press, Anthology
“The Fee” A World of Terror: Grey Mouse Publishing, (formerly titled The Warning)
“SleepAway Pounds” Seasonal, Sweet, and Suspenseful, Anthology“Chems” Createspace
Check out all the great blog stops on the tour!
1/28 Books and Broomsticks -- Author Interview
1/29 bookishjessp -- Promo
1/30 The Page Unbound -- Promo
1/31 Missus Gonzo -- Review
2/1 All for the Love of the Word – Author Interview
2/2 My Book Fix Blog -- Review
2/3 Hall Ways -- Promo
2/4 Because This is My Life Y'all -- Review
2/5 The Crazy Booksellers -- Promo
2/6 Texas Book-aholic -- Review
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