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You’re Busting My Nuptials
by Ann Everett
How did you come up with ideas for your books?
The first book in my trilogy, LAID OUT AND CANDLE LIT, opens with a scene in Jenkins Cemetery. I was actually in the cemetery one day picking out my plot, and there was a mowing crew there. One of the guys came over and started to talk to my daddy. Everything that redneck worker said was funny. Later that day, I was relating some of what the guy said to an uncle and he said I should write a book. The next week, I sat down and started to write what I thought would be a short story, but 25,000 words into it, I decided I could get a book out of it! It took me a year to write it, another year to edit it, then another year to post it on a writing website for critiques before I got it published.
What expertise did you bring to your writing?
For years I did stand-up comedy for local clubs, organizations and non-profits, so writing humor came easily for me. Even though my publisher lists my books as mysteries, I consider them humor. However, there’s not a genre for humorous, romance, mysteries. When I do signings, I tell potential buyers they are romantic comedies, with a light mystery.
What would you want your readers to know about you that might not be in your bio?
Lots of stuff probably of no interest to anyone.
I love shopping at thrift stores.
I constantly gain and lose the same ten pounds over and over.
I have no desire to travel outside the USA.
My favorite place to be in the whole world is home.
I don’t remember my first kiss.
I drive a ten-year-old car and it was used when I bought it.
As far as your writing goes, what are your future plans?
As a writer, I just have to write, write, write. I still have one more book to do in the Tizzy/Ridge Trilogy to fulfill my contract. I have a romance I’m currently re-writing. I have a cookbook I’m working on which will be in conjunction with the trilogy. SWEET THANGS BAKERY is a prominent location in the books, so owners Pattiecake and Sugarpie will publish a SWEET THANGS cookbook full of just “Sweet Thangs” I’ve taken a break through the holidays, because I’d gained 12 pounds! Baking and photographing all those baked goods was getting the best of me!!
If you could be one of the characters from any of your books, who would it be and why?
I don’t know about other writers, but I’m just about every character in my books!! Well, I should say each of my characters have some of my traits. In LAID OUT AND CANDLE LIT and YOU’RE BUSTING MY NUPTIALS, Tizzy has my half-cup empty syndrome. Rayann has all my fears and Synola has my sassy pants. Tizzy’s mom and aunt, Pattiecake and Sugarpie are actually based on me and my sister. I just made us younger with bigger boobs!
Do you belong to a critique group? If so how does this help or hinder your writing?
This is the number one advice I offer when I speak. I don’t care if you’re a new writer or one who has been published many times, a critique group is a benefit. I recommend joining an on-line group. I belong to TheNextBigWriter.com, but there are many to choose from. For about $5 bucks a month, I get critiques from male/females from varied backgrounds, ages 24 to 70+, a cross section of the country as well as Canada, England, Germany, New Zealand, and more. They offer help with grammar, punctuation, pace, flow, logic, and every other aspect of writing. Because they are strangers, they will be honest with me without regard to my feelings. That doesn’t mean they are rude, they aren’t. They are kind in their remarks. But since they don’t know me personally or have to see me, they can be open about what they offer. They tell me when something works and when something stinks. I post everything I write on the site before I ever consider seeking publication.
When did you first decide to submit your work? Please tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step?
This is something else I share when I speak to groups. It is true…it’s not what you know, but who you know. That adage alone should encourage everyone to treat people the way they want to be treated, because you never know when that one random encounter will lead to something great. One of my readers on TheNextBigWriter recommended I submit my manuscript to a publishing house in her area that was accepting open submissions. At the time, I was posting TELL ME A SECRET, a romance novel I’d written a long time ago. That was the one she was referring to. It’s not the one I submitted. I’d worked longer and harder on my humorous novel, LAID OUT AND CANDLE LIT, so I submitted it deciding I’d never hear from the publisher. (it’s that half-cup syndrome I mentioned) They called that night and told me the liked the story. They were only the second company I’d submitted it to. Publication rarely happens that quickly and easily, and without that critique contact, it wouldn’t have happened for me.
Do you outline your books or just start writing?
With LAID OUT AND CANDLE LIT, I just sat down and started writing without a clue of where I was going or how to get there. As a result, when I finished the book, it was 93,000 words. By the time I paid an editor to edit, then I posted it for critique, then edited some more, it published at 63,000 words. Apparently, I wrote 30,000 words nobody was interested in reading!! With YOU’RE BUSTING MY NUPTIALS, I outlined the story and worked from that and it was much easier for me. It ended with about 62,000 words, and published at around 73,000. With LAID OUT, I got better at tightened the story as I wrote, so when I went to flesh out the chapters, it went much easier for me. Now, I’ll always use an outline.
Do you have any hobbies and does the knowledge you've gained from these carry over into your characters or the plot of your books?
In LAID OUT AND CANDLE LIT and YOU’RE BUSTING MY NUPTIALS, main character Tizzy works part-time at her mom’s bakery and I like to bake, so that was a natural aspect to add to the books. In LAID OUT, a lot of the scenes take place in the bakery, SWEET THANGS. In NUPTIALS, the bakery takes a back seat, but owners Pattiecake and Sugarpie are working on a cookbook which will hopefully be released in 2013.
Do you have an all time favorite book?
I have several. It’s so hard to choose just one. I love The Shack, by Wm. P. Young. It really made me change the way I think about God.
I love Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt, by Beth Hoffman. It is such a tender book and I’m a sap for anything set in the south. AND, I love anything written by Jennifer Crusie. If I had a thimble full of her talent, I’d be so happy.
Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your book?
I should be working on the final book of the trilogy, but I’m not. I have been outlining and hopefully after the first of the year, I’ll get going with it. It will involve another murder mystery and will revolve around girls from the class of ’76 as suspects. I’ll use the actual girls I graduated with, because there were only 15 of them and they have great Texas double names like, Patsy Kay, Linda Lou, Nelda Jean, etc. I’ve spoken to some of them about being characters in the book and they’re excited about it…even though one will turn out to be the “bad girl.” I’m having a contest to name the third book, so I’d love for your readers to go to my website and enter a title suggestion. There won’t be a big prize, but they’ll get credit in the book and a set of the trilogy signed by me. AND, if I’m ever in their area doing an appearance, I’d love for the winner of the contest to join me.
Instead, right now I’m re-writing the first novel I ever wrote, TELL ME A SECRET. It’s the second time I’ve rewritten it and so far, I’m pleased with the way it’s going. I totally changed the ending and added about 14 new chapters, so I’m hoping my publisher will be interested in it. It has a touch of humor, but for the most part, it’s just romance.
Do you have any family traditions or recipes you might like to share?
Because SWEET THANGS BAKERY is a prime location in LAID OUT AND CANDLE LIT and YOU’RE BUSTING MY NUPTIALS, I include a recipe in each of the books. In LAID OUT, it’s Orgasm Pie. In NUPTIALS, it’s Coconut Cake. Both excellent and both will be included in the SWEET THANGS COOKBOOK to be released in 2013-2014.
After almost five years, widow and single mother, Tizzy Donovan finally met the man of her dreams in Texas Ranger Ridge Cooper. But when he fails to show up for their wedding, she’s determined to find out why.
Enlisting the help of first cousin Jinx Monroe, and best friends, Rayann Tatum and Synola Harper, it’s not long until they’re dealing with clowns, yard gnomes, a missing stripper, and a Baptist deacon.
After a car chase and gun fight, head-strong Tizzy is more committed than ever to claim her happily-ever-after. All she needs is a séance with an old witch and a little help from Positive Jesus.
Tizzy knocked back the rest of the drink and
thought of every possible scenario for Ridge’s absence.
Wrong church? There was only one Methodist
Church in town. Flat tire? He lived close enough to
walk to the ceremony. Cell phone gone dead? Two
land lines were at his disposal. Heart attack? The
chance of that couldn’t be high, but it would definitely
be the best excuse.
“No, Rayann. It’s been over an hour. He isn’t
answering his phone. Daddy went to his house. His
truck’s gone. He’s not coming.” She started to pace.
Her bare feet sank into the deep carpet, a small comfort
against the ache the rest of her body was suffering.
“What’s wrong with me? My first husband joined the
Marines to get away and now Ridge doesn’t show up
for our wedding. Am I that bad?”
Rayann fell in beside Tizzy and matched her
pace. They zigzagged across the room like a band
formation during a half-time show. “C’mon, Tiz. It
has nothing to do with you. Boone enlisted to avoid
Marlene. You know better than anybody what a witch
his sister was. He didn’t want to spend his life working
with her at the bank.”
Tizzy stopped at a small table and stared down
at her wedding invitation. James Ridge Cooper and
Marjorie Louise “Tizzy” Donovan, request the honor
of your presence.
Up until an hour ago, it had been a perfect day.
There’d not been a cloud in the sky. The sun shone
across a heaven of endless blue, and the temperature
hovered in the upper sixties. It held promise of being
one of the best days of Tizzy’s life and now was turning
out to be one of her worst.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Ann Everett is a Texas girl from her big-bar-hair down to her bare toes. For many years she did stand-up comedy for businesses, corporations, and non-profit organizations.
Creator of the White Trash Facelift, halter tops, and beer bling bracelets, Ann embraces her small town upbringing and thinks Texans are the funniest people on earth.
She’s an award winning author and active member of Northeast Texas Writers’ Organization where she serves as director of their twenty-seventh annual writers’ conference.
When Ann’s not writing, she spends her days listening in on people’s conversations at the local Wal-Mart, beauty shop, Dollar Store, and numerous other gathering spots. She draws from that research to pen her romantic comedies, full of southern sass and Texas twang.
Ann Everett author page/Facebook
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