Monsters and Angels – Raimond – Dark Visions – Author Interview
My interview today is with my good author friend, Anne Marie Andrus. We’ve never met, but she’s been a huge supporter of mine and is an excellent writer on top of that. Anne Marie uses her love of New Orleans and vampires in her writing. So, if you love the supernatural and creepy with the right touch of romance, you’re sure to love her books.
What inspired you to write your latest work?
My current work-in-progress is the next installment of the Monsters & Angels series. The Monsters series was originally planned to be a trilogy—but my characters and their storylines escalated and twisted, demanding a four-book series.
Over the summer I’d like to switch directions and work on my New Jersey shore based mystery/action adventure.
What inspired your latest work? What is special about it?
The third book in my Monsters & Angels series has a working title of Fall of the Crown. Several characters from my first two novels—Prince Draven, Norman, Ivori Journé and Steven Banitierre—will have pivotal roles in the big finale. These “secondary characters” can’t wait to show off their star power.
It sounds fantastic! Which character in your book are you most like?
Easy one! The first answer that popped into my head was Sorcha Alden. She began her career as a young woman in the medical field—I was nineteen when I started…Then I thought a little harder, and the better answer is Ivori Journé. Like Sorcha, Ivori is dedicated to her career and patients, but she talks less and keeps more secrets. Watch out when Ivori finally steps into the spotlight—she’s got a few tricks up her sleeve.
Do you plot out your entire story, or have the characters drive it?
In the beginning I let my characters completely drive the story. It’s incredibly exciting to create something or someone that didn’t exist when you first sat down to write. Now I plot out major points so I don’t get confused or write myself into a dead end.
How often do you write? Do you have another job besides being a writer?
I’m still working full time night-shift as a Respiratory Therapist, so I don’t write as consistently as many other authors. When I do have a block of nights off and get going, I can write for eight hours and make tremendous progress.
How long have you been writing? Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve only been writing since 2012 and I never really considered becoming a writer until I wrote a novel. I think my life experiences not only played an incredible part in my creative side, but were the reason I was brave enough to publish my work.
Tell us about your writing process. What is the journey from idea to published piece?
My process usual begins with a light bulb blinking on inside my head at the most inopportune moment—working, driving, showering or sleeping. I jam scraps of paper in my pockets or frantically peck away at the note-pad on my phone. Often there’s a lot of disjointed gibberish for me to decipher.
Besides your car and your shower, where else do you do your writing?
My writing spots are my dining room during the winter and the back of my boat in the summer. Winter is for vampires; summer is for the beachy action/adventure.
I love that the topic of your writing changes with the seasons. Do you have a writing goal you want to achieve?
Right now I’m focused on finishing the Monsters series. The story is complicated and intertwined enough that I want to get all the major parts and a good portion of the details worked out before I publish Fall of the Crown.
What helps you most when it comes to writing?
Well—coffee of course, but I’ve also discovered that I need to give myself a break. Time to think doesn’t have to be silence or isolation, but I do need to disconnect and allow my characters room to speak.
What does writing success look like for you?
Since I finished Raimond (the prequel to Monsters & Angels) last year, I fell into a bit of a slump and couldn’t seem to get into the writing groove. I was scared I’d just lost my ability to write. Luckily, in the past month I’ve found “it” again, so I celebrate any kind of progress as writing success.
And we’re so happy that you did! Who, or what inspired you to be a writer?
I began writing my first novel in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, but the characters and story had been in my head for some time. My co-workers and my patients inspired me but that beast of a storm was the spark that drove me to put it on paper.
How do you feel about critiques?
Critiques are a necessary step in the writing process and they don’t always have to be an awful experience. Finding the right people for each phase of editing is essential, but that doesn’t mean they love every single word or are afraid to be honest when something doesn’t work. Having similar reading and writing interests makes it more enjoyable and productive.
Do you have a favorite review of your books? Why did you like it?
I love that my story left enough questions to make readers crave the next installment and I do dream of seeing this saga on the big screen someday.
I didn’t want this book to end…this book should be a movie! Bravo!—Kathleen on Goodreads
Love this book! I’m craving another…I still have questions – but I think that’s the mark of a great author!—Janine on Goodreads
It was an incredible and enthralling journey from captivity to freedom, from soldier to doctor, from human to vampire.
If you like vampire stories that revolve around being able to live among humans, then I would recommend you check out Raimond. He’s a gentleman, well that is until you piss him off. That’s when the fangs come out….and yes they do come out!—Plum Report
Which book has had the most impact on you? Why?
Nine Lives: Death and Life in New Orleans by Dan Baum
“Nine Lives is a multivoiced biography of this dazzling, surreal, and imperiled city through the lives of nine characters over forty years and bracketed by two epic storms Hurricane Betsy, which transformed the city in the 1960’s, and Katrina, which nearly destroyed it.”—Dan Baum
Outside of New Orleans, so few people truly understand the city and what draws her residents to return home over and over, no matter what. This book gives the reader a heartbreaking glimpse at the answer to that question.
Wow! There’s so much I need to learn about New Orleans. What’s the best piece of writing advice someone has given you?
Create an alternate reality and live in it!
There’s a lot of power in those eight words. You really do need to live in your book world. Thanks for joining us today. Where can fans connect with you, Anne Marie?
Purchase Anne Marie’s books:
Anne Marie has been an equestrienne, chorale singer, EMT and baseball fan. Roaming the back roads of New Jersey with her family, she found great respect for antiques, historical locations and the stories they hold. Her current list of favorite pastimes includes coffee, bourbon and Les Misérables-which requires more bourbon. She has been known to attend sporting events just for the flyover. The boat she and her husband christened Glory Days, is her escape from the chaos of everyday life. The inspiration for Raimond and Monsters & Angels is Anne Marie’s fascination with vampires, castles and her passion for everything New Orleans. When she isn’t writing, she can be found working nights with the critical care team in a busy trauma center.