Today I would like to introduce author S. Ann Cole and talk about her latest book,
O. Linden: Let’s Dive in! Name your guilty pleasure?
Drinking one too many glasses of red wine, and reading past my bedtime into the wee hours of the morning.
Hmm… Sounds familiar… Ok, so after your wine, if I asked you to tell me something no one else knows, what would you tell me?
I’m afraid of the dark. Big time. (This is why I can’t read paranormal romances.)
OK let’s get these lights on! Ann, kind of book do you read in your spare time?
Romance. Bad romance. Filthy romance. Naughty romance. All romance. Any romance that breaks all writing rules and is non-formulaic. When I’m not reading romance, I’m reading anything written by Joyce Meyer.
Name the last book you read that really moved you.
The Sweet Gum Tree by Katherine Allred. I read this book last year and it immediately made its to my top five favorite books. Mainly because it’s the second book I’ve ever read that made me feel like my heart was being ripped out of my chest. I’m not that easily moved by a story. I tend to roll my eyes at a lot of things that people would cry about. Before I read it, the only book that has ever made me cry was A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux (I cried for three days after reading that book). So when I read The Sweet Gum Tree and saw how it jerked my tears so many times throughout the story, I instantly deemed it the best book I’d read for the year.
Three things that make Ann tick:
The need to achieve, receive and succeed.
OK! She’s focused!
As a writer, how would you define your style?
I wouldn’t say I have a ‘specific’ writing style. While I’m a sucker for beautiful writing and love the hell out of humoristic writing, I like to play around when I write. I love old English and I love poetry, so at times I try to smash all three into one to create my own flair, and at other times I just have a blast weaving humor and simplicity in my writing. My writing style all depends on the mood I am in, and, of course, the personalities of my characters. So, no. No specific style.
Where did you come up with the concept for Mr. Mysterious in Black?
Well, the inspiration came after I ran into an old friend of mine, who I wouldn’t have recognized had he not recognized me. I have a really, really bad memory, you see. Then it got me to thinking, what if this guy had ran into me and realized that I didn’t remember him at all, no matter how he tried to remind me? I figured I could have some fun with that, and just put pen to paper and let my imagination run wild.
Can you name your favorite scene in Mr. Mysterious in Black?
I really enjoyed writing the very first dream/memory that Sadie had where she agrees to be Nelly’s girlfriend. It was very reminiscent of the neighborhood I grew up in, and that warm, fuzzy feeling a girl always gets about that ‘first’ guy.
I love the title, Mr. Mysterious in Black. (See how I keep saying it?) How did you come up with it?
When I wrote the first couple of chapters of Mr. Mysterious in Black, I’d immediately decided that ‘Mr. Mysterious in Black’ would be fitting to a story with a character that’s mysterious and always dressed in black. By the time I was eighty percent through, though, I decided I wanted to title it This Man; for the main reason that, even though the character was mine, he kept confusing me also! Many times I found myself shaking my head, thinking, “This man…” as I wrote his scenes.
However, when the manuscript was completed and I asked a couple of my friends for their opinion on the titles Mr. Mysterious in Black and This Man, they shot me down, telling me that those were the stupidest titles they’ve ever heard of. I was bummed, because I really liked those titles. So I ended up titling the manuscript Kissing Souls, and that’s the title it was under when I submitted the manuscript to publishing houses. But never at all was I happy with the title. After a few rejection letters, where I decided to send it to a professional editor for feedback, I made sure to ask the editor to give me their take on titling the book ‘Mr. Mysterious in Black’. When I got back my editorial feedback and saw the words, “I love your idea of the title Mr. Mysterious in Black!!” I was elated! And boy did I rub it in my friends’ faces. Especially when a book came out just a week later under the title This Man and grew wildly popular! So, that’s the lengthy story behind my book title.
I totally understand. You get this idea that you love and your friends are like ‘no way’. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Other than switching a few ‘big words’ for more relatable ones, no, I wouldn’t change anything. I strongly believe that the right people will love your book for what it is. You will never be able to please everyone. Write what you love and stick behind it.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes. That it’s okay to let go and trust people sometimes. It is very difficult to trust others when you have been hurt and disappointed too many times in your life. You almost give up on life and happiness. In my story, the main character, Sadie, learns to open up, to trust, to love and accept love.
That’s very true. Are any of these experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Not at all. This one was purely imaginative.
Darn! Lol. Well did you face any difficulty while writing this story?
Truth be told, there was no hard part in writing Mr. Mysterious in Black. In fact, as a self-published author, writing the story is where all the fun really is. Everything else that ensues, including putting your story out there to the critical public, is hard. So I try to have as much fun in the process of creating the story itself.
You hit it on the head with that. As a self-published author, I wish I could just focus on the writing.Was there anything else you learned during this process?
Yes. Don’t over-edit! One might wonder if you can ‘over-edit’ your work. My answer is, yes. I’ve edited Mr. Mysterious in Black so many times, I lost count. Then I let it rest for a couple of months and went back and edited it again. And again. As a result, the writing came off as ‘pretentious’ to readers, all because I didn’t know when to STEP AWAY FROM THE MANUSCRIPT.
Where were you when I spent more time editing than it took to write the book?What books have most influenced your life most?
While I have a lot of favorites out there, I think I have to be completely honest here and say the only book out there that is powerful enough to influence my life in any way, shape or form is the Bible. For the main reason that it’s the only book I consult for my guide to life. Every other book I read and never look at them again. But my bible is read on a daily basis.
That is very profound! How about now? Have there been any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Ninety percent of the books that I read these days are written by new or fairly new authors. So I’d say, there are far too many new authors who have hooked me by the gills to list right now.
There are so many to choose from, good answer! So, what can we expect from Ann next?
My current project is the second book of the Billionaire Brothers series, Love Has A Name, that has a release date for June 15th. I’ve already started working on the third book of the series, This Hellion of Mine (tentative title), which I hope to have out by November/December. Then after that there will be a two part sequel which will be based on a character from the third book of the Billionaire Brothers series.
So, you see writing as a career?
Most definitely. It has taken me some time, but I have finally found my identity. I’ve never known who I was or what I wanted until I began writing. Now I know I’m right where I belong. I may not have hype following me like the popular authors out there, but I am extremely happy doing what I do. I don’t even think it’s fair to others that I enjoy writing this much! I hardly ever consider writing as work until someone taps me on the shoulder and say, “You need to come up for air sometimes. Take a break and rest your brain.” This old adage is most certainly true: If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.
Ann, thank you for stopping by and sharing a little of yourself! Is there anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Just two words: Thank You!
Ann has left us with a glimpse of her latest project. Here is a short excerpt from Love Has A Name, by S. Ann Cole, to be released June 15th.
***Disclaimer: This excerpt is subject to change in the published version.***
Lovello leaned forward and cupped my face in both hands, locking his heated gray gaze on mine. “Axia, I want you. More than I’ve ever wanted any other woman. I’m used to getting anything and anyone I want. I’m used to my own way. I’ve never done shit like this before. Never chased anyone. Ever. And here I am chasing you like a dog after a bone, sponging your insults and your abuses. It’s not manly and it’s not me. Yet for some baffling reason, I cling to you. You have something that a part of me wants, but I don’t know what it is just yet. The soul is quicker than the flesh. It takes a while for the flesh to know what the soul knows. And that is why I desire to be where you are. I desire you. Ever since I saw you in my building that morning, I haven’t been able to get you out of my mind, Axia. Don’t think that this is a feeling that I embrace, I freakin’ hate it. And if it leaves tomorrow morning, I’ll be ecstatic, because God, dear God, you are one frustrating woman.
Whoo! Well, how do you reply to that?
You can find out more about Ann and her books below.