Thank you for joining me for A Cup of Conversation today as I chat to Anne John-Ligali on what is her much awaited Launch Day for The Big Event! So many of us have friends on Twitter and other social media sites…friends we often think about meeting in real life…well I’ve met Anne and she’s bolder and brighter than ever and always has a smile on her face. But what if meeting up doesn’t quite work out as you imagined? This is the theme of the first in her Friendships Online Short Story Series which is available today on Amazon.
1. When did you start writing creatively?
I started writing creatively around 2007 when I was temping as an administrator for an architectural firm. It was a very small firm and the phone hardly rang allowing me lots of time to read. I had just come to the end of reading a Victorian murder mystery by Anne Perry and I loved it. I remember trying to recreate my own scenes from the same era and had so much fun doing it. Writing scenes, creating my own characters and experimenting with dialogue soon became a hobby of mine and I began writing about everything I possibly could. This interest lead me to eventually seeking out blogs and books on creative writing, books that I still have on my shelf today, my favourite being Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell.
2. Which author has most influenced your own writing style?
It’s hard to pick one author as I have read so widely. I would say authors who write women’s fiction and contemporary romance have had the greatest influence on my work. I adore stories about women and their lives with humour or the ones that tug at your heart strings.
3. Are any of the characters in your novel/s based on yourself?
There’s definitely a piece of me in some of the characters I have created. I can imagine how difficult it would be to create a character that does not carry one of my traits or have experienced something I have.
4. What are you working on at the moment/what’s next?
Apart from my short story series, of which The Big Event is the first story, I’m working on a women’s fiction sweet romance novel set in the Caribbean. It starts off in London but the majority of the story takes place on the island of St Vincent. This story is very special to me in so many ways. I used to live on the island and although I have not been back for many years, it’s been lovely to revisit in my mind, browse through old photo albums and talk to my parents. I have also had a few very helpful vloggers who vlog about the island to assist me with things that may have changed on the island over the years. I’m so grateful for the feedback and time that the vloggers have given to me.
5. Where do you write and do you have a writing routine?
I’m lucky to be the sort of writer that can write anywhere, anytime. I don’t get easily distracted, even when my son and daughter are singing at the tops of their little voices. I wouldn’t say I have a routine. I write mostly at night and during any days I have to myself. At the weekends I love visiting my local Costa; it’s so comfortable, I adore the smell of fresh coffee and the cheery music in the background as I work away.
6. What’s your favourite go-to snack when writing?
Pomegranate, cashew nuts and sparkling water, which I have beside me right now as I type. If I don’t have any of that, then a microwaveable cup of Nescafé latte will do nicely.
7. Is there any aspect of the writer’s life you least enjoy and why?
Grasping the amount of information that is available online for writers wanting to self-publish has been an overwhelming experience. Another thing is that feeling of fear I felt especially in the early days of writing; a feeling that I’d be missing out on something. So to ensure I’d never miss a thing I would opt into every newsletter going, and before I knew it, there would be 2000 unread emails in my inbox! However, I am very grateful for the wealth of data, the mentors, courses, blog posts and books that are available to teach people what they need to know. What I have also learned about a writer’s life is that no amount of reading, meet-ups or webinars can truly prepare you 100% for what’s to come. It’s not until you become hands-on that you see the amount of work that’s involved. Nowadays I tend to follow six key people who are my go-tos for self-publishing and creative writing and of course, my dear friend Khardine Gray. Their advice is all I need.
8. Sum up The Big Event in 6 words.
Witty, contemporary, feel-good, engaging and glamourous.
9. Are you a planner or a pantser?
Definitely a planner. I love planning every stage of my stories. For me it’s so important to know where I’m going to avoid writing myself into a hole. The process of planning gives me a thrill because it’s not just about getting my story down, it’s about how it gets written down that matters to me. It’s sort of like putting your favourite jigsaw puzzle together, and seeing all of the pieces connected to complete the bigger picture. That’s how I know being a planner is meant for me.
10. What’s on your current to-do list?
To send some new ideas over to my cover designer for part four in my short story series. Oooh, if only he knew what’s coming next.
To draft up my to-do list for all things writing for 2018, God willing.
To get round to listening to the number of e-books and audio books that have been on my Kindle for a while.
And to get my hair and nails done…of course.
Thanks so much for joining me and let’s raise a glass of champagne to Anne on her Launch Day as we wish her huge success today and in the future too!
The Big Event, part one of the Friendships Online Short Story Series is out now.
You are cordially invited to the party of the season where you’ll meet Constance and her friends in action.
Constance Jeffries is excited when she gets the chance to meet up with virtual friends at a get-together in a London hotel. She’s been tweeting and messaging her lovely friends for years and feels they must be just as excited to finally meet her in person too.
Or so she hopes.
The Big Event is first part in a short story series about the importance of ‘real’ friendships and how it’s the little things that matter the most.
Author Blog: http://annejohnligali.com/
Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnneJohnLigali
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Books and Authors UK Blogsite: www.booksandauthors.co.uk
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