Q&A With Annie Rains
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Q&A With Annie Rains
To end this week I’m doing a Q&A with Annie Rains. Annie Rains is the USA Today Bestselling author of small town romances that take place in her home town of North Carolina. Some of her work includes Somerset Lake, Sweetwater Springs, The Matchbreaker Summer, Heroes Welcome, Blushing Bay & recently released on March 14th of this year is The Good Luck Café.
Q: So Annie, what made you want to write romance?
A: Hi, and thank you for inviting me today! I have always enjoyed good love stories. I grew up in a family of women that loved soap operas, so I consider that my introduction to romance. In high school, I discovered Danielle Steele novels and I couldn’t get enough. I’ve always wanted to write and once I read my first romance novel, I was hooked.
Q: When did you realize that your calling was to become an author?
A: I was very young when I knew I wanted to become an author—probably around six years old. I remember loving books and the idea of the authors who wrote the books really intrigued me. As soon as I could write words on paper, I started creating stories. Throughout school, I filled up notebook after notebook of stories. Some I would finish and others I’d abandon to write something new. Writing was my favorite thing to do.
Q: What do you love most and the least about being an author?
A: I still love to create the stories that are in my head. I think my favorite part of being a writer is when the story takes on a life of its own. I can plot every last detail, but once I get started, the characters often rebel against my plotting. It can be frustrating, but that’s also where the magic happens. That’s my favorite part of being a writer. My favorite part of being an author is different though. For me, the best part of having my works published and in stores is having my children come with me to find the books on the shelves. I love showing them that dreams do come true and perseverance pays off.
Q: When I read that little snippet about how your romances take place in North Carolina where you came from, is it also fair to say that the characters in your novels are also based off of people you know? I love how authors use real places and people to create fictional worlds and people.
A: Not really. I might borrow a detail or two from people I know in real life, like a name or physical quality, but the characters usually don’t resemble any of my friends or family members.
Q: Does Hollywood have any interests or rights to your novels? Hollywood is in desperate need for creativity. Some more great books would make a great show or movie.
A: Well, I did sign with a film agent last year who is shopping my first young adult novel, The Matchbreakers Summer. Nothing has been sold yet though. Fingers crossed that one of my books becomes a movie or show one day. That would be so amazing!
Q: If you were to write in a different genre that wasn’t romance, which genre would it be and why?
A: I branched out from romance last year when I wrote my first young adult novel. I loved doing that and will hopefully write another YA book in the future. No plans for that right now though. I also have my first women’s fiction novel coming out this August. It has a bit of magic intertwined in the story, which is something I really enjoy reading and writing. I have more women’s fiction novels planned for the future as well.
Q: What’s your advice to anyone on writing a great romance? If you deal with writer’s block, what’s your advice to anyone on how to deal with it?
A: My advice: if you love writing, keep doing it, despite rejections or setbacks. Do what you love because eventually you’ll break through. I spent years putting my work out there and getting nothing but rejections back. It only takes one yes, but if you give up too soon, that yes will never come. Of course, that advice is for those who want to take the traditional publication route. There are so many options and opportunities available to aspiring authors these days, which is amazing. I think it’s less likely that writers will give up on their publication dreams now than when I first started out.
In answer to your question about writer’s block, I think it’s important to remember that it happens to everyone. Writing is hard. If it was easy, everyone would write a book. When I hit a spot in my work where I feel like I’m spinning my wheels, I usually go back to the beginning and do a read through of what I already have. I can usually see the story more clearly when I do that and figure out what I need to change or add in order to get the momentum back.
Q: Can you tell myself and the readers a little bit about what you’re writing right now if you are writing something?
A: I just finished the first draft of a new small town contemporary romance (with strong women’s fiction elements). It will be the first book in a new series with Grand Central/Forever—the same publisher who has published my last two romantic series. The book is called THE FINDERS KEEPERS LIBRARY and will be released next summer (2024).
Q: What’s your advice to new authors on dealing with online trolls, negative reviews and family and friends who might not be supportive or interested in their writing goals?
A: Ignore, delete, do whatever you need to in order to preserve your creative spark and confidence. My skin has gotten a lot thicker since I first started writing, but I’ve also learned not to go looking for criticism. Constructive criticism is great, and I get that from my critique partners and my editors. After that, the book is out of my hands and it goes out to readers. I love having readers contact me and give me their thoughts on stories. If they don’t tag me though, I don’t typically see the reviews. In my early days, I’d read every single review and, of course, there would be some bad ones that would send my creativity spiraling along with my mood. Not to say that there isn’t a lot to be learned from those bad reviews. A writer needs to weigh the cost and benefit of reading them though. For me, the cost to my productivity and confidence is too high. Now I guard my mindset and trust my critique partners and editors to help me put my best work out there. As for family and friends who aren’t exactly supportive, I try not to take it personally. As long as I am doing what I love and I’m happy, that’s enough. I think having the stark contrast of those who aren’t supportive also makes me appreciate the ones who are supportive that much more.
Thank you so much for interviewing me! This was a lot of fun!