Monday 11 December 2017

Christmas Countdown Blitz Day 1

Ann lives in Texas with her husband and rescue pets. She taught reading and other subjects for a number of years before leaving to devote more time to her first love—writing. Reading with children was always her favorite part of teaching.

Cool Well Press published her ghostly series for the young at heart, Stevie-girl and the Phantom Pilot, Stevie-girl and The Phantom Student, and Stevie-girl and The Phantom of Crybaby Bridge.

Her adult novels—All For Love, women’s fiction, and the suspense trilogy Stutter Creek, Lilac Lane, and Copper Lake, are all published by 5 Prince Publishing.

Takers, Ann’s foray into speculative fiction, was released earlier this year.

She has won several awards for fiction since her college days and has had short stories and essays published in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, The Binnacle, Timeless, an anthology, Seasonal Sweet, and Suspenseful, an anthology, Jitter Press, Fictionterrifica, The Rusty Nail, The Sandstorm, Reflections, an anthology, and Blue Mountain Review.  

Connect with the Author here: 

Senior prom is the happiest night of Gabi’s life. Her crush has just revealed that he is every bit as infatuated with her as she is with him. When he has a car wreck and is transported to the hospital in a coma, Gabi feels as if she’s taken a knife to the heart. But his jealous cousin, Rose, sees her chance to give the knife an even harder twist. She convinces Gabi to meet her at a local parking spot outside town. It's a night that will change several lives forever. One of the girls will return, and one will become known as the remains in the pond.

~ Amazon ~ Amazon UK
~ Amazon CA

Q&A With The Author:         

1.  Describe yourself in 50 words or less.

I’m a reader, writer, wife, mom, grandma, and pet mom. I'm short-tempered and sometimes stupidly cruel. My love of reading probably came from my father whose only gifts to me were books. It’s all he could afford on the 12¢ per hour they paid him in the prison plate shop.

2. What do you love most in the world?

My greatest love in the world is my family.

3. What inspired you to become an Author?

I write to make sense of my world.

4. What is your largest unfulfilled dream, and what are you doing to reach it?

My largest unfulfilled dream is to to have a major NYT bestseller. One that makes people talk, one that becomes a bookclub must read. I'm working on it. Everyday. Like Ray Bradbury said, "Just get out of the way. Your subconscious knows what to write." Oddly enough, it's easier said than done.
5. What is your trick for getting past writer's block? And what advice do you have for other authors who are struggling to tell their story?
I don't believe in writer's block. I have the beginnings of hundreds of stories and novels in my computer. If I write myself into a corner on one book, I simply put it aside and pull out another one. Eventually, the story will resolve itself, or it won't. Not everything should be told, you know.
6. Now that we've gotten to know each other, tell me a story. It can be long or short. From your childhood or last week. Funny, sad, or somewhere in between. Just make sure it's yours. What's your story?

This is a story I wrote about an incident that happened when I was a young mother throwing newspapers to make extra money while I wrote stories and took a few college classes during the daylight hours.

Ann Swann
            Even as the new flakes drift down, the old woman sweeps them away.
            Her thin white hair stands out against the early morning blackness like a frothy halo. I want to get out of my car and take her by the hand, lead her inside, tuck her into bed where she belongs.
            But it’s three a.m.  I’m afraid she will scream or run away.  
            Like before.
            It’s been so long the black door wreath has faded to gray, but I think for her it hasn’t been that long. I slow the car and toss the newspaper gently into her periphery.
            Her broom halts in mid-arc.
            I smile, wave, and goose the accelerator with the toe of my boot.
            In the mirror, she resumes sweeping, but her eyes follow my car.
            If she’s still out when I make the block, I will call someone. 
            I throw the other low-rents hurriedly, parking to hand-deliver the disabled units.  In number fifty-six, someone is playing the piano in the darkness. I stand until my own fingers are frozen, listening to the melancholic opening of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. The notes hang on the cold air. When the pianist stops, I hurry back to my still-warm car.  
            The image of a person sitting alone at a piano in the dark stays with me until I glimpse the 7-Eleven in the distance. It beckons like a snow-globe of light behind the tumbling flakes. It is always my last stop. Especially on cold winter nights.
            But first . . .
            I turn the corner and breathe a sigh of relief.
            She is gone. Perhaps someone is staying with her now. Maybe they woke and found her bed empty.
            Is that a slipper in the road?
            And there’s her broom.
            I press 9 -1-1 on my phone and cruise the curb, watching for a bare footprint in the snow. Should I go to the door and ring the bell? I don’t want to scare her even worse. I think if someone were there, they would have felt the draft of an open door.
            Maybe I’d better just chill until the cops arrive. I’m sure it won’t be long. Last time they were here in minutes.
            I make a careful U-turn and park a few houses down, holding my numb fingers in front of the heater vents.
            The thought of hot coffee is so strong I can smell it.

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