Anna L Walls is a constant blogger, a self-published author and a resident of Alaska. I met her through Facebook and, once again, glad that I did. Now you can have the pleasure of meeting her again.
Anna, your website, http://annalwalls.weebly.com/, indicates you are passionate about fiction, magic, romance and trouble. Do you find these are all one and the same or completely separate? How did you begin your interest in each?
Ever since I can remember, I have always liked reading books with some sort of adventure in them. It didn’t really matter if it was space travel or knights in shining armor or a western, so it is only reasonable that I write what I like to read. As far as magic, romance and trouble? Magic is in all things, in a way, though I take it much more literally. Who wouldn’t like a good spell to work once in a while? And romance and trouble are a fact of life, and generally not far apart.
Your other website, http://annalwalls.blogspot.com, is more expressive. Which do you find easier to update on a regular basis?
I update two of my three blogs every Friday night. I update the third one whenever a tale occurs to me. My weebly website, is a little more difficult, though I’m finding things to post there too. A Phrase a Week is fairly recent, plus I’m documenting the progress on publishing my next book, Prince in Hiding, the first of a trilogy called The Making of a Mage-King.
You regularly post samples of your writing to your sites. Do you find this restricts you from entering your pieces into contests or do you simply go the publishing route?
When I first got internet out here, about 3 years ago now, I was really hungry for feedback on my writing. I discovered YouWriteOn.com to be a fabulous place to find it, but as I got more involved in social networking and advertising, not to mention further writing and fixing all the things I’ve already written, I find I have little time for contests.
Have you considered going the traditional publishing route or do you think you’ll stick with self-publishing? What do you like about this route?
I had strongly considering continuing with self-publishing, but since I found Bucks Country Publishing, who took on my greatest and yet my least likely to be published work, I think I’ll be publishing through them whatever of my work they want to take on. We’ll see though; all things have not gone full circle yet.
Have you always lived in Alaska? Do you find this isolation helps or hinders your creativity?
I am a rancher’s daughter from eastern Colorado. It was the US Army that introduced me to Alaska over thirty years ago now. Of course my husband would have brought me up here anyway. He was shipped up here a couple weeks before me and fell in love instantly; there were so many fishing prospects for him to explore here. Though not a fisherman, I too fell in love with Alaska, and when I discovered writing, the long quiet winters allowed me to produce dozens of stories.
You recently blogged about the horrifying topic of “A World Without Books”. Have you considered a future world without actual books due to the ever expanding world of ebooks? Which do you prefer to read?
I have, in fact, one of my stories inadvertently goes there. Picture the world of King Arthur where most of the people couldn’t read. I took that world and placed it in a future time. The story has nothing to do with books but the peasantry still can’t read, learning their trade by apprenticeship, and if something more was needed, the technology to insert the knowledge directly into the brain was prevalent.
As of yet, I haven’t had the pleasure of reading an actual eBook from a reader, though a friend of mine showed me one a few days ago – the first I’ve seen. I have, however, read a few samples, usually in pdf format.
Do you feel social media has been a great aide to your marketing and writing experience or do you find it is way too addictive and takes away your time from completing other tasks? Where do you think you’d be as a writer without it?
Social media is one of those things I’d just love to hate, but only in a good way. Haha Without social media, my book would have faded into oblivion completely rather than hovering around the hardly-ever-sold mark. I have discovered that without big advertising, which I can’t possibly afford, and which may or may not work anyway, selling a book isn’t very easy. The competition out there is really stiff and no one digs for a good book when there are already many on the surface of the pile. Also, I wouldn’t have met the hundreds of great friends I’ve found along the way. My life is much fuller with social media than I ever thought possible.
I’m curious about your passion for magic… only good magic I hope? Have you ever put a curse on someone or used it for good?
I certainly hope you are talking about within my books, haha. The answer is complicated, however. As with love and trouble, magic comes in all forms and has a wide range of uses. Using magic in a battle is every bit as ugly as using a grenade or a missile.
Any advice for beginning writers? Emerging authors?
To begin with, you must realize that there is no way you will be able to please everyone, no matter how hard you try. Be hungry for feedback but be willing pick and choose what advice suits you best and leave the rest. A thick skin is a must, and never NEVER argue with a reviewer about what they said.
It must be hard to do readings/ signings in such a isolated area. Do you have a library or bookstore you can use for book promotion?
Hard is putting it mildly. It is impossible to do such things here. I tried to negotiate some kind of book signing event at a couple of the lodges here but nothing ever developed. People come here to go fishing, not buy books.
You mention you work in a fishing lodge during the “on” season. Do you use this time to create new stories or are you able to switch off that writer part of you to concentrate solely on what you’re doing that moment?
With the addition of work to my daily routine, there is little time for writing, so I guess you could say it is mostly turned off. There have been times though when some idea bubbles to the surface. I’ll take a few moments to jot down a note about it – enough to jog my memory. I have a lot of notes waiting to be turned into stories.
Do you have any books coming out you’d like to share with us?
As I mentioned above, Prince in Hiding will be coming out through Bucks Country Publishing in October. It has already been through the editor and is merely waiting it’s turn. I’m excited to see how it all turns out.
And lastly, if you could live anywhere in the world and make a living off writing would it be where you are? If not, where would it be?
Living out here is not for the less than healthy and the day will come when I must leave here, but until that day comes, I do believe here is where I’ll be staying. It would be very hard to find this kind of quiet anywhere else.
Thanks so much for answering these for me, Anna. Best of luck in all you do.
Thanks for reading,
great interview of a great author and person. you should have ask her about Anna of Alaska and her writing tips, love blog Anna of Alaska and how she lives up there. thank you for informing us of Anna’s work and god bless
A great interview of a worthy writer! Thank you Sarah for giving me answers to questions that I have always been curious about. Anna all the very best for your future endeavors : )