I’d like to welcome Anne M. Carpenter, from Indie Writers Unite, talking about her upcoming book, The Mommy Letters, available in December. Welcome Anne!
Can you tell us a little bit about your book?
My upcoming book is called “The Mommy Letters” and is about a family torn apart by a missing child…and her missing father. Robin, age 4, left to accompany her dad on a business trip to Disney World, and neither have been heard from since.
Almost a year and a half later, Sarah, her mom, receives a letter in the mail, supposedly from Robin. But where is she? And why has she been gone for so long? Did her dad, Sarah’s second husband, take her because their marriage was on the rocks? Did something happen on the way to the airport, where they never arrived, to cause their mutual disappearance? And why is the creepy guy who cleans City Hall, where Sarah works as a town Selectman, seemingly monitoring her house and family? Sarah and her two older daughters are depending on her first husband, the small town’s police detective, to unravel this mystery and bring Robin home.
What about this story made you have to write it?
The night before I started writing this story, I had the most vivid dream of my entire life. The next morning, I took my husband to breakfast, and we outlined the book together over coffee and eggs. I’ve been writing and rewriting this story for almost five years and am thrilled that it will soon be released to the world! As a teaser….that vivid dream became pivotal scene in the story. Read and see! Interestingly enough, I didn’t have children – wasn’t a mom yet – when writing this story. I completely put the story aside for over a year and a half while pregnant with my first child…and was startled to see that the first names of the two older daughters in the story combined to become the name of my own daughter in real life! Talk about Freudian!
What was one of the most surprising things you learned during the creation of this book?
One of the most surprising things I learned during the creation of The Mommy Letters is the way in which a novel can completely change directions – and for the better – because one character behaves differently than is outlined. I love outlines. I love lists and plans. So when a character refuses to do what I expect, but leads me down a better path, it’s always surprising!
What was the hardest part to write?
The hardest part to write for The Mommy Letters was the conclusion. Throughout the writing of the story, a few loose ends cropped up that I had a hard time figuring out how to secure. Luckily, another middle-of-the-night epiphany provided the resolution I was searching for!
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I’m not sure the phrase “avid reader” goes far enough to describe me. I devour books. Print books, eBooks, hard cover, soft cover, indie, library books, books I find in strange places. I read constantly. And, quite frankly, I’m always taken aback when I encounter people who do not read. How? Why? Start now!
Can you share a little of what you are working on now?
I’m working on several different projects right now. Under my real name, I am working on several short how-to eBooks related to freelance writing. As Anne M. Carpenter, I’m working on my next novel, called Going Home, which is about the hardest journey a man and his family must make when his time remaining on earth is terribly short. And under another pen name, I’m working on a series of YA novels that I hope will begin releasing midyear 2012. Oh – and my writing partner and I are also working on several more cookbooks for 2012!
What advice would you give a new writer?
Write what you read. I’ve taken writing classes, I’ve read books on writing, I’m gotten advice from other writers…but none of those experiences have helped me to develop as much as a writer as simply reading and reading and reading some more.