A Little About Me –
While I have been writing for what feels like my whole life, I began seriously studying the craft in 2000. Since then I have completed five novels, had several pieces published in local periodicals, attended six writing conferences and managed to final in ACFW’s Genesis contest in 2006, 2008, and 2009. I currently have three historical novels published: Wings of a Dream, At Every Turn, and A Home for My Heart. Playing by Heart will release in the fall of 2014. But writing is only a piece of my life.
I am mostly just a woman trying to live her life in a manner pleasing to the Lord. That involves being a wife to Jeff and a mother to my three teenagers–neither role coming easily but both roles stretching me, requiring me to press in closer to Jesus. And because of this, Jesus has taken an insecure, fearful, sometimes angry girl and is turning her into a more trusting, peaceful, grace-filled woman. At least some of the time. There is still such a long way to go!
– See more at: http://www.annemateer.com/
1. The two books of yours that I have read Wings of a Dream and At Every Turn have completely different story lines. What inspired you to write these stories? Wings of a Dream was inspired by my great-grandparents story, which did indeed take place during the influenza epidemic of 1918. The idea for At Every Turn came from finding an article online about the Harvest Classic race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1916. From there, I infused it with the passion of two of the most fearless women I know—my youngest sister and my daughter, who both love mission work.
2. How do you go about developing your characters? Was Alyce Benton challenging? Do you have any favourite characters? Characters just seem to appear in my head, ready to tell their stories! But with that being said, many of my characters have at least a teensy bit of me in them somewhere and very often have a hodgepodge of characteristics from people I know or have met or observed. Alyce was challenging because she was a unique mix of naivete and boldness. But like I said above, I felt like I had two good living examples to draw from! I think my favorite character so far might be Chet from my book Playing by Heart which releases this fall. He is such a good guy. Of course that might be because he has a little bit of my sons in him. 🙂
3. Have any of your characters resembled any people who have impacted your life? (don’t have to answer if too personal!) Absolutely! Irene in Wings of a Dream some similarities to a friend of mine who loved me through some hard days in my life and continually pointed me to Jesus. I would also say there is a little bit of my mom in most of my “motherly” characters, ones like the grandmother from At Every Turn and Mrs. Fore in A Home for My Heart. I would say it is nearly impossible not to put something of people who have impacted your own life into your characters.
4. When did you discover your passion for writing? I have been writing stories and poems since elementary school. I can even remember the moment in middle school where I knew I wanted to write historical fiction when I grew up! I’ve always read and journaled and created. It’s just who I am.
5. What other hobbies do you have? I’m coming out of a season of life where my “hobbies” were my kids! In other words, their activities took up all my free time. I can definitely say, though, that no matter what else I do, I read. I average about 80 books a year.
6. Do you have a favourite Bible Verse? That is so hard. I love scripture! I find a new “favorite” verse daily! But for these four published books I have kind of camped on Proverbs 16:9: The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps. My heart’s desire is to live a life characterized by trust in my God and total obedience to Him. Nothing else matters.
7. What is your favourite holiday destination? Are there any countries you wish to visit? Hubby and I long to see Scotland. And while we’re there, we’d love to spend time in Ireland and England and Wales, too, of course! We did go on a cruise a couple of years ago and would really like to do that again. It was the only time both of us could truly “unplug.” We loved it!
8. What is your favourite time of the year? Do you have a favourite celebration? In summer, I say my favorite season is fall. In winter, it’s spring! I just like it not too hot and not too cold. I do love our Thanksgiving celebration and Easter is fun, too. Those two are usually with my parents, my sisters and brother and their families and any of their in-laws in town. It’s crazy but so fun.
9. What are 5 interesting facts about yourself? I never think there is anything interesting to say about myself, but I’ll try. 1) Hubby is from Pennsylvania; I’m from Texas. We met during a summer we both lived in Washington DC. 2) I once competed in a talent/beauty pageant (a small one), and my talent was a monologue from The Count of Monte Cristo. 3) I like loud music. (My kids usually told me to turn it down!) 4) I am not a morning person. At. All. 5) I once read the unabridged version of Les Miserables. I still consider that one of my most amazing accomplishments!
10. Where do you like to write? I usually like to write in my sunny office in the front of the house, but I like writing in coffee shops pretty well, too.
11. Are you able to speak any other language beside English? Is there any language you wish to learn? I tried Spanish in high school and college and didn’t take to it well. I don’t think I’m a person that takes to other languages easily.
12. Who is your favourite author and what book(s) of theirs do you recommend? Ugh. I hate this question because I have too many and so many are friends, too! As for as classics, I love Jane Austen, the Brontes, Dickens, and George Eliot. Some “in betweens” are P.G. Wodehouse, Daphne du Maurier, Frances Parkinson Keyes, and, yes, Grace Livingston Hill. Today, I would say some of my favorites are Siri Mitchell, Susan Meissner, Sarah Jio and Julie Klassen. I have to stop there or I’ll name too many and then I’ll miss someone and hurt their feelings!
13. If you had 1 Million dollars, what would you do? I’d give most of it away, but I would upgrade our cars (they are all old) and fix up some stuff in our house (much of it hasn’t been updated in 20-40 years) and finish paying for our kids’ college. But seriously, funding work that people are doing for the Lord in the U.S. and around the world would make me so happy.
14. Do you have any pets/favourite animals? We have a dog, Abby, a border collie/Australian shepherd mix. I’m not really a dog person, but we’ve had her for twelve years so she’s grown on me. It has helped that she is extremely smart. If I had to have a dog, she’s a pretty good one.
15. What words of encouragement would you give aspiring authors? Don’t stress out over what you can’t make happen—i.e. publication. Keep learning and enjoying your stories and let the Lord do what He will with your work in His time. I always say my writing journey has been less about the writing and more about my faith and my character. I think that is probably the case with all of us who write, but sometimes we get so focused on the publication part of it that we forget that.
16. Which do you prefer: Coffee/hot chocolate/mocha? Mocha (nice to know I have another mocha friend 😀 )
Chocolate/lollies/ice cream? CHOCOLATE!!!! (Definitely agree with you J )