Are you in the mood for a good old-fashioned romance?
If you're looking for a novel without ripped bodices, graphic bedroom scenes,
or other distractions from a simple love story, you've come to the right place.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Author interview: Anna Schmidt

Today I'd like to welcome Anna Schmidt, author of inspirational romance, historical fiction, novellas, westerns, and ebooks. This prolific lady has some wonderful stories to tell!

• Welcome, Anna. Please tell us a little about yourself.

I grew up in a small town in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia (and for our folks that's pronounced "Appa-Latch-ia"). After attending a small Presbyterian college, majoring in History, I worked as a Housemother for a year at Duke University and then went to U of Cincinnati for a master's degree in Theatre Arts. I met my husband through a mutual friend and moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where I have lived now most of my life. Larry and I had a real-life fairy-tale happily-ever-after marriage until he died in 2012. But because I believe in connections, he's always there with me as I now split my life between Milwaukee and Sarasota Florida … this Southern belle could only take so many years of Wisconsin winters!

• When did it dawn on you to become a writer?

I don't remember a time when I wasn't writing – for me from childhood on it has always been a respite and source of comfort for me.

• How did you get started writing?

I assume this means seriously seeking to be published, and that happened when Larry and I were running an adult daycare business in Milwaukee. At the same time I was a long-distance caregiver for my parents back in Virginia. I wrote a book on caregiving that was published by AARP Books. About the same time I wrote my first romance.

• How many books do you have published?

At last count somewhere around 50.

• What's your writing schedule like?

I don't do schedules – my life operates on whims. For the books I have published traditionally, the writing worked (as did my schoolwork) on deadlines. No deadline – no pressure. I feel like I'm writing all the time – I may not be at the computer or laptop, but I am watching people and going places and listening to music and reading!

• Readers sometimes imagine writers to be angst-ridden figures drinking too much coffee and pounding the keyboard all night when the muse strikes. Alternately, they picture writers to be glamorous figures signing autographs and buying designer clothes while they vacation on the Riviera. What's the reality?

Too much coffee? Guilty! Also too much crap food. All-nighters are rare, but they still happen (remember those deadlines?) Designer clothes? Only if I can find them at a thrift shop or yard sale. Riviera? Overall, I'd rather be in Norway.

• As a writer, do you ever imagine who's picking up your book, and what you may or may not mean to them?

I've been fortunate enough to hear from readers – some of whom have been kind enough to share their stories and what my story meant to them. It's a humbling experience!

• What's the most touching thing a reader ever told you?

That my characters were so real to her that she felt she knew them.

• If you could tell your younger writing self something, what would it be?

How long have you got? I guess it boils down to I would tell myself to trust my gut and instincts.

• What's the most difficult part of being a published author?

Nothing. If someone finds it difficult, he/she probably should not be writing. I count my blessings every day that I have the time and ability to tell stories that someone wants to publish or read.

• How did you come about writing for Harlequin?

Okay, this is going to give away the fact that I'm up in years, but when I first contacted Harlequin, I had no agent and the editor got back in touch and coached me in ways to make my story better before they offered a contract. That stuff doesn't happen today – not with any publisher I know of.

• What future books do you have planned or are in the works?

I have just entered the world of self-publishing. My first "book club" novel is titled "The Winterkeeper" and is available on Amazon in e-form and print. At the same time I have a western romance trilogy about the Harvey Girls coming out from SourceBooks. The first novel is called "Trailblazer" and is available now; the second – "Renegade" – will be out in June; and the third (not yet titled) will probably come late in 2019 or early 2020.

Thank you, Anna, for your warm southern hospitality. I appreciate you taking the time to interview!

You can find Anna Schmidt online at her website.

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