ANNETTE’S TOP WRITING TIP: Sit down, write, finish the book. Find a writer’s group or organisation and join. Interacting with other writers is greatly beneficial, even if they aren’t writing in the same genre you are.
Annette Mahon is a former librarian who likes to think that she’s moved from tending the library shelves to filling them, as both of her early publishers sold primarily to the library market. Annette writes the St. Rose Quilting Bee mystery series where a group of quilters in Scottsdale, Arizona, solve mysteries over the quilt frame, and sweet romances set in her native Hawaii. She currently lives in Arizona, USA, with her husband and spoiled Australian Shepherds. Her latest St. Rose Quilting Bee mystery is Bright Hopes, due out in September 2014.
For more information about Annette’s books visit http://www.annettemahon.com
Why do you write? I can’t NOT write. I’ve always heard a voice in my head, telling stories, narrating my life. Once I started writing stories, I can’t imagine not doing it.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a writer? I worked as a librarian before I became a stay-at-home mother, and I enjoyed that very much. I’m sure I’d still be doing that.
What was your toughest obstacle to becoming published? My own procrastination. I’ve never been able to commit to a full day of sitting at the computer. For me, four hours of writing time is doing a good day’s work.
What’s the best aspect of your writing life? The friends I’ve made among other writers, and seeing my books on the library shelves.
–the worst? Agonizing over those new pages!
What would you do differently if you were starting out now as a writer? I don’t know that I would do anything differently, as I know myself and how I work. However, it would probably be easier now just because of the internet and the simplicity of finding information. For example, you no longer have to write to each publisher for tip sheets, as all that information is available on their websites.
What do you wish you’d been told before you set out to become an author? I don’t really have an answer to this, as I was pretty well informed early on. I was lucky enough to discover RWA where there were many authors ready to offer tips and advice.
What’s the best advice you were ever given? Finish the book. When I began, many people recommended just doing “partials” to send out and not spending all the time finishing a book that no one wanted. However, new writers rarely, if ever, sell a first book on a partial, so it is essential to finish the manuscript.
Bright Hopes by Annette Mahon
Loud explosions are ruining sleep for hundreds of Scottsdale residents in the hot July nights, including members of the St. Rose Quilting Bee. Things become serious when Michael Browne, Maggie’s police officer son, is injured by one of the blasts. Then a church member dies when an explosion topples a roof onto the lounge chair where he lies sleeping. Most of the Bee members think bored teenagers may be playing with fireworks, but Edie is thinking terrorists. The others scoff, until a bomb at a power substation throws the entire neighborhood into darkness. Suddenly, terrorism is a real possibility and the national media descends on the neighborhood.
The quilting bee women work through some convoluted theories trying to get to the bottom of the “noises in the night,” as they suspect a local connection to the death of their fellow parishioner. Are there terrorists working in Scottsdale, or is it a clever murderer covering his or her tracks? To buy this and other St Rose Quilting Bee mysteries, visit http://www.annettemahon.com