Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Straight From the Mouth of 'Dancing in the Flame' Ann Gimpel

Ann Gimpel is a clinical psychologist, with a Jungian bent.  Avocations include mountaineering, skiing, wilderness photography and, of course, writing.  A lifelong aficionado of the unusual, she began writing speculative fiction a few years ago. Since then her short fiction has appeared in a number of webzines and anthologies. Several paranormal romance novellas are available in e-format. Three novels, Psyche’s Prophecy, Psyche’s Search, and Psyche’s Promise are small press publications available in e-format and paperback. Look for two more urban fantasy novels coming this summer and fall: Fortune’s Scion and Earth’s Requiem.

A husband, grown children, grandchildren and three wolf hybrids round out her family.

Her latest books are Magic’s Daughter & Dancing in the Flame.

Visit her website at www.anngimpel.com

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Thanks for letting us interrogate interview you, Ann!  Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?

I'm actually a psychologist who happens to enjoy writing fiction. It's a "retirement" career for me. I write because I love it. Hopefully, along the way, I'll provide a smidgeon of entertainment for a fan or two.

Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be?  I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?

I wrote a blog post a while back titled: The Writing Life isn't Anything Like I Thought it Would be. And it's not. None of this retire to your humble study and simply write. There's editing and marketing, both necessary evils added to the mix. While there's a part of me which enjoys editing, I have an eternal struggle with marketing. It feels unnatural.

Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?

Traditional. I never had any interest in self-publishing. For one thing, writing is a pretty solitary business. With traditional publishing, I actually have people to talk with. The acquisitions editors, for example. Or my content and final line editors. Then there are the discussions with my cover artists. Keep in mind, all that comes along with a traditional publishing contract. I don't spend any money to publish my books beyond what I allocate for advertising. For what it's worth, I believe writers need to have at least a couple of sets of professionally trained eyes weigh in on manuscripts in addition to whoever they use as betas.

Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?

Like I noted above, writing is a "retirement" career, so I actually have the time to put into it. My kids are long since grown and I have a very tolerant husband.

This is for pet lovers.  If you don’t own a pet, skip this question, but do your pets actually get their food on time or do they have to wait until you type just one more word?

I have the three most spoiled dogs in the world. They not only get fed, they get a 4-10 mile walk every day. It gets me away from the computer, which is a huge plus and keeps my body from deteriorating into a blob.

This is for plant lovers.  If you don’t own a plant, skip this question, but if you do, are they actually still alive?

Barely.

In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late?

I ignore the phone. Sometimes we have popcorn for dinner. I'm my own boss, so the latter isn't a problem.

What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?

Probably the most annoying was back when I was into getting SF/F short stories published. One magazine, which shall remain nameless, had a policy of accepting stories "up to 10,000 words." I'd subbed a story to them, waited through the requisite several months, and finally got an email back from the publisher. They loved my story. There was "nothing wrong with it." But, oh gee, it was too long. Odd, it was under 10K words, albeit not by much. I went back to their website to see if they posted a preference for shorter stories. Nope. Anyway, it's long since sold elsewhere, but this is a really subjective business. I've almost come to believe the acceptances don't mean much more than the rejections other than I managed to find someone who really, really likes my writing.

How about the social networks?  Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?

Gawk! I used to be a really private person. I've trained myself to use FB, Twitter and GR on a regular basis. Pinterest looks interesting, but there are only so many hours in the day.

Book sales.  Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)?  How are you making the sales happen for you?

Well, I do blog tours. I have carefully tended presences on Twitter and FB and GR. I belong to groups which tweet for me. In turn, I tweet for them. I've come to believe sales are a combination of luck and magic. I've had titles which have sold a couple thousand downloads and other which have sold, maybe twenty. Same writer, same style, different setting and characters. I've reluctantly come to the realization that lots of skin sells covers. Like many other acquisitions, books are spur of the moment, I want that, purchases. By that token, a great cover and intriguing blurb will sell books.

What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?

Aw, sweetie, I spent too many hours in my therapy chair counseling others who actually did things like that.

Okay, too much sugar for you today!  Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in.  Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?

I'd write even if I never published another thing. Stories run around in my head and nag until I give them a platform. I've made a bunch of wonderful new friends in the publishing industry and I've learned an enormous amount. Like any skill, writing improves with practice and time.

1 comment:

Ann Gimpel said...

Thanks so much for hosting me! Nice to be here.