Updated: Aug 13
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Creative Spotlight on Author Ann Charles
This creative spotlight on author Ann Charles, USA Today Bestselling Author, gives you more insight into who she is and how life has influenced her writing. As a mother and author myself, I loved chatting with her via the recording above. Such a fantastic person with an amazing personality.
Tell our readers briefly about yourself.
I'm a USA Today Bestselling Author who has published 35 books in five different ongoing series. I write mixed-genre tales that blend mystery, humor, adventure, supernatural suspense, romance, and more. I live in the mountains in Arizona with my husband, two teenagers, and four cats, and I enjoy long-distance road trips and hiking.
Can you tell us about your most recent release? Album? Song? Art piece? Etc.?
The Backside of Hades is the 4th novel in the ongoing Deadwood Undertaker series, which I co-write with my husband, Sam Lucky. This series is a historical western set in the Dakota Territory (Deadwood, South Dakota) and blends in humor, mystery, and supernatural elements.
What inspires you?
I enjoy the happiness and emotional harmony that comes with a good story. This is why I like to write fiction. I hope to share some smiles, laughs, and a few cringes on the page with readers.
What is your creative work routine like? Do you balance it with another job?
Writing is what I do for a living. Some days while in the thick of writing a book, I aim to write 2000+ words a day. Other times, I'm either working on marketing endeavors, sharing real-life fun on social media, toiling away at bookkeeping, or daydreaming about my next book.
Do you plan out your creations? What is your creative process like?
I do some planning--just enough to convince my right and left brain that I have a solid story to tell. After that, I write scene-by-scene, tracking the story's progress at a high level to make sure I cover the points that need to be nailed in the story.
Do you have a self-care routine, or do you want to have one? What do you do or wish that you did to take care of your mental health?
I do some yoga and pilates. I try to meditate during the week but often end up cleaning the house instead. I watch movies and shows that allow my brain to relax, and I read fiction books whenever I can.
What is your favorite creation thus far?
My two kids are my favorite co-collaboration with my husband so far. LOL. I really enjoy each series I work on, so I don't have a set favorite. Each book I write feels like a "favorite" when I'm in the thick of writing it, and then I start the next.
Do you have a character that is your favorite over others you've written into creation?
Not really. I enjoy main and secondary characters in each of my series, including the villains. Villains are fun to write. I love to grind my teeth at their antics while writing about them.
Are there any recurring themes in your work?
Well, I try to use a different "theme" and "premise" for each story, making sure the scenes within keep those individual themes in mind. However, since my books are parts of series, there are mystery, supernatural, treasure hunting, and humor themes that run throughout.
What does success look like to you, considering your creative passion?
Success is emails and other forms of contact by readers who laughed, winced, cried, and smiled as they read the stories and are excited to not only read more but tell others about my books.
What has been one of the biggest lessons you've learned since starting this journey? I go by many different names, depending on who is talking to me. I grew up with my father giving me nicknames left and right--so many that, at one point, I wondered if he even knew my real name. That opened the door to being okay with going by many names.
What advice would you share with new or aspiring authors/singers/artists/etc?
Perseverance is key to success. Writing is not an easy business. Making it a career is tough and involves a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. But the high moments make it all worth it. There is nothing as emotionally lifting as when a reader writes to share how your story made their day/week/month better.
Where do you get your ideas for world-building?
Real life is full of great fodder. There are so many things that happen in real life that make me think, "There's no way anyone is going to believe this really could happen."
What genre do you prefer to read?
Anything with humor and a touch of romance.
What hobbies do you have?
Not many outside of writing. This takes most of my time. I do enjoy watching movies and reading books, as well as hiking and exploring the countryside on long road trips.
Do you have any outside experiences that influenced your work?
I was a technical writer for over a decade, which helps me to organize my thoughts and writing. I have kids, so I've experienced a lot due to being a parent. I've also traveled a lot, so I draw upon those experiences.
Where can our viewers/readers/listeners find you and your work?
www.anncharles.com lists all of the links to my books, which are in ebook, print, and audiobook format.