Anne Wheeler [author interview]
Anne Wheeler is the author of the awesome Asrian Skies series. I did an author interview with her for the release of the third in the series Shattered Honor. (See my reviews of the second, Unbroken Fire, and third Shattered Honor.) Asrian Skies is a fairly hard sci-fi story with a female lead and a set of complex characters, to the point where some of us find the bad guy strangely relatable #TeamChase.
Anne Wheeler Interview
Describe your writing process, what, where, when and how please?
I work full time, so you can find me in the evenings (usually after my son’s bedtime) flopped on the couch typing on my laptop. And that’s basically all I do—sit down and type. When I started writing, I didn’t know that plotting or pre-planning was a thing, and even though I’ve tried outlining, it just doesn’t work for me. So, I let my character characters lead the way—I write slowly and intentionally, and let them overcome situations I throw at them in the most logical way. Some people call it driving by the headlights. I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen in six chapters, but I see what’s going to happen in the next scene. Yes, you can write an entire book that way!
How do you find writing your previous antagonist as a protagonist?
It was absolutely fascinating. To take someone who some readers loved and some hated, and to try to make him sympathetic without excusing or condoning his actions was such a challenge. With Avery taking a backseat in Shattered Honor, it was fairly easy to flip the story around and make Chase the hero of his own story. It’s obviously only in his mind—a more heroic protagonist wouldn’t second-guess his actions and do some of the things Chase does, but he’s got goals and he’s got motivation.
How do you deal with the stranger reviews?
Well, I don’t read my reviews much anymore, so I don’t really know about them unless someone else points them out.
I know you agonise over the publication, what do you do to help you publish?
Not reading reviews anymore helps a lot! Other than that, knowing I have a core group of readers waiting on the next book is very encouraging, and so is simply changing my mindset—I realize write niche fiction. It’s not for everyone, and I know that. I just have to trust that the right people are going to find it and the wrong ones aren’t going to bother reading it.
Tell us about the fairy tale?
The fairy tale began as a kind of joke—my readers are pretty open about their desire for Avery and Chase to be together, and while I wasn’t going to write fanfic of my work, it occurred to me that I could take the basic premise and turn it into a cute little enemies to lovers short story. That short story turned into a novella then into a short novel, all in the course of a month. Its roots are obvious to those who’ve read Asrian Skies, but it’s a different story in a different world with different characters and as many fairy tale references as I can shove into 60,000 words. And it may be illustrated! In short, it’s just fun a project with none of the angst of my Shadows of War series (for the author, at least). I’ve just booked a cover slot, and I’m looking forward to sharing it with everyone in 2020.
What do you enjoy about writing, that makes you come back to it?
It still amazes me that I can create an entire world in my head and people will enjoy reading it. It amazes me even more that they’ve asked for another book! How can you say no to something like that?
Read More of Anne Wheeler
Anne has a website where she blogs, and you can find out more about her books http://www.anne-wheeler.com/books/. Anne also has an active twitter account, see below.