Why do you write fiction?
I’m fascinated with stories and thus aspire to be the best storyteller I can be. I think fiction does so much for us. It entertains but it also enlightens. It provides a safe venue for sharing our scary experiences and then allows us to laugh at those things which frighten us. I love to read so I write.
Please tell us about your book. What ideas or images inspired this novel?
The idea of Bone Girl first came to me in the summer of 2011. The main character, Josey, has been with me ever since. I started researching the book that fall by sitting quietly in the back of a beginning band class and listening as the band teacher taught 11-year-olds to make music. During the past month, formatting and polishing Bone Girl has consumed me. I’m excited and pleased that it’s published now, and I’m also a little bit relieved. A long journey has ended.
Do you have an ideal reader in mind when you write? If so, please describe that reader.
For my romance and mystery novels, my ideal reader is someone like me: a woman who has experienced some of life’s highs and lows and desperately wants something, usually to make a home for herself and those she loves. But Bone Girl is different. For this book, I see a child, age 9-12, who feels so little control over her world. I remember that feeling. I hope the book encourages young people that even when it seems impossible, they may have the answers to problems that overwhelm.
Please describe your writing routine.
I rise at 5 a.m. and write before my son wakes. If he gets up before I’m done composing 1,000 words, I write during my lunch hour at my day job. Sometimes when I’m stuck and a blank computer screen stares back at me, I remember a trick taught to me by author Deborah Wiles. I make lists. For example, right now I’m writing a scene that takes place at Arctic Thunder, an air show held in Anchorage every other year. I’m unsure how to describe the setting, so I make lists of the things I remember when I attended this event years ago. The hot summer sun reflects off the black airfield. The smell of jet fuel mingles with the aroma of grilled hot dogs. It primes the mental pump.
What advice do you give new writers just starting out?
You are going to hear no so many times, especially if you choose the traditional publishing route. So grow thick skin and do NOT give up. If you struggle to believe in yourself, then turn to your characters. Believe in them. Don’t you want their stories to be told? Okay, well, then you don’t have the luxury of quitting. Also, forgive me if this sounds harsh, but anyone can do your day job. You are replaceable. But only you can tell the stories that are within you. Only you.
More about Bone Girl:
Eleven-year-old Josey Miller knows two things: it’s her fault Mama left, and she will do anything to coax her back.
When Mrs. Casey, the new music teacher, starts a band at Bennett Springs Middle School, Josey sees it as her chance to finally belong to something and convince Mama to visit for her concerts. The only problem: there’s no money for a clarinet, what with Dad laid off and fighting to keep their farm.
But things start looking up when Grandpa Joe gives Josey an old trombone to play, and Mr. McInerny starts boarding his high-dollar Arabian stallion with Dad. Nobody can train horses like Josey’s father. And that’s good because Chief is dangerous.
When her father and the stallion go missing during a 50-mile endurance ride in the Ozark Mountains, can Josey bring them safely home?
How to connect with Annette:
Thanks for reading!