As promised we're doing things a little differently over here at the blog in 2012. On Wednesdays we're going to start doing author interviews. I want you to welcome our very first interviewee, Ann Swann, author of the YA paranormal The Phantom Pilot. I subjected Ann to ten questions. Let's find out how she answered them.
What's your book/current WIP about?
The Phantom Pilot was published at the end of December by Cool Well Press. It is a coming-of-age ghost story set in the 1970’s in which a small plane crashes in Jase’s backyard, and the ghost of the pilot begins haunting him. Jase turns to Stevie, a girl in his class, for help. He thinks she is brave because he saw her going in the town’s haunted house all alone. The story is as much about their developing friendship as it is about the ghost!
Care to share your favorite line(s) from your story?
When Jase first sees the plane crash, he rushes to the field to see if he can help. As he is leaning down to look inside the upside down plane, wondering how many people were inside, a voice behind him says, “I was alone. We all are.” And then Jase looks up into the face of the phantom pilot whose silver eyes match his silvery hair.
What's your next project?
I have short stories coming out in two anthologies. The first one is “The Soul Gardener,” a story about a soulless shape shifter. It will be in the TIMELESS antho being published by Cool Well this month. The other two short stories are “Skeleton Rock” and “The Blister Bear” which will be included in CAMPFIRE TALES, to be published later this year. In addition, I am working on the sequel to THE PHANTOM PILOT, as well as another short story for an anthology called TERMINUS X. It will also be published late this year, I believe.
Describe your writing in a sentence.
No matter the genre, though I tend toward the supernatural, my stories are always character-driven.
Do you choose character names or do the characters whisper them in your ears?
They whisper them, and sometimes SHOUT them out loud!
Plotter or panster?
Little of both. I have to know the basic ending of the story, then I plot loosely as I go.
Do you like background noise or do you prefer a quiet space when you write?
I like music in the background. Usually the radio or my iPhone plugged into the Bose. On Friday nights I listen to WKIT, Stephen King’s classic rock radio station. They play all live music on Fridays.
What are you currently reading?
Oh dear, I’m trying The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, again. It’s so slow in the beginning! And I’ve recently read several by authors at Cool Well. Our editor, Denise Vitola, has several science fiction novels that I haven’t read but which garnered awards and movie/tv buzz. They’re next on my list. I also read Flying to the Light by Elyse Salpeter, and All the Paths of Shadows by Frank Tuttle at CWP. And I can’t forget, I’m reading the rewrites of my daughter’s book, A Heart on Hold. She writes historical romance and is repped by the agent Kimberly Shumate.
What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview and how would you answer it?
Seriously, the first question you asked was the perfect one! I tell everyone not to waste time reading my bio—on my blog—www.annswann.blogspot.com—because it’s my characters they should get to know, they are the ones with the interesting stories to tell.
People think I'm weird because...
My sense of humor is twisted. I like to look at situations from the side rather than straight on. Gives one a different perspective, and often a funny one. When my boys in “Skeleton Rock” are being chased by a well, a skeleton, I can’t help but see the humor in that, so of course, the boys did, too.
What do you do when a phantom appears in your closet, needing your help? Do you run screaming into the night? Or do you enlist the aid of a friend, arm yourself with knowledge, and wade right into the ghostly fray? Find out what Jase does in The Phantom Pilot.
THE PHANTOM PILOT is available at Amazon, Cool Well Press and Ann's blog. Be sure to drop by and tell her hi!
That is a beautiful cover! Thanks for hanging out with me today, Ann. Good luck with your writing and congratulations on the releases coming out!