Monday, July 17, 2006

FEATURED AUTHOR: Ann Christopher

SORMAG: Please give the readers a brief bio on you the person and the writer.

Ann Christopher:
I’m a lifelong Cincinnatian, and I think everyone should visit our beautiful city and have some LaRosa’s pizza, Montgomery Inn ribs, and Graeter’s ice cream! After college and law school at the University of Cincinnati, I married one of my law school classmates and practiced law for several years—some litigation and a lot of divorce work. When my second child was born, I quit working to stay home with the kids. I always joke that practicing law was easier than raising kids full time, but I didn’t know that at the time, LOL. A year later I started writing romances. It took three-plus years to get an agent, and several months after I signed with her she sold my second completed manuscript, TROUBLE, in a two-book deal with Kensington/Dafina. I’ve also sold two books to Harlequin’s Kimani line, and the first of those will come out sometime next year.

SORMAG: Tell us about your current book?

Here’s the premise: what would happen if two brothers fell in love with the same woman? Obviously, this would create a lot of tension over the turkey, sweet potatoes and macaroni and cheese at the Thanksgiving table. Would the hero be noble and loyal to his brother, or would love win in the end?

SORMAG: What would you like your readers to take away from your book?

I’m not sure I have any universal theme, other than the standard romance book theme, “love conquers all.” I do want readers to escape into the story, get to know several complex and, hopefully, interesting characters, have fun with them, cry a little with them, and see them overcome their problems and live happily ever after. Oh, and then there’s the sex, of course. LOL.

SORMAG: Do you ever have a hard time letting go of a character after the novel is finished?

Er … no. I lived with these characters for over three years while I wrote, re-wrote, and edited the dumb book. I joked in my blog that I often wished they’d all have a tragic car accident in chapter two and spare me from having to deal with them any more. So I was very glad to send them on their way and give them my best wishes for a long, happy, fruitful life together, somewhere far, far away from me. For the manuscript I just turned in to Kimani, JUST ABOUT SEX, which is about a sex therapist, my editor wanted me to write an epilogue, and I had a tough time getting back into those characters’ lives.

SORMAG: What do you feel is the key to writing convincing characters?

A writer has to create well-rounded characters, and by that I mean that a writer has to show the good and the bad. Sure, the hero’s handsome, but is he quirky? Is he a little too cocky? Is he filled with self-doubt? What baggage does he have? Were his parents mean to him? These are the things that draw the reader in. I’m a reader, and I love to see how characters grow, change, and overcome their obstacles. Think about it: what could be more boring than a handsome, smart, nice, sexy man who’s kind to animals and is anxious to get married, who meets a woman with all those same qualities? There’d be NO sparks, no chemistry. What a dull book that would be! See? I’m getting sleepy just thinking about it!

SORMAG: What makes your writing style unique?

Hmmm … this is one of those questions that’s not for me to answer. Readers should probably answer it. I can tell you what I’ve TRIED to do. I’ve tried to create a story that’s emotional, sexy, and funny.

SORMAG: What are you doing to promote your book?

A lot. Probably the biggest thing, besides maintaining my website and blog, was mailing bookmarks to bookstores and book clubs around the country.

SORMAG: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

How hard and frustrating it could be. Transcribing the story from my brain onto paper was really difficult, even though I love to write. It’s hard to pick the right words, describe the scene, create sympathetic characters, create believable dialogue, etc., etc. Plus, there are many, many, many, many, many … well, you get the idea … setbacks on the road to publication. I think writing is really a journey of self-discovery. You have to dig deep inside yourself, work harder than you thought you could work, and think you CAN. You have to believe in yourself, even during those times when the words don’t want to come and believing in your writing ability seems like an idiotic thing to do. Aspiring authors: don’t give up. Like Winston Churchill said: “Never, never, never quit.”

SORMAG: What do you do to make time for yourself?

Well, writing, of course, and reading whenever I can. I used to practice yoga, before my schedule went crazy, but I still exercise most days because it helps keep me sane.

SORMAG: How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)

I love to hear from readers through my website at


Gwyneth Bolton said...

Hi Ann,

Great interview and excerpt. I read Trouble and could not put it down. The book is emotional, funny and sexy--everything you wanted it to be. And Mike Baldwin, lawd have mercy, what a man! Congrats on your first novel and best of luck with the rest of your books.
By the way, I spent a lot of time in Cinci when I was doing my Doctorate at Miami University in Oxford and I so miss Graeter's ice cream.

All the best,


LaShaunda said...

Hi Ann,

Thanks so much for the interview. Its always nice to meet new authors. You book sounds interesting. Looking forward to reading it.

I think being a mom is the hardest job you'll ever have and you don't get paid. LOL! OK kisses and hugs can count as payment.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the comment! I'm so glad you liked the book. It'll be great to see you in ATL. I'd bring you some Graeter's but, alas, I don't think it'd survive the flight!


Anonymous said...

Hi, LaShaunda--

Thanks for having me here this week!

Motherhood ... Don't get me started, LOL! Most rewarding job in the world.


Vanessa A. Johnson said...

Hi Anne,
I loved reading your bio, and the excerpt definitely left me wanting to read more. Congrats on your book deals, and in all of your endeavors.

Love & Peace,

Anonymous said...

Hi, VeeJay--

Thanks for taking the time to write, and good luck with your books!


ReadinDiva said...

I left a comment, but I see it didn't show up so I am going to try again. Ann, I loved your book. TROUBLE was something else. I assume there will be a sequel. Let's hope so anyway. I couldn't put it down. Good luck with your future writings.

ReadinDiva said...

I saw my comment posted somewhere else. I have got to get the hang of this blog stuff. Forgive an old lady. I still loved the book though. Patsy, (getting read to take her medication because the mind is truly gone.) Be blessed everyone!

Anonymous said...

Hi Ann,

Congratulations on your first book! I picked it up at Walmart a few weeks ago and read it in one sitting!


Anonymous said...

Hi, Patsy and Phyllis--

Thanks for writing! I'm really glad you liked the book.

Phyllis--I'm glad you saw TROUBLE at your Wal-Mart. I haven't seen it in mine yet--


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