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If you'd like to know a little more about 'Yours Truly' - I've been interviewed HERE

12 October 2011

Anne Albert - Frank, Incense And Muriel

I'm really pleased to welcome Anne Albert to my blog today. Make yourself at home, and do help yourself  to something refreshing while I ask you a few questions.

So tell us, when did you start writing?

AA: I’ve been writing for ever. It began as snail mail letters to friends and family members. I’d write pages to my husband’s grandmother and she always said I should be a writer. I never took her seriously because in my mind, ordinary people did not write books! Then, many years later, it occurred to me that perhaps I could. I had no idea how to write a full length novel, but I was determined my story would have a dead body, puzzle to solve and fun, memorable characters!

HL: What have you learned about writing since you were published that surprised you the most? 

AA: When I first began writing, I took the advice of several published authors who advised beginners to keep track of how long it took them to write a book. I did this and found it takes 6-8 intensive weeks to write the first draft. Now that I’m published, I’ve come to realize it’s outdated and no longer applies. The world of publishing has changed dramatically. Now, most authors must promote themselves and their books online via websites, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc. This chews up huge hunks of time and greatly reduces the number of hours devoted solely to writing. Had I known this earlier, I would not be so far behind on deadline!

HL: What’s you’re writing process? Has it changed since writing your first book?

AA: I’m a pantser, but I’m certainly not a free-wheeling, free-spirited pantser! The first scene has to feel just ‘right’ before I can move on to writing the rest of the story. I write 10 to 20 versions of the first scene. Most are variations on a theme, and the process is often two steps forward and one back, but I’ve learned to accept it. This is how I write (and how I’ve written five books – three unpublished and two released by Vanilla Heart Publishing). Has it changed? My editor requested a synopsis for book number three last spring so she could design the cover. I gladly provided it, and then began to write the story. I’m ashamed to say I am fighting this book tooth and nail. It feels all wrong! I hate feeling confined and vow never to repeat this mistake again. My wonderful editor will just have to wait…hmmm, perhaps I’m more of a free spirit that I thought!

HL: If you were an animal, which one do you think you would be, and why?

Definitely, a cat. I love their independent spirit. They tolerate humans, but can never be truly tamed or controlled. They’re playful, self-indulgent, and smart. They lounge wherever they please, groom themselves regularly and religiously and make me smile. I particularly enjoy this Youtube video dedicated to cats. It’s not an endorsement, it’s just a fun watch!

HL: Aw, how cute! Tell us about your latest release.

AA: FRANK, INCENSE AND MURIEL is set the week before Christmas when the stress of the holidays is enough to frazzle anyone’s nerves. Tensions increase when a friend begs Muriel to team up with a sexy private investigator to find a missing woman. Forced to deal with an embezzler, kidnapper, and femme fatale is bad enough, but add Muriel’s zany yet loveable family to the mix and their desire to win the coveted D-DAY (Death Defying Act of the Year) Award, and the situation can only get worse. This cozy, comedic mystery is recipient of the prestigious 2011 Holt Medallion Award of Merit.

What are readers saying? “Anne K. Albert's…wit shines through this lightly suspenseful novel and her characters ring sweet and true. Can't wait to read more about Muriel, Frank and the rest of the gang.” ~ Amazon

“Laugh out loud funny in places, and that's my favorite kind of book. I was totally entertained by Frank, Incense and Muriel.” ~ author Marja McGraw 

HL: Well, sadly we're nearly at the end of our interview.  Before we read an excerpt from Frank, Incense and Muriel, tell us where can readers reach you online?

AA:  They can visit my website http://www.AnneKAlbert.com/ and blogs http://anne-k-albert.blogspot.com/ and http://muriel-reeves-mysteries.blogspot.com. I’m also on Facebook www.facebook.com/annekalbert and Twitter www.twitter.com/AnneKAlbert. 
USA buy link: http://www.amazon.com/Frank-Incense-and-Muriel-ebook/dp/B004CLYDRO/
UK buy link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Frank-Incense-and-Muriel-ebook/dp/B004CLYDRO 

Thanks for featuring me!

Frank, Incense and Muriel

“Remember Rachel Queen?” Frankie asked.

I felt my eyes bug out of my head. That’s what this was all about?

“The girl who asked you to the Sadie Hawkins Dance?” I asked. “The one who spent more time with you behind the bleachers than on the dance floor?”

“Whoo-hoo! I always knew you were jealous of her.”

I felt the heat rise to my cheeks. The only thing worse than a twenty-eight-year-old woman who still had the audacity to blush, is a know-it-all macho jerk who just happened to be right.

I had been jealous of Rachel. Probably still was if I stopped to think about it. The blond, curvaceous cheerleader may have struggled to get a passing grade in every subject but lunch, but she never failed to get the attention of the male species. Or more importantly, one in particular. Imbedded inside my brain for all eternity was an image of her and Frankie locked lip-to-lip and hip-to-hip at the only school dance I ever attended.

Brushing away the memory to the recesses of my mind, I plucked an imaginary piece of lint from the sleeve of my sweater.

Frankie rubbed his palms together. “Invite me inside, Muriel. Listen to what I have to say. If you decide you don’t want to help in the investigation, I’ll leave. I’ll even promise never to darken your doorstep again.”
Although the prospect of his never darkening my doorstep again greatly appealed to me, my brain focused on the one word I suspect he knew all along I would be unable to dismiss.

“Investigation?” I heard myself ask. “What investigation?”

“I’m a private investigator. I’ve been hired to find Rachel.”

“And you have proof of this? The part about you being a PI, I mean?”

Pulling a small leather case from his inside breast pocket, he flipped it open and held it up for me to read. In bold, black print was the name Salerno Investigations beside his photograph. Below a local address, phone, fax, email, and website information. As far as I could tell, it looked legit.

Returning the identification to his pocket, he arched a brow. “Well? Are you going to invite me in, or what?”
I asked myself that very same question, and then slowly stepped back to open the door. I had a sinking feeling I was making the biggest mistake of my life. I wanted to blame it on my morbid curiosity about Rachel and what had become of her, but I knew I’d be kidding myself. My interest lay solely in Frankie.
And he knew it.

Bio: Anne K. Albert’s award winning stories chill the spine, warm the heart and soothe the soul…all with a delightful touch of humor. A member of Romance Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and married to her high school sweetheart for more than a quarter of a century, it's a given she'd write mystery and romantic suspense. When not writing she loves to travel, visit friends and family, and of course, read using ‘Threegio’ her cherished and much beloved Kindle 3G!

What an intriguing excerpt, this sounds like such a great read! Thanks again for a fascinating interview, Anne, and wishing you much success in the future.

'STARQUEST'    'CHILDREN OF THE MIST'  (The sequel to Starquest)  Dancing With Fate      'Freeread':'A BARGAIN WITH DEATH 'STARQUEST'    'CHILDREN OF THE MIST'  (The sequel to Starquest)  Dancing With Fate      'Freeread':'A BARGAIN WITH DEATH'

                  Also available on Kindle