Interview with Ann M Pratley

Who are your favorite authors?
Since I was a teenager I have been reading Stephen King, enjoying his way of 'getting inside my head'. As I've gotten older my reading interests have expanded out into other genres. At the moment I am particularly enjoying reading books by authors I've never previously heard of - there is so much talent out there that simply never gets noticed! But who are my favourite authors - well I guess one of the authors I have read most regularly is Cynthia Harrod-Eagles. Her Morland Dynasty books I can read over and over again! But some new authors I've discovered this year include Warren Dean, James Paddock, Mark Len Mayfield, Bonnie Ferrante and Harley Turner - all writers who were new to me in recent months but whose books have had me captivated from the first word.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I am a morning person so I get out of bed to simply get on and get moving! Since making more time for writing, I find myself eager to get out and get my computer turned on at the moment.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I do writing of various kinds, including CV / resume writing for large employment companies. But most of my relaxation time is spent reading, gardening and walking.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
This year I discovered Goodreads and I love reading recommendations in there about different books.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Ahh, well the first story I ever wrote - back in 1991 in an old hard cover diary - was Total Freedom. This was the first book I published as an ebook, in 2015. It was a story that I remember being passionate about when I wrote it, being 21 years of age at the time. I remember being eager to get home from work and continue writing what was going to happen with Debbie, Craig and Stephen, the trio in the story - like they were new friends I'd made and I just couldn't wait to hear how their day had been!
What is your writing process?
I have never had any formal writing tuition or training so when I write, I am writing pretty much as I hear words in my head. It is almost as if I am standing in front of someone and telling the story, as I would voice it.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I don't know what was the very first story I read, but certainly there are some from my childhood that have remained in my thoughts and I still have the books in my home today, having never wished to get rid of them. One of the earliest that I still remember and have was called The Wicked Wicked Ladies in the Haunted House by Mary Ellen Chase. I can still pick that book up today and read it with the same emotions it invoked in me ~40 years ago.
How do you approach cover design?
Cover design is one of the hardest aspects about writing, I am finding. When writing a story it is easy to visualise something in your head, but there is no way of knowing if the person who reads the book will visualise the same thing. With ebooks being so easy to change and re-upload, this year I have been experimenting with different covers and seeing if any seem to make any difference in the book sales.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
My five favourite books? Oh, that is a tough question! Books that I can read again and again would I suppose comprise:

1 - Flowers in the Attic by Virginia Andrews (plus the three that follow in the series)
2 - Mr Mecedes by Stephen King
3 - The Founding by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles (plus the 37-ish that follow in the series)
4 - Finding Her Wings by Harley Turner
5 - Misery by Stephen King
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Book marketing is still something I am experimenting with. Although I have been writing stories for a long time, publishing (self publishing) them is something I've only been doing since October 2015 so all aspects of it are new to me. I am enjoying trying different things but I suspect it will take a lot longer for me to find what works for me, and my stories.
Describe your desk
My desk is wherever I set my laptop down. Sometimes I am at home, at the dining table. Sometimes I am in my public library. In summer I have been known to 'set up shop' on a bench in the botanical gardens, enjoying fresh air and sunshine while typing. Wherever the mood takes me ... that is my desk for that moment.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book 'Painful Deliverance' is one of three that are all being released within a short time span. The series covers the story of a young woman who has been in a relationship with an older man, for three years. Over that time he has come to discover he enjoys pain being delivered to him, and initially she enjoys pleasing him with it but over time the delivery of that pain starts to impact her psychologically and eventually she goes on the run to try and escape him. It is a darker kind of story, with aspects of obsession, stalking, escape, but also an underlying love story that grows from her escaping the man she was with. It isn't light reading - certainly not a story that will be everyone's preference for storyline - but so far readers seem to be enjoying it.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Writing provides a form of escapism, I suppose. Some people dream of a different life, others write about that other life I guess. I am finding it quite addictive as when writing I find that I start to know the characters so well that I actually look forward to seeing the journey they are going to take me on. And it does feel like that - not that I am taking the characters on a journey, but rather that they are taking ME on the journey!
What are you working on next?
The first story I wrote, Total Freedom, a reader recently asked me about what happens next and I took a while to think about that before sitting down and starting a follow on story! When I wrote that story I was in my early 20s and so was the main character. Now I am in my 40s and I am writing this new story - Total New Beginnings - in this time for the main character, after her children are grown and she is going through the empty nest stage of life. (Something I am experiencing at the moment too!)
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Today, in August 2016, I am coming into Smashwords for the very first time! But I am here because I have read good comments from other authors who publish through Smashwords, and I am hopeful this is the start of a new, exciting journey for me as a writer.
Published 2016-08-23.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Diamond of War
Series: Forbidden Conflicts. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 67,370. Language: English. Published: August 15, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense
A night of theft is coming for two families. The only problem is that they both have their eyes on the same prize. One side is calculated, precise and patient. The other is impulsive and reactive. Amongst this two young people on opposite sides will be brought close together, escaping as best they can as they rely on one another for safety and support. From this an unlikely friendship will grow.
Alessandra
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 97,280. Language: English. Published: May 12, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical, Fiction » Women's fiction » Chick lit
Two virgins meeting for the first time through an arranged betrothal find deep love, great passion and the strongest desire for one another through equality in their inexperience and eagerness to learn and discover...
Ruby of Law
Series: Forbidden Conflicts. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 83,590. Language: English. Published: July 1, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense, Fiction » Romance » Suspense
Two people are brought together by fate as a young woman is saved from a potentially horrific situation late one night. Her saviour is rugged. He looks like he could snap her in two. She is accepting that she's in a situation she might not survive. But instead of hurting her, he only helps her. Can first impressions be so deceiving? What will happen when they learn the truth about each other?
Amethyst of Youth
Series: Forbidden Conflicts. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 88,380. Language: English. Published: June 1, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Coming of age, Fiction » Romance » Suspense
The Stonewarden family have been wardens of gems for generations. As the way people live has changed, so has this family's ways of living. All members must become part of the working jewel thief gang when they turn 19. The youngest of the family, Charlie, is against doing what her father and brothers do. During a shooting she meets Ash, someone also desperate to be free of his parents lifestyle.
The Golden Supremacy
Series: Golden Desires. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 61,240. Language: English. Published: March 24, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
Trent and Isabella. Lovers brought together by destiny. What has it planned for them now?
The Golden Desires
Series: Golden Desires. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 65,300. Language: English. Published: March 1, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Romance » Fantasy
They dreamed about each other across distance & time, and finally found one another. He can only see her and only she can see him. What does it mean? Is he a ghost? Or is there a much greater power controlling their destiny?
Darkness of Heart
Series: Painful Deliverance. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 56,330. Language: English. Published: December 6, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
She got away from him to start a new life. She moved on. But in his mind, he still loves her and needs her. He still believes that she loves him. That she is meant to be his. That he is meant to be hers. He will not give up searching for her. He will not give up fighting for her. He will pursue her and stop at nothing to get her back. But it will come at a cost .. a sacrifice he won't see coming.
Painful Deliverance
Series: Painful Deliverance. Price: Free! Words: 78,750. Language: English. Published: November 3, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
She just was not made for delivering pain. She has to get away ... escape ... start over ... begin a new life. A life without pain.
Total Freedom
Series: Total Freedom. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 67,240. Language: English. Published: November 1, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » New adult
They met in their teens as two misfits who would go on to become incredible friends whilst sharing their love of music. But which man should she love?