Interview with Anna J. Adams

What's the story behind your latest book?
I wrote a few Harry Potter Fan Fics and the ones I enjoyed the most were Draco and Ginny based. However, once I began writing Draco and turning him from the kid we know from "Harry Potter" into someone we couldn't hate, I began to seriously change who Draco really was...making him into something that didn't resemble Rowling's character at all. A friend who was writing Harry and Hermione Fan Fiction suggested since Draco was so "out of canon" that I make him into my own character.
So, I wrote a scene in which "Sam" is making fun of a new foster child in the school. Once that scene was written (one of the first times you read about the three of them--Sam, Rob and Lane--in LANE CHANGES) the rest of the story fell into place and I put FanFiction behind me and moved forward with my LANE CHANGES characters!
When did you first start writing?
I was a young teen and upset I hadn't been kissed. For some reason, I thought all 15 year olds had been kissed except me, so I took my frustrations out on scrap paper one summer. I would write out the typical "teen girl likes a boy, becomes friends, gets kissed" and then I'd stop and write another story! Before I left for college, I trashed them all not wanting my parents to go through my room and find them!
I didn't write anything for about 12 years (not counting college work) until I began writing Harry Potter FanFiction around 2004. Then around 2005, I wrote my first non-fanfic story which is still sitting in my STORIES folder. I began working on LANE CHANGES around 2006 when it was originally called FOSTERING ROB. Since then, it has had at least five beta readers, numerous edits, a professional edit and is now published for anyone to read!
"Lane Changes" seems to be more than one genre and you referenced John Hughes in relation to this series...why?
First, I'll address the genre question: LANE CHANGES started out as pure YA Romance; a love triangle of sorts. Then, a fellow author read it and said there wasn't any conflict, so I thought about what the current conflict in schools is and bullying came to mind. In addition to the romance there is now a mystery on who is harassing Lane and why.

Regarding John Hughes. This is a saga about Lane, her friends and family. What formed them, how they became who they are by book three (and maybe beyond, into adult years--hint hint). As I was describing this series to a friend the movies by John Hughes hit me. "Breakfast Club", "Pretty In Pink"...they all were about teens wanting to fit in, thinking they knew everything about everyone but finding out they really don't. So, I equated the premise of this series to John Hughes movies.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born and raised in Maryland. I lived for five years outside of Washington DC, then moved to Frederick County, MD. I've lived here since I was five, with a brief stint outside of Boston for three years. Maryland is what I know and love. My characters live here, LANE CHANGES is based in a fictional town in Maryland, Lane (the main character) vacations in real places in Maryland. She and her friends will attend (in book two) colleges within Maryland. Stick with what you know, is my motto, and I know Maryland.
What do you hope readers will "get" out of your book?
I want older high schoolers, and college kids in the second book, to understand that flying under the radar is okay. There is no set age for having your first boyfriend or girlfriend, that sex is something to take seriously and having sex can have very adult consequences. Understand that even though you think someone else has 'greener grass' on their side of the fence, once you get to know them it usually isn't the case. Everyone has issues they are dealing with whether it's problems at home, a disability, a sickness or not having enough money to do things many others do. Sometimes you may have something in common with the least likely person...if you take the chance in getting to know them.
Also, Lane is a teen, she thinks she knows everything and has all the answers but sometimes thinking that way can get you into trouble...
(I'll just stop right there as I don't want to give away too much of the book!)
Describe your desk.
This is tricky.
The desk in my head is a nice walnut colored desk with a comfy chair, a file cabinet drawer where I can save all my receipts and files. A nice hutch with a bulletin board between the cubbies so I can tack up the timeline for LANE CHANGES and keep my notes in a nice order.
In reality, the desk I have is a shared desk with a desktop computer. My kids use it for various activities (usually downloading or practicing music), it has bills strewn across it, a random pen, probably a checkbook, some concert tickets stuck near the side of the speaker and monitor. Also, a microphone attached to the computer for my kids' Smart Music assignments. It's not exclusively mine. My laptop is my desk. I write in different areas of the house (usually away from loud tv or a snoring cat) and make notes/write in MS Word and save it to a file on my laptop.
What are you working on next?
Right now, book two in the LANE CHANGES SAGA is written and has been self-edited a many times. I currently have a beta reader reading Book two which is entitled, LANE DIVIDES. When my reader is finished, I will reach out to the professional editor who helped with LANE CHANGES and send it to her to mark up. Book three is written but not fully edited yet however, the working title is LANE MERGE.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I have a large yard and it needs to be mowed, which I am kind of anal about, so I spend about two hours a week from April-October doing that.
I have children in the high school marching band so helping with that organization and going to competitions/football games keeps me busy in the fall.
I also teach so September-May I am busy with young children and lesson planning.
I love to read and watch the Washington Capitals. I will also catch an Orioles game and Redskins game if they are on and I'm not too busy. I DVR and watch when I can: The Middle, The Goldbergs, Outlander, Big Bang Theory.
My daughter and I foster kittens from May to about August so we constantly have two or more in our care. Some are pretty easy, others need high level care to become healthy.
If I could go to Disney and Universal Studios every day, I would. Unfortunately, Florida is a few states away from Maryland!
Do any of your characters reflect how you were as a teen?
My motto is "Write What You Know" and that's what I try to do.

We are/were similar in many ways;

--Lane is not popular
--Lane has a small group of good, well rounded friends. She doesn't drink, do drugs or go to crazy parties. (At least in high school!)
--Her first job is at a movie theater. I worked at one as well, but it was my second job in high school.
--She works very hard to not make fun of people and to befriend the outsiders which is something I tried to do while in school. To the best of my ability.
--She get embarrassed when friends talk about sex or she sees couples making out in the hallway.

However, Lane's family life is quite different from mine:

--Her father is dead while my parents are alive and still married.
--She is a star swimmer while I enjoyed track and field.
--Lane is somewhat of an overachiever in the grades department while I was an A and B student-except in most Math classes where I was happy with a C.
--She doesn't have any pets while I've grown up with cats and fish and currently have a cat and dog.
--We don't look anything alike, except for the blue eyes!
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Having to pee.
CBS This Morning.
Foster kittens who need to be fed and cleaned up!
Seeing my children go off to school. Even though they are self sufficient, I know there will come a time when my last one is in college and the other two are on their own and I will not be able to get that time back!
Published 2016-06-19.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Lane Divides
Price: Free! Words: 86,460. Language: English. Published: February 26, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » New adult, Fiction » Coming of age
(5.00 from 1 review)
Lane Meyers' life settled down as she entered college. Her boyfriend, Rob, was doing well in the Army. Sam, a fellow swimmer and high school classmate found his niche in dating other girls. Over a tumultuous four years, Lane realizes whenever a Meyers, Holland and Seeley are in the same area she can't divide her attention equally so a decision must be made: Sam or Rob?
Lane Changes
Price: Free! Words: 88,080. Language: English. Published: June 19, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Romance, Fiction » Coming of age
(5.00 from 1 review)
What should be a celebratory year--new boyfriend, new friends, star swimmer--closes when high school senior Lane Meyers is held captive by a harasser, whom she viewed as a friend. This final act forces Lane to change her thoughts about relationships, love, sex, mental illness, the future and the direction her life is taking. Hopefully, college will have a lot less drama.