Interview with J. Annas Walker

What's the story behind your latest book?
I came up with Water's Lover while very sick. I was stuck in bed and waiting for my prescription medications to kick in while listening to Craig Ferguson's late night show. Earlier in the evening, I had been reading a book about Scottish tales and folk lore. The next morning I woke up with this idea stuck in my head. I started jotting down notes but quickly found myself writing the story. By that afternoon, the rough draft for Water's Lover was finished.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I work with a published that I'm quiet fond of, but they don't accept short stories. I wanted to branch out without going to another publisher. Being an indie author gives me the chance to write without limitations. The opportunity to self publish has never been greater than it is right now. The market is growing, and the technology is advanced enough to make it happen. In minutes, my message can be heard around the minutes! How exciting!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I grew up in a culture that held on to its oral story traditions. Spinning tales and reciting old favorites was as much for entertainment as it was for the sake of tradition. Writing isn't all that different. Instead of telling the story to the people in the room, I get to spin the tale for complete strangers to enjoy.
What do your fans mean to you?
I love hearing from my fans. Without them, the stories are just for my enjoyment. It means a great deal to me to have someone say they liked what they read. No one will keep you honest quiet like a fan. They'll tell you what's great, but they aren't shy about telling you what's lacking. The feedback really helps me as a writer find ways to improve my craft. I've come a long way from my first romance novel. Fans gave me the push to be better. At one point not long after I started writing, I thought about giving it up and returning to the "real" world. What stopped me was a single three line note from a fan in France telling me they like The Lost Alchemist. I haven't looked back since.
What are you working on next?
I am in the process of adding a sideline of short stories to my romance novel series called House of Dracul. Similar plans are in the works for another serial set I already have written called Celestial Jewels. Minor characters will get their chance to be in the limelight, too. Besides that, I'm developing a short story series about a paranormal fluffy girl's romantic adventures.
Who are your favorite authors?
For modern paranormal/fantasy, I love Laurell K. Hamilton, Kim Harrison, Darynda Jones, and Jeannine Frost. For horror, no one spins a better yarn than Stephen King and Edgar Allen Poe. Don't forget the classic! I have to throw Orson Scott Card, Oscar Wilde, Bram Stoker, and Mary Shelley in the list.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Writing is a full-time job for me. Beyond that, I have a blog where I promote other authors and write reviews. Outside of reading and writing, I like to spend my free time crocheting, knitting, cross-stitching, cooking, and spending time with the kids.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first story I remember was for a fourth grade English assignment. I wrote about a little girl who wandered away from her family and got lost in the woods. Most of the animals she met were to busy to help her find her way back. The opossum was to sleepy. The raccoon was busy washing its food. The squirrel couldn't pay attention long enough to talk to her, and the rabbit was afraid. In the end, an owl she didn't notice above her pointed the way. The moral of the story was to not just look around you at the obvious things you see but to look for the things you can't. Before you ask, no I didn't get an A. I missed the part of the assignment that said the story needed to include a historical figure.
What is your writing process?
I like to have the house really quiet. I get up really early to get some writing time in before the family starts their day. I have notebooks allover the house for those moments when an idea strikes. In the car, I have a digital voice recorder to help with those ideas that creep in while I'm driving. Anything that gets jotted down in note form will get typed up early the next day.
Now, as to whether I make an outline or not, the answer is not. I found that sometimes my characters like to wander and tell their own stories. The outline becomes to rigid. Trying to force the characters to follow a path when they want to go in another direction is a sure-fire way for me to get writer's block.
How do you approach cover design?
I have a few good cover artists. They already have a standard cover art questionnaire they send along. I fill it out with details about the story and send it back. Channing Harris, Fiona Jayde, and Ash's Art and Design have made some great covers for me in the past.
What do you read for pleasure?
Everything! There isn't a genre I don't read. It isn't unusual for me to read 10th century Japanese poetry one day, a technical manual the next, and have a thick stack of fiction waiting for me on the nightstand. Reading is a gift I use every chance I get. My favorite Twilight Zone episode is the one where the guy ends up being the only person left with the library's contents to himself. Breaking his glasses was the unfortunate twist, but I can understand his joy at the prospect of unlimited time and a pile of books.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I didn't choose my E-reader. It was a gift from one of my sisters. I have a Kindle with the keyboard at the bottom. As I'm not a fan of the touchscreens, I don't plan to upgrade anytime soon.
Published 2013-09-09.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Nothing But Frogs
Price: Free! Words: 4,960. Language: English. Published: February 9, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » Chick lit, Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
Alisha is a beautiful, intelligent, red-head with a fiery passion for amphibians. She studies them for a living, keeps them as pets, and dates them. Wait! Dates them? That's right! Conner Davis should have thought twice before playing a sexual scavenger hunt with Alisha. Now, he'll never be the same again!
Spectral Heart
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 7,570. Language: English. Published: January 19, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Paranormal, Fiction » Romance » Short stories
Austin and Jody Pressman have had a rough time over the past few years. Austin’s new job offer gives them the chance to get a fresh start. After years of depression, Jody found herself childless and unable to work. A new town and new friends are just what Jody needs to get life back to normal. But the house they’ve rented comes with secrets of its own.
The Princess's Consort: House of Dracul 2.5
Price: Free! Words: 8,450. Language: English. Published: November 19, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Paranormal, Fiction » Romance » Erotic
With her sister Cassy, Princess and Scion of the House of Dracul, lost in Avalon and brother-in-law, David, in an enchanted sleep, Princess Elizabeta finds herself divorced, alone, and hunted. Can she find love and safety in the arms of a male witch? WARNING: Although not about the primary characters in the series, this work contains spoilers for Scion's Avalon: House of Dracul Book 2.
Water's Lover
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 6,400. Language: English. Published: September 8, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Erotic, Fiction » Romance » Paranormal
Ellen wanted nothing more than to go home after a miserable week of camping at the lake with Mark. In fact, she's had enough of his making her miserable in general and plans to break up with him when she gets home. Sitting by the water’s edge, she finds the lake has more to offer than beautiful scenery and sweltering heat. But will she escape Mark’s wrath and find a way to keep love’s magic?