Interview with Anita Waggoner

What prompted you to write your first novel?
My first novel Farewell to Freedom is based on my true life experiences. When I sold my Oklahoma ranch after working my butt off for thirteen years, I knew I had to write the story. My close friends and family knew what I went through, but I felt the world would enjoy reading about life in the small cow town in Northwest Oklahoma.
How many books have you written?
I've written three novels. Farewell to Freedom, Charleston Cheat and The Ranch at Coyote Springs. I've also written a children's book Baldy Sox, a story about my grandfather's first horse; and an illustrated book of inspirational quotes called Determination. All of my books are for sale on Amazon.com.
What inspires you to write.
Most of my stories are based somewhat on personal life experiences. I combine the facts with fiction. I've been a story teller my entire life.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I love to travel and have visited many places in the world. My passion is decorating and I enjoy furnishing my home in western style. I stay active and enjoy walking, hiking, movies, dancing, fine wine, dining out, and spending time with my friends.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
While vacationing in Puerto Vallarta in the 80's I met an interesting man with a gangster backgroud. He told one story after another while sitting in the sunshine on the beach. Each evening I would jot down notes about what he'd told that day, and when I returned home from vacation I wrote a short story about Charlie the Gangster.
How do you approach cover design?
I enjoy using my own photographs and designing my own covers. I like to put photos on the covers that relate to the stories I tell.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
When I have time, I love reading books written by Daniele Steel, John Gresham, Pat Conroy and other's like them. Since I began writing my own books, I find I have little time to read others. I like romance and action and court room drama interests me as my backgroud is in the legal field.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I love marketing, even more than I like writing books. I'm a promoter and enjoy discovering marketing avenues and writing my own copy. It's a big job, and I recognize that I could use the help of a publicist, but when funds are low, I do everything myself. I use online marketing, social media, press releases, news papers, magazines, radio, direct marketing, and emails.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a small town in Northwestern Washington State. My country upbringing and rodeo background help me write new day western genre from a woman's point of view. My grandfather was a rodeo stock contractor, I spent a lot of time on his ranch as a young girl. Cowboys, broncs and bulls are in my blood.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I recently spent several months revamping Farewell to Freedom, although it won for Best Fiction in a national contest in 2011, I wanted to improve on the story line, editing, and outline of the book. The story is true, although I call it Fiction to avoid stepping on anyones toes. After my divorce I fell in love with a cowboy I met at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. I left a privileged life in the city and ran away to Freedom. I stayed for 13 years and faced every element and low life you can imagine. I was taken on a financial ride by the cowboy, but I was so far invested by the time I figured him out, I stuck around trying to get my money back. There are lots of twists and turns and surprises in my book. It was easy to write because I lived it.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
My first novel was released by a publisher who didn't live up to my expectations. They wanted more and more money for everything they did for me. It didn't take me long to figure out I made the wrong decision. So when I wrote subsequent books it was a no-brainer to self-publish. I like being in control of my own destiny.
What do your fans mean to you?
I love my fans. When I hear from women who tell me I wrote their story, it makes me happy. My fans are both men and women, my reviews are excellent, and as long as my fans enjoy my writing style, I'll continue to write my stories. I hope to see Farewell to Freedom made into a movie. I know it will get rave reviews and that my fans will be there to support me when I walk down the red carpet and pick up my Oscar! That's my dream.
What are you working on next?
I've written the screenplay for Farewell to Freedom. It's my first. I've read and researched everything I can get my hands on to do it well. I've been working on perfecting it over the last month and expect to have it ready for release very soon. Over the next few months I'll be working long hours on marketing the story to Hollywood producers. Wish me luck!
What is your writing process?
When I am involved in writing a novel I work on it several hours each day. Sometimes when an idea comes to me in the middle of the night, I get up and write it down. I like to outline the story and have everything in sequence before I start to write, it goes smoother for me when I do it that way. I like to know what the beginning will be and know the ending when I begin.
Published 2013-09-12.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Charleston Cheat
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 98,040. Language: English. Published: June 2, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action
The gambling man, Alex Vladimir was born in Charleston, South Carolina in 1932. Unfortunate situations force him to flee there on a freight train when he’s just nineteen years old. After spending several years on the run--playing poker and cheating his friends, he arrives in Las Vegas in 1959. Using the money he’s skimmed from the Chicago Mob, he buys a casino on Fremont Street.
Farewell to Freedom
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 103,940. Language: English. Published: December 6, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » General
Farewell to Freedom is a modern day western. It's a story about a woman's plight to escape the heartbreak of a divorce. She flees to Oklahoma, seeking love with a cowboy named Rowdy Harrison. Country life eventually takes a toll and her escape to Freedom becomes more than she bargained for. Suitable for male and female adult readers. The fictional story is based on the author's true experiences.