Author Interview with Anne Norchi-Iglesias

Anne Santoro is finishing up her junior year in high school, in her new home town in Upstate New York. She is reminded of a tale she was told as a child of the witch’s house. The house was on the road she and her family took to get to the beach. She and her best friend Colleen McFadden decide to visit Smithtown, NY, where Anne grew up, to see if the witch’s house is still there. Anne has kept parts of her life on Long Island to herself and faces painful moments when she returns. How will her best friend react?
As a child, Anne anticipated seeing this house with every trip to the beach. Is it still there? The quest becomes more than just finding the house. It becomes a search to find a young Native American Indian girl who disappeared over 100 years ago. Finding clues to solve this century’s old mystery is tough enough, but when deciphering a ghost’s way of communicating, tough takes on a whole new meaning.
What will Anne and Colleen discover? Follow them on their hunt to find the Witch’s House and see if they uncover the answers they’re looking for. The Road to Long Beach and the Witch’s House is a story of mystery and suspense. The adventure brings to light the weight of being bullied and how passing judgment on others can last through centuries of time.

The debut novel from Anne Norchi-Iglesias, The Road to Long Beach and the Witch’s House, is set to be released on September 2nd.  I spent a little bit of time chatting with her about the book and what inspired her to write it.

What was your inspiration for this story?

I saw a video on Facebook that said, “You know you’re from Smithtown (NY) if this is the road you took to get to Long Beach.”  It brought back great childhood memories, because that is where I grew up and that was the road we took to get to Long Beach. It reminded me of the tale my sister told me at a very young age, like maybe 4 or 5, about the witch’s house. It was a crumbled down house that sat up on a hill in the woods. It intrigued me, even at that young age, and I would always ask, “Did I miss the witch’s house?”  While watching this video, I wondered if the house was still there (41 years later, lol). Then I thought, “Wow, that would make a really good book title: The Road to Long Beach and The Witch’s House.” The thoughts and ideas started to stream into my mind and I decided I was going to write a story about it.

I see you have some paranormal elements in your book.  Do you believe in ghosts?

I do!  The spirit world has been an interest of mine for quite a while. I love cemeteries, metaphysics, ghosts and paranormal phenomena. A few of my children are sensitive to energies and spirits. In one house, they used to tell me things, little things, like footsteps and things moving, but I brushed it off a little, because I didn’t know how to handle it. Then in another house, a Victorian home that was over 100 years old, there was a lot of activity. We had a picture of a little girl in my daughter’s closet, another daughter saw apparitions, and we all heard unexplained noises. There were other things, and on occasion I would ask the spirit(s) to stop because they were making us uncomfortable. The activity would stop. We had an investigative team come in, and they had some voice and noise recordings.

From your Facebook page, I see that you’ve taken a lot of elements out of your real life and incorporated them into the story.  Do you think that made it easier or harder to write?

In many ways, it made it easier. I loved finding ways to fit in snippets, like birth dates, names, remembrances. One I have not mentioned is a tribute to my bus driver’s daughter Rene. I named the bus driver in my book Rene, as a remembrance because she was a sweet girl and unfortunately committed suicide. I felt strongly about giving her a presence.

What’s your favorite book?

Wow, that’s hard. I have a favorite from each time period of my life: Harold and the Purple Crayon, Dr. Seuss’ Are You My Mother?, Pippi Longstocking books, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, and as an adult, Colin Powell’s autobiography My American Journey. As an adult, I didn’t read often, as I have five children and life was busy and hectic.

Where’s your favorite place to write?  What’s your writing process like?

I wish it were at my roll top desk that is in a little bay window nook, looking out to my back yard.  Reality is, I sit at the kitchen table, the living room couch so I can be with family, and most often, in bed. I have Fibromyalgia, and I am more comfortable in bed by early afternoon.

I start off mind dumping the basics of the story. I don’t pay attention to anything proper, just getting my thoughts out. Then I break it up into short chapter summaries so I can see how the story will move from beginning, to the middle, and to the end. Then I write. The chapter summaries are just guidelines so I don’t digress. Somewhere in the mix, I write up the character’s personality traits. Once I start to write, the story and characters take on a life of their own. I often visualize myself in the scene as any one of the characters and ask myself (based on the character’s traits), what would I do or say. I have a goal to write 500 words per day minimum no matter how bad it is. Often, it is much more than that.

Real books or e-readers?

Both 😊 Reading takes a large amount of energy for me, so I save my reading for bedtime and read with a Kindle Fire. However, I LOVE books. I love the feel, the smell, the graphics, the fonts. Everything about them. Occasionally, I’ll take a book out of the library (one of my favorite places) because I enjoy reading an actual book.

How long have you been writing?

When I was very little, before I could even write words, I would sit at my little brown desk in our den and scribble write on paper, then staple the pages together to make a book. As a teen, I wrote poetry and short stories. As an adult, I wrote short family stories. The thought of writing an actual book has been on my mind since my late 20’s, but I didn’t know what to write about. Now I have about ten ideas in the waiting.

Do you have any other books in the works?

Yes, there are about ten ideas. Starting in September, I will be working on three pieces. The Gravestone That Calls Your Name, 13 Eerie Tales, and a play based on a local legend in Berlin, NY, The One Week Bride.

Where can we find your book?

It will be published as an ebook on September 2, and it will be available on Amazon.com. People can follow my Facebook page to keep posted on details and the Amazon link when it becomes available.

How can everyone reach you?

Facebook.com/IndieAnnie and  @carms57 on Instagram

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*Now Available* – In a Sky Full of Stars

I’m so happy to let you know that my latest story, In a Sky Full of Stars, is officially available on Amazon!  This story encompasses dragons, eclipses, and the difficulty of being human.  It’s just a short one this time, but it’s one that I’m really in love with.

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*Author Interview- Ashley O’Melia*

Check out my author interview from Jenny King!

Itsjennythewren's Blog

Its that time again! Grab a cuppa and sit back and read on 🙂

Tell us a bit about your book

In a Sky Full of Stars is a story about a girl in a fictional feudal village.  Her mother is a laundress and not very well liked by the rest of the townsfolk.  Her father had been the village storyteller, but he has been gone for several years.  As Perspica helps her grandmother prepare for their a special event the day of the solar eclipse, she finds that her entire life can change in a matter of minutes.

20257990_1530363753652912_5445901263471101977_nWhat would say is the genre for your book

Fantasy, for sure, but not the kind of epic fantasy that you see on the bookstore shelves.  My favourite stories are the ones that bring a little bit of magic into someone’s real life.  The Wanderer’s Guide to Dragon Keeping was the…

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Share Your World Challenge from Cee’s Photography

With perhaps the most interesting interview questions I’ve seen in a long time, here’s my Share Your World Challenge from Cee’s Photography.

List some of your favorite types of teas.

I love tea.  We have a whole shelf dedicated to it.  I like iced tea, but only if it isn’t too sweet.  For hot tea, I’m pretty crazy about Celestial Seasonings.  Tension Tamer and Sleepy Time are the best, and I love that they put little collectors’ tins inside the boxes at Christmas time!

Yes, this is actually my kitchen cabinet. There are a few more boxes, too.

If you had to describe your day as a traffic sign, what would it be?

Today has been one of those that’s partly productive but with plenty of interruptions.  Watch for Falling Rocks, maybe?

What are a couple of things people could do for you on a really bad day that would help you?

When I dropped my daughter off on the first day of first grade at a new school, I was so worried about her.  She didn’t know anybody, and I just felt awful.  I held myself together until I had to turn my back and walk away.  My husband leaned in and whispered, “Come on.  Let’s go get you a Cherry Coke before you go to work.”

Also, I like chocolate, burgers, Star Trek, and good beer. 😊

Irregardless of your physical fitness or agility, if you could be an athlete what would you do?

Not swimming, because I’m terrified of the water.  Maybe some equestrian sports or archery.  Are there any official cat cuddling competitions out there?  I could so win one of those.

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Book Release Party!

Hi, everyone!  I know you haven’t heard from me in awhile.  Let’s just say it’s been a rough summer.  Somehow, amidst all the chaos, I did manage to write another story!  It’s just a shortie, but I’m ready to let it run free!  Come on over to my Facebook page to join the party.

Also, I would love to have some author takeovers.  If you’re interested, just let me know and we’ll get it set up!

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Noodler’s Ink – A Review of Black Swan in Australian Roses

Thanks to the iPen subscription box, I’ve recently become fascinated by fountain pens. I never thought they were a very practical option as opposed to a good old ballpoint, and they’re not when the pen in question is being carried around in the bottom of your purse for months on end. But as a desk pen, and one that is used to create magnificent plots and deep characters, I’ve found they’re excellent.

But of course a fountain pen requires ink, and I recently went shopping for some online. While there are many factors to consider (including how waterproof they are) I was mostly concerned with color and price.  (Enthusiasts are gasping right now. )

On my starving artist budget, I decided to try Noodler’s Ink. It’s pretty cheap ($12.50 for a 3 ounce bottle) and comes in tons of colors.

Passing up Heart of Darkness, Bad Belted Kingfisher,  and Dragon’s Napalm (yes, those are actual color names and they’re awesome!) I settled for Black Swan in Australian Roses.

First, I was delighted with the artwork on the box and the bottle. This doesn’t have anything to do with the quality of the ink itself, but it was definitely entertaining! Also,  a 3 ounce bottle is pretty sizable. That’s a lot of ink!

I just love the color of this ink! The name is quite appropriate, as it comes out as a blend of almost-black and a deep wine.

This paper is not made specifically for fountain pens, but it’s a nice smooth paper that works well regardless. Writing on paper that is more textured and absorbent doesn’t create an effect quite as pleasant, since the ink really soaks in.

Black Swan in Australian Roses has been such a pleasure to write with that I’ve already had to refill my pen. Fortunately, I know I’ll be able to do that many times over!

The one downside I’ve noticed is that the ink is rather strong smelling. It’s an odor that reminds me of rubbing alcohol mixed with paint. I’m only really aware of it when I’m doing a lengthy bit of writing and I’m right over the page. I don’t mind the smell, but I think it’s worth mentioning since I haven’t noticed this with other inks.

Overall, I highly recommend this ink. Your results may be different depending on your pen, nib, and paper, but for creative writing by hand it’s lovely.

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The Elusive CV – How to Get Credits on Your Writing Resume

When I wanted to get into writing professionally, it was instantly obvious that I had nothing to show to any potential publishers or clients.  Like most people who had found writing to be their passion, I had spent much of my life writing but had very little to show for it.  Nobody was going to care that my poetry had made it into a high school magazine back in the day or that I had filled quite a few notebooks with rhymes and short stories.

I read quite a few books on the subject, but I didn’t find a whole lot that helped.  I plunged in headfirst and did the best I could, and I managed to start building up a pretty decent CV.  There are still many more things I want to add to it, but considering that my freelancing business currently keeps me glued to my desk, I would say it’s doing the job.

Make a Portfolio:  Even if you don’t have any credits, you can still show off your writing skills.  Put together a portfolio that represents your best pieces in all genres you have worked in.  This gives a potential client or publisher an example of your abilities even if nobody else has given you a chance before.

Start Local:  Local businesses often need a little bit of help with brochure copy, web content, or blog material.  Call them up, ask for the office manager, and tell them what you can do.  It’s a great opportunity to get a little bit of experience under your belt, as well as a reference to throw on your resume.

Use Your Connections:  Do you know someone who runs their own business?  Have you noticed that your buddy’s website is consistently filled with typos?  Offer your services!  You can work out payments or maybe barter for their services, or even just do some work for free in exchange for using them on your resume.  (Please, please don’t ask your friend if you can use him as a reference without doing any work.  I know people lie on resumes all the time, but that doesn’t make it right.)

Freelancing Websites:  The first time I tried eLance (now Upwork), I was completely discouraged.  It seemed impossible to land jobs, and most of the listings I saw offered very little money.  I gave up and didn’t think about it for a few years.  When I came back, I had more motivation since I had quit my job and gone back to school.  I started out with several jobs that paid literally next to nothing ($5 or $10).  Don’t overlook these opportunities, because they show up on your job history on your profile.  They prove that someone gave you a shot and that you did well!  Soon enough, I was landing much bigger jobs and finding plenty of work.  Many people put down these websites, claiming that they are a complete ripoff for freelancers.  I have acquired several jobs that paid $1,000 and up, so I tend to disagree.

Start-Up Magazines:  If you’re looking for some publishing credits, start submitting to smaller, start-up literary magazines.  These are usually based online, require no reading fee, and have less competition for publication.  While they might not hold as much weight as some of the larger mags, they’re a great place to start.

Get Outside Your Comfort Zone:  Just because you have never done something before doesn’t mean you can’t.  When I got my first offer for a ghostwriting gig, I was terrified.  I had never done anything like that before, and now I had committed to writing an entire book!  I dove in and did the best I could.  My client was very happy with the work, and ghostwriting is now the vast majority of my freelance work.  If someone offers you a job, go for it!

Take every opportunity you can to build up your resume.  It’s going to take some time and lots of calling and emailing and submitting, but it will happen.

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