With a friend like Claire, you need a gurney, a mop, and a guardian angel.
Everybody in the small town of Chapel Springs, Georgia, knows best friends Claire and Patsy. It's impossible not to, what with Claire's zany antics and Patsy's self-appointed mission to keep her friend out of trouble. And trouble abounds. Chapel Springs has grown dilapidated and the tourist trade has slackened. With their livelihoods threatened, they join forces to revitalize the town. No one could have guessed the real issue needing restoration is their marriages.
With their personal lives in as much disarray as the town, Claire and Patsy embark on a mission of mishaps and miscommunication, determined to restore warmth to Chapel Springs —and their lives. That is if they can convince their husbands and the town council, led by two curmudgeons who would prefer to see Chapel Springs left in the fifties and closed to traffic.
I met Ane several years ago when I first started attending ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) conferences. She was the friendly lady with the ready smile. If you've ever traveled across the country to attend a BIG conference, without knowing a lot of people, you really appreciate someone like that. Since then, our friendship has grown. Ane cheered me on when I got my first publishing contract, and now I'm thrilled to see her dream come true.
Let's get to know her a bit.
Megan: When did you first discover that you were a writer?
Ane: I loved to write when I was a kid, but I was too ADHD to sit still long enough, so I told stories. That got me into trouble when I was in elementary school. It was show and tell day and I told. My teacher called it lying and sent me to the principal's office. He and I became good friends after he suggested I play out the stories with my dolls. I did and some went on for days as the heroine got in and out of pickles.
Megan: How do you choose your characters’ names?
Ane: I have several sources:
I also like the Social Security site for the most popular baby names by year. You can put in the year your character was born and choose.
Then I use the BabyName Survey Book. It tells you what people think of or the image they get with names.
After I've done my character interview, I begin to write. However, I've often had characters that refused to go by the name I've given them. As soon as I changed the name, they story wrote itself.
Megan: What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Ane: That would be the character's motivation. I could get the goals and create the conflict, but motivation eluded me for a long time. Then I took a course on PlottingVia Motivation. I took the course, and that really changed things for me. I learned how the character's motivation drives their decisions and thus the plot.
Soon after that, I learned about the Lie people believe about themselves. This translates to fictional characters beautifully. I studied these 8 basic Lies and discovered how motivation rises out of the Lie.
Now, I spend a good two weeks to a month learning about my characters before I move beyond that first what if.
Megan: What advice would you give to an author just starting out?
Ane: Enjoy the journey. Don't be in such a hurry to publish that you miss the networking and friendships within the business. Nobody understands a writer like another writer.
Megan: What would you like to tell us about the featured book?
Ane: I loved writing this book. It grew out of an actual event in our older son's life. An event he didn't tell us about until it was a done deed. Now, in his case, it turned out to be wonderful. But because he didn't tell us until afterwards, I said it would go in a book. And it did. And no, I won't tell you what he did. You'll have to buy the book to find out.
Megan: How can readers find your book on the Internet?
And I understand my publisher is putting it on sale for Valentine's Day. I believe that will be on Amazon and the LCP store.
While a large, floppy straw hat is her favorite, bestselling novelist Ane Mulligan has worn many: hairdresser, legislative affairs director (that's a fancy name for a lobbyist), drama director, playwright, humor columnist, and novelist. Her lifetime experience provides a plethora of fodder for her Southern-fried fiction. She firmly believes coffee and chocolate are two of the four major food groups. President of the award-winning literary site, Novel Rocket, Ane resides in Suwanee, GA, with her artist husband, her chef son, and two dogs of Biblical proportion. You can find Ane on her Southern-fried Fictionwebsite, Google+, Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, and Pinterest.