By Deena Adams
Author, Ann Brodeur responded to my call out on the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) Facebook group for authors to share an interview on my blog. I was so excited when I learned her debut novel would release on November 6! I love supporting Christian authors, especially those new to the publishing world.
Please take a few minutes to get to know Ann through the Q&A in this post, then visit her website and social media pages and follow her. If you purchase and read her book, please leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, and any other book seller platforms you can. Reviews are gold for authors!
Now, let’s get to know Ann.
How and when did you start writing?
I’ve been writing ever since I can remember. In Grade 5 I won a writing contest and had the chance to go to an event held at the local university where kids got to meet children’s authors. I learnt a lot about the publishing industry at the time – though things have changed quite a bit since then. When I was 10, I had a dream of someday becoming a famous Christian author. I’m not there yet, but I’m slowly working toward that goal.
What unique challenges does writing a romance present?
I think the unique challenge romance authors are faced with is keeping the hero and heroine together for 90-95% of the time. If they’re not together on the page for that amount of time, it’s not romance, but more general or women’s fiction with strong romantic elements. It’s even more of a challenge writing romance in the inspirational/Christian vein because there are those moral values that need to be there. So, if people get thrown together in a situation that could tempt them to sin, the author has to find a solution or create a “safe” space for the scenario to work in a Christian-context.
How do you incorporate Christ and hope into your writing?
For me it’s an organic thing. I know the backstory of the character and know where they are in their faith journey. And I realize that not everyone is a believer, so sometimes it becomes tricky weaving that line through the text when secondary characters are anything but believers. The faith thread has to be subtle before your character comes to the realization they are not in the right place with God.
Hope comes from the story and the way things wrap up at the end. For my inspirational stories, it’s hope in God. For my sweet romance stories, it’s still an aspect of faith, though not quite as strong as my inspirationals.
Are any of your stories inspired by true events or personal history?
The current story on submission was inspired by the testimony of two women in my Bible Study group. One woman had been out for a morning walk and was struck by a vehicle. She ended up with lots of broken bones and was in rehab for three months. They didn’t think she’d walk again her injuries were so extensive.
The second woman and her husband had just adopted two girls – sisters. Eight weeks after the adoption had been finalized and the girls were settling into their family, her husband dropped dead of a heart attack. In my novel, I’ve taken both testimonies and combined them in my Main Characters and just started asking those ‘what if’ questions to see where the story would take me.
How many hours a day do you spend writing?
I write when I can. I have a preschooler at home and we’re homeschooling this year due to COVID. My writing time is limited, so when I do get a chance to write, it’s totally focused. Social media goes off, I close my email apps and just focus on writing the story.
What does your writing space look like?
It’s a desk in our kitchen. My husband bought me a second-hand desk just after I started submitting my first manuscript. Up until then I was writing on my laptop in our living room on our couch, surrounded by cardboard boxes with my notes and research books. Occasionally I’ll go back to the couch and write if I need a change of scenery.
What did God teach you through the writing of Snowbound in Winterberry Falls?
Each book I’ve worked through has taught me to trust God and listen. I try to pray over the words before I start so that it’s God’s story being written, not mine. Those days I’ve struggled with word count or just making the story cohesive are the days I’ve forgotten to ask God to direct. It’s so important to stay close to Him, especially when I’m writing stories with a strong faith element.
What do you hope your readers take away from the book?
I hope they realize there is a God who cares about them and who knows about their struggles. That God loves them and gave them the most precious gift they could ever receive – salvation.
Which character in Snowbound in Winterberry Falls was easiest for you to write and why?
The easiest character to write was Tilly Miller. She’s a secondary character, but inspired by my best friend. In some of the scenes where Tilly is featured, I had to ask myself – what would Heather say? It was fun.
Which character presented the biggest challenge?
I think the biggest character challenge was the senator and the police chief. Both are in powerful positions and could use their intimidation tactics any way they pleased. They’re also men, so they talk and think differently than me.
Besides posting comments on your website, how can your readers and fans support you?
If you read Snowbound in Winterberry Falls, please leave a review on GoodReads or on Amazon! You can join my newsletter to keep up to date with news, follow my Facebook page or follow my Pinterest page.
Join the conversation. Do you enjoy reading Christian romance? What interests you most about Ann’s debut novel? All those who comment and provide your email address by November 15 will be entered to win an e-copy of Ann’s book. Winner will be contacted November 16.
ANN BRODEUR is an award-winning novelist who writes inspirational and contemporary romances offering sweet hope and happy endings.
When she’s not reading, writing, chasing after her kids or enjoying long chats with her husband, Ann can be found drinking coffee, that’s been reheated several times throughout the day. She aspires to someday drink a hot beverage in one sitting.
Join other readers in finding out the latest news from Ann and for bookish fun, by signing up for her newsletter.
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SNOWBOUND IN WINTERBERRY FALLS by Ann Brodeur (Click book cover for Amazon purchase link)
Unwrapping their past – one secret at a time.
Owning her own PR firm is all reporter Stephanie Clark wants for Christmas, but the idea of running a prestigious election campaign in the country’s capital throws her stomach into knots. A last minute vacation road trip to focus and seek God’s direction for her life ends up in disaster when she gets caught in the worst snowstorm to hit Vermont in over a decade, crashing her into a small town and the one person she’d rather forget.
Former photojournalist Jason Miller hadn’t planned on being solely responsible for saving his family business from financial ruin. He’s barely keeping the newspaper in print, his News Editor has gone AWOL during the town’s most celebrated holiday festival, and reports of missing Christmas decorations have everyone on edge.
When a desperate knock at the newsroom door brings a ghost from Christmas past back into his life, can Jason make up for his prior behavior without breaking his promise to Stephanie’s father? Will Stephanie’s quest to solve the town’s Christmas caper—and uncover the truth about Jason’s disappearance—cost her everything she’s ever wanted?
Released November 6, 2020 by Anaiah Press