I’m retired from a screen printing and an embroidery business. Although I still have the machine to do small requests. My husband and I live in southern Idaho and go south to Yuma, Arizona in the winter. I joined a writing club in Yuma and they have helped me write better and format my books. Now, all I do is writing when I find the time. I write under the pen name A. Nation. It’s the last half of my real name. I chose A. Nation due to what I was writing in my first book, Similar But Not the Same, the building of a nation on Mars.
What inspired you to start writing?
I’ve always thought about writing but never kept the few stories I wrote about. They remained in my mind. Back before Amazon, there wasn’t an avenue to publish easily, and in high school, my grammar wasn’t the greatest. I saw the writing club’s sign at the library, “Do you have a story in you?” I signed up. If it wasn’t for those great friends, I would have never started writing the stories in my mind. I took a couple of English courses to refresh my grammar and use Grammarly and ProWriting Aid before I hand my manuscript over to my editor. I’ve always loved reading Isaac Asimov, Agatha Christie, Georgette Heyer, and Rita Mae Brown. As a result, I try to emulate their styles.
How long have you been writing?
Nine years. I write about three novels a year. The first two years were the learning and discovery years, then I took off self-publishing.
When did you start writing?
How do you develop your plot and characters?
I would have an idea of something that I wanted to explore or read in the newspaper. I mull the conversations and the action over and over in my mind until I make a list. This list sometimes becomes my chapter headings. This is still what I do before nanowrimo comes around. I can visualize my characters doing their actions and saying their dialog like watching a movie in my mind. For those who have never heard of nanowrimo, it’s a worldwide online event where you write 50,000 words in 30 days. My first book in that format, Where Did They Go? took me 11 days before I handed it to my editor. During last November, 2019, I finished one book, started another, and wrote a novella to attain 80,000 words during the nanowrimo event.
How do you come up with the titles to your books?
Whatever the book theme is about. My first book, Similar But Not the Same is about Aliens that look like us but are different under the skin. Found and Return is another example. My MCs travel with the aliens to find their lost brethren (Found) and return to Mars (Return). Desert Shock came about because of a body found in the desert, taking my detective on his journey. In Where Did They Go? the MC transported to a distant land. All of my titles have something to do with the plot.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When people bought my books. I had one lady who bought the third book in my urban fantasy series at an event. She contacted me though Facebook and met me at my home to buy the first and second books in the Urban Fantasy series. My neighbors always ask me when and what is my next book about. I never knew I had this ability until people kept telling me how good they thought I was.
What is the most difficult part about writing for you?
Getting noticed and understanding Amazon algorithms. Aside from that, I never have writer’s block. Time would be my enemy. Life crops up and stops me from writing, but if I need to work out a scene, I just take a walk. Some of my best scenes come from walks around the neighborhood. I call this intermittent period, “time you’re developing your next scene.” Some of my scenarios come from actual experiences, which show up in my Travel series and Urban Fantasy series. An example would be, when I set a plate on the kitchen table one day, it blew apart. Corelle dishes are not supposed to do that.
Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with your readers about?
Yes, my last published book is A Witch Comes A Haunting, fourth in my urban fantasy series. I just published a companion novella, High Flyer, that follows my science fiction, Domino Sagas. I have finished my latest novel, Mystery Along the Italian Coast, which is on preorder. It will release March 5, 2020. I’m currently working on another science fiction in the YA category, Eye of the Throne, of young humans living on an alien planet. I’m putting all of my short stories I attached to my newsletter from the past year into a book, called Short Reads 2. That will release March 31, 2020. I have a small non-fiction novella that will be released this summer, called The Night the Bridge Fell. This happened in 1971 in my hometown in north Idaho. I’m working with the police department and a few friends on this one. I have many more to write and at my age I can’t waste time. I’m 73 this March. I have a total of 15 novels, and 5 novellas. I write about three novels (65-85K) per year. Why do I write? I want to know what happens next.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Shopping with my sister. I like playing cards with friends, and traveling. We drive across the desert near Yuma with other jeepers (people who own jeeps). I still own an embroidery machine and will do crafts once in a while.
What did you want to be when you grow up?
I never grew up. Ha Ha. I’m vertically challenged at 4’11”. Since I’m retired from standing on my feet all day, retirement is allowing me to write.
How can your readers get in touch with you?
They can find me on facebook. I have two pages, one for freebies, and one for sales:
- Nation Books: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorANation/
- Nation Author: https://www.facebook.com/AnationWriter/
My webpage: https://anationauthor.com/
My Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/A-Nation/e/B00SUHXM6E
And most of all, through my free monthly newsletter they can find all the links to my books, sales, and a free short story. https://forms.gle/wnn1NUGh55EXYQM2A
I do have a blog, https://bloggingwrites.weebly.com The name may change in the future. If it does, I will let everyone know through facebook and my newsletter if that happens. I’ve connected it to facebook to broaden my readership.
My books in print and digital can be found through Amazon, Books2Read, Smashwords, Lulu, and Barnes and Noble.