November 25, 2011

Mystery We Write Nov. 2011 Presents Anne K. Albert

Bio: Anne K. Albert’s award winning stories chill the spine, warm the heart and soothe the soul…all with a delightful touch of humor. A member of Romance Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and married to her high school sweetheart for more than a quarter
of a century, it’s a given she’d write mystery and romantic suspense. When not writing she loves to travel, visit friends and family, and of course, read using ‘Threegio’ her cherished and much beloved Kindle 3G!

Anne is also an original member of the first 2011 Mystery We Write Blog Tour. You’ll find my interview with her here: http://www.bethanderson-hotclue.com/blog/2011/07/24/presenting-anne-k-albert-on-the-mystery-we-write-blog-tour-2011/.

Thanks for featuring me today, Beth, on Day 1 of the second 2011 Mystery We Write Blog Tour. You asked me to discuss the hardest thing I had to learn on the road to publication. Like most writers, I studied point of view, transitions, dialogue, conflict, etc., but something other than the
actual process of writing had me stumped.

Self-confidence has always been my Achilles heel. I first realized I had a major problem when at a writer’s workshop the guest speaker began by stating it’s natural for a writer to be her number one fan. Everyone clapped and applauded that statement.

Me? I realized I was my greatest and most ardent critique. Even when I placed in the top three or won writing contests, I belittled my achievements. I even caught myself rationalizing there must have been so few entries in such and such a contest that my story was simply the best of the
worst!

That all changed during the summer of 2009. It was taking me forever to get into a book written by a well known author who shall remain nameless. I didn’t care about the protagonist. The author’s use of language pulled me out of the story. Reading was work. Finally, frustrated and annoyed, I closed the book and vowed not to read another word.

“I can write better than that,” I said. For the first time I realized I meant every word. I could write a better story. In fact, I’d written five. But where were they? Collecting dust in my home office.

Why?

I undervalued my skill and ability. Who needed to worry about publishing gatekeepers when I was doing such a fantastic job of sabotaging my career before it had even begun?

I thought long and hard about this, and eventually resubmitted my work. This time I submitted with passion and conviction. Two months later, I was offered a publishing contract.

Has my self confidence soared? A little. The truth is I’ll never become an ego-maniac, but I’ve come to appreciate myself, my abilities, and my books more. This past June I received a little help when my first book, FRANK, INCENSE AND MURIEL, received the 2011 Holt Medallion Award of Merit. I felt like the actress Sally Fields when she won the Oscar. “You like me! You
really, really like me!”

All joking aside, here’s the story blurb:

FRANK, INCENSE AND MURIEL is set the week before Christmas when the stress of the holidays is enough to frazzle anyone’s nerves. Tensions increase when a friend begs Muriel to team up with a sexy private investigator to find a missing woman. Forced to deal with an embezzler, kidnapper, and femme fatale is bad enough, but add Muriel’s zany yet loveable family to the mix and their desire to win the coveted D-DAY (Death Defying Act of the Year) Award, and the situation can only get worse. This cozy, comedic mystery is recipient of the prestigious 2011 Holt Medallion Award of Merit.

To read a sample of Frank, Incense and Muriel click here: http://amzn.to/pg67sx.

Thanks again, Beth. I always enjoy dropping by and chatting
with you!

Visit Anne online at her website http://www.AnneKAlbert.com/ and blogs http://anne-k-albert.blogspot.com/ and http://muriel-reeves-mysteries.blogspot.com.
She is also on Facebook www.facebook.com/annekalbert and Twitter www.twitter.com/AnneKAlbert .

CONTEST DETAILS: Comment to WIN!
Three names will be selected at random from comments on all 14 of Anne’s Mystery
We Write Blog Tour guest appearances. Winners will receive an e-copy of FRANK,
INCENSE AND MURIEL, book one of the Muriel Reeves Mysteries. Visit http://tinyurl.com/3hzpqvv for her schedule and contest details. Good luck!

Here’s where you can buy Anne’s book:  http://www.amazon.com/Frank-Incense-and-Muriel-ebook/dp/B004CLYDRO/

Thanks for visiting, everyone, and don’t forget to comment for a chance to win this book.

Cheers, Beth Anderson

 

 

 

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Comments

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  1. Great hearing from Anne–our fearless tour guide–on the first day of our blog tour. Amen to “I can write better than that,” I said.!!!!
    Great getting to know you better, Anne.

    Madeline

  2. Thank you so much for featuring me today, Beth! It’s always such a pleasure to stop by and chat. 🙂

  3. Loved your post, Anne. I think all of us writers have days when our self-esteem isn’t where it ought to be. Especially when sales aren’t what we’d hoped for, but that really shouldn’t matter.

  4. Anne, I know a lot of readers are glad you found enough confidence to submit your novels. A lot of what you said struck home with me, too, but I think over-confidence is worse. In the theater world, they say opening night butterflies are a good thing. It makes you try harder.

  5. I honestly never imagined I’d say ‘I can write better than that’, Madeline! But when I did, I realized I meant every word. 🙂

  6. Hi Marilyn, I know we shouldn’t worry about sales, but we’re human, right? How can we not?

    Good sales numbers are a validation for what we do, and I’ll admit I need that kind of encouragement to continue. Okay, yes, I’ll write even if no one is reading, but it’s nice to have an audience. Even if that audience is one or two readers!

  7. So true, Earl. I’ve known a few writers who had more confidence than talent and eventually it caught up with them.

    One man is a marketing genius. He sold a gazillion copies of his first book, because he is an amazing salesman. But those same readers who paid good money for his first book refused to buy his second release.

    His abundance of confidence in book 1 backfired. Which is really sad because he improved immensely from book 1 to book 2, but no one cares.

    Thanks for dropping by!

  8. Great to hear that another writer was her own worst critic! I totallly relate to that, Anne, and need to get over that lack of self confidence. Thanks for the encouragement of your story!

  9. Sue, one thing that will help you is to walk into any bookstore and take a good look around at all the books, then say to yourself, “Every one of those authors was unpublished once upon a time, and if they can all do it, so can I.” I remember that as having been one of my most helpful moments when I was just beginning to figure out how to write a book. I remember vividly looking around at all those shelves of books and thinking that.

  10. Great post Anne. I think I’m much like you. I wasn’t ready for my publishing contract. I only wanted feedback and it won the contest. I always worry about whether readers will buy the second book after the first. A hopeless worrier!
    Wendy
    W.S. Gager on Writing

  11. Great post, Anne, and thanks for heading this blog tour! Wish I didn’t have to work; I could spend so much more time reading everyone’s blogs!

  12. Oh, Anne, that was great, and I can really relate. When someone says they enjoyed one of my books, all I can think is, “Really? Why?” It’s great to be humble, but I have to say I truly enjoyed Frank, Incense and Muriel.

  13. Anne, thank you for your thoughts about self-confidence. Doubts get to all of us, but it’s so important to work through them. We write because we must. It’s a pleasure to know you even better. Thanks for creating this tour. So far, it’s been a joy.

  14. Wonderful, honest post, Anne, and I can certainly empathize. Even after all these years of writing, I still wonder if someone is just being kind when they say they like my books. But, as Earl said, “overconfidence is even worse.” As long as we strive to improve, our work will only get better.

  15. Jean, I think you’ve hit on the reality of success. I never even think about competing with anyone but myself. My intention is always to get better with each book and so far I think I’m doing that. Really, I can’t ask anymore than that.

  16. I’m a day late reading your post, Anne, but it was just as good today!

  17. Anne, I think self confidence is the bane of every artist’s existence. I suffer it, like you, as a writer. My husband, a talented classical guitarist, suffers from it. So does my daughter, a talented actress. It’s the price we pay for our creativity.

    Frank, Incense and Muriel is a WONDERFUL book! I just finished reading it, and there were times I laughed so hard I cried. Yet, it’s a serious mystery, despite the humor. Don’t put me in the contest to win a copy (duh, I must already have it, if I just read it), but anyone who wins a copy is a lucky, lucky reader!

  18. Anne, I loved your “lack of confidence” insights. About three years after my first book came out, I received the audio version in the mail. I was driving down the road, listening to my own words being read back to me by a very talented professional and suddenly it dawned on me: that’s MY book, and it’s pretty darned good!
    Sounds like your ah-ha moment was something like mine. Great blog.

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