About Annette Bower:
Annette Bower’s day-to-day experiences as a nurse, administrator, town councillor, teacher’s assistant and student means that her stories are the real thing because they are about you and your neighbors. Her short stories and novels are read around the world. Her romance novels are set in Saskatchewan because she believes home is as exotic as anywhere else in the wide world she has visited.
What inspires you to write?
I am inspired to write about women’s roles in families, in communities and women’s emotions at the beginning and end of love.
I believe that the only happiness in life is to love and be loved. I see people in my neighborhood and think about who they would love and who would love them. Then I make up a story. I also like to learn about different issues in our world, so I will research and weave that into the relationship because I don’t believe that love happens in a vacuum, but in our communities. I also allow my readers to imagine the intimacy in a relationship rather than describe it.
Tell us about your writing process.
I am a seat of the pants writer. I begin with an idea and then I invent the main characters. I will decide on their age, their birth order in a family, their occupation. Then I will search for images in magazines or the characters in my neighborhood or my travels, to assist me in building a physical presence.
A character’s name is very important. Many years ago in a university class, my professor stated that we become our names. I want my characters to be and grow into their names.
I assemble a character book with pictures of clothes they might wear, cars they might drive, furniture they might have in their surrounding. Music they might listen to, art they might have on their walls. These details may not appear in the novel, but they are built into my understanding of who my hero and heroine are.
I begin using pen and paper for perhaps the first couple of chapters before I transcribe onto the computer and then, I’m away with the computer, unless I get stuck, then it is back to pen and unlined paper.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I am a linear writer, so I begin at the beginning and work toward the end. My characters talk a great deal on the page in the first draft, then after that I add in the setting and emotions.
Some scenes that I write in the first draft may be deleted in subsequent drafts but I’m in control.
What advice would you give other writers?
Begin to write.
Again another professor told me that we write what we read. This is true for me, I read books with both a relationship and a life issue. I also read non-fiction books about relationships and love.
If publishing is important to you, write short stories and submit them for publication. These successes kept me writing until the novels were published.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I always wanted to be published by a publisher. Because of my short story publications, I was used to working with editors and meeting deadlines.
Decide if you would like to have print copies of your book to sell. If this is the case, then find a publisher who will provide that opportunity. However, I have discovered that distribution is difficult, especially if like me, my publisher is in the United States and I am in Canada.
Decide where your talents are and use those and allow someone else to do the work they are good at.
And even if you are published by a publisher, you as the author have to market, because in the end you really want people to experience your book. Good luck.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I believe that book publishing will continue. It may be in formats I cannot imagine, but books will be necessary.
I use audio books. I read electronically and print.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: fiction, contemporary, romance, women’s fiction, short story,
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.