Today I’m happy to introduce you to author Annette Drake. She has answered some interesting interview questions, and you’ll also find info on her book CELEBRATION HOUSE, available from Tirgearr Publishing. Annette, take it away!
1) Welcome, Annette. Tell us a little about yourself, and what inspired you to become a writer.
Books have been some of my closest friends. I think it’s just a natural extension to write. Also, I have all of these voices in my head. That’s only okay if you’re a writer.
2) Tell us what CELEBRATION HOUSE is about.
CELEBRATION HOUSE is a paranormal romance about a woman who moves to a small town in Missouri and restores an antebellum mansion, which she then opens as an event venue. It combines my love of old houses and the American Civil War with my background in cardiac nursing.
3) It sounds wonderful! If you were casting the movie version of CELEBRATION HOUSE, who would you choose for the leading roles?
It’s frightening how much time I’ve spent thinking about this!
For the main character, I see Sandra Bullock. For Maj. Stewart, only Hugh Jackman. There’s one scene where Carrie walks in on a poker game in the kitchen. In this scene, I’d love to see Ryan Lewis and Macklemore as two of the ghostly Civil War soldiers.
4) Ooh, that’s one movie I’d have to see! On a different topic, tell us about a hidden talent you have that most people don’t know about.
Yikes! I don’t know if I have one. Um, uh. Okay. Got it. I’m a fast typist. It used to be 100wpm, but now more about 60 wpm or so.
5) What’s your favorite comfort food?
There’s a chocolatier in my community who makes these amazing triple chocolate biscotti. I dip them in my coffee in the morning and yum! This is how I like to start my day.
6) Yummy! Getting back to writing, are you an outliner or do you write by the seat of your pants?
I’m evolving. I’m less a seat-of-my-pants and more of an outliner now. For instance, I want to write two sequels to Celebration House, and I have a general idea of how the two books start and end. But to write a strict outline, ugh! I don’t think I could.
7) What’s your favorite season and why?
I love fall because it’s the season of state fairs and the long hot days of summer are behind us and, of course, because of Halloween. This is my favorite holiday. Dress up in costumes and beg for chocolate? What’s not to love!
8) If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?
I can’t imagine not being a writer. I’ve often asked myself if I knew I would never make a penny with my writing, would I continue to write? And the answer is yes. I will always write. That is who I am.
9) Tell us about anyone famous you’ve met.
Many years ago, when I was a journalism student at Truman State University, I attended a press conference where Elizabeth Dole spoke. Her husband was running for president. Again. Mrs. Dole was so polished and poised. We were all leaving the meeting room, and I dropped the small recorder I used for note taking. The batteries hit the marble floor, and all of us jumped at the loud noise. For just an instant, I saw the tired woman beneath the façade. I’ve never forgotten that.
10) And finally, what’s your favorite non-writing-related website?
I like CraigsList. Is that crazy? I like to look up farm-related items so I can see what horses might be available or who has chicks for sell. I’m a farmer currently without a farm. Ah, but some day.
Carrie Hansen spent her life caring for cardiac patients. Little did she know she would become a patient herself. After recovering from her own heart surgery, she realizes she has a special gift: the ability to see and talk with the dead.
Now, with her new heart failing, she leaves the bustle of Seattle behind and returns to Lexington, Missouri, the small town where she spent her childhood. Here, she sets out to restore an abandoned antebellum mansion and open it as a venue for celebrations.
Carrie’s work is cut out for her. The 150-year-old Greek revival house is in need of serious repair. Her sister, Melanie, tries to bully Carrie into returning to Seattle, predicting her “little project” is doomed to fail. Finally, Carrie’s health gives out on her, requiring emergency surgery.
But she will not give up. Carrie’s unique gift allows her to build relationships with the mansion’s original occupants, especially Maj. Tom Stewart, the handsome Civil War soldier who died a hundred years before Carrie was born. He encourages and comforts her, though not in the physical way they both desire.
Then there’s the builder of the house, Col. Bartholomew Stratton. If there’s one thing this 19th century horse trader cannot abide, it’s the living trespassing on his estate. He delights in scaring these intruders away, even if they are paying guests.
Will Carrie finish restoring Celebration House or will it finish her? And how can she plan a future with a man who has only a past?
Annette Drake’s work is character-driven and celebrates the law of unintended consequences. CELEBRATION HOUSE was published in August 2013. BONE GIRL, due out next month, is her second novel.
Annette is the mother of four children and makes her home in Washington State. She loves libraries, basset hounds and bakeries. She does not camp.