Anne: Now the children are grown and flown, I can write any time I choose, which is most of the day on one thing or another. I get up at 5.30 a.m. and fit speed walking, chores and meal-making between writing.
How do you handle life interruptions?
Interruptions are good breaks for me. If I type too long, I get neck and shoulder pain, so I welcome a change of pace—unless I’m in the middle of something that’s going particularly well, or coming to an end—then I grit my teeth and hit "save." And I usually scribble down whatever thought was passing through my mind at the time, because I'm sure to forget it later.
I don't have a writing degree, but many authors do. Did you major in writing at college?
No. I studied writing through an online college course in England. The rest was practice, practice and more practice. And reading, reading and more reading – especially books about writing.
How much time does writing take?
Many long hours. For me, getting it right is not a fast process. Re-writes take forever. Marketing takes even longer.
What else do you do besides writing?
My hobbies include vegetable and herb gardening, photography, and getting lost in great books. I’m a lousy cook, but we have to eat. Years ago in England, we reared goats, chickens, and bees, and I really enjoyed those times. As for travel, if it weren’t for children and grandchildren spread around the country, I’d be perfectly happy staying home. Travel seems such a huge, uncomfortable thing these days, but, like eating, it has to be done.
What have been some of your most successful work habits as a writer?
Probably my most successful habit is the ability to stay focused. And I'm happy to change a manuscript if it means a better story. Growing a thick skin against rejection was a tough one for me, because rejection feeds self-doubt. It never gets any easier to read, "Thanks for your manuscript, but . . ." However, these days I'm doing better at shrugging it off and battling on.
So you struggle with a writer's self-doubts?
Oh yes, all the time. If I dwelt on doubts, I would never get anything written. But they do serve a purpose. My doubts make me continue to read about the art of writing. There is much to learn and relearn. I attend writing conferences, also. They are great for rekindling enthusiasm, and an excellent resource.
I actually have two new books out, but the one I'm concentrating on right now is True Miracles with Genealogy~Help from Beyond the Veil. Compiling it was an amazing experience.
True Miracles is a collection of inspiring research stories, spiritual moments as help comes from beyond the veil. It is unique, comforting, and powerful. Each account can't help but touch hearts as readers come to the heady realization that there really is a world of spirits.
How and when did you gather stories for this book?
I put out requests for stories on many social websites, including Facebook. Genealogists from all over the USA and from other countries responded. It amazed me to read so many unusual experiences—to learn of the many different ways researchers received the help they needed.
My book contains only a tiny portion of the vast number of stories that go unrecorded every year—even every day—throughout the world. As someone says in the book, "Heaven is only a whisper away." It really is that close, but most times in the busy hours of our life, we're not in tune, or not ready to listen and act.
I began compiling seriously at the beginning of 2010. The more stories I received, the more fascinating and compelling it was to keep going. Once the initial call for stories went out, friends began telling others about the project and story gathering took on its own momentum.
There was a lot of work involved in the initial story editing to make each one fit the book's style. I thought about putting different accounts into categories within the book, but as stories kept arriving, they simply didn't fit neatly into any particular groups, because each experience was unique, and as such, each one needed its own classification, which defeated any effort to make them match others.
Is there a website for True Miracles with Genealogy?
Yes, I created a website at http://www.truemiracleswithgenealogy.com/ to further the book's purpose of sharing research stories. I hope many readers will send in their experiences. I realize it's unusual for most people to have more than one or two genealogy miracles in a lifetime—and many have none—but treasuring and sharing these events is so worthwhile.
The website is also home to the book's reviews. These are under the Book Review tab, top of the page.
Where can readers purchase this book?
It's available in both paperback and electronic form. I deliberately kept the price low so more can afford to enjoy it. The Kindle and Nook eBook versions are only $2.99. I hope local bookstores will soon make it available. The book is on many Internet sites. Below are sample links. If you don’t have a Kindle, you can download free software for your computer, phone, iTouch, iPad, and more on Amazon at http://amzn.to/4nck80 .
Amazon's CreateSpace $8.99, shipping $3.61 http://www.blogger.com/goog_1297817760
Amazon $8.99, shipping $3.99 http://amzn.to/9IenR5
Kindle eBook $2.99 http://amzn.to/cqZX9P
Anne, do you believe there is any "magic" formula to being published?
I’d love to know it if there is one. Sometimes, it seems more like good luck, striking the market at the right time, and combining that with huge marketing efforts.
Thank you so much for joining me today, Anne. Good luck with all of your writing endeavors!
To learn more about Anne Bradshaw visit http://www.annebradshaw.com/