How long have you been writing, Anne?If I said birth, I’d be lying, but as long back as I can remember I’ve been telling stories. I remember the first story I wrote in second grade by myself about Tom the Turkey who was saved from Thanksgiving dinner. I’ve been writing with publication in mind since 2010 when I attended my first writing conference.
Where did you get your idea and inspiration to write La Dame à La Licorne?In 2004, my friend and I went to Paris, France. While there we visited the Musée de Cluny where I saw the famous “The Lady and the Unicorn” tapestries. Being close enough to touch them put that “What if” question in my mind immediately. However, it wasn’t until 2010 that I actually wrote the first draft of this story.
What sets La Dame à La Licorne apart from other stories in the same genre?Most YA stories have a heavy romantic element. This story’s focus isn’t romance. It’s about a daughter and her father, a daughter and a stranger, and her internal struggles. The novel version would explore more of the historical fantasy genre elements, but the short format gave me a chance to play with another kind of relationship. It still has action, drama, comedy, and danger.
As an author, Anne, what is your writing process?I get tiny seeds of ideas everywhere, but seeds don’t make a story. I sit on these seeds until characters form in my mind. Then I write a first draft. What follows next mirrors the Five Stages of Grief. There’s Denial when I realize this isn’t the best thing ever. Anger when I can’t find the right words and turns of phrase. Bargaining to keep things I love that really need to be cut. Depression because I’m the worst writer ever. And finally, Acceptance. It’s as good as it’s going to get, and I have to send it on and work on the next project.
I never thought of the writing process like that! Genius! How long did it take for you to start and finish La Dame à La Licorne?The first draft took about thirty minutes. Good thing first drafts aren’t published. I wrote that in 2010, sent it out to get feedback. Rewrote some parts. Sent it out again. Rewrote some more. Submitted the final draft in 2011 for a contest. Then it went through a few more revisions. Musa published it this summer. So that’s two years from first draft to publication. But I worked on a dozen or more different things in the interim too. I’m getting better at juggling my projects.
Juggling projects is a tough gig! Do you have any advice for other writers, Anne?There are no new ideas, but there are new ways of presenting those ideas. Find your voice and put a spin on an old idea. Like the Barenaked Ladies say, “Everything old is new again.”
Great. Now that song is gonna be stuck in my head! What’s next for Anne Marie the author?More conferences and workshops. I’ll continue to hone my craft. There’s so much I still have to learn and practice. I want to finish a novel I’ve been working on for a long time. And, of course, I’ll continue to write short stories. They’ve taught me so much.
Okay, here’s one for me, since I’m writing a time travel series – If you could time travel anywhere into Earth’s past, where would you go and why?This is really hard to answer! I absolutely love cultures, languages, and history. If I could ensure my safety and that of the animals, I would totally go back 78 million years and see dinosaurs. I’d love to see how Stonehenge was built. I’d love to see the Seven Wonders of the World that are no longer in existence. I want to go back to the night that Versailles was stormed. I want to be on a Phoenician ship. I want to do a ghost dance with the Sioux. I want to see it all and try everything.
Thanks for the interview questions, Sharon!Bio:
Anne Marie attended the University of Colorado for a BA in English Literature, where she fell in love with folklore and myths from around the world. She adores languages, great white sharks, and the impossible. Her work usually includes one of those three things. She currently lives in Aurora, Colorado with her beagle Brody. Anne posts a themed story once a week at Cimmerian Tales (http://cimmeriantales.wordpress.com).
You can follow Anne on Twitter @annemariewrites.Blurb:
Always obey your father. That’s what Katherine’s done her entire life. She studies dead languages and practices knife-throwing. Now Pappa’s listening to a virtual stranger, and she’s convinced the stranger cares more about killing monsters than her own safety. Pappa won’t even tell her what they’re going after. He says it’s because if she knows too much, then she’s tainted by that knowledge and it will spoil the hunt.Can she trust Pappa’s judgment or leave her future in the hands of the stranger? With only her wits to protect her, she joins them in the most terrifying night of the year.
You can purchase La Dame à La Licorne for only $0.99 on Amazon.com, BN.com, and MusaPublishing.com (you can read an excerpt here).Photograph © Copyright, Mica Studios 2012. All rights reserved. Used with permission.