Author Feature: Ann Jeffries
3) The Interview:
What made you become a writer?
I was bored. I subscribed to a cable television system with 500 channels, had an active social life, and an in-home library, yet I was at loose ends. So, I picked up a legal pad and a pen. Thirty days later SOUTHERN EXPOSURES, the first novel in the series was born.
Thirty days?! I'm actually not surprised with your roster of books. I so can't wait to retire and walk in your footsteps. Thirty days begs the question: Are you a plotter or pantser? Tell us your process.
Both. I generally know what statement I’m attempting to make in the context of interpersonal relationships and/or family dynamics, so I start out in that direction. However, as characters start walking into the story, it may take on a life of its own. Because it is a series, characters from previous novels may have a more defined backstory or arc that brings them forward. For example, in SOUTHERN EXPOSURES (book 1) we witness the birth of Whitney Ivy Alexander. In ALL IN THE FAMILY (book 17) she’s seventeen, has a genius-level IQ, and is a law school student who falls in love for the first time. Throughout all of the novels she may make cameo appearances until she has her HEA (happy ever after). I introduce new characters as in ALL IN THE FAMILY with Tucker Cavanaugh, a twenty-year-old, genius-level US Marine medical student, who falls head over heels in love with Whitney. He comes with a backstory, parents and grandparents. I never block my intuition when a story takes me some place I may not have intended to go, but I stick to the original premise of the story until the end. I have been known to leave the conclusion open ended or on a cliffhanger because I have more to say on a specific topic or theme.
I read one of your books and saw how you wove old and upcoming characters' stories in like a tapestry representing heritage and extended families. I found it fascinating and amazing you can keep track. Let readers know more about your books. What is your preferred category and genre to write?
Multicultural romantic suspense.
Why does that genre speak to you?
Multicultural romantic suspense is easier for me to write than Sci-Fi, Mystery, or Star Wars-type worlds or beings (human or otherwise). To me, those are harder to write because it takes an imagination far beyond my skill set.
After reading your novel, I would never condone your dismissal of having the skill set to write anything. You write great books, with depth and sensuality, that appeal to every romance reader, but more importantly, under represented voices can find their likenesses within the pages.