Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Ann Mullen, author of the Jesse Watson mystery/thriller novel series, including WHAT YOU SEE and SOUTH RIVER INCIDENT, and short story collection LUNCH BREAK SHORTS, amongst her many books, and welcome her to my blog.
Q: Have any life experiences inspired you to write your books?
A: Yes, it was the experience I had one day when my husband Tom showed me an article in HOOK Magazine. John Grisham was going to be the sole judge in a short story writing contest. The winner would receive prize money and have their story published. Tom convinced me to give it a try.
You see, I’ve always had pretty wild, vivid dreams, and after every dream I would tell him about it. He told me to use my imagination and take from those dreams. I didn’t do exactly that, but I did sit down and let my imagination come to life.
So… it was that experience that brought out the writer in me. I never did enter my story in the contest, but it turned out to be my first published book.
P.S. Don’t we all take something from our life experiences or from others?
Q: For how long have you been writing?
A: I started writing eleven years ago. I’m not a seasoned writer like most of my fellow authors. I retired, left the city, and a whole new word opened up.
Q: Each writer works in different ways with reference to writing. Do you have a writing program/schedule that works for you?
A: Most of the time, I would write in the mornings after a good night’s sleep, or if I was still energized, I’d write in the middle of the night. Time didn’t matter. And, I never considered myself to be a real writer. After two books, I thought I had just gotten lucky.
Now that I’m older and wiser, I write early in the morning before I get too tired. Night writing is out. If the creativity isn’t there in the morning, I don’t write. And, I found that I like writing in the winter. There’s something magical about a snowfall. When I look back, all my books were written during the winter months. Ironic, isn’t it?
Q: Do you have any favorite book genres which you love to read?
A: I love reading a good mystery. That’s probably why I chose to write mysteries. I get lost when I try to delve into sci-fi, fantasy, vampires/werewolves, or such.
Q: Are there any favorite books and authors who have been influential upon you and your writing?
A: Reading great mysteries by such authors as J.A. Jance, Nevada Barr, Sandra Brown, Sue Grafton, and of course, John Grisham.
Q: From my reading experience of your books, specifically LUNCH BREAK SHORTS, it reminded me of those great crime/detective television programs from the 1970s, such as CHARLIE’S ANGELS, THE ROCKFORD FILES and BARETTA, which had a compelling premise in each episode, many twists and turns along the way to keep readers on their toes, and, employed a disarming sense of humor, especially at the program’s conclusion. Your books also delve into more psychological territory than detailed descriptions of the crimes themselves, and explore the human impact of these situations. What inspired you to write mystery/thriller novels?
A: I write mystery/thrillers because it’s what I know more so than anything else. And when I come up with a storyline, I always try to make it different. Even though my books are fiction, I want people to feel like what they’re reading could easily be true. I want to put them right there in the middle of it all.
Q: Do you have any favorite TV shows, from either the past, or still on the air?
A: My down time is sometimes spent in front of the TV, so yes, I have many. Jericho and Firefly were my favourite series, but of course they’re no longer on the air. Now I keep tabs on Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy, IRT, Mountain Men, and Wicked Tuna.
Q: Are there any hobbies you like to participate in when you have spare time?
A: I raise donkeys and chickens. I never thought I’d be saying that, but you never know what life holds for you. I love every minute of it.
Q: Do you have any other writing projects which you would like to mention?
A: Yes. I’ll be finishing my 8th and final book in the Jesse Watson Mystery series, and then I’m moving onto another series about two women (one in her thirties and the other in her eighties) who become friends and get into lots of trouble snooping on people. And, to add a little surprise to this new series, I plan to throw in a few characters from my first series. I think my readers will like that. We’ll see…
I am certain you will join me in thanking Ann today for her time, and that we look forward to reading more of her works in the future. If you wish to contact Ann, she is available on:
*Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ann.mullen
*Ann’s website is: www.aftonridge.com
– Ann’s books can be accessed by clicking on the book covers below: