Annie Adams is the author of THE FINAL ARRANGEMENT, book one in The Flower Shop Mystery series. She lives with her husband, two giant dogs, and two too giant cats in Northern Utah at the foot of the Wasatch Mountains. When not writing she can be found arranging flowers or delivering them in her own Zombie Delivery Van.
Welcome, Annie! Thanks so much for joining me today. I know how much time can be sent with your fingers to the keys, but do you have a day job as well?
I own and operate a flower shop.
How did you choose the genre you write in?
I fell in love with the genre when I first read Janet Evanovich's "ONE FOR THE MONEY," I've also been inspired by Diane Mott Davidson's catering series, and Madelyn Alt's Bewitching Mystery series.
How and why did you start writing?
I was encouraged by my friend and then employee to join RWA and go to our local chapter meetings. We would always talk about books and characters, and I formulated a story in my mind. I would say to her, "When I write my book, I'm going to include that," after a funny customer interaction or strange happenstance.
What was your life like before becoming an author?
It's funny, but I don't remember. I've found a way to fit writing into my life, and now I don't remember what I did before then. Well, now that I think about it, I had a garden a long time ago, I usually worked on it on the weekends, so now there's no garden, and I do most of my writing on the weekends.
Do you ever experience writer’s block?
All of the time, but I think there's a better term for it. It's called mental laziness, at least in my case. And I'm okay with that. Sometimes I'm not focused enough to write, or I'm tired from a busy work day. I still think it's important to get some words down on those days. They may not be high quality words, but they can be edited or completely thrown out later. Those low quality words are pump priming words for when the great ones flow out.
Do you work with an outline, or just write?
I've done both. It's kind of a hybrid for me now. I have an outline, but the outline changes as I get into the book and I allow myself to adjust scenes to fit to the direction in which my creation is going.
Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
In junior high school, I happened upon a Ray Bradbury book in the school library. Within a couple of days, I checked out every single book I could find by Bradbury, and read through all of them within a couple weeks. I couldn't get enough.
I do that now when I find a new author. I read every book they have out, then read them again.
If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change?
Of course, but then it wouldn't be the book that it is now. The great part of writing a series, or about writing in general, really, is that you can just write some more again.
What are you working on now?
I'm working on a follow up in the flower shop mystery series.
Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
The next book in the flower shop mystery is called "DEADLY ARRANGEMENTS," where we see the main characters in the series facing new challenges in work and relationships. The only hint I can give as to the plot is that planning a wedding can be murder.
Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
Since I own a flower shop, it should come as no surprise that my book is inspired by real experiences. Characters are an amalgam of ideas, which might be based partially on people I have known or seen or on classic character archetypes. So a character might develop from an inkling here and there of a real person or event, but then they are developed in my own imagination. The Zombie delivery van however, is based on my actual delivery van. I had a reviewer state that one of the scenes in my book was far fetched. Without spoiling it for those who haven't read the book yet, let me just say that the exploding tires really happened in the peculiar way they were written in the book. There are witnesses. As far as the actual people who appear in my book—they are fictional and as they say, their similarities to actual people are coincidental.
The flower business is full of drama. As florists we participate in many of the monumental occasions in a person's life, so the emotions and highs and lows are a given. That's what makes the job so interesting and I think lends to the imagination of someone with a writer's eye for observation.
What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
I really enjoy the parts that come out funny. Sometimes I will re-read something, and if it still makes me laugh, I know it's a keeper.
Will you have a new book coming out soon?
If everything goes as planned, the second book, "DEADLY ARRANGEMENTS," will come out in the spring of 2013.Okay, on to some fun questions. I like to ask some off-topic q's for authors so fans get a little peek into our lives. So, be honest, how often do you wash your hair?
I'm not a morning person. Quincy and I share this similarity. Luckily, it turns out that if you don't wash your hair every day, it's healthier. Let's just leave it at that.
Do you go out of your way to kill bugs?
Absolutely not! I look at a spider and start to think about its family and how hard it works to build its web. It looks at me with all eight of its big, teary eyes, and I can't do it. I don't have the reservations about mosquitoes, though. They're smashed if they come near.If your book were made into a movie, who do you picture playing each character's part?
I would love it hear what the readers think about this, to see if they visualize the characters in the same way I do.Fantastic idea! Readers, who do you picture playing each character's part?
The Vulture is dead.
The body of Quincy McKay’s nemesis and biggest competitor in the floral business has just been discovered in a casket at the mortuary, complete with flowers on the lid.
Derrick Gibbons, aka The Vulture, stole all of Quincy’s funeral business, and now she’s on a mission to get it back. But there’s a problem—Quincy is now the main suspect in The Vulture’s murder.
Armed with only her Zombie delivery van, good intentions, and the business card of a handsome cop named Alex, she must find the killer, save the flower shop, and keep from ending up in the next casket. If she can dodge burning bushes, the plague of a polygamist ex, and her mother's Mormon Mafia Spy Network, her life with Alex and her shop could become the perfect arrangement.
Click here to buy The Final Arrangement (A Cozy Murder Mystery)
THE FINAL ARRANGMENT is in a Goodreads giveaway contest until the last day in February. Check it out by clicking here.
3 signed copies of the paperback will be given away.
Annie also has a flower design contest that will start on March 1st, exclusively for members of the email list on her website.
Facebook author page: facebook/annieadamstheauthor
Thanks again for joining me today, Annie. It's been a pleasure to learn more about you and your novel. :)