Friday, September 2, 2011

Get to Know Author Ann Atkins (With Giveaway)

Please give a really warm welcome to author, Ann Atkins. She wrote Eleanor Roosevelt's Life of Soul Searching and Self-Discovery. Please visit her website, (just click her name), and come back and tell me what caught your eye.


1.Please tell readers about your current book.
It’s a biography about Eleanor Roosevelt that clips along like a beach read. Because I was one of those kids in school that raised her hand and asked, “Why do we need to know this?” I write with the twist in perspective toward us, today. So it’s a book with benefits. :) After all, it’s not about Eleanor. She is history. It’s about us.



2. Who or what inspires your writing?
A sculptor looks at a pillar of marble and knows it could portray a shape. A painter looks at a palette of paint and can make a portrait come to life. I look at a dictionary and know that I can use any of these words, as many times as I want, for free and deliver a story.
An artist of any medium wants the observer to feel something – joy, anguish, inspiration, despair. I love the challenge of achieving this goal. With writing there is no excuse. Your words won’t be better because of a darker pen or whiter paper.



3. When did you know you would be a writer?
When I was a little kid there was an old wood school desk at home beside an equally old upright piano with yellow ivory keys. On the desk was my grandfather’s typewriter. I would prop a book up against the piano and type out the pages of the book. It wouldn’t be until I was 38 that I acknowledged in myself that I wanted to be a writer. Up til then I always saw my role as supporting other people in what they wanted to do.



4. How long did it take you to write your first novel?
Research, write the Eleanor Roosevelt book and create the business “Flash History Press” was 2 years, 1 month. I have the privilege of working on this full time. I never abuse or take for granted that privilege. I often have put in 12-14 hour days.



5. What is the hardest part of writing for you?

Not to use writing as my venue to rant about issues where I have strong opinions. The writing is more powerful when I allow the deeper message to surface.



6. Do you have any writing rituals?
I realize I like to write when I am dressed still in my ‘go to gym’ clothes and in particular my sneakers. Sneakers on my feet subconsciously tell me to get going – so that keeps my writing on the move too.



7. Have you written anything else?
The next person in the biography series will be Golda Meir. Not many people know she grew up in Milwaukee before going on to be a Founding Mother and Prime Minister of Israel. Golda is a very different woman from Eleanor, yet they were contemporaries and met on several occasions.
I also have a novel, small town, 1960s setting, with the social ramifications of secrets being revealed about the town’s past. Since the novel “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett, did so well and now it is a movie – this novel will do well too.



8. Any advice to aspiring writers?
Even if you don’t have long blocks of time – just start. Write notes on 3x5 cards and toss them in a box to use later. The Wall of China was built one block at a time – no blocks – no wall. This is how I ‘wrote’ while the kids were all still home.



9. Who are your favorite Authors?
Annie Dillard makes me care about a moth crawling out of a jar. Dialogue by John Steinbeck makes me hold my breath til I read the response. David McCullough makes me worry we will lose the Revolutionary War. A windy day makes me look carefully because of Madeleine L’Engle. I could have named my daughter ‘Scout’ because of Harper Lee. My skin prickles with injustice when I read David Halberstam’s portrayal of society. I look for the train track that is 9 ¾ because of J.K. Rowling or see a suffering child that could be named ‘Turtle’ because of Barbara Kingsolver. Issabell Allende, Amy Tan, Herman Hesse the list is endless and I am so grateful to each of them for what they have added to my life.



10. What are your favorite books, or which book has impacted you the most?
Women Who Run With the Wolves by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes Her book kept me from an early grave.



11. What are you currently reading?
The Four-Fold Way, by Angeles Arrien, PH.D.
Transformational Speaking, by Gail Larsen



12. How do readers find out more about you?
My author bio is on my web site - www.annatkins.com
On the contact page of the web site anyone can subscribe to “Morning Coffee and Quotes.” Each morning I send out a quote to all the people on the list. Since the quotes are my choices they say a lot about who I am, thought provoking, new perspectives or the date on a quote showing that people have struggled with that issue since the Roman times.

I want to thank Freda and the people who write these blogs – they are a tremendous asset to their followers, the readers of books and provide a much needed bridge to us the authors. If any of the readers want to order the Eleanor Roosevelt book I suggest you do so at my web site (www.annaktins.com) because the price is cheaper, free priority mail shipping, part of the proceeds goes to charity and if you want me to sign the book just leave me a message when you are ordering.

If you have stories of Eleanor please contact me with the details. For example the woman who was editing the manuscript for me said – “I remember my dad saying about Eleanor –‘Why can’t that woman just stay home!’”
Stories like this are wonderful and I will be adding a page to the web site to post what readers have shared with me. Thank you.


Transforming the power in Eleanor's story to your story starts now. Whatever the scale of your rendezvous with destiny, the fact remains it is up to you to live it. Eleanor's story is a do-it-yourself guide that shows us how to accomplish many things. From a childhood plagued with drunks and drama queens, Eleanor must now discard her dependency on Franklin and face off with her grand dame mother-in-law. Refusing to cave in to society's rules, Eleanor's exuberant style, wavering voice, and lack of Hollywood beauty are fodder for the media. First Lady for thirteen years, Eleanor redefines and exploits this role to a position of power. Using her influence, she champions Jews, African Americans, and women. The audacity of this woman to live out her own destiny challenges us to do the same. After all, it's not about Eleanor. Her story is history. Her life shows us how to live.


Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Flash History Press
ISBN: 9780983478409
Click the photo link to purchase at Amazon.


AND NOW THE GIVEAWAY....

Thanks to Ann, I have 5 books up for grabs! The best part is, you can get them signed!!!!
Fill in the Rafflecopter form to enter.


7 comments:

  1. I really liked the part of her bio where she says that she is attracted to people striving for justice who were maligned by society. I think that fits Eleanor Roosevelt to a T.

    CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  2. I enjoy reading memoirs and would love to read this book.
    cenya2 at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  3. The answer to the question is that this author likes to give a person a new view of historical persons.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I liked her background a lot :) I also liked her list of books.

    ReplyDelete
  5. She has lived and worked in Germany, England, Korea, and throughout the United States. Studied in France, Germany, and the U.K. aitmama {{at}} gmail {{tod}} com

    ReplyDelete
  6. I learned on her website that she took classes at the University of Cambridge. That must have been pretty dang awesome!

    misusedinnocence@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. I liked the intro, on the top of the Chapter 1 excerpt page, that describes the era and changes that happened during the life of Mrs. Roosevelt.

    meredithfl at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete

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All opinions welcome. Be yourself, and have a blessed day!

Stella & Dot

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