|Anjuelle Floyd, Author|
Anjuelle: I am a wife of twenty-nine years, mother of three (ages 23 yrs., 18 yrs. and 12 yrs. old, an abstract painter, and a licensed psychotherapist specializing in mother-daughter relations, and also dream work.
I was born and raised on a 300 acre farm in southeastern North Carolina, attended the University of North Carolina @ Chapel Hill where on my first day there and during orientation, I met the man that is my husband. I graduated to Duke University, and later after moving to California--after marrying I lived in Boston, Massachusetts for 10 years--entered The California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, and earned my MA in
Counseling Psychology. During this time I also attended the Dominican Institute of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley, California.
In 2006 I received a MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College, Port Townsend, Washington. I have also attended, and received certificates of participation from The Hurston-Wright Writers’ Week in Washington, D.C. and The Voices of Our Nations (VONA) Writing Workshops in San Francisco, California across from where I live.
A student of Process Painting for the 15 years, I regularly participate in The Art of Living Black Exhibitions (2004-2011) held at the Richmond Art Center, Richmond, California. My first work, KEEPER OF SECRETS: TRANSLATIONS OF AN INCIDENT, a collection of 8 interconnected short stories that also served as my MFA thesis at Goddard College, debuted in June 2007. THE HOUSE, a novel and my second work debuted in October 2010. To read excerpts of each visit, http://www.freado.com/users/4271/anjuelle-floyd
Caroline: Your book covers are lovely. How long have you been writing?
Anjuelle: I’ve been writing for about 15 years.
Caroline: Is there an author you credit with drawing you to write novels?
Anjuelle: I read a lot of Nancy Drew Mysteries as a child. While I have continued to love reading mysteries, particularly Victorian British mysteries, I write Women’s Fiction. My favorite Victorian mystery novelist is Anne Perry. I learned of Perry when discovering and reading her Charlotte and Thomas Pitt Mystery Series. Presently I’m reading the entire William Monk Series that she had also written. I am drawn to the latter in that Perry has a wonderful way with authorial narration. I also like the way the displays depth of character in this latter series. I write in 3rd person limited. Studying Perry’s style helps me with deepening character establishment and development, both of which are essential to the character-centered type of Women’s Fiction that I craft.
In addition to reading Anne Perry I have recently begun reading ANNA KARENINA by Leo Tolstoy. While in graduate school I heard from fellow MFA students that this particularly work, though long (800 pages) read incredibly fast. To my amazement, this work not only possesses an incredible ease of flow, but also Tolstoy demonstrates an incredibly command of character establishment that reflects a vitality and freshness quite similar to works of this century. As with reading Anne Perry, I, in reading Leo Tolstoy am learning so much about how to at the outset of a story present characters and establish their personalities that ultimately lay the groundwork for plot that fuels and drives character development and evolution during the middle of the novel.
Caroline: I enjoyed reading ANNA KARENINA for the rich emotion and characterization. Readers always ask where authors come up with ideas. Can you tell us about your process?
Anjuelle: Story ideas generally come to me when I am facing my own, or witnessing another person grapple with a conflict. In this way life, and those around me provide the “what if...” establishing a story’s premise. I, then in pondering the “what if....” provide the “how...” which is the story.
Caroline: Tell us about your writing style. Plotter or panzer, detailed outline or go with the flow?
Anjuelle: Prior to earning my MFA in Creative Writing I would simply begin writing a novel. After graduating from Goddard College MFA Program in Creative Writing and seeing my collection of short stories, KEEPER OF SECRETS... TRANSLATIONS OF AN INCIDENT, print by Three Muses Press, the literary imprint of Ink and Paper Group Publishers, I delved into trying to gain greater understanding of the process by which I write and craft stories.
Mystery author, Elizabeth George, writes that it is one thing to gain the ability to write stories and novels, quite another to grasp the unique process by which we craft and refine our works of fiction.
Any writer who produces a significant body of work must at some point gain clarity in how she or he writes and revises her or his fiction from rough draft, through many revisions and ultimate refinement. In that I plan to write until I die, I set, upon receiving my MFA to do this. The first and most crucial aspect of beginning to comprehend my unique process for writing fiction, mainly novels, was finding a way to plan my novels, sketch and/or outline them so as to provide a map of the journey that kept me on track, but that also left room for considerable discovery and infusion of depth.
|THE HOUSE is now available|
Pulitzer Prize Winning Essayist, Jon Franklin, offers a plan in his book, WRITING FOR STORY, that has provided me these elements. I discovered and learned of Franklin’s plan when preparation to teach a course, Story Basics, offered in the MA program for writing at Perelandra College, I participated as a student. The major assignment for Story Basics asks students to create an outline for a short story or novel and write the short story or first 5000-7000 words of their novel. Using the Franklin’s plan I outlined what I had determined would be a short story. By the end of the first week of writing I had typed 10,000 words, and quite easily, as compared to my previous way of simply sitting down and writing with no sketch or plan. Rather than having a short story, I quickly realized I had laid down the beginnings of a novel. This novel became my second publication, THE HOUSE.
I am now, quite definitely a planner when it comes to writing novel or a short story. Since that time I have written a novel each fall during NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month.
Using Jon Franklin’s Plan as laid out in WRITING FOR STORY, I outlined each novel I have written and the experience has been so much less harrowing while also allowing me to go deeper into the real drama sitting at the center of the story’s plot.
Caroline: Where can readers find your books?
Anjuelle: Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle)
Barnes & Noble
Caroline: What’s your current WIP?
Anjuelle: SEASONS IN PURDAH. I’ve been working on this novel for about 10 years. SEASONS IN PURDAH involves a love triangle between 3 childhood friends--psychologist, Sahel Ohin Denning, her husband Titus Denning, and their friend, and Sahel’s neurosurgeon, Carl Pierson. The story opens with Sahel struggling with the loss of her sight due to an accident. On meeting a gentleman, James Bolton, whose fiancée’ has died, Sahel not only finds new meaning and purpose in her life and in living. She also learns how to love and how to allow herself to receive love.
Caroline: Is there anything else on the horizon?
Anjuelle: Friday, April 8th, 2011 @ 5pm PDT/8pm EDT, Candance O’Donnell of Literary Scribes will host me for an hour-long interview.
Listen or call in @ http://www.blogtalkradio.com/literaryscribes/2011/04/09/author-anjuelle-floyd-1
I’ll be doing a Twitter Chat on Thursday, April 14, 2011
and a Facebook Chat on Thursday, April 21st, 2011.
(NOTE: Did you notice that Anjuelle is giving away a Kindle?)
Both will take place from 8-9 EDT
I’ll also be doing my second Book Candy Chat this month, April 2011.
Check at my website for the links to each of these events.
Caroline: You certainly lead a busy life. What else would you like to tell readers?
Anjuelle: I extend my warmest regards and appreciation to you, Caroline, for your patience and in allowing me this space to tell about myself, my work, and what inspires me to write.
I invite readers of this guest blog to visit my website, leave comments if they are so moved, and to listen in or download episodes of my radio show, where I interview authors, Book Talk, Creativity and Family Matters.
Caroline: How else can readers find you on the web?
Thanks you very much, Anjuelle, for sharing with us.
Readers, please a comment or question for Anjuelle Friday through Sunday.