Saturday, December 08, 2012

Interview with Ann Gimpel



What inspired you to become an author?

Long trips in the Sierra backcountry stoke my imagination. Plus writing has always come easily to me. It helps to be able to sit at the keyboard and churn out a couple thousand words in an evening. Of course, I spend more time editing than I did writing, but that's okay, too. It's different, more left brain.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I'm not certain. I think I have a particular voice that shines through no matter what I'm writing.

Do you write in different genres?

Yes. I write science fiction, fantasy and paranormal romance.

If yes which is your favorite genre to write?

Depends what sort of mood I'm in.

How did you come up with the title for your latest book?

A Time for Everything is a play on words since it's a time-traveling paranormal romance.

Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete?

A little of both. I sometimes have the title before I have the rest of the book.

Is the book, characters, or any scenes based on a true life experience, someone you know, or events in your own life?

A Time for Everything is based in the Highlands of Scotland. I spent a month in the UK last summer, much of it in the Scottish Highlands. Made it real easy to get a feel for the people, land and, ahem, climate.

What books/authors have influenced your life?

Quite a diversity, actually. On the one hand, there're Tolkien and other high fantasy writers like Jordan and Cherryh and Goodkind and Hobb. On the other there are hard scifi writers like Heinlan, Asimov and Herbert. But I like reading romance, too. Go figure! Bottom line is I love books.

What book are you reading now?

A true adventure tale of the tragedy on Mt. Everest in 2006.

What books are in your to read pile?

Book's four and five of Seanan McGuire's October Daye series. The one remaining Karen Marie Moning Highlander book that I missed. Hex and the Single Witch.

What is your current “work in progress” or upcoming projects?

I have four more paranormal romance novellas coming from Liquid Silver Books between now and about next May. 

The blurb for Gabrielle's Cauldron, due out 12/31 is:

Gabrielle McCallaghan just lost her job. Seeing the writing on the wall, she quit to spare her uncle the embarrassment of having to fire her. With her bond fairy on her shoulder, she strides through a crowded neighborhood contemplating her options. Out of nowhere, a gorgeous, full blood magic wielder appears and makes a beeline right for her. Gabby knows her hybrid witch magic is no match for his, so she tries to evade him. The fairy does her best to help, but the contest is laughable. Even in his human form, the wolf-man is still stronger than she ever dreamed of being. It doesn’t take long before Gabby is drawn into a deadly game of intrigue that started over a thousand years before. The stakes are high and the timing abysmal, but she finds herself falling in love in spite of herself. Can she and her full blood lover make a life for themselves? Or will the long-running battle between full bloods and hybrids pound the fragile bond between them to dust? 


Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

When I'm working on several things at once, I struggle to maintain the integrity of my characters.

Do you have to travel much to do research for your books?

Yes. That was what the trip to the UK was all about.

Who designed the cover of your latest book?

Valerie Tibbs, a cover artist contracted with Liquid Silver Books.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Several things are important. Keep writing and develop a thick skin. Solicit feedback and learn to sift through it. There are always grains of truth in people's assessment of your writing and stories. Writers who can't make good use of creative commentary will never grow. I have a motto: my publisher is always right. I will bend myself into a pretzel trying to give them what they want. But I know when to stand my ground, too, if the integrity of the story as I visualize it is at risk.

A Time for Everything
Ann Gimpel

Blurb:

Siobhan Macquire’s fortune has attracted a string of men who are out to drain her for everything they can get. Her last boyfriend was no exception. Furious at being used—again—she goes for a walk in the Highlands.

With the weather worsening, she wanders alone for hours. She’s soaking wet and starting to get scared when someone calls out to her. A striking-looking man emerges from the mist. Except there’s something wrong. His kilt is way too long and he talks with an archaic accent. Siobhan soon finds herself not only lost in the countryside but also in time.


Excerpt:
Sam pulled the draw cords of her hood tighter, squinting against driving rain. She shivered, willing her legs to move faster. Even in the northern latitudes, it got dark eventually during what passed for summer, and the light was definitely fading. One foot sloughed into a hole. Cursing roundly, she yanked it out, noting the mud added what felt like ten pounds to her tired leg. Going on a ramble—as the locals called it—by herself had seemed like a good idea earlier in the afternoon. Now she wasn’t so sure. It had been hours since she’d seen another soul. The air felt heavy—and threatening, somehow.
“Don’t be ridiculous,” she scolded herself. “My imagination’s off the clock, working overtime.”
A flash off toward the river was followed almost immediately by a rumbling crash. It started raining harder. The sky lit again, casting the wet greenery and surrounding mountains in a macabre glow. Thunder sounded so loud it made her ears ring. The next lightning flare sparked off a rock not twenty feet away. Sam’s heart sped up. She stared at the mountains ringed about her. Why wasn’t the storm up there? Lightning was supposed to be drawn to high points, not meadows saturated with water.
As if determined to prove her wrong, another flash struck the ground off to her left. She threw her hands over her ears but the thunder reverberated in her brain as if someone had struck an anvil right next to her. Shaking her head to try to make her ears stop hurting, she started walking again. Lightning struck inches from her feet. Sam lurched to a stop, blinking to clear the afterimage. Even as wet as it was, the air felt electrified, thick with sharp edges. She could almost see marauding electrons reaching for her, hungry little mouths wide open.
Fear raced along her nerve endings, making her feel as if she’d downed half a dozen double espressos in a row. The breath whooshed out of her and her head spun crazily.
The storm’s trying to kill me.
Oh, please, she answered herself. Sam hated her tendency to engage in two-way inner dialogue, but she’d done it all her life.
An excruciating twenty minutes and half a dozen lightning strikes later, she thought it might be safe to move. It was raining like a son of a bitch, but after striking what looked like a circle around where she stood, the electrical part of the storm had left as quickly as it had come.
Guess the storm gods didn’t want me, after all.
Why should they? No one else does.
Sam sank into a funk. Shit, could I possibly be any wetter? Weather in the British Isles had been particularly wretched this summer. “Yeah, sort of like the rest of my life,” she muttered as she tried to assess if she’d be better off staying on the track or cutting cross-country toward where she thought a roadway was. Resolutely, she struck out for the road and promptly stepped into calf-deep water. It ran over the top of her boot and soaked her thick, woolen sock before she could jerk her foot back to solid ground.
So much for that idea. Obviously, there’d been so much rain the ground on both sides of the track had turned into a bog. She’d never seen one before this trip to Scotland. They were hideous. Miles of saturated ground with water deep enough to reach her knees in some places. Sam glanced at her watch and groaned. She’d been walking for close to five hours. No wonder it was getting dark. The village she was aiming for shouldn’t actually be all that far away. In fact, she should have been there long since. About to tuck her watch back under her sleeve, she took one last look at it and realized the second hand had stopped. She tapped the crystal with her finger but nothing happened.
Crap! Wonder when it quit? Must be the damp.
Yes, another less pleasant voice piped up, it also means I have no idea how long I’ve been walking. Peering through mist-shrouded countryside, she looked for some signs of Beauly Village but all she saw were sheep.
Sam told herself to keep walking. It wasn’t as if there was anywhere she could even sit to consider her options. Everything dripped water. Her jacket and pants, which had always provided adequate protection from the elements back in the States, were woefully inadequate here. She was afraid to pull out her cell phone. Electronics and water definitely weren’t compatible. Yeah, just look what happened to my watch. Dark thoughts crowded her mind. Why had she thought it would be romantic to spend a year in Scotland?
You know why, an inner voice—the nasty one—sneered. It was your infatuation with Clint. Sam gave her resident maven a point for accuracy. Clint, with his spiffy Scottish intonations, dreamy blue eyes, and red-blonde curls, had sweet-talked her into bankrolling a trip to his home. Between his ever-so-broad shoulders, washboard abs, and nice, tight ass, he’d barely let her out of bed for a month. By the time she’d figured out the reason he had so much time on his hands was because he didn’t have a job, it was too late. She was head over heels in love. And hoping desperately that this time it would lead her to the altar. After all, it wasn’t as if he had to work. All he needed to do was treat her like a queen. She had plenty of money for both of them.
Eager to grant her prince whatever he wanted, she’d readily agreed when he’d talked longingly of going back to Scotland for a while. Except he’d had a personality transplant practically the second they’d landed in Glasgow. In the month-and-a-half since they’d arrived, she’d scarcely seen him. He was always off with his mates, as he called them, drinking or climbing. There were weeks when he hadn’t returned to their rental flat in Inverness at all. Worse, she suspected some of those mates were gay. When she’d asked him if he swung both ways his eyes had turned to blue ice chips. He’d twisted away and slammed out of the house. That was the last time she’d seen him.
Water ran off the bill of her hood. Some of it dripped into one eye. “Oh to hell with it,” she snarled. “I’m catching the first plane out of here—without him.” She sighed, feeling sad and angry by turns. Clint was far from the first man who’d taken advantage of her. As soon as they found out she was an heiress to a whiskey fortune, they promised her the moon and then fleeced her for everything they could get. She’d gotten pretty cagy in the years between sixteen and her current twenty-five. She’d even rented a modest apartment in Seattle and pretended she lived there when she met someone new.
Eventually, though, when she thought a guy might be different, she took him to the Capitol Hill mansion she’d more-or-less inherited after her parents relocated to one of their many other homes. No matter how promising a relationship looked, the truth of that rambling mansion was always the beginning of the end.




About the Author
Ann Gimpel is a clinical psychologist, with a Jungian bent.  Avocations include mountaineering, skiing, wilderness photography and, of course, writing.  A lifelong aficionado of the unusual, she began writing speculative fiction a few years ago. Since then her short fiction has appeared in a number of webzines and anthologies. Two novels, Psyche’s Prophecy, and its sequel, Psyche’s Search, have been published by Gypsy Shadow Publishing, a small press. A husband, grown children, grandchildren and three wolf hybrids round out her family.
           
@AnnGimpel (for Twitter)

1 comment:

Ann Gimpel said...

Thanks for hosting me, Roxanne!
I really enjoyed answering your interview questions.