Interview with Anne-Marie Klein

Anne-Marie Klein

Interview Date: 8/29/2012

When did you start writing, and was there a significant event that prompted you to do so?

I started writing fiction at the age of 17, although I had written poetry and songs for a few years already. I was prompted to write by the inspiration of a beautiful song I heard on the radio by The Who called “Behind Blue Eyes”. I started imagining what that sad man’s life might be like, and before I knew it, I had a whole story worked out around him which became the series I am halfway through.

If you could have one superpower, what would it? (Assuming said power would be reasonably powerful.)

Controlling time would be amazing. I can’t think of anything more powerful and useful than being to make a day as long as I need it to be.

Kev's response: And as many naps as you want!! =D (And other breaks as well, but this isn't THAT type of interview...)

Do you have a favorite superhero from novels, comics, or movies?

I am a huge comic book geek, but with a French (actually Belgian) twist. I grew up in a French household, reading Tintin and Asterix from a young age. They were my favourites, although they aren’t technically superheroes. Well, Obelix does have magic potion powers, so he would be my favourite.

Kev's response: Man, I'd hate to be the guy stuck with the "non-magic" potion power. I'd throw a flask of a foul-smelling liquid at a foe, it would shatter, and they'd all just get ticked off at me. Or worse, I'd drink one and have a nasty aftertaste in my mouth. That's just not right.

Where do you get your inspiration for writing? What motivates you?

Right now, my inspiration is still coming mainly from music, and the period of my youth in the late 70s and early 80s. What motivates me is my love of writing as well as the lovingly nasty and impatient messages I get on my Facebook wall from readers of the first two books to stop fooling around and get book three of my series out.

Kev's response: Try showing two possible covers for a novel before you release it. Consensus? I think that's a fictional word.

Do you pre-plan your stories, or are you a by-the-seat-of-the-pants style writer?

I do both. I plan in my head, visually, how a scene will look and feel like, and then run it like a movie sequence to see if it “feels” right to look at and listen to. I have not always known where a story would take me, and in that sense, I’m flying, but I plan the scenes once I know I want them in the book.

Kev's response: Oh, sure, you just want to have your pants and wear them too.

Do you write only when inspired, or do you have a set schedule where you sit down to write?

I have no real schedule, except a dream one. I write when I can, when work and other obligations aren’t stopping me.

Do you have a favorite genre to write in? To read?

My favourite genre to write is still emerging, and I like to call it rock fiction. My favourite reads are detective and murder mysteries, especially the British ones like P.D. James, Reginald Hill, as well as Scotland’s Ian Rankin.

What do you enjoy the most about writing?

I like going to places and times that are gone or imagined, and creating something that others will enjoy. I am particularly fond of writing dialogue.

Kev's response: Me too. Fight scenes (for me) take a lot of step-by-step analysis on who's turn it is, and where everyone is. Dialogue just feels easy.

Is there any part of writing that you don't enjoy?

Not strictly in the writing, no, but I am not fond of all the social media and marketing that is now necessary and an indie writer. It takes a lot of time and effort away from the actual writing process, although I recognize it as necessary.

Kev's response: Something interesting I'm noticing is that a lot of indie authors write their novel, but then they spend all their time marketing, and don't get around to writing the next novel. Having a catalog of books is the only realistic way to approach writing as a business. (Realistic being the keyword, since very few of us will have a huge hit that makes it big.)

Can you tell me something odd about yourself?

I mix up red and green when I am describing an object of either colour orally. I have to correct myself every time, and have no idea why my brain does this.

Kev's response: Hold a second, here. I'm a guy, and trying to visualize mixing red and green paints... Wouldn't that be brown? Doesn't sound appealing at all. And now I have no idea why my brain is thinking about colors. I know I have a lot of painting coming up, but most of that is next year. Does that count?

Do you write one story at a time, or do you have several novels in the works at one time?

Juggling is fun, but inevitably one of them takes over and the rest fall to the wayside.

Kev's response: And thus wins the temporary "Book of the Shelf" war!

I'm looking to advertise for evil minions for my plot to take over the world, any suggestions?

I have a few students I can loan you.

Kev's response: I'm afraid I can't accept temporary loans on minions. I use them up and throw them away, never give them back!!

Where do you see the future as far as paper books versus digital e-books?

I think there will always be people who love the paper product and they should be respected. What else are you going to do for the bath-time readers like me? That said, my house is running out of wall space and I find the e-book option a great permanent solution to wanting to reread books instead of always going to the library. E-books are also great for travel and for people who have mobility issues and can’t pick up heavy books.

Kev's response: For bath time, put your Kindle or Nook into a zip-lock baggie (such as for sandwiches). They put off so little heat that they are safe in the bag, and the device is safe from the water. The bag is clear, and buttons are still easy to push through it. Boom! Nekkid reading!

What are your current projects?

I am editing book three of my rock fiction series, Behind Blue Eyes, after publishing the first two novels this past year.

Kev's response: *thumbs up*

Do you have any advice for others about self-publishing?

The most important thing is to take your time and not rush your product release before it’s fully ready. (Do you hear that, people nagging me about book three?) Be patient with social media, and try to define your core audience and then go find them and reel them in with your charm.

Kev's response: I don't know ... the anti-stalkers out there seem to be against me going after them. Maybe we're talking about the wrong charm, here. I've been using one created via spells...

Do you have any online sites where readers can find out more about you (and your books)?

Yes, I have a Web site that my husband, who has a superpower of his own that I simply call tech wizardry, created We completely lacked originality with its name and called it it has all of our purchase links, my blog, and all things rock and roll and Toronto related that are part of the book series. We’re also hoping to get indie musicians and writers to contribute to The Backstory story, so check it out to hear some other cool stories.

Kev's response: Strangely enough, I have that very superpower (in real life). I get within about 5 feet of most computer systems, and they just work for me. I call it technomancy. Anne-Marie, thank you for joining me, and I wish you the best on the 3rd in your series (and use of the zip-lock baggie...)!

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