Anne Greenwood Brown Author Interview + Giveaway
Anne is the Minnesota Author in the Spotlight here on Booksnob this month and she has written an entertaining Young Adult book about murderous mermaids that live in Lake Superior. Read on to learn more about Anne and her book, Lies Beneath.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Well, I am a native Minnesotan and a graduate of Stillwater High School. I was an English teacher before deciding to go to law school, and I love YA fiction.
2. What is the inspiration behind your story “Lies Beneath?”
The story originated with a dream. I was writing a contemporary story set on Lake Superior. The main character was a ferry boat driver, and I kept having a reoccurring dream that he was diving off the ferry into the lake. No normal person would do that, but the dreams wouldn’t stop. Then in one dream he dove and burst out with this amazing tail! I put the contemporary story aside and started writing Lies Beneath that same morning.
3. Usually an author puts some of her own life experiences in the book. Did you do that? Do you have anything in common with your characters?
I love Victorian poetry, but the main thing in the novel that comes from my personal experience is the lake. I grew up sailing on Lake Superior and stopping at the various islands. The lake is extremely deep and extremely clear, so I would lean over the rail, hoping something amazing would swim by.
4. Why did you decide to become a writer?
I don’t know if I ever “decided” to become a writer. I always just wrote. I was writing stories when I was five. My dad would
publish them on his office copier and I’d try to sell them in my neighborhood for a dime.
5. I know you have 3 children and work full time so how do you
find time to write during your busy day?
Yep, it’s tough. I don’t do much of anything else (like vacuuming).
I tend to write on the weekends when I’m feeling more rested and
creative. I edit on weeknights because I still have enough brain left
over after a work day to edit. I’m also part of a critique group, and that helps me be more efficient with the re-writing process.
6. Lies Beneath is the beginning of a trilogy. Can you tell us a little bit about 2nd and 3rd books in the series?
Sure. Book #2, Deep Betrayal, comes out March 12th. It is a continuation of the story but told from Lily Hancock’s point of view. It’s a bit of a murder mystery. Book #3, Promise Bound, comes out spring 2014. It’s told from Calder and Lily’s alternating points of view. Things get pretty messy . . . but the ending is hopeful.
7. Do you like to read? What books or authors influence you?
I love to read, but I go in spurts where I’ll read a ton for a month, then nothing for a couple months, then I dive back in. I’ve been influenced by Maggie Stiefvater.
8. There is some beautiful poetry in Lies Beneath. Who is your favorite poet?
My favorite is Robert Frost, but the Victorians as a group have always been faves. Somehow they manage to be preoccupied with death without being downers.
9. What draws you to Lake Superior and why did you decide to use it as the back drop for Lies Beneath?
I love how ancient it is, and how cold, and deep, and . . . did I say cold? It’s a beautiful place, but it can also be super scary. The saying: “Lake Superior doesn’t give up it’s dead,” gave me a lot of inspiration.
10. Is there any truth to the Native American legends in your book regarding mermaids and Lake Superior?
A little. Most of that comes from the character of Jack Pettit, and he mixes up a lot of different things. There is a Lake Superior Manitou that the native people believed was the spirit of the lake, and the Passamaquoddy legend (which is from the northeast) is true.
11. Tell us in one sentence why we should read Lies Beneath?
Lies Beneath takes a different approach than most YA novels in that it has a male point of view, the love story is not particularly tidy, and the mermaids are murderous, rather than girly.
Thanks Anne for taking the time to answer these questions.
If you would like to win a copy of Anne's book, Lies Beneath, please enter here: Lies Beneath Giveaway