Thursday, August 12, 2010
AUTHOR INTERVIEW WITH ANNALISA DAUGHETY
I met Annalisa at the ACFW Conference last year. We sat at the same table over dinner one evening, and I was struck by her grace and humility. She visited with several at the table, asking each about their writing experiences, but said little about herself. After the meal, however, we learned a bit more about this talented young woman when Barbour Publishing presented Annalisa with the first copy of Love is a Battlefield, Book One in her Walk in the Park Series.
An Arkansas native, Annalisa won first place in the Contemporary Romance category at the 2008 ACFW Genesis Awards. After graduating from Freed-Hardeman University, she worked as a park ranger for the National Park Service. This experience inspired her to write the Walk in the Park series. Each book in the series is set in a different national park. Annalisa currently lives in Memphis with two spoiled dogs, Arnie and Buster.
Let’s begin the interview with a couple of questions about you, Annalisa. Could you share a few interesting facts about yourself that might interest your readers?
Okay, here goes:
I’m named after a character in a book. My mom read Airs Above the Ground by Mary Stewart while she was pregnant with me, and there was a character named “Annalisa.”
Last summer, I was in a Domino’s Pizza commercial for Memphis Barbecue Pizza. I played the role of a pizza delivery girl.
I collect aprons, especially vintage aprons—but I haven’t figured out a good way to display them yet.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. When I was in elementary school, I would write and illustrate stories and fold them up like books. I kept journals throughout high school and college where I documented every small detail of my life and my analysis of it. Reading and writing have always been a huge part of my life.
How many of your titles are published?
I have 3 books currently published and another releasing later this year. Love Finds You in Charm, Ohio, which is an Amish story, released last September. Love is a Battlefield, the first book in the Walk in the Park series, came out last October. It is set at Shiloh National Military Park—a Civil War battlefield. Love is Monumental, which takes place at the Washington Monument and along the National Mall, is my latest release. Love is Grand, set at the Grand Canyon, will release in October.
Wow! Sounds like you've been busy writing! What would you hope readers will take away from your books?
I want to write stories that people connect with. I hope readers will identify with the characters and the themes. My characters aren’t perfect and they always have a lesson to learn. I also want to entertain and offer a bit of an escape—especially with the Walk in the Park series, I hope each book feels like a mini-vacation to a national park.
What advice would you give aspiring writers?
Don’t give up! And read—I think it is so important for writers to be readers. But probably the best thing I did was joining ACFW--the Genesis contest and the annual conference taught me so much.
Where do you get ideas for your characters?
Everywhere! Friends, family, people on TV…the possibilities are endless. When I create a character, I try and come up with quirks and personality traits that will make for an interesting character—and lots of times I have a particular person in mind. And I always joke that since I’ve been dating for more than half my life, I’ve gone on lots of bad dates--so I have an array of characters that will somehow find their way into books. Names changed, of course!
Please tell us about your latest release.
Love is Monumental is the second book in the Walk in the Park series. Here’s the blurb from the back cover:
Park ranger Vickie Harris loves living in the nation's capitol. She loves working at the Washington Monument. But she's never been in love. In fact, her personal life is non-existent. On her thirtieth birthday, shy Vickie impulsively promises her friends that she’ll ask out the next eligible man she meets. Professor Thatcher Torrey has had enough heartache to last forever. Through with love, he’s spent years building his life around work. So when his longtime rival sets out to make a historic find, Thatcher is hot on his heels. But he can’t do the research alone. Intellectual Vickie is the perfect research partner and he'll stop at nothing to convince her to help him with his quest. Just as these polar opposites form a bond, a secret from Thatcher’s past pulls them apart. Will they go their separate ways? Or will they come to realize that when it’s with the right person, Love is Monumental?
I really enjoyed Love is a Battlefield and look forward to reading Love is Monumental, Annalisa. Thanks so much for being my guest, and I wish you the very best in your writing career.
Thanks for having me, Barbara! If any of your readers want more information about me and my books, they can visit my website at www.annalisadaughety.com. I also have an author page on Facebook and am on Twitter—and I love to connect with readers in those places!
And don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of one of Annalisa's books!