What is Skinbound? Ask Anna Kittrell ~ Calisa Rhose
Posted by Calisa Rhose
I’m so happy to have fellow TWRP author, friend and fellow OKRWA member, Anna Kittrell on The Ranch today!
We are also sister Scrimshaw Doll authors. Her new book, Skinbound comes years after Home and though her actual book follows others after mine, it also connects directly to Home in a small way.
I dragged Anna here to torture I mean ask some questions to let you get to know her some.
- Anna, please list your absolute necessities in order to write at your best.
- I need plenty of teeny-tiny spiral notepads, on which I write scene ideas continuously. I crumple up each page and throw it away as I weave notes into my story. I love that part. It gives me a feeling of accomplishment.
- A quiet surrounding is essential when I’m in a creative mindset. When working on scenes and dialogue, I physically isolate myself from the rest of my household or plug into white noise to minimalize distractions. Other writing activities such as character sketches or light outlining, I can manage on the sofa with other family members around.
- I rise early and workout with exercise DVDs. Jennifer Galardi is my favorite instructor. Sweating first thing in the morning gets my blood and creativity pumping.
- A few moments of quiet time, reflection, and thanking God for the day ahead gives me fresh focus and strength for what the day brings.
- A printed calendar for my characters! As I learned the hard way, character timelines have a habit of twisting, turning, and tying themselves in knots. Pretty soon you find yourself burying folks who aren’t even dead yet. LOL. Lesson learned. Now I always print out at least a three month calendar to write the activities of my characters on. The sad part is, that while my characters’ calendars are filled to bursting with interesting and exciting events…my own is markedly blank.
Your process sounds interesting, Anna. I wish I had the motivation to work out any time. LOL
- Which comes first for you—plot or characters?
Normally, the idea for a plotline surfaces right along with visions of my main characters.
- What aspect of writing comes easy to you? What is difficult?
The positive feedback I’ve received from readers and contest judges, hopefully means I write believable characters. Creating relatable people with extraordinary circumstances, then placing them in realistic settings is my passion.
Harder for me is executing an action I know little about—no matter how simple. For example, in Skinbound, my hero, Cabin, borrows a boat from his friend Richard. To get the vessel into the lake, the truck hauling the boat trailer had to be backed to the dock, then the boat had to be unhitched and guided into the water. Seemed easy enough. An hour and a half of research and two You Tube videos later, and Cabin and Richard finally had the boat in the water. To avoid making frivolous errors, I research even the most elementary tasks before writing them into my story. A little time invested now saves much embarrassment later. Keeps me from putting the trailer before the boat, so to speak.
LOL Great idea. I do that with certain things too. Of course, when I research it is usually hours before I get back to write what I was researching for…
- What is your writing routine?
In the summer months I rise early, enjoy the exercise and quiet time I mentioned earlier, shower, dress, then sit down to write. I write three or four hours at a time, have a short break, then write another three or four hours. Unfortunately, my writer’s dream-life comes to a screeching halt in August, when I return to work in the public school system. For the ten months that follow, my writing routine is hit or miss, catch it when I can, lunch hours, after work and weekends. I do, however, love the middle school secretary job I’ve performed for twelve years, and plan to keep my feet planted firmly under that desk until I can rest them fulltime beneath my own.
- What inspires you?
Strangely, I don’t know what inspires me until the ‘spark’ happens. Epiphanies strike from all-but-forgotten events in my childhood, idle conversation I’ve overheard in department stores, comments I’ve read on Facebook, my most embarrassing moments, and polite small talk. Many times I am inspired by the simple question, “What if?”
Some fun questions:
- Who or what would you walk over hot coals, climb a mountain, or swim an ocean to get to and why?
My husband, Tim. We have been together since I was fifteen years old, and I think the two of us have already done everything on your list. We’ve grown up together, and managed to keep from growing apart. I can’t imagine life without him, and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t want to live in the world if he wasn’t in it. He also gave me my two, astonishing, practically grown children, Evan and Brandilyn.
A true love story. And you celebrated your anniversary recently. Congrats again.
- Favorite television shows?
The SyFy network’s series ‘Face Off,’ in which contestants are judged by their ability to apply special effects makeup is my favorite show—I follow it faithfully. I also love to watch ‘Chopped’ on the Food Network. Personally, the only makeup I apply is the kind I slather on my face each morning, and I rarely cook anything more exotic than fried chicken. But there is something deeply gratifying about watching people do the things they are truly passionate about. No matter what that something is.
We talked about Face Off being your fave show. I’m not a foodie, so I just don’t ‘get’ shows that are food centered…though I love hell’s Kitchen! Weird. I think it’s mostly Gordon Ramsey that draws me in there. J
- Salty, sweet, or both?
Salty. I’m a Ruffles with French onion dip, queso and tortilla chip kind of gal.
Me too on certain days. Love PayDay candy bar. 😛 Now share a little about you.
Anna Kittrell has written stories for as long as she can remember. She still has most of her tattered creations—leftovers she was unable to sell on the playground for a dime—written in childish handwriting on notebook paper, bound with too many staples. Her love of storytelling has grown throughout the years, and she is thrilled her tales are now worth more than ten cents.
Growing up in small town Oklahoma, Anna spent many a summer day on the lakeshores she often writes about. Today, she works as a middle school secretary in her beloved hometown, where she resides with her high school sweetheart-turned-husband, Tim, and their two practically grown children, Evan and Brandilyn. She still loves visiting those muddy red lakeshores of her childhood, when she’s not too busy writing about them instead.
Twitter user name: @KittrellAnna
Facebook author page:
An ancient scrimshaw doll—does its gypsy magic protect or destroy?
As a child, Darcy Vaughan cowered beneath the malice of her twin sister, Scarlett. Now, Scarlett is back and Darcy hopes to establish the sisterly bond she’s always longed for. Instead, Scarlett tries to destroy Darcy’s life—and her new relationship with the town doctor.
Dr. Cabin Creighton returned to his hometown near Lake Chickasha, Oklahoma to take over his father’s practice. One look at Darcy, and Cabin wants nothing more than to love her forever. But a guilty heart and memories of his deceased wife are holding him back.
When someone from Scarlett’s past reappears, bad things start to happen. Darcy and Cabin struggle to keep their love alive, but as danger draws closer, Darcy finds herself once more at her sister’s mercy, with nothing but the yellowed bones of an ancient doll to protect her.
“Really? This is how you treat your sister? Your twin?” Scarlett pushed past Darcy, into the living room.
“You promised to check on me. I had a coughing spasm and very well could have died in that house all by myself.” She shook a cigarette from her pack, looked around the room, then slid it back in.
“May I intervene?” Cabin asked, his piercing gaze aimed at Scarlett. “You’re perfectly fine. I would have sent you to the hospital if I’d thought otherwise. As for the coughing spasm…you can blame those cigarettes for that.”
“Thank you, Dr. Drew. I’ll check into Celebrity Rehab right away.” She cackled, her breath reeking of alcohol. She turned to Darcy, snatching the doll from her hand. “Where did you get this?” she demanded. “How many crap-filled dumpsters did you have to dive into before you found the ridiculous thing? They should’ve buried these dried up bones right along with that crotchety old bat’s.” She pumped the doll’s legs in a suggestive motion and laughed, holding it from reach as Darcy grabbed for it.
Cabin circled Scarlett’s wrists with one hand, twisting the doll free with the other, and handed it to Darcy.
“My, you are a strong one.” Scarlett batted her lashes over bloodshot eyes. “I can certainly see why my sister…my twin sister…has such a bad case of Cabin fever.” She turned on her stilettoed heel and staggered through the doorway, onto the porch. “I hope you can remedy that, doctor.” She laughed as Cabin shut the door.
Thanks for this great excerpt and lovely cover share, Anna. I’m so proud to have you on my Ranch with Skinbound. And- listen up people!- Anna has graciously offered up a copy of her book to one lucky duck who comments! Show Anna the Ranch love for your chance win! I’ll announce the winner Sunday.
About Calisa RhoseI'm a mother of three daughters and wife to a wonderful man of 35+ years. I'm also an avid seamstress, polymer clay artisan and die-hard crafter, always coming up with things to make with, and for, my six granddaughters and two grandsons. Check out my craft site https://lisasfancifulallure.wordpress.com/ when you have a moment. I'm also a small online business owner of Okie fLips on Etsy and Poshmark (eBay/Merkari coming soon), https://www.etsy.com/people/cmselfridge and https://poshmark.com/closet/okieflips I'm a published author of sensual romance. I write about stubborn men and women who don't take no for an answer, and there's always that golden HEA. Cowboys and first responders are my favorite contemporary heroes to write about. My light paranormal heroes are strong men ready to protect their women--not that they need protecting, since they are capable of caring for themselves.
Posted on 11/09/2012, in Blog Tour, Contests, guest blogging, Pen of the Dreamer, Promotion, Publishers, The Wild Rose Press and tagged #TWRP, Anna Kittrell, Calisa Rhose, Debut author, Debut book, excited, giveaway, HOME, Pen of the Dreamer, skinbound, Tales of the Scrimshaw doll, Writing. Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.
Thank you, Jess! I was honored to critique your scrimshaw tale. You have an awesome story on your hands—soon to be in the hands of the public! I’m so excited for you. Thanks for stopping by!
Awwww, what a wonderful interview. So sorry I’m late reading it. Anna, your so inspiring! I’m going to try some of your writing techniques. And thanks so much for critiquing my Scrimshaw tale.
I’m excited about yours, Jess! I’m so sorry I didn’t get to read it the second time. I know it’s fabulous though. 🙂
Anna, it sounds like you’ve got things all together! Your book looks good. Best of luck with it.
Thank you, Ilona! I wish I had it all together more of the time…at least it all falls in place once in a while. Thanks for stopping by! Good luck in the drawing.
Sorry to be gone all day. Looks like the party went on fine without me! LOL Anna will be drawing a winner and I’ll announce it tomorrow. Be sure to check back!
Great interview ladies. Skinbound is a great story, and I know anyone who picks it up will love it. Best of luck, Anna.
Yay! It’s Callie, another one of my favorite people. Thank you for your kind words, I’ll be forever grateful for the beneficial critique you gave Skinbound in the early stages. I’m so glad you stopped by.
Terrific interview ladies!
Anna, congrats on your gorgeous cover and fab excerpt. I’ve read a couple of the Scrimshaw doll stories already and have enjoyed them!
Great, Christine! I’ve read all of the other Scrimshaw tales, and have enjoyed each of them immensely. I hope you’ll add Skinbound to your collection–maybe for free in the drawing 😉 Thank you so much for stopping by. Oh, and Kim Mendoza designed my cover. I think she did a fantastic job!
Great interview, ladies. As you both know, this project has a special place in my heart. And, Anna’s book is definitely special. Not only is it a fabulous story, she’s a fabulous writer and person and I am honored to have had the privilege of working with her on Skinbound. You guys do NOT want to miss this story! You’ll love it.
Awww! Thank you Alicia ❤ Your opinion means more to me than you'll ever know. I am so proud to be one of your 'scrimshaw chicks.'
Great interview and I loved the blurb. It looks exciting. Congrats!
lisarayns at gmail dot com
Thank you, Lisa. Skinbound was so much fun to write 🙂 I hope you enjoy it. Good luck in the drawing.
Welcome Anna! It’s so exciting to finally see your book here!
Hey Mae! Thanks for stopping in. 🙂
Thank you, Calisa. I love being her 🙂
Hahaha! I mean I love being HERE! LOL
I love you Anna! Haha
Hello, Calisa and Anna. I loved the interview and the excerpt, and such an interesting title! Anna, I met my husband when I was fifteen too and can’t imagine life without him. I wish I had your energy to tackle the exercise routine in the morning, LOL. Best wishes with the release. It has me intrigued!
Thank you, Mae! I’m so glad to hear we have a special bond. Long-haul relationships are so rare these days.
I have enough energy to exercise first thing in the morning, but it fizzles throughout the day and I have hardly any left in the evening. I’ve always wished I was more of a night owl; I have friends that get so much accomplished after their families go to bed.
I’m so glad you stopped by, it’s been nice chatting with you.
Best of luck in the drawing!