Thursday, May 13, 2010

Guest Post: The Evolution of an Author by Anna L. Walls

I would like to take the opportunity to introduce you to Anna L. Walls, author of King by Right of Blood and Might.  She gave me the opportunity to read her book a while back, and being the slacker that I am these days, I have not yet reviewed it!  I plan to post a complete review in the near future, but in the meantime, I would like to share this special post that Anna wrote specifically to share with the readers of Tif Talks Books.  Enjoy!!


If someone had come up to me twenty years ago and told me that I would
be a published author in twenty years, I would have laughed in their
face. I never planned to be a writer, let alone a published author.
Twenty years ago, I was busy raising my kids and helping my husband
carve our life out of the wilderness here. Sure, I played with
writing a story a time or two over the years, forever ago; I still
have the typewriters – three of them, as a matter of fact – but mostly
it was more to see if I remembered how to type. They got put away
when I couldn’t find replacement ribbons for them but I was loath to
throw them away.

One day, roughly twelve years ago, we learned of a place in town
called Job Corp, the place offered free room and board, and our boys
could learn a trade. They could also learn to drive a vehicle. It’s
kind of hard to teach your kids how to drive if you don’t own a car.
At any rate, there were a whole lot of plusses involved in out boys
going. My oldest discovered the delights of computers and, being the
wheeler and dealer that he was, he did some trading and ended up with
a desktop computer and an old laptop. I have no idea what he traded;
in fact, I knew little of it until he came home and handed me this
little computer – my very first. Wow! Now, what do you do with a
computer? Did I remember how to type? It had a keyboard. I really
didn’t know what else to do with it. It was just a really cool,
glorified typewriter. Boy was I wrong.

I have always loved to read, but I prefer to read lying in bed. I’d
read lying on a couch but we don’t have one – our place isn’t big
enough for a recliner, let alone a couch. Anyway, my husband doesn’t
like me to disappear for endless hours to read some book. He wants me
to stay at the table and watch TV while he plays whatever game he’s
playing at the time. At first it was Nintendo, then it was Nintendo
II, then there was Nintendo 64, then Playstation and Playstation II,
all of which were played on the TV. He didn’t care if I read why he
played, he just wanted me to stay at the table with him. Someone had
to get coffee, you know. And sometimes he’d ask me to watch his life
bar or figure out some puzzle. Blah. But now I had this nifty new
toy. I could play too. Let me tell you, my spelling and grammar was
horrendous at first, but with auto correct to fix my habits, there
were less and less red lines on my story and since the grammar checker
had this ‘explain’ button, I learned some things about that too. I’d
go back and read through a few pages and the ease of adding or
changing text was SWEET!!!

Being a bit of a stickler about some things, I was curious about how
to judge how long a book was when typed on my sheet of computer paper.
I wanted to know what to aim for that I could call a ‘book’. I went
back to my room and picked up the last book I’d read. I don’t
remember rightly any more, but I think it was a little over 300 pages
long. Using my typing class lessons, I counted the ‘words’ across an
average page (five characters, including spaces, per word) and then I
counted the lines down. Back at my computer I adjusted the margins
until I got as close as I could, ending up with one inch margins all
around – close enough for me. Now I could aim for 300 some odd pages
and I’d have written a real book. Keep in mind I have never mentioned
publishing yet – it was a far away and unattainable concept.

During the course of writing KING BY RIGHT OF BLOOD AND MIGHT, I
learned many delightful things about writing and about my little
computer. I spend hours, days even, drawing maps and other pictures,
most of which did not make it into the final book because they looked
really bad in shades of gray. Because of all of that ‘playing’ and
‘learning’, my first book took two years to finish. After that, I
generated a story or two every winter, and every summer, I would read
through all that I had written, giving it all a loving tweak here and
there. Through it all, never still did I believe I would ever
publish; it was just the greatest pastime of all.

KING BY RIGHT OF BLOOD AND MIGHT became a real book two and a half
years ago now and I am thrilled at every sale, not because I’ll make a
dollar or two, but because someone I don’t know is reading something I
wrote, something I poured all my imagination into. It’s doubly
thrilling because few people that I know have read my book – maybe
more have than I know, but they haven’t told me.

Since last April, I’ve had an internet connection for the first time.
Now I have my own blog and my own website, I’m on Facebook and
Twitter, and I have made tons of virtual friends. I belong to several
great writing groups and writing sites, I follow dozens of blogs that
are chocked full of writing tips and publishing how-to information. I
even have some of my writing in a writing contest and my writing has
improved because of it all. I may not be writing as much because of
all that, but I think I’ll be publishing more. My really cool hobby
has evolved to a bit of an obsession and then on to somewhat of a
passion and I couldn’t be happier. Maybe someday I’ll be able to
retire from my day job, but until then, I hope you all enjoy my books.
Anna L. Walls
If you are interested in learning more about Anna, be sure to check out one of her sites:

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