Meet Anne K. Edwards, author of 'This and That—Collection of Light and Dark Tales'

Anne K. Edwards enjoyed the printed word from the time she learned to read. In the third grade she got an honorable mention in a class writing contest where one had to add an ending to a story.  That was when she found how much fun and freedom there was in writing stories of her own and how much she loved writing them. Her twin loves of reading and writing finally brought her deep satisfaction when she was signed to that first publishing contract.  

Q: Please tell us about This and That—Collection of Light and Dark Tales, and what inspired you to write it.

A:  This particular book was written over a period of years in the form of short stories about a wide variety of subjects in various genres.  Each one was inspired by some new story idea or a twist to an old theme.

Q: What themes do you explore in This and That—Collection of Light and Dark Tales?

A: The themes of the stories vary according to subject. For instance, the old idea of vampirism--what would happen to a vampire if he drank his own blood? Or that old idea of the devil attempting to take over the world and outsmarting himself. Or what would happen if Death had to hire a detective to help him? I know those aren’t standard themes, but I actually like to write “What would happen if—“ stories using that as the theme.

Q: Why do you write?

A: Because I can’t not write. Ideas keep coming and in order to save what others might laughingly call my sanity, I must try to flesh them out. Writing can be called an addiction or something that won’t let me be until I get that idea down on paper.

Q: How picky are you with language?

A: I prefer to use a relaxed form of language as the formal version would never fit in fiction. And even in nonfiction, formal or proper language can be stiff sounding. Writing as one would speak is much easier and much more readable, particularly in fiction.

Q: When you write, do you sometimes feel as though you were being manipulated from afar?

A:  I don’t know. I do often wonder where ideas originate and how they reach my consciousness. It happens when I write, the results seem to be someone else’s words. 

Q: What is your worst time as a writer?

A: Starting a new work and getting that first chapter right. And though I know how a tale ends, I often have trouble reaching it and the result is the characters have other ideas and a new ending is necessary. Thus, doing things over and over is what I’d say is my worst time as a writer.

Q: Your best?

A:  Reaching those final words ‘The End’ and being really satisfied with the way the story is written and its outcome.

Q: Is there anything that would stop you from writing?

A: Only if I were to lose the ability to create. Scribbing for its own sake gives no reward.

Q: What’s the happiest moment you’ve lived as an author?

A:  The happiest moment would be the first contract as with most writers, but finishing a book is also a moment of great satisfaction. This however is balanced by the immediate intrustion into that happiness of new ideas and new characters demanding to be heard.

Q: Is writing an obsession to you?

A: It comes close. I have tried to quit a few times when disappointed in results only to find it nagging at me to start again and again and again.  Writing is a nagging voice demanding audience and only shutting up when the writer takes up a clean sheet of paper and starts to write or turns on the computer and presses those first keys. So I’d likely say the force that makes us write is the obsessive while the writer must let themselves be manipulated by it to find any peace.

Q: Are the stories you create connected with you in some way?

A: No. I find an interest in many things that have nothing to do with me personally, such as worrying about the end of the world as in one story, or what will happen to civilization as we know it if greed in its many forms takes over. Those things aren’t likely to happen in  my lifetime so I see no connection except the desire to write the story. I have reached into my past to select characteristics for people, and perhaps some places as backdrops for a tale, but that’s the limit.

Q: Ray Bradbury once said, “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” Do you agree?

A: I don’t think so. Reality is living everyday life, family, jobs, friends, and so forth and enjoying it.  Unreality is the fiction that can be based on reality, but isn’t the same. To write, one uses forms of reality as a base and then stretches it, like emotions in reality may run a course and then we move on, but characters in a thriller may become so locked in grief they become serial killers of the most horrible kind.  I know people suicide from reality, but it is usually a twisted perception that drives them or some experience that scars their psyche so badly they cannot bear the pain and this has nothing to do with writing.

Q: Where is your book available? 

A.    Amazon and perhaps the publisher First Realm Publishing.

Q: Do you have a website or blog where readers can find out more about you and your work?

A: Yes.  Be sure to meet my muse, Swamp Thingy in his column, One Muse’s Opinion