Introducing Ann Charles

Hi! Ann here. I’m looking forward to hanging out on Black Ink White Paper with a bunch of new friends and meeting more—like you.

I currently call the Seattle area my home. I grew up in a small farm town in Northwest Ohio. After graduation, I made my way to Southern California, then migrated to Northern Arizona for a short time, and finally landed here in Western Washington where I have lived for fifteen years. I seem to be full of compass
directions today.

I went to college in all four states, which means I had to take English 101 four frickin’ times because each college believed its English class was better than the one at the previous college.

From all of those English classes, I learned how to write a two page paper on anything—a nail file, a staple remover, clouds, fingernails, you name it and I can fill two pages about it in the proper format.

I didn’t plan to be a writer. I didn’t write stories since childhood. I wrote one poem and it was atrocious. My father winced as I read it to him. But I have been an avid reader since I was placed in an advanced reading class in 4th grade. In my mid-twenties, I decided to try my hand at writing my own steamy romance novel. I sucked. Thinking back, I don’t even think they had sex in it—I was too embarrassed to write it back then. (Ah, how times have changed.) But Harlequin’s rejection staff was kind and encouraged
me to keep trying. So I did. Thirteen-ish years, a divorce and second marriage, a college degree, two kids, and one ornery cat later, I am published. Whew! Obviously, I missed the fast train to publishing and settled for the hobo route, plodding along the tracks, stopping to smell the flowers along the way.

My first book, which was just released as an eBook in January 2011 and a print book earlier this month, has a history almost as winding as mine. But I’ll give you the short version. This book, called Nearly Departed in Deadwood, was the seventh manuscript I wrote. It grabbed the attention of several editors, making
it to acquisitions more than once, but not leaping over that final hurdle to “Published” because of the lack of marketability (according to them, not me). Talk about repeated stings. I think there are marketing gods who like to toy with me just for giggles.

In 2010, I entered this book in the Romance Writers of America Kiss of Death chapter’s Daphne du Maurier contest. I hoped it would at least final. I needed that ego boost after so many rejections. It ended up winning the mainstream division for mystery/suspense, as well as going on to win the grand overall prize—aka, “the Daphne.” I still kiss my award every night before going to bed. My husband is grateful I’ve stopped sleeping with it. He almost lost an eye one night.

After the book won, I was approached by a brand new small press publisher, Corvallis Press. I was wary of small presses, but this one threw out an offer I couldn’t refuse—become a partner and have more control over the look and feel and distribution of my book. My brother is an artist, and the idea of having his
art on and in my book was a dream he and I had shared over the years but I knew wouldn’t happen with a NY publisher. With Corvallis Press, this dream could—and would—become reality. Also, this was a wonderful opportunity to apply all of the marketing and promotion information I’d soaked up over the past four years,
including the previous two years after a good friend and I started a website called 1st Turning Point (www.1stturningpoint.com), where authors can go to learn all about marketing and promotion
for free. I was up to the challenge (and, boy, it has been a challenge at times), and now I have Nearly Departed in Deadwood as an ebook and print book available and selling like hotcakes on Amazon and other online and non-online retailers. If you’re curious about all of the places you can find this award-winning
book (I love that I get to say that—thank you Daphne Divas!), check out my BUY link page: http://anncharles.com/deadwood/?page_id=769

So, now you know a little bit more about me and my publishing journey. This is the starting point for where I’ll be going on Black Ink White Paper. I look forward to learning more about you along the way. I hope you feel comfortable enough to comment and let me know how you’re doing when you stop by throughout
each month.

Happy travels!
Ann Charles

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6 responses to “Introducing Ann Charles

  1. Raymond Bolton

    Congratulations, Ann, on both accomplishments: getting published and the award.

  2. Hey Ann!

    Great intro. I’m totally looking forward to reading your book and getting to know you better!

    Katy

  3. Jar O' Marbles

    *waves*

  4. Hi guys! Thanks for saying “Hi!” I’m looking forward to hanging out here!

    Ann C.

  5. Hi, Ann (although a little belated!) –

    I’m right with you on the hobo trail to publishing, but it doesn’t matter how we get there nearly as much as whether or not we enjoy the journey!

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