It was last July when I first had Anne by for a very wonderful Coming Soon from the Pen post, and today I want to welcome her back! Please note, links may be affiliate links. This does not affect your price, but may give me a few pennies to support my homeschool and book buying habits. Thank you.
Time seems to fly. It seems it was only a few years ago when you published your first book Wings of a Dream (on sale for $6 when I last checked!). How has being published changed your life?
Publication has been an interesting journey. While I went into it with my eyes more wide open than most–I’d walked through the process many times with my longtime critique partner and friend, Mary DeMuth–I have still been surprised at how publication has changed my writing and my days. No matter how you slice it, once you sign that first contract writing becomes a job, even if it is a job you love! Being a job, it comes with those same pressures that any other job entails. It has taken me a good two years to really come to grips with the fact that I am no longer a SAHM who writes, I am an author who is also a mom. Granted, we just graduated our youngest from high school this year, but if you are one who has reached that stage of life you know that the busyness of it is quite shocking! I thought life would slow down. Instead, it is gaining speed and I sometimes struggle to keep up!
Christian Historical Fiction seems to be your main genre, is it your favorite to write?
It is, although as a reader of several genres, I often find other stories flitting through my head that I would love to capture on the page some day. I’ve always enjoyed variety in my writing, even if it is just other time periods in historical fiction. Writing different things keeps me engaged and keeps me growing as a writer.
As a writer, I’m sure your reading time might be limited from what it once was, but please share what is your favorite book you’ve read of all time?
Besides many of the classics, two of my favorite books, ones I’ve reread many times, are not very well known. One is The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery. The other is The Train to Estelline by Jane Roberts Wood. Both have characters that leap off the page and live in your imagination long after the book is closed.
What are you reading right now?
I know for myself, I read tons of books as a child, but the first book I really remember was The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi. It was a historical setting with a strong female character headed on an adventure. Then later as a young adult the book series that changed my life and introduced me to the world of Christian Historical Fiction was Liz Curtis Higgs Lowlands Biblical Fiction series. What was the first book you really remember reading that stuck with you and gave you a love for books?
Little House on the Prairie–I got the whole set for my 8th birthday–definitely fueled my love for reading, but when I discovered The Secret Garden in 6th grade, I truly fell in love with story and character.
Other than writing, what type of crafts have you tried? Are there any that became really hobbies and stick with you? I know I personally haven’t figured out how to read, cross stitch and quilt all at the same time. ☺
Lol! I used to cross stitch all the time! I can crochet, but not very well. I don’t quilt or sew or scrapbook or any of the usual crafty things. But I have discovered that I love making “pins” on PicMonkey with Bible verses or quotes from books and then using them in blog posts or on Pinterest or Facebook. Finally a medium in which I can “create” without having to make a straight line with thread or scissors!
What is the best writing research field trip you’ve taken? Where did you go? What did you do or see?
Hands down it would be the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. I went there when I was researching At Every Turn, my second published novel. It happened to be a few weeks before the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500, so they had brought to the museum every single car that had ever won the race! That meant even cars from when my story was set–1916! The many pictures from the early days at the motor speedway gave me details and fueled my imagination. I also met a wonderful gentleman in his 70s who knew all about pre-WWI racing from his grandfather who had been a mechanic on one of the cars that won the Indianapolis 500 in the 1920s. He was invaluable to my research and has become such a great friend, too.
World War I era history is an apparent passion in your heart. Do you have family history of your own that drew you to this time period, or is this a fascination of the heart?
I began writing in this time period with my first published novel, Wings of a Dream, because that story was based on my great-grandparents history which happened during the influenza epidemic of WWI. I became fascinated with the time period and have continued to write books set within the few years just prior to and including WWI. But I love all of history. I can’t think of any time period or even many places where I couldn’t find historical events to wrap a story around!
Can you share some of the exciting things God is doing in your life right now?
As the parents of three young adult children in various stages of college, God is teaching my husband and I patience and sacrifice at an even greater level than when our children were small. It is such a joy to watch them fly, to see how God is moving in their lives. But on top of that, God is teaching my husband and I to support each other in the ministries and jobs He has given us to do. It’s a stage of adjusting our lives and our marriage to no longer having kids in the house on a daily basis. God continues to deepen my trust in HIm in every area of my life as I navigate the business of publication. Life is always about learning and life is always about God, so I continue to learn more about God every single day.
Closing words of encouragement you’d like to share with you readers?
My encouragement would be to read everything with open eyes and an open heart–even fiction! Don’t just read to escape your life and your issues. God can use fiction to help us see ourselves, others, and Him in fresh ways when we read with at least part of our minds open to what He wants to whisper to our hearts through the story.
I do! I blog 2-3 times a week as well as post A Sunday Psalm graphic that I have created from a photo. I mostly blog about books, life, and spiritual insights from both life and scripture.
I have read different places about the dialogue of choosing this title, could tell us a little more about that? Is the finished title your working title as well?
I am generally a terrible title-er! I mean terrible! My first two book titles were chosen completely by the marketing department. For the third, the working title just stuck with me–A Home for My Heart. They chose a different title. It wasn’t my favorite, but I was willing to go with it. A month or so later I got an email that they had changed their minds and had decided to go with A Home for My Heart! I was shocked–and pleased. It is very special to see a title I chose on one of my books!
For those of us, who cannot wait for more from Anne Mateer, please tell us more about your next release…
I have another novel (no title yet!) releasing in the fall of 2014. It is set in Oklahoma in 1917 and is the story of a woman pursuing a masters degree in mathematics who becomes a reluctant high school girls’ basketball coach. And of course her life is never the same again! 🙂
A sweet story of hope and love set against the poignant backdrop of a 1910 orphanage
Sadie Sillsby works as the assistant to the matron at the Raystown Home for Orphan and Friendless Children, pouring all her energy into caring for the boys and girls who live there and dreaming of the day she’ll marry her beau, Blaine, and have children of her own. But when the matron surprises everyone by announcing her own engagement, Sadie is suddenly next in line for the esteemed job of running the orphanage.
There’s one glitch. The matron cannot be married. She must focus her attention on the financial, legal, and logistical matters of the Home. Sadie’s heart is torn. Should she give up her plans for a life with Blaine in order to continue serving these children who have no one else? Does she, a young woman who was once an orphan herself, have what it takes to succeed in such a challenging career? And when the future of the Home begins to look bleak, can Sadie turn things around before the place is forced to close forever?