"Being chosen Samford University's Alumna of the Year was the greatest honor I've ever received"

In November of 1999, I was lucky enough to have Anne submit to some of my snoopy questions. Her responses gave me even more insight into Anne's life and her work

TB: Anne, tell us about Druid Press

Anne: About 15 years ago a friend of mine, Jerri Beck, and I started Druid Press. Jerri was working in publications at the university, I was teaching English, and we were both taking writing classes at UAB. We saw so much good writing that begged to be published that we very quietly and hesitantly founded Druid. During the next ten years we published 18 books of which we are very proud. Probably the one we treasure most is A BAKER'S DOZEN; CONTEMPORARY WOMEN POETS OF ALABAMA. It got great reviews and is still selling eight years after its publication. We sold Druid about five years ago when I became a full-time writer and Jerri an editor-writer.

TB: What event stood out on your 'Magic' book Tour?

Anne: The most memorable thing that happened on THIS ONE ANE MAGIC LIFE tour was a Sunday afternoon tea given by the Foley, Alabama Friends of the Library. I thought it would be a small event at the library. Instead, it had to be moved to the Civic Center auditorium and several hundred people showed up. It was amazing. Foley is close to Mobile Bay, the setting for MAGIC, and they all related to it. I'll remember it all my life.

TB: You have said in other interviews that none of your friends or relatives recognized themselves as characters in your books. Have they figured it out yet?

Anne: They don't seem to have caught on yet. Thank goodness.

TB: Do you read other people's books while you are working/writing?

Anne: I have books, mostly fiction, all over the house and read them constantly. I leave my writing and gratefully pick up someone elses. I go to the library every three weeks and get ten books, some mysteries but mostly mainstream fiction. I get ten because I'm terrible about not getting them all back in time unless I know exactly how many I have. So I read them, plus the ones I buy. It would drive me crazy not to read fiction while I was writing. It would be a punishment.

TB: What is your all-time favourite book?

Anne: I think the book I laughed over most was A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES. I can put it aside for a couple of years and then go back to it and laugh just as hard. I'll have to admit that my favorite of all times is Eudora Welty. I did my masters thesis on her and her work has absolutely held up.

TB: Do you have a mentor?

Anne: No mentor. Wish I did.

TB: Do you choose the titles for your books?

Anne: I've chosen all of the titles but MURDER ON A GIRLS' NIGHT OUT. My editor chose that one. I had it entitled LINE DANCING AT THE SKOOT 'N' BOOT and she didn't think it sounded like a mystery.

TB: What do you feel has been your greatest achievement to date?

Anne: Being chosen Samford University's Alumna of the Year was the greatest honor I've ever received. Samford has about 10,000 students and is well known as a highly academically rated university. My father and my daughter attended Samford also. She teaches chemistry ther now. My son-in-law graduated from Cumberland Law School (part of Samford). Of all of us, I was the least outstanding student. So I can't tell you how surprised I was. And how honored that my alma mater is proud of me and my work.

TB: Any plans to write a novel in the same vein as your wonderful THIS ONE AND MAGIC LIFE?

Anne: I think THIS ONE AND MAGIC LIFE may be a once in a lifetime thing. It was the time weaving, magical book I've always wanted to write. I do have a couple of other literary novels in mind, though. I'm gong to do one more Sisters novel. Then I have a book of poetry coming out next year from Black Belt Press. It will be the collected poems 1980 - 2000. Then I plan on doing another literary novel. I've been thrilled that MAGIC has been so well received.

TB: A number of authors who write series-mysteries have confessed that they wish they handn't started them. Do you ever tire of writing for the same characters? (We fans sure hope not!)

Anne: I'm not tired of the sisters and have never regretted doing a series. I have the luxury of leaving them for a while and then coming back, and when I sit down at the computer to rejoin them it's like coming back to visit with old friends whose company I enjoy.

Thanks so much Anne!