Happy Tuesday, Reader Friends!
I have another interview today for you. I’ve got Ane Mulligan on the blog. She’ll be discussing her latest novel, Life in Chapel Springs. It’s the fourth book in the Chapel Springs series.
About the Book
The Blurb: “Is it a midlife pregnancy or … cancer? Claire will keep her secret until she s sure but it isn t easy. Neither is trying to buy a home pregnancy test without anyone finding out. Between her twins double wedding, the caterer canceling, a looming nationwide art tour and her health, Claire s life is upside down.
Shy Lacey Dawson was happily writing murder mysteries for the community theater with her eye on Broadway. Then, a freak accident causes her traumatic injuries requiring facial reconstruction. When the bandages come off, Lacey s world is tuned inside out. Will Chapel Springs rally behind its own … or will life unravel?
When the mayor announces he has found quartz on his land, the local TV station reports: Where there s quartz, there s gold. Then Mayor Riley discovers Howie Newlander has bought the mineral rights to his land. Howie and his nefarious investors are struck with gold fever and set out to buy all the homes in Chapel Springs and mine the gold. Will life in Chapel Springs become the tailings of a gold mine?”
Toni: Hi, Ane! Thank you for joining me today. Tell us a little about the Chapel Springs series?
Ane: Thanks for having me, Toni. The Chapel Springs series is really a tribute to women’s friendships. I have some great girlfriends and there’s nothing more fun than a girls night out. I’ve had hilarious things happen with my friends that may or may not have made the books. I’m not telling. But they are a celebration of friendship, whether helping one another through hard times, loss of loved ones, or funny situations. It’s friends that make life fun.
Toni: Friends are the best! There’s a lot going on in this town! Lacey Dawson faces facial reconstruction. What kind of research did you do to make that authentic?
Ane: I started with a theatre friend, a set designer for the Metropolitan Opera, and I told him what I needed to happen to Lacey. Amazingly, he told me how a 5-pound roll of gaffers tape fell 20 feet from some scaffolding and broke his cheekbone. So I knew I had what I needed there. Next, I sat in a plastic surgeon’s office, discussing how she looked before and after facial reconstruction. He verified what I wanted to do was in the realm of possible. He showed me photos from several surgeries he’d done. I really appreciated his time, which was given freely.
Toni: That is so awesome! I love hearing about authors’ research. Now, Claire is battling health problems. So many of us go through the uncertainty. What is the lesson you want the readers to learn from Claire’s story?
Ane: Don’t carry your troubles alone. God placed friends in Claire’s life who love her and would help her. She has faith but had forgotten how changed her hubby was. She could have solved her problem so much quicker if she hadn’t worried about what everyone would think. But we do that, don’t we?
Toni: Unfortunately. What made you bring a gold mine to a contemporary novel?
Ane: Halfway through the writing of this book, I realized something was missing. It took me a while to see it was a town problem. When I get stuck like that, I gather my husband and youngest son and we go out to dinner. Then I tell them where I am and ask for ideas. Hubs came up with the idea of finding gold. And he’s right. Georgia was the site of the first gold strike in the U.S., and there is still a lot of it left in the north Georgia mountains. People are always finding small nuggets and gold dust in the streams.
I also learned from The Chef (son) where there’s quartz, there’s gold. It worked. It gave me what I needed to set the plot moving again. Besides, it’s provided a lot of fun as I found and incorporated true stories about people who tore up their floorboards, digging for gold.
Toni: That is so neat! Is this the last novel in the Chapel Springs series? Is it stand-alone or must it be read in order?
Ane: Well, I thought it was going to be the last, but my publisher said he wanted more. He said I could write them as shorter novels, so I’m brainstorming another wile I’m at work on a different series. I wrote the Chapel Springs books so they could be read in any order, but if someone hasn’t read one yet, I’d suggest starting with Chapel Springs Revival. That way, they meet the characters first and get to see their character arcs. However, I’ve had people say they started with the third book and quickly caught up with who’s who.
Toni: I love a never ending series. 🙂 What are three elements that are always present in your writing and why?
Ane: Faith, friendship and laughter: Faith because I’m a Christian and my worldview comes through. Friendship because I love my friends and can’t imagine doing life without them. Laughter because it’s good medicine and I’ve always held to something I learned as the Creative Arts director for my church: People let down their guard when they think they’re being entertained. Then when they least expect it, the story can reach out, touch hearts, and change lives.
Toni: Love that, Ane! How about some fun questions!
Fruits or vegetables?
Ane: Surprisingly, vegetables. They’re my first go-to when planning a meal or wanting a snack.
Toni: Really? *wrinkles nose* I’m all for fruit. What about candy or chocolate?
Ane: Caramel, so I guess it’s candy but the sugar free variety.
Toni: I can get behind that. Cake or ice cream?
Ane: Ice cream and in particular, Bryers no sugar added salted caramel. Absolutely divine!!
Toni: Oh yeah! I’ve had that. I’m addicted to salted caramel anything. 🙂 Before you go, can you tell us how can readers help support you in your writing journey?
Ane: That’s easy! Read my books and leave reviews. They are the lifeblood of writers. And always pray that the ones who are supposed to hear the message will have fertile hearts.
Toni: Praying with you! Thank you so much for joining me today! Readers, do you have any questions for Ane?
About the Author
While a floppy straw hat is her favorite, award-winning author Ane Mulligan has worn many: hairdresser, legislative affairs director (that’s a fancy name for a lobbyist), CEO of a Community Theatre, playwright, humor columnist, and novelist. She firmly believes coffee and chocolate are two of the four major food groups. Ane resides in Sugar Hill, GA, with her artist husband. You can find her on her website, Amazon Author page, Novel Rocket, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.
Ms. Mulligan is giving away a copy of Life in Chapel Springs (paperback for US entrants, eBook for international). Leave a comment by 9/11/17 11:59pm EDT for a chance to win. I will use a random generator to pick a winner on 9/12/17 (be sure to come back and check if you won). To enter leave a blog comment.
*Giveaway Policy here.