Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I am sixty-two, almost sixty-three. I was born in Des Moines Iowa and moved from Iowa to Minnesota when I was seventeen, after having lost a child, Eliza, (whose name I use in Boy). My father, Hugh, was at that time in Wayzata, a suburb of Mpls. I moved in with him and his new family to try to begin a new life for myself, which did not work as changing only one’s demographics is not enough unless one has made changes within themselves first, which I had not. It wasn’t until I moved to an area where nothing was familiar to me that I began to quit abusing myself and setting myself up for failure. In 1984/1985 I moved to the Gunflint Trail out of Grand Marais Minnesota. Being truly alone for the first time in my life, and with only myself to lean on, gave me only one option for surviving and that was to jump into life and appreciate all of the simple things it offered, without drugs and influence of any kind. I became a hard worker, something I also had not known I was capable of. I became a business owner with my sister who later moved to the area for many of the same reasons I had. Together we have owned and operated multiple businesses in the area and have used our business as a platform for mentoring many who are in need of the same push I once needed. I retired from the restaurant business in 2018 and in 2020 established a nonprofit with my sister called Hamilton Habitat Inc. We are 100% donation funded and our mission is to build “affordable homes” in our sweet little community. To date, we have built four which are all owner-occupied for which I am proud. Our end game with our nonprofit will be to build an elder village for folks who are not quite at the point of needing care or full-time care. A community of elders that based on the building model will allow them to keep an eye on each other if you will. I am also very anxious to get back to writing and am currently trying to figure out just how to juggle both.
How do you make time to write?
I wait for a rainy or snowy day. I am a workaholic so on these types of days, the weather gives me permission to slow down and be at home, which is my quiet writing space.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
Sure, I believe in writer’s block though I have not experienced it. I would imagine that it depends on the genre in which you are writing. When I read a story that is so involved and full of detail, holds my attention at every page, I am amazed. I would imagine that these authors suffer from time to time with writer’s block only because their stories are so incredibly extensive. Since I write only about what I know, it flows faster than I can write.
Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.
I am not familiar with this genre, to be honest. I wrote Boy purely to heal myself from what had been the saddest period of my life and also to send a message on the importance of being present with the ones that need us the most—our elders.
How are you publishing your recent book and why?
Between the Lines Publishing found me during the recent pandemic. I was home writing and started putting excerpts of my stories on FaceBook just for fun. The reactions to these stories fueled me to keep sharing more. The publisher had asked if I was interested in publishing any or all of these specific stories, and although I am interested in such an offer, what I really wanted was for Boy to be cleaned and polished, and published. I am forever grateful for the opportunity this woman has given me.
Are you an Introvert or Extrovert? How does this affect your work?
I am an introvert, which shocks the people that know me when I say that. Because I have had businesses over the years that depend on the public, I became a salesperson. I am good with people on my own turf. But, take me out of that environment and I am awkward and prefer not to be in a crowd or the center of attention.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
A motivational phrase depends on the subject matter. If we are referring to writing I would say that:
There is no wrong way if it is your heart that is driving you. Don’t fake it. Write what you know and keep writing. One day something will just feel right no matter what anyone else says.
by Anna Hamilton
GENRE: Drama/Family/Sweet Romance/Dementia
“Boy” is a story about a few weeks in the lives of Hugh and Betty Roberts, an elderly couple living alone on a family farm in Iowa. They are buried deep in grief over the loss of their only child and struggling to hang on to the only life they have ever known when dementia sneaks in. An unusual visitor brings a welcome distraction and reprieve just before the Thanksgiving holiday.
Join this couple and other unforgettable characters as they prepare to share in a memorable and much-needed Thanksgiving gathering at the old couple’s farm. What transpires is credited to friendship, love, and the relentless power of hope. Directly or indirectly we are reminded of what really matters on this brief walk we call Life.
On both sides of the driveway there were fields of corn, now harvested. Even in the wind, you could hear the pheasants running through the few stalks that remained. The distant fence lines stood like loyal soldiers waiting for the day they could come home. The air smelled wet and of dirt, the smell one becomes addicted to after having lived off the land.
As they walked the long driveway arm in arm, Hugh got a whiff of his childhood. All around him he smelled the seventy-eight years of his life. He turned to look at his wife who still clung to the small box and wondered whether she too could smell the years in the wind.
The rain looked like it was still miles away, however, the wind was always strong and present. In Iowa, the wind is never far away, always sneaking around, reminding you of how pointless it was to comb your hair or wear a cap.
By the time they had reached the mailbox, it had started to sprinkle. Hugh let go of Betty’s arm long enough to retrieve the mail and shove it inside of his flannel shirt, when a gust of wind swept by them, taking with it the lid from the box. Across the field and into the next it tumbled, until being captured by the loyal soldiers.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Anna Hamilton (1958- present) was born in Des Moines Iowa. She lives in Northern Minnesota along the Canadian border where she owns and operates a small restaurant in the village of Grand Marais. During the slower winter months, she writes, preferring fiction over non-fiction. “Fiction,” she says, “is much easier to create because you can be on the outside of a story looking in, rather than on the inside, fighting your way out.” Hence her first novel ‘Boy’.
When she is not working or writing, her time is spent mentoring children in need and advocates on behalf of both children and the elderly. She and her sister Sarah are currently working towards building affordable housing for their community. Part of the proceeds from her first novel ‘Boy’ will be dedicated to helping finance that project.
GIVEAWAY and RAFFLECOPTER CODE
Anna Hamilton will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, in addition to the gift card, the author will offer a prize to a second winner: a store coupon from Between the Lines Publishing/Liminal Press (half price print book or free ebook).
RAFFLECOPTER:Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC or a publisher store certificate – a Rafflecopter giveaway