Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
In real life, I’m an IT analyst for an insurance company. I spend a lot of my time coordinating programming resources and working with internal staff to develop the best product possible. This often involves leading negotiations between business users and technical resources. I like to joke that I’d be great at hostage negotiation! This probably seems like a really left-brain job for a writer, but in actuality, it gives me great insight into how people interact, what makes them tick, and how they deal with change. The project management experience is a huge help with writing, too.
I’m married with two ‘tween-agers so my writing time tends to be limited to sitting in dance rehearsals, Boy Scout meetings, and baseball games. We live on 20 acres of wooded land in Michigan where we farm, hunt, swim and play. We have a Doberman pinscher, a cat who thinks he’s a Doberman, another cat who thinks she’s a princess, a guinea pig who is the cutest rodent on Earth, and usually a handful of fish.
How did you come up with the idea for your WOLF CREEK series?
It started as a really weird dream! I dreamt about this enormous old house with a hidden room and something lost there. I thought about that dream for days before I felt like it had enough “meat” in it to make a book. Once I developed my characters, I started seeing the town come together. I hadn’t really considered writing a series until I was nearly finished with the first book, Resurrected Hearts. I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving my characters behind, and BAM! A series was born.
Do you ever get writer’s Block?
Yes. Oh my, yes. Because it takes me so long to write a first draft, I often lose my train of thought or excitement for the scene I’m writing. This is the case right now, actually. When I get writer’s block, I liken it to skipping the gym for a few days. I know I have to return to the story, and I know it’ll be painful at first, but it’ll all come right back with practice and dedication.
How did you deal with Rejection Letters if you received any?
My mantra about rejection letters; the more you get, the less they hurt! I’ve had a few rejections. Some bordered on rude, some were polite and encouraging. Those polite letters kept my hope alive.
Can you tell us your story of getting “the call” (or e-mail)?
Ahh. Such a happy memory! The acquisitions editor at the publishing house sent me an email offering a publishing contract. I read the email while on a break at work and I literally jumped out of my seat. Mind you, I work in an office with 650 employees, so the action didn’t go unnoticed. (lol) I called my husband first, and then my mom. About a half-hour later I received a huge bouquet of flowers from my parents congratulating me on my first book. I think I floated on that high for several months! And, the release of each subsequent book has felt nearly the same way.
What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
Strangely, I have a harder time identifying with my own sex. I’ve always been a tomboy. My best friend was my little brother and I spent the summers of my most formative years at a Boy Scout camp. I feel like I understand the male brain better than the female brain. Maybe that’s a gift. Maybe it’s a curse. Sometimes I have characters whose personalities I just can’t identify with, and that’s where I really struggle. I may know the character belongs in the book (and heaven forbid it’s a main character!), but no matter how much I think on it, I just can’t put myself inside that character’s head. Characters who are fashionable, for example, completely shut me out. Fashion left me behind in the ’80s and I have to turn to my daughter for descriptions of hair, nails, and clothes.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
I’m a strong Christian, and I turn to God daily for inspiration, patience, guidance – everything. My favorite bible verse is from Genesis 28:15
“I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
I carry this phrase on a tiny sheet of paper in my wallet and it brings me a great deal of comfort.
What are your current projects?
I’m feverishly trying to finish the last book in my Wolf Creek series. I’m probably halfway through and I have no idea what to call it. I pitched a series idea to a new publisher recently and they loved it so I’m anxious to get started on it. I’m also working on turning a YA short story I wrote about a school shooting into a full-length novel. This is a work that’s close to my heart, but also extremely painful to write so it’s taking some time.
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
I’m active on Facebook as “Annie J. Kribs”, on Instagram at @anniekribsauthor, on Twitter at @ajkribsauthor, and I have a website www.anniekribs.com. I love communicating with readers!
Do you have a sexy excerpt you’d like to share with us?
From my recent release Healing Hearts:
“So, you’re interested in me, huh?” His expression had now changed from teasing to smug satisfaction as he stepped back and sized her up.
“I didn’t say that.” Bailey turned her back on him and locked the heavy door. She needed to compose herself. She was so out of practice with the whole dating scene and anyway, Brent had never been flirtatious. What was it about Luke that made her feel like a fumbling teenager? Unfair!
“Yeah. You kinda did. You said you could have been interested in any other guy at the coffee shop. That implies that you were interested in someone, and saying that it might not have been me was just your way of throwing doubt across my path. But I didn’t fall for it. You like me.” His complete conviction was as sexy as his megawatt smile. Until now, she’d always thought swooning only happened in romance novels. She tried to cover herself with a stern look.
“Less and less all the time,” Bailey assured him, which only made him chuckle. “Well, it was nice, um, chatting with you, Luke. I’ve got to get back.” Bailey took a step away from the door, which turned out to be too wide, and slid down the cement steps. Luke was there in a flash, his arms around her keeping her from landing flat on her back.
Bailey clutched at his arms, her torso pressed tightly against him. Oh my! He felt every bit as good as he looked in his form-fitting T-shirt. She licked her lips, hoping he couldn’t feel her heart pounding, though whether it was from the near slip or his amazing body, even she couldn’t tell.
Luke watched her, first with concern, and then interest as he held her. His head came down as if he was about to kiss her. Bailey scrambled to free herself.
“Sorry. I really do have to go. Now.” She put space between them the instant her feet met the ground, backing away toward Rose Avenue and the relative safety of Buzzy’s Bed and Breakfast.