On Being a Small Press Author – Anita Rodgers

Running a small press is just like running a business with a group of employees – well almost. I don’t actually get to see them every day and we can’t gather around the water cooler to chat. Since we all see each other only virtually, I thought it might be nice to ‘introduce’ our authors to both each other and their readers via a series of short interviews. These interviews will run every couple of days for the next month or so – it’s a neat way of finding out how similar authors can be, and yet so different.

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Today, I’m pleased to present Anita Rodgers, one of Central Avenue’s veterans. I met her over 3 years ago, when she took a chance on a small, new publisher to submit her book – False Witness – a great mystery novel. Her book continues to sell three years after its publication and I’m so glad she stuck around. Anita’s an avid social media gal (like me) and I enjoy reading her musings on her well-read blog – in fact, that and her twitter feed were the things that drew me to her.

1. The first book I can remember reading is: The Tale of Peter Rabbit

2. The first book I ever wrote was: “The Addict” I think I was about 10 years old and wrote a 30 page, handwritten novel about a woman addicted to drugs who had a tragic life. Luckily my dad was the only one who ever read it.

3. An average day in my life goes like this: Up early, feed the pets, brew some coffee, inspect my gardens, drink coffee and read until I wake up. Work (usually writing). Exercise. Social Media. More writing. Reading, television, more reading. Sleep.

4. I found out about Central Avenue Publishing from: I honestly don’t remember, but it was probably through one of the hundreds of writer’s newsletters I subscribe to. Funds for Writers, perhaps? I decided to submit my book because: I had nothing to lose and really wanted to publish the book. Actually, I submitted the book during a pretty low period in my life, when everything just seemed to be going wrong. And in fact, I had no expectations at all that the book would be accepted. When it was accepted, it was the beginning of things turning around in my life. Funny, I never realized that until now. Thank you, Michelle.

5. The last book I read was: I’m currently reading Nine Dragons by Michael Connelly. I am utterly addicted to his Harry Bosch series – maybe because Harry reminds me of my dad, a bit grumpy and grumbly but with his heart in the right place.  Nine Dragons is quite the page turner too. Love it.

6. In order for me to sit down and write, I need: That depends on what I am writing and whatever else is happening tht day. When I am doing copy writing or web writing there is always a certain amount of force that has to be applied to get me to the computer. Luckily, I am a fast writer so even if I procrastinate I can still come in under deadline. When it comes to fiction, the story has to be flowing for me to be anxious to sit down at the computer, when the story is in a difficult place it’s harder for me to face the blank page. Ideally, I like writing when there is no one around and my pets are sleeping. The silence is good for my creative process.

7. My ‘day job’ is: A freelance writer other ‘day job’ type contract work.

8. I carve out time to write by:  I don’t really have to carve out time, if I want to write, I write. There isn’t a force on Earth that could prevent me from writing if I want to. Even when I worked a full time job, I would jot down notes during breaks or send myself emails if an idea struck me suddenly.

9. In order to find time to write, I feel as though I sacrifice: To some degree I deny myself a social life by being a writer. I pass on invites to activities and events sometimes. I also need a lot of time alone just to think and consider things and if I can’t get this time, it’s hard to write the way I want to. Being a writer has also been hard on my love life, because most men seem to prefer traditional women (for lack of a better term) who do not want to leap out of bed at 2 am to jot down a poem or start a story or who might be perfectly happy sitting at a computer for 16 hours a day.

10. I am currently working on: A mystery whose main character is a blind graphic novelist. Other characters include: a former detective who knew the heroine when she was a child, a stalker in cowboy boots and a tabloid journalist.

11. The best piece of advice I ever got was from:  My dad and it was: Never give up on your dreams, they are the only thing worth living for.

12. The best piece of advice I would give is: Believe in yourself. Always. It is utterly amazing what you can accomplish in life if you just believe in yourself.

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