Author Anne Kemp always knows how to make people smile. After a fun week of family, food and shopping I could go for something lite. We (in the U.S.) are all probably sluggish right now from our American holiday—Thanksgiving—thanking God for our bounty and asking for His forgiveness. Maybe some of us are asking for forgiveness for things we said to family over the holiday. Haha! Many people wished me a snarky Happy Thanksgiving referring to their own family. So, here is an uplifting interview with Author Anne Kemp who is probably not as sluggish as me since she went gluten free. (You can find some of her recipes on her blog.)
1. I know from your book Rum Punch Regrets you like the book The Great Gatsby. In your book, the father gives The Great Gatsby to his children, tipping off Abby’s relationship to Ben. (Nicely done by the way.) Is this something you used from real life?
I just love The Great Gatsby! It was one of the books we had to read in high school that stuck with me. To Kill A Mockingbird was another.
2. In your book Rum Punch Regrets Abby travels to St. Kitts where you have traveled. Do I sense a theme? Do you see yourself as a world traveler penning adventurous stories based on travel research?
The one thing I learned with writing is to always write what you know. When I started Abby’s story, I was living on St. Kitts, so it made sense. I’ve since begun other projects that are based either in Maryland (where I grew up) and I have a novella pending that is based on a wedding I attended earlier in 2013 in Cancun.
3. What is your process in writing a book? Do you find yourself using the same or a different process with each book?
It’s an evolving process. I can’t commit to saying I write one way or the other, because I think with each story and book, you’ll find what you need to do to get it out. To me, the story dictates the writing style and process.
4. You seem to be a social media maven with your website, blog, Twitter, FB and your column. How has social media helped you in your career as an author?
I created a side-business out of it! Insert tons of laughter here…I now do social media for several national brands and work with newbie businesses to find their niche and voice for an online presence. It’s fun! As far as how it has helped me, I find I’m able to connect with fans very quickly, and go to them on platforms like Facebook and Twitter to ask questions or even to have them help me name a character or decide on how a scene should be written. I think it’s great that readers and authors can connect in such a safe space and feel closer!
5. I noticed some of the proceeds of your book go to Lupus LA. Can you tell us why Lupus LA is near and dear to your heart?
When I met my friend Adam Selkowitz years ago, he told me he had Lupus and I didn’t know what that meant. So, I learned about this disease, read up on it and went to benefits for it, began helping raise money and learning more. I now sit on their Poker Committee, working with amazing people to put together a Rooftop Poker Party in LA every year. I followed Adam’s lead to help educate as many people as I could about this disease and get the word out about Lupus. I’ve got a lot more to do 😉
6. What other talents or skills do you have besides writing Contemporary Romance?
Skills, like the fact I can break in to some of my neighbors apartments (when asked AND if needed!! haha) or the skills I have where I’m secretly an amazing Gluten-Free Chef that loves cooking and baking all things gluten free? That one is my proudest – I’ve been gluten free for almost three years now, and I love taking regular recipes and converting them to my way of eating!
7. What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?
Do it everyday and don’t stop. When you think you want to give up, take a break, and come back. Once you’re a writer, you don’t stop being one. And when you get reviewed or you are rejected when you submit to publishers or when you’re looking for an agent, don’t stop. Keep pushing! It’s a matter of opinion, agents and publishers are people too and just because you won’t work with one doesn’t mean your ideal fit isn’t out there!!
8. What do you like to read? Is there a particular genre you like to read?
Thrillers, Paranormal and Contemporary Romance (the new Chick Lit, that is!) are my fave genres!!
I’m currently working on the fourth installment of the Abby George Series, which we are hoping to release at the beginning of 2014. It’s the next step in Abby’s story as she continues her journey on St. Kitts and navigates the waters of her turbulent love-life!
author & social media strategist