Marian P. Merritt - Lagniappe

Where the Bayous Meet the Mountains

Monday, June 20, 2016

Anita K. Greene - Under Starry Skies

Good Monday Morning Readers!

Today, Anita K. Greene visits
 Lagniappe to discuss her latest release, the third book in her SeaMount Series, Under Starry Skies. 

Welcome, Anita!

Tell us a little about Under Starry Skies.
Under Starry Skies is the third book in my SeaMount series. Except for the opening scene, it is set in Rhode Island and New York City in the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. This is the first novella I’ve written, and I enjoyed the process.

Here is the blurb:
Two years ago Ethan Thomas lost his family in a horrific car accident. Now on assignment surveying the floor of a shipping canal, a woman’s face appears wavering ethereal as sea smoke in the swaying weeds. The vision leaves him shaken. Soon after he meets the real flesh and blood woman. Will grief continue to hold him captive or will he chose to love again?

Talia Combs has her life all figured out. A career she enjoys, a home she loves, and the best in Alzheimer’s nursing care for Papa. But then Agent Thomas steps into her life, and everything she thought she knew about herself and her family is turned upside down. Can Talia forgive her Papa for the secrets he kept? 
Can she give up her plans and follow where love leads?

Will Ethan and Talia trust God as His perfect plan for their lives unfolds?

What Bible verse speaks to you the most?
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
This verse has carried me daily since my son was small and diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (atypical autism). I continually prayed this verse over him and soon it became my life verse. Just last week, Kent was awarded Employee of the Year at the Big Y Mystic store (a supermarket). God is so good. He has answered my prayers for my son time and time again.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not writing? Hobbies, etc.?
I enjoy handwork. In the past, my sister and I made decorative items from old quilt pieces and sold them at craft shows. We no longer do the shows, but I still have tubs filled with fabric, buttons, fur, and ‘stuff’ to play with. Working with my hands puts my writer brain in neutral where it can wander at will. New plot ideas often pop into my mind while I’m sewing.

What were some of the challenges (research, literary, psychological, or logistical) you faced in bringing this story to life?
Research is always my challenge. I began writing Under Starry Skies saying, “I’m going to keep the research to a minimum and write what I know.” Ha! That lasted all of a day, or maybe two!
Because the agents in the SeaMount Series are all former military men using their skills for a privately owned company, much of my research centers on getting characterization correct. The opening chapter of Under Starry Skies is a dive scene involving dry suits, rebreathers, and other things this landlubber knew little about before doing the research. I also had to take a deeper look eat music! I can carry a tune, but that is the extent of my musical knowledge. So what do I do? Make the heroine a music teacher, of course.

Can you give us a brief summary of your writing process from idea to holding a published book or a download onto your eReader?
Ideas come from everywhere. I keep a notebook for recording random thoughts, names, titles, quotes, and you name it. As for creating something out of all those jottings, I have written by the seat of my pants, outlined, plotted and re-plotted, all with the hope that my story will magically come together with ease. I can definitively say, there is not a magic method.

The beginning process is messy and always the hardest part. The real fun begins after the first draft is nailed down. Now it’s time to play with words, flesh out characters, fill holes, and enhance themes. Then I move on to editing. Checking scenes and sequels, and removing words that are just like, you know, unnecessary! Once I’ve gone through my checklist, the story goes off to my beta readers for their input and corrections. After I muck around with it again it’s off to my editor. I have a hard time letting go because there is always something I want to improve.

As an Indy author, I’m responsible for the cover and formatting of my books. Knowing my limitations, I don’t try and do these things myself. I work with others who are more qualified. They make my books shine. When I have all the parts I need, I upload my book to Amazon, B&N, and Apple’s iBooks. Making print copies available follows soon after.

What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?
Shout from the rooftop, “I love this book!” On second thought, don’t do that. You may fall off the roof, or get in trouble for being a noisy neighborhood nuisance. Truly, if you would like to help an author, please tell other readers—family, friends, the hairdresser, and coffee shop acquaintance. Then spread the word through your social media contacts. When you finish the book, hop over to your online retailer or Goodreads and post a review. It doesn’t have to be long or eloquent. Two or three words will suffice. Reviews are like gold for authors, and we appreciate that you take the time to do them. So, thank you very much.

What can we expect from you in the future?
I’m currently editing a stand-alone novel, Miracle in Black. The story takes place in the same Rhode Island town as my SeaMount series so those characters are making cameo appearances in the book. I’m still researching and pulling together the plot for Book 4 of the SeaMount Series. This book will be Whit McCord’s story. My working title is Whit’s End.

Lightning Round:
Crawfish Etouffee or Seafood Gumbo? Neither - Rhode Island clam chowder (clear broth)
Sandals or FlipFlops? Sandals
Women’s Fiction or Romance? Romance
Dogs or Cats? Dogs

Thank you, Marian, for extending your southern hospitality to the New England gal. 

An avid reader at a young age, Anita was a teen when she decided to try her hand at writing stories. She started out re-writing the TV episodes of HERE COMES THE BRIDES. What would now be called 'fan fiction' filled a notebook. She collected and read all Emily Loring's romances. A grand feat at a time when there was no internet to aid in the search. She also enjoyed many of Grace Livingston Hill's works. 

Life intervened and it was many years before Anita decided to get the stories in her head down on paper. She attended an on-going short story workshop advertised by the local library. Soon she was writing what she loves to read - novel length romance stories. 

When Anita isn't writing, she enjoys reading, needlework, quilting, arts and craft projects and making cards. She serves on her church's prayer team and is an adult Sunday School leader and lay assistant.

Anita lives in Rhode Island with her husband, son and a spoiled Belgian Malinois. She has lived in Oregon and Colorado, but Rhode Island—the Ocean State where she was born and raised—are where her roots are deepest.

Facebook:   Anita K Greene Author

Twitter:  @anitakgreene

Pinterest:  Anita K Greene

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Under Starry Skies
Into The Deep

Out of the Wilderness 

Anita, thanks for sharing!

Readers, thanks for visiting Lagniappe

I pray you find 
"a little something extra" 
in each of your days.



Elizabeth Devlin said...

Fascinating interview! Love hearing about the process.

Lisa Norato said...

Great interview, Anita! I loved reading about your writing process and can relate. The novella sounds wonderful and I look forward to reading it. Also, love the cover!

J.M. Griffin said...

Great article, congrats on sharing all this with us, Anita. Wonderful cover, super story line.

Jo Ann Brown said...

Really enjoyed reading this interview, Anita! Congrats to Kent on having both his award and a supportive mom who helped him find his way. The cover is fabulous!