TQ: What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
Anne: To be at my most productive, I need to be working on several things at once. I typically have two novels and two short stories in various phases of drafting, usually quite different from each other. That way, if I get stuck on one thing, I can use a different part of my brain on something else.
TQ: Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?
Anne: Anthony Burgess is my absolute favorite novelist. And it's not just his sardonic wit that I love. I most admire how fearlessly, unapologetically intellectual his fiction is. I don't dare write like that, but in my dreams I do. It takes great courage not to worry whether your readers know what the heck you're talking about, or even know the words you're using.
Among my other favorite authors are Ursula K. LeGuin, Robert A. Heinlein, Vladimir Nabokov, Raymond Chandler, and E.L. Doctorow. As you can see, I have wide-ranging taste. And everyone I've ever read, good or bad, has influenced my writing.
TQ: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Anne: I am more plotter than pantser, but I'm not afraid to change the plan as I go along if it's not working out or if I get a better idea. I approached Green Light Delivery in an atypical way, however. I wanted Webrid, the main character, to feel very lost and confused and pointlessly wandering in the first half. Therefore, I plunged in without a plan, so I wouldn't know where I was going, either.
TQ: What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?
Anne: The most challenging thing is being buried in ideas. I realize that it's a classy problem, but I get very frustrated by how long it takes to turn an idea into a novel. I'd love a machine where I hook up my brain, slide in a dollar bill, and out comes a finished work. Okay, maybe a hundred dollar bill.
TQ: Describe Green Light Delivery in 140 characters or less.
Anne: Urban alien Webrid notices a green laser light beaming from his head. He'll do anything to get rid of the blasted thing.
TQ: What inspired you to write Green Light Delivery?
Anne: Having just finished a complicated historical fiction (a medieval tween mystery called Trouble at the Scriptorium), I wanted to write something bizarre and funny for adults. I kept in mind the huge entertainment value I get from reading Douglas Adams and Raymond Chandler, and tried to combine those styles into one novel.
TQ: What sort of research did you do for Green Light Delivery?
Anne: While I love doing research, I save it for my historical fiction projects. This one was born from my imagination plus little homages to a hundred different novels.
TQ: Who was the easiest character to write and why? Hardest and why?
Anne: Webrid was definitely the easiest character to write. He talks and thinks like a combination of a noir gumshoe and a gas-station attendant. And I seem to have a lot of Webrid in my personality, carefully hidden from the world, of course.
Zatell was the hardest to write because she's shaped so strangely. Imagining and describing her motions was difficult. She has a large number of all-purpose limbs radiating out from a central head/body, and her face is like the center of a flower. She doesn't so much walk as roll.
TQ: Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Green Light Delivery?
Anne: My favorite scene happens when Webrid, a working-class man (well, alien), finds himself in a fancy hotel in a city he's never been to before. He feels so out of place amid the luxury that he sets off on foot through the unfamiliar streets, figuring that eventually he'll reach a "bad" part of town where he'll find the rough-and-tumble types he can relate to. And he's right.
TQ: What's next?
Anne: I'm currently working on a sequel to Green Light Delivery. I also have some novels for tweens, Ebenezer's Locker and Trouble at the Scriptorium, and there will be sequels to both of those.
TQ: Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.
Anne: It's my pleasure. Thanks for inviting me!
About Green Light Delivery
Green Light DeliveryCandlemark & Gleam, June 19, 2012
Trade Paperback and eBook, 284 pages
Webrid is a carter, like his mother and grandfather before him. It’s not glamorous work, but it mostly pays the bills, and it gives him time to ogle the sexy women on the streets of Bexilla’s capital. Mostly, he buys and sells small goods and does the occasional transport run for a client.
Then he gets mugged by a robot.
Now, with a strange green laser implanted in his skull and a small fortune deposited in his bank account, Webrid has to make the most difficult delivery of his life. He doesn’t know who his client is, or what he’s carrying, but he knows that a whole lot of very dangerous people are extremely interested in what’s in his head. Literally. And they’ll do whatever it takes to get it.
With the help of some truly alien friends, a simple carter will journey across worlds to deliver his cargo. And hopefully keep his head in the process.
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