Let's all give a warm round of welcome applause to Author Ann Snizek:
What is your name? Do you use a pen name (if so, why?)? My name is Ann Snizek. Yes, it is a pen name. I use it in remembrance of my grandmother who had been an actress in her time. She was from Prague in what is now the Czech Republic. My grandparents owned a theatre there before the war. After they fled, she worked with Radio Free Europe for some time. When they came to the USA, they continued in the theatre for several years.
Tell me a bit about yourself: Well, what can I say? I have a blended family, totaling seven kids (most of which have grown and moved out). We have always viewed literacy as a high priority, and have nurtured the love and appreciation for books and learning in our children as much as possible. Now, we are continuing that joy with our grandchildren. I moved around a lot as a child, the youngest of seven myself, and have volumes of experiences -- some good, some not so good. All of this has made me who I am today, and I hope it allows me to create characters and worlds that many can relate to.
What type of genre do you write? I write Young Adult Fantasy and Sci-Fi. I am experimenting in non-fiction, but my passion is what comes out the most.
you personally read? Most of what I read is Fantasy/Sci-Fi. That covers many of the sub-genres too.
(paranormal, high fantasy, contemporary fantasy, dystopia, etc.)
Tell me about your latest? (my latest book read or wrote?) Right now I'm in the middle of reading two books (The Songmaster by Orson Scott Card and Unraveled by Gena Showalter and nearly finished a third (editing for a local author - Jamie Ruff, author of ) I am also working on both the Tunuftol series and my other series - The Payton Chronicles: To Eris - Human and its sequel For: Giva De Vine (not released yet) So, I keep fairly busy.
What sparked your passion for books and the art of a good story? I have grown up with a passion for reading. As a child I was very shy. Reading allowed me to escape from my world and take my friends with me wherever we moved to.
Is there a particular book that changed or affected your life in a big way? I think there are a couple that I recall as important to me. I learned to read with the old Dick and Jane books and Dr. Seuss, but in elementary school I had a wonderful librarian that was a gifted reader. She read Madeline L'Engle's A Wind In The Door. She brought it to life for me and hooked me. Then some time later my sister got me hooked on Anne McCaffrey. I love all of her books and I'm glad that her son has been able to continue the Pern legacy.
Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp? I try not to be preachy in my stories, but I hope that it shows what the mind is capable of. I want to encourage young people (in age and at heart) to reach for their dreams and not accept limitations that others put on you. Always push yourself to improve past the negative things that life tends to throw at us. It is what we do about our trials that defines us.
What challenges have you faced in your writing career? I suppose it would be the typical challenges: time to write, finding inspiration, query submission and rejection letters, making the "right" connections, etc. I also have to work around my own personal disabilities. I have Fibromyalgia, among other things. This makes it physically difficult to keep up with my projects.
What has been your best moment as a writer? While I have written for years, I would have to say that the best moment I have had as a writer - so far- is that someone bought my book (Tunuftol's Fortress of Light - Tunuftol Book 1) on its release date! That would be followed closely by you asking me to participate in your blog.
Who is your author idol? Wow! Ummm... I am impressed with so many wonderful writers out there, both classics and modern. I would have to say that Anne McCaffrey has to be the ultimate in my opinion.
Do you see yourself in any of your characters? I try to put a little of myself in each of my characters. It makes them "real" to me. As I write, I wonder to myself, "What would this character do or say in this situation." I even find myself thinking of what is to come in the story and wondering what the characters will be doing then, as if they were friends that I will be visiting later. (LOL)
Do you feel like your dream has come true or is there much more to do? Both! I am finally a published, selling author. There is still much to do though. I have so many ideas bouncing around in my head that I try to write down... I have several small and large projects going at the same time. I tend to bounce around in my mind (I guess like ADD) and have had many nights where I couldn't go to sleep until I wrote my thoughts down.
What does your workspace look like? I do most of my writing in the quiet of my room on my laptop. I cozy up with my pillows and my dogs, a Toy Poodle/Chihuahua mix and a Pomeranian. I also have a plaque on the wall that my kids gave to me for Christmas a couple years ago. It says, "Family is the thread that holds it all together."
Have you ever had a day when you just wanted to quit? YES! But I have more days when I am too busy to write and miss it. Once I reach the frustration point, I have to put my work away. Frustration isn't conducive with productivity. If I'm not enjoying what I'm writing it won't come out right... the quality suffers. So, what is the point of taking the time to write poorly when I can "quit" for a time and come back to it later when the passion returns.
What do you do when you’re not writing? Running all over the place. I homeschool my kids. The youngest is fourteen now, so she is more self directed at this point. I'm at the beginning of the empty nest syndrome...LOL. I enjoy movies, photography, and activities with my children and grandchildren. Trust me, there is NEVER a dull moment in our family.
What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer? LOL... I think a bit of insanity is needed. I haven't figured another way out yet. I guess the best thing is to just breathe and remember what is really important in life... don't stress over what you have no control of. (And no, I don't always take my own advice.)
Did you have a moment when you realized you were meant to be a writer? Surprisingly I did. After an exceptionally difficult year for our family, in 2010, I started writing a lot. Then in 2011, I wanted to do NaNoWrMo, but I didn't get to it until December. I wrote the first draft of Tunuftol's Fortress of Light in 11 days. The "problem" was I couldn't stop writing. By the time I started the 4th book of the series I decided to go back and look at what I had. My youngest read it also and decided it didn't completely suck. So, I did some revisions and edits and decided that this was something I could do, something I loved to do.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors? If you don't ask or try, you will never get anywhere in life. Enjoy what you do or don't do it. And something I'm just learning to fully appreciate now, the real work starts after you publish.
After this book, what is next? I have some edits and revisions to make on the next three books of the Tunuftol series. I plan to have the next one out by late spring(fingers crossed) Plus, I have another series I'm working on. The first book is just waiting for cover art. I have a few smaller projects going also. Not to mention the never-ending chaos that I call my life. So, I have a lot going on and things are finally starting to come together.
Your website? http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/AnnSnizek
Your blog? I haven't started it yet, but I plan to give it a shot on GoodReads.com
Where can your book be found? Right now it is on Smashwords.com. I only have a little bit of reformatting to be on their premium catalog.(fingers still crossed) So, it should be available in many places soon.
Thanks Ann for dropping by and many great successes for you to come!