MA: Fantasy writer Anna L. Walls is my guest-blogger today. She is the epitome of a woman in the wilderness! Anna lives in the rough country of Alaska and works at a fishing lodge during the summer. Her town is accessible only by boat or plane in the summer or by snow machine or plane in the winter. In-between times, she doesn’t go anywhere – it’s not possible! Your life reminds me of that movie last year, The Proposal, starring Sandra Bullock. It seemed like the only way into that town was by plane or boat.
Welcome to some warmer climes, Anna. I imagine that with the amount of shuttered-in time you have in Alaska, you have fewer distractions than most people, giving you the opportunity to focus on writing. What did you do before settling down and putting quill to paper?
AW: Oddly enough, before I started writing, there was no prequel, no lead-up, no planning whatsoever. I had no idea how delightful writing could be. In fact, if anyone were to ask me what I was going to do with my future back in high school or even in college, I would have recited my wish to run a riding stable – something that would cater to city kids, though that plan wasn’t too solid either.
MA: So why novels? Why not a birds-eye view of life in the austere and inaccessible nether regions of Alaska?
AW: My writing had two reasons to start actually. My son gave me an old laptop computer, and my husband didn’t like me to go off into the bedroom to read a book. Combine the two and viola, a writer is born as I started writing the sort of things I like to read. It wasn’t long before I had well over a dozen stories.
MA: Tell us about your first novel. I understand it’s a fantasy story.
AW: KING BY RIGHT OF BLOOD AND MIGHT, my one published book, is about a young prince who must discover his birthright as well as the world around him. Raised in seclusion, he had scarcely been beyond the palace walls before he was whisked away to learn about the greater world as well as his own country. There his fate was joined with that of legends and fairytales, and together they were able to cleanse the evil that seeped through the land like a cancer.
On my website, I have the reviews for this book and the synopses for several other of my stories, and on my blog I have samples from nearly all of my stories, and just recently, I’ve started to post up another of my books a chapter at a time.
I really like the genre involving kings and princes and such, so that’s what I chose, but that is by no means the only way I make my choices. Several of my ideas came from particularly vivid dreams. That translates into more than one of my stories taking place in space or in another dimension.
MA: What makes your main character tick?
AW: Prince Harris’s strengths are his practical outlook on all things. His weaknesses might be his naiveté. It is fortunate that he acquired friends before he encountered enemies.
MA: Who is the evil villain or sorcerer in your story?
AW: The antagonist is one of the mysteries that Prince Harris spends most of the book trying to solve. This one man had an effect on Harris’s life even as far back as before his parents were married. It’s not until half way through the book that Harris finally has a name to ask after, and it was some time later before he meets the man face to face, but his leaching touch is evident throughout the book.
MA: Many writers draw inspiration from their own lives; what does a fantasy writer in the Alaskan tundra draw from for such a story?
AW: I wouldn’t say my real-life experiences had anything to do with the plot, but I made liberal use of my knowledge of horses and riding. I even made use of my knowledge of traveling through deep snow.
MA: Will we hear more from Prince Harris in the future? Any plans for a sequel?
AW: All my books are stand-alone stories. My first book does, however, have a couple siblings. Book two is complete and takes place across the Midwest, and book three will take place up and down the west coast, but other than occupying the same world in the same time frame, there is no mixing of the characters.
MA: Well, thanks very much for thawing out with us on the Child Finder Trilogy! Folks, please be sure to check out Anna’s website, Anna’s Passion, http://AnnaLWalls.weebly.com, and her blog, Anna’s Obsession, http://AnnaLWalls.blogspot.com.