Please help me welcome fellow author Anise Eden! Let’s find out a little bit about her and then move right in to the Q&A.
ANISE EDEN is a psychotherapist-turned-writer of award-winning suspense novels with romantic elements and paranormal twists. Originally from the U.S., Anise now lives in Ireland with her husband and their small, benevolent canine dictator. You can learn more about Anise and her books at AniseEden.com. Member of RNA, Sisters in Crime, and the Irish Writers Centre.
Betty: When did you become a writer?
Anise: I started writing in high school, thanks to a wonderful English and creative writing teacher. My mom says I’ve been writing stories and putting together little books since I learned to read, but I admit I have no memory of those early self-published works!
Betty: How long did you work on your writing skills before you became published?
Anise: I wrote my first novel in 2012, then worked on it obsessively until my agent sold it to a publisher in 2015. It was published in 2016, so while I had written poetry previously, I worked on my novel-writing skills for four years prior to publication.
Betty: What authors or stories do you feel influenced your writing style?
Anise: I believe my writing style has been influenced by everything I’ve ever read, to be honest. Some authors who gave me the courage to write in a way that felt natural and organic to me were Barbara Kingsolver, Audre Lorde, and Wally Lamb.
Betty: What prompted you to start writing?
Anise: I began work on my first novel several months into my first experience of forced unemployment. A breakdown in my health led me to leave my social work job, and I began writing as a way of trying to understand what had led to that breakdown. Then the story took on a life of its own.
Betty: What type of writing did you start with?
Anise: In high school, I fell in love with poetry. I worked seriously on that craft for about fifteen years, and had some poems published in small journals. I still love reading poetry, but these days I only write two or three poems a year. My focus has shifted to novel writing, and now it feels constricting to me to write anything under 70k words!
Betty: What do you most enjoy writing? Why?
Anise: I love writing stories that, while firmly grounded in the real world, explore parts of the human experience that remain mysteries. I am a huge science geek, but like so many of us, I’ve also had experiences that defy explanation. I enjoy weaving those elements into uplifting love stories with suspenseful plotlines that keep the pages turning.
Betty: How did you learn to write? A mentor, classes, conferences, craft books, or something else?
Anise: In terms of novel writing, I learned by doing, then revising endlessly based on feedback from (very generous) friends and family members. My intensive writing education began while working with my agent, and later with editors in preparation for publication. Collaborating with editors is so exciting for me, and one of my favorite parts of the writing process.
Betty: What do you wish you knew before you started writing/publishing?
Anise: I wish I had understood how drastically the publishing landscape has changed since about 2014-15. That was the year I sold my book, so my expectations were somewhat outdated, based as they were on the experiences of writers who had published prior to this new era in the industry.
Betty: What other authors inspired you (either directly or through their writing) to try your hand at writing?
Anise: Before I started writing my debut novel, I read the first two books in the Spiritwalker Trilogy by Kate Elliott. Her soaring, lyrical prose and the sheer ambition and originality of her stories were an inspiration, and I was on the edge of my seat, waiting for the third book to come out (it was worth the wait!). Reading her books and being encouraged by her intrepid heroine gave me courage to try something new.
Betty: What inspired you to write the book you’re sharing with us today?
Anise: After health issues forced me to leave behind my career in psychotherapy, I began writing to try to make sense of what happened. At the same time, I was watching the TV show “Medium,” which prompted me to wonder about the evolutionary origins of paranormal gifts; as a creative exercise, I constructed a Bronze Age origin myth. Those two elements combined as I wrote my first chapter. Then, the story of The Healing Edge Series and its characters landed in my head all at once, banging on my consciousness and demanding to be put on the page. That initial first chapter ended up in the scrap heap, but from there, the trilogy was born.
All of Cate’s problems are in her head. That may be her greatest strength.
Cate Duncan is a promising young therapist, dedicated to her work. But after her mother’s suicide, she is seized by a paralyzing depression. To save her job, Cate agrees to enter a treatment program run by the mysterious Ben MacGregor and his mother.
Housed in a repurposed church, the MacGregor Group is a collection of alternative healers whose unconventional approaches include crystals, aura readings, and psychics, but they need Cate’s unique powers. As her emotional struggles bring her ever closer to her own abyss, Ben will do everything in his power to protect Cate from those who wish her harm—including herself.
A powerful novel of suspense and a wildly inventive start to this paranormal romance series, All the Broken Places engages readers with its striking blend of the supernatural and the psychological.
In my dream, there was no thought of suicide. We were simply potting begonias on the back porch, getting our hands dirty and inhaling the dueling scents of spicy flowers and sweet earth.
My mother tried—and failed—to sound light and casual. “So, Catie, have you met anyone interesting lately?”
A man, she meant. Without looking up to meet her probing gaze, I said, “Come on, you already know the answer to that question.”
“Okay, okay. I can’t help it, though. I have to keep asking.” She smiled as though she knew something I didn’t. “Maybe soon.”
In one of my typical clumsy moves, I dropped a large clump of potting soil on the floor.
“You don’t have to get it absolutely everywhere, you know,” she teased.
I slid my hand down her forearm, leaving behind a dark streak. “Like that, you mean?”
“No, like this,” she replied, dabbing a glob of wet dirt onto my nose. At once, the dirt-smearing competition was on.
In the midst of our squeals and contortions, I noticed a black pen mark peeking out from beneath the neck of her t-shirt. “What’s that?”
“That mark.” I pointed.
She looked down, puzzled, and stretched her collar out until we could both read the words that had been written across her collarbones: “Do Not Resuscitate.”
My dirt-streaked palms flew up to cover my mouth. Mom gazed at me, her eyes heavy with unshed tears. “You’d better go now.”
Sounds like a powerful story, indeed! Thanks for coming by today, Anise.
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