Monday, April 3, 2017

Q&A with Annette Drake, author of Building Celebration House

Now available from Baskethound Books is the paranormal romance Building Celebration House by Annette Drake.

The author has taken a few minutes out of her busy schedule for a Q&A about her newest novel.

When did you become interested in storytelling?

I remember writing my first song when I was six years old!

What was your first book/story published?

My debut novel, “Celebration House,” was published by a small press in 2013. Last year, I bought the rights back to the book, revised, and republished it on March 1st. “Building Celebration House” is the first installment of this trilogy.

What inspired you to write Building Celebration House?

I woke from a dream with the characters and plot clear in my mind. I jotted down everything I could remember and began working. When I had a brief period of unemployment in 2013, I finished the book.

What character in Building Celebration House is the most/least like you, and in what ways?

I’d like to think I’m like the heroine – Carrie Hansen – but I’m not as courageous as she is. I’m probably most like Beth, who comes to help Carrie finish restoring her abandoned antebellum mansion. Like Beth, I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing most of the time. And I don’t cook.

What is your favorite part in Building Celebration House?

I love the ending!

What was the hardest part to write?

The heroine buys a falling-down mansion and restores it. Trying to make these restorations interesting was difficult. My editor told me, a few chapters read like a home restoration magazine. Oops! I’ve done my best to fix that.

What would your ideal career be, if you couldn't be an author?

I change careers frequently. I wrote for newspapers for about five years or so. Then, I worked in healthcare for 20+ years. Now, I’m writing full-time but learning the art of drawing. I want to illustrate pictures book I’ve written. I also have fantasies of opening a bookstore or possibly a book mobile. For me, it’s all about storytelling, in whatever form that might be.

Do you read reviews of your books? If so, do you pay any attention to them, or let them influence your writing?

I read the reviews. I’m delighted and grateful when someone takes the time to read my stories. Alas, they don’t influence my writing.

I often think that the book a reviewer reads is not the book I wrote. He or she brings their own life experiences with them when they read. Also, sometimes readers see something in a book that I didn’t even know was there. A bookstore owner said one of my characters was graced with the ability to forgive. I didn’t know that.

What well-known writers do you admire most?

The king of my fiction heart is Ray Bradbury. He said so much with just a few words. I wanted to name my son after him. It’s one of the few times my husband told me no.

Other writers are Kristan Higgins and Marian Keyes. They’re both such gifted storytellers.

And of course, there’s the real king. Stephen King. If readers notice, I always pay a nod to the master. Not because I write in his genre. I don’t. Not yet. But his book, “On Writing,” means a great deal to me and to other writers too, I think.

Do you have any other books/stories in the works?

Yep! The sequels to “Building Celebration House” are in their final stages and will publish on April 1st (“Stay at Celebration House”) and May 1st (“Return to Celebration House”). After these two books are published, I plan on having a nervous breakdown and then returning to work on my cozy mystery series (the sequels to “Death Goes to the County Fair - An Ogallala Mystery”) and writing a new historical Civil War-era mystery series. I’m super excited about the last project! I love, love, love the American Civil War. I have no idea why. In fact, at age six, I made up a song about the war. Would you like to hear it?

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About the Author: Annette Drake is a multi-genre author whose work is character-driven and celebrates the law of unintended consequences.

She makes her home in Washington state. A member of the Romance Writers of America, she loves ferry rides, basset hounds and bakeries. She does not camp.

To find out more about Annette, visit her website at:

You can follow the author on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and her blog.

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