1 - Why do you write paranormal fiction?
I don’t know if there’s a single reason that answers why I like to write paranormal fiction. As a kid, I loved reading ghost mysteries. As an adult, I still love reading all kinds of paranormal fiction and nonfiction. I’ve also heard anecdotal stories from family members over the years that intrigue me. Those range from near-death experience to seeing the Blessed Virgin to getting “feelings” about upcoming events. Let’s face it, there are just too many things that happen that are inexplicable. No one can say definitively whether or not they are real—or not real. As a writer, that pretty much gives me free license to explore and to include ghosts, psychic dreams, near-death experiences, mystical Hopi beliefs, and many other paranormal elements in my stories.
2 - Have you ever had a paranormal experience? If so, please tell us about it.
Two things come to mind immediately. One is waking in the middle of the night and seeing the faces of two family members I loved very much who had died. There was also a third face of someone else I didn’t immediately recognize. The next morning, I learned my sister’s father-in-law, who I had known for some time, had died during the night. I think the reason the faces didn’t frighten me was because they were somehow letting me know it was okay. He’d had a long, happy life and had gone peacefully.
The other incident was what I can only describe as an out-of-body experience. I was cognizant of being awake, then being outside my body, moving around, but not going far. Later, thinking about it, analyzing it, I always thought I was so stunned (though not frightened) by what was happening, that I didn’t “go with the flow,” so the experience was short.
3 - Tell us about your next project.
Next up is my first mystery, entitled Dressed to Die. This is the first book in the Grace Gabbiano Mysteries. Don’t be disappointed—this book has no paranormal happenings, which is not to say that there won’t be at some point down the road. The other mystery series I’m working on is the Andi Comstock Paranormal Mysteries. The first book is entitled Holy Smoke. You might glean from the title that the book has a little something holy going on, as well as something smoky, and you’d be right. For a peek at the covers and the back-cover blurbs on both these books, just go to my website, annsimas.com.
I’d also like to mention two other books I had released this summer, both of which have paranormal elements. Blessed Are the Eagles is laced with supernatural happenings related to mystical Hopi beliefs. In Loose Ends, my protagonist has psychic dreams that foretell violent death. Eagles was a Romance Writers of America Finalist a few years ago, but although it has a love story, it is more a mystery/suspense with paranormal aspects. Loose Ends is a sexy thriller with psychic overtones and a love story. What can I say? I like to write cross-genre, paranormal fiction!
4 - How are you like - and unlike - your main character?
I suppose there’s a little bit of me in every female protagonist I write. They are tenacious, industrious, moral, funny, loyal, and smart. Like me, they have other character traits and flaws, because none of us are perfect, are we? I give them adventures and relationships that are not always easy. Again, the road through life is not easy, but the challenges they face are character-building. I live vicariously through them, I suppose. It keeps my mind active, trying to figure out how they’ll get from point A to point B in an exciting way that will keep my readers enthralled. They face hurdles, not always without getting hurt, but they will be stronger for it in the end. Their reward, I admit, is a happily-ever-after ending.
5 - How and where do you work?
I have a home library with a beautiful cherry desk built for me by my husband. I am surrounded by hundreds of mostly reference books, which is convenient when I’m writing. I work on a laptop, which took some getting used to after using a Mac and a PC previously. I love it now. I can take my laptop and my work with me wherever I go, if I need to be on the road.
I also design all my own covers. I have a graphics background, and a good eye for design, so it works out well for me. I do my own PR and maintain my website myself. I also have an Author page on Facebook, and I’d be thrilled if all your blog readers would “like” me.