Anne Kemp: For me, it's night and day. I love the swiftness of putting a column together. I'll get an idea and brainstorm on it, let it sit for a day or two then jump in and play with it before I come to the final product. With a book, it's already simmering just below the surface, waiting to come out. So when I sit down and lose myself to that particular world, it's amazing how things come together. I love disappearing into Abby's world, especially as I ramp up for the rest of the series. The first few books were so much fun to write, but the next three? I'm REALLY excited to be writing them! I'm challenging myself on a whole other level.
CTW: How did writing a sequel compare to creating the first story?
AK: Since it's all being threaded together as a series, I have a path in mind and I'm wanting to lead everyone (hopefully!) with me. I've created a formula of novella, novel, novella, novel, novella, novel. I wanted folks to get a taste, then dive into a book, then get another taste. My purpose of integrating the novellas is so readers can take part in Abby's world in some way they would not have if I had gone novel to novel.
CTW: If the Abby George books were made into a movie or TV series, what actresses do you imagine playing her?
AK: Hmmm...that's like asking what your one favorite song or book is in the whole world! I'd love an actress who would take Abby on the way she needs to be played - vulnerable, sassy, smart, sexy and confident with a hint of self-deprecation. Abby is unique, an "everywoman", and I would love to see her potential fulfilled.
CTW: Your book is called Rum Punch Regrets. What is your favorite beach drink?
AK: When I lived on St. Kitts, I would make my own Rum Punch from Malibu Rum, coconut water and cranberry juice. Man, they went down easy on a hot night!
CTW: On the same wave link, what is your favorite, go-to beach read?
AK: Honestly, I can't point to just one book. I'm in a book club and we're always reading something. They've turned me on to some books I never would have picked up on my own like "Peony in Love" and "The Night Circus." I'm open and game for reading anything!
CTW: What adventures are in store for Abby George in the future?
AK: Oh, I wish I could reveal here what's coming up! All I can say is she is truly just getting started. The last three installments will have romance, adventure and more family dysfunction..ahem, I mean dynamic. She's got some hurdles in front of her and we have more characters joining her and did I mention romance? Someone will have some decisions to make....
CTW: I hear you donate part of the proceeds to your books. Would you care to share a little more information about that?
AK: I do! I donate a portion of my proceed to Lupus LA, a charity based in Los Angeles. Years ago, when I met my friend Adam, he told me he had Lupus and I had no idea what it was. It shocked me when I heard the statistics on this particular auto-immune disease. An estimated 1.5 million Americans have it yet it is one of the nation's least recognized major diseases. Any chance I have to talk about it, I will.
CTW: What is the best piece of advice you ever received about writing?
AK: Just do it and stop making up excuses. This is my business, it's my career and I treat it that way. I treat it with respect. I set time aside each day and make sure I'm generating something which will move me forward. I keep a timer on my desk and I set it for social media time, answering email time and then I do intervals for my writing. Personally, I like a plan and it helps me stay focused and centered with my work.
CTW: What is up next for you and your writing career?
AK: More Abby, that's for sure. I'll be hanging out in her world for as long as she'll have me. I do have a side project, a young adult paranormal which I love working on when there's time, but Abby rules me right now. And who doesn't want to hang out for a few hours each day in the Caribbean, even if is only in our heads?
CTW: Anything else you would like to share?
AK: We just launched my jewelry line inspired by the Abby George Series, so please take a second to check out Anne Kemp Jewelry on Facebook! It's a gorgeous charm line for bracelets and necklaces.
Thank you so much for having me as a guest on your blog - I hope your followers will enjoy Abby's story. I love hearing from readers or working with book clubs, so if anyone ever wants to give me their thoughts on Abby or needs to reach out, please feel free. You can find me at annekemp.com :)
About the Author
Anne Kemp is the author behind the Abby George Series, which includes her debut novella, All Fruits Ripe, and first novel, Rum Punch Regrets, which is available in print and as an eBook. She is also the columnist behind “Anne In Progress,” which appears monthly in the Frederick News-Post, a newspaper in the DC-Metro area. As a blogger, she was nominated for a 2012 Bloggers Choice Award for Best Humor Blog, and is known for penning “The Ultimate Late Bloomer.”
Follow her on Twitter, @MissAnneKemp, or join her fans on Facebook for fun contests and giveaways. You can always find her at her website: www.annekemp.com.
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