Author Interview with Ann Charles
Q: When did you write your first book?
I read a lot of romance novels back in the mid 1990’s and decided I wanted to write something with a good dose of humor and romance, so I hand-wrote my first story. It was definitely a “first” book with too many plot holes and early-writer errors, but I finished it and submitted the story to a romance publisher in England. They rejected the manuscript, but they encouraged me to keep writing because I had “potential.” That may have been just an editor being kind, but I believed what that letter said and kept trying. Now, over 30 published stories published, I’m glad I listened to that editor.
Q: Which of your books was the easiest to write?
Of the five different series I currently have on-going, the AC Silly Circus Series novellas have been probably the easiest to write. For one thing, they are shorter—only about 30,000 words in length compared to 120,000-140,000 for my other novels. For another, they are a break from my usual genre style due to the addition of shape-shifting characters in the stories along with a main plot of paranormal romance instead of mystery. I think the storyteller in me had a fun time frolicking in such a different type of “circus”.
Q: Tell us about your latest book.
CAN’T RIDE AROUND IT is my latest book release, which was co-written with my husband, Sam Lucky. It’s the third book in our Deadwood Undertaker series and is a mix of historical western and supernatural, along with humor, suspense, and adventure. This series is a prequel to my bestselling, multiple award-winning, contemporary Deadwood Mystery series. So, if you’re a fan of that story world and its characters, you can find out what happened in the town of Deadwood in the Old West. It just may play a part in the present.
The Deadwood Undertaker series tells the tale of Clementine Johanssen, a female undertaker who lives in the notorious town of Deadwood (Dakota Territory) in the mid-1870s. Tall and deadly with a hot temper and a short fuse, Clementine has been hired to clean up Deadwood’s dead—including the supernatural creatures wreaking havoc in the Black Hills. Throw into the mix a couple of Santa Fe sidewinders, Boone McCreery and Jack Fields, who are in town searching for their missing uncle. Their search leads them to join Clementine to hunt for a common enemy. What all of them find chills them to the bone and sends them on an adventure they’ll never forget.
Q: Do you have any future writing projects coming out soon?
Next up for me is a holiday novella from the Deadwood Undertaker series—an uplifting story about Christmas in the Old West written by my husband (Sam Lucky) and me. We hope to have this story out by the beginning of December, and then we’ll start working together on the fourth book in that series.
Also, I’m working on the twelfth book in my on-going contemporary Deadwood Mystery series, which has humor and supernatural elements, along with mystery, adventure, suspense, and romance. I hope to have that book available in early spring of 2021.
Q: Describe your writing style using only three words.
Q: What is it like creating mystery novels?
Creating mystery novels can be a lot of fun, yet frustrating and nerve-wracking, but also exciting and challenging. My stories are more about the characters than the mysteries they are solving, so I enjoy weaving in humor and angst and all of the other emotions that we experience in day-to-day life. My goal is to take the reader on a hilarious and rowdy adventure where they’ll laugh, cringe, and worry along with my characters. I want to give them somewhere to go to escape from reality for a while; somewhere that will leave them feeling refreshed and ready to sally forth into the world again.
Q: Where can readers find you and your work online?
Ann Charles is a USA Today Best-Selling author who writes spicy, award-winning mysteries full of mayhem, adventure, comedy, and suspense. She writes the Deadwood Mystery Series, Jackrabbit Junction Mystery Series, Dig Site Mystery Series, Deadwood Undertaker Series (with her husband, Sam Lucky), and AC Silly Circus Mystery Series. Her Deadwood Mystery Series has won multiple national awards, including the Daphne du Maurier for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. Ann has a B.A. in English with an emphasis on creative writing from the University of Washington and is a member of Sisters in Crime and Western Writers of America. She is currently toiling away on her next book, wishing she was on a Mexican beach with an ice-cold Corona in one hand and a book in the other. When she is not dabbling in fiction, she is arm wrestling with her two kids, attempting to seduce her husband, and arguing with her sassy cats.