Rebekah: One of the things that many people enjoy in your books is the strong romantic subplot. Is this something that you deliberately set up in your
story or do you find it evolving from the characters themselves?
Anne: Actually I think it's pretty funny. There are only two of my books that I
myself would have called romances -- Firewalk and Greendaughter, and nobody
ever seems to call Greendaughter a romance. I think of Waterdance as an
antiromance, as in antihero or Antichrist. *g* Odd sort of romance when your
intended sticks a sword through your guts. *g*
Seriously, I really don't think of any of my books as romances per se. I
think of them as evolving relationships between interesting characters, some
of whom end up romantically involved, if that makes any sense.
As for your question -- well, I generally have some vague idea where a story
is going. The characters take it from there, and often in directions I
Rebekah: How would you describe the kinds of stories you write? What do you want
readers to come away with from your stories?
Anne: I'd call them adventure stories. Hmmm . . . what do I want readers to come
away with from my stories. I guess, if I had any kind of specific goal in
that regard, it would be to make my readers explore a perspective very
different from their own. To get inside the head of someone very unlike
themselves and challenge their own viewpoints and beliefs.
Rebekah: I sometimes see your books, especially your early ones, catagorized as
"teen" or "young adult". Did you have that audience in mind when writing the
Anne: God, no. I was actually a little dismayed to learn that some of my reading
audience was a lot younger than I'd anticipated. My lawyer's 14-year-old
son passed several of my books around his school, and suddenly I have a
bunch of young teens calling each other "son of a syphilitic cow" -- I
started worrying about parental lynch mobs. *g*
Rebekah: I understand that you are having difficulties with your current publisher,
which must be extremely frustrating. It is certainly frustrating for your
fans who want to read your next book! Your last published book was Exile in
1999, correct? What is the current situation?
Anne: Right, Exile was the last book to come out, in October of 1999. Ace, which
via a series of acquisitions is now owned by Penguin, I think, isn't
interested in any more books from me; they just didn't sell well enough, I
gather. The market is very difficult right now for mid-level authors and
My first three books, SHADOW, SHADOW DANCE, and SHADOW HUNT will be coming out as ebooks from www.ereads.com but right now that's still in the works.
Rebekah: On the heels of that, does it bother you that copies of your first three
Shadow books are selling for upwards of 90 dollars each through
Anne: Bother me? I'm flattered!
I wish like heck I had more copies myself of my first three books. I
actually had no bound copy of Shadow Hunt myself until I found one in a used
Rebekah: Certainly someone at Ace should be looking at those numbers and thinking it
might be a good idea to reprint them ... It's great that the Shadow books
are going to be coming out in e-books, those are taking off more and more.
Have you thought about the print-on-demand route or a small press like
Meisha Merlin for reprints?
Anne: Yes, I wish the resale value of my books would count in my favor, but a
publisher can print "bestselling author" on the front of Exile and still say
my sales figures aren't good enough, so I guess there's just no
understanding it. *g* I haven't explored the small press route, but that
might not be a bad idea. I've never considered the print-on-demand or
self-publishing route. I don't really want to be involved with the business
end of it. I'm just not much of a businesswoman.
Rebekah: As a writer attempting to sell her first novel, I find your situation discouraging as well. :(
Anne: It worries me very much, actually. Right now the market is what I would
call very incestuous. The majority of what's being published right now is
nothing but reprints of bestsellers by big-name authors. The publishers are
definitely going for the sure profit. It worries me that they're choking
off any influx of new work. The author base is getting really narrow.
Rebekah: So if you end up publishing under a new name, you will let _us_ know so
that we can support you, right? *g*
Anne: Oh, definitely.
Rebekah: Do you have a novel/novels finished and ready for publication? Are they
sequels or in a series? Are they all fantasy?
Anne: No, I don't have anything finished and ready to go. I have several partly
finished manuscripts and outlines, but quite frankly, to be told after 11
books that my numbers aren't good enough so they're not interested in
anything more from me, regardless, I got a bit discouraged. At this point
I'm not sure what direction I want to take if, in fact, I want to jump back
into the publishing game.
One of the problems I had was that I was basically locked into medieval
fantasy in the Allanmere universe. While I really love that universe, I did
want to branch out into other areas as well, including futuristic fantasy
and horror. I'd submitted several futuristic fantasy proposals, plus I had
a trilogy mapped out that was in fact in the Allanmere universe, although it
didn't link up with any of my previous works until the third book of the
Rebekah: Have you thought about writing more Shadow books, either with the
character or in that setting?
Anne: I would *love* to write more about Shadow. The one book I really wish I'd
gotten an opportunity to write was the story of how Shadow and Donya met.
Rebekah: That would be wonderful!
Anne: My editor felt there wouldn't be much interest in another Shadow novel,
especially a prequel. I admit it would be a riskier book, so to speak, than
my other Shadow novels because I felt very strongly that at one time Shadow
and Donya had had a relationship. So that story would have been very
different than the other three.
Rebekah: Your webpage says that you are an avid collector of anything about
vampires. Have you written any horror or dark fantasy?
Anne: Yes, vampire fiction is my favorite guilty pleasure. I have a half-finished
vampire novel that I couldn't interest my publisher or agent in, so it's
languished on the back burner. That one I definitely would have called a
Rebekah: Any favorite authors in this genre?
Anne: Nancy Collins, S.P. Somtow, Elaine Bergstrom, Jeffrey McMahan.
Rebekah: In many of your books, the swordplay scenes and discussions seem
especially interesting. Do you fence or have other fighting expertise?
Anne: The closest I've ever come to swordplay was a wonderful opportunity to hack
up cardboard postal tubes with a "live" katana at a World Fantasy
Convention. But I'm not afraid of research.
Rebekah: Do you have a favorite character out of your books?
Anne: Oh, lord. I suppose Shadow will always hold the Number 1 place in my heart.
It's hard to choose favorites. All my characters -- not just my main
characters, but villains and all -- hold some part of me. Trying to pick
one is comparing apples and oranges. I love Blade, dear little blackhearted
thing that she is, so much that despite numerous pleas, I could never write
a book about her. Neve is a magnificent brat, bless her. Jael is my Timex
character -- takes a licking and keeps on ticking, poor thing. I love them
Rebekah: What do you enjoy reading?
Anne: Approximately the same thing I like writing -- medieval fantasy, futuristic
fantasy and horror. But the important qualifier for me isn't genre, it's
characters. If the characters are good enough, I'll enjoy anything. Oh,
and happy endings. I'm an unabashed happyender.
Rebekah: Do you have any must-pick-up authors? Any
Anne: Most of my favorite authors are either dead or not writing in the
series/genre anymore, unfortunately. In the "They write it, I buy it"
category are Nancy Collins, P.N. Elrod, Tanith Lee and Storm Constantine.
Thanks to Anne Logston for her time and wish her the best of luck!
Visit her website at http://home.att.net/~logston/.