Friday, August 2, 2013

Celebration House by Annette Drake: Interview


Hi Annette! Thanks for being here today. Who is your favorite author?

Ray Bradbury. He said so much with just a few words. I admire that ability.

What was your first sale as an author?

Celebration House is my debut novel. Tirgearr Publishing is my first publisher.  

When in the day/night do you write? How long per day?
I try to write in the morning, but my young son is up at 6:30 to watch Phineas and Ferb. That makes writing difficult. Yes, yes it does. So now I write after he goes to bed too. I find that harder because I want to watch the Colbert Report or read. But, no, I write. My goal is 1,000 new words a day.

What is the hardest part of writing your books?

Finding the time. My characters speak to me. I just write down what they say. I work full-time, so that makes my writing time precious. I’ve been busy finishing the final edits for Celebration House and promoting the book. Now, I can return my focus to my contemporary romance, A Year with Geno. I want to have fun with this book. I want to write amazing sex scenes! I’m so much happier when I’m writing new material.

Do you have critique partners or beta readers?

I have a writing critique group that meets every Wednesday. They do so much more for me than I do for them. We all write different genres – horror, cross-cultural romance, poetry and cop thriller – but we all help one another.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your books?

Even when I’m not paying attention, the writer inside of me is. For example, I recently had an unpleasant encounter with an acquaintance. Lo and behold, when I needed the name of a villain, I used his name. I didn’t even realize it until I read the scene aloud to my critique group. It’s true: don’t make me mad or I’ll put you in my book.

What’s one thing you want the reader to take away from your book?

Define yourself. Don’t let your past define you. Or a diagnosis or your race or the amount of money in your checking account. Choose for yourself what defines you. Believe in yourself and celebrate your life.

Carrie Hansen spent her life caring for cardiac patients. Little did she know she would become a patient herself. After recovering from her own heart surgery, she realizes she has a special gift: the ability to see and talk with the dead.
Now, with her new heart failing, she leaves the bustle of Seattle behind and returns to Lexington, Missouri, the small town where she spent her childhood. Here, she sets out to restore an abandoned antebellum mansion and open it as a venue for celebrations.
Carrie’s work is cut out for her. The 150-year-old Greek revival house is in need of serious repair. Her sister, Melanie, tries to bully Carrie into returning to Seattle, predicting “her little project” is doomed to fail. Finally, Carrie’s health gives out on her, requiring emergency surgery.
But she will not give up. Carrie’s unique gift allows her to build relationships with the mansion’s original occupants, especially Maj. Tom Stewart, the handsome Civil War soldier who died a hundred years before Carrie was born. He encourages and comforts her, though not in the physical way they both desire.
Then there’s the builder of the house, Col. Bartholomew Stratton. If there’s one thing this 19th century horse trader cannot abide, it’s the living trespassing on his estate. He delights in scaring these intruders away, even if they are paying guests.
Will Carrie finish restoring Celebration House or will it finish her? And how can she plan a future with a man who has only a past?
Get your copy here:

Annette Drake is an aspiring writer whose work is character-driven and celebrates the law of unintended consequences. Her debut novel, Celebration House, will be published this summer in e-book format for readers everywhere by Tirgearr Publishing.
Annette left high school after two years to obtain her GED and attend Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri. There she earned a degree in journalism before working as a reporter and editor for newspapers in Missouri and Kansas. She earned a bachelor of science in nursing in 1994 from Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri, and worked as a registered nurse in hospitals throughout Missouri, Alaska and Washington for 18 years before returning her focus to writing
Annette recently completed her middle-grade novel, Bone Girl, and is hard at work revising her steamy contemporary romance, A Year with Geno.
She is the mother of four children. The oldest just graduated from the University of Washington; the youngest just graduated from kindergarten. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators. She loves libraries, basset hounds and bakeries. She does not camp.
You can follow her writing at She welcomes correspondence at:



katsrus said...

Really nice book cover. Sounds like a very interesting book.
Sue B

Anonymous said...

Thank you. About six years in the making. The manuscript was all but forgotten until I found myself jobless earlier this year. I like the cover too.

Kemberlee said...

Congrats on the release of your book, Annette. This is really a touching read. Grab the tissues!