Monday, May 7, 2012

Interview with Anna Walls

 Time for a new week and time for a new interview.This time I have done an interview with an author and blogger from Alaska, Anna Walls.Her blog is Fortunes Of Magic.

1.When did you start with blogging?
    My very first post is dated September 15 of '09. I knew I had to have one but I didn't have a clue about what to do with one. It was a learning curve for me and a really fascinating journey.

2.You are living out in the wilderness.Could you describe the pros and cons with that?
    Living in the wilderness provides me with a lot of peace and quiet - a chance to live my life the say I want to without all the rat-race of town life. There are some drawbacks though. Such things as a trip to the post office or the store generally take an entire day to plan, and a trip to the store might encompass a week or more in time. The post office is nearly 30 miles up river and the store like 60 miles by air. (I'm guessing on the distance, but you get my point)

3.Anna, you are a published author.Could you tell us about your way to be that?
    I didn't start writing until my son gave me one of those new-fangled contraptions called a lap-top computer. What do you do with a computer? The only thing there was to do with it was see if I remembered how to type, so I started typing something I had been writing out long hand already. I'd been working on it once in a while for maybe a month. Playing with my little computer led to exploring the concept of writing a story, complete with illustrations that compared to a real book in page length. By the time that first story was finished, many more were rattling around in my head so I kept on. I'd long since run out of books I hadn't already read (I won't count those I dreaded to delve into - those were for really desperate times). Actual publishing was far from my mind. I'd done a little feeling around in that department but either it was far too expensive or, what with our mailing situation the way it was, way too unwieldy. Then in '07 my mother died and left me with an inheritance. Suddenly the expensive route to publishing was within reach. A year later, we spent the winter with my son in Fairbanks so I would have access to internet and thus get my book pushed through all the hoops that much faster. By May of '08 my first book was a real book I could hold in my hands - I think I was in shock for the whole day.

4.In your opinion, what is the best way to advertise as an author online?
    The best way? The old saying 'it takes money to make money' comes to mind. If you have the money to invest in your work, you will do much better than without. However, most writers fall into the category of the starving artist so buying advertising is nearly impossible. I advertise on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ every day, and not only my book. I post up all manner of things about me - things I'm doing - links to people I have worked with - whatever might be interesting to other people; it all serves to attract attention to me (I hope). I'm also a member of several writing groups.

alaska Pictures, Images and Photos

 5.Could you tell us about a real exciting adventure in the woods around you where you live?
    For this question, I'm going to copy and paste a post from my personal blog:

Lessons In People

A couple years after we moved here, this huge grizzly mama would come by bringing her cubs. We could tell she was around; the dog would go out to pee and her nose would go up and she'd be on the alert for the rest of the day, even when she was in the house.

This sow cased the place for a day or two, and then she would show herself at the far edge of our clearing, off in the tall grass and brush. All we could see of her was her head and shoulders. She'd stay there, calm as can be, while her cubs came on into the yard to explore.

At the time, and until a couple years ago, I had chickens, and at that time, I had a couple ducks too. These cubs really wanted to 'play' with those interesting smelling creatures in that little house. Now, at that time, I happened to have five roosters, and since it was time for the hens to be sitting on their eggs, and since the roosters would bug them unmercifully, I had left them out in the pen during the night. They were perching on a rail about four feet off the ground when the cubs managed to break down the gate to the pen. They were after the ducks and they got one.

During this hoopla, the roosters were very quiet, but as one of the cubs ran back to mom with his prize, one of the roosters shifted and fluttered. It was enough to get the attention of the other cub.

Now, to make this story even more humorous, I have to tell you a side tale. My roosters varied in size. They were all bantams. I'm not good with weights so I'll have to give you dimensions. I handle all my roosters so they were quite gentle for the most part. The smallest was barely more than a single handful; he was simply all feathers. Because of his size, the others always picked on him, fighting with him every time they saw him and running him off from anything he was eating. It got so bad that I was hand feeding him. I mean, he was so cute and so little.

Back to the bear cub. It was the littlest rooster who moved, and now that he'd been noticed, he jumped down from the perch and started to run. He ran like I'd never seen a chicken run, dodging and darting this way and that, staying just out of reach. The cub was doing his best to catch this seemingly easy target, after all, it didn't fly away, it had to be easy, right.

We were watching this little drama from our window; it was the commotion concerning the duck that alerted us to trouble, and remember, momma was standing out there on the edge of the yard, just watching. Don, in an effort to save my favorite rooster AND not kill a bear, cub or not (to kill that cub would have been so much trouble 'cause mama likely wouldn't have left at all then), was trying to get a bead on a point really close to the cub. He could have been writing cuss-words in cursive with the barrel of that rifle, that's how fast and convoluted the cub was moving.

Finally, he took a shot and succeeded in kicking some dirt up, scaring the cub away, breaking off the chase. The cub went crying to mama. He wasn't really crying but he did need a little consoling, then there was a duck prize to play with as they left. This year's lesson in people complete.

Back to my littlest rooster. Well, he'd run off a real bear. None of the other rooster could say the same. They had all stayed hidden on their perch during the entire ordeal. Never again did the other roosters get away with picking on him. He was cock of the walk after that. He was the one who did the picking. It was really funny seeing him face down his bigger brothers.

Now, notice the title once again, notice that it is plural. Mama Grizzly came back several different times. These cubs came back at least one more time, and she brought another pair of cubs by too. One visit each time; she was never an obnoxious visitor and she herself never ventured too close, nor did she ever come by alone. She did, however come close enough to mark one of our trees. One morning we discovered claw marks - the bottom of the scratches were nearly a foot above where the tallest of us could reach.

Her cubs never made it into the chicken house or it's pen again, though not for want of trying. We never had to shoot at them again either. It's as if mama brought her cubs by for a lesson on people, and as soon as they were bored with the lesson, she'd lead them away.

I haven't seen her for many years now.
    For more stories about my life, go to The Fortunes Of Magic - Enjoy

6.Could you share some useful tips to a writer who wants to be published online?
    The publishing industry might be called 'cut-throat'. Competition is fierce, and especially now that it is relatively easy to become published.You should go to a blog called Writers Beware and learn from from that.With the explosion of small publishing companies, it is very important to do your homework.

7.You are like me, running a blog group.Does it require a lot of work?
    You have a lot more experience running a group than I do, but I think I'm learning. It does take some work, making sure posts are within the guidelines and checking to see if applicants will fit or even if they have a blog. I'm using my experience to run a second group now - a writing group I was a member of. Suddenly there was a link asking for a moderator, so I clicked on it. Now I have two groups to manage

8.Finally, will e-books take over the market as a whole?
    Oh I don't think there's any danger in that. Print books are still very popular, the eReader has simply become a new medium in which to enjoy the written word. You have to admit, it's very convenient to be able to take an eReader when on a trip - you can carry nearly an entire library and read whatever you're in the mood for at the time. Before the advent of the assorted eReaders, people had to pack books, and if they wanted variety, they had to pack several or hope to find something of interest along the way. No, as long as there are bookshelves of all shapes and sized, real books will still sell just fine. My books will always be available as a real book, I have no issue with it being available as an eBook too, but I can't sell eBooks out here; I need a real book to sit on a shelf.


Gord said...

Hi Mattias,

I read over your latest Interview and loved Anna's adventure with the Grizzly family. Interesting where she portrays what the animals think and how they behave as well.

Also about book publishing. I would like to see more detail on that some day.

Good stuff and look forward to more interviews on your Blog.

Mattias Kroon said...

Thank you Gord!

Yes, I agree on the adventure with the bear there, hehe.As you are interested in writing a novel eventually you could get some tips from Anna.She is also a member of GYBF, you could reach her there, if you like.

Anna L. Walls said...

Thanks for this, Mattias. Sorry for being so late commenting here; I feel so neglectful. My mornings are so rushed as I race to get things done before the batteries on my computer run out, and sometimes I don't get back to some things left for later. I know it sounds like an excuse but it is one of those things to be considered when we manage our own power consumption. One of those drawbacks of living in the wilderness. Anyway, thanks again SO very much for doing this; it is very generous of you.

Mattias Kroon said...

No Problem Anna!

It was a pleasure to do this interview with you!

Deanna Bauer said...

I loved this interview! Mattias you ask grea questions and Anna, you have wonderful answers!

Mattias Kroon said...

Thank you Deanna!

I can assure you that there are more interviews to come!