Good afternoon Friends and welcome. Today I am featuring author Anne Hagan, creator of the ‘Loving Blue in Red States’ series. I have included a nice excerpt for your enjoyment at the bottom of the blog. Anne Hagan is brilliant in her writing and will catch your attention on the first page. Her writing motto is – Family, Friends, Love, Murder and Mayhem. Come on over and meet this creative artist. You can’t help but fall in love with her.
Also, do be sure to check out the giveaway at the end of the interview Anne is doing in conjunction with author E.A. Kafkalas. E.A. Kafkalas is the author of ‘Frankie and Petra’ and ‘The Second Heart’. Anne’s books in the giveaway are ‘Relic’ and ‘Broken Heart’.
30 Authors. 43 Autographed Books. 3 Lucky Winners! #EpicLesficWin
Introducing author Anne Hagan.
Tell us about yourself.
– I’m over 50…nearly 51, the mother of one, a son, a postal worker and a 22-year military veteran of the Army and the Ohio Army National Guard. I’ve been married to an amazing woman who is my polar opposite in many ways for nearly 7 years. We’ve been together for almost 11 years. We’re different but our differences are our strengths. We complement each other well.
How many books do you plan to write for ‘Loving Blue in Red States’?
– The ‘Loving Blue in Red States’ series is a short story series. There are currently five 9,000 to 11,000-word stories. Four are new and complete romance stories and one focuses on a young but already established couple trying to find their place in the world. There are lots more red states. I plan to continue the series with at least five new stories coming in the late Spring of 2018.
How did you feel when the first book in the series was first released?
– ‘Loving Blue in Red States’ is a great series but it wasn’t my first series. The Morelville Mysteries series is a lesfic mystery/romance series that currently stands at nine books. It was my first series. I spun a cozy mystery series off that, ‘The Morelville Cozies’ that will number three books and counting sometime in September. I also have a couple of full length lesfic romances.
Which genres do you like to write in?
– I love writing mysteries featuring strong women. Romance is a little – okay, a lot – tougher for me to write but I do enjoy it. Writing a romance is such a different art form from writing a mystery; even a romantic one. I plan on continuing with my Loving Blue series…and maybe someday turning some of the shorts into full length stories as my vehicle to keep writing romance.
What is one thing you like about the town you live in?
– I live in a tiny village, population about 450, out in the middle of nowhere. Farms are all around outside the village. My wife grew up on a small family farm a few miles out of the village. Her grandparents lived in the house that used to be right next door to us here in ‘town’. Everyone knows everyone here and just about everything about them. That would make some people uncomfortable but, here, in this little burg, it draws everyone closer. Neighbors help each other. Neighbors pull together for the good of the community. We have our detractors, being a lesbian couple in a very conservative, ‘red’ area, but most people here take a live and let live attitude with us and with just about everyone they encounter.
Can you elaborate on your visit to Golden Crown Literary Society?
– I went to the Chicago GCLS Convention (Con) in July. It was my first time going to a GCLS Con, so I was a con virgin. Being among so many luminaries of lesfic for several days was an amazing experience. I met so many authors whose books I’ve read for years. I admit to fangirling a little bit. I also met some fans of my books and maybe even made a few new ones. I learned a ton in master’s classes for authors and at panels focused on different genres and issues surrounding lesfic.
It’s definitely a con that’s worth going to if you’re an author. I do have some heartburn though with the costs for pure readers to attend the con. Ticket prices, whether for one day or for the run of the con, are steep compared to cons in other industries and even other literary cons. A literary con needs to be as much about the reader – if not more so – than about the care and feeding of the authors. The readers should be the focus. The GCLS Board is considering ideas to become more reader focused and I’ve certainly voiced my opinion. Over the long run, for the continued life of lesfic, I think we’re going to be seeing a lot of changes.
One thing that was very clear at the con was the fact that lesfic doesn’t have the appeal to younger generations of readers that it has had for women who are over 35 or 40 years of age. Younger women can see themselves as lesbians everywhere; television, movies, online in forums, on user sites and in videos and video games. They don’t have to turn to literature to find other women who love women or to see themselves reflected.
Describe a perfect day.
– I can’t even begin to speculate. Ask me again in five years when life has settled a bit and maybe we have the 2nd home on Douglas Lake in Tennessee, right outside of the Smokies that we’re dreaming of! Right now, no matter what we plan, our plans always change, at least a little bit.
What was the last live music performance you went to?
– There were two notable ones in 2015. My wife is a huge Reba McEntire fan. We saw her at the Ohio State Fair in the Summer of 2015. She’s a phenomenal performer. Also, I’d always wanted to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. We saw them the day after Christmas in 2015. They were everything I hoped for and more. Since late 2015, life has been more than a little crazy. Concerts haven’t been high on the ‘must do’ list.
What do you enjoy doing when you are not writing?
– I really would like more time to write! We spend so much time with family, especially my spouse’s family. I love them all to death, don’t get me wrong, but writing often takes a back seat to whatever the latest thing my nieces, nephew and my great nephews are doing. We’re constantly on the run for all things family related. The things we get into though do make great fodder for stories.
Did you do any writing in school?
– I did a little in high school but I didn’t really feel the writing bug until I took a creative writing class in college.
Where is the most exotic place you’ve visited? How was it?
– I’m not much of a world traveler. I’ve been all over the U.S. and into Canada. It’s not that I don’t want to travel the world, I just haven’t had the opportunity. There have been other priorities. I’ve been to Hawaii. I found that to have exotic elements but it was very laid back. We’re doing a Bahama’s vacation in 2018…24 of us. That will probably be as ‘exotic’ as it gets for me for a while.
What is the most daring thing you’ve written about? Can you share?
– I guess it would be writing lesfic at all. When I started writing Relic, my first book, Sheriff Melissa ‘Mel’ Crane wasn’t going to have a foil or even a mention of her sexual preference. It was just going to be a mystery, period. The story didn’t work. Making it lesfic and bringing Special Agent Dana Rossi into Mel’s world changed everything.
Can you share with us your passion for your Hagan’s House of Horrors?
– My wife and I both acted in Haunted Houses in the past. My time in one was in my distant past. Her experiences doing that are a lot more current. Anyway, it’s always been her dream to own and operate one. I enjoy it but it’s really her dream. For me, it’s a lot of work supporting her, advertising, dealing with vendors, doing the accounting and taxes and doing all the other things that come with being the chief administrator. She’s the creative brains behind the haunt. It’s all about the business behind the scenes for me.
We ran into a snag in 2016 with some fire codes that changed significantly. We’re sitting out 2017 and trying to decide how or if we want to move forward. We have a couple of options but one involves a large expenditure of cash and the other a huge investment of time (and a little cash) to get back to code for what is really a seasonal business with a very short season.
Me: I love haunted houses and everything having to do with Halloween. I’m looking for some great haunts for my Halloween entry in late October 2017.
Besides writing, how do you participate with the LGBTQ community?
– We moved from suburban Columbus, Ohio to a small village in a rural area more than an hour out of Columbus in October of 2013. Since that time, we’ve participated less in LGBT focused activities in that area and more in supporting the needs of our new local community, as a whole. There is a tiny LGBT support network out here but we’ve found acceptance within the community we live in by being active participants in the things that matter more to people here than political activism. Things like hanging (and taking down) Christmas lights, throwing spaghetti dinner benefits for those in need, collecting clothing and food for families that could use them and so forth. It’s activism in our own way…one heart and one mind at a time.
Me: Anne took this picture of her nieces and nephews participating with a raffle to raise money for the village Christmas lights last year. They got $650 worth of donations and they sold over $1,100 worth of tickets. The village population is about 450 total people. Way to go!
What is next for you?
– That’s another tough question. I’ve got lots of ideas for books and plans into 2018 and beyond. Ideally, I’d love to quit working a day job and focus only on writing but I don’t see that happening any time soon. Instead, I see me spending at least a couple of more years working with the U.S. Postal Service and writing when and where I can around family events and obligations. I’ve been talking with a couple of other authors about leaving the indie life and starting a publishing company. We may very well do that but it’s going to take a few years to build a foundation and to gain author clients and momentum. We’ll see where we are in 2020 or so.
Now for the giveaway Anne is cohosting with author E.A. Kafkalas. There are over 30 authors (43 books), including Anne Hagan’s ‘Relic’ and ‘Broken Women’, and E.A. Kafkalas’ ‘Frankie and Petra’ and ‘The Second Heart.’
Included in the lot is S.W. Andersen’s ‘Switchback.’ I am currently reading this one, so stay tuned for my upcoming review. Enter for your chance to win this collection and see how great Lesfic literature is.
The Grand Prize winner will receive 24 signed books, chosen at random from the collected works, the 2nd & 3rd prize winners will get 12 & 7 signed books respectively.
Winners will be chosen randomly.
These two authors are 2017 GCLS winners:
Also, I’d like to mention author Lori L. Lake, who was a GLCS winner last year. She has three books in the giveaway that you are going to love. ‘Eight Dates,’ ‘A Very Public Eye,’ and ‘Jump the Gun’. Lori has written professionally for many years and her work is well known. When she’s not writing, she coaching other writers. At the same time, she serves as the head of the Governance Committee for the Board at the Oregon Writer’s Colony.
Thank you so much, Anne, for your time and enthusiasm. Anne’s books are available on Amazon and I am recommending ‘Loving Blue in Red States – Sweetwater Texas’, which I have included an excerpt below. You’re going to love this one. Be sure to check out Anne’s links so you can keep up with her and reach out.
Website: https://www.AnneHaganAuthor.com (you can read her blog and sign up for her email list from the pop up or from the sidebar on the site)
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorAnneHagan @AuthorAnneHagan
As promised I have included a nice excerpt for ‘Loving Blue in the Red States – Sweetwater Texas.’ Enjoy.
“Whatever you say,” Cass said. “I didn’t come back here to argue with you.” “Why did you come back here?”
Cass held up the release form, face out. “This. I need just a little bit more information before I become someone’s guinea pig.”
Emmie did her best to control her temper as she addressed the brash woman. “It’s not a requirement. You’re free to skip participating and just go on your way whenever I’m… well, whenever I’m doing the things I need to do with the class for my research.”
“Not very confident in yourself, are you, Emmie?” She said her name with added emphasis.
Emmie threw her hands up. “I thought you didn’t want to argue? Look, if that’s all, I really do need to get going. I have a little bit of a drive to get home and I have work to do yet this evening.”
“Abilene?” Cass asked, as Emmie gathered her things.
“Other direction. Other side of Sweetwater, here, out a little ways.”
“Really?” Cass tilted her head and cocked an eyebrow.
Emmie glanced at her and then glanced quickly away. Rather than answer, she made a show of winding up the power cord for her laptop and stowing it in her bag.
“My nephew is a Junior on the team this year.”
“That’s nice for him. They’re looking pretty good,” she conceded as her tone went from sarcastic to monotone.
“You didn’t even ask who he is,” Cass pointed out.
“I’m sorry. Who, pray tell, is your nephew?” Emmie asked as she picked up the laptop bag and started for the door.
“Wow, you’re something, you know? You’d catch more flies with just a little more honey, honey.”
The strawberry blond whirled to face the other woman. “Don’t call me honey!”
“Whoa! Sorry!” Cass held up her hands in mock surrender. She still had the release form in her left hand.
“Just give me that. I’ll dispose of it on the way out.”
“I’ll walk out with you. Wouldn’t do to have you walking out alone tonight.”
“I can take care of myself.”
“And I’m absolutely sure that you can but there’s more safety in numbers and, besides, I didn’t say I wasn’t going to participate; only that I want more information.”
Emmie sighed and started walking. Cass followed.
“What’s the topic of your thesis?”
Emmie slowed and waited for the other woman to come alongside her. “How economic failure influences adult education.”
“Ouch,” Cass said.
“Is that a problem?”
“Not for me. I’m not an ‘economic failure’.”
“I never said you were. It’s just that programs like this appeal to people trying to better themselves, get out of the cotton fields, off the ranch…”
“What’s wrong with working on a ranch?”
Emmie groaned. It was coming out all wrong. “Nothing. I grew up on a ranch. It’s practically the only life I’ve known.”
“Obviously not; not if you’re in a Master’s program. You’ve probably been a student most of your life… never had a real job.”
“Now who’s making assumptions?” Emmie flung back at Cass. She reached the door going out, pushed it open hard, then strode ahead toward her car. She wanted to put as much distance between herself and the insufferable Cassandra Prater as she could, as quickly as she could.
Click on the link below for your copy of ‘Loving Blue in Red States’
Check out Anne’s Amazon Author Page to purchase her other books, including ‘Relic’ and ‘Broken Heart.’
Until Next Time,
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