Meet Anne Mateer
A lifelong reader, writer, and lover of history, Anne Mateer is the author of four historical novels and one historical novella, as well as several short pieces in compilation publications. Her book At Every Turn was a 2013 Carol Award finalist. Anne and her husband, Jeff, have been married 30 years. When not traveling to visit their adult children or to tour historic sites, they are happily living their empty nest adventure in Austin, Texas.
Tell us about your newest book.
My newest release—my first in three years!—is a historical novella set amid the Great Gale of 1815 in Providence, RI. Here’s a little about the story: Thirty-year-old Remembrance “Mem” Wilkins loves her solitary life running the farm and orchard she inherited from her father and has no plans to give up her independence. Especially not for the likes of Mr. Graham Lott. But when Mem is unable to harvest the apples on her own, she accepts the help of the man she despises.
Fresh off a boat from Ireland with his four-year-old son in tow, Simon Brennan secures a building in which to ply his trade as a cobbler. Still healing from the grief of his wife’s death a year earlier, he determines to focus only on providing a good life for his son. But when he intervenes in an argument on behalf of the intriguing Miss Wilkins, he suddenly finds himself crossways with his landlord, Mr. Lott, and relieved of his lease and most of his money.
With no means of support, Simon takes a job helping Mem with her harvest, but their growing attraction to each other makes them both uneasy. Mem gladly escapes to town when her sister begins labor, and Simon, believing it best to distance himself from Mem, takes his son and leaves. But neither anticipates the worst gale New England has ever seen—or that the storm will threaten all they hold dear.
What genre do you focus on and why?
I focus on historical fiction for two reasons—first, because I believe we have a lack of understanding of history and how people grappled through their own times, and second, because I believe reading a story that involves internal issues but is set in a different time and place can allow us to see things in ourselves we cannot see when confronted in our present moment.
Why do you write? What drives you?
I think the greatest thing that drives me to write fiction is that I can name far more novels that have impacted my life deeply than any other kind of book (other than the Bible). I learn through story. I see myself in story. And I think others do, too. Story allows us to see in others—in the characters and their reactions and decisions to people and situations—either what we desire to see in ourselves or what we don’t want to see in ourselves.
What does a day in your writing world look like?
I have a hard time writing all day long, so I usually try to get in a focused couple of hours mid-morning and mid-afternoon. In between those times I schedule my workouts or errands or time with friends or other appointments.
What is the hardest part of being an author? Why?
For me, it’s balancing work life with relationships. I have a tendency to prefer retreating into my imagination instead of engaging with the people around me. And yet I know I need people. And I know they need me. While writing is part of the reason God put me here, it is not the only or even the most important reason. But I struggle to get the priority right sometimes.
What’s the best part of your author’s life? Why?
Being flexible to travel with my husband. For the past few years he’s traveled a lot with his jobs, and I feel very blessed to be able to do my work anywhere!
What is the craziest thing you’ve experienced as an author?
It wasn’t something that happened to me as an author so much as it happened because I am an author. A couple of years ago I participated in a reader’s convention and ended up having a spontaneous lunch one day with three other authors—one of whom was Francine Rivers. I was calm, cool, and collected on the outside, but oh, so fan-girl on the inside. She is such a gracious and kind lady, everything I hoped she’d be. Definitely a crazy, never-in-a-million-years-thought-it would-happen moment.
What are you most proud of?
Perseverance. Writing and publishing are not quick or easy. You have to keep pushing forward and be determined not to give up when it gets long or hard. I didn’t really know if I had that kind of strength. And truly, I didn’t. Perseverance is one of the things the Lord has grown into me during my writing journey.
What is your favorite pastime?
Reading! I honestly consider myself a reader first and a writer second.
Do you have other books? We’d love to know.
Yes! I have four traditionally published novels, all set in the WWI or pre-WWI era: Wings of a Dream, At Every Turn, A Home for My Heart, and Playing by Heart. You can find them in print and ebook on all platforms.
What are you working on now?
I am currently working on my second historical novella as well as a full-length novel that will feature one of readers’ favorite characters from my debut novel, Wings of a Dream.
Link to book: http://bit.ly/nosmallstorm
Social media links: www.facebook.com/AuthorAnneMateer
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