Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?
I started writing fiction back in 1995 after deciding that I wanted to write a story to my liking instead of reading what was available on the bookshelf. However, I didn’t publish my first book until 2011. During those fifteen or so years in between, I spent a lot of time improving my craft—from studying dialogue, narrative, and transitions to learning how to plot using scene and sequel methods and analyzing my favorite movies for setting and character building reasons.
What inspired you to write your book?
The Deadwood Undertaker series came about when my husband and I were discussing undertakers in the Old West and how neither of us had ever heard of any female undertakers from back then. I already had my contemporary Deadwood Mystery series well underway by that point with eight published books in that series and book nine in progress. It seemed like a natural fit to write a series that would act as a prequel and be set in the same town—Deadwood—only back when the old town was young and gold was luring all sorts of people there in droves.
CAN’T RIDE AROUND IT is the third book in this western/supernatural series and continues the story of four friends as they try to rid the Black Hills in the Dakota Territory of a growing menace before it spreads too far and too wide.
What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?
That even in the darkest times, friendship and determination will see you through.
What drew you into this particular genre?
I grew up watching westerns with my dad and stepdad and loved them. Ever since I began telling stories on the page, I’ve always wanted to write a western, but the amount of research that is required to do it correctly was too daunting. Then my husband and I talked about creating a story together that would be a mix of western and supernatural, and because he was on board as a co-writer, I was excited to finally have a chance to explore the Old West on the page alongside of him.
If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?
I would probably choose to sit down with both Hank from the Deadwood Undertaker series and Old Man Harvey from the Deadwood Mystery series. These two are “characters” through and through and they both have long, interesting histories full of colorful anecdotes that would keep me entertained for hours.
What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?
Facebook has been the most helpful so far. I’ve had an account there since 2009 … maybe 2008—I can’t remember. Over the years I’ve had a lot of fun meeting readers on there and getting to know them. Facebook has provided me the opportunity to build a community of supportive readers and friends.
What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?
Perseverance is key to a long career in fiction writing. There will be high points to celebrate, and there will be low points that make you wonder why you are working so hard at this career. Don’t give up, just shift gears and keep on writing.
What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?
My husband and I just released a Christmas novella in the Deadwood Undertaker series called CATAWAMPUS CHRISTMAS CAROL. Now that this story has been released, we will be working on book 4 in this series, which is titled, THE BACKSIDE OF HADES. We are hoping to release this book midway through 2021.
In addition to this story, I’ll be writing book 12 in my Deadwood Mystery series, which I hope to release in early spring of 2021. I have a couple more books planned for 2021, so it’s going to be a busy year!
About the Author
Ann Charles is an award-winning author whowrites mysteries that are splashed with humor, romance, and whatever else shefeels like throwing into the mix. When she is not dabbling in fiction, arm-wrestlingwith her children, attempting to seduce her husband, or arguing with her sassycat, she is daydreaming of lounging poolside at a fancy resort with a blendedmargarita in one hand and a great book in the other.