Sunday, July 22, 2007
Travis Pass by Annette Snyder
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I grew up far from movie theaters or shopping malls and spent my time reading romance novels I bought with my babysitting money at the local grocery store. Most of the time, I enjoyed them yet sometimes the endings annoyed me and I’d think, “I would end that better.”
I never considered writing as more than a hobby until I finished my first novel, and third release, Travis Pass. Once Travis Pass was complete, new ideas kept coming and now I find myself looking at life as if it’s filled with millions of stories.
Whether writing historically, contemporarily, or humorously, my work centers on life in small, Midwestern towns and the amazing bonds people form with their neighbors.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Two families, the Eversby's, granted every convenience, and the Kubat's, determination their only asset, adventure westward toward freedom. Two families, embrace the same goal, the Oklahoma Free Land Race, and fall under hostile circumstance.
Travis Pass, sole heir to the Eversby fortune, returns to Boston when his fraternal grandfather reclaims him. Travis never forgets the Kubat,s devotion, or the love he holds for their daughter. Can his heart permit Aggie marry another?
After Grandfather steals Travis away, Aggie's hope of love is crushed. With the support of her parents, she vows to move on. Certainly, people hold more than one extraordinary love a lifetime.
Can two parents forsake their dream for the sake of a baby?
Can two families set aside differences for the sake of a child?
Can two people from different worlds break the barriers of culture and distance for the sake of love?
Jacob guided the four-horse team down the steep slope of the sandy riverbank that edged the Missouri. Dark, fertile earth flattened under the wooden wheels of the heavy wagon leaving deep, carved ruts behind. Metal fixtures clunked against the side of the box noisily as the buckboard rocked back and forth with the uneven grade.
“Jacob,” Emily began as she gripped the wood of her seat, “is this too steep for our horses? I’d hate to have one turn up lame.”
“The others made it down to the bank just fine. Our horses are better than theirs. Don’t worry so much.”
The horses labored to keep the load balanced as Jacob steered. Strong muscles in his upper arms strained to maintain control. Jacob wasn’t an expert horseman, but had quickly learned to manage the beautiful, well-trained team early in the voyage. Now, as they slowly edged their way to the major river, Emily knew Jacob’s knowledge about horsemanship was enough to get them safely across and make it to Oklahoma in plenty of time to get ready for the race.
The fine features of Emily’s face paled as they reached the bottom of the precipitous bluff and she hoped to disguise her look of worry.
“Are you all right, Em? You’re warm,” Jacob questioned as he reached for her hand and found her delicate fingers warmer than usual.
“I'm fine,” she lied as she attempted to make her voice sound more cheerful. Emily didn’t want Jacob to be concerned. She wasn’t feeling fine at all. She felt sick to her stomach and feverish. Even though she sat directly in the early afternoon sun, Emily did not feel its comforting heat. The long layered skirts and heavy petticoats that graced her thin shapely legs were not enough to keep her warm. She’d talked to Doctor Keller earlier in the day and he said lack of rest had to be the cause of her fatigue. Emily assured herself the doctor was a learned, experienced man; thus, his diagnosis must be correct. They’d been traveling hard and fast for over a month now. It felt like they had been traveling for a lifetime without stopping. The weather was cooperating, and as long as it remained that way, the wagon train would not stop. Emily was glad when she heard the trail master tell Jacob that shortly after crossing the Missouri, they would reach the Travis Pass Trading Post and rest for two or three days. Emily decided to trust the doctor’s advice and was confident rest was all she needed. No, she didn’t want Jacob to worry needlessly about her health when they were so near their destination. Only a few more states to cross before reaching Oklahoma. How wonderful it would be to finally arrive. Then she could relax and prepare their home. She could get everything ready for the coming of their baby. The doctor had to be right about the fatigue and after Emily allowed herself to recognize that, she felt a little better.
Why did you become a writer? Was it a dream of yours since you were younger or did the desire to write happen later in your life?
I had a dream one night about two men in a forest that found a girl and rescued her away to their hidden community. When I woke up, I wrote it down and it became a 60K book. After that, I kept getting new ideas and so, I write. Someday, I'll try and fix that first book, because as my first book, it isn't to the stage where it can be submitted, and I'll try and get it published.
I usually have really vivid dreams and I don't sleep well because of them. When I write, my dreams are toned down and I sleep better so, I write and it seems to be working both with my rest and my great books.
What do you love about being an author? Is there anything you dislike?
I haven't found anything that I don't like. The writing and edits and all that is like creating a puzzle and when I finish a book, its one of those AAAHH! moments. I'm not a great salesperson and, since I publish with small press like so many other authors, a lot of the promo stuff falls back on me.
How do you balance your personal and writing time?
My writing is my personal time! It’s as much a part of me as anything else. I do get up really early to write, before I go to my real job, and I write a lot on the weekends.
How do you write? Do your characters come to you first or the plot or the world of the story?
Once, while visiting a museum and reading stories about the Orphan Trains, someone tapped me on my shoulder and said, "My name's Sally. Write a story about me." Well, I turned around and no one was there but before I got home, I had the basics to the story Sally Murphy. I guess she came to me first! After I wrote Sally's book, one of the characters stuck in my mind and I had to write a book for her. That's where Liberty Road came in.
What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?
I like history about early America and the stories of the people who populated it. It's always amazed me how someone was so adventurous to uproot and change their lives by moving to a country considered uninhabited. I was fortunate to have great-grandparents who migrated to America at very young ages and I was fascinated by the stories they shared with me. I paid attention and some of those stories end up in the Travis Pass Series. I also dabble in newspaper articles, contemporary romance and essays
Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
Totally imagined though the hero in Liberty Road is a lot like my husband.
Out of all the characters that you've written, who is your favorite and why?
I'm doing a second draft of a contemporary novel now about a fireman named Andrew 'Amen' Packard. He's a great guy who's trying to move on with his life after a bitter, unexpected divorce. He meets Bradie, a convenience store clerk who is trying to move on after the death of her fiancé. I'm kind of into Amen right now!
What would you want readers to take away from your books?
When someone tells me that they actually felt like they were inside the book, it means a lot. I like to write about regular people who overcome odds and turn their lives around for the sake of living a good life. I just completed a book about a woman who was left with two small kids and no income after her husband died in a car accident. It's the story of how she takes her despair and turns it around to make a life where she's happy again. It begins on the downside of the Depression years and ends in the 60's.
Do you have any advice for beginning writers in regards to writing a book?
If you want to write, then write. When I write the first draft of a book, it's almost not readable, there's so many grammar errors and tense shifts and head hopping (the biggy that I do so well!) After I write the first draft, I go back and fix it in the second and the third and the fourth! I say, get all the way through it the first time--fix it with edits.
What are you reading right now?
I don't read when I'm writing because usually, when I read a book, I get so into it I don't do anything else...Nothing...not even dishes or laundry! I read between projects so, next on my list is an Anthology a good writer friend of mine gave me called No Law Against Love.
If you could be anyone or anything that you wanted, who or what would you be?
I've always been pretty happy as I am. I'd have a little more money. I'd lose the tire that's developed around my 40 year old middle and I'd own one of those homes with a beautiful view, big windows, rustic beams, granite countertops and stone floors. Otherwise, I'm damn lucky. I have a great husband of 23 years, four good kids and friends and family who love me regardless of the fact that I blow them off occasionally to finish a novel. I'm happy in my real job working at a landfill and I have enough of what I need. Some people don't have what I have. I keep a pretty long list of charities I'm going to donate to, like Habitat for Humanity and Operation Smile, for the time when I get to the point in my life where all my charitable money doesn't go toward college tuitions and braces for kids.
4 cups: "This wonderfully cozy, lush historical romance…
This was a lovingly written, gently woven story told quite beautifully."
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance (www.coffeetimeromance.com)
Reviewer for Karen Find Out About New Books
WHAT'S UP FOR GRABS?:
A terrific Summer Prize Package perfect for your trip to the beach including a great beach novel for your reading entertainment, an autographed copy of acclaimed Travis Pass, book One in Annette’s Travis Pass Series, an insulated drink cooler perfect for keeping beverages frosty, PLUS a tube of Banana Boat sun block to protect from harmful rays while you sit, sip and read during your leisurely afternoon in the sun! Total Value--$20 approx.
Travis Pass by Annette Snyder
ISBN: 978-1-59374-494-6 (ebook)
ISBN: 978-1-59374-493-9 (print)
Genre: Romance Historical
$5.99 (ebook) from Whiskey Creek Press
$12.95 (print) from Whiskey Creek Press
Purchase Travis Pass by Annette Snyder HERE!!