Friday, December 07, 2007
Albert's Rain 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.
What was the very first genre you were introduced to as a child?
I read my first romance novel in grade school. It was a contemporary...it would be considered a historical now!
On average, how long does it take you to write a book from start to finish?
I can write a book in about a year. The holiday season, from November to January, is my hardest time to keep focus only because life is so busy with the shopping and visiting. This year I got my shopping done early so I'm working more diligently on my next project.
Do you have any special rituals to help you get in the mood to write?
I write in the mornings before I go to work. For a couple hours, before I wake the kids up, is my best creative time.
When you have writer's block, how do you break free?
I don't think I've had writers block yet but, when I get bored with a story I'm working on, I pull one of the first ones I wrote out and work on it for a while to try and put in the publishable qualities that it doesn't have because I wrote it so long ago.
Do deadlines help or hinder your muse?
I like deadlines with novels but not deadlines with newspaper articles. I think because in novel writing, the deadlines are farther apart than the daily deadlines I have when an article is due.
Do you have any bad writing habits?
I think everyone has bad writing habits. That's why there's good editors to teach us to avoid our bad habits and edit them all out!
Which one of the characters in "Albert's Rain" is the hardest to write and why?
I didn't find any of them very hard to write. Albert and Rayna both have dialects throughout the book and sticking to that dialect for each character was hard.
If you could be one of your characters, who would you be and why?
I'd be Ida Keller in Liberty Road. I think she's the most like me.
Is there a genre of book you would like to write but haven't yet?
I got an idea the other day for a mystery novel. I will have to read up on mystery novels before I write that one. I might even talk to a mystery writer friend of me for advice because I'm not even a mystery reader.
Is there an author(s) that you would love to do an anthology or collaboration with in the future?
I'm amazed that some authors can do anthologies together. They pick an idea and write a story to fit the idea and generally, it works. I don't get my ideas that way so I've never done one.
If you were not a writer, what do you see yourself doing on a day-to-day basis?
I actually write at my real job. I write grants, policies, letters--business writing stuff. I cooked for a living for 25 years and never found it as satisfying as what I do now.
How do you see yourself, 5 to 10 years from now?
I'd like to be able to travel more and work less. I'd like to be able to wake up and say, "I think I'll skip the laundry today and write." It would be nice to be able to bring in more of my income from my work as a writer.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
This is Book Five in the Travis Pass Series
Albert’s dream led him toward independence. Escaping slavery, and to pursue a life where no man controlled him, was his goal. Frivolities of friendships could vanish with the whip of a switch, but freedom could be held a lifetime.
Rayna’s choice was to set an example and board a ship so her people could survive. Only after arrival in America, at Bristol Plantation, did she realize what consequences her sacrifice held. Her surrender meant life as a slave and separation from her island family.
Can Albert’s heart transcend language and barriers of repression and allow Rayna close? Will Rayna put aside hurt caused by the plantation owner and permit Albert’s love to heal her heart? Can the pair abandon mistrust and let the kindness of strangers be their salvation?
It was hot even for July. The oppressive heat burnt down on Albert’s shoulders as he bent to lift another heavy rock. It seemed they prepared the soil, moving rocks and clearing stumps in Master Bristol’s new parcel of land for weeks and hadn’t finished yet. They still had to clear the holly bramble and towering sycamore trees that edged the boundary of the neighboring property, and then plow. Albert wondered if anything would grow. With luck, the slaves would have the land ready for planting in the spring, plants would flourish and Master Bristol would be happy. If Master Bristol was happy with their work, it usually meant an extra ration of food, maybe a whole hog and permission for a celebration. Albert hoped for a party. The men worked so hard, it would be nice to have an evening picnic. That would do morale good.
A dark cloud covered the sun and Albert looked to see if rain was coming. Storm clouds could bring temporary relief to even the hottest day and Albert hoped for rain. Albert motioned for the crew to collect their supplies and put them in a dry spot under the tree line so they wouldn’t get too muddy. He looked at the road, which edged the field, and saw the overseer’s wagon approach.
Mr. Willis drew the reins on his team and stopped in front of Albert.
The cart creaked and moaned from a long journey as if it knew it was almost home and Albert sympathized with it.
“You’ve been working, Albert.”
“Yes, sir. We been workin’ hard. Got most o’ tha big rocks moved an’ jist gotta git those trees yonder. I’m thinkin’, if it’s alright with ya, sir, thet we jist git those tamarra’ after it stops rainin’.”
Albert knew Willis was aware that he was generally smart about how far to push the workers and working in rain wouldn’t make them work harder. Bad morale meant bad work. Bad work meant bad slaves. Bad slaves meant whippings and maybe deaths, which meant Willis would have to go back to wherever he came from and purchase more slaves. Albert knew Willis hadn’t the desire to leave when he just returned. It was usually a long trip and he hated traveling.
Albert first saw her as Mr. Willis drove the cart away. He stood and wiped the sweat from his brow just as the overseer commanded his team and Albert caught a glimpse of the woman in back. She had dark skin, darker than he’d seen in a long time. She was thin, he could tell by the way her dress hung on her worse than the women at the plantation and her braided hair draped past her shoulders. She sat with her feet dangling over the back of the wagon and Albert could tell she was tall because her feet nearly touched the ground. Her back was straight and proud. He hadn’t seen a woman sit that regally for a long time. For a second, his eyes met hers and Albert wondered about the soul behind them. Albert wondered what plantation she came from. He hadn’t seen her anywhere around Bristol’s, not that he got away from the farm much. Usually, Willis went out of state to get slaves, since it saved on runaways, but this woman was different from the downtrodden others. Her eyes were clear and bright, curiously taking in all around her while not looking to the ground or sad and dejected, like most. Her nose was strong and wide and she held an aura of strength. Maybe it was the tilt of her head, the jut of her chin or the way she rode in the wagon. Albert didn’t know. As well, she looked younger than the women Albert was used to. Not that it meant much. Slavery aged a person fast.
Willis was gone over a week to pick up new slaves, maybe he went to the slave market and that’s where he picked her up. Maybe the new woman was meant to replace Sashay since Sashay was demoted to the laundry. It made sense. The new woman was far too thin for fieldwork and she was attractive. Maybe Willis went to the slave market to pick up Master’s new bitch.
Albert sighed. He was curious, but what did it matter? If she were Master Bristol’s newest maid, he would never know about her except through gossip.
A loud clap of thunder rang above and the blue sky turned to dark gray and the wind gusted. Thick clouds rolled overhead and dumped cooling rain on the inhabitants of the field. Albert tilted his head skyward and let the rain wash away his sweat and dirt. It felt good, real good, and Albert thanked God for the relief.
Albert's Rain by Annette Snyder
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
Release Date: Dec 2007
Genre: Romance Historical
$5.99 from www.whiskeycreekpress.com
Purchase Albert's Rain by Annette Snyder HERE!!!