Tuesday 16 November 2010

Dancing With Myself: ANNE FRASIER interviews ANNE FRASIER

1) I’ll begin with a common question. Where do you write?

I can’t write if anyone is breathing within a mile of me, so a few years ago I came across a Gothic, prairie-style church in pretty much the middle of nowhere. It’s a fantastic place to write. There’s something about the sky-high ceiling that seems to open up my brain.

2) You’re always talking about music. Were you ever in a band?

No, but I used to think I could play guitar and sing. If I got drunk enough, I performed in my uncle’s bar. People would clap and say I was great, but they were always really, really drunk.

3) You’ve been writing for almost thirty years. If you had it to do over again, would you?

That’s a tough question, Anne. May I call you Anne? I think most writers are driven to write and they really have no choice in the matter. But would I choose to have that compulsion, that disease of writing, taken away? I don’t know. I almost think I would.

4) You’ve said that writers give up a lot. Could you expand on that?

We give up living our own lives to imagine other lives. I think it’s so hard to remain engaged in our own lives in a satisfying way.

5) But isn’t that like anything else? You have to find balance? You have to make room for your life?

Yes, but writers tread two worlds, and sometimes it’s hard to pull out of the fictional world. My husband once said to me, “You’re here, but you’re never really here.” Those words hurt, but I also knew he had a valid point.

6) Didn’t you write a short story about this very topic?

Why, yes I did! Thanks for asking! Max Under the Stars. The Kindle edition can be found on Amazon.

7) You said this interview would be funny. What happened?

Sorry, whenever I talk about writing I start navel-gazing.

8) Okay, since we’re being serious, what mistakes have you made in your career?

I could write a book about that. Going with the wrong agent right out of the gate. Staying with another agent for too many years. Not trusting myself. Not being in control of my career. Not speaking up. Letting things fester before discussing them with an editor or agent. The other side of that is learning to not make a big deal out of things that aren’t a big deal. Don’t be a pain in the ass.

9) That leads me to my next question. What advice would you give writers?

Don’t let a single individual derail your career. I finally left my agent of twenty years because he wouldn’t submit a project. (In the past I just said okay and crawled to a corner to whimper.) That rejected project has since sold to Grand Central Publishing. It will be my twentieth book and my first hardcover. My editor edits Jane Hamilton and Steve Martin. I’m thrilled. So when one expert tells you something you can’t bear to hear, something that stabs you in the heart, don’t accept it. Get more opinions. This is your career, your future, your dream.

10) What are you working on now?

I’m in the processing of compiling a Halloween short-story anthology called Deadly Treats to be published September 2011 by Nodin Press. It’s a really fun read with fantastic stories by award-winning authors and emerging new talent. And for more frights and screams, my memoir, The Orchard, published by Grand Central Publishing, is slotted to come out about the same time.



  1. 'I think it’s so hard to remain engaged in our own lives in a satisfying way.'.. oh, yes ...Great interview with a splendid woman.Looking forward to The Orchard-and Deadly treats, of course!

  2. More good stuff from Sir Nigel. I agree wholeheartedly with #'s 8 & 9 (or at least know from where you're coming), Ms. Frasier.

  3. Thanks, guys! Fun project, Nigel! Thanks for the invitation.

  4. Indeed, I have said many times; writing is like a terminal disease.

    Writers also suffer that terrible insecurity. Riddled with self-doubt. But sometimes you have to find it in yourself to know someone else's opinion is wrong.

  5. It's so hard to know if my own writing has any value. I mean, I almost think it's impossible. I have to rely on people who are supposed to know these things, but my mistake was putting too much faith in experts. And yeah, that's when it actually becomes handy to have that terminal disease! Ha! It overrides the this-is-crap responses.

  6. Anne, your honesty makes you my hero! :)

  7. Question: Isn't she the best? Answer: Yes.

  8. Went to school on this one. Helped. A lot. Thanks.