I spend most days on the computer. I’m happiest when listening to music, writing blogs or working on my two in-process books, doing book research or playing computer games. I enjoy good food and wine. My husband and I have been members of a gourmet group for many years and started a second group a few years go.
Although warm beaches are my favorite place to be, England is my favorite place to explore. I’m always ready for travel, taking my camera with me to capture those pictures that beg to be painted. I’ve been a professional artist for many years and love to make jewelry.
I read every night before going to sleep. History, medicine, anthropology and science are my non-fiction interests. For fiction I love mysteries but also read lots of novels. I’m in a book club. Actually I read about 4-8 books at the same time. It is a terrible habit that I've tried and tried to break but it simply doesn't happen. I get too many books going at once because sometimes there is nothing in the pile I'm in the mood for.
My plan is to write more in the series of this 600 year old fictional house. The first book is the story of an English/American woman who finds mystery, a skeleton, murder and many artifacts, which will be talked about in the other books.
The second book is the story of the foundation of the property in the 13th Century. I'm currently working on a second contemporary book about Megan and Gray and a non-fiction book about my favorite places in England.
An Interview with Anne Flint
What's the story behind Fettigrew Hall?
Because of my interest in ancient houses and mysteries, I wanted to write a story that combined both of these. My first book is the contemporary story of a woman who visits England, finds an ancient abandoned house and becomes obsessed with it. When she buys the house and starts restoring it, the house’s ghosts start to come alive. A body is found, which solves an old mystery and opens up many more. There are many unexplained artifacts that are found and the answers to these will be in other books. A house that is centuries old has a great deal of history. Many people have lived their lives there and many things have happened. This is why I have titled my book Fettigrew Hall – The Biography of a House. As I was writing I realized that I could write a series about the same house and things that happened there through the centuries.
Describe your desk.
Because there is no room in my house for an office, I have a corner of the living room. The desk is large, old and in poor condition. I bought it for $25 at a yard sale. I have a small 2 drawer file cabinet next to it, which has my desktop computer, some resources and the wi-fi on top of it. My desk has my computer screen and keyboard, a vertical file for things I'm working on or are pending, several research books are usually sitting on it too.
So, what happens in the first book?
I don’t want to give away too much of the mystery but there are several love stories happening. There is a book within the book that tells some of the history of the house and families that owned it. I plan to write full books about those characters. There are ghosts that play a part in the plot. There are descriptions of the house and things found within. There is a crypt under the house, a chapel, a priest hole, a moat, which may contain something interesting and an old castle tower. All of these things need to be explained in future stories.
What do you read for pleasure?
I have a horrible habit of reading 8-12 books at a time. So, I read what I'm in the mood for at the time (usually at bedtime). I always have a scientific or factual book, a research book for my writing, and several novels, sometimes a biography. With non-fiction books I have sticky notes that I put all over the book so I can come back later and look things up or take notes for my own writing.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in several states (US) but have lived most of my life in Colorado. This has had no influence on my writing. It is a mystery to me why I am so taken with England. I have been there 5 times and it isn't enough. I always feel at home there.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
When I am really "on" and ready to write, the words just flow out of me as fast as I can type. That is pure joy!
What motivated you to become an indie author?
This is a very involved answer but the shortest answer is that I was unwilling to spend years submitting my book to publishers and waiting. Even if the book was selected it would take another 2 or 3 years to see it on book shelves. Publishers do not promote books these days unless they have a huge best seller. Writers are paid 10% of the profits and lose all rights to the book. Need I go on? The point is, I think I can promote this and make more money from it on my own.
When did you first start writing?
I had written lots of non-fiction but never tackled fiction. When I started Fettigrew Hall, I had no ideal I would finish it. Now I'm hooked on fiction and mysteries.
What are you working on next?
Next up is the continuing story of Megan and Gray, since many of my readers want to know what will happen to the characters they have just read about. I'm also finishing up a non-fiction book about my favorite places in England. And on occasion, I also write small pieces for future books. I have several in mind and think about them all the time.
What do your fans mean to you?
I am, by nature, a very modest person. I'm always so honored if someone tells me they liked my book. When people act as though I'm a special person I find that embarrassing. I am not. I simply wrote a story. Many people can do so if they have the time and focus.
I'm thrilled to know that people like my story and want to hear more. It inspires me and I'm doing my best to keep providing the story to them.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Ha! I have to laugh at that one. I have so many projects and interests I could never get bored. I also am happy and goal oriented, so I'm a busy person. I love days when I have nothing at all on my plate. Then I can focus on my writing. One of my favorite things is restoring or remodeling my home. It is a 100 year old Victorian and I love it.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Too much time is spent on keeping the household running. I have several part time jobs creating and maintaining websites created with WIX.com.
What is your writing process?
I am not a plotter, typically. I am a pantser. I write by the seat of my pants. I don't always have an ending in mind, and I don't always know who is going to be in a story. I'm the sort that hears voices from the ether and follows their lead. Sometimes they nudge me to change something, sometimes I have to nudge them to allow for them to be expressed properly. In my first book I had no idea where I was going with it. Now, because I am writing sequels, I have to think about how things in the first book relate to the next books and this takes more planning.
Why did you write this book?
This idea has been plaguing me for about 10 years. It would not leave me alone until I started to write it. I was not able to write it until I became jobless and an empty nester.
How do you approach cover design?
Since I am also a painter, this was second nature to me. There are three houses that have given me inspiration for Fettigrew Hall. I found a painting done by George Theaker in 1886, on the internet. It is in the public domain. With a bit of Photoshopping I made it look more like the description in the book. I plan to continue using this picture with subtle changes for future books. As Megan restores the house I can make the picture look different. An example for the next contemporary book cover is on my website.
Why did you call this a biography?
I was thinking of the concept, “If Walls Could Talk.” I mean that a house is present for everything that happens to the people living there. If it was a living entity it could tell us about its history, what happened there and what the people did.
What is your book your first book, Fettigrew Hall, about?
My character, Megan, is a middle aged, recently widowed woman who travels to England were she finds a house she is simply obsessed with. She purchases it and starts restoration. When she discovers a skeleton, a murder mystery has to be solved. Then the house begins to come alive with ghosts and mysteries. There is also an element of a love story. Or, perhaps two, if you wanted to look at it that way.
How did you approach the writing of this story? Did you have the plot all figured out?
No I didn’t. A strange thing happened as I was writing. My characters started taking over the story and going off in directions I hadn’t planned. Sometimes I would write myself into a corner and couldn’t get out. I liked what I had written but could not figure out how to continue with a credible plot. This resulted in quite a few twists in the story. I hope my readers enjoy them.
What is your second book, The 13th Century, about?
This is the foundation of the property when a castle was built. When the men go to the Crusades, Jancis must take on responsibility for the property and those living there. She struggles with many hardships and questions her father's decisions and her own direction.
Is this a real house?
No it is entirely fictional but it is based on three houses I have visited in England that I particularly love.
Do you have a blog?
Yes, I have a blog posted to my website at
Most writer's talk about writer's block, did you experience that and if so, how long did it take and what triggered your new motivation when you started again?
I wouldn't say that I was blocked but I often found that I didn't know what was coming next. Sometime this took several weeks of thought. I am very fortunate to have a good writing partner to bounce things off.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I was given a Nook for Christmas but I still prefer the real thing and don't often use it. It is a great device for getting access to a book instantly that you might never find at the library or a store.
What is your "elevator" pitch?
Elevator pitches are defined by having only moment to describe your book. So, I have two:
What is it about this house that captivates Megan? Is it the ghosts or the mysterious body found in the priest hole? This is only the beginning, or should I say, end of the story. Learn what else happened in this 600 year old house.