Please welcome Annette Mackey, author of Class Collision, to Fiction Folio today! Annette was kind enough to answer a few questions about her book and some other fun facts.
1. What made you sit down and write Class Collision? Where did your ideas come from?
Most of my life I haven’t shared what I write. It seemed too personal, and I couldn’t imagine that anyone would be interested. Then one day when my kids were little, the power went out, and they wanted me to tell them a story. With no light to read by, I decided to tell them one of my own. So for the next several hours they listened, and to my surprise, when the lights came back on, they were too riveted to let me stop. For days on end they hounded me for more, ignoring the TV, video games, even friends. They didn’t want to do anything but listen. After a particularly long session, my voice was hoarse, the kid’s eyes were as big as saucers, and it was way past bedtime. At that point, it occurred to me that maybe I shouldn’t have chucked so many stories in the trash.
Class Collision was actually a story I scribbled out by hand in college and threw away. I kept thinking that I was wasting my time with this little hobby. I’m glad I finally decided to go forward with publication. It’s been very rewarding to talk to readers, particularly high school kids. There’s so much life in a teenager! I love hearing from them after they read Class Collision. Inevitably, the first thing they want to know is, when will the sequel come out? So, to answer that question in advance, it’s being edited right now.
2. What was your favorite part of writing Class Collision?
Love! It’s my favorite part of everything. And when you add a secret identity, as is the case with David and Linda, you get some pretty enjoyable writing time. Hopefully, it’s just as enjoyable for the reader too. That’s the goal.
3. Where is your favorite place to write? Any special items you must have (cup of tea, music in the background, chocolate, etc.)
Although it may sound strange, I started creating stories when I was a small child because I had a fear of going to sleep at night. In order to calm my over active imagination, I had to channel my little brain in a way that soothed my mind. Otherwise spiders and bugs would have terrified me all night long, never mind the fact that they were only shadows on the wall.
In step with that, I like to brainstorm in the dark. It’s so much easier for me to get ideas flowing when nothing else is occupying my mind. Needless to say, sometimes when I get a particularly good idea, my brain is churning all night and I don’t get much sleep. But once an idea comes alive, I can write just about anywhere. Laptops are great that way.
4. Have you always wanted to be an author?
No. In fact, the first time someone called me that was about five years ago when I was quoted in the newspaper after one of my plays ran. I thought to myself, “Huh… Is that what I am?” It still seems strange, especially since I have it on pretty good authority that grammar and spelling hate me. In my defense, it’s because I don’t see letters and words. I see pictures instead, hear sounds, feel textures and inhale scents that, while fictional, become as real to me as the nose on my face. It’s like traveling to another world where nothing else exists but the story. Faces and personalities draw life from my own, and suddenly, the creation becomes so vivid that it might as well be real. Throw in a great plot, and who wouldn’t want to be a writer? There’s more entertainment in my own head than at the movies.
5. What are some of your favorite hobbies outside of writing?
I’m a music teacher. It’s both my other occupation and favorite hobby. I love writing music too, and though my degree is in classical piano, I enjoy a wide variety of styles. Either way, whatever I’m practicing, I completely lose track of time.
6. Lightning round – choose three things you simply can’t live without!
My family is number one, two, and three. They are everything. I could give up all my favorite things: writing, music, chocolate… But my family? Never. Not that I’m hoping to give up chocolate any time soon. That little bean packs a punch, and I for one, don’t know how the world got along without it for so many years.