Thursday, September 25, 2014

Ane Mulligan Interview

Hi, Ane! Welcome to the Sweet South Blog! :)
Give us a couple sentences describing what you write.

My brand is Southern-fried fiction, and I write women's fiction set in the South. The "fried" part is the humor in my stories.

How would you label the overall mood of your stories: dark, gritty, poignant, sensitive, heart-warming, raucous, light, fresh, funny, educational, adventurous, witty, passionate, reminiscent, sweet, forceful, eye-opening.

Definitely light, funny, but there is always a message in my stories or seeds of God's truths planted in the plot.

What is the name of your latest book?

It's my debut book: Chapel Springs Revival


Chapel Springs Revival

With a friend like Claire, you need a gurney, a mop, and a guardian angel.

Everybody in the small town of Chapel Springs, Georgia, knows best friends Claire and Patsy. It's impossible not to, what with Claire's zany antics and Patsy's self-appointed mission to keep her friend out of trouble. And trouble abounds. Chapel Springs has grown dilapidated and the tourist trade has slackened. With their livelihoods threatened, they join forces to revitalize the town. No one could have guessed the real issue needing restoration is personal.

With their marriages in as much disarray as the town, Claire and Patsy embark on a mission of mishaps and miscommunication, determined to restore warmth to Chapel Springs —and their lives. That is if they can convince their husbands and the town council, led by two curmudgeons who would prefer to see Chapel Springs left in the fifties and closed to traffic.

Sounds exciting! Using any celebrity, past or present, whom would you cast as your main characters?

Funny you ask. I'm a visual writer, so I always find photos that look like the character I'm creating. I normally never use celebrities for this. But in Chapel Springs Revival, my character is like Diane Keaton as JC in the movie Baby Boom. My character, Claire, lives without filters. She moves without thinking, dragging herself and others into calamity.

What is the theme of your story and how did you come to it? Any real-life inspiration?

Miscommunication in marriage. Years ago, I heard a young woman complaining about her husband. Let's face it; we all joke about men coming from Mars and women from Venus, but that's not what she was doing. She was stirring the water in a bitter well.

Another time in church, I overheard another conversation (yes, I'm a writer and I tend to eavesdrop). It went something like this:

"I just learned that God has the perfect mate all picked out for each of us, and we're supposed to pray to find that person."

"Yeah, so?"

"I didn't do that! I didn't know. So, that must mean John isn't the one God wants me married to."

Uh-oh. The conversation went on to include all the things her husband did wrong and the word "divorce." I later pulled her aside for a "Titus 2:4" moment.

I now had a seed of an idea. I brainstormed with a friend about a woman who, when she became a Christian, thought life and her marriage would be included in the new creation part. But her thighs are just as big, her husband as ornery as ever, and he still won't go to church with her. Toss in a BFF whose husband had grown non-communicative and was never home, and I had the foundation for a story.

A sneak peek into what you're working on right now?

The third book in the Chapel Lake series is called tentatively The Dreamkeeper. A best-selling author's latest book has bombed. While the reviewers are happily skewering her, her racecar-driver-husband, who just told her he's leaving her, didn't pay the lease and she's evicted. He neglected to tell her he also drained the their bank accounts. When his affair hits the papers, her publisher cancels her contract. Homeless and penniless, she and her little boy have no choice but to retreat to the house she'd inherited from her grandmother. A house that's been gutted. Then, a stranger knocks on her door. One that will change the course of her life. 

Describe your writing space.

We recently redid the front room (more of an unused parlor) into my office. It has a floor-to-ceiling arched window that overlooks the front garden. I let my husband tend that, since I have ten black thumbs. On the opposite wall stands a huge bookcase, with cabinets below. I have my mother's old antique Singer sewing maching cabinet as my printer stand, and an old 4-globed chandalier of hers over my writing chair.

What do you do for a break if you find yourself overwhelmed with writing pressures?

I check Facebook, post something on different social media, and then I play solitare. It's mindless, which I am at that point. I know soon enough my characters begin to talk to me again and let me know what was wrong with the story.

Do you blog? If so, leave us the address.

My blog is on the front page of my website which is

Now some fun stuff about you... :)

On a dream research trip, where would you go? What would you ask to see/experience first?

Savannah, GA or Charleston, SC. Those are two places I love and want to set a story in. They're quintessentially Southern.

When you read, do you prefer paperback, e-book, or audio? Why?

My preference is paperback, although I like my e-reader and use it quite a bit. It's especially good to put my own or my crit partners' work on to see how it reads as a book instead of a single chapter. When driving a long distance, I always get an audio book, though. It's great for that, but I have to be able to spend at least a couple of hours listening to it.

 Author bio.

While a large, floppy straw hat is her favorite, Ane has worn many different ones: hairdresser, legislative affairs director (that's a fancy name for a lobbyist), drama director, playwright, humor columnist, and novelist. Her lifetime experience provides a plethora of fodder for her Southern-fried fiction (try saying that three times fast). She firmly believes coffee and chocolate are two of the four major food groups. President of the award-winning literary site, Novel Rocket, Ane resides in Suwanee, GA, with her artist husband, her chef son, and two very large dogs.

Thanks for having me, Natalie! I hope your readers will stop by my website and see what they can do to be entered in the drawing for prizes.

Here's how it works: 

1. Each day of my blog tour that you leave a comment here on my blog, with your answer to the bonus question(s), you get a point (for each question answered).
2. Leave a comment on each of the blogs I'm on that day, and each one will earn you another point. (If I'm on 3 blogs that day, and you leave a comment on each of them, you'll get 3 points.)
3. If you post on your Facebook page that you have commented on a blog I'm on, tag me, and give the link, you get 2 extra points.
4. Tweet the same as #3, giving the link, and you get 2 more points.
5. Google+ the same as #3, and you'll get 2 more points. 

There is a possible 8 points for each blog I’m on each day. If I’m on 3 blogs, that’s a possible 24 points that day.


  1. Ane your writing area sounds wonderful. A large window overlooking a garden. Mothers treasures are a pleasure to enjoy :)

  2. Hi, Deeanna! Welcome to the sweet south blog!

    Ane, your writing space does sound lovely. I can sympathize with the black thumbs!!! :)

  3. I'm all for Southern fiction!
    Another great interview, Natalie. I the only one wishing I were in St. Louis? ?? (That's so off-topic. Whoops!)

    Ane, I'm curious how you pronounce your first name--because I'm weird like that. Does it sound like "Ann"?

  4. Courtney, I hear you! Lol. Wishing I was in St. Louis, but glad I'm skipping to write this year so I'll have more projects to pitch next year. :)

    Maybe I'm goofy, but the thing I'm most looking forward to about future ACFWs is the dinner where everyone dresses up. I can't wait to see and "meet" all those characters! :D

  5. Thanks, Deanna!

    I adore my writing space now!

    You have black thumbs too, Natalie?

    Thanks, Courtney!! It's like plain old Ann. We were just too poor to afford 2 "n"s.

    The genre dinner was fun!!

  6. Yep. I can't grow anything green. Except mold in the fridge. :D

  7. I'm good at refrigerator mold. I think they should make that a new category of garden delights. LOL


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