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Ann Charles

31 Podcast Episodes

Latest 18 Mar 2023 | Updated Daily

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Ann Charles and Nico Pengin


On the newest episode of PenPodcast we are joined by Award Winning Author with Steamy Romances Ann Charles! Ann is USA Today Bestselling author, she writes spicy, character-driven stories full of mystery, comedy, adventure, suspense, romance, and supernatural mayhem. When she's not dabbling in fiction, she's arm wrestling with her two kids, attempting to seduce her husband, and arguing with her sassy cats. Join us for a chat with Ann!--- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/pen-podcast/support


15 Oct 2022

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New book, new kitten and new friends with USA Today Best Selling Author, Ann Charles S2 EPS 36

Let Fear Bounce

Ann Charles is a USA Today Bestselling author who writes award-winning books that are splashed with humor, mystery, suspense, romance, supernatural elements, and whatever else sounds fun.  She currently had books available in several different ongoing series. Be sure to visit her website if you want to lean what books to read in what order as there is crossover of characters in each series. Ann is also a member of Sisters in Crime and Western Writers of America and is currently toiling away on her next book, wishing she was on a Mexican beach with an ice-cold Corona in one hand and a book in the other. When she is not dabbling in fiction, she is arm wrestling with her two kids, attempting to seduce her husband, and arguing with her sassy cats. To order any of Ann's books, visit her website www.anncharles.com or Amazon Publicist - Creative Edge Publicity Learn more about your host, Kim Lengling  www.kimlenglingauthor.com ANN'S BOOK SERIES: From her ongoing multi-award-winning Deadwood Mystery Series: NEARLY DEPARTED IN DEADWOOD (book 1--multiple award-winning book for both mystery and romance/mystery); OPTICAL DELUSIONS IN DEADWOOD (book 2); DEAD CASE IN DEADWOOD (book 3-one of Suspense Magazine's BEST OF 2012 books); BETTER OFF DEAD IN DEADWOOD (book 4); AN EX TO GRIND IN DEADWOOD (book 5--Grand Prize winner in Chanticleer Review's Paranormal category; MEANWHILE, BACK IN DEADWOOD (book 6--one of Suspense Magazine's BEST OF 2015 books); A WILD FRIGHT IN DEADWOOD (book 7--one of Suspense Magazine's BEST OF 2016 books); RATTLING THE HEAD IN DEADWOOD (book 8) GONE HAUNTING IN DEADWOOD (book 9) DON'T LET IT SNOW IN DEADWOOD (book 10) DEVIL DAYS IN DEADWOOD (book 11) NEVER SAY SEVER IN DEADWOOD (book 12) (Book 13 coming in early 2023) Also available from Ann are the first five books in her Jackrabbit Junction Mystery Series: DANCE OF THE WINNEBAGOS (book 1) JACKRABBIT JUNCTION JITTERS (book 2) THE GREAT JACKALOPE STAMPEDE (book 3) THE ROWDY COYOTE RUMBLE (book 4) A Thanksgiving novella titled, THE WILD TURKEY TANGO (book 4.5) A Christmas novella titled, JACKRABBIT JINGLE BALLS (book 4.7) IN CAHOOTS WITH THE PRICKLY PEAR POSSE (book 5) TWISTY TORTOISE TUSSLES (book 6) LOOK WHAT THE WIND BLEW IN (book 1) and MAKE NO BONES ABOUT IT (book 2), the first two books in her Dig Site Mystery-Archaeology series set in the Maya jungle, is available on Amazon, too. These books star Quint Parker, the brother of Violet Parker--the heroine in her Deadwood Mystery series. They are filled with mystery, humor, adventure, and plenty of heat. She has a western paranormal Deadwood Undertaker Series in process that is co-written with Sam Lucky: LIFE AT THE COFFIN JOINT (book 1) A LONG WAY FROM ORDINARY (book 2 CAN'T RIDE AROUND IT (book 3) CATAWAMPUS CHRISTMAS CAROL (book 3.5) THE BACKSIDE OF HADES (book 4)--coming in Fall 2022 She has several short stories as well--DEADWOOD SHORTS: SEEING TROUBLE (book 1.5), BOOT POINTS (book 4.5), COLD FLAME (book 6.5), TEQUILA & TIME (book 8.5), and FATAL TRADITIONS (book 10.5). These are all short stories from her Deadwood Mystery Series. Also, she has THE OLD MAN'S BACK IN TOWN, a short story from her future Goldwash Mystery Series. In addition, Ann has two novellas in the AC Silly Circus Co. Mystery series: FERAL-LY FUNNY FREAKSHOW and A BUNCH OF MONKEY MALARKEY. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/kim-lengling1/support


14 Sep 2022

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Ann Charles - Twisty Tortoise Tussles

House of Mystery Radio on NBC

When someone is dead and buried, they’re supposed to stay that way ... Aren’t they? Claire Morgan thought so, but now she suspects the dead guy whose treasures she’s been digging up is not only breathing, but spying on her, too. Crap!When someone is divorced from a pain in the ass, they’re supposed to stay that way ... At least that’s what Ronnie Morgan had hoped when she dumped her husband. But then he rolled over on some bloodthirsty criminals. With him tucked away in prison, they’ll settle for taking their revenge on her. Fudge!When someone is temporarily insane—Kate Morgan is not crazy, dang it! A few twitches and some mad laughter aside, she has a gut feeling her family is in danger. Big danger. The kind that ends with a lot of blood. Now, it’s her job to keep them aliveSupport this show http://supporter.acast.com/houseofmysteryradio. Become a member at https://plus.acast.com/s/houseofmysteryradio. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.


7 Sep 2022

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119 – Ann Charles on Attracting Legions of Followers to Your Writing or other Entrepreneurial Empire

Shooting it RAW with Ran Elfassy

What is it to be an entrepreneur? What is it to be a writer? What is it to lead so many people around a shared vision? These are questions I've tackled with Po since 2006, and here I was on a call with the hilarious and delightful force of nature that is Ann Charles.    If you want inspiration on how to create an empire around your craft and creative expression – listen in. If you want some insight on why writing comedic, multi-genre texts – listen in. If you want to learn about an author who has my full admiration for her work and tireless passion – listen in.    And you may even pick up a cat by the end of it. Just make sure you look carefully between its legs!   * To view the full episode, click here:  https://youtu.be/CNpVjV4HJ-0 ** Scroll down to visit Julie's links, the podcast links, and our sponsors!   ****       1. To find out more about Ann Charles, visit:  http://www.anncharles.com/ ****      More from Shooting it RAW:       - Website:  https://www.shooting-it-raw.com/ - Amazon Music:  https://music.amazon.ca/podcasts/a92caaa1-6f09-473f-bd00-9f2e9000b3fa/SHOOTING-IT-RAW-WITH-RAN-ELFASSY - Apple Podcasts:  https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/shooting-it-raw/id1495187250?ign-mpt=uo%3D4 - Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/shootingitraw - Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/shootingitraw/ - LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/ran-elfassy/ - Spotify:  https://open.spotify.com/show/6p3NoR69bLG4lZ52FKE2dR - Stitcher:   https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/shooting-it-raw-with-ran-elfassy - Twitter:   https://www.twitter.com/RanElfassy - YouTube Channel:   https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6sqti7YyKrSNUdgw3ONSFg/videos ****   VISIT OUR SPONSORS!   Zencastr:   Discount: 30% off!   Click here to get the discounted rate:   https://zen.ai/shootingitrawwithranelfassy1 Zencastr is an all-in-one podcast production suite that gives you studio-quality audio and video without needing all the technical know-how. It records each guest locally, then uploads the crystal clear audio and video right into the suite so you have high-quality raw materials to work with.


27 Jun 2022

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Episode 96C – Ann Charles – Chapter Read – Twisty Tortoise Tussels

Discovered Wordsmiths

Ann reads an excerpt from her latest book in the Jackrabbit Junction series – Twisty Tortoise Tussels. Jackrabbit Junction Series


14 Mar 2022

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Episode 96B – Ann Charles – Relationship Marketing

Discovered Wordsmiths

OverviewAnn attributes a lot of her success to her marketing. She isn’t talking about only advertising. This is a great discussion from an author making a living with their writing. Gain insight into what she does to keep her books flying off the shelves.YouTubeTranscript[00:00:48] Stephen: great. And you’ve been writing for a while. You’re not brand new which I think is great. What have you learned that you do different now than you used to do? Or what are some [00:01:00] things that have changed that you’re looking at different or however, in the whole publishing writing thing?[00:01:06] Ann: Biggest thing that changed. It used to be yearly, but now it seems like every six months is marketing and the way I market, which is unfortunately. Marketing is a huge part of this business. If you want to, if you want to make money at this, you have to learn how to do some of the marketing things and you can adjust it to your own style.So it doesn’t, maybe I’m on, social media more than you feel comfortable. That’s fine. But you’ve got to find another way to get yourself out there and be heard above all the noise. And I don’t mean just other books and other authors. Telephone. Like we were talking, there’s so many different options now that you can sit in front of the TV and just go away for days and days.How do I get them to look away from the TV and read my books and give that a try or listen? Cause I am on audio for all of my books as well. So marketing is so important. And I can tell you [00:02:00] back, like I told you, in an earlier in 2011, I did the Kindle unlimited free and it went huge way bigger than it does now, but that’s because it was new and not a lot of authors were doing it yet.The market wasn’t as saturated. I can’t even remember how many books now you are on Amazon. It’s millions. Yeah. And back then, I think there was, when I started, it was like 800,000 books were on Amazon, so it was much easier to be heard and seen and get yourself out there. So that is something that it’s constantly changing.And I have to rethink my plan every year on what I’m going to do. For example, Facebook, which was so big for so long is really starting to fade and I can see it. I can feel it. And I know. Instagram’s got, has some people, but that’s even, take talk is now the thing. And if you’re 20 or 15, like my kids in their teens, [00:03:00] they just go, yeah, just do this.But my old getting the older brain just keeps going. What? That’s changed. And then my writing over the years, I’ve written, I think now 32 stories that I have. And I don’t want to ever have someone come up to me and say, that book felt the exact same as the one before it. And the one before it, I don’t want them to feel like, what are you doing?You’re not even trying anything new anymore. So one of the things that I really work on with every story even novellas, I wish I could just sit down and, put out a story really quick, but I have to have a theme. There has to be a reason. There has to be something behind the story that makes it, why my brain even wants to tell it.And so I’ve really worked over the, especially the last five years on, on learning different ways to build the structure of a story. Writers know you’ve got a skeleton behind it, all that you’re building and how you do that. So I’ve worked with different themes. I’ve [00:04:00] tried.Pacing things for different books. For example, book nine of my Deadwood mystery series is called gone hunting haunting. And that one is a lot of action. Most of that story is an action novel. It’s just constant round room. I give you a few breaks here and there to catch your breath, but we’re just action.Action. I look at my whole series and I go, okay, we really had a lot of action here and we had some here now let’s, I make it a rollercoaster ride basically. And I didn’t use to ever think of it that way. But now I think of every book as, as a coaster or, a ride. And then how does it fit into the overall series ride?Cause I want, because we have been jurors now, which is wonderful. They’ll write me and say, I picked up your first book two weeks ago and I’ve read all 12 now, what else she got? And so when somebody reads them like that, they’re getting the full rollercoaster effect and what I’ve done. So I pay a lot more attention to the overall series and [00:05:00] Instructure than I used to back in the beginning.That’s definitely for sure. Then I always thought it was like a fire hose. I was just like trying to hold it, as I wrote now, it’s much more controlled with what I’m doing. So that’s changed as well as the marketing. I[00:05:13] Stephen: love that. You said that, and I know I’ve got new authors listening and I think one of the problems, not problems per se, but when you’re a new author and you’re struggling to get out now.Oh my gosh, you’re getting overwhelmed with information and now we’ve probably got somebody out there going, oh my gosh, I’ve got to think about one book being more action. One book being more comedy and probably braid is blowing. But what you said though, is that’s not what you were worried about the beginning.It’s not until you had some books that you had a few written that you could settle down and start focusing on that. So you had to start with just getting a story done and[00:05:52] Ann: getting it out. It’s all those first books. I look at him and sometimes. I could do a lot more. I could go back and tweak [00:06:00] them and play with them, but I’ve heard time.And again, from other authors, don’t touch your first book once it’s out. And if it’s done well, because that’s what it was, that’s what you were at that time and it’s fresh and it’s exciting. And if you go back and start tweaking it and trying to. Play with it. Cause you think you’re such a better author.Now you, a lot of times you might ruin that spark that it had that, helped it to do so well or to be so fresh and new. So yeah I do hope with every book that I improve. And my mom does tell me, I don’t know how she says, it’s so nice too. She goes, I don’t know how you’re doing it. Or even if you even know you’re doing it, but every book you keep getting better and I just can’t believe you do it.I’m like, I think there’s a,but really for newer authors, I one of my things with marketing and writing. Don’t look at the big picture. You CA you, [00:07:00] you can get an idea, but you really need to start and you need to focus on one thing at a time. And I think of it as so my dig site series is set down in the Maya, historic all that archeology area.And I think of this as I’m building my own Maya’s city, and so it’s one temple at a time. And then I add temples to my site. And I keep expanding my world that way. I didn’t do it all at once. I did one temple at a time, one thing at a time and built it up. Same with marketing. I didn’t, I’m on all these different plans.I didn’t do that all at once. It was one. And then I got that going. And then I, okay. A friend of mine used to call it plate spinning. She said I was plates spinning all the time. So I get one plate spinning, and then you get another one and you’re spinning that one and you’re spinning them all.And you keep spinning. The key is just to get one. And then get the next spinning, and then it’s easier once you’ve got it going, you can keep it going, [00:08:00] but you have to get the first one going. And if you go to, in my opinion, if you spread too wide and you try too much at once, it’s overwhelming and it’s self-defeat, you just feel like I can’t do anything, right?Because if you put your energy too wide, you can’t build one thing. Really nice and big. But that’s just me. That’s the way my brain works.[00:08:21] Stephen: And I think that’s actually the best advice in the best way to do it. That too many authors I think get overwhelmed. And I was that way too, until I realized, wait a second, I’m with all these other new authors, everybody feels overwhelmed and nobody’s getting anything out.Maybe that’s the key right there. So I don’t write.[00:08:40] Ann: Yeah. Yeah. And one of the things, when I do, I’ve done I’ve done a lot of workshops over time. And talks. And one of the things that I like to emphasize and it’s, and I struggle with this myself. Is to focus on your own journey. Don’t look at the guy next to you or the woman, the author next to you.Who’s [00:09:00] maybe one this, or getting this notice or having this happen to them and S and let that jealousy eat you up because that’s not your journey. Your journey is here and there’s going to be some wonderful things to come your way, but you have to take your own journey. And like I said, I struggle with that.I look at someone else who just hit a big, hit the big list on that and, oh my gosh, look at them. Oh, why can’t I have that? But then I have to go, you know what? That. That’s what they’re doing. And maybe I can see some of the marketing things they’re doing and try to emulate them in my own way, but I cannot copy their journey.Exactly. So it’s really important to find the joy in your own journey. Otherwise, you’re going to forever be unsatisfied with this whole[00:09:44] Stephen: totally agree. I love that. I’m going to probably make that the sound clip right there. So let’s talk about that for a second, because like I said, you are. How did you get on the USA bestseller list?[00:09:59] Ann: That [00:10:00] book was the fourth book in my dentistry[00:10:03] Stephen: at first, it was you’re pointing that out.[00:10:08] Ann: Yes, no, nearly departed, which is the first that I put out there the first and the dead wood mystery series. That one won two big awards before, right at the right out of the gate before it was public.At one, the Daphne D’Amore, which is a mystery award. And then it won the romantic writers of America, big for an unpublished author, the golden heart, both of those shocked me because I have a mixed John restory of a mix of mystery and romance. So for each one, I’m in a mystery contest, I’m in a romance contest.And I thought each time there’s no way the sucker’s gonna win. I went to the Daphne Demari awards. It was. Down in Florida at the time when I was in Seattle. So I said, all right, let’s go. But I didn’t write a thank you speech or anything because I kept telling my friend, I’m not going to win. I’m going to go, [00:11:00] I’m going to see what it’s like, but I’m not going to win.And it not only when the category, it, when the overall and I was like, I didn’t have speech. I forgot so many people when I had to stand up there and think everyone, it was. Holy cow. So shortly thereafter was the big romance writers of America award ceremony that was in New York city. And I had little baby know babies, and I wasn’t gonna go to something where I knew I wasn’t gonna win.Cause it’s a romance, and my book has romance, but it’s not a romance. And then my friend, I, but I did send a speech with a friend who was going to it and she got up there for me and gave my speech while I was folding underwear.[00:11:39] Stephen: That’s what I love about talking to authors and this podcast, I’m not talking to people that are in high rises.Gilded mansions. You won a big award and you were folding underwear. It sums it up right there.[00:11:53] Ann: I will remember that forever. I’m folding these stupid underwears underwear. And I’m looking at texts going. No, I should [00:12:00] have been there. Oh my God. So it, it won these two big awards. It got all kinds of attention.And we put that one out and we put the second one out and we put the third one out and we used some of the marketing stuff that was then, like I said, there was no free, there were all these things we use to build the series. And when book four came out, it hit big. But what happened then? It was, I think, it was about six months after it came out or so I was getting ready to put book five out. So I dropped the price. Of better off dead book, four to 99 cents. And I just, I put it out and I, I landed a BookBub and it went so big. I was shocked. It made it within the top five in all of Amazon at 99 cents.Back then that was something and it had an okay. So here’s another funny, I didn’t know it was on the USA today. Bestseller list. I had no idea and I didn’t know that for two years. And it was 10 years later, I was going with a BookBub [00:13:00] ad and I got another and I’ve had wonderful BookBub has been kind to me over the years.They pick up my books, but they didn’t want it. And they put it out and I looked at their copy, they wrote, and it said USA today, bestseller and Charles Bubba. And I went, oh, crap. Do I need to tell them they’ve got that wrong. They must have me confused with someone else. And I let that one go. I talked to my friend, she goes don’t piss off.BookBub let them go. So we let it go. So I got another BookBub like two months later and they did it again. And I said, I’ve got to tell them this can’t keep going on. It makes me feel bad, but then in the meantime my friend goes, wait, let me talk to this other friend that she keeps track of the lists.So she did, and that friend sends me back the screenshot from two years prior when it was there. And I was like, oh, for two years, I’ve been a USA today. Bestseller. And I had no idea. I just was clueless. That’s just how much of my journey [00:14:00] has been amazing things like that. That I have my head in the sand.Like I said, I’m raising kids, I’m trying to, write books and keep going and interact with fans. And I don’t always pay attention to everything else going out there. And another example. This was really fun. So I’m working this one, I still have my day job and was riding at night and my mom calls me at work and she goes, Hey, you’re on jeopardy.And I said, no, I’m at work. She goes, no, you’re on jeopardy. And I, and she’s an hour behind me and time-zones, and she goes, my friends from the east coast said, you’re on jeopardy. I don’t know what you’re talking about. It was like, have you taken your meds? What’s going on? And she goes, no, you don’t understand.You’re a question on jeopardy. I said what? She goes. Yeah. It’s something about the Deadwood series. And so she goes, all my friends back east in New York are calling me saying your daughter’s on jeopardy. So by gosh, we went [00:15:00] home and everybody in west coast knew that I knew was like, get on watched jeopardy tonight.And sure enough, I was on jeopardy. And it’s a question that it’s something about. And Charles writes a creepy story set in this morbid sounding city. And it was what is Deadwood. The good thing is which may sound bad. It was the big stars. Lewis black was on there and some of these big name stars and they didn’t know the answer.And so you might think that’s a bad thing, but remember if you don’t know the answer, it just sits there on the screen for 10 seconds. So I got 10 seconds of prime time advertising when nobody knew the answer. So that was nothing I did. I had so many authors at this point say, how did you do it? How did you get on jeopardy?And I said, I didn’t do anything. It just all timed out. And it, I was, they somebody must’ve been traveling through Deadwood, South Dakota and seen a book. I don’t know. That’s where I say your journeys, your journey. Open yourself to [00:16:00] opportunities. And that’s what I try to do. Ha just be open to all kinds of opportunities.And I don’t mean just with the universe, like I’m open more. I try for this. I put my name in here. I do this. I put myself all over the place and then sometimes things come to you and it works out really well for you. So that’s. Just keep trying, and put yourself out there.And if it doesn’t work, don’t beat yourself up and give up, you just keep trying and trying. That’s what I do. And I stumble into these wonderful things and I’m like, oh, that went big. Woo.[00:16:32] Stephen: Two years later. You’re like yeah,[00:16:34] Ann: yeah. I know. So then we’re changing everything. We got to change all our marketing anti-virals instead of a word, multiple word reading.[00:16:41] Stephen: So yeah. How did that change? Because obviously you didn’t know you were still putting books out and they were probably doing well. But suddenly you find out I was a USA best seller. What changed with your marketing? But did it change your writing?[00:16:57] Ann: No. The writing, because I [00:17:00] always start a story with, I don’t know if I can do this again.This is hard. I don’t think I can pull this off. And my husband will tell you every book starts that way. It he’ll call me, say, you said this last time and you did it again, then you can do it again. So what really changed was. It opened up more doors and more opportunities because sometimes things like that will make people go, whoa, wait, what?You’re an indie. And you’re a USA today. Bestseller. That’s not, there’s many of us, I know many Indies that are USA to disc bus, but we all grew up in that same. We’ve all been doing it for 10 years, so it’s not like we just jumped out those of them. I know and said, oh, here we are.We made. It was years of building up readership, building up, fans and finding them and continuing to grow your world and putting product out, putting good products. And then finding new fans. And I like to think of them. I’m giving you guys tons [00:18:00] of different metaphors and stuff and ways, but I think very visually.So I like to think of their fishing ponds. Amazon’s a big ocean. That’s a big, you can fish. But you want to have different ponds that you fish in, and sometimes you don’t touch a certain pond for awhile. For example, I’m an apple with most of my books, I’m out there on apple, but I haven’t marketed hard on apple.I haven’t done a lot to push apple and I’m leaving that pond go for a future fishing expedition when I will put money into ads and I will work harder over there to find more apple readers. But for now I just keep putting books out there and let them flow in that pond. Try to think of that, different possibilities for you.Don’t attack everything all at once. It’s little by little with every part of this business. And I have so much to grow. I am always growing and busy and building, and I’ve been doing this for over 10 years now.[00:18:54] Stephen: It’s a long road and we were talking about others getting overwhelmed.That’s you know, even [00:19:00] now you still got the same thing. Do you still have to sit down? You still have to write, you still have to do the marketing. You still have to get good stories and write them well, a USA bestseller. Now I’m done. I, I wish,[00:19:12] Ann: I wish I could go by that island in the Caribbean.[00:19:14] Stephen: Nothing like that. Patterson and king. And then, and Charles that’d be the.[00:19:21] Ann: But, it’s the same. I did a workshop recently for the South Dakota festival of books and it, and then it was called climbing book mountains, and it sounds really silly, but I had gotten into this rabbit hole of watching all these climbing shows like about Everett and K2.Are ever, sorry, K2. And what at a Perna? So I started realizing, oh, that’s a lot like what, the book, what we do writing a book, we have to start at base camp. We have to go up and down the mountain. And then once we hit the peak and we summit, we’re only halfway there. That’s just getting through the first draft.Now you get to go back and clean it up and go through the editing runs and go through all the put, work to put the book out, the formatting, [00:20:00] everything. So it’s, you don’t get back to base camp until that book is out. And people are buying it. And then you’re back at base camp recuperating.A lot of people make it to the summit and they finish that book, but they never really get editing. They don’t go through the full thing. It takes to get it fully out and market it and get the readers. And it’s that. You watch these climbing shows, they’ll say making it to the summit is just the beginning because people die coming down from the summit because they pushed too hard for the summit and they expended all their energy and then they die on the way down they misstep or they just, oh, their bodies are done.So it’s that coming down? That’s so important with every book that a lot of authors don’t want to do. Cause you’re tired. I finished that book. I don’t want to read it three or four more times. But you have to, to make it really good. So there’s another, metaphor kind of thing is climbing book bounds.But for me every book’s a mountain and [00:21:00] sometimes they’re easier like Everest where, you know, only one in 20 people die, typically climbing that. And sometimes they’re really technically hard, like a K2. Where it’s a lot of technical skill to write this particular story. And one in four people, live to tell that are died, doing that, man.And then there’s books like this little thing, see how this was Annapurna for me, which is where one in three people die because avalanches are just everywhere on Annapurna and they kill people left and right. And this thing kept it. It should have taken me a month at most. And it took me to. ’cause I just struggled, and life came at me in all different ways.So yeah, book mountains.[00:21:42] Stephen: So all the authors are clear. We’re not saying that authors actually die in the middle of writing. One out of four authors died writing this story[00:21:52] Ann: metaphorically. They quit. How about that? You quit. You just give up because[00:21:57] Stephen: it’s too hard. I’m going to use that metaphor [00:22:00] about Everest because I know a lot of, I’ve talked to a few.They hit the summit and they got their book done and they put it out and they’re like, Ooh, look at me. And it’s okay, there’s no film crews here is when you get from the base camp that the film crew. So you have all that work to get back down and finish the book and market it before you get the film crews.[00:22:19] Ann: Exactly. And once you’re done with that, and you’re back at base camp and you’re drinking and celebration, the book’s out, we’ve marketed all this. I’m always packing my bag and I’m looking at that next big mountain going, here we go again. I got to start climbing that thing because when you’re an author, you have to keep writing.You have to keep putting out new product. I have, all these books that people can read. Always they want more. And so I just strap on the backpack and the everything that you know, and I have to go climb another mountain. And I don’t know when I start out, if it’s going to be an easier one or if it’s going to be another K2, or whatever, but I [00:23:00] have to go try it and it’s hard to summit.It’s really hard, but then it’s twice as hard to get back down again. And yeah, it’s, it sounds crazy. But if you’re an author, You get it. If you’ve done that, gone to the top and back of putting a book out, you really get it. How much work there is into that, the whole thing. Yep.[00:23:19] Stephen: And we’ve been going quite a while and I appreciate all your advice and everything you’ve said.I’m very excited. I’m glad that you took some time to chat with me today. But before we go let you guys, we’re getting ready for our holiday. Do you have any last minute advice for new Orleans? Besides everything we’ve already talked about?[00:23:40] Ann: One of the, one of the biggest things I always when it comes to interacting with readers you might have a book that wins all kinds of awards.You might have done really well and sold a lot of books, of that particular one. But when you talk to readers, when you meet with people that read your books, I think it’s so important to just. Be [00:24:00] yourself, stay humble. Remember that without a reader, you’re nothing. You’re just telling crazy tails into the wind.You have to have a reader to make it a complete to be a couple, to make this a success. And if you treat your readers as you would, it doesn’t mean you have to have them over for dinner, but treat them well, be respect for that. They took the time to write. That they took the time out of their life to say hello and how much they enjoy your story.That’s huge. That’s I consider that such an important contact to email or whatever, and I always try to thank them for taking the time to write to me cause they don’t have to. So I guess in the end it’s just stay humble. Remember where you started and I think if you get caught up in the egos and stuff like that, this can go really.You’ve seen authors get in fights with readers online. Authors get in fight with other authors. It’s a small world. [00:25:00] People know, everybody knows everybody. I swear in this world, be kind, be humble if you want to cuss and swear at somebody do it when there’s no mic and there’s nobody else there go in the bathroom at home, close the door and do it, but just try to be kind and it’ll get you so much further in this business.I think if you help lift others up, rather than try to step on them to go to the top that’s my opinion. Others might disagree, but I think. So much of the success I’ve had is because other people have helped me and we help each other and it’s made a difference.[00:25:35] Stephen: Nice. Great. I appreciate that.Wonderful. Anne, thank you very much for being on. It’s been such a pleasure talking to you.[00:25:43] Ann: Thank you for having me on this has been great. We’ve had some good laughs and I got a book to listen to, and I’ve got a books to read now. Thanks to you, which like you, I have a mountain pile, so we’ll put another book on that.[00:25:55] Stephen: I’ve added several of your books to my list. I pre-ordered the Christmas one [00:26:00] because I was looking for a good. Christmas story that I hadn’t read already. I always do Christmas Carol, but I read that this year this past week, so I needed some new Christmas material. So I’m looking forward to it on Friday.[00:26:11] Ann: All right. I hope you’re talking about jackrabbit jingle bells, right? We start out real exciting. So get ready for the ride.[00:26:19] Stephen: Great.[00:26:22] Ann: Oh, good. All right. Thanks for having me. This has been really great. Thanks. You have a[00:26:26] Stephen: great day.[00:26:28] Ann: All right, you too. Bye.


9 Mar 2022

Episode artwork

Episode 96A – Ann Charles – Jackrabbit Junction

Discovered Wordsmiths

OverviewAnn Charles is the first USA Today Bestseller I’ve had on the podcast. And she didn’t even know she was a bestseller when it happened. We discuss her publishing journey, which isn’t what she intended to do. Originally she wanted to be Indiana Jones, and tells us the ironic reason she didn’t do that.If you remember kindle worlds, it helped get her started. She has multiple series, one of which she writes with her husband, and we discuss the latest.Websitehttps://anncharles.com/book_cat/jackrabbit-junction/BookFavoritesLouis Lamour – Flinthttps://www.amazon.com/One-Navajo-Family-Blessings-Book-ebook/dp/B01M0NH3VV/ref=sr_1_1YouTubeTranscript[00:00:44] Stephen: Welcome to another great episode of discovered wordsmiths. And this is an exciting episode because today I have the very first USA today, bestseller that is on been on my podcast. Now, normally I wouldn’t even come close to having someone [00:01:00] like that on here because. That’s not what I focus on. I focus on new authors, still working hard for their career.But Anne is a little different. I know a lot of you probably have any unheard of her and she got the USA bestseller kind of by surprise didn’t even expect it. But that doesn’t mean that she didn’t deserve it. So it’s an exciting one for me, because she’s still unknown. Somebody that everybody talks about and fits very well on the podcast and has a whole lot of things that can help to help other authors and things to talk about for other authors plus has some really great books.So that’s always the best part of it is finding some really great books that people can go out and read. So I’m not going to sit around too much longer here. I know Anne’s been waiting to get this podcast episode up anyway, so here. All right. So today discovered will wordsmiths. I’ve got an Charles and I’m really excited to [00:02:00] talk to you.How are you doing today? I am.[00:02:02] Ann: I’m doing great so far, tomorrow’s the big Turkey day for us here. So I’m making a lot of, not eating much today so I can eat so much pie tomorrow. I just got.[00:02:12] Stephen: Yeah, we’ve got way more pies planned and I think should be humanly feasible, but[00:02:17] Ann: I don’t know.There’s never too much pie for those of us who love[00:02:21] Stephen: desert. I’m the, obviously I do the Turkey, that’s my things. And I’ve got a really good system and I’m just so proud of. I actually remembered all the steps so far. It took it out, put it in the brine. I, usually I miss something, so all good.I was[00:02:36] Ann: just going to ask if you have it bright if you’re brining it yet. So here on,[00:02:40] Stephen: yeah, I, I am my wife wants to do like a oil roaster one year. We haven’t done that yet, we’ll see. And we’re chatting a bit, but tell everybody a little bit about who you are, where you live, what you like to do.[00:02:53] Ann: Besides writing and Charles and I live in Prescott, Arizona, we’re up in the mountains for those of you. Aren’t [00:03:00] familiar with Arizona. We’re not down in the desert, like the Phoenix folks and outside of writing. Of course I like to read, but I also love to watch movies. We were talking about your star wars and Raiders of the lost Ark and all that good stuff.So I love all kinds of movies, but action, adventure. Saifai anything fun? Humor, my favorites. And I actually, I really like to watch movies instead of read books because. It recharges me in a way that’s different. I do love to read books. Don’t get me wrong, but there’s something about, I think I’m a visual learner.So watching movies really helps me think about how to create dialogue and set up a scene and things like that. When I go to sit down and write a story[00:03:45] Stephen: it’s a quicker process that you can rather than spread out over, an hour and a half. All right. Yeah. I see that[00:03:53] Ann: too. Yeah. And I like to, I go in thinking of myself as the director of the story, I’m going to [00:04:00] tell everybody no, let’s redo that, which is backspacing let’s replay that scene out and see how it goes.It’s just fun. Think of it. And when I create on the page, how would this look, if it was a movie, how would this book look? If I, if it was a movie starting up and so I’ll approach a lot of my stories that way I want to open. You’re sitting down and you’re in a dark theater and the movie starts.[00:04:21] Stephen: So do you drive your husband crazy? Like I drive my wife crazy by, yeah, this is coming up and they’re going to do this. And while they really should have done that different and blah, blah, blah. Yeah.[00:04:32] Ann: For a long time. Yes. But a few years ago, my husband started writing to. We talked so much about it.He’s been part of this process, since pretty much the beginning. And then once he really started in with writing the stories, we co-write one of our series. Now our kids, it’s who we drive crazy, but they’re pretty good too. They’ll go out first turning point. Oh, here comes black moment, and they’ll do all that kind of stuff.A story structure, which,[00:04:58] Stephen: yeah, our 14 year old, like [00:05:00] halfway through a movie will predict what’s going to happen at the end. And he’s like really good at it. So why did you want to start writing? What made you want to start this career?[00:05:11] Ann: I didn’t, this was not what I intended to do as I grew up and went through life, I started, one of the things I wanted to do early on was be Indiana Jones, of course, because I was young, movies were big.And ironically, I really looked into archeology and all, different parts of it. And I realized how much writing was going to be involved. And so I shied away from that. And now I write, so I should’ve just went with archeology maybe. And then I went to this bizarre phase. I was reading a lot of romance novels that were set over in England and other places.I for ninth grade, we had to draw a picture of what we wanted to be. And I drew myself as a camel jockey, which really surprised my art teacher. He wasn’t sure what to think of that. And my more practical, good friend, she drew herself with a [00:06:00] break briefcase to be a social worker. And she did go on to do that.But. Have yet to ride a camel so that didn’t pan out either flight attendant appealed because you could travel so much, but then that didn’t work out lawyer. The list just went on and on which really shows for me how much my brain was already creating stories of, what could be. And so going into a story just went naturally.I think that didn’t happen until my mid to late twenties. So it was not. I’m a slow, I’m a turtle. I turtle into it. Yeah.[00:06:34] Stephen: I don’t consider a still in your twenties turtle. I know a lot of people that spent many more years or decades until they figure it out. And I think sometimes people resist the creative urge.I think that’s what it boils down to is sit in our society, get a good job, work for the man. And but when you want to do something creative, it’s against all of that and you almost subconsciously feel guilty about it. I think that’s where it stems from personal.You, [00:07:00] as I mentioned, when we first got on you and I were talking, you’re unique for me because you’re not a new author and you have. Just gotten your first book out. You’re a very successful author. You’ve been to us eight times best selling author. And you’ve got multiple books out, which by the way after you were on with J thorn his podcast, I went and looked up some of your books and I’m like, oh, these look perfect for me.I love these. So tell us about your newest book and some of the other books, the series that you have.[00:07:30] Ann: Okay. If I go way off tangent, remind me where we started.[00:07:35] Stephen: Okay. We’re talking about the books. That’s our point right there.[00:07:38] Ann: So I have five different ongoing series that I’m working on. And I have my, one of my biggest ones, which is 12 books in so far, and that’s the Deadwood mystery series.And that was the first book I published was nearly departed in Deadwood, which is the first in that series. And that was a multi award winning book. And it’s. It’s sold. Amazing. It’s been a [00:08:00] wonderful story and I just love that series and that world, but that’s one of them. And at the same time, that first year, when that one first came out the first book in the Jack rabbit junction mystery series came out too.So I right at the get-go I knew I didn’t want to be a one series author because I’d seen that go south for several of my author friends. They get. In a groove and they couldn’t get out of it. Nobody wanted to read anything else. So I knew right away, we got to get at least two out there so that people know, she’s going to write the series, but she’s also going to do this one and, at least run two parallel.Well, a few years in, then I decided there was a book I’d written actually before all the others. And that was my dig site series book. The first in that, which is look what the wind blew in. So I finally pulled that back around, did some tweaking and tied it in because I have an auntie Carl’s world kind of thing going on.So tied it in so that the hero of the dig [00:09:00] site series is the brother of the heroine in. Deadwood mystery series. And so I got, I put that one out. I published that one and did the second one in that and get that series going to. So now I have three series I’m trying to keep going, which keeps me busy.And then I got offered to be part of this Kindle worlds thing that some people might know about be with another author in a friend of mine invited me and I did. Then they canceled that program and give it back to me. And so that’s the AC silly circus series because it really fit with her world.But then I’d really I guess I don’t play well in the sandbox with others because I really made it so I could take it back eventually and have my own. And so that’s, I wrote the second and that’s there. Those are novellas. So I wrote the second in that series and had that going. And in the meantime, my husband and I, we had an idea while watching a, an old west film about an undertaker.Who’s a female in the old west. And it really tied [00:10:00] in with my current Deadwood mystery series, which is paranormal mixed into it. And so we decided. I knew I couldn’t do this on my own because anyone who writes westerns or historicals, you need to have your history, right? You don’t just wing it.You need to have things accurate. Cause readers get really annoyed as they should, if you mess it up. So my husband’s so good at research. He always has been, and he’d been wanting to jump in at some point, and do some writing as well. So this really worked for the two of us to come together and create what we call the Deadwood undertakers series.Which is the Deadwood mystery series back in 1877. What happened before? Way back in the 18 hundreds before modern day, that builds up to what’s going on modern day that I write about in that series. So it’s a prequel basically. So we have three of those out and he’s right now getting the fourth going and.So those are all five of my series. And like I said, they all, except for that circus [00:11:00] series at the moment, they all have characters that go between because of the paranormal element, that’s in the two Deadwood series. They can go through time. That’s not a problem. You have a ghost in a modern day.That’s maybe somewhat alive in the past, which is really fun. You get to see both sides. But the circus series will be tied in soon. That’s the only hint I give to my fans that it’s coming. You’ll see the connection soon enough. So that’s all of it. Now, the one I just have out black Friday November 26, that’s coming out that is called Jack rabbit jingle balls.And it’s the Christmas story for the Jack rabbit junction mystery series. And it files follows up on the Thanksgiving story that was called the wild Turkey. And I have, I just have the proof you can, they cover it up, his Santa Claus, his face, but it’s a skeleton Santa Claus. And if you look at the covers of these series, they all have Sam, the skeleton gracing, the cover.So it’s a Christmas novella and it’s a story it’s wacky, it’s wild. The Morgan sisters [00:12:00] who star in this series are pretty wild and Willy, they end up in jail now. And then and of course it’s not their fault. It’s a mix of kind of treasure island. That treasure hunting element with adventure, a little bit of romance, a lot of humor, some dirty jokes.And that’s Jack rabbit, jingle balls. That’s your Christmas story right there. So it’s just fun. It’s. Gonna probably bring you to tears or anything like that, the big heartwarming, but it’s going to make you laugh and smile. And then, a few other things, cringes, undoubtedly.[00:12:31] Stephen: Nice. So you’ve got some paranormal and humor and you described a cozy mystery.So what other books out there are similar to yours to let people know if that would be up their alley?[00:12:44] Ann: The only thing I have to say, just to clarify, Mr. Cozy only because if I get a cozy author that comes to thinking, and it is just cozy, I get mean letters because I have language on the page and often there is sex on the [00:13:00] page.And so these are rated. I tell people these are rated R they’re edgy. They’re not, yes, exactly. Only turn up the, a little bit of everything. What was your[00:13:10] Stephen: question? What other books out there would you say are similar?[00:13:16] Ann: Oh, that’s tough. I have a lot of good friends that we share of sense of humor with Robin Peterman.She writes mostly paranormal romance and other romances, but we share a lot of fans because of our sense of humor on the page. We’re very humorous, really high, and I’ve been in our books and she’s wonderful. We’ve we’re friends off screen too. So we have a great time when we’re together. She’s one of them I don’t know because, I mix genres and that’s really what made me stumble out of the gate was that I was, this author had mixed, my genre is up and back in the early two thousands.Every time I had applied to one of the big houses that, sending my manuscript or my agent. I would get a we’re sorry, but you really need to pick a genre or you going to be mystery or you [00:14:00] going to be humor or you going to be romance. What do you do in here, paranormal? And fortunately the tides have turned and now mixed genre is not a problem.And a lot of people do it. So I love that. But at first I beat my head against the wall a lot. I’m like many authors who they mixed. Several of the genres together and add humor. My books are not going to make you change your life and clean up your house or anything like that.What they’re meant to do is give you some laughs. So smiles when you need an escape from regular life, when you just want to go and find something to laugh about and get away for a while, that’s what these are something to. It lifts your spirits, a thing are they have a lot of nonfiction in them.Cause I do a lot of research, those historical elements in different stories that I bring in that I incorporate into the story, especially like the treasure island, the Jack rabbit junction series. There’s usually some element of history that I’m teaching, within the [00:15:00] pages. I can’t think of one right now.I need more copy.[00:15:05] Stephen: I love that. Because honestly that’s what I like about what you do and what you write. And that’s what attracted me to it. Those are my favorite types and I’ve argued and pushed back against other authors who say, if you write fantasy, keep writing fantasy. That’s what people want.And I’m like, but I don’t read that way. And my brain doesn’t think that way, this story. Yeah, I can change it, but it really fits this other way. And JD Barker actually gave me some advice that I thought was perfect. He’s you can do that. You can be successful, but you have to do it from the start. You can’t write 10 books, all one genre and then switch.You have. Three different genres right out of the gate. He said, think of the first Pearl jam album, there were multiple styles of music on that album and people loved it and they could do whatever they want after that.[00:15:49] Ann: And I agree. If you look at the dead wood mystery series, that’s mystery paranormal.Some romance, lots of humor, one thread throughout all minus humor. [00:16:00] So there’s that. And then if you look at that Deadwood undertaker series, there’s mystery, historical, Western paranormal little bits of romance, a little bit less, a thing. And then if you go to this Jack rabbit series, there’s no paranormal.Although, the characters know each other a little bit and characters cross over into different series, but. It’s adventure. It’s action. It’s a little bit of romance. It’s a lot of humor, but again, the genres slightly cross on all of my series. So if you get, I do have people that go, oh, these are my favorite dead with my favorite.Oh, the Jack rabbit. Once those girls are my favorite, so you fit in, but then they liked the other two. So I think because you cross some a little bit, it’s like sewing it together. So it’s a loose, Like a quilt,[00:16:45] Stephen: and again, that’s what I like. So let me digress for one moment. A question earlier topic do you consider diehard and lethal weapon?Christmas movies? Yes,[00:16:56] Ann: of course, because I love those kinds of movies and there [00:17:00] they play Christmas songs and they have Christmas[00:17:02] Stephen: decorations. I got to watch lethal weapon every year when I’m wrapping presents. It’s like my thing now. Okay. Yes. Diehard. Definitely. Why did you want to write this type of book, these genre, mashups with the comedy and everything.Why did you want to write that?[00:17:17] Ann: I wanted to write romances from the start because romance is a big market and I grew up reading. I read Stephen King. All kinds of stuff. Westerns Louis L’Amour and romances galore, but I really wanted to start on romance because my heart was in it.And I thought, this is one of the, doing research bromance market is huge. And I thought, this is what I want to do. And I tried and I trust. And I just don’t emote enough on the page. And, I applaud those who do it really well because it wasn’t until I started adding, like dead bodies ghost killer, horrible monsters or whatever was in there.Once that came in, then I really enjoyed it. [00:18:00] And the romance worked because of not a romance only writer. I just like to have. A little bit of it in there, so I tried that first and I didn’t succeed. And then I moved into the mix of mystery with romance and humor, and suddenly I was getting bites.I got an agent. We were making our way through, and back in the day, when you were trying to get into the big houses, cause that was what you did. Indie was such a new thing back then that you really didn’t go there to. And I actually, with nearly departed in my agent, we made it into one of the big houses through editing and we made it clear up to the final acquisition for that book and marketing came in and they didn’t think that since it was in the Midwest, it would have a big enough audience.So I was rejected at the tail end, which was, oh, so painful. But by then I’d written book to. And so that’s when we decided, okay we’re going to form a publishing house. We know how to do this. We’re going to go forth and we’re going to publish. And we [00:19:00] did. And then it midway through that. I pulled out because I couldn’t do both being publisher and an author.I realized it was and having a family. So I had to choose and I chose author and I pulled everything. I had all rights to my book still, and I went solo. And so since 2015, I’ve. Mostly indie. I am hybrid when it comes to audio books. Cause I’m with Blackstone for part of them. But mostly indie otherwise.So yeah, that’s the whole thing condensed.[00:19:28] Stephen: I liked what you said that you wanted to write this. And it’s not that you couldn’t write romance. It’s just, it wasn’t really you. So it came across I’ve heard that a lot also. And you found what worked for you and it’s been the most exciting.[00:19:42] Ann: And that goes back to your actual question, because again, I went off on that. Tangent[00:19:47] Stephen: was forgetting my questions said,[00:19:50] Ann: how did I choose this? It really it chose me. I, this is what came out was this mixing, but that’s like you, I like mixed genre movies. I liked [00:20:00] mixed gender stories.So this is how it all came out. Yeah. Thankfully, the market has shifted to where this is people like this as well, and we don’t have to be in such boxes, and the rigid things of only this, I[00:20:12] Stephen: agree. And I read, like I said, lots of stuff in these, mash-ups like one of my new favorite authors the last couple years Jeff strand it’s horror comedy.And it’s, I always describe it as like a, an adult goosebumps. But he would have probably never been published through random house or anything.[00:20:29] Ann: I’m going to write his name down. Cause that sounds[00:20:30] Stephen: fun. Yeah, he’s a good guy. Okay, so you are pretty much independent. You went, tried the trad route and almost made it, do you think this is just opinion?Do you think your books would have been successful if you had made it into the trad or do you think you’re more successful now?[00:20:50] Ann: That’s tough. I would think it depends if they would have put some marketing dollar behind me. So when I turned around and had to go indie and chose to [00:21:00] go Indy, I guess I shouldn’t say had.One of the first things that I did was that’s when Amazon’s free books was a new thing. It wasn’t, you know what it is now, it didn’t, you could put your book free and then pull it off. You didn’t have to be only Amazon. There was just all this, it was so new and a really good friend of mine said, you got to try this.I did. And she was written up about, I think in the New York times it went so big for her. It was so brand new. So I took nearly departed and I went, I put it for free. And did the push and, oh, my, it was like 40,000 books. Went out, boom eBooks. And I was shocked and scared and thought, what did I just do?Oh my gosh. I just gave away everything. She was right. It really builds. And by the time when I did that, I had the second book out already. So my second book went crazy. Nice and sold really well. That was a different [00:22:00] marketing. The New York was doing at the time. Of course.So I and I still have a lot of those first readers that got that first book freeway back in 2011. They’re still with me and read everything, which is really cool. I don’t know what New York would have done to market and my fear. Then as, even as time went on was so many of my friends were getting two or three book contracts.And if they didn’t make enough, do enough sell through their contracts were being pulled. So it killed their series because they kept the rights to the first three. But then you can’t write anymore because, you’re just promoting those first three really. And so I had that happening all around me.So I’ve often. I think it was better. It was a horrible, painful lesson, but maybe it was better for me to have done it this way, because. I marketed in a way that they might not have.[00:22:52] Stephen: And that’s what all of these been, I’ve been afraid of. I haven’t even really wanting to look for an agent and try trad because I don’t want to be told [00:23:00] the second book didn’t do too well.So forget about the other five. You have planned. I’ve heard that from other authors. I know that it’s happening.[00:23:09] Ann: Yes. Yes. And that was a big fear of mine because, anyone knows, once you invest in a two tour, two or three books in a series that you plan to do a long series, that’s a big investment of time and energy.And to just have that shut down. Yeah. That would’ve been[00:23:24] Stephen: horrible. Whereas I know somebody who is writing a trilogy. And halfway through the second book was told that it hasn’t been the first book didn’t sell too well. So they’re just going to cut it at two. So he had to combine two and three and put that out and then it took off.So they told them to do another one and he had already. Combined, but now he’s up to book like 11 in the series, so I won’t[00:23:49] Ann: get it worked out for him in the end. That’s[00:23:51] Stephen: good. Yeah. You’ve told us a little bit about the feedback from your readers already. But what would be your choice if you got approach, would you rather turn your [00:24:00] book into a movie or a set of movies or a TV?[00:24:05] Ann: I love those series. They do on Netflix and Amazon, where they have a season. Yeah. And you can, and I think you could take a book cause my books run around 125,000 words. So they’re not tiny. I can’t, I, one of my friends always jokes that I write these long books, but I can’t help it. That’s the story.But that way you could take a longer book like that and fit it into, six to eight show. And then have it, there’s book one, your season one is book one. I think that would be really cool to do, to see. And that way you can fully explore the plot of each book and enjoy it and not be crammed in,[00:24:43] Stephen: and that’s so interesting because I think almost every author I talked to has the same answer just about, when I originally.Yeah, asking that. I thought, some people say TV show, but TV is so different nowadays. And it really, Marvel changed a lot of that when you’re putting the same [00:25:00] characters in with the same budget and the same quality of story, on there in star wars is doing better on TV in this decade than they are in movies.So those are big franchises. So yeah,[00:25:13] Ann: it’s really changed. It’s fun to watch that. See now, I’m the type of person who loves a series. So I love, like the Marvel universe and all that. I love all the different and how they’ll do that. Very thing at the very end, which is the teaser for another one.I always love that because it’s oh good. More’s coming. There’s going to be another movie or there’s going to be more tothis.[00:25:32] Stephen: Yeah. And what we were talking about with genre and the mashup in the difference. That you really haven’t seen a lot of on TV. It’s, each show is a very specific thing.We’ve got Hawkeye that tonight. That’s our big thing. While we’re making pies, we’re going to watch Hawkeye. And the Witcher came out, but they it’s a fantasy. It’s a superhero and it’s with a little comedy. You always get that, but you don’t get the paranormal and the romance and the comedy all. And I think that’s an area where the indie [00:26:00] books are ahead of.The film and movie TV industry right now. And I think we need to see something like that actually make it big and that’ll probably change a lot of things.[00:26:11] Ann: I know I’m excited. It just feels like now with all these different series and the streaming and the different things going on, the scifi channel, all the different channels that show, different series.It’s like finally we get to have more variety, in, in choice of shows instead of, I don’t know about you, but I’m old enough when we, when I grew up with the big old box TV and, turn the chair. We had three channels and that was it, and it was, yeah, exactly. So HBO, when that came out was wow.The biggest thing ever. So now if I look back, I think, wow, we were so limited. It was whatever the, TV channels decided they wanted to show us. That was all that we got to see. And now. There’s so much choice and we can see so many different things that [00:27:00] support it’s really fun.[00:27:01] Stephen: Yeah. I agree. We didn’t even had cable until I was a junior in high school. So I tell you the town in Ohio. Yeah. Did you say Ohio?[00:27:12] Ann: I was Northwest Ohio. Yeah. Where at?[00:27:17] Stephen: Where are you from? We live right by.[00:27:19] Ann: Oh, you’re on the other side. Yeah. I’m we were, I grew up west of Toledo right up in the corner by Indiana and Michigan, like a mile from the Michigan line right up in there.Yeah. That was out in the boonies farmland,[00:27:31] Stephen: I always told my kids. I might, yeah, we had a 50 inch TV growing up. Of course the screen was only 12 inches. You guys don’t know the struggle with having to get up and walk through shag carpet to change the channel,[00:27:46] Ann: green shade,[00:27:46] Stephen: carpet.Yep. So you mentioned a little bit about some of your favorite authors and books. Tell us what some of your favorite books are that you’ve enjoyed throughout your life.[00:27:58] Ann: There’s a couple that I reread a [00:28:00] lot. See, now I’m a character. I love character centric, movies. It’s about, I do like the action and all the other stuff, but character growth is really one of my favorite things to, to watch to read.And so character driven stories is, that’s what I write, that’s why I have these series. You’re really, and they’re not. They’re not individual little shows, a thing like a monk, the TV show, it’s more of, you really want to read the whole thing to watch the character grow and change.So the books that I like to read are mainly about characters and so I have different ones in different genres. For example, I have re-read Lula Morris, Flint. Twenty-five times easily. It’s one of my, it’s my favorite Louis. L’Amour I love Flint. I don’t know if you’ve ever read that. I read that one now.And I won’t be giving anything away to tell you it starts out with the hero. He’s going back to New Mexico from New York city. This was back in the 18 hundreds, and he’s going there to die because he has cancer. So he comes into the story with this attitude of, I don’t care what’s going to [00:29:00] happen and he’ll shoot.He doesn’t care about people he’s going to die. So you have this really great. Character who’s tough and he knows he has nothing to lose. So when he comes across the villains, what’s going to happen. He doesn’t care, which is wonderful. So that’s Flint. Cheryl Reavis she’s a romance author that I ran into her books back in the nineties.She has a series. And I think it’s called the Navajo blessing series, but it’s, there’s three or four. Talk about character driven romances, where it’s about the character growth. Unbelievable. It’s one of my all time favorites and I’ve read the first in that series as well, the others, but the first I’ve probably read that 40 times.I’m not kidding. I reread it and then I’ll finish it and go, wow. I really, I want to figure out how she made me really feel that. And so I’ll go back and go back through it again. And I use those like Flint in that one to study because I’m trying to always improve my own writing and my make my characters feel more [00:30:00] real.The stories, the, all that surrounding them more colorful, more real, and bring in readers even more. So Stephen King, I love a lot of his, but desperation. Is one of my favorites. His, do you remember that one?[00:30:17] Stephen: Actually for that one as much? I like what was the regulators was the opposite.[00:30:22] Ann: The regulators was the opposite. And then I liked, of course Salem slot was one of them. That was a creepy, scary. That was one of my favorites growing up. So some of his, and I’ve fallen away from reading him just cause they’re this thick. And I write for a living and have a family, so I just don’t have time.He’s one of them odd Thomas by who is that? Dean[00:30:41] Stephen: Koontz? One of my, I love,[00:30:44] Ann: I actually studied OD Thomas to learn how to write setting and incorporated in to a story better because he does it so well in that book, he brings, he uses words that makes the. Come to life and you feel it, you feel the creepiness or you [00:31:00] feel, wherever we are.So[00:31:02] Stephen: that’s the, if you haven’t listened to the audio book of OD Thomas, you should check it out because whoever reads it captures OD Thomas. So perfectly that I can’t picture anybody else ever being odd. Thomas, his voice.[00:31:18] Ann: Sorry. I was just gonna say, have you seen there’s a series? Isn’t there a TV show? It was a,[00:31:22] Stephen: there was a movie with ant.And what’s his name? Anton Yelchin the Russian actor who was. On a star Trek that died he made a movie, but they had some trouble with the production and it was released overseas and almost not brought to America. And it was, the budget was like cut in half. And so it’s okay. But I really had such high hopes for the movie, but yeah, the audio book is wonderful.And if you’ve never read Koontz’s Watchers, that’s probably,[00:31:53] Ann: that’s a good one. That[00:31:54] Stephen: was fantastic.[00:31:56] Ann: Yeah. And like I said, see, my problem is I get stuck on an [00:32:00] author. If I find one that it helps me think creative creatively, and then I love it. I’ll watch, I’ll read it and I’ll read it. And I read it and I won’t move on.So[00:32:11] Stephen: no problem, interview authors and hear about all these great books and then go I’m going to get that. And I’m going to get that one and that one. And then, three months later, they’ll I said, read my book. I’m like, oh my God. It’s like number 752. I’ll get to it.[00:32:27] Ann: I bet. Yeah.[00:32:28] Stephen: So you live out in Arizona.Do you have a favorite bookstore that you’d like to go there?[00:32:33] Ann: I don’t, I’m really bad about bookstores. And I don’t it’s I have nothing against him. I love him, but I just don’t. I T I tend to do so much online and like you, I talk to authors, I meet authors. I have authors tell me you’ve got to check out this book.So I tend to buy online, whether it’s an Amazon or a. How one author [00:33:00] that a good friend said, you got to read her books and she’s from Phoenix. So I did read one and then I joke we’re good friends now. And I joke that I started stalking her and I was like, I live just north of you an hour and a half.Is there any way we could ever meet for coffee and just talk about books and blah, blah, blah. And now we’re really good friends. So I tend to read a lot of my friends books because of. We help each other out, whether it’s, Hey, read this and tell me where, you know what I need or check this out, because it’s really good story.It’s it reminds me of something you wrote. So yeah, I don’t go into the bookstore anymore.[00:33:36] Stephen: Yeah. I did the same thing with J thorn. I found out he lived right up in Cleveland and I started stalking him a little bit, emails. Like I’m really not stalking you, but yeah, I guess I am a.I love that also about authors, that movie stars there’s different level. You don’t get an average person talking to a big movie star, but quote-unquote average people [00:34:00] talk to authors because authors don’t get that big head as much. Even king and Patterson, don’t always come across as.Egocentric like actors sometimes do even though you can’t necessarily walk up to their house and knock on the door. But I’ve found even the, some of the authors that I’m like, oh my gosh, I, my books have you sold and how long have you been doing this? And they’re just like, yeah, have a seat. Let’s talk.So[00:34:23] Ann: definitely. It is in, and it’s really hard for a lot of us to go out and do the public thing. And do you know, you see the actors all the time on, like the tonight show or whatever, and they’re out there acting funny and they’re and I watch them, I think why can’t I be that funny?It’s just, but it’s really not most of our nature to be that outward thing. That’s why we write, that’s why we, do what we do. But so many that I meet. Every year I do the, every other year I do the South Dakota festival of books since so many of my books are set in South Dakota. I’m really fortunate that a lot of them in the state consider me one of their [00:35:00] own.My mom lives there and I’ve been there most of the time since I was a kid. But anyway every year that’s a real mix of genres and. Writers coming in and it’s so much fun to meet all these other people and hang out. Like when you’re, I hung out with a bunch of kids authors and learned what it was like for them and how much they hit the road.I had no idea they were on the road so much, but they really are, And then the next year I’ll meet another author. Sometimes I meet these really big name authors that come in for the festival and they’re wonderful. And we have a great time and some of them, I have their phone numbers in my phone because they were like, call me and we’ll go to dinner.And I look at it now and I’d never call them, but I’m like, I can’t get rid of that number. That’s so and so in my phone, right? Yeah. That’s[00:35:43] Stephen: one of the things I want to do with all the authors I’ve met on the podcast. As I travel around, if I know I’m going to a place. Where someone I’ve talked to is there.I ask them, Hey, let’s meet up at this bookstore and do a little walkthrough and talk and look at the bookstore and stuff. And then we have a little [00:36:00] video of these two authors going through a bookstore and the bookstore on my website and stuff. I haven’t done a whole lot of them because of last year and a half.But I, and I hope the do some more now that things are settling down. If I get through Arizona, I will definitely stop we’ll call and we’ll do a bookstore. We’ll find definitely.[00:36:19] Ann: Yes. That would be fun. There’s so much to see out here too. You might go, I’ll see if I can fit you in between the grand canyon and all the other[00:36:25] Stephen: stuff.I love Arizona. I’ve been there. I love the climate. I love the way things look cause Ohio, I love Ohio bringing the trees and all that. With Arizona people have the red rock lawn, and I was fascinated by that,[00:36:39] Ann: we will, one of the things when we lived in Seattle for a while, then we had kids and then we ended up moving down here to a little bit smaller area for our kids and to get them outside more.Cause it’s so rainy. They just were always inside in Seattle. So anyway, fourth grade field trips here. It’s the grand canyon and I’m in Ohio. We went to a slaughter house. [00:37:00] So yeah, so it’s wow, we’re doing the grand cane in for a field trip. And I always tell my kids, you don’t know how lucky you are.Nobody and out here in Arizona, I tell you they do field trips. Big it’s always an hour to an hour and a half bus ride. And it’s these major archeology sites are things that are just incredible. I’m like, yeah, we can’t at our little local lake. So[00:37:28] Stephen: funny you say that my wife and I were just talking about VR and how you can do those things with VR.I’ve wanted to research like our local little town and do a VR program where overlays the buildings. You could choose like 1950 and see what everything looked like. And then eight 20, whatever and see it through the VR goggles while you’re walking around town. So you see, I guess it would be AR more than.Where it’s overlaid on top of what’s there. I thought that’d be cool.[00:37:55] Ann: That’s really something that they’re coming out with. It they’ve come out with[00:37:58] Stephen: no, they do have [00:38:00] tours of areas that you can do VR. They’re like Mount Everest, and you could do a four and climb Mount Everest and see it in VR. But the AR thing I think I would love to see and do little.[00:38:13] Ann: Oh, yeah, it would be just really cool. Yeah. That would be so[00:38:16] Stephen: much fun. I, yeah. All right. So to finish up talking about books and then we’ll move on to some author stuff tell everybody why they should go out and get your books. I know because they look really cool. But why would you say people should get your.[00:38:29] Ann: It’s, like I said earlier if you just want to take a break from all the crazy crap going on out there, or maybe something you know, is tough in your family life, or your job’s giving you, making you crazy. If you pick up one of my books, I’m going to take you to a different, it’s contemporary.It’s not totally crazy, but a different place. And it, and in the old west, one’s a different time. And the goal is always, when I write is to write. Include laughter and give you something to laugh about now in the, like the Deadwood mystery series the [00:39:00] heroine is violet Parker and she gets in some messed up stuff and she’s very spunky and she gets herself out.She has two kids, she’s struggling single mom. But she gets some real zingers into her. One of her coworkers, who’s a real jerk and it’s, the paranormal, the ghost, all that kind of fun. It’s just. If you want to get away from reality for a bit and have some fun and action adventure pick up one of my books and give them a try.[00:39:23] Stephen: Nice. And some people don’t realize that’s a powerful thing fiction can do that it’s needed in today’s world. So I love that. Thank you. All right. Thank you for talking about your book. Let’s go talk about a few other things. Okay.[00:39:36] Ann: Let’s do it.


8 Mar 2022

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"Getting Social with Audio: Facebook, Clubhouse and where we are heading" with Radio Production & Technology consultant Ann Charles.

Voiceworks: Sound Business

"Social Audio" has been one of the audio buzz terms of 2021 and that looks set to continue in 2022. Facebook, Twitter, Spotify and Clubhouse are just some of the big names who have looked to explore the space over the last 18 months with audio creators around the world looking at how they can use the tools created to increase engagement and improve discoverability.On this episode of Voiceworks: Sound Business; Jim Salveson talks to Ann Charles. Ann is an expert in audio production and it's accompanying technology. She is also an expert coach for all things sound and is one of the brains behind Radio TechCon (The UK radio and audio industry’s technical and engineering conference).In this interview, Ann talks about the past, present and future of Social Audio and the challenges it faces. She also discusses how audio producers can unlock the power of social media to help grow their audiences now and talks about "Audio Objects" a (relatively) new development in the sound industry that could be the future of audio production.You can find more about Ann and her work (as well as details of the free "Socially Sharing Sound" course she mentions on the podcast via her website https://anncharles.tv/ (along with load more useful stuff) and you can follow her on Twitter via @sparkyanncIf you want to learn more about sound or find out how Voiceworks can help you unlock the power of audio at www.voiceworks.ai


4 Jan 2022

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Chanticleer Magazine featuring USA Today Bestselling Author Ann Charles is Available in Print and E-Zine

Chanticleer Book Reviews

80 plus reviews are published in the latest issue of the Chanticleer Reviews magazine! Plus, Writing Craft Tips, Interview with Ann Charles, USA Today Best-selling Author, who shares her Five Tips for Building Relationships with Readers, Charting Plot Structure, and More. James Conroyd Martin shares how he brings historical fiction to life.

21 Oct 2021

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The Douglas Coleman Show w_ Ann Charles

The Douglas Coleman Show

Ann Charles is a USA Today Best-Selling author who writes spicy, award-winning mysteries full of mayhem, adventure, comedy, and suspense. She writes the Deadwood, Jackrabbit Junction, and Dig Site Mystery Series. Her Deadwood series has won multiple national awards, including the Daphne du Maurier for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense.http://anncharles.comThe Douglas Coleman Show now offers audio and video promotional packages for music artists as well as video promotional packages for authors. Please see our website for complete details. http://douglascolemanshow.comIf you have a comment about this episode or any other, please click the link below.https://ratethispodcast.com/douglascolemanshow


27 Sep 2021