Ann Mauren Interview & Giveaway!

Oct 26, 2010
I posted my review of In the Spotlight yesterday and am excited to have the author, Ann Mauren, here in an interview today! I also have a book and some goodies to giveaway.

Ellery Mayne is a high school girl who makes a disturbing discovery. After a foiled abduction attempt, she realizes that an entire team of security personnel are secretly shadowing her every move. As she works to make sense of this startling development, she secretly carries out observations of her own, testing the limits of a secret service detail who think they are conducting transparent surveillance on a clueless teenager.

When the mystery behind the secret security unravels, Ellery is faced with decisions that involve her future and the hopes of two unlikely love interests: a handsome but conflicted security agent who doesn’t realize she knows about him, and her first love—a boy that broke her heart—who has returned to explain his actions and his feelings for her.

Told from Ellery’s perspective, she puzzles over what could interest not one but two handsome suitors and a whole security force. Suddenly this quiet loner realizes that her life is In the Spotlight and she is the Mayne Attraction. 
Where did you get the idea for In the Spotlight?
I was intrigued with the idea of what it would be like to have a security detail following my every move—how I would feel about it and how I would react.  Imagining myself in Ellery’s position was a lot of fun and the story started to write itself.
If you could bring one of your characters to life who would you choose and why?
That’s easy:  Ellery Mayne.  That way I could always have a reliable ‘go to gal’ to ask for help figuring out the especially hard crossword puzzle answers that I need or to get the scoop on the words and meanings of current and classic songs.  She would definitely be my ‘phone a friend’ if I was ever in a game show pinch.
Have you been to any of the places mentioned in the book? If so, which did you enjoy visiting the most?
From the Belle of Louisville to Banff and everything in between, I’ve been to ALL the places mentioned in the book, with the exception of Iceland—which I hope to visit someday soon.  The most beautiful spot I’ve ever personally beheld is Lake O’Hara in Yoho National Park, in Alberta, Canada.  It was fantasy level gorgeous.  I feel so fortunate to have seen it for myself.  It still seems more like a dream than something I actually did, but I have pictures of myself there—so I didn’t imagine it!
Do you have a set time to write?
I have a part-time job, a home to run, a husband, a third-grader and a toddler.  When I’m not changing somebody’s diaper, or checking somebody’s homework, or ironing somebody’s pants, or chipping away at a to-do list that never gets done, I’m…tired.  But if I want to get some writing done, I stay up late to do it.  The upside is that sleep deprivation has made for some interesting inspirations, creatively speaking.
When did you decide to become a self-published author?
I decided that I would self-publish and do some serious legwork on my own after the first and only rejection came back from a literary agency.  Since traditional publishing channels are filled to the gills with books vying for attention from literary agents—the gatekeepers of the industry—I decided to take a different tack and connect to and collect readers on my own using new technologies and platforms that didn’t exist just a few years ago.  Shelfari and Goodreads (social networks for book lovers) have both been excellent locations to find the specific readers whom I feel will enjoy Mayne Attraction the most.  Also, persuasive word of mouth recommendations and reviews from oh-so-helpful book bloggers have proved invaluable in spreading the news about Mayne Attraction.
Now for some quick questions:

Favorite band/singer?
This is a bit of a moving target for me.  These days I’m always thinking in terms of what music would be cool to feature in chapter excerpts on  The big winners there have been Moby, Temper Trap, Snow Patrol, and my current favorite, Ben Hibbard of Death Cab for Cutie and The Postal Service.  As you can see, my tastes run toward the alternative end of the musical spectrum.  Incidentally, I’m always looking for suggestions on songs to embed in the website…that’s one way to make use of the comment boxes!
Favorite YA book?
Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery was a favorite of mine growing up.  I also really enjoyed The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien—though I don’t know if that is considered young adult. 
Favorite hero character?
I’ve been a huge fan of Fitzwilliam George Alexander Darcy (of Pride and Prejudice fame) since I was a girl.  I’ve read most all of the ‘continuations’ and ‘as told from his perspective’ books that became popular after the A & E version of the story was released featuring the ever adorable Colin Firth.  My favorite heroine is Maisie Dobbs from Jacqueline Winspear’s mystery series by the same name.
Is there anything else you would like to tell your readers?
One of my fantasies regarding Mayne Attraction is to have original art and music associated with the series and available for the viewing and listening pleasure of fans and visitors to the website.  If you are inclined to create visual or auditory media related to this story—such as sketches of the characters and scenes, or items like Ellery’s locket and rings, or a theme song for any of the characters—I would be honored to showcase your work on the Mayne Attraction website.   I’m in awe of people with artistic talents and would be thrilled to make friends in this way.  But of course, I’m thrilled with any comments on the site at this point—whether you’re a fabulous artist, or an amazing musician, or just a normal person like me! 

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