Please help me welcome Author Ann Snizek to my blog today!
Ann Snizek, author
I grew up in Vermont mostly and now live in Virginia with my family (those still at home). My husband and I have a blended family of seven kids. My childhood was spent moving around a lot. (non-military) About five years ago, we started home-schooling our youngest children. Now there are only two remaining in home-school. I have tried to nurture the love of books in our children and now our grandchildren -- always nurturing their imaginations. Recently, I have become active in our community with literacy, starting a local (and online) creative writing club and volunteer tutoring at the Adult Learning Center.
I struggle with disabilities. So, have to be careful not to overdo things... I don't always listen to my own advice. I have a dry, sarcastic and corny sense of humor and always try to look at things optimistically. (again not always successful) However, I feel that if I don't give up -- for long -- then things will work out for the best eventually.
Here’s my interview:
What is your name? Do you use a pen name (if so, why?)?
My name is Ann Snizek. Yes, it is a pen name. I use it in remembrance of my grandmother who had been an actress in her time. She was from Prague in what is now the Czech Republic. My grandparents owned a theatre there before the war. After they fled, she worked with Radio Free Europe for some time. When they came to the USA, they continued in the theatre for several years. (one of my non-fiction projects is a tribute to her life)
Tell me a bit about yourself:
Well, I have a blended family, totaling seven kids (most of which have grown and moved out). We have always viewed literacy as a high priority, and have nurtured the love and appreciation for books and learning in our children as much as possible. Now, we are continuing that joy with our grandchildren.
I moved around a lot as a child, the youngest of seven myself, and have volumes of experiences -- some good, some not so good. All of this has made me who I am today, and I hope it allows me to create characters and worlds that many can relate to.
I tend to have a satirical, even corny sense of humor and love to play off words. In my writing I try to incorporate every aspect of life. So, my characters are multi-faceted and I try to have them interact with each other with the same mix of emotions as any real person. The great thing is that teenagers have such a constantly shifting emotional state. So, I am able to let them grow and change as they experience life.
What type of genre do you write?
I write Young Adult Fantasy and Sci-Fi. I am experimenting in non-fiction, but my passion is what comes out the most. Generally, my stories are Character driven. I like to have a connection with my characters and want my readers to feel the story. I also like poetry and have been able to incorporate some original work into the Tunuftol Series in the form of prophecies and premonitions.
What genre do you personally read?
Most of what I read is Fantasy/Sci-Fi. That covers many of the sub-genres too. (paranormal, high fantasy, contemporary fantasy, dystopia, etc.) I like a lot of YA fiction. The imagination comes through more freely in these genres (at least for me).
Tell me about your latest?
I have several projects going right now. I have two short story collaborations going (to be included in your vampire anthology if we can get them finished in time.) I am also reading several books for reviews, organizing my first real writing workshop, my blogs are new and that is keeping me writing a LOT. Organizing this blog tour for the release of my second book: Secret of the Shielded (Tunuftol Book 2) has been a big task and I'm extremely excited about it! I have also been finishing up my cover art for my other series - The Payton Chronicles. To Eris - Human and its sequel For: Giva De Vine.
What sparked your passion for books and the art of a good story?
I have grown up with a passion for reading. I could read before I even started school. As a child I was very shy. Reading allowed me to escape from my world and take my friends with me wherever we moved to.
Is there a particular book that changed or affected your life in a big way?
I think there are a couple that I recall as important to me. I learned to read with the old Dick and Jane books and Dr. Seuss, but in elementary school I had a wonderful librarian that was a gifted reader. She read Madeline L'Engle's A Wind In The Door. She brought it to life for me and hooked me. Then some time later my sister got me hooked on Anne McCaffrey. I love all of her books and I'm glad that her son has been able to continue the Pern legacy.
I also love Orson Scott Card, David Eddings, LM Montgomery, and countless others. I'm addicted to books and have only been exposed to Indie writers, so I am constantly adding to the list of authors I like!!
Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?
I try not to be preachy in my stories, but I hope that it shows what the mind is capable of. I want to encourage young people (in age and at heart) to reach for their dreams and not accept limitations that others put on you. Always push yourself to improve past the negative things that life tends to throw at us. It is what we do about our trials that defines us.
What challenges have you faced in your writing career?
I suppose it would be the typical challenges: time to write, finding inspiration, query submission and rejection letters, making the "right" connections, etc. I also have to work around my own personal disabilities. I have Fibromyalgia, which makes it physically difficult to keep up with my projects, and social anxiety (among other things) that I struggle to overcome. I am simultaneously excited and terrified of my up coming workshop and future book signings.
What has been your best moment as a writer?
While I have written for years, I would have to say that the best moment I have had as a professional writer - so far- is this "Not-So-Secret" Blog Tour for the release of my second book: Secret of the Shielded (Tunuftol Book 2)! I also have a bit of surreal shock when people, like you, show such excitement over what I've written. While I hope that people like it, I'm still a bit stunned that people really do... LOL.
Who is your author idol?
Wow! Ummm... I am impressed with so many wonderful writers out there, both classics and modern. I would have to say that Anne McCaffrey has to be the ultimate in my opinion.
Do you see yourself in any of your characters?
I try to put a little of myself in each of my characters. It makes them "real" to me. As I write, I wonder to myself, "What would this character do or say in this situation." I even find myself thinking of what is to come in the story and wondering what the characters will be doing then, as if they were friends that I will be visiting later. (LOL)
Do you feel like your dream has come true or is there much more to do?
Both! I am finally a published, selling author. There is still much to do though. I have so many ideas bouncing around in my head that I try to write down... I have several small and large projects going at the same time. I tend to bounce around in my mind (I guess like ADD) and have had many nights where I couldn't go to sleep until I wrote my thoughts down.
What does your workspace look like?
I do most of my writing in the relative quiet of my room on my laptop. I cozy up with my pillows and my dogs, a Toy Poodle/Chihuahua mix and a Pomeranian. I also have a plaque on the wall that my kids gave to me for Christmas a couple years ago. It says, "Family is the thread that holds it all together." I also have a picture of my grandmother that overlooks my creativity, and for Christmas one of my daughters' friends painted a rendition of my character Eris Payton.
Have you ever had a day when you just wanted to quit?
YES! But I have more days when I am too busy to write and miss it. Once I reach the frustration point, I have to put my work away. Frustration isn't conducive with productivity. If I'm not enjoying what I'm writing it won't come out right... the quality suffers. So, what is the point of taking the time to write poorly when I can "quit" for a time and come back to it later when the passion returns.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
Running all over the place. I homeschool my kids. The youngest is fourteen now, so she is more self directed at this point. I'm at the beginning of the empty nest syndrome...LOL. I enjoy movies, photography, and activities with my children and grandchildren. Trust me, there is NEVER a dull moment in our family. I am also a volunteer tutor at the local Adult Learning Center and I facilitate a Creative Writing Club that is held locally and on Facebook. So, even when I'm not working on a book I still write a lot!!
What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer?
LOL... I think a bit of insanity is needed. I haven't figured another way out yet. I guess the best thing is to just breathe and remember what is really important in life... don't stress over what you have no control of. (And no, I don't always take my own advice.)
Did you have a moment when you realized you were meant to be a writer?
Surprisingly I did. After an exceptionally difficult year for our family, in 2010, I started writing a lot. Then in 2011, I wanted to do NaNoWrMo, but I didn't get to it until December. I wrote the first draft of Tunuftol's Fortress of Light in 11 days. The "problem" was I couldn't stop writing. By the time I started the 4th book of the series I decided to go back and look at what I had. My youngest read it also and decided it didn't completely suck. So, I did some revisions and edits and decided that this was something I could do, something I loved to do.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
If you don't ask or try, you will never get anywhere in life. Enjoy what you do or don't do it. And something I'm just learning to fully appreciate now, the real work starts after you publish. One more thing I would like to say is that while not everyone is cut out to be a great writer, everyone has room to grow and be a better writer.
After this book, what is next?
After I release SECRET OF THE SHIELDED (Tunuftol Book 2), I will be preparing for the release of my third book: TO ERIS - HUMAN (Payton Chronicles Book 1)!! This is the book I had thought would be my first release, but life happened. I have had an enormous amount of help with TO ERIS - HUMAN. I have done a lot of research to make things believable, and would like to thank my youngest daughter and her best friend for their teenager viewpoints, a friend of mine - Shirley Uhrain - for her valuable scientific input, my cover model - Magdalena Lipski, a fellow Indie author - Jamie C. Ruff - for his thorough editing and ideas, my other daughters for their creative feedback, and mostly my husband who has been my rock, supportive, encouraging, and patience.
I have a two short story collaborations I'm working on, editing/publishing of a local poet, editing and revisions for The Jewel of Nirel (Tunuftol Book 3), and continued writing in my blogs and on both the Payton Chronicles series and the Tunuftol series. Not to mention the never-ending chaos that I call my life. So, I have a lot going on and things are finally starting to come together.
My main profiles are where you can check for updates, samples, events, and new releases. http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/AnnSnizek
I have two now!!!! My primary one is The Rambling Voices In My Head www.annsnizekauthor.blogspot.com and my secondary one is a Goodreads Blog http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6702687.Ann_Snizek/blog
Where can your book be found?
These links are mostly directed to Tunuftol's Fortress of Light, but should provide links to Secret of the Shielded on its release date March 9th (or shortly after depending on the site)
Barnes & Noble
Amazon/Createspace/Kindle (this is where you can get my books in print also)
My books "will appear on the Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr, Amazon.es, and Amazon.it Kindle Stores; on Kindle devices; and on apps such as Kindle for PC and Kindle for Mobile Devices."
Smashwords (formats for basically every type of eReader - also where I can make special offers and giveaways. And Smashwords is generally the first place to find my newest releases.)
Secret of the Shielded (Tunuftol Book 2) available March 9, 2013
Young Adult Fantasy/Sci-Fi
Recommended Age Group
12 years and above
Virginia author, Ann Snizek, is about to release her second novel: Secret of the Shielded (Tunuftol Book 2) in both eBook and print through Snow Flower Publishing.
In Tunuftol's Fortress of Light (Tunuftol Book 1)...
A young girl, Krissa, and her little brother, Micah, find themselves in the care of "Grandma" Athey. Their new friends, Pin, and her twin brother, Khevin, join forces to unravel Krissa's questions. Krissa has become The Chosen One and is drawn into a mission against an evil faction that usurped the throne from Khevin's family. With a group of friends accumulated from school, Krissa learns to control her new found powers and follow her dreams to a world they all fled from as small children.
This brave band of spectacular friends must go on a horrendous journey to remove all threats to the newly reclaimed throne. They will discover amazing new truths and face heart wrenching choices. Who are the Philo birds singing about? How will their song play out in the lives of these young people? Will it all be for nothing??
Song of the Philo birds:
Twelve companions all will travel
Eleven this song try to unravel
Ten don’t know which is the way
Nine are going to have to pay
Eight are wondering what they will find
Seven speak with mouth and mind
Six shall get a brand new name
Five will never be the same
Four the enemy will take
Three have choices they must make
Two have powers they must use
Or, One friend in death will lose.
What People Are Saying:
"Wow! I really liked book 2! ...The book had so many great aspects and changes in the characters... excellent!" said Jodie Pierce, author of The Vampire Queen. "Better than the first book and I didn't think that was possible."
"Must have second book... Already addicted." -- Heather Latsch
Clip From Secret of the Shielded:
Movement at the large, open, bay window in the dining hall pulled at Krissa's attention. The rain had stopped like Micah said it would and the sun was out in force. A beautiful pair of birds fluttered and danced with each other at the windowsill, and Krissa enjoyed their frolicking. Both birds had brilliant iridescent blue covering their heads, neck, and back; their tails and wings were rich chocolate colored. The chest of the larger bird transitioned into an amazing emerald green and then faded into a light silvery-blue underbelly… so bright that it looked almost metallic. The chest of the smaller bird transitioned from the iridescent blue into a soft lavender then the same light silvery-blue underbelly. They were amazingly delicate looking and reminded Krissa of jeweled ornaments.
"You are Chosen One?" came a chirp. The larger bird tilted his head and looked at Krissa almost upside down.
"Yes," Krissa answered.
Khevin looked over at her questioningly. Pin was busy talking away. Everyone was either watching Pin talk, or busy finishing their lunches.
"Chosen One needs Secret," the smaller, female bird chirped.
"Yes, I do. Do you know about the Secret?"
Look For It At:
Amazon author page:
Smashwords author profile:
Blog Tour Sale for Tunuftol's Fortress of Light (Tunuftol Book 1) The original price for this 87,000+ word book (with bonus features in the back) is $4.99 will be on sale for $2.99 using code: NR47L
Until the release of Secret of the Shielded (Tunuftol Book 2) on 3.9.13
Contact Ann Snizek:
Snow Flower Publishing:
Creative Writing Club:
The Rambling Voices In My Head www.annsnizekauthor.blogspot.com
Goodreads Blog http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6702687.Ann_Snizek/blog
Hi everyone! I have a surprise... One of my new friends set up a
rafflecopter for me! (THANKS JULIA @ asyouwishreviews!) :-D
<a id="rc-fe782e25" class="rafl" href="
Hope you like it
rafflecopter for me! (THANKS JULIA @ asyouwishreviews!) :-D
<a id="rc-fe782e25" class="rafl" href="
Hope you like it
and good luck!
Please thank Ann for joining us today. Please check out her links, including the rafflecopter! Buy her books folks! She's amazing! I've read them and here's my reviews:
Tunuftol’s Fortress of Light was a wonderfully woven story full of fun, charisma and entertainment. Ms. Snizek has fully developed characters what are loveable and make you feel a gamete of emotions throughout the story. She writes in a manner that the reader feels like they are right there as part of the group in the story and the things there are actually happening around you. You are put right into the story as you read it.
A young girl and her brother are pushed around through the adoption system until they are found by a caring Grandmotherly type old lady. Krissa, the main character starts having inexplicable dreams and her little brother Micah knows more than she gives him credit for. Krissa’s new friend Pin and her twin brother Khevin start to unravel Krissa’s questions about her dreams. She has become The Chosen One and is taken on a mission to take over the faction that has upset Khevin’s family from the throne. She has to learn her powers and follow her dreams which Pin helps out with as she’s a dream weaver. The group of friends accumulated at school take on a trip to find this other place they left as children and struggle against the evil they face. Will they succeed in the end? Who is the most valuable and who keeps the most secrets? Will Krissa know what to do when the time comes?
Author Ann Snizek creates a world where any reader would like to go. The travel she puts this young group on is a treat for the reader. As you learn along with the main character, you feel for her and learn some interesting facts. She gives you a whole world where you can emerge yourself for awhile and follow along with this group of friends. I would recommend this as a must read for anyone who likes to get themselves entirely involved in a story. This is a page turner that is hard to put down. It’s an easy read with short chapters that move you along through the story at a quick pace. Ms. Snizek has done a great job creating a story that everyone should read!
This book was amazing! It was even better than book 1 and I really enjoyed reading it! I couldn't put it down!
The group of friends continue their journey to save the world. They meet up with a fairy in the woods that they had to search high and wide for her. She helps them find the next thing they are looking for. During their journey, they come across Philo birds who give them a riddle to solve that will help them and gives insight to all their futures. (This riddle is above). Will the friends complete their goals? Will all of them survive? What will happen in the end? Read it to find out!
Ms. Snizek does it again! She creates a vision of a world much different from ours and does so in a manner that you can easily visualize it. She creates fully developed characters that you learn to love from the first book and can't wait to see what happens with them in the second book. The chapters are a little longer in this book but you are pulled through them as a rapid rate and don't mind. I loved book 1 but I really loved book 2. I can't wait to read book 3!
Thank you all and a BIG thank you to Ann for joining us today on her blog tour! PLEASE check out her links and buy both books! I promise you won't be let down!