Balancing Life and Writing by Ann Swann – Guest Blog and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Ann Swann will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

BALANCING LIFE AND WRITING

How does one balance life and writing? It’s a tightrope. You walk it every day, then you turnaround and head back the other way. If you have a family, if you have any sort of job, if you have any other responsibilities in your life, writing must sometimes take a backseat. It’s the nature of the beast. However, it’s my belief that it’s when you fall off the tightrope that the writing Muse sits up and takes notice. When you aren’t writing, when you are forced to do everything but write, that’s when the best words take shape in the back of your mind. That’s when the ideas flow. It isn’t that life prevents us from writing, it’s that life gives us something to write about.

My new novel, THE REMAINS IN THE POND, originated from an image of a skull sunk down in a weedy pond. I saw the image in a movie trailer or something; I don’t even remember what it was, something life threw at me somewhere along the way. All I know is it was a fleeting thing that had nothing to do with anything, but by the time my subconscious played around with the image for a few days, while I was busy doing ordinary life-stuff, an idea began to form about two girls—rivals for the same guy—who wound up at the old pond late one night. One girl returned home that night, and the other became known as the remains in the pond.

That’s how I balance life and writing. I don’t worry about it; I just allow nature to take its course.

Senior prom is the happiest night of Gabi’s life. Her crush has just revealed that he is every bit as infatuated with her as she is with him. When he has a car wreck and is transported to the hospital in a coma, Gabi feels as if she’s taken a knife to the heart. But his jealous cousin, Rose, sees her chance to give the knife an even harder twist. She convinces Gabi to meet her at a local parking spot outside town. It’s a night that will change several lives forever. One of the girls will return, and one will become known as the remains in the pond.

Enjoy an Excerpt

I pushed my glasses up and took a deep breath. “We were in love. I know that’s what teenagers always think, but in our case, it was true.”

The unsmiling detective simply stared at me and pulled out his little notebook. His burnished head gleamed under the fluorescents.

Why wasn’t he writing in that notebook? He just held it, as if he found nothing I said worth noting.

The room grew cold and I began to shiver. Probably some sort of tactic; turning down the temperature to make me uncomfortable. Just like this little waiting game. Waiting me out to make me talk. I’d seen enough crime TV to recognize these schemes. I took a sip of the Diet Coke he’d brought—to make me feel grateful, I suppose—and immediately regretted it because it made me need to burp.

I let the little bubble of gas explode in my closed mouth and began to talk to cover the sound. “We fell in love at prom. We were both with other people. I went with Asa and he brought Rose.” I sat up straighter in the hard-backed chair and hoped I’d said enough to placate him.

The detective sat chill, one ankle propped on the opposite knee. I got the impression he wanted to be my best friend.

I don’t know why I started talking again. I think it had something to do with the way he looked at me, as if he already knew everything I wanted to tell him, because yes, suddenly I did want to tell him. I’d held onto the truth for too long.

I wanted to tell him everything about that night.

About the Author:Ann has been a writer since junior high school, but to pay the bills she’s waited tables, delivered newspapers, cleaned other people’s houses, taught school, and even had a short stint as a secretary in a rock-n-roll radio station. She also worked as a 911 operator and a police dispatcher.

Ann’s stories began to win awards in her college days. Since then she’s published novels, novellas, and short stories. But even if no one ever bought another book, Ann wouldn’t stop writing. For her it’s the cathartic pause in a sometimes-crazy world. Most of the time, it even keeps her sane.

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