Friday, January 14, 2011

Welcome, Anna of Alaska!

Alisha: Sit back and relax! Are these sled dogs cute or what?

I'm thrilled to have Anna L. Walls, aka Anna of Alaska on my blog today! I stumbled upon this fascinating lady on Facebook while researching Alaska for my newest book, Circle City, which is set in Circle City, Alaska.

Do yourself a favor and pay her website and blog a visit. (Links at the end of this blog.) You won't be sorry.

Anna has one book out now, King by Right of Blood and Might, available at Amazon.

She just signed a three book deal for The Making of A Mage-King. She mostly writes about societies where swords and horses are common with a little magic in the mix.

Welcome, Anna! Thank you for being here today!


Hello Alisha;
Hello everyone;

My name is Anna and I am an author who lives in the wilderness of Alaska. You might think living in the wilderness is the ultimate writing retreat, and in my opinion, it sure is, but living in the wilderness has its own set of problems. Just like you all need to get up and go to work everyday, and even if you don’t, life gets in the way of writing all too often. Mine does too. There are dishes to wash, and wood to split, especially in the winter. Periodically there are supply planes or fuel planes to meet, and that’s only a sample of the things that get in the way of my writing.

When I first started writing, the concept of Internet was a far-away dream, as far away as publishing, so I was free to just write. During that time I generated over twenty stories of all lengths. It seemed as though they just poured out of me.
One day I got the worst news one can get, my mother had died. I was devastated, and also helpless to attend her funeral. My mother had always been my rock, the solid center of our family, but there was one good thing that came from her passing. Thanks to my inheritance, publishing was suddenly a very real possibility. And also a few years later Internet was also within our grasp.

Publishing was a unique journey and I learned a lot. To expedite the process, my husband and I spent the winter in Fairbanks with my son and his family. My first forays into the World Wide Web showed me what I later learned would be what my life would be like. Though it vastly sped up the publishing process, writing was nearly impossible, and finishing the book I had in progress at the time was really rather hard. Not all of that distraction was Internet - a four-year-old and a bookstore within easy reach as well as the Christmas holidays compounded the distractions.
Now I have other distractions. Taking the advice of various agents and writers whose blogs I follow, I made a Facebook page and a Twitter profile. I’ve also found several writing groups to join and have subscribed to their updates - my distractions have grown. I sort of fell into blogging when I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t comment on some blogs. In an effort to fix that, I thought maybe if I had one too, that might work. Having a blog was another one of those pieces of advice I’d been stewing on, and now that I had one, I still didn’t know what to do with it. I’d read so many great blogs. They were so full of helpful information or just delightful posts about whatever. But what was I going to write about? I was at a total loss, but it was there and I wasn’t about to ignore it. At first I posted various scenes from my many different stories - after all, I like my stories and I think I did a pretty good job with them, plus it’s really a thrill to me when someone reads something of mine and leaves some kind of comment.

Well, with one brave step must come another. I discovered a great place for a website. is easy and it’s free. Maybe it’s not as fancy as some I’ve seen, but fancy always clogs up my browser and takes forever to load. I’ve included synopses on about a third of my books and have recently added a ‘Writer’ tab where I can share some of the more helpful writing tips I’ve gleaned from around the web.
And then came my third brave step. On advice that it’s always good to give something away for free in an effort to become better known, I decided I’d share one of my books - enter blog number two. And then last fall I started yet another blog by popular demand - this one contains stories about my life out here in the middle of no-man’s-land. With that blog came a type of comfort in writing some sort of ‘article’, and that greatly influenced my first blog. Now my posts have evolved into something much more writerly - what I learned somewhere or what I think about some aspect of writing.

Now that I have the internet, I’ve learned that I have quite a few weaknesses in my writing - something I wish my editor had clued me in on, but that’s a whole different rant. At any rate, now that I have learned so much, it’s time to go back through all those stories and fix them. So, editing is the new writing for me for a while anyway. Don’t despair, I’m still writing new stuff, just not as much or as often. One of these days, I’ll catch up.

There is some priority to all this editing. Thanks to the Internet and my constant searching, I have found a publisher who wants to publish one of my books. By coincidence it is the same story I struggled to finish when I was up in Fairbanks. It is my latest and biggest finished story, and will come out in a trilogy. At the moment, I’m waiting for a supply plane. When it comes, I’ll be sending a check to an editor, and as soon as it’s on its way, I’ll be sending her my manuscript in an email. I’m so excited to be publishing again. Living out here in the wilderness has its drawbacks, but in reality, if I lived anywhere else, I wouldn’t be an author today. I love my life. Every day is an adventure in one way or another.

I invite you to visit my writing blog - and by all means leave a comment or ask a question. I love learning new things, and sometimes I need a little pointer to send me off in a new direction.

My blog novel THE FORTUNES OF MAGIC - - gets a new chapter each week. Enjoy.

Where I post true stories about my life in the wilderness of Alaska - - Everyday is an adventure and I love questions.

My website is - - I’m always open for suggestions, anywhere.

I’d love to see you there.


Hywela Lyn said...

Great article Anna and Alisha (Love your new pic Alisha)

Have to admit to being a trifle envious, Anna, I've always wanted to live right out 'in the middle of nowhere.' So long as I had my horses and dog (ooh and hubby) I wouldn't miss the trappings of civilisation too much. :) )

I so agree with you about being distracted - blogs, Facebook, keeping up the website - like you I did much more actual writing befor I had a computer and the internet - but then the world wide web makes research so much easier, so it's swings and roundabouts.

Congrats and good luck with your trilogy. I'm off to check out 'The Fortunes of Magic.'

Alisha said...

Thanks for the compliment on the new pic, Lyn. I'm super jealous of Anna's life! A girl can dream!

Anna L. Walls said...

Hello Hywela, thanks for the compliment and the visit. I hope you like The Fortunes of Magic too. Really nice looking post Alisha. Thanks for doing this.