ABOUT ANNE FRASIER

Anne Frasier (a.k.a. Theresa Weir) is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of thirty books. Her memoir, The Orchard, was an Oprah Magazine Fall Pick, Number Two on the October Indie Next List, a B+ featured title in Entertainment Weekly, a One Book One Community Read, Target Book Club Pick, and Books-A-Million Book Club Pick.


Monday, June 23, 2014

"HAVE I MISSED AN ELISE SANDBURG BOOK?"


Some people have worried that they've missed a book in the Elise Sandburg series because the second book, Stay Dead, begins after a traumatic event in Elise's life.  Maybe I'm getting soft, but the Tremain incident felt too horrible to put on the page as it unfolded, but I'll most likely revisit the event once Elise is finally able to face the atrocities that took place.


You haven't missed anything. There is no book between Play Dead and Stay Dead. Thanks for the emails, thanks for looking for that mysterious book that hasn't been written, and thanks for reading!




Thursday, June 19, 2014

INTERVIEWING CHARACTERS — DIG DEEPER

I used to interview my characters. I had a list of questions that were lame. I think the list originated from some celebrity interview thing in Parade Magazine. Remember that snooze? The questions were things like favorite movie and favorite food and favorite music and favorite color. The idea being that even these simple questions, once answered, would give the writer insight into her characters. But the questions were so boring that I gave up on the idea way back in 1988, before electricity. A few years ago, when I had the run-in with Agent Orange (a.k.a. add a murder to your memoir), he suggested I interview my characters. I'm sure he was just going over the bullet list he held in his hand because his delivery had that telemarketer drone to it. Words to speak to writer 8,988. I really wanted to say I didn't need his Writing 101 pep talk, but I didn't. I kept my mouth shut.  But I digress…

Today I read this:

Proust Questionnaire 

And then I decided to condense the questions and use them to interview my characters. Here's the list:

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Where would you like to live?

What is your idea of earthly happiness? 

To what faults do you feel most indulgent?

Who are your favorite heroes of fiction?

Who are your favorite characters in history?

Who are your favorite heroines in real life?

Who are your favorite heroines of fiction?

Your favorite musician?

The quality you most admire in a man?

The quality you most admire in a woman?

Your favorite virtue?

Your favorite occupation?

Who would you have liked to be?

Your most marked characteristic?

What do you most value in your friends?

What is your principle defect?

What to your mind would be the greatest of misfortunes?

What would you like to be?

What is your favorite color?

What is your favorite flower?

What is your favorite bird?

Who are your favorite prose writers?

Who are your heroes in real life?

What is it you most dislike?

What natural gift would you most like to possess?

How would you like to die?

What is your present state of mind?

What is your motto?

Would you like to provide any additional information?

And I realized these are just as boring as my original ones from way back whenever. THERE IS NO EMOTIONAL PAYOFF. I NEED EMOTIONAL PAYOFF.

So…I made a list of my own. Here it is. Feel free to copy and paste and use it yourself. Or better yet, make up your own questionnaire, one you feel passionate about. 



WHAT'S THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN THE WORLD TO YOU?
WHO MEANS THE MOST TO YOU?
NAME ONE PERSON YOU LOVE
WOULD YOU DIE FOR THAT PERSON?
WOULD YOU GO TO PRISON FOR THAT PERSON?
WOULD YOU KILL FOR THAT PERSON?
WHAT DO YOU MOST REGRET?
WHAT SHAMES YOU ABOUT YOURSELF?
WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE ABOUT YOURSELF IF YOU COULD?
WHAT WOULD YOU NEVER CHANGE?
IF YOU COULD DO ONE THING OVER IN YOUR LIFE (WITH A DIFFERENT OUTCOME), WHAT WOULD IT BE?
WHAT WAS THE WORST DAY OF YOUR LIFE? A DAY YOU NEVER WANT TO RELIVE.
WHAT IS YOUR PERFECT DAY?
HOW MANY PERFECT DAYS HAVE YOU HAD?
DO YOU EVER EXPECT TO HAVE A PERFECT DAY AGAIN?
MISCONCEPTION ABOUT YOU?
GREATEST STRENGTH
GREATEST WEAKNESS
DOG OR CAT
GOD OR THE DEVIL
OCEAN OR LAKE