Ann Simas tell us about The Wrong Wicca and many more...

Welcome to novelist Ann Simas, author of many mysteries!

Ann Simas lives in Oregon, but she is a Colorado girl at heart, having grown up in the Rocky Mountains. She has been an avid reader since childhood and penned her first fiction “book” in high school. She particularly likes to write mystery-thriller-suspense with a love story and paranormal or supernatural elements.

An award-winning watercolorist and a budding photographer, Ann enjoys needlework and gardening in her spare time. She is her family's "genealogist" and has been blessed with the opportunity to conduct first-hand research in Italy for both her writing and her family tree. The genealogy research from decade's old documents in Italian, she says, has been a supreme but gratifying challenge.

Ann is a member of International Thriller Writers, Northwest Independent Writers Association, Sisters in Crime, and Italian American Writers Association.

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     What would you say are your strengths as an author?
     I’m fortunate that I have determination, perseverance, and an innate ability to write. I also have an inquisitive mind, a good imagination, and I enjoy doing research. My books have lots of twists and turns, so for me, these attributes are a winning combination.

     How often do you write, and do you write using a strict routine?
     I write every day, seven days a week. I used to write 10-plus hours a day, but in December 2018, my husband and I were in a car crash that resulted in a torn tendon at my right rotator cuff. The injury has curtailed my 10-hour writing days, so now, I usually only write four-to-five hours a day.

     I wouldn’t say my routine is strict. Some days, I get no writing done at all. Life and family intervene, and for me, family comes first. I’m good with that, as long as I meet my self-imposed release deadlines, which are generally May, July, October, and November, and my promos get done.

     Five years from now, where do you see yourself as a writer?
     Five years from now, at my current rate of writing, I will have reached my goal of writing 50 books. It’s entirely possible I will retire from writing at that point. However, since I can’t see into the future, I may feel differently by then. I may want to forge on to 75 books. (I’m smiling.)

     If you could offer one piece of advice to a novice writer, what would it be?
     When I decided to write my first book, I bought a writing-romance how-to, because that’s what I was reading at the time. I devoured that book from beginning to end, then started writing in my spare time. Over the years, I attended conferences and writing workshops, hoping to learn something new. It was beat into my head that it was imperative to write an outline, character sketches, and a synopsis. That stalled me, and it stressed me out like crazy, but I felt compelled to do what I’d been taught.

     I sold a novella to Harlequin, and I wrote four books, three of which were RWA Golden Heart Finalists, but still, they languished under the weight of rejection letters that basically said “too much mystery, not enough romance.” Eventually, it hit me that I should write a mystery, so I did. I finished Dressed to Die, but it wasn’t polished. One day in 2012, I came to the realization that the outline-sketches-synopsis method didn’t work for me. Keeping that in mind, I looked at Dressed with new eyes and it came together perfectly. Thirty-one books later, I’m happy with the path I chose, which included switching to the route of indie author, rather than traditional publishing again.
My advice to novice authors is this: Not everyone is cut out to follow the established writing path of plotting the whole book ahead of time. Some people are born to be pantsters, or writers who plot as they go. If you’re not sure which you are, try it both ways and see what works for you. Another thing, don’t be afraid to approach experts when you research. No matter how famous they may be, you have a 50/50 chance they’ll speak to you. (Be sure to thank them in your Author Note.) Also, give serious consideration to whether or not you want to publish with a traditional publisher or go the indie route. Either way, you have your work cut out for you, which brings me to my last word of advice. Don’t go into writing thinking you’re going to hit the best-seller lists and make a fortune. That happens infrequently. However, if it does happen to you, congratulations!

     What would you consider to be the best compliment a reader could give your book?
     Let me cite a couple of examples of what readers have said that warmed my heart and made me chuckle. One comes from a review written about Here and Gone (Fossil, Colorado Books #1). She said, “Loved Here and Gone, couldn’t hardly put it down, but my animals and husband needed to eat.” Another came to me via email about Taken to Die (Grace Gabbiano Mysteries, book 5): “I swear, you had me believing in extraterrestrials in Taken to Die.”

     When someone says they couldn’t put down one of my books, or that I drew them thoroughly into the story, I take it as high praise, indeed.

     What are you working on now?
     My current work-in-progress is The Wrong Wicca (Andi Comstock Supernatural Mysteries, Book 5). This series was inspired by a real-life event I had on my last job. I smelled smoke in the building, but no one else did. A year or so after I left that job, it came to me how I could use that experience in a book and the Andi series was born. Suffice it to say, that building was on the opposite corner from a crematorium.

     Wicca deviates from Andi talking to the cremated dead (Smokies) when a murdered woman asks for help to find her body. Andi’s cohorts in crime-fighting are her new husband, Jack Harmon, a homicide detective, and Father Riley O’Shaughnessy, the priest at the Catholic Church down the street from where Andi works. In Wicca, there’s also a magic trunk that contains a huge clue to Cassie’s killer, if only Andi can figure it out.


PRAYING TO DIE (Grace Gabbiano Mystery, Book 6)(New Release)
Father Sidney has gone off to find himself, even though he knows someone is stealing valuable items from St. Anthony Church. Chief Aidan Cruz decides it’s time for Grace to go undercover as a nun to find the thief. It doesn’t take “Sister Agatha” long to discover that Father Sidney’s search didn’t go well.

Other Book in the Series
Dressed to Die, Book 1
Sliced to Die, Book 2
Buried to Die, Book 3
Quilted to Die, Book 4
Taken to Die, Book 5


HERE AND GONE (Book 1) A thriller…and a love story—both will leave you breathless!
Hannah Clarke, a wife and mom one day, is a widow without a child the next. Two years later, living as H.L. Mason in Fossil, Colorado, her safe new world explodes with a revelation so shocking and horrifying she can hardly grasp it. By chance, she meets Sheriff Noah Ward, and though she’s leery of cops after being accused of killing her family, she needs help. Noah, a former Navy SEAL, agrees to do what he can, but they both soon discover that the case is far more insidious than parental abduction.

DISAPPEARING ACT (Book 2)(New Release) Even when you run, love can find you.

Georgina Flannery has a new name, a new occupation, and trust issues. She’s lived in six states in eight years, and she has no friends. Fossil, Colorado is her next destination, but she takes a wrong turn and ends up in a creek, only to be rescued by Brant Ward. Georgie prefers to keep men at a distance, but circumstances have taken that away from her and she’s forced to reveal her past to Brant. The more untangled her family dynamics become, the more twisted they get. When the ultimate secret is revealed, it’s incomprehensible. It also raises the question, will Georgie and Brant survive the evil pursuing them?

Other Book in the Series
Run or Don’t (Book 3, coming May 2021)


THE WRONG WICCA (Book 5)(Release date, October 31, 2020; pre-order on Amazon)
Andi Comstock has grown used to talking to the cremated dead (Smokies), so it comes as a surprise when a non-Smokie speaks to her about finding her murdered body. Andi has no idea what awaits her once Cassie’s body is found. First, there’s the magic trunk. Then, there’s Cassie’s golden retriever, Trigger. The dog she can deal with, but what’s inside the magic trunk is another story. Are its magical contents really significant to Cassie’s death? Will they lead to Cassie’s killer…or will the killer find Andi before she finds him?

Other Book in the Series
Holy Smoke (Book 1)
Penitence (Book 2)
Angel Babies (Book 3)
Hellfire (Book 4)


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