Ann Simas releases book 4 of the Fossil Colorado series Now or Never
Welcome back to the prolific Ann Simas!!
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. She currently has 37 books in print and one novella that is out of print.
An award-winning watercolorist and a budding photographer, Ann enjoys doing needlework 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.
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Before I start a book, I create a Characters Word document. After that, sometimes I have a little research upfront, but mostly, I’m anxious to begin putting down words. Normally, I write five to seven hours a day, but I have gone as long as 10-plus hours or as little as an hour, depending on the book and family events or time constraints. I love to write, so for me, any time I spend writing is a bonus. I’ve been blessed with a fertile imagination, which results in a ton of ideas, and that’s probably why my brain never seems to shut down.
Alice in Wonderland is probably my favorite, if you don’t count the Nancy Drew and Judy Bolton mysteries (and all the historical romances) I used to read and reread when I was a kid. I’m not sure why Alice in Wonderland is considered a kid’s book, because honestly, it takes an adult mind to understand half of what’s going on in the story (thanks, Lewis Carroll). I suppose we have Disney to thank for that, in part, because the movie is nothing like the book. I also read on the Internet that it’s classified as “literary nonsense genre,” and maybe it is, but I actually think Carroll was brilliant.
I didn’t read Alice until I was in high school, but it has stuck with me all these years. Another book I like is Pinocchio, which I read as an adult, in Italian. That’s another book that is absolutely nothing like the cartoon version, but is definitely better than what Disney produced.
I’ve had a love affair with reading my entire life. I have over 1000 books in my home library, and I’ve read thousands more aside from those. Reading is a great pastime. That said, I only read nonfiction when I’m writing, and that’s mostly for research. I don’t read fiction because I don’t want to be influenced by others writers, even inadvertently. When do I read fiction? When traveling, mostly. I have my iPad loaded with books I want to read, and I also have a shelf of over 30 TBR books. One of these days….
Definitely, not having time to write, especially when I’m on a roll! Aside from that—and this doesn’t actually involve writing the books—marketing is the bane of my existence. As an indie author, I face constraints every day when it comes time to market my work. I sold my first book to Harlequin/Silhouette. That book was reprinted in 10 languages and it sold out worldwide, but it was still my responsibility to promote it. I think I still hold the record for books sold at our local Barnes & Noble.
Fortunately, I have a marketing background, which comes in handy. I know how to write news releases and where to send them, but it takes more than that to get my books noticed. I do as many events as I can, and I also speak to book groups and writers’ organizations. I feel it’s important to meet readers face-to-face, so I keep plugging along.
In five years, I will have reached my 50-book goal (Now or Never is my 37th book, not counting The Sugar Cup, which is the novella I sold to H/S). If I still have books I’m determined to write, my brain is still functioning properly, and my fingers continue to move across the keyboard at break-neck speed, I’ll write them. If not, well, I’ll enjoy re-reading what I’ve already written and maybe even get to the the books I have on the shelf.
This question made me stop and count. Last week, I had four books in varying stages opened on my laptop. I’d work on one, then move to another, and another, then I said to myself, “This ain’t gonna work. Take them one at a time, in order of release date.” That meant I had to focus on Last Rites, which is book 6 in my Andi Comstock Supernatural Mysteries (October 2022). Hidden to Die, book 8 in m Grace Gabbiano Mysteries, releases on July 29. Merry Witchy Christmas, the first book in my Sugar Plum Creek Holiday Books, will release on November 18. The Sugar Plum Creek books will be slightly different than my Christmas Valley Romance series, which I felt reached its peak at 12 books.
After that? Fortune’s Cookie, January 2023. From there on, I have more than 60 story ideas rumbling around in my head. Most of them are already titled, and some even have a paragraph or two written. Probably another six are several chapters in and four more are in half-way mode. Either I should have started sooner to get serious about writing, or I’d better have another 20 years ahead of me to write. Just sayin’.
Honestly, I couldn’t ask for more encouragement from my family. My husband is my first reader, and he keeps me on the straight-and-narrow concerning firearms, technical stuff, and mechanical aspects. But I digress.
Once upon a time, it started with my mom, who always championed my writing. She encouraged me to sign up to work on the school newspaper my freshman year in high school. By the time I was a senior, I served as editor. My high school English teacher once told me she was going to be harder on me than she was the other students because she knew I had the ability to write. Both Mom and Mrs. Barrett are gone now. I’m sorry neither of them got to read any of the books I have in print. I think they would have been proud of me.
FOSSIL, COLORADO BOOKS (A Short Series Featuring Exciting Romantic Thrillers)
HERE AND GONE (Book 1)
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)
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?
RUN OR DON’T (Book 3)
Juliette Ward has had a stalker for five months, but she doesn’t take him seriously until he leaves the head of a slaughtered bull elk in her driveway. Fossil, Colorado’s newest resident, security expert Beckett Ford, knows the minute he meets Jules, she’s the one. Jules hires Beck to find her stalker, but nothing prepares her for what the stalker will do next. Beck knows bad people exist, but when they’re bat-shit crazy, well, that’s not something he’s dealt with before. Together or apart, they face every obstacle the stalker puts in their path, but will they survive and have their happily-ever-after?
NOW OR NEVER (Book 4)
Kit Piper is kidnapped by two men who weren’t interested in making sure they had the right victim. When they stop for food and a hooker, she sees her chance to escape and takes it. On the run, she stumbles on a cabin where Simon Ward is vacationing. Kit’s anxious to find the men who kidnapped her. She’s a cop and that’s what cops do, they investigate. Soon enough, she realizes something’s not right and Simon, also a cop, agrees. Is it possible they hadn’t kidnapped her by mistake?