Friday Night Drinks with… Anne Armistead

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Tonight’s Friday Night Drinks is running a little late, sorry for that! However, I am delighted to be welcoming to a decadently late night in the bar, author…. Anne Armistead.

Anne Armistead Celestial Studios

Anne, sorry for the late hour of our meeting, I appreciate you still joining me. First things first, what are you drinking?

Gin and Tonic with a lime twist, of course.

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If we weren’t here in my virtual bar tonight, but were meeting in real life, where would you be taking me for a night out?

We would be going to Flicks on the Green in Peachtree Corners Town Center near my home, to enjoy this week’s movie while enjoying a picnic dinner and drinks we’d pick up from the Lazy Dog Restaurant in the Town square.

If you could invite two famous people, one male and one female, alive or dead, along on our night out, who would we be drinking with?

Definitely, Ernest Hemingway and Katherine Hepburn!

So, now we’re settled, tell me what you are up to at the moment. How and why did you start it and where do you want it to go?

Personally, at the moment I am planning a wonderful baby shower for my daughter, who is due in August!

Professionally, I am finishing the end of my time travel story THE CAROUSEL TRAVELER. I am an old movie buff and enjoy silent movies. I have become interested in Alice Guy, a female Parisian silent film director whose legacy had been lost throughout the past decades and is now becoming re-established. In researching Alice, I learned quite a bit about the start of the film industry in Paris at the turn of the last Century. I watched the many pieces of original film available on youtube, etc., from the Paris Exhibition of 1900. Wishing I could go back in time to this event, I decided that I could, by writing a time travel romance in which my protagonist, Mirabelle, does just that. I hope to complete this manuscript within the next month and start submitting it for publication. I think readers will be totally engaged with Mirabelle’s adventures in 1900 Paris, one of which is assisting Alice Guy filming one of her movies!

What has been your proudest moment since you started writing/blogging and what has been your biggest challenge?

My proudest moment is when my first story came out in print. It was a children’s story for Highlights Magazine written under my legal name Sandra Havriluk called “The Sign of the Cat.” The story was based on my dad’s experience of growing up during the Depression and his grandmother with whom he lived never turning away any “hobo” who knocked on the door for food. You can google the name of the story and find it on the internet because Highlights (who retains the rights) has released it for use in elementary testing materials!

My biggest challenge as a writer has been focusing on writing novel-length manuscripts and believing I can get to “The End” and have a story that doesn’t lose track of itself!

What is the one big thing you’d like to achieve in your chosen arena? Be as ambitious as you like, its just us talking after all!

I would love to see one of my romances adapted by Hallmark!

What are have planned that you are really excited about?

Professionally, I am excited to be attending (virtually) the Historical Novel Society Conference in July, as well as submitting my edited Christmas story requested by Wild Rose Press!

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Personally, I am excited to become a first-time grandmother in August! My youngest daughter is having a baby boy! 

I love to travel, and I’m currently drawing up a bucket list of things I’d like to do in the future. Where is your favourite place that you’ve been and what do you have at the top of your bucket list?

My favourite place I have traveled is so difficult to choose because I have something “favourite” about everywhere I’ve been! If I have to narrow it down, I would say because I am a Greek mythology nut and one who loves the gorgeous blue sea, it would have to be Greece. 

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At the top of my bucket list is doing the tour through Salzburg, Austria based on “The Sound of Music,” biking and singing Do-Re-Mi!

Tell me one interesting/surprising/secret fact about yourself.

I graduated as an English lit major but did not want to teach high school English right out of college (though I did become an English teacher and taught for 25 years after I had my two daughters!).

 Back at this time, the local phone companies were all part of AT&T (“Ma Bell’) and they were looking to hire women college graduates into management in their newly formed IT department (like I said, it was the Dark Ages). I applied, passed the test which was on syllogisms (I knew how to solve them because I had taken philosophy courses). Southern Bell in Atlanta, Georgia, hired me and trained me to be a programmer. I wrote code for four years before I escaped into project management!

Books are my big passion and central to my blog and I’m always looking for recommendations. What one book would you give me and recommend as a ‘must-read’?

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George is a MUST READ. Float on the Seine with Monsieur Perdu on his bookstore barge while he journeys to heal his human soul, and you will heal yours as well.

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On a beautifully restored barge on the Seine, Jean Perdu runs a bookshop; or rather a ‘literary apothecary’, for this bookseller possesses a rare gift for sensing which books will soothe the troubled souls of his customers.

The only person he is unable to cure, it seems, is himself. He has nursed a broken heart ever since the night, twenty-one years ago, when the love of his life fled Paris, leaving behind a handwritten letter that he has never dared read. His memories and his love have been gathering dust – until now. The arrival of an enigmatic new neighbour in his eccentric apartment building on Rue Montagnard inspires Jean to unlock his heart, unmoor the floating bookshop and set off for Provence, in search of the past and his beloved.

So, we’ve been drinking all evening. What is your failsafe plan to avoid a hangover and your go-to cure if you do end up with one?

To avoid that dreaded hangover, I would have started drinking on a full stomach, preferably from eating pizza and would be spacing out cocktails with mocktails!

It I ended up hungover, I turn again to food – plain toast and a tall glass of juice!

After our fabulous night out, what would be your ideal way to spend the rest of a perfect weekend?

My perfect weekend now that it is summer is to float for hours under the hot summer sun in my backyard pool while reading a book from my TBR pile.  

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Thank you so much for joining me, i have had a lovely evening.

Anne’s latest book is Withe Kisses from Cecile, co-authored with Jan Agnello and you can buy a copy here.

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Visiting Paris to find out more about her great-grandmother’s World-War-I-era pen pal Cécile, a forlorn Maggie, reeling from discovering her husband’s infidelity, learns of devastating one-hundred-year-old secrets involving loss and forgiveness. Revelations about her family’s past challenge Maggie’s decision to face her future alone.

Ruth Mitchell’s failed reconciliation with her unfaithful husband leaves her heartbroken–and pregnant. She accepts her family’s invitation to Paris to pay homage to Cécile, whose World War One era pen pal letters to Maggie’s great-grandmother Ruth are cherished family mementoes. Through reading Cécile’s letters and learning about Ruth’s tragic past, will Maggie find the strength to forgive and love again?

In the year 1919 following World War One, Ruth and Cécile begin corresponding through an American-French pen pal program. Cécile is fighting against consumption, a life-threatening illness. Ruth is hiding the truth about a tragic death that has torn her family apart. She draws strength to face what fate brings from her pen pal’s inspiring letters, each signed With Kisses from Cécile.

Anne Armistead writes love stories, set in the past and present. She earned her English literature degree from the University of Georgia and her MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University. Anne is a member of the Atlanta Writers Club and the Historical Novel Society.

Her debut historical romance novel is  DANGEROUS CONJURINGS (Soul Mate Publishing, April 2018). 

WITH KISSES FROM CÉCILE, co-authored with Jan Agnello, is her second historical fiction (Storyology Design and Publication, September 2019). It was awarded the 2020 Georgia Independent Author of the Year Award in historical fiction and the Silver Award from Literary Titan.

​Anne recently signed with The Wild Rose Press, who will publish her contemporary romance story A CHRISTMAS CANNOLI KISS as part of their digital Sweetheart Line Christmas eseries. 

Anne’s writing-in-progress is a time travel romance entitled THE CAROUSEL TRAVELER. She is seeking representation for its publication.

You can keep up with Anne and her doings on her website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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