I am what in today’s lingo is known as a “pantster”—writing by the seat my pants. [BTW I actively hate labels of any kind because I think they stereotype and classify whole groups of individuals, so PLEASE never ever call me by that or any other label.]
Okay, back to the question at hand: I write on deadline. It is a habit I developed in school—never starting my term papers or studies for exams until I was close to delivering them. As I age I find that time frame has to be stretched—it takes more time these days. That said, I am always writing—if I am out for a walk or running errands or listening to music, it is amazing how often something will crop up that I know I will somehow use in the story. So the simple answer is that I am always writing.
Case in point, I went to hear a lecture last week—a young attorney who has set up her practice in (of all places) Afghanistan; an incredible woman who has uncovered little used laws and put them to work for people who otherwise had no chance. I kept thinking that I needed to write to the producer/writer of those popular TV series Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder and have her meet this woman—this is a story that needs telling!! That happens a lot for me. These moments inspire me and inspire the way I draw my characters.
As for where I write—for some years I have kept a small studio in the arts district of Milwaukee in a co-op with painters and sculptors and photographers. This even though I have plenty of space at home to write (and sometimes—like now—do that). BUT what I love is the chaos of life around me, so now that the co-op has become too quiet for me I am moving on to storing all my research and supplies at home, but actually writing in coffeehouses. There I am surrounded by people coming and going, conversations that I can eavesdrop on, characters who might inspire and the soundtrack of whatever music is playing. Oh yes, and there’s coffee—love my coffee.
Anna Schmidt is a three-time finalist for the coveted RITA award presented annually by Romance Writers of America. Her novel A Sister’s Forgiveness gave Anna her fourth finalist honor for the Reviewers’ Choice Awards from Romantic Times magazine. She has won that award twice before. Publisher’s Weekly had high praise for Anna’s WWII series–The Peacemakers–stating that “Schmidt seamlessly integrates…actual events, and the courageous real-life individuals who fought against Hitler’s regime, with her fictional characters and their story, to produce a strong tale of hope and love in the face of insurmountable obstacles.” The author of over twenty-five works of historical and contemporary fiction Anna has worked in the corporate world for two international companies, taught at the college level and is a popular presenter of hands-on workshops.
Anna can be found on BooksByAnna.com!