Anna Lee Huber is the award-winning author of the Lady Darby historical mystery series. Her debut, The Anatomist’s Wife, has won and been nominated for numerous awards, including two 2013 RITA® Awards and a 2013 Daphne du Maurier Award. Her second novel, Mortal Arts, releases September 3rd. She was born and raised in a small town in Ohio, and graduated from Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN with a degree in music and a minor in psychology. She currently lives in Indiana, and enjoys reading, singing, traveling and spending time with her family.
Welcome back, Anna. If you’re anything like I am, one favorite book is hard to pick! Do you have two or three top picks among the historical genre that you would care to recommend?
Oh, it’s so impossible. J But I can name a few. I love Deanna Raybourn, particularly her "Lady Julia Grey" series. I also highly recommend Susanna Kearsley. Her novels are sort of time slips between the past and the present, and they are excellent. I also adore Teresa Grant’s novels.
What do you consider the best resources for historical research?
I love finding helpful journals and articles written by people who lived in that time period. Nothing really can compare to those for giving you insight into what the people were thinking and feeling. It also helps you to figure what they knew or didn’t know about certain subjects, like anatomy, in my case. I also appreciate comprehensive, well-written research texts, but it’s best to cross-reference them with others for accuracy.
What or who inspired you to write inspirational fiction? How does that keep you plodding ahead with your writing each day?
My novels are not strictly inspirational fiction, but my main characters are Christians, and that does shape their thoughts and behavior. I’m a firm believer in allowing our actions to speak louder than our words, and I hope that my characters display those same characteristics as they live and learn.
What helps you maintain productivity as a writer? And what do you find most challenging about the business of being an author?
Honestly, now that I’m published, it’s my deadline. And also my drive to do something of value with my day. We’re only here for such a short time, I want to make the most of it. For me, the most challenging part of being an author is the marketing and promotion you must do. It truly makes me want to tear my hair out, and eats away at my writing time.
Do you feel you are more of a character driven or plot driven writer? How do you think it comes across in your writing?
Wow, this is a tough question for me. Being mysteries, the Lady Darby novels are certainly driven by plot. Clues emerge, suspects are questioned, information is discovered, on and on until the mystery is solved. However, I also believe very strongly in making the character’s arcs, their growth as a person, an essential part of the story. So their decisions certainly drive the story in many ways.
Would you like to share about what you are working on now?
I’m currently finished the third Lady Darby novel, A Grave Matter, which is scheduled for release in July 2014. Kiera is recovering from the events at the end of Mortal Arts at her childhood home in the Border region. She attends a Hogmanay Ball with her brother, hoping to lift her spirits. But when the festivities are interrupted by a murder and the disturbance of old graves at the nearby abbey, she must step in to assist with the investigation.
Do you have any last words of wisdom to share with aspiring authors?
Thank you, Anna, for joining us at Novel PASTimes. It has been a privilege to interview you.
Thank you so much!
Anna Lee Huber will be giving away Mortal Arts, Lady Darby Book 2,
this week, in our drawing. Only readers in the U.S. are eligible, please.
From Anna Lee Huber, here’s your Novel PASTimes’ question of the week to answer to be entered in the drawing:
To be entered in this week’s drawings, please do the following:
1) Answer the question.
2) Leave your email addy in the form of name[at]domain[dot]com.
3) Leave your answer in the comments before 8:30 a.m. ET. Thank you!