Tuesday, July 01, 2014

A Chat with Cindy Thomson about her new book Annie's Stories Part 1

Today I'm delighted to introduce y'all to my friend and creator of Novel PASTimes. Cindy Thomson's latest historical novel releases this month. Annie's Stories is a fun book filled with references to a much loved book, The Wizard of Oz

Cindy, thanks for strolling over to share a bit about your writing world. Tell us about your latest book.

Annie’s Stories is the second book in the Ellis Island series. It follows Grace’s Pictures, but it can be read independently. Annie is the housekeeper at Hawkins House that readers met in book one.

The year is 1901, the literary sensation The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is taking New York City by storm, and everyone wonders where the next great book will come from. But to Annie Gallagher, stories are more than entertainment—they’re a sweet reminder of her storyteller father. After his death, Annie fled Ireland for the land of dreams, finding work at Hawkins House.

But when a fellow boarder with something to hide is accused of misconduct and authorities threaten to shut down the boardinghouse, Annie fears she may lose her new friends, her housekeeping job . . . and her means of funding her dream: a memorial library to honor her father. Furthermore, the friendly postman shows a little too much interest in Annie—and in her father’s unpublished stories. In fact, he suspects these tales may hold a grand secret.

Though the postman’s intentions seem pure, Annie wants to share her father’s stories on her own terms. Determined to prove herself, Annie must forge her own path to aid her friend and create the future she’s always envisioned . . . where dreams really do come true.

Annie’s Stories has a gorgeous cover! I want to sit down at that window and curl up with a good book. Your story intersects with the book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. What about that book drew you to include it in the story?

I began researching for this series by looking to see what was introduced at the turn of the century that impacted society enough that people would recognize it today. For Grace’s Pictures it was the Brownie camera. But being a book lover I had to see what new books were published. Certainly we all know the story. I had never read the book before so I read it along with my character Annie. It’s a timeless tale about searching for home that I imagine resonated with many immigrants.

Annie’s Stories is a book you labored over. What was the greatest challenge in writing this book?

Yes, you know that because you helped brainstorm! J Even though I knew it would have a bookish theme, I knew Annie would be mourning her father and have to escape mistreatment in Ireland, and even though I loved the story idea from the start, I struggled with what would connect her father’s storytelling with Annie’s present situation in America. Making those stories he wrote for her valuable to others for reasons she could not at first understand helped solidify the story for me…finally! I highly recommend brainstorming with other authors!

Cindy is giving away a copy of her new book. All you have to do is answer this question:

If you grew up with the Wizard of Oz (book and/or movie) what impacted you most about that story?


Bonnie Roof said...

Wonderful interview, Cindy!! Thanks!!

What I loved about the Wizard of Oz is the emphasis on the inherent good traits in people that are often overlooked by others, also the point that "there's no place like home" - a bad day at home is often better than a good day elsewhere!!

I already have your wonderful book, but wanted to comment!!


Susan P said...

Sounds like a good one! I always remembered being terrified of the tornado, more than the monkeys. I just loved the ending of her going back home and being so happy, that always struck me.
lattebooks at hotmail dot com

Merry said...

I admit it, I didn't like the monkeys when I was small and they still give me the chills! Wizard of Oz makes me think of home and family and being blessed.
worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I really love this show. I loved her Dorothy and her friends. And felt sorry that the Tin Man had no heart. I loved the theme of no place like home and that is so true. No matter how bad you want to visit someone and how bad you hate to leave them, it is an awww moment when you walk in the door of your own home. I sure do want to win this book Cindy. Thanks for a chance to win. Maxie >mac262(at)me(dot)com <

Britney Adams said...

What a delightful interview! ANNIE'S STORIES sounds like a wonderful book! I remember watching The Wizard of Oz as a child and being scared of the witch and the flying monkeys.

texaggs2000 at gmail dot com

Linda McFarland said...

The magic Emerald City was what drew me in and the horse of a different color...had to get past pretty scary stuff to get to that part but it was worth it! Thanks for the opportunity to win...Linda

Cindy Thomson said...

Thanks, everyone. I think I can relate to all of your comments! I was even born in Kansas! (although we left when I was an infant.)