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May 10 2015

Writing Superheroes: Anngela Schroeder

This superhero wears hot magenta pink with a sparkly pink tutu and cape and gets her super powers from her mom! How fitting for Mother’s Day!!!

Read on and find out more…

superhero copy

If you were to write the ‘origin’s episode’ of your writing what would be the most important scenes? What did your early efforts look like? Are they still around to be used as bribes and blackmail material?

 

 

The most important scene would be me with an old spiral notebook and a flashlight under my covers with my walkman playing New Kids on the Block at 2am.  I had to tell these stories that were bursting to get out.  I often wrote about Junior high trouble and crushes on my older brother’s friends.  As I got older, in high school and college, I took writing elective courses, and tried to expand my world.  My first book (unfinished and written at 13), entitled “Hannah’s Crush” is tucked in a bookshelf by my writing desk.

 

All super heroes have their mild-mannered secret identity, what is yours? I promise we won’t tell.Author Pic 300dpi

I’m a high school English teacher by day, and a wife and Mommy by night.  I joke with my students that my life wouldn’t be complete unless I totally immersed them in the world of Jane Austen, so we have tea parties, the Jane Austen lunch club, and dress up days to make them understand their hopes and dreams are just as they were 200 years ago.

 

Who are your partners in crime? What are their superpowers?

My partners in crime are amazing.  Gabriel, my brother and cover designer, is fantastic.  He puts up with my incessant emails, texts, and my practically teleporting to his house frantic about my book covers.  Kristen, my writing group buddy is so supportive and makes me laugh-she lives in a house full of girls and is great for giving me ‘girly’ insight; Diana is one of my readers.  She gives me a completely different perspective because of our age difference, which helps me to reevaluate my writing.  Kori, another one of my readers, is so honest and picks up on things I wouldn’t think about- she also has an uncanny ability to quote ANY 80’s song at the most opportune moment- her specialty is Duran Duran and Oingo Boingo.  My Schro can pull any idea that is stuck in my imagination and won’t cooperate with my demands out of my brain, and he seems to almost always be right.  J

 

Where do you get your superpowers from?

My super powers come directly from my Mom.  She introduced me to Charlotte Bronte and Jane Eyre when I was in 4th grade, and we’d read The Classics together for ‘mother/daughter’ time.  She also found a love of writing poetry when she went back to school after all her children were grown.  She taught me that I could do and be anything in life.

 

Where is your secret lair and what does it look like?

It is upstairs and is the only ‘girly’ room in the house.  It has smoky-lavender curtains, hydrangea and cabbage rose paintings on the walls and the most beautiful bright pink damask chair with nail head edging.  I LOVE IT!!!  It is my writing sanctuary.  It also has post-its scattered on the walls with plot development ideas, pictures of my sons cluttering the top of the desk, a Jane Austen action figure for to make me smile, and a secret stash of red vines hidden in there for inspiration!

 

            What kind of training do you do to keep your superpowers in world saving form? How do you insure they are used only for good?

To keep my super powers in world saving form I bake a lot, run about 10 miles a week, and troll Pinterest for ideas on everything from writing, to activities with my kids that look super cool, which I’ll never get around to trying.  To make sure they are only used for good, I wait until everyone is asleep before busting out my magic fingers and getting down to business.  J

 

Granted, you probably don’t’ get to wear your superhero costume a lot, but if you did, what would it look like?

I live in a house of all boys, and was raised the only girl with 3 brothers.  My costume would be pink- the hottest magenta pink with a sparkly pink tutu and cape.  I’d have knee high silver boots and a mask with sparkles everywhere. I’d also have a crown- a GIANT Miss Universe crown that whenever I put it on, music would start to play and a breeze would pick up to blow my cape behind me.   I’ve always been such a tomboy and normally gravitate towards blues, so this would be so fun and uncharacteristic of me; no one would guess my secret identity.

 

What is your kryptonite? What are the biggest challenges faced with in your writing?

-Time.  As a full time Mom, Wife, high-school teacher, class advisor, writer and everything else that goes along with those roles, I sometimes only get to hole up at my little writing desk for thirty minutes before I fall asleep with the ‘J’ button pressed under my cheek for five pages on my manuscript.  J

– The biggest challenges faced within my writing would be lack of control.  Sometimes these characters I’ve created start to do things I don’t want them to, and they won’t listen to reason.  They become so real to me that I can’t tell them what to do, but it’s as if they control my fingers. 

 

What was the supervillian that threatened to stop your latest project and how did you vanquish it?

 The supervillian was the ideas of others.  I wrote this book about ten years ago, and queried a number of agents.  I had some favorable responses, even a couple of full read throughs.  But most of the agents I heard back from wanted me to infuse promiscuity throughout the book, claiming no one would ever read anything without sex.  I didn’t agree, and believed for the longest time that there was no platform for this story or my type of writing.  It wasn’t until my husband bought me a Kindle for Christmas and I found the world of JAFF that I realized there are others out there like me.

 

What important lessons have you learned along the way?

I have learned that EVERYONE has an opinion, and they aren’t always favorable.  I know I’m not the next JK Rowling, or anyone else of that nature, but I don’t want to be.  I learned that it’s not necessary to sit on Oprah’s sofa and discuss how my book will change the world in order to be fulfilled as a writer.

 

What have been the best/most memorable experiences along the way?

-Reconnecting with people I haven’t seen in years.  A student who was in the class 15 years ago when my husband proposed brought his family to a book signing.  That was fantastic to see how he’d grown and changed. 

-Watching my father, who only reads “The Prophet” by Khalil Gibran opening my book and giving me advice on things I needed to work on.  J

– The librarian at the high school I teach at emailing me that there is a waiting list of students for my first book, and that so many kids have said they now enjoy reading because Mrs. Schroeder’s book opened a new world for them.

 

If you did this again what would you do differently and what would you not change?

I wouldn’t believe vicious criticism.  People are people- they will either like what you’ve produced or not, for whatever reason.  You can’t please everyone.

 

What is the best (writing or otherwise) advice you have ever gotten and why.

In Anne of Green Gables, Gilbert Blythe tells Anne to stop writing such highfaluting mumbo-jumbo.  To write about what she knows [and loves].  That’s what I’ve started to do, and the ideas can’t stop flowing.

 

-Non-writing advice, my sophomore year in high school.  I didn’t want to wear a coat when it was cold because, “Mom, what boy is going to look at me if I’m big and bulky in a coat with a hood on?”  She replied, “Would you rather he didn’t look at you because you were sick and had snot running out of your nose?”  I put my coat on at once!  

 

Tell us about you new book and why we need to drop everything and get it now.

-Affections and Wishes is a modern day story of growth, which will be published May 14th.  It is not a variation on any one Jane Austen book, but it is inspired by all of them, and quotations are used throughout to show the connection between the characters and the ideals of Jane Austen and how they still fit into our world today.

Emma Sanders has been in a relationship for five years with Ron Banks.  She knows he doesn’t treat her as well as she deserves, but she’s used to it, and doesn’t believe she should expect more.  Enter Warner Hall to challenge her beliefs- will she allow him to show her how a woman should be loved?

I believe we all come to a point in our lives when we’ve grown out of a relationship, and we realize the best thing to do is move on, but fear and uncertainty paralyze us into inaction, which is fine if it only affects us.  But when other’s feelings and emotions are involved, things can spin out of our control when we realize we can’t always have our own way.

 

What’s in store for you in the future? Do you have any other big projects on the horizon?

I’m currently working on a sequel to my first non-JAFF book, which was entitled “The Quest for Camelot”, a Daughter’s of the Roundtable series (available on Amazon). It’s best described as Nancy Drew meets Indiana Jones.  I’m shooting for a Winter release date for that.  In the world of JAFF, I’m 10 chapters into a regency era Pride and Prejudice variation, entitled “A Lie Universally Hidden.”  That should be completed by the end of the summer and published in the fall.

 

 

 

 You can find Anngela at:

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