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Interview with Ane Mulligan

Floppy Hats and Honest Faith

There aren’t many people you meet where an indelible imprint is left after you walk away from the meeting, but Ane Mulligan is one of those people. Her effervescent and infectious personality, combined with her genuine heart to help others, leave you remembering her and the impact she’s made on your life for years to come. The crown of ginger atop her head helps quite a bit, too! Redheads are rather difficult to forget.

Ane doesn’t simply allow her appearance and life to speak for itself, though. She dives in with everything she has and gives her all. Whether it’s writing, producing, and directing plays for the theater, working as a business manager, or writing her best-selling novels, Ane is active and present with each aspect. She has held a myriad of careers and experienced a mountain range full of valleys and highs, but through it all, she holds firm to the belief that we are God’s beloveds and God holds every facet of our lives in His capable hands.

She came face to face with this truth when she first pursued publication of her fiction. She’d been to editorial committee and pub board more times than she could count, yet contracts remained elusive. The turning point in her career happened when one of her novels went to pub board yet again. At the time, that season’s slate was full, so they moved her to the fall. Then, the editor who championed her book retired, and her hard drive was wiped clean—the one with Ane's book on it.

That’s the moment Ane realized God was telling her He had it all under control. “It was neither the time nor the place for me. I believed Him, finally relaxed, and kept writing. I left the rest to God. By the time I did receive a contract, I had the second book in the series finished and was part way into the third book.”

Now, nearly a dozen books later, resting in God has become a way of life for Ane. In her newest release, she also wants to share the truth of us being God’s beloveds. “God has uniquely made each of us, and we are wondrously made. Our looks or body do not define who we are.” In a world where appearance seems to matter far too much, allowing this truth to settle into our hearts can bring us much-needed peace.

Ane writes from a Christian worldview. Her characters struggle with their faith, like many of us do. Sometimes, she wonders why God didn’t call her to writing until she was in her mid-fifties, but her “faith is so much stronger because of 20-20 hindsight. I can see the paths where He’s led me, and those translate into my writing. All of my stories deal with trusting God.”

That trust also led Ane to becoming the CEO and managing director of a community theatre in the town where she lives. The mayor attended her church, and when he approached her, she was deep into writing, so she declined. But the mayor wouldn’t let it rest, and Ane challenged him to find a young man to do a lot of the work, figuring he wouldn’t be able to deliver. However, the next day, the mayor called with the young man’s name, and Ane incorporated as a non-profit, avocational Community Theatre. A month later, the City Council unveiled plans for a downtown center, which included a state-of-the-art performing arts theatre, in which her group would be the resident troupe. Evidence again of God at work.

Amid writing her novels, Ane has also written over four dozen scripts, all of which have been performed around the South and Midwest. The performances of her work have led countless individuals to receive Christ into their lives, and the troupe’s commitment to family-friendly, but also professional, presentations has allowed them to draw upon some of the best talent in the greater Atlanta area. She’s even recently directed a hit play featuring many characters from her Chapel Springs series.

So, her writing and her directing are very closely intertwined, and “I’d be hard-pressed to choose a favorite if I had to. I’m passionate about both. In writing, I create characters and their world. In directing, I bring characters to life. It’s almost the beginning and the end of the same process.” Whether it’s a book where a reader personally connects with a character or a play where an audience member connects with the performance, if a life is touched, the purpose has been fulfilled. In Ane’s words, “That’s why we write!”

Ane’s lifetime experience has provided a wealth of fodder for her books and plays. Her time as a lobbyist significantly influenced her novel, When the Bough Breaks, right down to an opening scene in the first chapter and the dangers of power being seductive. But political intrigue aside, even that story is classified as women’s fiction, Ane’s favorite genre. She loves to feature ensemble casts of women helping each other through life. Her Chapel Springs series showcases this in abundance. That style led fellow author, Rose McCauley, to pin the tagline of “southern-fried fiction” on her, and it stuck. A menagerie of southern life mixed with the humor that’s become Ane’s trademark.

Beyond the writer, though, is a woman with a passion for pouring into other writers. She’s been a member of ACFW for over a decade, and during that time, she’s overseen the building of local chapters, of which there are now thirty-six in twenty-five states and growing! She also helped rebuild the critique groups and teaches online, as well as at conferences. “Everyone in ACFW pours into newer writers what was poured into us. And it’s how it should be. We are raising the next group or writers to take the message to a thirsty world.” A highlight of this investment was being awarded the first Volunteer Service Award in 2013.

In the future, Ane promises to “write until the Lord calls me home. I’m also working on being a God-pleaser instead of a people-pleaser.” That can often be a challenge when you need to write for your readers and direct plays to please the audience, but if Ane’s journey is any indication, she’s traveling that God-pleasing road with abandon.

When she’s not writing, she loves to read and work in the theatre. She used to enjoy cooking, but then she raised a chef, so he cooks for them instead. Smart woman! Some of the books on Ane’s nightstand are Rachel Hauck’s The Writing Desk, which she just finished. Now, she’s reading Courtney Walsh’s Hometown Girl and next up is Michelle Griep’s 12 Days at Bleakly Manor. “I love Christmas books,” she replies, when asked about her reading pile. Who doesn’t? There’s something about them that can put you into a giving and joyful spirit, even in the middle of June!

One very important thing to do when you read a book you love? Ane concludes her interview with asking readers to please leave a review on Amazon or any other online source. Reviews are a writer’s lifeblood. You didn’t have to buy it at that retailer, and “it doesn’t have to be a long review, but simply say you enjoyed it and recommend it to others. You’ll have the author’s undying gratitude!”

Be sure to check out Ane’s latest release, Life in Chapel Springs, and stay tuned for her next book, When the Wind Blows, coming in 2018. It gives a small peek into the world of adoption and includes a little bit of Ane’s own story of being adopted, as well as searching for her birth mother. Visit Ane’s web site ( and read the full adoption story for an amazing narrative about being lost but finally coming home!


Tiffany Amber Stockton has been crafting and embellishing stories since childhood. Today, she has honed those skills to become an award-winning author and speaker who lives with her husband and author, Stuart Vaughn Stockton, in Colorado. They have a daughter and son, and a Retriever-mix named Roxie. She has sold 20 books so far, three of which have won annual reader’s choice awards. She is represented by Tamela Murray of the Steve Laube Agency.

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