Find a Christian store

Interview with Annalisa Daughety

Although I have never met Annalisa, I remember when she got her contract and thinking what a fabulous concept—the parks. And she draws her information from personal experience. Yet Annalisa isn’t the tomboy one might expect from someone who has been a park ranger. She is definitely a girlie girl, while still enjoying football and catching fireflies. With this diversity of character, not to mention experiences like backpacking through Europe, we can be sure to find interesting character and story inside her books. Join me in welcoming Annalisa this week, while she tells us about the writing life and her stories.

Why are you an author?
Reading and writing have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. When I was in elementary school, I would write and illustrate stories and fold them up like books. I kept journals throughout high school and college where I documented every small detail of my life and my analysis of it. These days, I want to write stories that people connect with. I hope readers will identify with the characters and the themes. My characters aren’t perfect and they always have a lesson to learn. I also write to entertain and offer a bit of an escape—especially with the Walk in the Park series. I hope each book feels like a mini-vacation to a National Park.

Reflecting back, what do you see as most significant to your publication journey?
Probably attending my first ACFW conference in 2007. It was so overwhelming, but everyone was so nice. I think attending that conference—making contacts and attending sessions—was what gave me the confidence to pursue my dream.

What’s your biggest challenge in balancing writing time with your other responsibilities?
I work full time in addition to writing—which means that if I’m not careful, all I do is work. So my biggest challenge is taking time to enjoy my life. I have some wonderful friends and an awesome family—and they make an effort to remind me to take some time off here and there just to have fun.

And how do your faith and spiritual life play into the picture and affect your storytelling?
I’ve always known that my faith and my relationship with God would be a part of my writing. I want to write books that entertain—but that I am comfortable recommending to my thirteen year old cousin or my ninety year old grandmother. My books aren’t preachy, but the characters definitely rely on their faith to get them through tough situations—just like I do in my own life.

What do you consider the greatest moment of your writing/publishing career?
Even though I’ve only been published for a short time, I’ve had so many wonderful moments along the way.

At ACFW Conference in 2008, I was awarded a surprise three book contract from Barbour Publishing. Hearing my name called and walking to the stage to accept the contract from Becky Germany will always be one of my greatest memories.

The moment when my author copies come and I actually hold one of my books in my hand for the first time is always a special moment. My fourth book released in October—and the excitement of holding one of my books for the first time never gets old!

But probably the greatest moments for me are when I hear from readers who’ve been touched by one of my books. That was an aspect of writing that I didn’t expect, but one that keeps me writing when I get discouraged.

Who/What spurs you to write? Where do your story and character ideas come from?
I think the thing that spurs me to write is that I have so many story ideas in my head—and writing is the only way I can get them out. ☺ I get ideas all over the place. I love to “people watch” at the mall or the airport and imagine the stories of the people I see. So I get my story and character ideas everywhere--friends, family, people on TV…the possibilities are endless. When I create a character, I try and come up with quirks and personality traits that will make for an interesting character. And I always joke that since I’ve been dating for more than half my life, I’ve gone on lots of bad dates--so I have an array of characters that will somehow find their way into books. Names changed, of course!

What do you think makes your style of storytelling unique?
Aside from the fact that I think we each have our own unique “voice” that we use to tell stories—I think one of the things that makes my style unique is that I deal with serious subjects but still find a way to keep the overall tone lighthearted and fun. One thing I’ve learned in life is that you have to keep a sense of humor even through tough times—and I try and bring that to my books.

What else can we look forward to seeing from you?
I’m working on a couple of very fun projects right now. In July 2011, Love Finds you in Lancaster County releases from Summerside Press. Then in February 2012, A Wedding to Remember in Charleston, South Carolina, releases from Barbour Publishing.

Any parting words?
I have an author page on Facebook and am on Twitter—and I love to connect with readers and writers in those places!

Thanks for sharing with us, Annalisa Daughety!

Thanks for featuring me! I consider it such a blessing to be a part of an organization like ACFW.

For more great interviews, visit our Author Interview Archives.

ACFW Members, click here to apply for an author interview!

Developed by Camna, LLC

This is a service provided by ACFW, but does not in any way endorse any publisher, author, or work herein.