It’s Friday, and it’s 7 Quick Takes over at Jennifer’s very own ConversionDiary.com!21
Today is my pleasure and honor to have a visit with Catholic author A. K. Frailey.
Ann has a B. S. in Elementary Education and has taught in Milwaukee, WI, Chicago, IL, Los Angeles, CA, Wood River, IL and for Peace Corps in the Philippines. She was married to John Frailey who was an educator for many years. John died from cancer complication December 2013. Ann has eight children and she home educates them while maintaining a rural home – including chickens, bees, cats and dogs, apparently in early retirement. Ann has a B. S. in Elementary Education and has taught in Milwaukee, WI, Chicago, IL, Los Angeles, CA, Wood River, IL and for Peace Corps in the Philippines. She was married to John Frailey who was an educator for many years. John died from cancer complication December 2013. Ann has eight children and she home educates them while maintaining a rural home – including chickens, bees, cats and dogs, apparently in early retirement
Ann is one of the first Catholic writers I really got to consider a friend after meeting her through the Catholic Writers Guild. Her work is shot through with the dignity and integrity with which she lives her whole life, and you’ll be honored to get to know her too. Let’s meet A. K. Frailey!
Tell us about your most recent work. How did the idea come to you? How long did it take you from start to publication?
I wrote Georgios as a continuation in the “Conversation with God” theme I have in all my books. It is a story about a young Greek boy named Georgios, growing up on the island of Patmos which is where St. John the Apostle spent some years in exile. I read an article about the island and thought it would be a great setting for a story. It took me about a year to do the research and write the first draft of the story. Then it took some months to get it edited and revised.
Idea, research, editing, design…What was your favorite part of working on this project? What was your least favorite?
I enjoy coming up with the initial plot outline and then beginning the writing process after getting some research in place to back up the setting and the physical aspects of the story – like what people eat, how they dress and what kind of housing they might live in. My favorite part is when the characters begin to take over, usually somewhere near the middle of the book. The characters become so real that they act the story out according to their own nature and I just come along for the ride.
Tell us about how this work came to reach us: did you go the self-publishing route or did you contract with a publisher? What was that like?
I am a self-published author and I learned about this blog from the Catholic Writer’s guild. I have met a lot of supportive writers through the guild and have become a better writer for the experience. Self-publishing is tough since you have to do or hire someone to do pretty much everything from writing the story to editing, and marketing. But I do believe that as a self-published author I know the process from start to finish, and I not only have better skills as an author now, but I certainly appreciate other authors more honestly.
What other things in your life do you juggle in order to keep at your writing? How’s that working out for you?
In addition to being an author I also home school my children. I have eight children, though one is in college now. I have had to learn how to balance my priorities so that I can fulfill my vocation as mother and manage my job as educator, yet still have some time for writing and the whole self-publishing package. It is a difficult balance to maintain, but it is worth the effort. I believe that my writing has made me a better person, more thoughtful and introspective, and also more certain of what I think is really important. I have learned to take necessary risks and to accept defeat. But I have also learned to keep moving forward even when things are beyond difficult.
Setting, characters, plot, mood, tone… What would you describe as your greatest strength as a writer?
I definitely focus on character. I love humanity and I am constantly encountering amazing stories of real life heroes who strive for the best in themselves and others despite incredible obstacles. When I engage in the process of forming a character I reflect the reality that I know to be true and there is a point when something new happens – something that is beyond my conscious thought – and it is there, that I as the author, learn something important. I love that. I need that.
Conversely, if you could change one thing about your writing style, what would it be and why?
I wish I knew the secret world of commas and punctuation better… It is morass which sends me into grammar hell on occasion.
Lastly, where can we find your work, a. k. a. give you our hard earned cash?