Do I count as a rejection slip not being allowed in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Arizona in 1964. Of course, that was a verbal rejection, delivered in person to me in the English Department. As for actual rejection slips sent directly to me, the number is 1. Whatever others there were came to my agent, and that's between her and the editors involved. I also received a rejection slip for 1 short story. I turned that rejected short story into the novel called Queen of the Night.
--> Have you ever thrown away a book that you just couldn't make work?
No, but I have thrown away plenty of pages before I found out ways to MAKE the stories work!!!
--> Is it still exciting to publish a new book even after all this time?
Yes, there's nothing like opening the envelope that has that first copy of the book, complete with pages, cover, words, and all!! That's still as much of a miracle now as it was in 1985 for Until Proven Guilty.
-> Do you get ideas for new books all the time and you keep them written down, or does one come to mind when you need one?
I'm always looking for new stories. I don't always write them down and I don't write down ideas that come to me overnight, either. If they're not good enough ideas to make it until morning, they're not good enough to use for writing a book.
--> Do you have entire story arcs mapped out when you begin a trilogy or a series of related books?
No. I hated outlining when I met it in Mrs. Watkins 6th Grade Geography class and nothing that has happened to me in the intervening years has changed my mind. For one thing, I have a terminal fear of Roman Numerals. If you can't do Roman Numerals, you can't outline. At least, I can't. And since I don't outline books, I can't very well outline series, either. I start with somebody dead and spend the rest of the book trying to figure out who did it and how come.
--> Do you know how a book/series is going to end when you begin it?
Absolutely not. If I did, I'd have no reason to write the book. I write to find OUT how it ends.
--> Do you have to enter a different mind-set to write different stories for different names/characters?
--> Is there any kind of book you would like to write but haven't?
--> If you could change anything about your writing career, what would it be?
I would have switched over to Apple sooner.
--> What’s the most interesting question you’ve ever been asked about your writings, and what was your answer?
When someone asked me where Anne Corley came from, and I realized Anne Corley was me, taking revenge on pedophiles, like my paternal grandfather, who molested children.
--> If you could have written any single work – novel, screenplay, stage play, poem, history, biography – that you most admire and adore, what would it be?
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe
--> Anything you’ve always wanted to be asked about your writing but no one ever has?
What do I like most about my job? Entertaining people--that's what storytellers do!