Friday, April 25, 2008

Annie Jones: When I Was Just a Kid

Me at 4, that pretty much sums up my attitude to this day - I want to be in charge - so take the picture, I've got things to do!

There must be something about being the daughter of a military man and his wife, and moving around that makes for a good writer.(note the interview with Amy Wallace.) Annie Jones grew up as a self-described "Air Force brat" and I have loved her writing for some time now. She's funny, poignant and insightful into the relationships that make for good characters in her stories. If you haven't read an Annie Jones' novel, then now is a good time to start!

Annie grew up in a big extended family and that, too, affected the kind of writing she does. I love it that she describes her generation as the "go outside and play" generation.(Me, too.) Take a look at Annie and some of her memories from growing up:

Me in high school - glasses the size of TV screens! And that hair!

Childhood Ambition: To be a Writer

Fondest Memory (then):I have so many happy memories - grew up an Air Force "brat" that literally lived from California to Maine.So I have wonderful memories of life in sunny California as a kindergartener to fabulous fall colors and sledding and going to Canada for Sunday dinner (we lived in Limestone, ME on the border). I come from a large extended family so every summer I spent a month with my cousins in Oklahoma getting up to all sorts of mischief.

Biggest Challenge as a Child or Teen:

I was chubby and being a teen is hard enough without being the chubby one, and being
the writer type, I was always an odd duck. Always had lots of friends of all sorts, from the popular girls to the outcasts but tended to live in my own little world.

My First Job:

When my father retired from the Air Force my folks bought a dress store in a shopping mall, so I worked as a Santa's helper and an Easter Bunny's helper but the first job I went out and got on my own was as at a local hot dog place called Der Weiner King. My friends called me Weenie Woman!

Childhood Indulgence:

Home made ice cream!

Favorite Outfit as a Child:

My mother was an expert seamstress so she made all my clothes. I thought it was dorky, then, but realize how nice they were now. My favorites were usually when Mom broke down and bought me something - usually from Sears!

In 5th grade I had an orange dress with big white polka dots that I thought was "kicky". High Style, y'all!

Favorite Childhood Movie and/or TV Show:

I LOVED when I was home sick to watch The Mike Douglas Show. And one of my early memories was when our neighbors got a color TV (we were among some the last folks to give up the old Black and white set because my parents didn't like TV) and I got to see Truth of Consequences in color!

Favorite Childhood Book:

We had a house full of books! I still have many of my childhood books that I read to my children. The Little Black Puppy by Richard Scary, lots of little Golden books.

Favorite Childhood Activity/Pastime:

We were the 'go outside and play' generation. We were tossed out after breakfast, came in at lunch for a meal and quiet time then out again until the moms called dinner (and each mom had her own signal - a whistle, a word, a yodel!). And in the summer, we had to stay on the block or in a certain area usually marked by friend's houses and we usually had to come in when the street light came on (which was usually 20 -30 minutes before dark). We played make believe and kick the can, red rover, rode bicycles, ran through sprinklers, it was a great time to be a kid.

Childhood Hero: My Daddy

Best Family Memory:

Really, I had such a neat family, both small and large. I loved spending time with my cousins - one time we were turned loose to get out of the grown ups hair and we had a mud fight to covered all dozen of us (there are more cousins but that's how many were there) head to toe.

Best Story That You Wouldn't Tell Mom or Dad: (at least until you were older)

The mud fight part 2 - I have so many cousins that the mom in charge of us the day of the fight was actually a cousin,and when she saw us, she knew when 'aunts' returned they'd wonder what happened so she literally lined us up in the yard and turned the hose on us and we let our moms think we had just been playing in water.

Anything else you would like to share with readers about your childhood which affected the writer you have become?

I grew up with a large family, all of them larger than life and most of them terrific storytellers. They loved to make each other laugh and to tell about their lives and to entertain us all. I can't count how many character quirks or plot twists came out of the things I heard from them or experienced as a part of the family.

Me about 4 years ago - I just wanted to show one with a crown on (no I didn't win it - I just love the sparkle) As said in The Sisterhood of the Queen Mamas - a woman wears many hats in her life, why shouldn't one of them be a tiara?

The Sisterhood of the Queen Mamas
The Sisterhood of the Queen Mamas
by Annie Jones

Steeple Hill Café-334
Dec 2006
Trade Paperback
Category: Inspirational
List Price: $ 13.95

Meet Maxine and Odessa, the Queen Mamas of Castlerock, Texas. They may be getting on in years, but good luck keeping up with them! Most days they're on the prowl at the Five Acres of Fabulous Finds Flea Market, searching for treasures among the trash, and turning life on its heels for:

* Jan, the "perfect" former cheerleader with a big secret
* Bernadette, the bridal shop owner who seems destined for singlehood
* Chloe, the trouble magnet needing fashion intervention…and a boyfriend makeover
Read an excerpt

Annie Jones writes blog entries on FaithChicks.

Annie's Books: (at Steeple Hill)
This is her latest book out at Steeple Hill, but if you click on the link, you should be able to find others. If you get really hooked, do check out Annie Jones on

Steeple Hill Womens Fiction-323
Mar 2008
Category: Inspirational
List Price: $ 6.99

Three sisters. One secret.

Once there were three Cromwell girls. But their father abducted the baby…and neither was seen again. The loss has haunted sisters Kate and Jo ever since, though they can't bear to talk about it.

And then life's ups and downs send the Cromwell women back to tiny Santa Sofia, Florida. To the cottage containing their worst—and best—memories. Where Kate will reconnect with the magnetic single father she'd run from years ago. Where Jo will fall for the handsome minister of the Traveler's Wayside Chapel. And where the cottage caretaker, a familiar young woman named Moxie Weatherby, will get the surprise of her life.
Read an excerpt

Be on the lookout for future releases by Annie!

1 comment:

Missy Tippens said...

Great interview! And what fun photos. I loved the description of the glasses "as big as TV screens"!! LOL :) I had some of those, too. :)