For years, as a member of the Virginia Screenwriters Forum, Anne sharpened her writing skills on screenplays that became finalists in Scriptapalooza, the Virginia Governor’s Screenwriting Contest, All She Wrote, and more. Eager for a more direct connection to readers, she self-published two humorous books before launching the Amazon Bestselling Crime After Time Collection. Her third mystery, SKEWED, caught the eye of Amazon’s Thomas & Mercer imprint and went on to become an international bestselling ebook on Amazon. Her next book, CIRCLED, won a 2016 Silver Independent Book Publishers Award and a 2016 Bronze Medal in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards. All five Crime After Time books have attained Amazon Bestseller Status many times over, including in England, Germany and Australia.

Anne published a standalone mystery, OCULAR DENIAL, based on her original screenplay. It went on to win Second Place in the 2019 James River Writers Self-Published Novel Contest.

Anne presented a self-publishing seminar at the Richmond Agile Writers Conference and taught an eight-part self-publishing course in 2019 at the Chesterfield Lifelong Learning Institute. She has been featured on Conversations Live with Cyrus Webb and Talking Audiobooks with Casey Trowbridge.

Anne lives in Virginia with her husband and children, along with a rescue puggle and an ever-hungry cat that adopted the family long ago. When she’s not writing or editing, she bikes, hikes, lifts, and studies nutrition before invalidating the aforementioned efforts with chocolate and Belgian beer!

Look for Anne’s newest mystery (title to be determined!) coming in 2019!

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Anne McAneny
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Author Q & A

How many books have you written? 

Eight—six mysteries and two humorous women’s fiction books. Five of my six mysteries make up my Crime After Time Collection.

How did you decide to write the Crime After Time Collection?

My five “Crime After Time” stories all carry the theme that the consequences of crime are borne by those who survive, even decades later. My protagonists are the survivors, and they discover unexpected aspects of old crimes that upend the narrative of their lives. The new information propels them to unveil long-hidden truths—not an easy task with buried evidence, faded memories, and cover-ups still worth lying about. The new discoveries rewrite the past and shake up the future in exciting, twist-filled plots.

What is your biggest challenge while writing?

My stories involve varying points of view along with shifts between past and present. Keeping all the balls in the air while revealing information at just the right moment can be dizzying!

Tell us something more about your main character Chloe Keyes from Circled. Is she close to someone from your real life?

Chloe Keyes is a survivor. She lives on the edge of a South Carolina swamp and is rumored to own a pet alligator! She backs down from nothing, except the truth of her own scars. Inside, she carries the loss of two childhood friends close to her heart, never appreciating the toll the dual loss has taken. Of course, fire, murder, and fresh clues converge to change everything—and that’s only the first few chapters.

Chloe is a product of pure imagination, although her sarcasm probably has roots in yours truly.

How long does it take you to finish a story and publish it?

I am a never-ending editor. Circled and Skewed took me about eight months each, while Raveled was written cover-to-cover in one exhausting month, followed by three months of editing.

What will the readers find in Skewed, your most popular novel?

I hope they’ll find the traditional elements of a good mystery presented in a unique way. I love to hear from readers who enjoy the twists and red herrings but who ultimately feel surprised and satisfied by the ending. Skewed tells the story of a crime scene photographer with a warped habit. When she receives thirty-year-old photos from her mother’s crime scene, her life is suddenly framed differently, and she struggles to bring it back into focus.

Who are you?

I live a life not nearly as exciting as my characters! In addition to being a writer and editor, I’m a mom, wife, animal lover, biker/hiker/gym rat, volunteer, and eavesdropper—because really, how else can one write good dialogue?

What are your writing habits?

When I write, I get deep into it, spending many hours a day at my laptop. I write at home and go wherever it’s quiet because all I need is my laptop, a pen and paper, and a chair. I’ve written in a closet, a basement corner, and in bed. I make valiant attempts to outline stories, but I inevitably change everything. Once I have a first draft, I feel like I’ve finished a marathon. From then on, it’s edit, edit, edit, and I find that to be the most fun.

You wrote a lot of screenplays. What is the difference in plotting a film story compared to a novel?

There’s not much difference in plotting; the difference comes in presentation. In a screenplay, the pages contain a lot of blank space. The writer must convey a complete and compelling story using far fewer words. Those three to four lines of description that pop up between bits of dialogue must be treated like gold because they relay the story as much as the characters’ spoken words do.

Who are your favorite authors?

Gillian Flynn, Agatha Christie, John Irving, Tana French, Liane Moriarty, and many more!

What advice do you have for new writers?

I’ll steal from Nike: just do it! There’s nothing scarier than the blank page, so jump in and fill it up. Odds are you’ll end up scrapping or rewriting the first chapter anyway, so don’t feel like it has to be perfect before you begin.