“Crackerberries” Anderson, author of “Blackhorse 2015,” has decided to stop in for a visit and chat. Now, here are all the things you thought you wanted to know about Crackerberries:
- What in the world is a Crackerberries and why did your mother name you that?
Crackerberries are dwarf dog wood bearing dense clusters of bright red berries. Also known as bunch berries that crunch when you bite into them. My mother didn’t name me that. Crackerberries came to me about ten years ago and was going to be the name of my first novel (the juicy experiences throughout my life). Then I came to realize my experiences aren’t anymore juicy than anyone else’s so I didn’t want to waste the name on one thing. Hence Crackerberries became my pseudonym and I like people to get a full bodied juicy crunch when they bite into what I write.
- Please tell us about your latest book.
Blackhorse 2015 originally was penned Time Ticks & Terror Licks. It came about because two friends of mine, Chip and Jody suggested I write a story about an electro-magnetic pulse. Sometimes when you start writing a subject, it takes on a mind of its own.
- What can we expect from you in the future?
More of the same, I love writing about controversial topics.
- How do we find out about you and your books?
Visit my website or any of my social media links.
- Why did you decide to write controversial novels?
It’s something I’ve dealt with, and lived with all my life and writing is like a therapy for me. If I don’t write I get in weird moods and people don’t want to be around me. Writing is like a drug for me. I have to take it or I get the DT’s (Delirium tremens).
- How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?
Way more than people who think they know me realize, and way more than my family would like to know (if they only read what I wrote….bwaaaaaaaaahaaaaaaaaa!)
- When did you first think about writing and what prompted you to submit your first ms?
I have been writing ever since I can remember. The first manuscript I submitted was a short story called “Prom Prince” to several different magazines. It was never accepted or purchased. I submitted several short stories and articles for a period of time after that, but then life got in the way of my writing.
- Generally, how long does it take you to write a book?
Generally I’ve never finished a book. But this one took me about two years with all the research that went into it. Not to mention there were things I did in between writing.
- Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?
Usually I write best in the morning. Early morning, but I’ve been known to wake up in the middle of the night and frantically search for a pen and my note pad to scribble down notes and ideas that have come to me in my sleep. I write a lot in my sleep.
- What is your writing routine once you start a book?
I try to work on it a couple of hours every morning. My normal goal is about 1500 words, but if four hours comes first, then I wait until the next day. Good things come to those who wait.
- What about your family, do they know not to bother you when you are writing – or are there constant interruptions?
Most of my family has nothing to do with me and probably don’t even know I am published. The ones who do know live far away and the only correspondence we have is on social media or email so I can control those interruptions. My mother and my daughter call every day, but I know when those calls are coming so I plan for them. My cats on the other hand, now they are a constant interruption.
- What do you do to relax and recharge your batteries?
Tall Cool ☺ne and I walk three miles every other day or so. We also have a morning work-out routine that we do when we don’t walk. (Never can stay too healthy). Then we also do a lot of yard work and gardening. There are other things we do too, but that would probably be TMI.
- What truly motivates you in general? In your writing?
People who irritate the piss out of me and things in general that are just plain wrong. A good fight I guess you would say.
- Where do your ideas come from?
A lot of my ideas come to me in dreams. Sometimes I wake up in the morning and I’m in such a pissy mood. The only thing that makes me feel better is when I write about it. There is a story in every situation. It’s up to the writer to use her imagination to create something more than what it is.
- Do you feel humor is important in any genre and why?
I think humor is important in every aspect of life. Laughing generates brain cells and I think if you aren’t laughing you aren’t living. There is a story in every situation and in every situation if you use your imagination enough you can find the humor in it.
- What are your thoughts on love scenes in romance novels, do you find them difficult to write?
Hmph? Well, I haven’t actually ever written a “love” scene. Mine are just purely sex and sex is not love.
- What kind of research do you do?
Depends on what I’m writing. I think that even if you are writing fiction you need to be educated in the topics you are writing about. For example in Blackhorse 2015 I spent a good many weeks researching military training, fraternities, and electromagnetic pulse situations. It is important to know your shit even in fiction.
- Would you like to write a different genre than you do now, or sub-genre?
I actually have the makings of a love story set in the Civil War era of a young rich white girl who falls in love with one of her daddy’s black slaves. I put it aside because it was kind of boring.
- What does your husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend think of your writing?
My husband knows I’m a looney tune, and he thinks it is better therapy for me to write the controversial shit that I write rather than spend my days in a rubber room.
My wife thinks I should get a real job.
My boyfriend thinks I spend too much time on the computer and not enough time with him.
My girlfriend is jealous because she wants to be a writer too, but she can’t sign her name, let alone write a story.
- Do you ever ask him/her for advice?
Not unless I really want to hear the truth, which is pretty often. Then sometimes I end up bawling because I didn’t think he was going to tell me that.
- Please tell us about yourself (family, hobbies, education, etc.)
I think I’ve pretty much covered all that. I have no education as far as college goes. I think you learn more in life experience than you can learn in a class room. I’ve been a sandwich and pizza maker, dog groomer, a cashier in a store, a radio sales woman, a used car sales woman, a secretary, a receptionist, a customer service representative, a senior account executive, co-owner of a small business, a cook, a mother and a wife. I think my experience in all that has more value to my writing than a degree hanging on the wall.
Fill in the blank favorites –
Dessert: Peanut-buster Parfait from Dairy Queen
City: Haven’t been there yet
Season: Fall in Maine
Type of hero: Sergeant Jon Hunter
Type of heroine: Suzy-Q Taylor
What are some of your favorite things to do?
Drink and have sex with my husband.
Do you have a favorite author? Favorite book?
Stephen King — The Stand
Who are some of your other favorite authors to read? John McCarthur, Mitch Albom, Thomas Harris, Jerry B. Jenkins, Tim LaHaye
What do you think of critique groups in general?
I don’t know what a critique group is but if it’s a group of people that sit around criticize what others are doing, I think they should take a good look at themselves and get a life.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I always hated this question…I always wanted to answer by saying sitting where you are asking the questions.
How long have you been writing – have you always wanted to be a writer?
Ever since I can remember. I typed a story about two dogs that were best friends and loved each other (Taffy and Little Bear) when I was eight years old. It was on my grandmother’s old typewriter and ‘e’ key was missing. Yes I have always wanted to write. At first I wanted to be a newspaper reporter, but then I decided I wanted to write stories. Fiction is way more fun than non-fiction.
How many books have you written, how many have been published?
Four in the works, 1 published.
After you’ve written your book and it’s been published, do you ever buy it and/or read it?
I plan to.
Among your own books, have you a favorite book? Favorite hero or heroine?
Through the Eyes of Bear and Bear is my favorite hero. (It’s not published yet)
What book for you has been the easiest to write? The hardest? The most fun?
Through the Eyes of Bear was the easiest, but then it turned into the hardest (he had to be put to sleep) and it’s not quite finished. The most fun so far has been Blackhorse 2015 because I have learned so much in all of the research that went along with writing it.
Which comes first, the story, the characters or the setting?
It’s different all the time. Sometimes I write a character and then plug that character into different stories until I find the right one for him or her. Other times it’s a setting. Depends on my mood.
What are the elements of a great romance for you?
Several glasses of wine and nakedness.
What is the hardest part of writing/the easiest for you?
Hardest: Worrying about what someone is going to think if they figure out the character is them. Easiest: Writing about the people who annoy me.
Have you experienced writer’s block—> If so, how did you work through it?
I don’t believe in writer’s block. I think it is just an excuse for lazy people.
What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?
It is great therapy for me. Without it I would be looney tunes.
If you weren’t writing, what would you be doing?
Are there any words of encouragement for unpublished writers?
Do not listen to the naysayers. Expect your family and friends to say one thing and do completely the opposite.
Five things you may not know about Crackerberries
- She loves coffee in the morning and red wine in the afternoon and beer on a hot summer day as long as it’s in a bottle not a can.
- She surrounds herself with piles of things, like books, writing pads, magazines, and has a terrible pen fetish.
- She has a ‘wicked’ Maine accent.
- She loves to cook and can and preserve things almost as much as she loves to write.
- She always dreamed being a published writer and living in a double-wide with eight dogs. (Part 1-accomplished)