Please welcome Anne Blankman, YA author of Traitor Angels! She’s stopping by today for a How I Write feature as part of her blog tour. Check out my Q & A with Anne below, and be sure to enter the giveaway!

Anne Blankman, author of Traitor Angels | bookandlatte.comAbout Anne Blankman

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Anne Blankman may have been meant to be a writer because her parents named her for Anne of Green Gables. She grew up in an old house with gables (gray, unfortunately) in upstate New York. When she wasn’t writing or reading, she was rowing on the crew team, taking ballet lessons, fencing and swimming. She graduated from Union College with degrees in English and history, which comes in handy when she writes historical fiction.

After earning a master’s degree in information science, Anne began working as a youth services librarian. Currently, she lives in southeastern Virginia with her family. When she’s not writing young adult fiction, she’s playing with her daughter, training for races with her husband, working at her amazing library branch, learning to knit (badly), and reading.

Are you a planner (outline, etc.) or do you “pants” it?

Definitely a planner! When I’m drafting historical fiction, I need to know what’s historically possible so I research and outline before I write the first sentence. Sometimes I wish I could jump right in, but I like knowing what direction I want to take the story before I begin. 

Do you write daily or sporadically when you’re inspired?

When I was drafting my first novel, Prisoner of Night and Fog, I had a new baby and I wrote whenever I could find a spare moment. Now I have a schedule, and I write at least five days a week. If I waited until inspiration hit, I don’t think I would get much done! For me, it’s the old-fashioned butt-in-the-chair strategy that works best.

What inspired you to want to become a writer?

I’ve only begun sharing my story with others in the last few months because it’s still hard to talk about. When I was in elementary school, my dad’s vision began rapidly deteriorating. Doctors tried to save the vision in his worst eye, but the surgery failed and he was left in debilitating pain. Sunlight was unbearable for him. He couldn’t work and had to live in the basement. When I got home from school, I’d sit with him in the dark and read to him by flashlight. This will sound strange, but some of my favorite childhood memories are of reading to my dad. We’d get lost in the stories together and he’d forget the pain he was in. I want my stories to be lifelines or escapes for others, just like those books were for me and my father. (I should probably add that after two years, doctors were able to repair the vision in one of my dad’s eyes and ever since then he’s led an independent life.)

What a beautiful story and memory – thank you so much for sharing! What kind of mood are you typically in when you write (happy, sad, etc.)?

When I write, I feel whatever my main character is feeling at the time. Whatever she experiences, I’m right there with her.

How do you overcome writer’s block?

I write through it. There are days when I know that every word I’m typing is dreck, but I can always go back and revise. You can’t edit a blank page.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received for writing?

Kathy Erskine was the keynote speaker at a SCBWI conference I attended a few years ago. She said—and I’m paraphrasing here – “In this room there are people at various stages in their writing journey. But the only difference between the published and unpublished writers is that the published never gave up.” I found that incredibly inspiring.

Thanks so much for having me!

Thank you for visiting and answering my questions, Anne!

Traitor Angels by Anne Blankman | bookandlatte.comSix years have passed since England’s King Charles II returned from exile to reclaim the throne, ushering in a new era of stability for his subjects.

Except for Elizabeth Milton. The daughter of notorious poet John Milton, Elizabeth has never known her place in this shifting world—except by her father’s side. By day she helps transcribe his latest masterpiece, the epic poem Paradise Lost, and by night she learns languages and sword fighting. Although she does not dare object, she suspects that he’s training her for a mission whose purpose she cannot fathom.

Until one night the reason becomes clear: the king’s man arrive at her family’s country home to arrest her father. Determined to save him, Elizabeth follows his one cryptic clue and journeys to Oxford, accompanied by her father’s mysterious young houseguest, Antonio Vivani, a darkly handsome Italian scientist who surprises her at every turn. Funny, brilliant, and passionate, Antonio seems just as determined to protect her father as she is—but can she trust him with her heart?

When the two discover that Milton has planted an explosive secret in the half-finished Paradise Lost—a secret the king and his aristocratic supporters are desperate to conceal—Elizabeth is faced with a devastating choice: cling to the shelter of her old life or risk cracking the code, unleashing a secret that could save her father…and tear apart the very fabric of society.

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Readers, follow the tour (schedule below) for more chances to win, and be sure to enter the giveaway! You can find more How I Write features by clicking the image at the bottom of this post.

Traitor Angels Blog Tour | How I Write at A Book and a Latte
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5 Responses to How I Write: Anne Blankman (Traitor Angels)

  1. danielle hammelef says:

    thanks for the interview post today. i enjoy these very much to get insights in how writers think and their process.

  2. This interview has such creative questions! I’m definitely more intrigued about this novel!

  3. Annie JC says:

    Thanks for sharing your story with us Anne. I appreciate it.

  4. How interesting that Anne Blankman wrote Traitor Angels after personal experience of reading for her father, as did daughters of blind John Milton. I saw a painting by Munkacsy in Budapest Castle depicting this

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