Today I'm pleased to welcome author Anne Pfeffer to the blog to talk a little bit about her novel Any Other Night and being a writer.
What was the plot of your very first piece of unpublished fiction you ever wrote?
I actually still want to write this book. It was called Breaking Up with Jason and was about a crazy girl who broke up with her boyfriend in his high school yearbook. It was fun to write, and I’d love to go back some day and rework it.
Writers tend to have a pretty active imagination for obvious reasons, if you had to describe what the inside of your head was like what would you tell us?
I think it would be a fantasy version of my closet – a disorganized jumble, with dark corners you’d just as soon avoid, but also a lot of beautiful and romantic things.
How did you come up with the idea Any Other Night?
In part, it was inspired by one of my favorite teen movies, Say Anything. Superficially, the film’s story and mine could be described the same way— quirky likable boy falls for beautiful brainy girl who's going to England—but beyond that, my story is very different in its mood and theme. Ryan, though, does have one moment in my book where he echoes something said by the film's hero Lloyd Dobler. I can't say what it is, because it's a spoiler!
Other things also played a role. For example, I had heard of an incident at a teen party at an exclusive LA beach club, where a couple of boys vandalized a bathroom. This was the impetus for the early scene in Any Other Night where Michael and Chase disrupt Emily’s party.
As you were writing Any Other Night, was there a particular scene or character that surprised you, like doing something you didn’t expect or a scene taking you somewhere you hadn’t planned?
It happened a lot, actually. The character, Chrissie, in particular, took on her own life during the writing of the book. Also, the long scene late in the book between Ryan and his parents sort of wrote itself.
What are you most satisfied about when it comes to Any Other Night?
I loved everything about Ryan, his humor, his journey, his voice. I enjoyed writing him, because he had such a distinctive take on the world and his own unique way of expressing himself.
If you had to choose three words to describe Ryan what would they be and why?
Ryan’s friend, Jonathan, says it in the book. Ryan’s a mensch, a person of integrity and honor. That single word sums him up very well. If I need to add two other words, I’d choose ironic and romantic. He’s funny, and he’s a lover. I’ve said before that I adore my male characters, because they’re the only men in my life who do and say exactly what I want them to! Ryan’s a good example of that. I got to write a perfect guy, and it was fun!
Do you prefer hard copy books or e-readers, why?
I do love my kindle, because I can carry hundreds of books around with me, and I can buy books on impulse at eleven at night. I buy ten times more books since I got a kindle that I ever did before.
When I publish, though, I always produce a paperback, in addition to the ebook. Something about seeing my own book in print is so incredible. There’s nothing like it!
When you’re not writing, what do you like to do?
I like being with my family and my dog, Taco. I volunteer at a local grade school, reading to third graders, and I love doing that. I really enjoy being around children. Leading into the next question, I also read a great deal.
Read any good books recently?
Yes! My Favorite Mistake by Chelsea M. Cameron. Dizzy by Jolene Perry and Nyrae Dawn. To name just a couple.
Who are your five favorite authors and why?
There are some authors who I end up devouring all their books. Going back over the course of my life, I’d have to say: Anne Tyler, John Irving, Jane Austen, L. Frank Baum, and Laura Ingalls Wilder.
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer our questions! More information on Anne Pfeffer can be found below:
Anne Pfeffer lives in Los Angeles, CA near a large rotating neon chicken head with her daughter and her dachshund, Taco.