Monday, September 8, 2014

Ane Mulligan: Humor and encouragement for the Over-50 Writer

By Ane Mulligan

Don't let anyone ever tell you you're too old to dream a new dream or start a new career. After all, Sarah was 90-plus when she became a mother. Noah was over a hundred when he became a shipbuilder. Moses was a card-carrying member of AARP when he led the nation of Israel out of Egypt. So, why not me?

God called me to writing in December 2002, using Hubs to say the words, and I put pen to paper—okay, fingers to keyboard—on January 1st, 2003 just four days before my 56th birthday.

I had a long way to go before realizing that dream with a publishing contract. It took a few years to learn the craft of novel writing. I'd been a published playwright for seven years, but scripts are all dialogue and a few stage directions.

However, since I stepped out in faith and answered His call, God put mentors in my path, who taught me so much. I bought books on the craft of fiction writing my mentors recommended, read and committed to memory all I was taught.

Four special people came alongside me in the way of critique partners. Now, I have to admit at times I questioned God about them and their tough love. I call them Attila the Holmes, Hannibal Dotta, Genghis Griep, and Ludwig von Frankenpen. Oh, they have a name for me, too. I'm Ane of Mean Gables.

Along my journey, I often got discouraged, but each time, God sent something to encourage me. Sometimes it was a contest win or an acquisitions editor, who took my manuscript to committee. Still, the door to a contract remained tightly closed.

What I learned during these years is God is trustworthy with our dreams, no matter what they are. When we commit our ways to Him, He's faithful. We just need to factor in His time and place to our dreams.

I'd always wanted sisters, but only had a brother; both of us adopted as infants. In 2009, God fulfilled that dream and my five birth sisters found me. That's another story and can be read on my website under Adoption Share—and yes, Heaven help them, they're just like me.

In 2013, the Lord finally fulfilled my other dream and opened the door to a publishing contract. I knew the time and publisher were right.

I've always believed people let down their guard when they think they're being entertained. Then, when they least expect it, our words can reach out, touch hearts and change lives. And isn't that why we write?

Meet Ane Mulligan

So no matter if you're over 50, it's never to late to dream or to follow those dreams.
While a large, floppy straw hat is her favorite, Ane has worn many different ones: hairdresser, legislative affairs director (that's a fancy name for a lobbyist), drama director, playwright, humor columnist, and novelist. Her lifetime experience provides a plethora of fodder for her Southern-fried fiction (try saying that three times fast). She firmly believes coffee and chocolate are two of the four major food groups. President of the award-winning literary site, Novel Rocket, Ane resides in Suwanee, GA, with her artist husband, her chef son, and two dogs of Biblical proportion. You can find Ane on her Southern-fried Fiction website, Google+, Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Chapel Springs Revival

With a friend like Claire, you'll need a gurney, a mop, and a guardian angel

Everybody in the small town of Chapel Springs, Georgia, knows best friends Claire and Patsy. It's impossible not to, what with Claire's zany antics and Patsy's self-appointed mission to keep her friend out of trouble. And trouble abounds. Chapel Springs has grown dilapidated and the tourist trade has slackened. With their livelihoods threatened, they join forces to revitalize the town. No one could have guessed the real issue needing restoration is personal.

With their marriages in as much disarray as the town, Claire and Patsy embark on a mission of mishaps and miscommunication, determined to restore warmth to Chapel Springs —and their lives. That is if they can convince their husbands and the town council, led by two curmudgeons who would prefer to see Chapel Springs left in the fifties and closed to traffic.