I'm so excited to launch my special guest Tuesday blog with Ann T. Bugg, author of the Before Happily Ever After Series. Welcome Ann!
Thanks for having me, Sara!
Even though I had been encouraged since grade school to write, it took a single encounter many years later to get that ball rolling. Never look a gift horse in the mouth, or in this case, a gift possum.
The first book in the Before Happily Ever After Series is Through the Mirror and Into Snow. Valerie and Samantha, being the duo of double-trouble that they are, sneak out after bedtime to the barn to search for the possum that scared Valerie’s mother earlier that night. You guessed it; that was me. The fat pony, Leroy, is real as well and that is pretty much how things happened. I guess fear is a great motivator!
After the brief encounter, I booted up my laptop and began my tale. The main characters are based on my daughter and her best friend. They are very much themselves in the books, giving me great characters to build from. It was no surprise for the book to take on a magical twist since fairy tales re-told have always been my favorite stories. Once it was rolling, I asked my daughter to read it to see what she thought. I was greeted with squeals of glee and threats to hurry up and finish it. Offers to go outside and take care of the chores were not easy to come by, so I took that as she liked it.
What surprised me even more was that the one book turned into nine. I never outlined out or planned them, they sort of just happened. I wrote one then wrote a women’s fiction then went back to these again. After a few queries, I had given up getting them published, but I still enjoyed writing them as a sort of record of the girls and their antics. I figured they were just for us, and that was okay.
When one of my publishers found the modest site I had set up and asked to see them, I still didn’t hold too much hope of anything becoming of it. To my surprise, they wanted them. With some fine tuning & the addition of my narrator, the series was now seeing print. It’s been many years since I wrote them so the editing process on them has been especially fun for me. I forgot some of the little “ditties” my daughter and her friend shared as well as some of their mischief and quirks. I hope that somewhere down the line, parents don’t want to beat me as Val & Sam’s “loser loser double loser” routine and others like it… go viral. ;)
The series is geared at middle grade but it has been enjoyed from ages 5-85. Loving fairy tales, folklore, and all that is magical knows no age. I look forward to the rest seeing the light of day and maybe fitting in another… we’ll have to see what presents itself to me in my barn next. ;)
Visit my website for a synopsis on all the books: http://www.beforehappilyeverafter.com/ and join my fanpage for updates on new releases: http://www.facebook.com/AnnTBugg
By the way, Valerie is the cover artist & illustrator for the series. She did the cover for book #1 when she was only 14.
Ann T Bugg (June Kramin)
Middle grade website: http://www.beforehappilyeverafter.com/
Facebook fanpage: http://www.facebook.com/AnnTBugg
Women’s fiction website: http://www.junekramin.com/
Facebook fan page women’s fiction: http://www.facebook.com/JuneKramin