Anne Carter

The author visiting Battery Point Lighthouse, Crescent City, CA

(Interviewed by Linda Faulkner, Author Exchange Blog)


You write under two different names—tell us about that and what prompted your decision to use two pseudonyms.

Actually, I write under my “real” name, Pam Ripling, and my pseudonym, Anne Carter. “Anne” is the author of my romantic suspense and mystery titles. When I wrote my middle grade novels, I thought it might be a good idea if younger readers didn’t get confused about what was appropriate for their age group. Anne Carter, by the way, is made from my middle and maiden names.

You write both romance and middle grade fiction.  Why those genres?  Do you have a preference for one over the other?

I prefer romantic mystery over everything else. I wrote my first middle grade novel when my sons were actually in middle school, and my second when my daughter was there. However, I don’t enjoy the genre as much. To me, it’s much harder to write with an authentic voice that holds interest but doesn’t preach. Romance, on the other hand, comes naturally to me.

You run a bookkeeping business in addition to writing.  How do you juggle your career, your family, and your writing?

When I figure this out, I will let you know! Seriously, it’s very challenging at times. I’ve had my business for about fifteen years, so it runs pretty smoothly, and I have a small staff that actually does most of the work. But I am also involved in a number of charitable organizations, some dealing with literacy, some non-profit fundraising such as the American Cancer Society. I also dabble in website construction and enjoy photo restoration and enhancement as a hobby. I am (usually) blessed with the ability to write on the fly, so I open up my current manuscript in between other tasks and write whenever I can. It is nothing for me to write into the wee hours. I don’t even notice the time.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a writer?

In a personal sense, it’s always time. Having the time to write—I’d never stop if I didn’t have to. Eating and sleeping are secondary to writing! Externally, it’s marketing. Like most of the authors I know personally, getting the books into the readers’ hands is a huge challenge, no matter the publisher. Since our industry is evolving, so, too, are the methods by which we sell. Keeping up with these changes is a full time job in itself.

What writers organizations claim you as a member?  Do you believe that membership in writing organizations helps a writer’s career?

Although I am not currently a member, earlier in my career I benefited from a membership in the Romance Writers of America. They have a lot to offer new writers and authors in general. When I got to a point where I was no longer learning, I opted for other organizations, such as Sisters in Crime. I really enjoy SinC, and belong to the local chapter. It’s an active group of fun-loving, generous, resourceful people who all share a love of mystery writing. My short story “Just Like Jay” was recently selected for their anthology, “Murder in La La Land,” published in 2010. Oh, and I’m also a member of the United States Lighthouse Society, because I love and need to know about all things lighthouse!

Here’s your opportunity to tell us anything else you care to share.

One fun bit of trivia I like to share concerns my fanatical love of lighthouses. These lonely, mysterious beacons hold special appeal for me, inspiring an untold number of stories laced with mystery and romance. While struggling to finish POINT SURRENDER, I had the unbelievable good fortune to spend a few days in a Puget Sound lighthouse in Washington. Talk about inspiration!. I am planning a trip to St. George Reef Lighthouse soon, this being the off-shore locale that inspired my latest mystery, CAPE SEDUCTION.