HERE WE GO...
Me: Was there any particular reason that you picked any of your characters names?
Ann: I did want Silvia's last name (Wood) to be something "green." Other than that, my only goal was that the names were recognizable, easy to pronounce, and not something that was extremely popular right now.
Me: Was Gus inspired by someone? Or was he just a character that you had to create from scratch?
Ann: I WISH I knew Gus in real life- I ADORE him. But he came to me fully formed.
Me: How do you think you would handle working in a mortuary?
Ann: Honestly, and this may sound creepy, I don't think it would bother me too much. I already know enough about the human body. I'm a veterinarian, but much is the same. I'd have a hard time with any situation where I suspected abuse, of course. And I'd probably smell after work, which I guess I do now, so that wouldn't be any different, haha.
Me: How did you originally get the idea for this story and the world of Panopticus?
Ann: I read an article directly or indirectly about Agenda 21 which really disturbed me. I REALLY REALLY wish I'd kept or saved that article, because I'd like to know exactly what it was, but it's long gone now. A short time after I read it -- I don't remember if this means hours or days, an image of Silvia appeared in my head. She sat in her small apartment, in the dim light, her head turned away from me, surrounded by dying plants. The leaves of the plants were turning yellow and hanging limply.
Me: How long have you been working on this story?
Ann: I hope I have the timeline right. I believe that I read the article online in September of 2013 and started writing Dead Girl Running that month. Soon after, I got an offer for How To Date Dead Guys, and getting that ready to be published July 2014 kept interrupting me. I finally finished Dead Girl Running (writing, beta, and edits) September 2014.
Me : I am DYING to hear about your three-legged cat! Can you tell me his story?
Ann: Mr. Charlie is my three legged, bread-thieving cat. He was found October 2014, by a Good Samaritan who brought his half dead body in to our clinic. He was dehydrated, very underweight, an subnormal temp on arrival. He was trying to die. And his left rear leg looked like it had been bluntly cut off mid thigh. Another doctor took care of him initially, because I was in another appointment when he showed up. Then I made arrangements with the local rescue group (Paws and Claws) that, as a clinic, we would get him all fixed up and then he'd go to the shelter for adoption. My husband is allergic to cats, so we'd never had one. My kids and I cat sat the little bugger over the weekend, fattening him up so he could have his leg surgically fixed. We fell in love with him and I wheedled his way into our home. He's been trouble ever since- knocking down the Christmas tree, stealing food, and trying to sneak outside. So his lack of one leg hasn't slowed him down much.