I’m so excited to have Annie England Noblin visiting the blog today, and I think you’ll enjoy getting to know her if you don’t already. She’s agreed to let me interview her, and afterward she’s telling us a little bit about her release–Sit! Stay! Speak!–and offering up a great giveaway!
I adore her book cover, and can’t wait to grab a copy of this book and dive in!
Let’s get started with the interview…
What three words best describe you.
Mountains, beach, city, or woods?
I like the beach, but I don’t want to be there all the time. If I had to pick a place to live all the time, it would for sure be the woods—not so far out that I’m totally withdrawn from people, but far enough away that I don’t have to see them every day!
Sounds like a plan to me, too 🙂 What’s your favorite holiday and why?
I’ve always been a big fan of this holiday, but it has become infinitely more exciting since my son was born in 2010. Christmas morning is my favorite day of the year.
A Christmas baby. Love it! What’s your favorite thing to cook and why?
I’m not a great cook. I have a few old faithful recipes that work, and that’s pretty much what I stick with. However, I have this dish called Parmesan Ranch Chicken that is always a big hit. Both my husband and my son love it.
At what point in your life did you decide that being an author was no longer going to be a dream but an ambition you were going to turn into a reality? 🙂
I began writing this book in 2012, and I promised myself that I would finish it. No matter how awful it was, I would at the very least finish the first draft. I think somewhere along the way, I decided that I was also going to try to find a literary agent. I also decided that if this first book didn’t sell, that it was okay, I would continue writing books until someone wanted to publish one. And that’s what I did, and that’s what I’ll continue to do.
I like that. Definitely a lot less stress 🙂 Do you prefer to write in the morning, afternoon, evening, or anytime?
I don’t really have a preference. With a full-time job and a family to keep up with, I have to make time to write whenever I can. I think I’m at my best mid-morning, but it is difficult to find alone time. I generally write in the evenings when everyone else is asleep. I like to curl up on the couch with a blanket and a glass of wine and wander off into my own, little world.
What makes your book stand out from others in the same genre?
I write mostly about small-town life. More than anything, I want for people reading my books to know that they are authentic—that they’re getting a real small-town experience. I feel like the parts of the United States that I write about don’t get enough exposure, and I hope that I can change that.
Which scene in this book was your favorite to write and why?
This is a spoiler, so read at your own risk: My favorite part to write was towards the end when Addie gets to see mean, old Redd Jones in the hospital, stare him down, and let him know that he didn’t break her. It’s a really empowering moment for Addie, and I think it helps to define who she is as a character.
What would YOU like your readers to know about your books or you in general?
Small towns are every bit as interesting and exciting as big cities—you just have to know where to look!
Would you give us a little peek into what you’re working on next?
My next book is set in the Missouri Ozarks and is about a woman running a bait and tackle shop on the river. There aren’t any dogs in this book, but there is an ill-tempered 3 legged pot belly pig named Clementine.
RANDOM FUN : Finish this sentence.
Whenever I have a little free time I like to sleep.
My kitchen is a nightmare.
My favorite dessert is raspberries and cream gelato.
When I was a child I dreamed about growing up to be a writer.
When I’m not enjoying a good romance I like to read poetry.
Echoing the novels of Mary Alice Monroe, Allie Larkin, and Holly Robinson, this charming debut novel tells the unforgettable story of a rescue dog that helps a struggling young outsider make peace with the past.
Addie Andrews is living a life interrupted. Tragedy sent her fleeing from Chicago to the shelter of an unexpected inheritance—her beloved aunt’s somewhat dilapidated home in Eunice, Arkansas, population very tiny. There she reconnects with some of her most cherished childhood memories. If only they didn’t make her feel so much!
People say nothing happens in small towns, but Addie quickly learns better. She’s got an elderly next door neighbor who perplexingly dances outside in his underwear, a house needing more work than she has money, a best friend whose son uncannily predicts the weather, and a local drug dealer holding a massive grudge against her.
Most surprising of all, she’s got a dog. But not any dog, but a bedraggled puppy she discovered abandoned, lost, and in desperate need of love. Kind of like Addie herself. She’d come to Eunice hoping to hide from the world, but soon she discovers that perhaps she’s finding the way back—to living, laughing, and loving once more.
Adelaide Andrews stared out the living room window and into the yard across the street where an elderly man, who she could only assume was her new neighbor, was frolicking through the sprinkler in his underwear. He was at least eighty years old and was very spry for his age. Every time the water shot up into the air, so did the man’s legs. It was as if he were involved in some kind of synchronized sprinkler event in the Olympics. Nobody came to ask the man to go back inside. Nobody asked him to stop.
Nobody offered him a towel or chased after him with a fistful of medications, which he’d clearly forgotten to take. When the sprinkler stopped several minutes later, so did the man. He didn’t even bother to shake himself off as he bounded up the steps and disappeared back inside the house.
This wasn’t what Adelaide had in mind when she moved from Chicago to the Arkansas Delta. She’d left the midwestern city to escape insanity, not to move in next door to it.
She turned back to the sea of boxes that covered her living room. She’d spent all day sorting and hadn’t even made a dent. She halfheartedly opened the box nearest her. Inside she found a hodgepodge of items, an indication that this had probably been one of the last boxes she packed up.
Looking up from the box, Adelaide scanned the room. Her aunt Tilda had died and left the house to her almost six months ago, and it was obvious that it had been empty for entirely too long. Well, not empty, exactly. Aunt Tilda died in the middle of the night—a stroke, the coroner said. Clearly, from the look of the place, her aunt hadn’t planned on dying. When she said in her will that she wanted everything to go to Addie, she’d meant it. Not even the toilet paper had been disturbed since the day of the funeral. She’d had several calls from the only real estate agent in town to see what had been left to her, but Addie couldn’t bring herself to do it. Yes, the hardwood floors needed to be refinished.
The walls needed to be repainted. The ceiling fans needed to be replaced, and all of this was just in the living room. She heard her aunt’s voice in her head. Someday this house will be yours, Addie. I hope you’ll take care of it like I have.
Addie hadn’t really believed her. What twelve-year-old pays attention to those kinds of things, anyway? Fifteen years later, the words hovered above her like the dust collecting in the corners of the walls. She’d let her aunt down over these last few months. She’d let everyone down, it seemed.
across the country ten years ago, and has never looked back. The work she does serves as an inspiration in everyday life, as well as in her writing.