Author Anna Schroeder is from the Kitsap Peninsula, Washington State, and works as an ICU-registered nurse, specializing in neurotrauma and stroke. Currently she is working as a travel nurse in the local area, which lets her take lots of vacations with her family Anna has been creating stories since she can remember. She drew pictures and made her own books from printer paper. Her Barbies instigated rebellion and explored alien worlds. Anna started hobby writing in her teenage years. Her first real ‘I’m going to write a book’ moment was after she had finished the draft for her first published book, “Archer 887”, ten years ago. “Archer 887” was long-listed for the 2022 Indies Today Awards Contest, which features independently published authors. Anna Schroeder is a member of the Association of Writers & Writing Programs and of the Alliance of Independent Authors. Informally, she meets up with a few local authors every month They are thinking of starting a critique group in the area. Anna also has a Substack, “Writing Rampant,” that showcases her short stories and serial fiction as well as behind-the-scenes and writing advice. She writes about her nursing life on her Substack “This is My Nurse Face” if one likes a peek inside the medical and nursing worlds. Currently, Anna is also seeking traditional publication for a stand-alone fantasy novel. When Anna isn’t writing, she does “anything outside”- hike, backpack, mountain bike, dirt bike, camp. She loves plants, indoor and in her garden, to read (“Of course!”), and – as a classical trained flutist – she still plays with local groups and teaches some lessons.
Which genres do you cover?
Anna Schroeder: I mostly write science fiction and fantasy but have a cozy mystery idea I’ve been playing with for a while.
Which is the latest book you had published, and what is about?
Anna Schroeder: „The Lost Hero.“ It is the first in a fantasy series that explores destiny and choice, with lots of action and a huge twist. Here’s the back blurb: Ero of the Gotkasi has trained since childhood to wield the Sword of Tanyr in service to his people and their Goddess. As Captain of the Demonwatch, Champion of the House of Athus, he stands ready to defend his homeland against the encroaching Shadow. When Juen, Queen of Vabia, opens negotiations with her kingdom’s hereditary enemy, she finds the Champion of Athus wary and cold. She, too, fears the Champion and his motivation, but has no choice. With her people threatened, she must do everything in her power to protect them. Even if she must tolerate the snide hostility of the so-called ‘Hero.’ As always, Ero submits to his Goddess’ will – Leave Athus? Woo the queen? – yet he resents the constraints placed on him. The Betrayer grows stronger with each passing day. Vabia’s political machinations only delay the inevitable clash between Hero and Shadow. But the Betrayer knows this battle well. Fought time and again through the ages, Maiek has prepared for the coming of the Hero. This time betrayal, both mortal and divine, will finally break the ancient cycle. And the Hero with it.
At which book events can readers find you?
Anna Schroeder: I am planning on attending the Orcas Island Literary Festival next summer as well as working with local bookstores to set up meet-and-greets. Keep an eye on my website to stay up to date!
Which book event connecting you with readers is your favorite and why?
Anna Schroeder: I really like sitting and talking with people who have read my writing, and hearing what they see in the characters, the questions they have, what they liked best. Not just for critical feedback, but also because readers always see such different things in the writing. I know what parallels or foreshadowing I purposefully included, but something always surprises me when I hear it from an outside perspective.
Do(es) your book(s) have any specific messages to your readers and, if so, which are they?
Anna Schroeder: I never start writing a book with a specific idea in mind; I am 100% a pantser. Despite this, I’ve noticed themes in my books about belonging and self-acceptance. Whether in a far-off solar system or a fantasy world, people still need to feel supported and accepted, even if only by themselves.
Which writer(s) keep(s) inspiring you and why?
Anna Schroeder: I love writers who can take a genre or style and bend it slightly. Retold fairy tales with a cunning twist, writers who use humor and intensity in just the right blend. Books that leave me breathless at the end and searching the library for more.
Do you have specific writing habits?
Anna Schroeder: I usually write in the afternoons. I do shift work, so my work days out of the house are 14 hours long. The morning feels too hectic to me, what with getting kids off to school, tackling chores, and to-do lists. After lunch, I can sit down and really focus. Also, I am NOT a morning person. Get up before 8? Voluntarily? No, thank you. I didn’t use to listen to music while I write, but lately I’ve been using a meditation app. I can time myself that way as well. When the track is done, time for a break! Tracking my time rather than my words actually helps me more. It lets me realistically estimate how much I can get done in a set time, especially since time is so precious in a busy family.
What are you currently working on?
Anna Schroeder: I am writing the sequel to “Archer 887.” It is supposed to be the second of three books, but … we’ll see where the story goes. I am also polishing up a fantasy book for publication and chugging along on the sequels for that. I always have a ‘fun’ write to work on. Something indulgent to go to when I want to write, but the ideas aren’t coming for the main project. Then I can steal from that if something comes out really good!
Which book are you currently reading simply for entertainment?
Anna Schroeder: I’ve started a collection of short stories titled “Into Shadow.” They are all a little speculative, a little dark, and very well written. I love a well-wrought creepy story, one that leaves me thinking after it’s over.
What advice would you give any aspiring author?
Anna Schroeder: Keep writing. Listen to others’ advice, but don’t take it as law; see how you can apply it to fit your method and life. Know it takes a long time, whether you publish traditionally or not. Read a lot, but comparison is the thief of joy. Learn from others, but don’t let their success squash your spirit. Find book friends, writer friends, reading friends. There are so many amazing people to meet and learn from!
You can find Anna Schroeder’s book “Archer 887” with online retailers such as https://www.amazon.com/stores/Anna-Schroeder/author/B0B3JXRHR9.