Thursday, July 21, 2016

Barbara Ankrum: Summer Fun Facts!

July marks the beginning of the second half of the year. Vacation time. Lakes, beaches, mountains and RWA conferences. I didn’t make it to conference this year, but I definitely plan on finding some water nearby soon. You?

Summer is also the time when we take the books we’ve been piling up over the year and lose ourselves in their pages in the cool shade of a tree. Everything We Keep, by Kerry Londsdale is out in ebook format, and is one of the first ones I plan to read.  Jane Porter’s the Lost Sheenan’s Bride is high on my list, as well as Eloisa James’ latest novella A Gentleman Never Tells.  I–eh-hem—happen to have a beach read out this summer myself, but more on that later.

Since it’s too hot to think about anything too deep, I thought it might be fun to take this month’s blog and share a few things you didn’t know about me. So here goes:

1. I grew up loving animals—dogs, cats, you name it. But my big crush was on horses and my father, a closet cowboy, indulged me with riding lessons young, which only fueled my fire. I desperately wanted a horse of my own, but it wasn’t until I had graduated from high school that my parents moved to a farm in Tennessee and bought a couple of Tennessee Walkers for my younger sister and I.  Candy and I were inseparable when I wasn’t away at school or working. But on one particularly bad day, she kicked up her heels while racing up a mountain slope and tossed me off, breaking one of my vertebrae and cracking a shoulder blade. Needless to say, I was much more cautious after that and translated much of my love of horses into my books. I still, however, secretly think we (the horses and I) communicate psychically. I’m weird that way.

2. I’ve been lucky to be married to the same, sweet guy for thirty-seven years. He’s the inspiration for all of my heroes and the one who made me believe in happily ever after.

3. I wanted to be an actress for most of my young life and really wanted to star in Westerns (because…horse love). But I had babies and ended up doing commercials while raising my family. I did a few dozen national commercials, including a Hertz commercial with OJ Simpson and Jimmy Conner and one many remember, a Head and Shoulders/Girl On The Bus spot. So, yeah. I’m famous for scratching my head.

4. My husband used to be an actor and did a voice in the original Star Wars – Wedge Antilles. Kind of a major/minor character who was played physically by Irish actor Dennis Lawson, but voiced by my husband, David, because they wanted an American accent.  That job has taken him all over the world for celebrity signings—Japan, London, Boston. He originally auditioned for George Lucas for C3PO, but got the V.O. gig instead. I get to bask in his fandom now and then.

5. I have taught novel writing for almost twenty years. I started at UCLA Extension and taught privately for many years after that. The talented Laura Wright, Beth Kendrick and Jeannie Lin were a few of my students and we’re still good friends today. I love teaching.

6. I once did a past life regression in trade for some editing work. And if you believe in such things, it became clear to me that my first book ever, HOLT’S GAMBLE, an Oregon Trail book, was inspired by a past life of mine on the emigrant trail from Arkansas to Texas.  Then again, I’m a writer and I may have just made it all up under hypnosis!

Well, that’s a little about me.  Hope you all have a fabulous July/August. Until next time, hope you find some time to squeeze in my latest novella, RECKLESS IN LAGUNA, part of Kaira Rouda’s Laguna Beach Kindle World. It’s a second chance love story about two people with dark secrets who get a chance to start over in Laguna Beach and it’s only $1.99.  Needless to say, it’s a beach read!

No comments: