Monday, September 5, 2011

Welcome, Annette Irby & Husband Material!

I can't wait for you to meet my next guest here on A Minute With Marianne - Annette Irby.
Annette has a new release with White Rose Publishing titled Husband Material which I really enjoyed. She also has an editing service - AMI Editing. Check it out. Annette has helped edit two of my Woodland Series books - and I can tell you first hand, the woman is just amazing!

With that, let's bring her into the spotlight. Welcome to the blog, Annette! To kick things off, I always like to know: when did you first discover that you were a writer?

As a small child, I would imagine scenarios, but it wasn’t until junior high when I began to type out stories—you know, via an old-fashioned typewriter with a ribbon and two sheets of paper rolled through. Then in ninth grade, an English teacher’s aide assigned a writing assignment, and she gave us a great tool: a character chart. I felt empowered! Though she named the characters for us (I’ll never forget this: one of them was named Oogie) we each got to define these characters and write our own story around them. After high school, I put writing aside until much later in my life.

I've done much the same thing, Annette. It's all about God's timing, right? How did your writing career begin? How did you find your way to White Rose Publishing?

When our middle child was in her infancy, stories began to come to me. The trilogy I wrote then would need a host of editors to fix it, and even then I’m unsure we could shock life into it, but it was great fun to sculpt the stories. That’s when I began to get serious about learning the craft of writing, including attending writer’s conferences. Years later, around Christmas, I was reading holiday novella compilations and thought, “I’d like to write these.” I decided to write a holiday novella. Only, mine would include a married couple finding trust and passion and healing through prayer and communication. Love Letters resulted. But this wasn’t a traditional romance. I had married characters here! So the traditional houses didn’t want it. I shelved it for a time. Then, through the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Association I heard of a new opportunity through White Rose. It sure felt good to see that project through to completion. Many people have told me how the story ministered to them, that they could relate.

After reading Husband Material, I promptly purchased Love Letters and can't wait to read it. What are you working on next?

I liked writing the Dollar Download (Husband Material) and am working on another one with plans for more possibly, following that. I’m also gearing up for an early autumn writers’ conference where I’ll pitch a separate novel or two. I’ve got lots of projects with potential for various readerships. The trick is to hone my craft and prepare as much as possible, which includes lots of prayer.

Prayer is what sees us through--no doubt! Tell us one interesting fact about you that your readers would find interesting, and maybe even surprising.

I love to sing. I began writing songs at age four (before I could “write”). Nowadays, I enjoy serving on my church’s worship team, leading worshipers in lifting a musical response of love and adoration from our hearts to God’s.

There's something so beautiful about music that uplifts the heart and soul. How do you find balance between being a writer and everything else that goes on in your life?

Wow. Great question. I haven’t found it yet, but I have learned a few things along the way. First, just because something’s on the to-do list doesn’t mean there’s no room in the day for other things–like a walk or some gardening, or even a few loads of laundry. I’ve learned that sometimes I have to carve out time to write. That’s how Husband Material came about. I carved out three days a week, two hours each of those days, and went off-site where I simply focused on plotting, planning, writing, and rewriting that story. One month later, I was ready to submit. Still, sometimes I feel overwhelmed. The trick is to keep everything in perspective and be as organized as possible. I also bring my concerns to God in prayer. He’s taught me to live reliant on Him. A very good lesson.

Absolutely, Annette - and what a great reminder of where all of our strength and answers can be found. Thanks for letting us get to know you better!
Now, here's a blurb for Husband Material, from White Rose Publishing!

Wyatt Hansen has no fears about commitment, but only three years have passed since his beloved wife died, and he can't bring himself to break their annual dinner date-that is until he meets restaurant owner, Lara Farr.

Lara doesn't have time for romance; she has a business to run. At least that's what she tells herself so she doesn't have to admit that commitment scares her. But Lara's business is failing, and it just may take a miracle-or marketing analyst, Wyatt Hansen-to save it.

Can Wyatt rescue Lara's restaurant, help her overcome her fears, and prove he is good husband material?


The future beings today.

Wow. That's such a wonderful lens through which to view this poignant, emotional story. Lara Farr is the owner of the Blue Hyacinth Restaurant in Seattle.

Wyatt Hansen is a corporate trouble shooter as well as a grieving widower. Lara is refreshingly engaging and bright – full of a spirit that can’t help but awaken Wyatt’s affections. Plus, she has a mission for him: Keep her restaurant – which is a community institution – viable and fresh.

Husband Material is a story of second chances and letting go. Sooner or later, we all must face the truth that the past has passed – and that releasing it doesn’t mean you forget it, or treasure it any the less – it simply means you’re embracing God’s plans and loving embrace anew.

Lara and Wyatt’s tale is charming, full of warmth and a tender realism that has already prompted me to purchase Ms. Irby’s White Rose Publishing debut, Love Letters. I can’t wait to read it! Five stars – and bravo, Ms. Irby!


  1. Welcome to the blog, my friend! Delighted to have you visit - and as you know, I adored Husband Material! Congrats on the release, and keep writing--can't wait for what's next!

  2. ANNETTE!!! CONGRATS on the new book, my friend -- can't wait to "finish" it after the teaser I was privileged to read!

    Marianne ... very nice blog and great interview!!


  3. Ooh, Annette, sounds great! And what a wonderful interview, ladies!

  4. Boy, do I remember the typewriter. Ew! What an awesome teacher to assign such a creative lesson!

    Congrats on Husband Material, Annette. I can't wait to read it!

    Great interview, ladies.

  5. Julie, thanks so much for your visit in support of Annette's release and your compliment on the blog! I love your writing. :-) God bless!

  6. Hi there, Donna!! Glad you liked the post! :-) Blessings to you!!!

  7. Dora, can you believe how far we've come and so quickly when it comes to producing things like manuscripts!?!? :-) Truly a marvel. Thanks for the visit and hope you enjoy Husband Material. It's great!!

  8. Hi Marianne! Thanks for having me here!! You're so gracious. :D

  9. Hi Julie, I'm so grateful for your support! Fun timing since I'm reading your new release right now. Thanks, friend! :)

  10. Hi Donna, thanks for your kind words! And let me know if you get a chance to read HM. I'd love to know your thoughts. :)

  11. Hey Dora, thanks for your kind comments. Weren't those typewriters great? ;) Please share your thoughts once you read HM. All His best!

  12. Great interview! I even learned a few things about Annette that I didn't know. LOL I do know that Husband Material is a well-written story. I highly recommend reading it and Annette's other published book, Love Letters. :-D

  13. Great interview Ladies! Good luck Annette, I've got your book on my 'to buy' list.

    Take care & be blessed everyone!

  14. Hi Dawn, thanks, my friend. :D And thanks for your awesome, thoughtful reviews!

  15. Thank you, Pamela! I look forward to hearing your comments on it once you've read it. All His best!