Author Spotlight: Ane Mulligan


Welcome to Author Spotlight! Each week will feature a different author. We’ll get the scoop behind their writing life and dish a little. The authors will also be giving away a copy of their latest book. FUN.

The winner from the last Author Spotlight giveaway is SHEILA GROVES! Please email info {at} suzannewoodsfisher {dot} com with your mailing address to claim your prize.

Welcome Ane Mulligan, author of Chapel Springs Revival, to Author Spotlight! Leave a comment below for the chance to win a copy of her book.

Ane-PR.headshot copyShare a little bit about yourself. Married with kids? Empty nester? Do you work full-time and write when you can squeeze it in?

I’ve been married to my artist husband for 42+ years. We have three grown children. I write full time and thankful God didn’t call me to this gig until my nest was empty. I don’t know how others balance their writing with raising children.

And share something about your writing. What’s your genre(s), your areas of interest…

My brand is Southern-fried fiction, which is women’s fiction set in the South and delivered with humor. I love exploring women’s friendships.

Like most writers, I love to read. When I’m not reading, I’m cleaning the walls of slobber (we call them slingers) from our two English mastiffs. They are like having a pair of 200-plus-pound two-year-olds; they’re always underfoot. Only you have to lift your legs high to step over them.

How did you get started writing? Did you have a dream of being a published author?

I really started as a playwright. I was Creative Arts Director for my church for eleven years. Pastor would send me his sermon titles and ask for illustration sketches. Then one day, Hubs said, “You’ve bought and read so many books, you ought to write one.”

The right side of my brain quickened, and I knew God spoke through him. An idea formed and I started writing. It’s a long stretch from playwright to novelist. Plays are all dialogue, but I had so much more to learn. POV? Never heard the term. Omniscient was something God is. Boy, did I have a lot to learn.

After you started writing seriously–how long was it before you were published?

My journey has been a long one. I sat down on Jan 1, 2003 to begin that first manuscript. My debut novel, Chapel Springs Revival, releases today, nearly twelve years later.

Aside from a cup of good, strong coffee, what helps you get all of your “brain cylinders” firing so you can write well? Do you have any favorite places and routines when you write? How many hours a day do you spend writing?

I sit in our great room with Hubs and coffee in the morning. I go through my email while listening to the news. Around 9:00 AM, I head into my office to write. I’ll write for a good three hours. In the afternoon, I’ll do some more writing or work on marketing. Somewhere in the day, I slip in a trip to the gym or use our treadmill. In the evenings, I’ll write blog posts in the great room in front of TV with Hubs again.

What has been the biggest help to you in the journey to publication? Writers’ conferences? Writing groups? Your mom as your first draft reader?

Writers’ conferences without a doubt, because I met my critique partners at one. We’ve been together for all these years. I’m the last of us to be published. Also, the three main things that changed my writing I learned at conferences. I’ve gone to one or two every year since 2004.

What are your biggest distractions?

Our two English mastiffs. Like I said before, they are like having two-year-olds. In fact, maybe my nest isn’t empty after all. They don’t pay a lot of attention to closed doors. They stand on the other side and whine. And they’re very good at it. If I don’t answer the whining, they will scratch at the door. They aren’t good at being ignored.

What was one of the best moments in your career and what was one of the worst?

The best was getting “the call” from my agent after all these years. We’d turned down another contract about a year before this one. The worst moment was when I’d gone to pub board at a large publishing house. Their slate was full for that quarter, but they put me in a slot for the nest quarter. Then the editor retired and her hard drive was wiped clean. Yep. With my manuscript on it. Sigh.

That’s when I truly realized how much God was in control of my life. He kept saying, “Not yet. Trust me and wait.” Since He didn’t give me another option, I chose to do just that.

What do you least like about being a writer? Most like?CSR COVER copy

For me, the most difficult part of writing is the first draft. I love discovering my characters. I enjoy research. I sweat bullets creating the first draft.

I love the editing stage or second draft. That’s where the magic happens. I’m a romantic at heart and I love to tell stories. I also love to make people laugh. Doing both is the best gig ever!

What is the role and importance of an agent?

They guide, advise, and negotiate contracts. My agent has been so wise in all these areas. She kept me from making a couple of critical mistakes, for which I will bless her every day of her life.

What advice would you give to new writers?

Don rhino skin from day one and always remain teachable. I realized I knew nothing when I started, so I soaked up everything anyone taught me. My critique partners and I were serious about publishing, so we were hard on each other, pushing one another to excel. So much so, we earned nicknames: Attila the Holmes (Gina Holmes), Genghis Griep (Michelle Griep), Hannibal Dotta (Jessica Dotta), Ludwig von Frankenpen (Elizabeth Ludwig), and I’m Ane of Mean Gables.

Pretend I’m a customer at a bookstore looking for a good book. Give me a one or two sentence promo to convince me to buy your book.

Chapel Springs Revival is a romp through miscommunication in marriage, and with a friend like Claire, you need a gurney, a mop, and a guardian angel.

What’s on the book horizon for you?

The sequel, Chapel Springs Survival, is ready to go and I’m working on the third book in the Chapel Lake series, Dream Keeper.

Last question, how can readers find you and your books?

I can be found on my website, Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads. My books can be found on Amazon.

While a large, floppy straw hat is her favorite, Ane has worn many different ones: hairdresser, legislative affairs director (that’s a fancy name for a lobbyist), drama director, playwright, humor columnist, and novelist. Her lifetime experience provides a plethora of fodder for her Southern-fried fiction (try saying that three times fast). She firmly believes coffee and chocolate are two of the four major food groups. President of the award-winning literary site, Novel Rocket, Ane resides in Suwanee, GA, with her artist husband, her chef son, and two dogs of Biblical proportion.

Are you new here? You might want to subscribe to my email updates, or follow me on FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+, or Instagram.

About Suzanne

Suzanne Woods Fisher writes bestselling, award winning fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books. Her interest in the Plain People began with her Old Order German Baptist grandfather, raised in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne's app, Amish Wisdom, delivers a daily Amish proverb to your phone or iPad. She writes a bi-monthly column for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine. She lives with her family in California and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you can't take life too seriously when a puppy is running through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.


  1. Ane Mulligan says:

    Thank you for having me on, Suzanne!

  2. Pat Thompson says:

    It sounds like you and I have a lot in common. Therefore, I believe I would like your book. Best wishes in writing books.

    • Ane Mulligan says:

      Thank you, Pat! We probably do. Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoy Chapel Springs Revival. And you’ve gained a point in my blog tour grand prize drawing.

  3. Robin Bunting says:

    Loved hearing about another new to me author. Thanks for sharing. Can’t wait to give the book a try.

  4. Kelly Youngblood says:

    Oh my word, Mrs. Mulligan! If your book is anything like your answers, I’m going to love it! You are charming, comical, and simply precious in your answers. I cannot wait to read your books! Thank you for the giveaway, the chance to win, and the great interview!
    Kelly Youngblood
    kelly *at* dkcountryarts *dot* com

    • Ane Mulligan says:

      Well bless my soul, Kelly. I need to bottle you and carry you around with me! You’re good for a girl’s ego! LOL Thanks for commenting. And good luck in the drawing!

  5. Brenda Ayers says:

    Thanks for the opportunity to register for your giveaway. This sounds like a book I would like to read. Your name is new to me, but there are such good authors. I look forward to reading your books. Best wishes in your writing career,

  6. Cindi Altman says:

    Nice interview. Sounds like a writer’s conference is the place to go to gain insight and to form partnerships. Ü
    I’m looking forward to reading your books, Ane.

    • Ane Mulligan says:

      Thanks for stopping by, Cindi, and you’ve got that right abotu writer’s conferences. They are the best places for networking and forming those relationships. :o)

  7. Sharon Holweger says:

    I would love to read and own this book

  8. fantastic submit, very informative. I ponder why
    the opposite specialists of this sector do not notice this.
    You must proceed your writing. I am sure, you’ve a great readers’ base already!

  9. Linda McFarland says:

    Always love your Author Spotlights. It is an opportunity to learn more about authors I’ve read and new-to-me authors. Interesting post and I can’t imagine two loveable mastiffs! I have my hands full with a tiny toy poodle! Thanks for the opportunity to win…Linda

    • Ane Mulligan says:

      Linda, I had a poodle when I was a teenager and love them. My hubs thinks anything smaller than 100 pounds isn’t a dog. LOL The first mastiff surprised me. When they wanted the second one, I said absolutely not. Absolutely Not’s name is Oliver Twist.

  10. Deanna S says:

    My daughter has a bull mastif & wow how I can relate to that slobber part! Thanks for the giveaway, sounds like a delightful book!

  11. Sharyl B. says:

    Thanks for sharing with us Ane. I would love to read your book. I can totally relate to the big dog slobber. We have two Newfoundlands and a German Shepherd. I love to read and love big dogs!

    • Ane Mulligan says:

      Ahh, this is how I got you and Deanna mixed up. The slobber. ROFLOL!! Too funny. And out dogs have a pal at the dog park – he’s a Newfiepoo. Right. Part Newfoundland and part standard poodle. He’s a beautiful dog, but you get those 3 together and you’d better have on waders! :o) Thanks for sharing.

  12. Ane–So happy to share in the joy of your first book! You have been such an inspiration to me–a true example of “Hangeth thou in there.” I can’t wait to read your book; I loved your interview and advice. Especially the rhino skin remark! High fiving you on that one, sistah!
    XO Suzanne

  13. Love to read hope I win

  14. Roxanna ford says:

    Being a southern gal, my favorite entree on a book menu is southern fried fiction. One like yours chapel Spring Revival sounds extra yummy. I am not a writer just a reader. Thank you for sticking with it. God often tells me trust and wait. Blessings.

  15. Renee says:

    Congratulations on your debut novel! It sounds like one I would love to read.

  16. Kathy Faberge says:

    I love that phrase, “Southern-fried fiction”. Makes me want to read this book!

  17. Sonja says:

    That is exciting to get your book published. That is a wonderful accomplishment. Hope to be able to read this!

  18. Fern Lonce says:

    Sounds like a great read!!

  19. Cindy Goar says:

    This sounds like it will be a wonderful book to read. I will also recommend it to my mother who shares my love of reading! Thanks for the opportunity to win this book!

  20. Pamela Mann says:

    Thanks for writing such inspiring books.

  21. Bonnie Traher says:

    Looks like a must read.

  22. Martha Peace says:

    I would Love To Win This Book,Thanks

  23. Howdy! This post couldn’t be written any better!

    Reading this post reminds me of my good old room mate!
    He always kept talking about this. I will forward this post to him.
    Fairly certain he will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!

  24. Gail Hollingsworth says:

    We have two things in common, COFFEE and CHOCOLATE! Your book sounds wonderful.

  25. Linda Kish says:

    I understand the mentality of the English mastiffs. We have a 6 y/o bull mastiff. I had just finished telling him to stay out of the kitchen and away from our dinner and we left the room. I shut the gate and two minutes later he was in there helping himself to the remains. He just hops the gate like it’s not even there. But surprisingly, he can’t hop back out for some reason.

    I would love to read your book.

    • Ane Mulligan says:

      LOL Yes, Linda, you certainly do! We can tell ours to lay down, and the older one will, but I always say he’s a gentleman. Not so Oliver, the puppy. Well, he’s almost out of his puppyhood, but he isn’t changing. LOL He’ll lay down for about 3 seconds, then his head is back up near the plate.

      The thing is I believe they truly think we are part of their pack. Or they’re human. Either way, they’re a hoot!

      Good luck in the drawing. 🙂

      • Pat Thompson says:

        My Yorkshire terrier IS a human. She will be 15 next month if she lives that long. She has a story to tell. Being a teacher and breeder of dogs, English Toy Spaniel, and since I would be off for a week, and this place was “far from home”, we asked to bring her home and get her shots. We brought her home in a sock, she got her shot, and went unconscious. She tipped the scales at 0. The vet guessed at medicine for her. We fed her several days with a syringe, and after 4 days, she came alive. She has survived pneumonia and cancer. She also, at this age, thinks we need to set a plate for her because she eats whatever we do, including squash.

  26. Donna G says:

    I love your responses and would enjoy the opportunity to have your book to enjoy and pass on.

  27. Vivian Vereeke says:

    I enjoyed reading your interview so much, I had to go read about your book on Amazon. It looks really good 🙂 . Thanks for the chance to win one with this giveaway! I wish you much luck on your future endeavors.

  28. Vickie Kelley says:


    I have read many of your books about the Amish. Having never been to that area, I am learning more in each of your books. Looking forward to your new book! Especially being from Georgia and having lived here all of my life (64 years)

  29. Cheryl Baranski says:

    Love the interview. I do believe that I have
    found another wonderful author to read.
    CherylB1987 AT Hotmail DOT com