Welcome to Ana Claudia Antunes
Where are you from and where do you live now? I’m originally from Brazil, though I have been living and traveling around the world. I love to learn about other cultures, about history, habits and/or rituals, etc. And I need to wander for quite some time to wonder about the country, its people in doing so I may absorb the essence of each place. But somehow I always return back home. Brazil has a magnetism that attracts the most sensitive souls, and it’s a irresistible force that ignites and gives you a chill and sparkles to everything around, you know…
Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc. I’m a multi-genre author and my works go from Mystery/Crime, Historical fiction, Children’s Literature, Poetry and Nursery Rhymes, fables, myths and legends, Fantasy/Sci-Fi to hybrid fiction/nonfiction and self-help, methodology and techniques and how-to books. Here are some of them, just to name a few:
Fairies of the Four Seasons and The Enchanted Valley Series
The Mysterious Murder of Marilyn Monroe (182 pages- Lulu, 2015)
From the trilogy Memoirs of an Amazon:
The Witches of Avignon (Past) -Occult
The Pierrot’s Love (Present) -Mystery/Suspense (174 pages- Createspace, 2009)
Out of the Blue (Future) -Fantasy/Sci-fi (192 pages- Createspace, 2009)
From The Pierrot’s Love Series:
Pierrot & Columbine (Book 1)
The Phantom of the Ballet (Book 2)
Harlequin (Book 3)
Diary of a Columbine (Book 4)
A-Z of Happiness (79 pages – Lulu, 2015)
The DAO WORKBOOK ILLUSTRATED (119 pages – Lulu, 2015)
The MilkShake’s Opera Series (colouring books with fables)
They are all available in major book retailers worldwide (in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Italian).
Do you have a favourite character? If so why? Oh there are so many great main characters in my plots. For example, there are four main characters in the Four Sea Sons Series. They all have a special touch that will turn the world around and make such difference in nature and in people’s lives. And yes, I am talking about the seasons as living beings, as ethereal and real entities. And then there is a main character in The Pierrot’s Love Series that you will fall in love with, and then you will hate her and then you will feel compassion and so a mixed feeling will pour your heart in such a way that you will not know why but will have the urge to hold that child’s hand, and that’s Talitha. She is a teenage girl and she has been through so much in her life already that you can feel all her pain and her ambitions, she wants to reach out to you through her seductive manners. But then again she’s just human. And so she is an anti-heroine. Her antithesis could be Ann, from the future, of the same trilogy, in the book “Out of the Blue”, like a mirror reflecting the opposite side. Ann is just as ambitious but she lacks faith in herself, all the confidence Talitha has in her feminine tributes, Ann is totally oblivious of it, in a total loss from her life and with no self-control. Contrary to Talitha, Ann will have to go through hell to reach out for help and get some redemption, to finally feel free from her own instincts and let go of old fears.
Are your characters based on real people? Some of my books were inspired by real life characters, some other books I wrote are hybrid fiction/non-fiction, so yeah, I pretty much so get inspired by people who have lived, and even who are still breathing among us… so don’t get discouraged if I didn’t mention your personality traits yet. I might even have your name over my books, I must some day…
Have you ever used a person you don’t/didn’t like as a character then killed them off? No, I never hated that much. But some people did. (Not anyone whom I knew or met in person, and I thank God for that!) So I used what others did (you see it in the news everyday) and wrote it down. Some cases of murder were real, some were taken from my own imagination, but they could have easily happened in real life, for sure!
Is there a message conveyed within your writing? Do you feel this is important in a book? There are always messages, even enigmas to be searched, mysteries to be solved in all of my books. I like to puzzle readers, but I do not make so to the point of being so complex that they will lose interest in the plot. And that for me is the essence of every great literature around the world, and that’s been so for ages.
Sort these into order of importance: Great characters; great world-building; solid plot; technically perfect. Can you explain why you chose this order? (Yes I know they all are important…) Great characters- They are pivotal for a great plot. THEN a solid plot: Why then? If you do not have great characters it is impossible to create a good plot, nonetheless a solid one. Once you have built great characters for the scenes, there you have it. It’s just like the movies, you cannot have a great film if the characters are frail and their lines are weak as well. I guess great world-building comes along with a good plot. If there is something that will work fine in a novel is how you will develop from the theme. You’ve got to establish a good timeline, and from there it comes a world. You see the technical matters don’t match or matter as much to me. Even a poorly written story, if there is a good plot and great characters on it will make a divine combination There are simply many cases of it over the mainstream and that even reached the big screen.
In what formats are your books available? (E-books, print, large print audio) Are you intending to expand these and if not, what is the reason? My books are available as print and e-books and I also have some audiobooks though I am still figuring out how I am going to expand it.
Do you read work by self-published authors? All the time.
What are your opinions about authors commenting on reviews? How important are reviews? Reviews are for readers AND authors. It’s a good way of learning from what people think about the work. Being it good or bad. A book might as well be hurt by a bad, poorly written review. That’s such a pity. Some people don’t know how to express themselves, and maybe that’s why they are just readers and not writers, others read a book like chewing a cupcake. That’s too bad. If that was not your cup of tea, leave it there, untouched. Don’t go bash the author for that. But if you really hate the book, why bother telling others. It’s your problem after all. You can give constructive opinions but don’t blame the author for your different tastes and views. Also authors shouldn’t comment on reviews, it sounds unprofessional, even silly. Some busy writers don’t even have time to read what other people say about their work. If someone enjoyed your book, or not, that is irrelevant. If you will continue or not to write something else it doesn´t add to the plate.. Besides, why bother commenting on a review, just read it and shut up. Being it good or bad. So my opinions about authors commenting on reviews is just my opinions after all!
When buying a book do you read the reviews? I do read many, if not all of them. I think reviews are important as much as I notice there is an unbiased opinion about them. The problem is that many authors are just too worried about getting reviews when they actually should be more about promoting their own works. Reviews will help as long as they have a good name and reputation. It’s easy to spot a liar from a true and honest review. The ones who are not solid sound silly; I always spot a good book not simply by reading its positive reviews but by actually reading about the author, his/her experience in the field and many other signs that give out the author’s identity, hence his or her authority in the matter.
What are your reviews on authors reviewing other authors? I think that it’s simply magnificent, if not perfect. I do review many authors, and I wish I could do much more. I simply have not much time, and if I do have some encouragement, I graciously give a positive remark. Unless the book is not worth my two pennies I will always give a feedback. But when I really enjoy a book I don’t simply read the whole thing, I will give a five-star review, and I will help it reach as many people as I can, with word-of-mouth, by blogging about it, by telling people from my network to go read it because it’s that good.
What experiences can a book provide that a movie or video game cannot? A book can be a great friend, an advisor, a means to an end. A book reveals so much more than a movie would ever do. For example, when I watched the movie “The Hours” I was fascinated by the story. Just a year later I decided to read the book. And what was my surprise that I was even more dazzled by its writings than I was by the images… The images in my head were more vivid than the film could ever transport me to that feminine universe that the author was trying (and so successfully granted me) to conceive… About video games; you are kidding, right?
What three pieces of advice would you give to new writers? First of all, please, please, don´t go publish until you are one hundred percent sure you are doing a great job, the best that you may deliver. For in this publishing media it´s easy to get it all wrong when you are just starting. Secondly, find a good editor, or at least a second opinion. You know, four eyes read better than two. You will regret later on for not having a good editor to go through your writing, or having a great artist to do the best cover for your book. Because if there is something I learned during these years in the publishing market it is to never ever underestimate the power of good editing. And my third piece will be to advice about a good image: the saying “never judge a book by its cover” was created by a lazy author who didn´t give much thought of what really works in the marketing of both fiction and nonfiction.
What are your best marketing/networking tips? What are your worst? My best move so far it was to help others into marketing their own works. For mine I would say it was a lucky strike, or not: I offered a pre-sale from one of my books that reached a good amount of people interested on the project even not knowing anything about it. Anyway, I guess it was not the beginner’s luck but the theme of the book that made people buy it so fiercely. I tried it again with another book that I was certain it wouldn’t get as much attention and it would not draw a crowd. And that’s exactly what happened. There was a lack of interest for the theme, I guess.
My worst marketing strategy it would be to hurry with the publishing. I would avoid rushing into the process, and marketing books with too many mistakes, like typos or misspellings, and I would spend more time rereading my texts and editing it thoroughly before submitting them to a publisher or even self-publishing.
Can you name your favourite traditionally published author? And your favourite indie/self-published author? No, there are simply too many of them to name just one.
Book links, website/blog and author links: