Interview with Ann Tatlock
Author of Sweet Mercy
Is this your first book or have you published before?
Sweet Mercy is my 10th book. It was in 1998 that my first book hit the bookstores at the very
time I was over in China with my husband picking up our baby daughter. That was a big month
Are you working on anything else?
Yes, I’m doing research for my next book. But since I don’t tell anyone what my books are about
while I’m writing them (not even my husband, much to his annoyance), I’ll stay mum on the
story line for now.
Do you have any advice for authors wanting to publish?
Persistence is the most important thing. You’ll most likely wade through a flood of rejections at
first, but don’t give up. Every successful author has been down that same road. Very few have
reached success by sailing down Easy Street.
What is your favorite writing snack?
Strawberry or raspberry yogurt (eating some right now!).
What gets you in the mood to write?
I can’t say it’s a mood so much as discipline. Whether I feel like working or not, when my
designated writing hours roll around, I’m at my computer.
Who is your favorite character and why?
If you mean of my own characters, I’ll have to say Tillie Monroe in Promises to Keep. She’s by
far the most eccentric person I’ve ever worked with in my imaginary world. She first came to
me about 25 years ago, but she didn’t let me write about her until just recently. When the time
was right, there she was, sitting on the front porch of a house she no longer owned, ready to tell
her story. I was never quite sure what she was going to say or do next. She definitely kept me
entertained while I was writing.
Favorite book of all time?
I love so many books it’s hard to choose! One book that seems to rise to the top is Anne Morrow
Lindbergh’s Hour of Gold, Hour of Lead. I came across a copy many years ago in a second-
hand bookstore and I fell in love with Anne’s writing style and her eye for details. An incredibly
talented wordsmith, she challenges me to do my best.
What made you want to write this book?
Two things, really. I grew up hearing stories about Hoppe’s Island in the Little Miami River near
Foster, Ohio. It was a recreational island owned by my great-grandfather. A very popular place
in the 1920s and 30s, people came from all over to enjoy swimming, boating, picnicking and
dancing to the bands that played in the pavilion. For years, I’ve wanted to use the island as the
setting of a book, and I also wanted to set a story during Prohibition. I put the two together and
came up with Sweet Mercy.
I think breakfast says a lot about a person, what is your perfect breakfast?
As a creature of habit, I have the same breakfast every day: cold cereal and orange juice. Of
course, sometimes I add a little variety by slicing a banana on the cereal….lol!
Do you have a favorite period of time that you like to write about or would like to live?
I’m fascinated by the entire 20th century. It was 100 years of incredible scientific advancement,
yet throughout the decades people endured great horror and suffering, much of it man-made: the
World Wars, economic collapse, the crime wave brought on by Prohibition, Jim Crow laws and
the suppression of African-Americans.
While he wasn’t writing about our country or even our era, Charles Dickens did a good job of
describing 20th century America in these words: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of
times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was
the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the
spring of hope, it was the winter of despair….” (A Tale of Two Cities). I’m intrigued that we
should know such polar opposites at once.
Please tell us in one sentence why we should read your book!
Al Capone has a cameo role in the story and you wouldn’t want to disappoint him by not coming
to the party!
Thank you Ann for stopping by today.
1 winner will receive a copy of 3 of Ann’s Books
Sweet Mercy, Travelers Rest and Promises to Keep
Open to US & Canada Only