We were treated to a barbecue chicken dinner complete with baked beans and coleslaw. This was served up with lemonade to drink and with red velvet cake for dessert. After our meal we were entertained by the lovely Ann B. Ross.
She talked about writing and how she came up with ideas for her books. I was intrigued by what she told us. She said that some of her best ideas came from the beauty shop or from visiting with people at formal functions like teas. She said ideas can come from the news or even from overheard conversations, so if you habitually speak loudly enough in public for others around you to hear your conversations, beware, an author could be lurking nearby. She said a particular part of one of her books was spun off the overheard conversation of a group of ladies in a restaurant in New Orleans.
Some of the attendees had questions about her characters. Miss Ross said that all her characters are fictional and were "seen" in her imagination. She said with a wink that one thing a writer can do is to create a "man" to be anything you want him to be.
Her writing is done on a laptop at her dining table, and she writes every day, except when she is traveling. She doesn't fly, so her travel is always by road trip. She said for the trips of great distance from her Hendersonville, North Carolina, home her publisher would provide her with a car and driver.
Miss Ross has previously turned down offers for movie rights to her book series. She was not comfortable giving up control of the material for others to change the content of her story and characters.
She currently is under contract to complete two more books in the Miss Julia series, and she did not rule out additional books after those two.
So here we three are with the gracious Ann B. Ross. I considered editing myself out of this picture because of my prednisone face, but then decided to post it anyway, since this is the only face I have. My vanity couldn't overshadow the wonderful evening I had with my good friends and the opportunity to meet an entertaining author. If you haven't read the Miss Julia series, be sure to start it from the beginning; this is a series that progresses and needs to be read in order.