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America's Next Author
America's Next Author is the first real social writing contest. Winners will be chosen based on a unique combination of votes from readers and publishing industry experts.

"I assumed I'd be up against people who had more powerful social media reach."

Read our interview with Round #2 nominee Lin Clements and find out how to prepare for the inevitable zombie takeover (plus a few things about writing).

Lin Clements figured that she wouldn't get a nomination since she didn't have a huge social media network ready to mobilize, but she did an awesome job of getting votes and reviews, and that means you can, too!

How does it feel to be the second ANA nominee? 

Oh, wow. It's incredible. I honestly did not have a lot of expectations, because I assumed I'd be up against some people who had more powerful social media reach.

How has your experience with the military affected your writing?

I think I'm less afraid to write about the military experience, because I know what I've dealt with. There are books about the action and the war fighting, but there are very few that realistically deal with the military experience and the wreckage it can leave in its wake. I'm not talking about all the happy-happy endings, because it takes more than just a few magic words to make the pain go away and to make those happy endings a reality. So maybe that's what I can do; fill in the gap with something more realistic.

Any advice on how to prepare for the inevitable zombie takeover?

While you should have a lot of guns, always keep more silent weapons on hand. Big booms draw unwanted attention. Oh, and freeze dried or dehydrated food is a must. 

Did you have an existing fan base that was ready to vote for you?

I only told maybe two people when I first decided to expand on Brown Leather Couch (which had been a piece of flash fiction initially) and submit it as an entry. It wasn't until after the story had been accepted that I started telling people. Mostly, it was family sharing my link and getting their friends to vote for me. I didn't try to cast a huge net so much as I aimed for consistency. 

Are you ever able to find time to yourself to read? 

Absolutely. Since we homeschool our kids, we have set aside time for reading and for creative writing every day. The best method of teaching is to lead by example!

What is the best writing advice you've ever heard?


-Bliss Morgan

When you were little, did you want to be an author when you grew up? 

I don't think it quite hit me until I won a poetry contest in 4th grade. And then again, when I first read Salem's Lot, by Stephen King. Then the idea of sharing and being paid for all the weird, crazy, and dark stuff that goes on in my head took hold. It took awhile for me to reconcile paying the bills with pursuing my passion, though!

Do you have any writing-related pet peeves?

I'm sure as soon as I mention my personal pet peeves, someone will point out where I messed up in my own way, but careless formatting drives me batty. Giant blocks of text are eyesores, and there are so many occasions on which just a little attention to spacing would go a long way. Especially when you're reading on a screen, formatting is a make or break kind of thing.

How much of your writing is based on things you see in real life? 

Wow. That's a good one, actually. Most of the other stuff I write is straight horror/thriller, so I really hope I'm not a hit woman (unless I am…) and I really hope people don't light houses full of corpses on fire across the street from me. I do, however, inject people in my life into my characters. One recent short piece I wrote involves a little boy, who was inspired by a friend's son and my vision of what he'd be like a few years from now.

If you could choose any super hero power, what would it be? 

Oh, man. This one is also tough. I think I'd like to be invisible. Then I could people watch and nobody would even notice. Or I could get twenty minutes to myself with no interruption, or figure out which one of my kids really drew on the wall with that Sharpie marker.


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When I first got the email notifying me that my story was accepted for America's Next Author, I was really excited and even a little nervous. [...]
America's Next Author

#ANA2012 | What Fans Have To Say


America's Next Author is the first social writing contest. Friends, family, fans and publishing industry experts will read authors' submissions and nominate their favorite to be America's next major author. Everyone can participate!