1--What is the title of your latest release?
2--What’s the “elevator pitch” for your new book?
After Anne tells the life story of Lucy Maud Montgomery, creator of Anne of Green Gables, who lived 100 years before us but whose story has so much to say to us today. After years of deliberation about whether to prioritize her writing career over marriage and children, Maud eventually chose to marry a minister who was deeply threatened by her success. The stigma around mental illness led her to bury the truth first of his struggles, and later of her own. Maud’s eventual suicide was covered up for 65 years until her granddaughter revealed it in 2008. This novel tells the story of Maud's hidden pain, and it also tells the story of her courage and her unique mind - of the exuberant spirit that leaps off the pages of her novels and journals, and of all the times she picked herself up in the face of personal tragedy.
3--How did you decide where your book was going to take place?
4--Would you hang out with your protagonist in real life?
5--What are three words that describe your protagonist?
Tenacious, sensitive, imaginative
6--What’s something you learned while writing this book?
Maud’s story has driven home for me the importance of growing from pain rather than hiding it. This means pivoting when what I am doing with my life no longer feeds my soul. Pivoting after losing loved ones. Not closing in on myself. Maud made many of these pivots in her life. She was stronger and more resilient than most would have been in her shoes. But there were certain pivots she could not bring herself to make - in part based on social constraints woven into the fabric of the time and place in which she lived. I hope Maud’s story fosters gratitude for the greater freedom of choice we have now in relationships, and the impact of that freedom on women’s lives in particular.
7--Do you edit as you draft or wait until you are totally done?
As I draft. My biggest struggle as a writer is tuning out my internal critic - my editor self - long enough to get words on the page.
8--What’s your favorite foodie indulgence?
9--Describe your writing space/office!
My writing and law desk faces out into a well-lit room in my basement with pictures of my daughter and grandmother and a set of favorite quotes from my mom all in close view. It’s a standing desk, but I spend most of my time sitting, or on the nearby couch with my cat on my lap.
10--Who is an author you admire?
Lucy Maud Montgomery!
11--Is there a book that changed your life?
Anne of Green Gables certainly did. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson, Big Magic by Liz Gilbert, and The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo more recently.
12--Tell us about when you got “the call.” (when you found out your book was going to be published)/Or, for indie authors, when you decided to self-publish.
I learned that After Anne had been accepted by Tessa Woodward at HarperCollins - a fellow Anne aficionado and my dream editor - in September 2021, a few weeks after having my daughter. I pulled out my phone after waking to newborn cries at 5 am and was greeted by a text from my agent Abby Saul, asking me to call her. At that point, I had all but given up on believing this book would find its publishing home. It’s hard to put words to the excitement and raw bleary-eyed energy I felt looking into the eyes of my newborn daughter while hearing the best words I could imagine hearing from Abby, an amazing human and this book’s champion through years of ups and downs. I had her repeat the news twice because I couldn’t believe it.
13--What’s your favorite genre to read?
Historical fiction, literary fiction, and poetry
14--What’s your favorite movie?
La La Land (although Father of the Bride is a close, nostalgic second)
15--What is your favorite season?
Spring, but fall has been growing on me since moving back to Colorado
16--How do you like to celebrate your birthday?
At a neighborhood park with close friends and family, if Colorado weather cooperates
17--What’s a recent tv show/movie/book/podcast you highly recommend?
Mot(HER) with Dr. Gertrude Lyons – my first podcast interview!
18--What’s your favorite type of cuisine?
19--What do you do when you have free time?
Play with my 19-month-old daughter, read, see friends, yoga, hike, run
20--What can readers expect from you next?
I am working on a memoir of my many-years-long journey to motherhood and to publishing a novel.
A Novel of Lucy Maud Montgomery's Life
A stunning and unexpected portrait of Lucy Maud Montgomery, creator of one of literature’s most prized heroines, whose personal demons were at odds with her most enduring legacy - the irrepressible Anne of Green Gables.
As a young woman, Maud had dreams bigger than the whole of Prince Edward Island. Her exuberant spirit had always drawn frowns from her grandmother and their neighbors, but she knew she was meant to create, to capture and share the way she saw the world. And the young girl in Maud’s mind became more and more persistent: Here is my story, she said. Here is how my name should be spelled—Anne with an “e.”
But the day Maud writes the first lines of Anne of Green Gables, she gets a visit from the handsome new minister in town, and soon faces a decision: forge her own path as a spinster authoress, or live as a rural minister’s wife, an existence she once called "a synonym for respectable slavery." The choice she makes alters the course of her life.
With a husband whose religious mania threatens their health and happiness at every turn, the secret darkness that Maud herself holds inside threatens to break through the persona she shows to the world, driving an ever-widening wedge between her public face and private self, and putting her on a path towards a heartbreaking end.
Beautiful and moving, After Anne reveals Maud’s hidden personal challenges while celebrating what was timeless about her life and art—the importance of tenacity and the peaceful refuge found in imagination.
Historical [William Morrow Paperbacks, On Sale: May 30, 2023, Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9780063246454 / ]
LOGAN STEINER is a litigator and brief-writing specialist at a boutique law firm. She graduated summa cum laude from Pomona College and cum laude from Harvard Law School. She lives in Denver with her husband and daughter. After Anne is her first novel.
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