The Writer’s World v. The Real World or: Suspension of Disbelief

I read a lot of fun and funny articles written by virologists, engineers, physicians, firearms instructors, and others in STEM careers who like to educate on real science versus what you see in the movies. I enjoy those articles because they’re useful and they teach valuable lessons to the masses about the wonderful world we all live in at the moment.

But does that mean writers are stupid? That we don’t get it?

Well, maybe.

I can’t say that I have a PhD in anything. I know psychology up and down and can work with writing mental disorders from both sides of the couch. I do that in The Psych Writer series quite often (and that’s something I’ll be writing about again soon, I promise). But when it comes to firearms, virology and immunology, physics, chemistry, veterinary studies, pharmacy, or any trade requiring an expert, I don’t know squat.

So I do research, and I learn. But sometimes what’s real and what’s proper just isn’t going to fit my story. I might need something to explode when my character shoots it and you’ll never know if she used regular shot or whatever. I might need someone to catch a bullet mid-air and be relatively unscathed from the experience. Those things aren’t real. They’re not going to happen. That’s probably a good thing.

Also there are not giant tentacle inter-dimensional monsters the last time I checked, nor is the country I live in divided into Territories rather than States. Also in my world women were recognized for their scientific achievements early on, and white people didn’t dominate the planet with colonialism.

The writer’s world is not often our same (or sane) world. For me, I purposefully divorced the Silver Hollow world from this real one so that you’d know you weren’t in Kansas anymore. Or wherever the hell you are while you read this. You get the point.

Sometimes writers just have to make it up as we go along, too. I’m currently writing a story that takes place in my world in 1902. Paper cups weren’t invented in our world until 1907. But guess what? My main character is using paper cups. That’s not a goof. I write things this way on purpose. I have to sit down and ask myself what the world would be like in a place where germ theory was accepted earlier because “sin” wasn’t a concept. I have to wonder about a world where money is king rather than the false construct of race. I need to think about how ways my world differs from my real one.

So if you read something that isn’t accurate, seems strange, or is otherwise wrong in this world, please, consider that it was likely done with a purpose. As a wonderful scientist friend of mine (and cracking good writer, by the way) said: “As a scientist, I am fine with this. I don’t want to read a technical bulletin. I do enough of that 9-5. I want to escape.”

As a writer, I’m happy to provide readers with an escape.


I like to write often about things that hopefully couldn’t ever happen in our world. If you’d like to point out how inaccurate my writing is (because it is, most likely), you can do it on my Facebook or Twitter page. I might just refer you back here, though.

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Pleasant Publishing with Pronoun

Ugh, even that title sounds like an advert. But I promise it’s really not. I’m receiving no compensation from Pronoun for writing this. I just wanted to share my experience for all of the indie writers out there who are looking for a platform to get their work out for public consumption.

Back in October, in time for Halloween, I published Now Entering Silver Hollow. Well, we published it (my spouse and I).

The first time I was in print, Red Rattle Books took care of everything for me. They did my editing, proofing, publishing, and marketing. In that sense, traditional publishing is lovely. But the downside is that you have to do a lot of your own marketing, too, and you will see less of a cut for the work you put out. Your ROI is much more slim.

Then, I published Exit 1042 using Kindle Direct Publishing. It was simple enough. Just follow the steps and get your book out. This process was simple. The only added difficulties were that I had to do my own editing, proofing, publishing, and marketing. Okay, fine. At least I get a slightly larger piece of the pie I spent all my time slaving over, so that works for me. The downside of that is the distribution isn’t wide. It’s on Amazon Kindle and that’s that. So people who own/use/want to access through Nook, Kobo, Google Play, or iBooks are screwed if they want to read your things, because Amazon held onto it exclusively.

That’s okay, of course, because I agreed to it and thought it would be helpful because I was new to self-publishing and had no idea there was a way to publish on all platforms all at once.

Then, along comes Pronoun.

I had no clue what it was, but I was doing an article about the astounding ProWritingAid app when I had to write about publishing platforms. That’s when I found Pronoun and fell in love.

It’s a clean, easy-to-use publishing platform that lets you publish on multiple avenues. If you’re not lucky enough to have a professional editor or otherwise excellent editor look at your work before you publish it, they can connect you to their services. Yeah. They also have amazing book cover artists that will help you with your book’s cover art. Granted that part isn’t free, but you as a writer understand that artists and craftspeople deserve to be compensated for their work.

But everything else on Pronoun is free. You publish, you get your royalties when people buy. That’s it. No magic.

So I started out and discovered that when Pronoun became difficult and unwieldy, it wasn’t a part of the platform that was giving me problems–it was my own errors. Fortunately those were easy to clear up. A bit of formatting here, a touch of what the hell am I doing there, and voila, problems solved.

I had great support throughout the process. I found one issue where I ran into a brick wall and needed help. For some reason, my print ISBN wasn’t pulling through with Amazon, so while Pronoun was telling Amazon they were the same book on different platforms, Amazon was having a derp moment and not believing it.

I contacted Pronoun, thinking they were probably insanely busy and wouldn’t be able to get back to me in a hurry, so I’d have to suffer with the issue for a few days. Not so. A friendly Author Happiness Advocate (yes, that’s their title) named Elissa Bernstein got back to me in less than 16-hours and was pretty much the most incredible person I could work with. She was friendly, personable, and went out of her way to make it a painless experience. She reached out to Amazon who graciously fixed the problem and in less than 24 hours from the time my issue started, it was resolved. I know Amazon also has great customer service (I know this through experience), but I really didn’t think they’d hop-to when Pronoun came knocking.

Don’t know why I thought that but I’m glad I was wrong.

So much gratitude to Elissa for that, and for answering all of my off-the-wall questions about publishing. I’ve promised myself not to pester her with philosophical/unrelated queries, but I bet her answers would be phenomenal.

Here’s the GTTP (get to the point) version: If you’re going to do your own publishing, use Pronoun for your eBooks and CreateSpace for print. You won’t want to run screaming from the house and throw yourself off a cliff that way.


Anne writes books. She likes to write. Write. Anne. Write. You can follow her around on Facebook and Twitter, even at the same time, probably.

New Book, New Hook or: I Hate Pants

I write these ahead of time, you know. My time-management skills are actually pretty damn good if I do say so myself. I even manage to get a good night’s sleep about 45% of the time, and that’s only on account of the violent night terrors and nightmare disorder that rouses me to consciousness about three times a week on average.

So future me–November 10th me (I trust I’ll still be alive by the time this publishes, but no one knows for sure, right?) is right in the middle of NaNoWriMo. I’m working on a new book that I will publish probably much later than I write it. It’s a tale of the Weird West. I’ve never tackled a Western before but among my favorites are A Fistful of Dollars, True Grit, and The Outlaw Josey Wales. But of course because I let my freak flag fly as they say, I have to add something weird and kind of gross to it, and maybe something sexy now and then.

In addition to the NaNoWriMo excitement, I’ve published another book and I’m super excited about it! Now Entering Silver Hollow is a horror story about a haunted house and the various strange goings on in the small eponymous town. So that’s my new book with a new hook, or an old hook with a new twist. So that would be kind of like a corkscrew hook, which sounds bad-ass (or maybe that’s just me).

Once NaNo is over, I’ll be turning my focus to editing projects, including a “part two” in the Silver Hollow series. The working title is Mercy Hospital. You might even get to find out what happens to the magnificent Oscar, the cat with fur the color of red autumn leaves. Maybe. It’ll depend if he’s feeling up to making another appearance.

Life is a whirlwind and I’m caught up in it without pants. But I hate pants anyway (leg prisons) so I’m good with it. Bet you didn’t think I’d come around to the pants thing, did you?

You know, pants aren’t so bad (they cover my tremendous and beautiful behind, after all), but when I get home, they come right off so I can get into my shorts or house-dress. I like to be comfortable, especially when I’m writing. Pants are not comfortable for all-day wear.

Well, this is me, and this is my personal post about my life right now. Hopefully I’m still alive when this posts, or you’re all gonna feel creepy and weird when you read it, or maybe even cry. I trust I will be (barring a catastrophe or being crushed by a falling piano–which would be a calamity), and I trust that I’ll be laughing about this along with you in a few weeks.

Also, you’ll be getting another installment of The Psych Writer soon. We’re gonna tackle something lighthearted and fun: writing Major Depressive Disorder.

So join me in NaNo if you’re doing it this year, or drop me a line on my Facebook or Twitter page. I’d love to hear from you, even if it’s just to say “hi.”

Discover Stephen Bentley: It’s his turn now…

In case you missed it, a few weeks ago, I was interviewed by the wonderful Stephen Bentley. You can find it here: Discover Anne Hogue-Boucher: Author Spotlight – Stephen Bentley

So now I’d like to chat with you a little bit about Stephen and just how cool he is. I mean, he’s mega-cool. He’s cool with extra cool.

He wrote a book about the events where he was an undercover cop for Operation Julie. If you’re in the UK, then you probably already know that’s a huge deal. It radically changed the way drug busts operated there, essentially setting the standard for future operations.

I think the tale is so thrilling because it’s true, and Stephen is unflinching in his assessments–of himself, his colleagues, and those he was set to watch. Undercover: Operation Julie – The Inside Story tells us a lot about the action but doesn’t come across as cheesy. You don’t feel like you’ve been dropped into an episode of Starsky & Hutch (yes, I’m dating myself with that reference, shut up).

If you haven’t read my interview with Stephen, head on over and take a gander, and while you’re at it, head on over and grab a copy of Undercover: Operation Julie. Then, why not head on over to my Author’s Page and see what I’ve got cooking?

I’m still waiting to hear from a few more of you about The Psych Writer, and I’ll be back with that in just a couple weeks. Currently I’m working hard on NaNoWriMo, tackling a Weird West tale this time. I’ll tell you more about that later.

See you next week, and keep reading.