Anne Rothman-Hicks and Kenneth Hicks first started writing books together while Anne was a student at Bryn Mawr College and Ken was a student at Haverford College — a long time ago, when, as their children like to say, dinosaurs roamed the earth. Ken grew up in Abingdon, Pennsylvania and Anne in both New York City where she was born and in Scarsdale, New York.
In 1973, they began to live in New York City while Ken was attending law school at Columbia University and Anne was working in publishing. They wrote their first novel together in 1976, hoping that it would be a success and Ken would not have to even start working as a lawyer. Alas, that book is still in on the upper shelf of their closet, but they kept at the writing business.
In 1984, they published Theft of the Shroud, a novel, through Banbury books, distributed by Putnam. That same year they also published a series of 10 books based on the most popular boy’s and girl’s names, and a book about the stars for children. At this time, Ken stopped practicing law for two years as they devoted themselves fulltime to writing and their children. However, children need to eat and be clothed and go to school, and these things all cost money, so Ken went back to practicing law. Still, they continued to write, and rewrite, and rewrite some more.
Most recently, Ken and Anne are the authors of Weave A Murderous Web, (mystery) Melange Books LLC, 2016; Praise Her, Praise Diana, (Adult thriller) Melange Books LLC, 2014, Kate and the Kid, (Adult mainstream) Wings ePress 2013, and Things Are Not What They Seem (Tween fantasy) MuseItUp Publishing 2014. Anne and Ken have also published two small-format photography books, which are available on the Apple iBookstore – Hearts (no flowers) Signs of Love in the Gritty City and Picture Stones.
Excerpt from WEAVE A MURDEROUS WEB
“Carmen’s working on a series about children and the courts,” Francine said. “Kids falling into poverty are a very big problem.”
“I’m aware of the problem, Francine. I’ll skip over the question of what has made Carmen give a good hoot in hell about children all of a sudden. What does any of this have to do with that coke-head Mark?”
“Oh, nothing much. Nothing at all really.”
She was hedging, worried that the prospect of helping Carmen might have made me shut the whole thing down before it ever began.
“Go on, Francine.”
“It’s just… she knew Mark fairly well and doesn’t think his death was accidental. She says Mark did drugs too much to do something that stupid.”
“So she thinks he did it on purpose? Is that it? He committed suicide over the predicament of his client and child?”
“Not exactly,” Francine said.
In hindsight I can see clearly how nonchalant she wanted to seem, playing with the gold locket and dropping it inside her sweater, glancing in the direction of the window as if a pretty bird had alighted there.
“Carmen thinks Mark was murdered.”
And now let’s find out a little more about the two of you. How long have you been writing?
We first wrote together when we were both in college (Anne at Bryn Mawr and Ken at Haverford). We arranged what was called a project course with a Haverford professor to write a book for children. A Moon and a Tune has never made it off the top shelf of our closet, but we enjoyed the process and have continued ever since. We write middle reader fiction and non-fiction, young adult fiction, and thrillers, mysteries and mainstream novels for adults.
Wow, you really are the dynamic duo! Describe what you consider your ideal writing conditions.
Ken writes at the computer in the bedroom. Anne works in a chair in the living room. We both enjoy quiet while we write, but we realize that when things are going badly the quiet can get very loud, and when things are going well, noise does not matter.
Are you a plotter, a pantser or some combination of both?
We are a combination of plotter and pantser. We always have a basic outline of how the book will begin and end before we start to write. But we try to remain open to change, especially when a character becomes more important than first expected.
Name one of your all-time favorite movies, the one you instantly recognize when it flashes across the screen, the one you stop and watch no matter how many times you’ve seen it, the one where you find yourself mouthing the dialogue along with the characters.
For Ken, the movie would be “Casablanca”. For Anne it would be “The Wizard of Oz.” She can sing along with it as well.
Love both of those movies. Where do you go for inspiration?
Book ideas come from out of the air, so to speak. We like to take long walks, which are conducive to ideas appearing. On walks, we can also talk about a book and its plot or its problems, or we can just march along and say nothing. We always feel better after a long walk.
Name an author or authors who never fail to inspire you.
Ken: William Butler Yeats and Robert Frost.
Anne: Kurt Vonnegut.
Ken: Agrees with Anne about Kurt Vonnegut.
Tell us a little bit about your current WIP.
On March 8, 2016, Melange Books LLC will be publishing our mystery entitled, Weave A Murderous Web. The book’s main character is Jane Larson, an attorney who lives and works in New York City. The same character inhabits our thriller, Praise Her, Praise Diana and our mystery/thriller Mind Me, Milady. We are planning a fourth book involving her also.
In the middle reader/young adult area, we are working on a sequel to Things Are Not What They Seem, involving all of the same characters on a new adventure, although this will include some time travel back to the Revolutionary War period in New York City.
What is the best compliment you ever received as a writer?
This comment by a reviewer of Praise Her, Praise Diana, “Definitely a book that will make you sit up and take notice and will have you thinking about it long after you have finished it. This book is food for your brain and I love books that make me think about my own views and question what I would do if faced with a similar circumstance.
If you met a genie, what 3 things would you wish for?
We would both wish for continuing happiness for our three children.
What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
We enjoy traveling, visiting museums, cooking dinner for our children, going to the theater, walking and photography.
What is the one thing you never seem to have enough time for?
Reading. So many good books, so little time.
You are so right. More time for reading and writing!! I want to thank both of you for taking time out of your busy schedules to stop by for a visit. Come back anytime. Readers, take a look at the information below so you can check out Ken and Anne’s books. And while you’re at it, hop on over to their blog and read all about my newest book, Xander’s Tangled Web. http://www.randh71productions.co,/blog/
Praise Her, Praise Diana: http://www.amazon.com/Praise-Her-Diana-Anne-Rothman-Hicks-ebook/dp/B00NVDGCIM
Things Are Not What They Seem: http://www.amazon.com/Things-Are-What-They-Seem-ebook/dp/B00JLPGNX8
Facebook Author Page is https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kenneth-Hicks-and-Anne-Rothman-Hicks/622272714477979