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Literary Libations: An Interview With Author Anita Lewis

It’s been a long week, but it’s Sunday again, so of course that means it is time to grab your favourite beverage, a little snack, and unwind with a little light reading about reading! Last week, my guest was author Kerry Louise Connelly, who gives us a young, urban English-girl-about-town perspective with her book “Observation City”. This week, the kind and gracious Anita Lewis is here to chat with us about a much different type of life, recalling the process of growing up in a small Midwestern American town with a house full of sisters.

In a unique and creative approach to writing a book, Anita and her four sisters actually collaborated on the stories, each writing a piece of each one. The result is that the tales are not from a single perspective, but from a multitude of remembrances of things past. For some reason, the idea made me recall how much I loved reading the
“Anne Of Green Gables”
series as a little girl, and while I never wished I lived in a small town, I envied the simplicity and innocence of a different kind of life than the one I’d always known.

Anita is not only an author, but a successful blogger who can also be found on Goodreads. She is also a very kind and down-to-earth lady who has a natural curiosity about the world around her, and finds time to appreciate the small things. Although she and I come from two very different worlds, I have the sense that she’d find the time to welcome me into her home for coffee and pie, were I to pass through her part of the world!

1)Please tell the readers a bit about yourself. Where are you from, where do you reside now, and what is your latest project?

My name is Anita Lewis and I along with my four older sisters wrote the book, “Fluffy, Funny, and Fabulous: a Tale of Five Sisters: We are all originally from Virgil, Illinois which is a very small town in the middle of nowhere. I now reside in Aurora, IL which is the second largest city in Illinois, right behind Chicago.

2)You have a fantastic and interesting blog title. How exactly did it come into being?

My blog title— Our Fanatical Fam—came about because I was looking for something that described our family as I want this blog to be about myself and also to eventually include the things my other sisters and our children are doing too.

I love the word “Fanatical” because it means “passionate” and that is a great description of us. Whatever we do we do it to with enthusiasm and passion.

3)If you don’t mind, share a little bit about your latest book? What is it about your writing that makes it stand out from the pack?

Our book is a collaboration between five sisters. I wrote the beginning of every chapter and then sent it to my other sisters. They would write their memories and sent it back to me. I was the only one who saw the complete book till it was time for editing. I have never read a book that was written this way so that makes it unique and the editing required a great deal of time to make sure each of our sections were fresh and not redundant.

4)When it comes to the creative process, what inspires you to get out there in the world and share your vision with others?

I have always loved to read and writing is something I have always wanted to do, on my bucket list, I suppose. It wasn’t until one of my sisters suggested we write this book that I actually set my mind to doing it now. It is so important that people share their memories with each other and also preserve them for their families and future generations.

5)Did you decide to go with a traditional publisher, an indie publisher, or self-publish your latest work? What do you consider the benefits and the drawbacks of the particular route you’ve chosen?

I submitted to publishers, looked into indie and self-publishing but this being our first endeavor we decided we needed some expertise. I have no regrets with the way we went and will probably use the same publisher on our next project.

6)Where, when, and how did you get your start in the writing world? Is this your first publication?

Yes, this is our first publication although I write articles for a local newspaper. I first really became passionate for writing when I was in college. The university I went to was really adamant that we become good communicators and writing was emphasized in every class

7)What do you consider to be the most challenging part of the creative process?

For me the hardest part is deciding what to put in and what to leave out. I get attached to certain thoughts and ideas and then later when I have to look at them objectively I realize that they don’t add to the overall story.

8)What is the part of the process that comes the most naturally to you?

I actually didn’t get an answer to this question, so I must assume the whole deal comes fairly naturally to Anita! Either that, or this is not a particularly good question. ;)

9)Not every author is a blogger, and vice versa. What do you feel are some of the advantages and disadvantages of social media? Do you feel that the face of artistic expression is changing with the times?

I love social media. It still amazes me that through blogging, Facebook and GoodReads, I now have friends in other countries and can get input and new ideas with just a few key strokes.

As far as the face of artistic expression, absolutely it is changing. To reach the younger audiences communication has to be quick and almost an in your face sort of thing. That makes it more important to communicate clearly and creatively.

10) Other than yourself, of course, who is your favourite author? What’s the last book you read that really spoke to you in some way, and why?

I love John Grisham, all his works. But the last book that really spoke to me was “The Christmas Sweater” by Glenn Beck. Mr. Beck is known for his conservative political views and his very opinionated rantings on all things political but this book was an amazing find. It is just a simple story with a great twist at the ending.

11) Is writing a full-time career for you, or something you do in your free time? What do you ultimately hope to accomplish as a writer?

No, writing is not my full time job. By day, I am a manager in a Manufacturing facility in Aurora, IL. We make valves that go into water and wastewater plants. I have always been a very stable person, very down to earth and practical. But as I have gotten older, I have allowed myself to pursue some of my inner passions, writing being one of them.

I have a novel in the works. All I want to accomplish is to entertain, put a smile on someone’s face and maybe make people think a little less about how bad the world is, and a little more about how wonderful life really is.

12) Do you enjoy other types of media and artistic creation, such as television, magazines, movies, music, fashion, social media, etc.? What are some of your favourite things?

I like old movies, Last weekend I happened to see an old Mickey Rooney flick, still funny after all these years. TV shows after they hit Netflix so I can avoid the commercials. Football and Nascar are my favorite sports to watch. I also enjoy walking as a way to relieve stress, see nature and also for my heart.

13) Of course, we both want readers to rush right out and grab a copy of your latest book! Please tell us where we can find it. Additionally, if you have a blog, website, Facebook, or Twitter, please let us know so we’re able to follow you

The book, “Fluffy Funny and Fabulous: A Tale of Five Sisters” can be found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble , and some smaller sites. It is also available through the publisher,Tate Publishing. My website is, and my blog is Our Fanatical Fam.

A huge thank you to author, blogger, and all-around expressive spirit Anita Lewis for being my guest today on this week’s episode of Literary Libations. I’ll certainly be adding her to my list of blogs, as well as reading her book. I most certainly hope you’ll do so, as well. It may just inspire you to schedule that visit home you’ve been putting off. ;)

I’ll see you all here next week…same place, same time? Is it presumptuous of me to assume that we have a standing date each Sunday? After all, not only am I charming and interesting company, I’m bringing people who are even more so! :)

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