Q&A with… Ann Lineberger
NEW CANAAN — Ann Lineberger recently promoted her second novel, “Sunday Best,” at Elm Street Books last month, one that follows on the same theme of social critique as her first novel “The Adjustments.”
“I started writing fiction about seven years ago after the economy crashed,” Lineberger, a Wilton resident, said. “I was watching how that played out and impacted people.”
Lineberger, who majored in English and minored in both marketing and art, had planned for a career in advertising but an interest in journalism began that took her to magazines like Fortune, House & Garden, Home Remodeling and Entertainment Weekly.
The author, who is working on a third novel, tells us about her path and her interests.
Q: You’ve published two novels and a book on interior design. Did you always want to be a writer?
A: I thought I’d go into advertising at first, I have a lot of family members who are in it. My father wanted to be a writer, so I thought I would do some aspect of that, but then I got a job in public relations in Washington, D.C. I was dealing with journalists, and I thought I’d rather be a journalist than a public relations person.
I worked in the U.S. Marshals Service in the early 1990s. I had interviewed with them, and it was kind of fun because John Walsh was there so it had this fun aspect to it. I would deal with journalists and answer questions.
Q: What got you into journalism?
A: I liked it and applied to New York University and also got a job at Fortune, so I got kind of lucky. I loved journalism, I worked for a couple of different magazines like House & Garden, a big design magazine.
While there, I was told that I had to specialize in something like a newspaper outside a big city or specialize in something. I was living in NYC and going to school so I kept getting these jobs at good magazines.
From 1999 to 2000, while still at House & Garden I finished NYU and since I wanted to specialize in design, I took classes at the New York School of Interior Design. For me, what I like is something that is aesthetically pleasing and how that can shape people. I think it’s fascinating how much we’re affected by such things.
Q: Your first book was about interior design?
A: I wrote one design book and I probably would’ve written more, but there was this trend in coffee books that you would have to be a big name for them to produce.
My first book was on interior design, “New Spaces, Old World Charm” and the second one is “The Adjustments”, a fiction novel that came out two years ago. I was totally inspired by these towns like Wilton and New Canaan and others in Fairfield County.
Q: Where did you get the inspiration for your novels?
A: The fiction I started writing about seven years ago after the economy crashed and I was watching how that was playing out and impacting people. I was going to a yoga class and it was interesting to see how everyone interacted with the yoga instructors.
I started watching more and saw there was a story here. The book “The Adjustments” is women’s contemporary fiction with mystery aspects and also a social critique of Fairfield County. While you’re reading you’re trying to determine if the yoga instructor is a good or bad person.
Q: And your second novel, “Sunday Best”?
A: That is similar in that it’s a social critique, but this is disguised as a comic mystery. Rather than having a male yoga instructor that may or may not be manipulating a town, it’s a clairvoyant and a guru and you’re trying to determine if they’re good or bad to the community. There’s two female protagonists in both books.
Q: Are you working on future projects?
A: I am, I’m working on a book about kids and sports in town. Sports are a big things for parents in these towns. It’s a cozy mystery, as in there’s no gratuitous violence or sex and it’s a thing that people read. That’s what I’m planning to do now, whereas the other two books were a bit spicier.