Can you tell readers a little bit about yourself, Anne?
I live in Madison, Wisconsin, with my husband and my cat, who plays my muse for me. Whenever I sit down to write on my laptop, she will sit between my feet on the ottoman and make sure I’m working. I belong to the WisRWA chapter of RWA, as well as Mad City Romance. I make my living schlepping papers across a desk for the City of Madison.
I’m so glad you could join me today. To start, what’s the twitter-pitch of your GH finaling manuscript (140 characters or less)?
To protect her fortune from her greedy brother, a fiercely independent spinster pretends to elope with the dashing lord who broke her heart years ago.
A pretend elopement! That’s awesome. I love pretend engagement stories and pretend marriage stories. There is an added excitement and originality to a pretend elopement that makes me want to say, more, please…now. You have a lot to work with there. What is it that you love most about this story?
I love the two main characters the most. It was fun writing their interactions with one another because they start off loathing one another and end up loving one another. I especially enjoyed writing their dialogue throughout the story.
For example, here’s a little conversation between my two main characters, Lady Cassandra and Lord William. I borrowed the idea from Sir Winston Churchill and Lady Something-or-Other who didn’t much like each other and had a similar exchange at a state dinner (the last two sentences anyway, though I think the beverage was wine). At any rate, Lady Cassandra and Lord William had been discussing another lady over breakfast during a house party and engaged in the following exchange:
“As for myself, I think the lady should continue in her good works and not pay any attention to her husband,” said Lady Cassandra.
“Not pay any attention to her husband?” asked a mildly outraged Lord William.
“Yes. Pay him no attention whatsoever.”
“If I were your husband and I heard you say that, Lady Cassandra, I think I would put you over my knee,” came his reply.
“If I were married to you, Lord William, I think I would poison your tea.”
“And if I were married to you, I think I would drink it.”
So much fun! Witty dialogue and exchange is one of my favorite things in a historical romance–both as a reader and as a writer. That exchange has a special spark.
So, tell me a bit about your GH call. Where were you?
I was standing in my underwear in my kitchen. I’d just come downstairs to weigh myself in the half-bath off the kitchen and was headed back upstairs when the phone rang. I probably don’t need to tell you that I was quite a sight jumping around half naked in my kitchen as I did the happy dance. My husband just stood there dumbfounded, completely unaware of why I was reacting so bizarrely to a telephone call.
*Claps* That is definitely something you will always remember!
Can you share an ah-ha moment related to writing?
I lamented for 20 years that I never had time to write. The ah-ha moment came for me when I realized that I had to make the time to write. I know it sounds so simple, but believe me, it wasn’t a simple thing to learn or to put into practice. I had to forget all the turmoil going on around me, put all the chaos out of my mind, and just sit down and write.
Beautifully and succinctly put, Anne. There will always be a reason *not* to write–there will always be something more pressing, something with a greater immediate reward or need. When crazy blossoms in my life, I like to break writing down into fifteen minute increments–with timer, if the day has been particularly challenging. Do you have any suggestions for writers just starting to find time?
Don’t let the little things sidetrack you. Keep your focus, and you’ll reach your goals!
What’s your favorite romance?
My tastes change over the years, but right now, I would say that my favorite romance is The Serpent Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt. I love great characters, and she drew such a delicious character in Simon Iddesleigh that I couldn’t put the book down. Simon is a bad boy, yet he has a deep sense of honor and a wicked sense of humor. It was thoroughly delightful!
I loved that series, though I think The Leopard Prince was my favorite. Elizabeth Hoyt creates such vivid images–not only can I see what’s happening, but I can smell, hear and feel her character’s experience. …for example, the heroine of The Leopard Princepeers over an upturned carriage and yells to the hero while the door flaps in the wind of a gathering storm. I can still see the whole thing, even though I read the book a several years ago. *sigh*
Any parting words of wisdom?
Writing is hard, but not writing is even harder, especially for people who are driven to write. I would just remind everyone that they have the power to make it happen—no matter what.
Thank you for the inspiration and thank you for being here!
Leave a comment for Anne and you will be entered into a drawing for a paper copy of Elizabeth Hoyt’s The Serpent Prince.