My most recent release is a sweet paranormal romance called Blind Lust published by Musa Publishing. The inspiration for this book—with a bit of creative licence—came from a conversation with a friend who related how the new owners of her deceased mother’s house had to sell it because they claimed Helen haunted the kitchen. The book is dedicated to that friend and in memory of the real ‘Helen.’ I thoroughly enjoyed writing it and mixing the true story with some witchcraft, a curse and some mythology!
2. What was your journey to publication like?
In early 2011, I made a life changing decision. Even though I wasn’t retirement age, the attraction of the world of full time work and a career in education had lost its appeal and I decided to spend some quality time at home doing the things I wanted to do!
I have always had stories in my head, but had only written a little novella when I was eleven years old and a short story when I joined a local writer’s group about twenty years ago. I had been an avid reader across many genres, including romance, as well as spending many years creating dry and dusty submissions for school funding.
At Easter time in 2011, I decided to enter the Romance Writers Australia Valerie Parv Award competition and excitedly wrote the first three chapters of my virgin foray into the world of romance.
I was delighted when I received some wonderful feedback, however those first three chapters sat on my desk until the 50k in 30 days sprint a couple of months later, while I wrote a little Steampunk novella which was my very first submission and my first contract. (Thank you…Lyrical Press)
I madly wrote at night in the sprint room, and we raced together against the whip. I made some wonderful friends in the process and was delighted to meet them all at the conference in Melbourne in August.
Best of all I finished my whole romance novel!
Fast forward to Easter 2012. That contemporary romance Holiday Affair has culminated in the realization of a dream come true. Picked up by the amazing Entangled Publishing where I have my very own personal publicist, and now…it has been in the top 1000 kindle books on Amazon for over four months!
An amazing journey beyond my wildest dreams!
3. What do you love most about writing romance?
I love the characters who come to me and take over my writing, and I love having the opportunity of exploring romance in different genres and historical periods. Wherever and whenever romance happens, I love being able to provide my ‘happily ever after’.
4. Name three character traits that you think make an irresistible hero in a romance novel?
Sense of Humour
Horribly Obsessive Compulsive!
6. What advice would you give to aspiring romance authors out there?
Don’t ever give up. Follow your dream. Be generous in your time allocated to writing
7. How important do you think it is for authors to be actively engaged in self promotion?
Self marketing and creating your brand is the second most important thing when preparing for publication…after writing. If you can establish a brand and get your name out there prior to publication…all the better.
Italian Affair, the sequel to Holiday Affair is now in edits and I will have some news to share about a publication date soon. The third book in the series about the Richards brothers—Outback Affair is the story of Alex, the youngest son and his journey to happily ever after with an English food journalist in the outback of Northern Australia. I am also in negotiations for writing for some of the other Entangled Publishing lines. More news soon!
I am also working on a single title called From the Ashes which is about the resilience of the human spirit after tragedy strikes.
Thank you Annie for joining us on the Author Spotlight! All the best with your books :)