Thursday, February 20, 2014
Interview of Author Ann Lawrence
Latest Book: LORD OF SWORDS
Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00F8I4YLA
USA Today Best Seller and Award Winning Author Ann Lawrence writes historical, paranormal, and contemporary romances. Ann also loves a good mystery, so she often includes a puzzle for the reader to solve along with the characters.
Ann's stories will take you from the pageantry of medieval England to the world of a fantasy war game with a stop off in a picturesque seaside village in Connecticut.
When not reading, writing, and researching romance, Ann lives the real thing with her husband in the Philadelphia suburbs.
Q: How did you celebrate publishing your first book?
A: I celebrated by screaming and running around the house! When I calmed down I called my critique group and told them the news and we planned a little party. The one thing I did that was a bit nuts was I ran out and bought a hot tub! I wanted something tangible to point to and say, “There’s my first book advance.” I’d always wanted a hot tub, but it was huge problem (and expense) installing it in my sloping garden...so if I was giving advice, I’d say stick to the party and the champagne!
Q: What’s your writing schedule like? Do you strive for a certain amount of words each day?
A: I write every day. I’m very focused. I write in the morning and evening. I’m usually running errands and napping!! in the afternoon. I don’t strive for a number of words but more completion of scenes or chapters. I am not a linear writer. I usually write what I consider the big emotional scenes in a book first as well as the first encounter. That helps me get a handle on who my characters are, and then I write straight through. I might throw out the scenes I did earlier, but they are usually very helpful whether I use them or not.
Q: What is the most important thing you do for your career now, as compared to when you first started writing?
A: Social media. When I started everyone had a website and email and not much else! It was very important then to connect with book clubs at book stores and do lots of signings. Now we have facebook, twitter, tumblr, pinterest and so on. I’ve met so many more people through social media, but I miss the demise of so many bookstores and their reading groups. I liked meeting the readers in person and don’t have that many opportunities to do that today so the social media outlets are very important to spread the word about a new book.
Q: Of all your characters, who’s your favorite, and why?
A: I love all my characters! I will say I have a special place in my heart for Gilles of LORD OF THE KEEP. Although it wasn’t the first book I sold, it was the first book I wrote that was publishable! I gave him a ton of conflict and he was up to the challenge!
Q: Do you eat comfort food/listen to music when writing?
A: I don’t listen to music or eat. I just write. When I’m in writing mode, I’m in that world. You could vacuum around me and I wouldn’t notice. When I was writing LORD OF SWORDS, my husband said I spent so much time in 1143 I owed him a ton of dinners out in 2014!
Q: How do you choose names for your characters?
A: When I’m writing historical romance I use a couple reference books that give me names from specific time periods and one even centers names in the geographic areas I’m using. That said, I do cheat a little as I also look up the meanings of names. In LORD OF THE MIST the hero’s name is Durand which means “enduring” or “lasting” and I chose it because it suited the character I was building for him--he truly is a man whose love and determination is enduring and everlasting. Luckily, it also suited the time period. His surname de Marle means blackbird, and I used ravens in the story. His castle is Ravenswood and he wears a torque around his neck with the heads of ravens on the tips. I try to make use of the names in the plots as well. In my new contemporary series (Book 1 - Christmas in Savage Bay) I looked up popular names for the years my characters were born. I also wanted them to be Scottish families, so I used ancestry.com to find Scottish immigrant family names. I was tickled to find the Savage family. My setting is Savage Bay and my tagline became: Savage Bay...Where all the men need taming and the women are up to the task! I’m really having fun with it.
Q: Covers. Ever get one you wish you could change?
A: Yes. I get lots of people who think DO YOU BELIEVE? is an inspirational romance when it is an explicitly sexy paranormal. Definitely would like a different cover on that one!
Q: Give one advice tip to an aspiring author.
A: The minute the first book is done, write the next. Keep writing. Every scene written is a learning experience.
Q: Have you ever used an incident from your real life into one of your books?
A: Once. When I was writing LORD OF THE HUNT, I had Joan, the heroine, dealing with her father’s aging and forgetfulness. At that time my family was struggling with my dad’s Alzheimer’s disease, and I drew on some of the anxiety we had to craft Joan’s character. In addition, my dad used to draw treasure maps for my kids. They loved those maps and the fun they had playing treasure hunt with him. When I wrote VIRTUAL DESIRE, I asked him to draw the treasure map I needed for the story. He did and I realized that had the request come a year later, he would not have been able to do it.
Q: How many stories are swirling around in your head? Do you keep a mental list, a computer file, or a spiral notebook filled with the ideas?
A: Too many to count! I find myself waking up at night and writing stuff down so I don’t forget it! I do have a “story summary” thing I do when I want to really capture a book idea.It’s something my critique group and I came up with to help us keep our book ideas organized. We also use it to talk about the book during our meetings. If any writers here want to email me, I’d be happy to share it.
Q: What is your favorite holiday and why?
A: Thanksgiving. No presents, just family and fun!
Q: What are two things people might be surprised to know about you?
A: I will be doing a series of erotic shorts for Ellora’s Cave under the name Leann Wren. The first story will be out this spring.
I have Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia and took a long hiatus from publishing to get healthy which I am now! If anyone is looking for a charity to support I hope they’ll think of the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society.
Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: Actually, I always wanted to be a teacher and was one for too many years to say!
Q: Favorite food.
A: Anything chocolate.
Q: Favorite happy memory.
A: Birth of my kids.
Q: Favorite drink.
A: Chocolate martini.
Q: Hot summer days or chilly winter nights?
A: Hot summer days.
Q: What is the top thing on your bucket list?
A: A trip to Italy!
Q: If you could have a super power, what would it be?
A: Teleportation so I could be anywhere in the world immediately! No planes, trains or automobiles!
Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!
Here at RomanceBooks4Us: LINK
FreshFiction Page: http://freshfiction.com/author.php?id=4802
Guy De Maci has never lost a battle . . . Will his love for Lady Joia bring his first defeat?
Guy de Maci's son disappears during England's bloody civil war. Guy follows his son's trail to Stonewold Castle, becoming the bodyguard of Stonewold's heir. Guy uses the child as a cover to search for his missing son, but guarding the boy hampers rather than helps Guy's efforts. He is soon entangled in not only the boy's life but also that of his sister, the rebellious and utterly captivating Lady Joia.
Lady Joia, betrothed to a man she despises, tries to enlist Guy in her plots to free herself from marriage. All of Guy's warrior skills are useless when it comes to resisting Lady Joia. But should he? Or should he succumb to the passion simmering between them and learn the true meaning of love before they are separated forever?
“Are you ill, my lady?” Guy asked.
Joia’s back was in flames. Had she a fever? Her body felt cauldron-hot. “Nay. Nay. I cannot . . . that is . . . this wagering on my marriage. It is everywhere. It plagues me.” She waved her hand to encompass the market stalls.
“I am my own man, and I’ve wagered nothing,” Guy said.
His eyes, so oddly pale, examined her in a way that made her insides churn. She remembered that Edith had bedded this man. A sudden vision of him in the stone circle, half-naked, made her stomach muscles quiver.
A thought kindled along with the heat in her middle as they stood in uncomfortable silence. Martin might not want her if she were wanton like Edith.
She gripped her basket tightly and looked about at the men and woman who wandered the marketplace, saw old Owen her father's steward. If Martin rejected her, her father might be angry for a time, but some other worthy would surely want her--eventually.
Joia thought of Edith . . . of Martin. She turned to Guy, examined his face. He had high cheekbones, eyes that might be light gray, or palest blue, or even in moonlight, silver. His skin was burnished by the sun.
The wind tugged at her hair. He smoothed a tress from her brow.
“Do not touch me.” The words were out before she could cut them off.
He bowed. “As you wish.”
“Just so.” She licked her lips.
His gaze settled on her mouth. Her insides felt liquid.
She dropped the basket, threw her arms around his neck, and crushed her lips to his.
His body went rigid. He pushed her away, his fingers digging into her arms. He stared at her, anger radiating like heat from his body. In the tick of one moment, he’d changed from a smiling, enthralling man, to a warrior who might draw his sword and kill. He jerked his hands away as if he’d burned his palms.
He strode away and disappeared between two stalls.
She looked about. Men and women wandered, haggled, bought and sold, but not one betrayed any interest in her or what she’d done. Only old Owen watched as he stood by the leather merchants. Owen gave her a bow and mimed the sealing of his lips.
How was she to convince Martin she was wanton if no one paid her any heed?
She took a deep breath and smoothed her gown. Her skin felt hot, her stomach twisted in painful knots. She began the long walk back to the keep. She stopped to pick a few early bluebells that struggled to lift their heads above the long grass. A jangle of harness made her look up.
Martin sat on his horse, blocking the drawbridge, four of his men ranged at his sides. He gave her a curt nod before turning his horse and trotting under the stone arch.
But her thoughts were not of Martin or the coil that was her life as she knelt among the bluebells. She lifted one to her nose, drawing in its sweet scent. Nay, she thought of only one thing, one man. She thought of Guy, a man who had so readily lain in Edith’s arms, but had stood like a stone in hers.
He’d not kissed her back.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you for this opportunity! I love connecting with readers, and I hope they’ll find my pages online and drop me an email as well. I answer every email personally and love to hear from readers!