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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Interview of Author Anna Markland

Today I'm pleased to present an interview of romance author, Anna Markland.

Latest Book: Dark Irish Knight
Buy Link:

Anna Markland is a Canadian author with a keen interest in genealogy. She writes medieval romance about family honour, ancestry and roots. Her novels are intimate love stories filled with passion and adventure. Following a fruitful career in teaching, Anna transformed her love of writing and history into engaging works of fiction. Prior to becoming a fiction author, she published numerous family histories. One of the things she enjoys most about writing historical romance is the in-depth research required to provide the reader with an authentic medieval experience.

Q: What’s the first thing you did when you received word you’d sold a book?
A: I was very nervous about publishing my own work, but decided I was too old to spend years submitting query letters. So I took the plunge, encouraged I must say by other indie authors on various yahoo loops. I thought I would be deliriously happy if I could sell 100 books in a year. I actually sold over 20,000 in my first year. Ecstatic barely describes it! And when I get emails from readers extolling the quality of my books, it gives me the inspiration to carry on writing.

Q: What part of the book is the easiest for you to write? Why?
A: Once I get the basic story in my head, I find the ideas seem to flow. I sometimes ask myself, “Where the heck did that thought come from?” I have often joked that my characters are telling me their stories from the past, though I am not a believer in that sort of thing! Because I am writing about members of the same family over successive generations, I have that basic framework on which to build the plot. History is so full of weird and wonderful events and characters, it is usually easy to pin the fiction to fact. For example, who in their wildest imagination could have made up a character like William the Conqueror?

Q: What part of the book is the hardest for you? Why?
A: My personality is such that once I do a thing, it’s done. So editing and doing things over is irritating! For example, I force myself to go through the manuscript with my Stupid Word List. However, I must say that I have found using my ereader for draft edits has made the basic job of editing much more enjoyable. I never seem to get tired of reading my own stories! Cuts down on the amount of paper too when you don’t have to keep printing out drafts.

Q: What hobby do you enjoy when not writing?
A: My interest in genealogy has influenced my writing career enormously. It’s the reason I chose to follow one family and its branches in my books. Ancestry and the search for roots intrigue me. I was born in England and always nursed a secret hope that I might trace my own roots back to the time of the Norman Conquest. It’s a forlorn hope, of course, because I am not descended from nobility. So I made up my own medieval family!

Q: What’s your strongest point as a writer?
A: I would have to say that a large part of my success has revolved around the fact that I can write more than one book at a time. I wrote the four books of The Montbryce Legacy at the same time and that makes for consistency. I am also prolific and once readers become hooked on my series, I can produce another book fairly quickly. I can spend all day writing.

Q: What genre would you like to try writing in but haven’t yet done so? Why?
A: I have started a contemporary romance. My hero and heroine are baby boomers. As a “boomer” myself, I wanted to write a juicy romance where the protagonists were not beautiful young people. However, I am not sure there is a market for it, and I am so immersed in medieval romance, I am perhaps afraid to break brand.

Links for Anna Markland:
Twitter: @annamarkland

Ronan MacLachlainn seeks vengeance for the murder of his wife and unborn child, and the loss of his Irish estates. Nothing can stand in his way, not even love.

Ronan glanced up at her sharply. Guilt swept over him. He had forgotten Mary, his thoughts on Rhoni as he sang. He let go of her hand and came to his feet, his back to her. If he claimed to have been passionately in love with Mary, it would keep her away. But it would be a lie, and he sensed she would know it.

“My marriage to Mary was arranged by our fathers. She did not want to marry. She had a true vocation to be a nun, but her father forbade it. Mary was the kindest, sweetest woman. She was a good wife, and we got along.”

“Was she beautiful?”

He turned to face her, stunned as always by the golden hair, the wide brown eyes, the proud nose, the utter perfection of the woman before him who seemed to have no idea of her allure. “She had a beautiful smile.”

“Why not refuse to marry her?”

“Nay, that would have shamed her, and driven her father to find a lesser man. It was my duty to protect her.”

And in that he had failed completely. Even now his thoughts dwelled more on this Norman woman than on the mission ahead. He braced his legs and frowned. “I have tried to compose what I will say to your father to convince him to help me, but I doubt my pleas will impress him. I cannot see any reason why he might agree.”

Rhoni gazed beyond him to the distant peaks. “Neither can I,” she whispered sadly.

Unless I beg him on your behalf.

Rhoni kept her eyes fixed on the scenery, but did not see it. The powerful legs of the giant who stood before her on the edge of the precipice captured all her attention. Till now, her father was the tallest man she had known, but she was sure Ronan was taller.

If she pleaded his case to her father, her infatuation would be apparent. Ronan would be embarrassed, championed by a mere girl he cared naught for.

She wished he would stop staring at her. It was unsettling. The cold damp of the rock had seeped through her skirts. Her derrière was numb, her feet tingling with pins and needles. She tried to rise. He strode forward and offered his hand, pulling her to her feet. They failed her and she lost her balance, falling against him. He caught her easily and steadied her, his hands on her waist.

Mortified at her clumsiness, she arched her back to look up at his face. His lips were parted, his nostrils flared. Panic seized her. His grip tightened. He bent his knees and lifted her to his warm body. For the first time in her life, she felt a man’s hard desire pressed to her most intimate place.

Her breasts tightened, the nipples screaming to be caressed. To her consternation, her hips thrust forward to press more closely to him. Her feet dangled. She wanted to wrap her legs around him. She had lost control of her own body.

He bent his head and brushed his lips against hers. The savage growl that came from deep in his throat echoed in her breasts as he crushed his hard chest into her softness. His hand wandered up her spine and into her hair. He held his breath, his lips poised to kiss her again.

It suddenly seemed natural to open her mouth and flick her tongue over his lips. He groaned as he captured her tongue in his mouth, sucking hard. She tasted the tart apple he had eaten to break his fast, then his tongue was in her mouth, tasting her, thrusting in and out in a rhythmic movement echoed by their hips. His male scent mingled with the woodland aroma of the soap their Welsh hosts milled with fragrant herbs.

She could scarcely breathe. A maelstrom of confused thoughts swirled in her head, but she recognized clearly her own overwhelming desire for this man, and there was no doubt he wanted her.

He broke off their kiss, and set her feet back on the ground, panting hard. “Críost, I want you.”

She should have been elated, but the deep regret in his voice stunned her. What had happened had been caused by male lust, plain and simple. How often she had been reminded by her mother that men lusted for women they did not necessarily love. She pulled away from him, trembling. There were a thousand things she wanted to say, but could articulate none of them.

He raked his hands through his hair. “I apologize, Lady Rhoni. I should not have done that. I am not currying your favour to intercede on my behalf.”

Only ask me and I will. Tell me you love me and I will walk to the ends of the earth for you.


Tina Donahue said...

Wow, this sounds like some book - can't wait to read! :)

jean hart stewart said...

Lovely excerpt...Thanks...Jean

Vijaya Schartz, author said...

Great excerpt, Anna. Love the cover, too.

Cara Marsi said...

Love the cover and the excerpt. I'm so happy for you that you've found success with indie publishing. Interesting interview.

Anna Markland said...

Thank you fellow authors for your encouraging comments.

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