Did you always want to be a writer, Anne?I don’t remember ever deciding in my younger years that I could be a writer, although I used to scribble little stories, mostly westerns because I cut my reading teeth on my brother’s books. I also remember not understanding my less than top marks for English essays. I mean a ten page story in response to a question asking for 300 words should have been worth an A+, right? All through my Navy career and when I had a young family, I never thought about writing. It was only when my youngest started school I began looking for ‘something’ and a random comment from my daughter (by then at university) began my writing journey.
Where do you get story ideas?My ideas come from all over the place, TV, movies, books, magazines, songs, newspapers, you name it, and it possibly has provided an idea for me. A visual of something as I drive along the road might be enough to trigger an idea. I keep a box in my office and anything I read that sounds interesting gets thrown into that box. But to date I haven’t ferreted around in there for a new story idea. I think I’m just being careful to accumulate a few possible plots in case my brain runs dry. The idea for the story I’m working on now was sparked by a friend who dreamed of using his farm to build an adventure playground.
Tell us about your writing process. Do you plot carefully or wing it?
I’m a pantser, I’ve given up trying to plan anything. An idea usually comes first, then I develop the characters I need to progress that idea, although once or twice this has happened in reverse. I try to write chronologically but as I get to the sagging middle I sometimes sneak ahead and write a more exciting scene. The problem with not planning is that the editing process probably takes as long as the writing, but I quite enjoy editing, I think because the pressure to finish the story is off, so this process works well for me.How do you normally come up with characters?
Oh man, I don’t know. They seem to just arrive in my head. While I may pick up a small likeness to people I meet, I don’t use real people to portray my characters. I don’t want anyone ‘recognising’ themselves.Tell us about your latest book, Worlds Collide, and what made you want to write it?
I was always going to write Justin’s story. He was a secondary character in my first book (Worlds Apart). I even had a chapter laying out the groundwork for this follow-up story, until my mentor explained it shouldn’t be there as it had nothing to do with the romance of Worlds Apart. The plot took a bit of thinking as my hero is wrapped up with a Maori taniwha (mystical entity) and this wasn’t enough conflict for the longer stories I prefer to write. Bringing in social status and money seemed another realistic thorn in his side.How did you come up with your characters for this book?
As mentioned, Justin was ‘born’ in Worlds Apart so his character only needed a little massaging to fill a whole book. Nicole was a little more difficult. I needed her rich and arrogant on the outside but with so much doubt and insecurity inside. I think I managed to invent a believable woman.What do you like best about your current hero?
Personally I’m not enamoured with Alpha males. I’ve known a few and honestly, I don’t like their arrogance so much. So I don’t think any of my heroes can slot into that criteria. Justin appears a friendly, caring, happy-go-lucky type. He’s completely unpretentious, just an ordinary, do-anything-for-a-friend type of guy. But when he gets his back up he’s a force to be reckoned with.What about your heroine?
Nicole is more of an enigma. Raised in the lap of luxury, she’d been pampered and spoilt rotten. But she’d rebelled against this rarified society and set up her own business only to be cheated out of it. We meet her as she’s looking to pick up the pieces of her life. She’s struggling with knowing how to do this.How about a blurb?
Although a secret dread lays buried deep inside New Zealand tradesman Justin Titirangi he appears content. He enjoys his life in Washington DC. He never dreamed a casual invitation to attend Thanksgiving with a friend's family would impact his life so disastrously. Previously untouched by social snobbery, he's blasted with both barrels.
Nicole Campbell is ashamed of how she'd treated her brother's friend, but is smarting from the demise of a long term relationship. She never expects to see Justin again anyway. A need to escape her smothering parents but without ready funds, Nicole temporarily moves into her brother's house in DC, unaware Justin also lives there.
Sparks fly when Justin and Nicole come face to face but will they manage to control the blaze before it engulfs them both?
That sounds like a perfect book for reading this summer or any other time of the year! How can readers get in touch with you or buy the book?
My Publisher – The Wild Rose Press: http://bit.ly/1O7JpRT
Thanks, Anne, for being my guest. Any questions or comments for Anne?