Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Making A Trip Back in Time

It is always great to revisit with an author and catch up with what they are doing and learn more about their writing journey.  Joining me today in My Writing Corner is author Andi Downing. Welcome back, Andi. Did you always want to be a writer? 

I think when I was growing up, it was a toss-up between becoming a writer or becoming an actress (as they once called female actors!).  I did a summer course at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and took part in as many school and college plays as possible.  But I was also writing a lot and taking every creative writing course I could.  Somewhere along the line, I lost my guts for becoming an actor, and writing won out when I got heavily involved with a group of poets while doing my MA in England.

How did you get started in publishing?  I worked for Simon and Schuster for a while, and I also edited a poetry magazine in Britain, so I was all too well aware of the long slog it can take to submit to either an agent or a major publisher.  I gave it a go—I guess one always hopes one will be the exception—but it got ridiculous.  When I heard about The Wild Rose Press, who have won so many awards and have a friendlier approach in their relationship with authors, I decided to try them.  I consider myself lucky to be with the company; they’ve completely lived up to their reputation for professionalism and being truly excellent to deal with.
You write mainly Western romances. What made you fall in love with that genre?  I don’t know that I fell in love with that genre so much as have had an on-going love affair with the west, and those are the stories that come into my head.  Like many people of my generation, I grew up on a diet of television westerns. I also spend as much time as I can on ranches, both ‘dude’ and working cattle.  I love that life.  I love those people.  And the geography, the scenery, the very air I think, feed my creativity.

I was excited to learn that your book Loveland is being re-released and introduced to new readers. Tell us a little about Loveland and where you got the idea for it.   Well, of course I lived in Great Britain for most of my adult life so, when I returned to the USA in 2008, I carried with me certain British sensibilities along with this immense love of the American west.  I happened to read a biography of the Jerome sisters, daughters of a wealthy NY family in the 1800s; Jenny Jerome was Winston Churchill’s mother, and her sister Clara also married a Brit by the name of Morton Frewen.  Frewen was the younger son of very well-connected gentry—loads of friends and acquaintances in the aristocracy—and he ran one of the first cattle companies out in Wyoming in the Powder River basin.  He was pretty hopeless as a manager, actually.  But the idea for Loveland sprang from all that.  The book deals a bit with the British aristocracy living out west:  how they expected, for the most part, to live as they did at home, with servants in grand homes, extensive stables and so on.
What do you like best about your heroine and hero?  I like Lady Alex’s spunkiness.  She literally has taken the reins of her situation and doesn’t suffer fools gladly.  She wants to be independent of the Victorian society idea of men ruling the roost, and so she’s gone about accomplishing just that.  In the process, she discovers quite a bit about herself.  As for Jesse, he doesn’t put up with a lot, either; he has a short temper, although he eventually learns to keep it under control because he knows that’s the one way he can get on with Alex.  She’s so far above him in ‘class’ terms, he doesn’t know how to handle his own love for her until the very end.

How about a blurb?
When Lady Alexandra Calthorpe returns to the Loveland, Colorado, ranch owned by her father, the Duke, she has little idea of how the experience will alter her future. Headstrong and willful, Alex tries to overcome a disastrous marriage in England and be free of the strictures of Victorian society --and become independent of men. That is, until Jesse Makepeace saunters back into her life...

Hot-tempered and hot-blooded cowpuncher Jesse Makepeace can’t seem to accept that the child he once knew is now the ravishing yet determined woman before him. Fighting rustlers proves a whole lot easier than fighting Alex when he’s got to keep more than his temper under control.

Arguments abound as Alex pursues her career as an artist and Jesse faces the prejudice of the English social order. The question is, will Loveland live up to its name?

What is your next project?  I had to take what you might call a sabbatical for health reasons this year, so I count myself lucky that Amazon Encore wanted to re-release this book, keeping me going, so to speak.  But I am about to re-start writing and have a number of ideas in mind.  I’ve got one that I’m aiming for that mixes historical and contemporary with a hint of a paranormal—and I’m not saying anything more than that!

Thanks so much for having me here, Rebecca.  I’ve enjoyed our chat!

Thank you!  How can readers get in touch with you or buy Loveland?

WEBSITE AND BLOG:  http://andreadowning.com
Buy Links for LOVELAND: 
For the eBook, Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Loveland-Andrea-Downing-ebook/dp/B014RUQ746/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1441679216&sr=1-1&keywords=loveland
Any questions or comments for Andi?  Just click on the Comments link.

6 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for inviting me back, Rebecca. I always enjoy our conversations whether in person or on line.

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  2. I love getting to know more about my fellow Roses, Andi! I did a lot of acting when I was younger too, college, community theatre. Lots of fun!

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    1. Obviously, the creative gene finds lots of outlets. Thanks for stopping by, Barb

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  3. I just love author interviews. I learn so much!

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