Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Summer Romance Reading

Summer is rapidly coming to a close, but there are still more wonderful books out there to read. Today I am joined by Anne Ashby, whose new books is World's Collide. 
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:

Buy Links

Thanks, Anne, for being my guest.  Any questions or comments for Anne?


  1. Kia Ora Rebecca,

    Thanks so much for inviting me to join you today - our time zones are a little different so I'll probably be checking for any comments while you're all asleep, but I will be checking

  2. Lovely blurb and cover, Anne. Wishing you all the best with Worlds Collide..

  3. Best of luck with Worlds Collide, Anne. It sounds like an amazing story!

    1. Good morning Stanalei thank you so much, I'm hoping readers will enjoy it

  4. Sounds great Anne! Best of luck with the release. :)

    1. Thank you Abigail I appreciate you stopping by and taking the time to comment

  5. I like happy-go-lucky heroes too, though sometimes I find it difficult to create enough conflict for them to get upset. (grinning). Best wishes with your book release!

    1. Hello again Ashantay, I remember meeting you on another blog, its so good of you to take the time to say hi again. My major conflict revolves around a taniwha, from New Zealand Maori culture, but then I had to find something else to go the distance of a longish story cos the taniwha wasnt going to be enough. Riches and arrogance sounded like a good bet

  6. Looks good, Anne. I'm going to add it to the TBR list, although I'm embarased to say I've still got one of your others on there - sounds like an Anne Ashby weekend coming up :)

    1. Hey Louise, dont be embarrassed, I'm thrilled to hear you're interested in having a look at my stories. I hope you enjoy them. Just a little hint, the characters of Worlds Collide and Worlds Apart cross over. I haven't called them part of a series cos that isn't quite correct, but you can meet Justin in Worlds Apart, and Raven in Worlds Collide. In fact it is Raven's mother from Worlds Apart who solves the taniwha angst for Justin and Nicole in Worlds Collide

  7. All the best with your new release.

    1. Hi Cody, its great you could stop by thanks for taking the time

  8. Your book sounds sizzling! I also liked your comment about stereotypical Alpha males. They can be boorish. In my opinion, true alphas are secure enough to nice and sensitive. but yes, don't get there backs up.

    1. Hi Alison, Yeah I find romance books preference for alpha males a bit tedious to tell the truth. The same with the idea these alphas have to be ultra rich...I often mention that there are not too many young billionaires floating around in NZ for me to liken my heroes to. There are a couple but I prefer to have my guys a little more realistic. Thanks for swinging by and commenting

  9. Sounds like an exciting read! I like that your heroine, Nicole, is an enigma!

  10. Thanks Hebby, I had to be careful to make her likeable as after the initial few meetings Justin thinks she is very arrogant. I didnt want readers to feel the same


Lighting the Way

It's time to start building up your library for those cold winter months ahead--getting those books for you to read by a cozy fireplace ...