Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Going to Conference

I’m getting ready to head off to Orlando, Florida for the Romance Writers of America (RWA) National conference.  Anyone else still a member of RWA?
One of the reasons I continue to be an RWA member is because of my online chapter, Kiss of Death. I can’t be a member if I’m not part of RWA. Also, RWA does provide some good workshops for writers and Indie authors at t he National conference. I’ll talk about those later.

Kiss of Death (KOD) has its own event preceding the National conference. This year our speaker is a former member of the elite US Air Force Combat Search and Rescue team and a pararescue jumper, Jarrod Honrada.  Other special forces call the pararescue jumper to rescue them. He excels at bringing in the personal and character building side of our heroes and will give us great insight into what makes a Special Forces soldier special. We have him for the morning and it will be a lot of questions and answers.
And in the afternoon the Florida Department of Law Enforcement will be sending a forensics analyst and a Special Agent to talk about DNA, Chemistry, Crime Scenes, Digital Evidence, Firearms, Latent prints, Toxology, and Trace Evidence.  And we’re also having a certified Ethical Hacker talk to us. You have to admit, it sounds like a fascinating and information packed day.
I’m hoping to take good notes and I’ll try and pass on a little of the information to you next week. I’d love to hear your thoughts and maybe some questions about the speakers.

And I'll be talking more about the RWA courses later.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Daryl Devore Discusses Settings

This week we’re going to find out a little about author Daryl Devore. July’s theme is ‘Settings’ so Daryl will be talking about settings. She’ll also tell us a little about herself and her writing, and answer some fun questions.
Daryl Devore (@daryldevore) lives in an old farmhouse in Ontario, Canada, with her husband, a large salt water aquarium full of fish, a black cat named Licorice and some house ghosts. Her daughter is grown and has flown the nest. Daryl loves to take long walks on her quiet country road or snowshoe across the back acres, and in the summer, kayak along the St. Lawrence River. She has touched a moon rock, a mammoth, and a meteorite. She’s been deep in the ocean in a submarine, flown high over Niagara Falls in a helicopter and used the ladies room in a royal palace. Life’s an adventure and Daryl’s having fun living it.

Beverley: How important are settings to a story?
Daryl: To me – settings are very important – just under characters. Think of the difference between -
A dark, January evening, snow falling, wind howling and a lonely farmhouse with a light shining from one window.
A billionaire's super yacht sailing on the Caribbean with the sun shining, music blaring and bikini clad women dancing on the deck.
Both of those settings could have a similar plot line running through – a budding romance or sinister murder mystery, but there is a different feel to each and the story would reflect that.
Beverley: When you think of settings what do you think of? (locales, houses, rooms, weather)
Daryl: I'd say locale is the first thing I think about. In book 1 of the Two Hearts One Love trilogy – What Happens in Bangkok - I set it in Bangkok, Thailand. I used the exoticness of that locale – the people, the names and the food.
Beverley: Do settings contribute to the mood of the story? (romance/ conflict/tension) If yes – how?
Daryl: Yes. Definitely. Some settings seem to ooze romance (a Caribbean beach at sunset), others instill fear (a post-apocalyptic prison). My guess is because we all have an impression of what it should be like and we put that impression onto the scene. In the horrors of a post-apocalyptic prison, a passionate romance can still be written, but it'd be a challenge to overcome the feeling of the setting.
Beverley: Do you have any examples of the great use of settings in books you’ve read?
Daryl: Part of the reason I love Agatha Christie mysteries is when I read them I settle into that era. The mansions, the clothes, the dialect; all of it wraps you into the book.
Beverley: How do you use settings in your books? Or do you?
Daryl: I love changing the settings of each of my stories. I like taking my readers on a world tour. In my first books, I used contemporary New York City, Chicago, Miami, Indonesia, Alaska, Detroit and then shifted to medieval England.
In this trilogy, the reader is taken to Bangkok, Thailand, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, Goa, India, Paris, France and Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
Beverley: Can you share an example from one of your books?
Daryl: The crowded plaza was filled with people milling about, johns talking to prostitutes, food vendors hawking their meals, booths where you could buy knock-off anything, and people holding large drinking cups, begging for money. A mother holding a baby stuck the cup out, holding it in front of a group of men. They walked around her. A young boy, Darien guessed he was about three, dressed in a Spiderman shirt and dirty green shorts, held out a cup and danced. People walked around him, ignoring him. A rotund businessman bumped into the child, knocking him down. The man did not stop or even acknowledge the existence of the little beggar. Darien gripped Erika's hand and pulled her toward the boy. Before he got there, the child popped up onto his feet and continued to beg.
The boy grinned, pointing at Erika. "Pre-e lae-e."
Darien looked at Erika. "Yes, she is a pre-e lae-e." He reached into his wallet and pulled out a small bill and dropped it into the boy's cup.
The boy tilted the cup, peered inside, then grinned. "Korb kun krup."
Darien nodded. "Mai bpen rai."
Erika leaned closer. "You speak Thai?"
"Just enough to get around."
Beverley: How long have you been writing?
Daryl: Writing towards being published – 5 or 6 yrs – I think.
Beverley: What genre do you write in and why?
Daryl: There is an evolution going on in what genre I write. I have 2 pen names. This one, Daryl Devoré, is an erotic romance writer – except that's not what I am any more. People often confuse erotic with fetish or alternate lifestyle and that's not what I write about. I write super-hot romances where the sex scenes are detailed, but not pornographic. My other pen name, Victoria Adams, writes sweet contemporary and NA contemporary romances.
Beverley: Who influenced you the most in deciding to become a writer?
Daryl: Nobody. I've been writing since I was little. My stories got longer as I got older. The benefit of being an only child – there is the time and the silence to let creativity flow.
Beverley: What obstacles did you have to overcome to begin creating your work?
Daryl: Nothing. I sat down and started typing. Honestly, it was a simple as that.
Beverley: What gets your creative juices flowing?
Daryl: No idea. I think my muse sits around somewhere in the back of my head and then decides it's time to write. For What happens in Bangkok, I was in the car, riding down to NC to visit my daughter. I picked up my laptop and wrote 3 chapters of a book that I didn't even know I was going to write and that book morphed into a trilogy. It actually tried to be 4 books, but I put my foot down.
Beverley: What will stop your creative muse the quickest?
Daryl: My self-confidence taking a dip. It can do that at the drop of a hat and it takes a bit for me to get it back. What causes my self-confidence to dip – oh, just about anything. But mainly, edits. I feel like an idiot after I get them. My pride really gets up and in my head I "fight" with the editor on every suggestion. And an unfair review can crush me for a while. I take a lot of yoga to help me get past the muse blocks. There is a yoga saying – get rid of whatever doesn't serve you. An unfair review doesn't serve me, so I meditate on making the irritation of it dispel into the ether.
Beverley: What do you have for breakfast?
Daryl: It changes every day. I could make pancakes tomorrow then have yogurt and granola the next day.
Beverley: What do you wear when you are writing?
Daryl: It changes every day. I could make pancakes tomorrow then have yogurt and granola the next day.
Beverley: Where do you do most of your writing?
Daryl: In a chair – laptop on lap – by a window overlooking the side fields.
Beverley: Do you have a favorite cartoon character? Why?
Daryl: Road Runner. No idea why. I just find him hilarious. Beep. Beep.
Beverley: Who would you love most to meet 'in person' and why?
Daryl: Queen Elizabeth. I'd loved to get her to sit back, take her crown off, put her feet up, hand her a beer and then just chat. I'd ask her all sorts of things like – have you ever had take-out pizza? And then I'd order one.
Beverley: If you had an unexpected free day what would you do with it?
Daryl: Winter – snuggle down with a good book, next to the woodstove. Summer – go putz around in my garden. It's one of my happy places.
Beverley: What are you working on now?
Daryl: The edits of book 3 in the trilogy arrived the other day. Notice I am writing this interview and not working on edits. They really do throw me for a loop. Also, I have a Christmas short that is at the publishers and am waiting on those edits any day now. I expect both of those books to be released in December.
If I do get down to writing there is an erotic medieval fantasy – dragon included - that needs to get finished. And a time travel romance that needs rewriting. I went a bit off course and it needs to be reined back in.
Two Hearts ~ One Love Trilogy

Blurb - Book 1 – What Happens in Bangkok
To save Darien's life his brother asks, "Can you walk in high heels?"
Erika Bailey, owner/manager of a drag queen club in Bangkok, Thailand has happily settled into all aspects of her new life, except for her lack of a love life. When a new diva auditions, Erika is bewildered over her instant attraction to the blond God, Apollo.
Darien Scott is on vacation after a world tour and mistakenly figures the safest place to be is at The Black Dragon with the head of a Triad. When the club is hit, Darien is the only person to get out alive. Now   he's running from the police and a Triad. Mistake number 1.
Disguised as a drag queen, he's hired by Erika, but falls hard for his new boss, then struggles with not coming clean with her. Mistake number 2.
Can he fix his mistakes and find a life filled with love or is he headed straight for mistake number 3?

Blurb - Book 2 – Darien's Desire You loved What Happens in Bangkok and want to know what happens next….
It's complicated is not only her relationship status, but the definition of Erika Bailey's life. She loves managing her drag queen club in Bangkok, Thailand, but her rock star boyfriend resides in North Carolina. And to top it off, her father threatens she must stay away from Darien or lose the Pink Flamingo. Does she protect her club or her love?
Darien Scott, Grammy award winning international superstar, wants nothing more than to wake up in the arms of Erika, the woman he loves, but contractual obligations force him to exotic video shoots and an isolated movie set with one of Hollywood's sexiest stars.
With the feeding frenzy of social media trending every aspect of Darien's life—real or not—it's hard for Erika to know the truth. Will she be able to see through the lies and trust Darien? Or will evidence from damaging Internet rumors condemn their relationship? 

Blurb - Book 3 – Title not released yet.
Concerned for his fiancée, Erika Bailey’s safety, rock star Darien Scott races to Bangkok to protect her, only to discover his brother is missing. Fearing the worse, he contacts his nemesis, Gan, and makes a repulsive deal that will free his brother and protect Erika’s club, The Pink Flamingo. Or so he thought. When a python and Gan are involved, things go sour, and Darien sinks into a deep depression.
Erika is disheartened by the betrayal of her parents. Her father's destruction of her club, and the humiliation of her mother’s drunken behavior have her feeling down, but those are the least of her worries. She has a wedding to plan, but won’t. Having been betrayed too often, she’s scared to trust Darien.
How can Erika prove to herself and Darien that she loves and trusts him? Simple. All she has to do is jump out of a plane.

Excerpt from What Happens in Bangkok

He pointed at the food vendors. "Do you want to get a snack before we hit the club?"
   Erika glanced at the various booths. "Which one? The smells from each are just mouth-watering."
   "Easy choice. That one." Darien pointed. "The lady's wearing purple. You love purple, so we get food from there."
   An elderly lady, wearing a purple silk Thai dress, smiled a toothless grin. With broken Thai, he ordered. Turning to Erika, he pointed at the row of soda cans. "Drink?"
   "Diet Coke, please."
   The lady scooped sticky rice into two takeout containers, then sliced pieces of roast meat, from the chicken hanging by the side of the booth. The pieces dropped onto the containers of rice. She pointed at the sauces. Darien nodded and she plopped a few Thai chilies and ginger on the top of the chicken. Erika pulled out her wallet.
   Darien placed his hand on her arm. "No, I get to pay for something. This I can afford. Seats three rows from the front at the National Theatre, not so much. Chicken and rice from a food vendor, I got this." He handed over a few bahts, refused the change, and accepted the containers, chopsticks and drinks. "Korb kun ka."
   The elderly lady smiled and bowed.
   Darien held out one of the containers. "Want to find a spot to sit or wander around the plaza?"
   "Let's play tourist. Check out the souvenirs. See the sights."
   "Wow, you really have been locked in the club for too long. See this." He waved his chopsticks in the air. "This is the outside world. It's very large. Some of it's ugly, but a lot is nice. Like this chicken." He shoveled some into his mouth.
   Savoring the food, neither spoke as they walked among the booths. One would stop, point at something and laugh, then move on. They paused by a busker on a unicycle juggling flaming batons.
   Erika leaned close. He caught the scent of her perfume above the smells of the food and crowd.

Buy Links:
eXtasy Books
Amazon - Paperback
Amazon Canada
Book Strand
Barnes and Noble

You can find Daryl at:

Facebook -
Twitter -
Google+ -
GoodReads Author Page -
Amazon Author Page -
LinkedIn -
Pinterest -

Don’t forget to check back next week for another author interview and more discussion of settings.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Blogging on Marketing Tips

The topic for this month is marketing. I’d love to hear from all of you, your thoughts on marketing.

I can’t speak to those published by traditional publishers but my understanding is that you need to do most of your own marketing.
I’ve attended several workshops and the general message I got was don’t worry about marketing was if you only have one book published, don’t worry about marketing. Write the next book and the next. Then with at least three published books, consider marketing. I followed this advice, but partly because I didn’t want to do any marketing. J

The next point about marketing – establish a budget. How much can you afford to spend?

Blog tours that you do yourself are free – except for the books you might give away.

Facebook parties are again free.  Many loops you may be a member of, have free promos for the member’s books.

Newsletters are one of the best ways to promote your book.  And if you can get a street team, that’s relatively free. You can give them small gifts to help promote your books.

You can buy ads on Facebook and Twitter. BTSeMag has a full page premium ad in their online magazine, which is quite well done, for $70. There is a charge to design the ad, but it also is reasonable and you can have as much input as needed to finalize. Fiverr Bookbub (which is great but can be a challenge to get one)

Check back on Thursday for more information on marketing.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Website and Photo Reveal

I hope everyone had a great holiday, be it the 150 Canadian birthday or the American July 4th.
My website is finished. I think it’s a little over the top for me, but they did a good job. Now I have to figure out how to use it. I’m so not techie.
And my new photo is up, as you can see.                                                                                                                        I’m not a person who likes being photographed and I have dragged my feet on both getting the new website, and getting a new photograph taken, for many years. The older you get the less you want your picture taken. The photographer did a great job with touch-up. And I’ve had the same webmaster for many years and loved working with him. I’ve already posted about this last week.  
Now I’m dragging my feet about letting people know the website is live and my photo is posted. You can check the website at
I’d love to hear any comments on the website – positive and negative, ease of navigation, whatever.  I can always get them to make changes.

Monday, July 3, 2017

It's a Big Holiday Weekend

This weekend, sort of, we have two big holidays.
Saturday was Canada Day. And it was our 150th Birthday. So Happy Birthday Canada.
We celebrated across the country, big cities and small and most involved fireworks. And speeches from our political leaders. I think we're a little more subdued than our US neighbors. Canadian, eh?

Tuesday is the American July 4th Day. It also involves fireworks, and lots of speeches, but also big bands and lots more spectacular events. Happy July 4th!

Where ever you are - Have a wonderful day holiday.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Special Guest Author

Our special international guest author today is AnneMarie Brear. Australian born AnneMarie  Brear writes historical novels and modern romances. Her passions, apart from writing, are reading, researching, dragging her poor husband around historical sites, buying books and gardening. She is currently living in England.

Here a blurb from her latest book, Where Rainbows End.

“I’m not a man, but that won’t stop me. Just you wait and see.”

It’s 1850 and the Noble family have arrived in Australia to start a new life after scandal drove them from their native England. Headstrong Pippa Noble is determined to reclaim their honour by making her father’s plans for a successful stud farm a reality.
Pippa is immediately spellbound by the untamed outback landscape, although she learns the hard way about the unforgiving nature of the bush – sometimes with devastating consequences. When circumstance leads to Pippa tending the new farm alone, it is the steadfast friendship of neighbouring country estate owner Gil Ashford-Smith that helps her through.
Then an unexpected visitor from England arrives, putting Pippa’s dreams in jeopardy. But she refuses to let go. She will hold onto her family’s land and make her mark, even if it means losing everything else …

Excerpt from Where Rainbows End:

Pippa rode until she coughed and her eyes smarted. The roar of the fire drowned all other sound. Smokey baulked at every movement as his terror mounted.

Pippa called for her father again and again. She waited for a few minutes, willing him to burst through the dense smoke. When it became so thick she couldn’t breathe, she wheeled Smokey back the way they’d come. With every yard they took, her sense of unease grew. Then she saw it. A torn scrap of material caught on a branch. Wrenching it free, she studied it. It was the same brown colour as her father’s tweed jacket.

Scrambling off Smokey, Pippa screamed for her father to answer her. She ran into the scrub, stumbling in haste, pulling Smokey by the reins behind her. The horse, frightened, pulled back, throwing up his head and trying to pull the reins free from her grasp. ‘No, no! Smokey. Calm down!’ But the horse half reared, snatching the reins from her hands and once free bolted away.

Distraught at losing the horse, she turned in a circle, looking through the white gloom. ‘Father! Can you hear me? Where are you?’

She darted to the right, peering around large boulders and tree trunks before running to the left where the ground steeply sloped away. She skidded down a few yards, searching the landscape for any sign of him. Her foot dislodged a rock and she tripped, landing on her knees.

‘Father!’ For a moment she knelt on the ground, exhausted. Despair waited to claim her, but she refused to give up. With a frustrated sigh, she stood and wearily wiped a hand over her eyes. Where was he?

A flock of white cockatoos screeched above the trees. The sound of what seemed like thunder came again. Abruptly, a kangaroo bounded down the slope, nearly crashing into her before it jumped to the right and away. Then another came thumping over the top and down beside her, and then another. It hadn’t been thunder at all, but hundreds of kangaroos fleeing. An opossum scuttled by, followed by a large fat wombat and smaller kangaroos and wallabies. Lizards of varying sizes and the odd snake slithered past and Pippa stared in fear as a huge goanna charged its way over a boulder and skimmed past her skirts.

Pippa stared at the exodus of animals and birds all headed east. From the west she heard the splintering of wood, followed by a loud whooshing sound. The fine hair on the back of her neck rose.

The fire was close.
Rushing back to the track, she caught her skirts on a bush and paused to unhook them. The snap and crackle grew louder. Straightening, she tore her skirts free and reached the top only to stop and stare at the small circle of orange flames licking the dry grass a few feet from her. Ash and embers floated in the air like snow; where they landed, they started spot fires.

She looked for Smokey, only he had gone. Fear closed her throat.

Lifting her skirts high, she ran down the track, heading for the entrance down into the valley. Thick smoke blanketed the countryside and crept into her lungs, slowing her down and making her cough. The roar of the fire urged her to keep going. A stiff, hot wind thrashed at the treetops, swirling the ash and embers about her head. The air seemed sucked dry and, apart from the crackle of flames, the bush was eerily quiet.

Pippa ran, the sound of her laboured breathing noisy in her ears. Her eyes smarted and streamed, while her lungs felt as though every breath would be her last. She tried to ignore the encroaching danger and concentrate on getting into the valley. She had to outrun it.

Buy links:
All Amazon Kindle sites;
Kobo UK:

If you'd like to find out more about AnneMarie or contact her, you can find her at:
Twitter @annemariebrear

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Marketing and her New Book with Anne Carrole

This week we’re going to find out a little about author Anne Carrole. Anne  will be talking about marketing. She’ll also tell us a little about herself and her writing, and answer some fun questions.
Anne Carrole has been writing stories since she was in elementary school but back then the hero was more likely to ride a bike not a horse and share a stick of gum rather than a kiss. Raised on a farm with horses, dogs, cats, chickens, rabbits and whatever other animals she could convince her parents to shelter, she’s married to her own sweet-talking hero and is the proud mother of a college-aged daughter. They all share their home with a sleek black cat with way too much attitude. When not writing or reading, you can find Anne puttering in the garden, playing tennis (poorly), watching football, or sharing a laugh with friends.
Beverley: How important is marketing for an author?
Anne: No matter how wonderful your novel is, if no one knows about it they can’t buy it so marketing is very important.  There are many well-written books that go undiscovered due to the crowded field of published books.
Beverley: What free marketing is available for authors?
Anne: An author newsletter has to top the list. Most services that help you distribute your newsletter, like Mailchimp and Mailerlite don’t start charging for their services until you get around two thousand subscribers. But I am not of the school that thinks getting thousands of subscribers to your newsletter is an effective marketing tool if they come from on-line solicitations for free books or free anything. Some authors swear they have found that getting subscribers this way sells books but when I look at their book’s ranking on Amazon and see that their book’s ranking is in the hundreds of thousands, I am skeptical.  I would rather have a few hundred subscribers who subscribed to my newsletter because they loved The Hearts of Wyoming Series, than thousands who subscribed because of some giveaway and then never open my newsletter.
There are many groups on Facebook that allow book promotion, many authors do group launch/event parties on Facebook, and organizing a Tweet Day with other authors where you retweet each other’s posts about your books can help with visibility though, personally, I have never seen huge bumps in sales from these.

Lining up blogging opportunities can help to increase visibility, particularly if those blogs attract readers interested in your genre, is another free marketing option.
Beverley: What marketing is available for a fee for authors?
Anne: There is a whole industry of people willing to offer their marketing services to you for a fee from people offering Public Relations services, to building your newsletter subscribers, to putting you on a blog tour, to getting reviewers. I have used none of them. I have yet to see proof that they sell books. They may get you subscribers, and blog dates, and a small number of reviewers but I have yet to see these translate into sales.

What does work, IMHO, is putting your book on sale (.99) for a limited time (or free if you must) along with snagging a Bookbub ad, which run in the hundreds of dollars. This strategy is particularly effective if you have other books that can benefit from someone discovering your work, particularly if it is a series. Short of a Bookbub ad, which is the holy grail of advertising because of the number of newsletter subscribers they have that actually are interested in reading books, you can coordinate the discount on your book with advertisements in other reader newsletters such as E-reader News Today (ENT), Robin Reads, and The Fussy Librarian, to name a few that I have found effective.  These advertisements rarely cost more that $50-$100 and are easier to get than a Bookbub ad, but they are also not quite as effective. While some authors have experienced downloads in the thousands from a Bookbub featured deal, you can probably expect 50 to 100 downloads from these other venues. However, that can be enough to push your book up in the rankings so your book gets in the top twenty of your genre list on Amazon, generating more sales from that visibility.
Beverley: How much should an author spend on advertising and how does an author make that decision?
Anne: I calculate how many books I must sell to get a return on investment for my promotion and, based on past experience or the experience of others, determine if it is feasible. However, sometimes, such in promoting a free book, you are looking to increase your visibility in a crowded field and in that case, you have to look at it as a long-term investment to build your brand, in which case the return on investment will not be immediate. I track my sales (my publisher allows me to see sales in real time) during promotions so I have an idea if a promotion is working.  This helps me decide how much I should spend the next time I promote.  For instance in March my publisher placed one of my books on sale for $0.99. I spent $525 promoting it and earned more than seven times that in royalties. For me that was a good return on investment, particularly since I could track bumps in sales based on where it was advertised.
Beverley: How have you marketed your books? Have you used someone to do your marketing for you? Why? Why not?
Anne: No. I looked into several services but the fees were in the thousands with no guarantee of a return on investment. As an author still trying to establish myself, I do not have the leeway to take that financial risk. I did read an account of a debut author who used a marketing service and paid large sums for advertising including an ad during the movie Fifty Shades of Grey and it paid off big for her. If you have the means to make that type of investment, go for it!
Beverley: How have you marketed your books?
Anne: I use Facebook Ads, ads in various reader newsletters such as ENT and Robin Reads.  However, the most effective promotions to-date have been the promotions my publisher, Kindle Press, an imprint of Amazon, has obtained for my books whether it is a 99 cent month-long discount, enrollment in Amazon Prime Reading, or targeted emails to likely Kindle readers.  My marketing efforts have largely been in support of these promotions.
Beverley: What did you find worked best?
Anne: Things I find effective:
Facebook Ads that boost a post. I have close to 3K followers on my Facebook page who are all fans of Western Romance, which is my genre, so those ad boosts tend to be effective for me. I generally set my budget for between $5 and $10 daily, target my audience, set my end date, and let Facebook do the rest. 
Reader Newsletter ads. As mentioned above, Book Bub ads, which can cost over $600, have, by all accounts, a great return on investment, but I have never been fortunate enough to land one. Other places where I have tracked favorable payback are E-readers News Today, Robin Reads, Choosy Bookworm, and Reading Deals.
Least effective for me have been giveaways (you get mostly people who are interested in the freebie, not in buying your books) and Facebook event parties (seems it has become oversaturated and takes a lot of time relative to the number of attendees—unless you are in one with a big name author.
Beverley: How long have you been writing?
Anne: My first published novella was with the Wild Rose Press in 2011.
Beverley: What genre do you write in and why?
Anne: I write both contemporary and historical romance set in the West. For some reason, maybe because I grew up on a farm, my muse comes wearing a Stetson. I also love the history of the Wild West as it was such a unique time period. The lore of the cowboy is heroic and iconic and the fact cowboys have always had a little outlaw in them keeps things interesting. My latest series, The Hearts of Wyoming, has three books published and I am working on the fourth and counting, with no shortage of stories to tell.
Beverley: Who influenced you the most in deciding to become a writer?
Anne: Since I was in elementary school, I have been writing stories so the desire has always been there (I was an English Major in college, lol). Many people influenced me along the way from professors to the authors I read like Austen and Trollope. But I fell in love with romance , literally, when I started to read the novels of Linda Lael Miller and Rachel Gibson.
Beverley: What obstacles did you have to overcome to begin creating your work?
Anne: Finding the time to devote to learning and honing the craft of writing was the biggest obstacle.  As a mother running my own consulting company and looking after an aging parent, there was never any time. After my mother passed away, the need to do something I’ve always wanted to do became too strong to ignore, and, by that time, my daughter had grown up!
Beverley: What gets your creative juices flowing?
Anne: Reading about the history of the West, watching a rodeo, taking a trip, hearing someone’s true life experiences—in short, life! My most recent novel, The Rancher’s Heart, is based on an adverse possession lawsuit that allows the heroine to take land from the hero without payment. My own family was once victim of an adverse possession lawsuit related to our family farm and this sparked the idea for The Rancher’s Heart.
Beverley: What will stop your creative muse the quickest?
Anne: My own inner editor. I have to push through and keep writing rather than listen to the little voice of doubt. Norah Robert has said she can fix a bad sentence but she can’t fix a blank page, or something to that effect. I try to keep that in mind when I’m writing.
Beverley: What do you have for breakfast?
Anne: I’m an eggs and bacon kind of gal.
Beverley: What do you wear when you are writing?
Anne: Few things are more comfy to me than a pair of well-worn jeans and a soft cotton top.
Beverley: Where do you do most of your writing?
Anne: At my desk in my office. For some reason, I don’t write as well at a lap-top or on a tablet. I think it is too many years of sitting at a desk. It just feels right to me.
Beverley: Do you have a favorite cartoon character? Why?
Anne: The Minions crack me up.
Beverley: Who would you love most to meet 'in person' and why?
Anne: The families featured in the show The Last American Cowboy (no longer on the air). They gave you a window into the realities (not the romance) of ranch life.
Beverley: If you had an unexpected free day what would you do with it?
Anne: Besides writing? I would probably head to the beach if the weather was nice. I live close to the coast and find sitting on the beach and listening to the surf a wonderful place to work out plots
Beverley: What are you working on now?
Anne: I am working on the fourth book in my Hearts of Wyoming series, The Loner’s Heart, which is Trace’s story.  Trace nearly took over the second book in the series, The Maverick Meets His Match, which was his brother’s story. He’s the strong, silent type masking a vulnerable heart. When he finds out, unexpectedly, that he has a five-year old daughter who needs him, this man who always pushed people away, suddenly has to ask for help.  The outgoing, forward woman who comes to his “rescue” is like no one he’s ever encountered before…and therein lies a story.

Blurb for The Rancher’s Heart:
A feud reminiscent of the Hatfields and McCoys, a love story worthy of Romeo and Juliet

Despite growing up on the Pleasant Valley Ranch, single mom Cat McKenna doesn’t know a thing about cattle. But even with her preference for high heels instead of cowboy boots, she’s determined to save the family ranch she inherited for her son. She just needs to hire the right foreman. Neighboring rancher and town heartbreaker, Cody Taylor, might be perfect for the job, even though their families have been feuding over land and water for generations.
Living in the shadow of the wealthier McKenna
ranch has not been easy for the Taylors. But buried under a mountain of debt after his late father’s illness, the only way out for Cody may be to accept Cat McKenna’s job offer.
Can Cody keep his pride and ranch intact while helping the one family in all of Wyoming that’s the sworn enemy of the Taylors...and the one woman in Wyoming who is capable of stealing not only his land, but his rancher’s heart?

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Don’t forget to check back next week for another author interview. Next week we'll be discussing Settings.