Hi Anita, please tell us about yourself and your writing.
I was born and raised in a small town in southern Wisconsin. I have a pet hamster named Digger, who buries himself in his shavings when my two cats, Midnight and Charlie come to hassle him. I enjoy reading, watching people, fishing, jogging, playing board games, and going out with my friends.
What does your writing space look like?
I live in a small, no make that a tiny, two-bedroom apartment. After my grandmother died, my grandfather gave me her roll-top desk. I guess it’s more like a secretary. It sits in between two windows in the extra bedroom. On the top of the desk is a Joe Bonamassa statue, a basket of chocolate, tea warmer, a bobble-head dog that used to ride in the rear window of Grandma’s fin-tipped caddie. Most of the walls are lined with bookshelves, but since I’ve run out of room for my books, they are piled on the floor throughout the room. They’re even piled in the cats’ beds since they never use them. My CD player sits on a small plastic table, close to my desk so I can easily change my music. I need to listen to instrumentals while I write. Songs with lyrics interfere with my writing.
How long have you been writing?
Like most authors, my writing has had its twists and turns. I dabbled, cringed at my dabbling, gave up, started again, etc., etc., etc. But, I’m an avid reader. Several years ago I heard about the Romantic Times Convention and decided it sounded like fun. The first year I went as a reader, but the enthusiasm of the authors I met, gave me the incentive to pursue my hidden dream of becoming published. The second year I went, I checked the box for “Aspiring Author” and even pitched a book idea. This year I’m finally going as “Published Author!” South Seas Seduction was released March 13 of this year.
Do you have process for coming up with character names and book titles?
I’m terrible at coming up with book titles. I recently sent off a book to my editor. She told me I’d need to change the title. So far nothing has popped into my head. As for my characters, I do a character chart so I know what he/she looks like, how old, job, ethnicity, etc. Then I toss names around in my head and see if they fit the character. I once had a name in mind for a character and half-way through the book, she wanted a different name. Thank heavens for the Search and Replace option on Word. First names are easier than last names. I have a character naming book that I’ll go through for last names.
What is your favorite book genre? Who are your favorite authors?
I read everything except science fiction and paranormal, although I’ve been drawn into a few books that I didn’t realize were paranormal, but were so well written, they sucked me in. I fell in love with Janet Evanovich, so I have all her books on my keeper shelf. I also like LaVeryle Spencer, Nora Roberts, Christie Craig, Iris Johansen, Tess Gerritson. There are so many I enjoy. I’m finding more and more with my new publisher, too. So many books, so little time.
Has anyone in particular been an influence on your writing?
I was raised by my grandparents after my parents were killed in a plane crash when I was six. My grandfather gave me my love of the Packers, building things from wood, and running. My grandmother taught me to love books, fishing, camping, and writing. While she was never published, she was always working on honing her craft. She enjoyed teaching her students how to write well-crafted and edited stories and even had a few students become published. She taught me to never give up on my dream of being published.
Tell us about your current work in progress.
The one I’m working on now (in the edit stage) is a contemporary mystery. When I wrote it years ago, it was a simple romance, but I’ve added mystery to hopefully make it more interesting. Of course, when you change one little thing in a work in progress, it can snowball to hundreds of changes.
Favorite food? Veggie quesadilla with pineapple
Favorite color? Blue
Favorite animal? Birds
Biggest pet peeve? People who are rude.
Dream car? Ford F150 pickup truck.
Sheltered all her life as the daughter of an ambassador, Emma Labonte boards a small plane on a trip from Australia. One hijacking and a plane crash later, she finds herself on a deserted island and stranded with three different yet equally sexy men. With no hope for rescue, the four begin to carve a semblance of a life in their tropical setting. Closeness breeds curiosity, and naive Emma begins to wonder what it would be like to be loved by these three men. The adventurer Jack, Toby the intelligent doctor, and shy English professor Steve–each carve a special place in her heart. When her three men launch seduction in the South Seas, how can she resist?
Thinking about the men’s needs, she also thought about hers. She needed to set up a plan to keep some kind of control and not be simply a plaything, available every time one of them felt the urge and crooked their finger at her. No, she needed to retain some independence. With her eyes closed she ran through several scenarios. Details had to be finalized before giving them her decision.
Activity always made her think better. Her wrinkled skin itched. Emma got out of the pool, air drying her body before getting dressed again. The sun reflected off her wedding ring. She stared at her finger.
What if she had married the real Jean Paul? Would she have liked him better than the fake one? Would she be mourning his death? She’d liked his parents. How will they feel when they found out he was dead? Of course, that wouldn’t happen unless they were rescued.
What if they weren’t rescued? What if Francois gets away with the murder of Jean Paul and the near murder of herself?
Her mind whirled with the ‘what ifs.’
“Dammit,” she whispered, closing her eyes, tears leaking at the corners.
Before she changed her mind, she yanked off the ring, swung her arm behind her head, and tossed the offending piece of jewelry into the jungle, hoping it would rot with the rest of the vegetation.
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