Today I'm delighted to have an author interview with Anna Kathryn Lanier. She's not only a good writer, but definitely has become someone I consider a good friend. She supportive, encouraging and fun.
She's got a release coming up (a story that looks really good and funny).
So it is my privilege to introduce you to Anna Kathryn Lanier...
Me: What attracted you to writing Westerns and Historicals?
Anna: I’ve read historicals for 30 years. I enjoy them more than contemporaries, for the most part. Honestly, I sort of fell into writing Westerns, I didn’t plan to write them. I wanted to write Regency. See below for more info on how I fell into it.
Me: How did you end up with your publisher, The Wild Rose Press?
Anna: A friend of mine, Skhye Moncrief, had sold to them. She told me they were looking for holiday stories and could I quick-like write up my wagon train story (historical). We brainstormed that idea for a while, then I decided to go look up information on the line looking for stories. It turns out that Yellow Rose line is for contemporary stories, not historical. LOL. So, I brainstormed an idea I’d started on a year or so before, thought about how I could use the plot in the West. I picked Montana as the location and was able to write it as a holiday story. It took me four days to write it (okay, it’s only 17 pages long) and my editor basically got the first draft, but she accepted it and The Priceless Gift was sold in time for a Christmas 2007 release.
Me: You have a cookbook coming out associated with your upcoming story, A Gift Beyond All Measure, can you talk about what sparked that idea?
Anna: Well, since my first story with TWRP, I’ve incorporated food and tried to include a recipe with each story. In A Gift Beyond All Measure Tessa Jones is the cook for the Triple H Ranch. A fire in the cookhouse forces her to stay in Jacob Scott’s house, where she also cooks for the hands. There’s a lot of food mentioned in this story, which works for his GMC as well. The smells of the home-cooked food reminds Jacob of his childhood. It reminds him what he’s been missing in his life and is a good connection between him and Tessa. Anyway, I wanted a different way to promote my story and I thought of doing a cookbook with recipes for the food Tessa cooks. I also opened it up for a contest and invited other writers to submit recipes. Those chosen are in the book, along with a bio on the author…a great promotion for them, too. "A Gift Beyond All Measure Cookbook" will be available on my website December 8-31, 2010 and will be free to anyone who wants to download it.
Me: For Fun: What's a favorite Christmas treat of yours?
Anna: Fudge. I can remember my daddy making it when I was young. Oddly enough, I don’t mention fudge in the story, lol. Another favorite is potato soup. We have that on Christmas Eve. We used to have oyster stew, but my mother got tired of us grumbling about having to eat it, so she stopped serving it. Of course, I like oyster stew now.
Me: What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Anna: Join a writer’s group. Being around other writers is a great deal of help. You learn you’re not the only one with voices in their head. Take classes, too. You learn stuff you didn’t even know you needed to learn. And, be careful what you name secondary characters. One day, you may want to write their story and then you are stuck with a name you may not be wild about.
Me: What can you tell us about your upcoming release, A Gift Beyond All Measure?
Anna: I had a hard time writing this story. I just couldn’t plot out Jacob’s story, and I wanted to. As the brother of the heroine in The Priceless Gift, I really wanted to write his story. Finally, I hit upon a good combination of plot and character.
Here’s the blurb:
Arriving home for Christmas, the last thing Jacob Scott expects in his house is a sexy, shotgun-toting stranger. Worse, his attraction to her bothers him even more than the gun. Still reeling from the deception of his long-time girlfriend, he’s not looking for romance.
Tessa Jones has learned one hard lesson—when everyone in your life has failed you the only one you can trust is yourself. Facing the whispers of the townsfolk and an arson charge, Tessa unexpectedly finds herself trusting Jacob with more than her legal troubles.
Struggling between the promise of the present and the hurts of the past, can these two lost souls overcome their pain long enough to discover a gift beyond all measure?
Me: Are all your books e-books or do you have some in print?
Anna: I have some short stories in print in anthologies, but they are also available electronically. Everything with The Wild Rose Press is electronic only. Information on all my stories is available on my website, www.aklanier.com.
Me: For Fun: Out of the stories you've written, do you have a favorite character and why?
Anna: I have a couple that’s my favorite – Meagan and Peter in my short story "Tempt Me Twice". It’s a historical set in Victorian England. Meagan and Peter bugged me for a couple of years to write their story. They’d wake me up in the middle of night with ideas, which I’d have to get up and write or they wouldn’t let me go back to sleep. So, I’m not sure if they are my favorite, but they sure stand out!
Me: Can you describe a bit of what the writing process is like for you?
Anna: LOL. I am a panster. I’m lucky if I have my character’s name before I start to write. I will have some idea of a story, but usually, I just start writing. I’ve tried plotting out, but it doesn’t work for me.
I’ll give one example of writing for me:
In "Salvation Bride", the hero and heroine have had a fight over an abused woman, Mrs. Peterson. As sheriff, David wanted to do more, but in 1873, there was little he could do about a man abusing his wife, much to Laura’s chagrin. So, the scene is him returning home and her putting food on the table, very little talking. I didn’t want them to have time to talk things out; I wanted him called away from the house before they could settle things. I thought someone would come call him back to town over some gunfight or something.
So, I’m sitting at the computer, I’m writing the scene. They are sitting at the table, ready to eat, ready to talk, when there’s a knock at the door. David crosses the room and opens the door…bam! Right then, right there it hits me who’s on the other side of the door and why.
“Sheriff, you gotta come quick, Mrs. Peterson has done killed her husband.”
Before David opened the door, I had no idea that’s where the story would go, but it worked out well for the plot.
Me: On your homepage, you have a picture of yourself at a ranch riding a horse. Do you ride horses or was that a rare opportunity?
Anna: That’s the first time I rode a horse in years. I did ride once a year when my daughters went to a Girl Scout Camp in Louisiana, because they had horses. But I did not grow up riding horses. I don’t mind riding them, I just haven’t been around them much.
That picture was taken at the Silver Spur Ranch in Bandera, TX. My husband and I went there in May when The Wild Rose Press hosted an authors’ weekend. It was great fun! Aside from the horseback riding, we had workshops, played poker, shot guns (a first for me), went to a rodeo and just relaxed. It was a good time.
Me: Anything else you'd like to add?
Thanks for having me today. You can find out more about me and my stories at www.aklanier.com. "A Gift Beyond All Measure" will be released tomorrow, December 8th at The Wild Rose Press (www.thewildrosepress.com). I have three other stories with them that are also available for sale. "A Gift Beyond All Measure Cookbook" will be available for free on my website from December 8-31, 2010 to anyone who wants to download it. The cookbook contains 27 mouth-watering recipes, including Son-of-a Gun Stew, Cheesy Biscuits, Venison Strips, and Peach Cobbler.
You all be sure to get Anna's new book on Dec. 8th :-)