Anne Barton writes “witty, fresh provocative Regency romance that has the ton talking.” An elementary school math teacher by day, she spends her summers and free time creating moving tales “with smart, feisty heroines and strong, complex heroes.”
Anne’s grandmother instilled a love of history in Anne at young age. Couple that with the semester she lived in London, and it’s easy to see how her love for the Regency era was born.
I’ll randomly select the names of three people posting comments today to win fun prizes. After you’ve read Anne’s great interview, check out the comments section to see what you could win.
What led you to write romances?
I’m addicted to romance novels. The first romance I remember reading was Pride and Prejudice in ninth grade literature class. We were assigned a chapter or two for homework each night, but after I started the story there was no way I could stop. I remember telling my mom how much I enjoyed it, and how I wished there were more books like it. She told me there were plenty, and lent me one of hers. The title was something along the lines of “The Wicked Widow.” Who wouldn’t be hooked after that?
What’s not to love about Jane Austen—and Darcy? I can see why you were hooked. When did you start writing your first romance?
About two years ago. I’ve completed two Regency-set historicals and am working on a third. (The second is my Golden Heart finalist.) Before that, the extent of my writing background was software manuals, company newsletters, and grocery lists.
With three books and multiple contest placements behind you, I’m sure you’ve learned a great deal about romance writing. What’s the best advice you’ve received?
Wow, it’s hard to say. When I first started writing I actually bought a book called The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Getting Your Romance Novel Published, by Julie Beard. It kind of got me rolling and I still refer to it sometimes. I’ve gotten helpful advice from a variety of sources including rejection letters, contest judges, and published authors.
But I’d have to say the best advice I’ve gotten is to remember to take readers on an emotional journey. Stories that accomplish that are the ones that are most satisfying and entertaining.
Judging by the excerpt from Midnight Promises posted on your website, your readers are indeed promised a wonderful emotional journey. It’s clear you put your heart in your stories. What part of writing brings you the greatest enjoyment and why?
Bringing characters to life. It’s the hardest part for me and the part I love. By the end of the book the characters are truly making their own decisions, deciding their own fate. It feels like they’re real people.
What has been the high point of your writing experience so far?
Hmmm. Probably the most thrilling moment was getting the news about my first contest final. It came over a year after I started writing, and it was the first time my writing had received any recognition at all. It was exhilarating.
Congratulations on the successes you’ve had. But I know there must have been tough times as well. How do you deal with the hills and valleys of a writer’s life?
Well, rejection isn’t always bad, but it can be tough on a writer’s fragile ego. I’ve found that writers’ blogs (like yours!) are a great way to get some perspective and chat with others who might be dealing with similar issues. In addition to providing some camaraderie, they can be great resources of information about contests, conferences, and the business of writing. One of my favorite group blogs is The Seekers: http://seekerville.blogspot.com/
Another form of therapy I use is to hop on the treadmill and crank up my iPod. Almost anything by Tom Petty works: “Won’t Back Down,” “Learning to Fly,” or “The Waiting.”
In closing, what encouragement would you offer others on the road to publication?
Keep your sense of humor. Remember why you started writing in the first place. Enjoy the ride.
Leave a comment for Anne:
Have a question for Anne? Want to know more about her writing process, her stories or how she goes about researching her Regencies? Leave a comment. She’ll be dropping by throughout the day to chat with you.
On Word Press blogs, the comment link is found at the top of the post by the title.
Anne generously donated a $10 Borders gift card to be given away to one person leaving a comment today. To sweeten the deal, I’m adding two $2 Baskin Robbins gift certificates.
Congratulations to Beth Trissel and Janis Key, winners of the Baskin Robbins gift certificates, and to Kris Kennedy, winner of the Borders gift card.
Learn more about Anne: