Meet Writer Anne Barton

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.

Read on to learn more about talented and classy Anne Barton, 2008 Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® finalist, her writing and her counsel for other romance writers.

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:

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:

Her website:
Her blog, Anne Barton’s Blog:
You can friend her at Facebook: Anne Barton/Facebook


About Keli Gwyn

I'm an award-winning author of inspirational historical romance smitten with the Victorian Era. I'm currently writing for Harlequin's Love Inspired Historical line of wholesome, faith-filled romances. My debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, was released July 1, 2012. I'm represented by Rachelle Gardner of Book & Such Literary. I live in a Gold Rush-era town at the foot of the majestic Sierras. My favorite places to visit are my fictional worlds, other Gold Country towns and historical museums. When I'm not writing I enjoy taking walks, working out at Curves™ and reading.
This entry was posted in Golden Heart, Romance Writers of America, writer interview, writing. Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Meet Writer Anne Barton

  1. C.J. Redwine says:

    Nice interview, Anne! I like that your characters are making their own decisions by the end of the book. Sometimes they surprise us, don’t they? 😉

    I have to admit, I read the description of your writing as “witty, fresh provocative Regency romance that has a ton of talking.” LOL.

    I figured it out on my second read-through. That’s what I get for only getting two hours of sleep and expecting anything at all to make sense. 🙂

  2. Anne Barton says:

    Keli, thanks so much for inviting me here and for the grand introduction. I’m still glowing a little bit from when you called me “classy.” 🙂 My family and friends will have a good chuckle over that.

    I just finished up an intense physical science class yesterday, so I consider today the real start of my summer break. 🙂

    While I was in the high school computer lab I saw a quote posted on the wall that I thought was pretty cool:

    Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. – Benjamin Franklin

    Thanks to anyone stopping by. If you have a quote that inspires you, please share it!


  3. Anne Barton says:

    Hey, CJ! I know you’re cranking out some chapters this week, so thanks for taking a minute to drop by.

    It’s funny how real our characters start to seem to us. I actually miss the heroine and hero from my last story.

    Good luck with the writing. I’m handing you a virtual mocha latte. I don’t know how you can function on two hours of sleep! 🙂 Hang in there.

  4. Beth Trissel says:

    I enjoyed this deeper look into your writing, Anne. I totally agree about taking the readers on an emotional journey. Vital. And you can only do that as a writer if you’ve gone on one with the characters yourself. I loved–still do–PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. Remember discovering this book and all the others by Jane Austen on my college professor father’s vast bookshelves when I was in those latter high school/early college years. 🙂

  5. Anne Barton says:

    Hi, Beth –

    So, your dad was a college professor? Doesn’t it seem like a lot of romance writers have parents who are teachers (or are teachers themselves)? 🙂

    Thanks for popping in, and congrats on all your upcoming releases with The Wild Rose Press!

  6. Janis Key says:

    Great interview Anne!! You really are crafty with your words. I can’t wait to start reading your material!!

  7. Anne Barton says:

    Janis! What’s up sis? 🙂

    Janis is (obviously!) my sister. She’s also a fellow math teacher and one of my best cheerleaders (also obvious).

    She even lent me a cute black dress to wear for a night on the town in San Francisco. Thanks, J!

  8. Sylvia says:

    Hi Anne,
    I’m so glad that I didn’t have to settle for just reading the excerpt on your website. I loved the entire manuscript and can’t wait for the next one.

  9. Anne Barton says:

    Hey Mom! Thanks for braving the blog world to say hi. 🙂 I’m going to introduce you properly.

    Mom is a high school math teacher (are you noticing a trend?) and an extraordinary mom, grandma, and – let’s not forget! – cook. Because of her, my kids turn up their noses at my meatballs. She reads a ton, too.

    She reads my manuscripts, but not as I write, only when I’m done. She like to get the whole story at once. 🙂

    I’m working on the next one, Mom!

  10. kris kennedy says:

    Hey Anne!

    Nice interview and fabulous excerpt! Really great–I want to read the entire ms. I love how things went in an unexpected direction, and I love the feel of both your hero & heroine. They came alive immediately, with distinct personalities.

    Oh, and my mom and my step-father were both teachers. LOL


  11. Anne Barton says:

    Hi Kris – I’m glad you liked Amelia and Craven. She has some self-esteem issues, so she’ll be thrilled when I pass along your compliment! 🙂

    BTW, I LOVE the excerpts on your site. The chemistry for both stories is amazing. Can’t wait to read The Conqueror when it’s released. Is it November, or am I just making that up?

  12. Beth Trissel says:

    Hey Anne, yes, it is interesting about all the teachers who were/are parents. My dad taught English, of course, and is a big fan of literature and the English romantic poets.

  13. keligwyn says:

    I’m glad your physical science course is behind you, Anne. Now you can enjoy the rest of your summer and spend more time writing.

    Thanks to C.J., Beth and Kris for stopping by. Nice to see our fellow finalists.

    Wonderful to have you here, Janis and Sylvia.

    I drew names for the two Baskin Robbins gift certificates. The winners are Beth and Janis. Congratulations, ladies.

  14. Gail says:

    This is my first blog entry ever and I would only do it for something I feel passionate about. Anne Barton’s writing is not your ordinary romance writing. I should not admit, given who reads this blog, that I do not read romance novels. However, I read Anne’s Midnight Promises excerpt and was captivated by the quality of her writing. I am a huge reader of non-fiction and her characters dialogue and ability to make me visualize her setting with her words, made me realize how excellent a writer she is. A novelist who writes as if telling a non-fiction story. I can’t wait to read her novels in published form. Enjoy the convention in San Francisco. Gail

  15. Anne Barton says:

    Hi Gail! I’m honored to be your first ever blog post. 🙂 I used to be very hesitant to comment, but it’s fun once you jump in. Besides, romance writers are some of the most welcoming, supportive people you’ll ever meet. 🙂

    Speaking of “supportive,” Gail is the very definition of the word (in case you hadn’t noticed!) She’s also my aunt, and she might be a tad biased, but I must say I don’t mind. 🙂

    We won’t hold it against you that you don’t read romances, Gail, but that doesn’t mean we won’t try to convert you. 🙂 Come on over to the dark (light?) side…


  16. Anne Barton says:

    Wow, I put a lot of smiley faces in that last post!

    I just wanted to thank Keli again for having me, and thank my fellow Pixie Chicks – CJ, Beth, and Kris – and family – Janis, Mom, and Gail – for stopping by.

    Hope everyone has a happy fourth and a great holiday weekend!

  17. kris kennedy says:

    Thanks SO much for your kind words about the excerpts on my site! They help a lot. It’s like standing on a stage, totally naked. I cannot even imagine what it will be like when the book comes out. (Which is next Spring, btw. Not yet sure which month, but you’ll be among the first to know, Pixie.) I’m stocking up on paper bags. LOL

    It’s so nice to see your family blogging out to support you! 🙂

    Thanks to Anne and Keli!

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