Give us a little bit about your background and when you first started publishing.
I was born and educated in England, but I’ve lived most of my life in Canada. I was an elementary school teacher for 25 years, a job I loved. After that, I worked with my husband in the management of his businesses. He’s a born entrepreneur who likes to boast he’s never had a job! My final “career” was as Director of Administration of a global disaster relief organization. I then embarked on writing a romance, something I’d always wanted to do. I chose the medieval period because it’s my favorite to read.
I have a keen interest in genealogy. This hobby has had a tremendous influence on my stories. My medieval romances are tales of family honor, ancestry, and roots. I published the first episode in 2011. Since then, of course, I’ve branched out into Viking and Highlander romance as well.
Historical Setting Related:
Have you visited the places you’ve written about or just read about them?
- Having been born in England, I am familiar with many of the places used as settings in my stories. I also find YouTube an excellent source of information. Often, you can find tours of ancient buildings, etc. My background also provided me with a feel for English accents which can differ widely even within a close geographic area.
What interesting settings have you used (homes, battlefields, events in history, etc)?
- Too many to mention! I wrote extensively about the Battle of Hastings in Conquest because it was such a defining moment in world history and in the lives of my Montbryce family. Writing historical romance gives a writer the opportunity to use such famous settings as Alnwick Castle in Northumbria, Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh, etc. I love studying old maps to get a sense of the layout of towns and cities in earlier times.
Why did you choose the particular period you write in? What is it about that era that speaks to you?
- As an amateur genealogist, I cherished a dream of tracing my own English roots back to the Norman Conquest—most likely impossible since I am not descended from nobility! So, I made up a medieval family, the Montbryces, and my Montbryce Legacy stories follow its members through successive generations. Writing about Normans led eventually to their ancestors, the Vikings, and Vikings led eventually to Highlanders!
What inspires you to create a certain character (give example)? Have you ever changed the character arc because it didn’t work with the storyline?
- I prefer to trust the characters to tell the story. As I get to know them, I get a better sense of who they are and what action they are likely to take next. I don’t begin a story knowing everything about them. They evolve as I write. I am a firm believer in love at first sight. My heroes and heroines may initially deny the attraction between them, but eventually the alchemy wins out. I want readers to rejoice when the power of love overcomes every obstacle and lovers find their soul mates. For me, novels are an experience of another world and time. I lose myself in the characters’ lives, always knowing they will triumph in the end and find love. One of the things I enjoy most about writing historical romance is the in-depth research necessary to provide readers with an authentic medieval experience. I love ferreting out bits of historical trivia and including them in my stories.
Do you have a certain quirk in your writing process? Do the stars have to be aligned or do you have to have your favorite tea? Where do you do your best writing?
- I am lucky enough to have my own office as my writing cave. I do need peace and quiet. I’m not a person who listens to music all the time.
From all your books, who is your favorite hero and why?
- I think most of my readers would choose Ram de Montbryce, the family patriarch from Conquest. However, my heart belongs to Ram’s illegitimate son, Caedmon FitzRam from Redemption. He probably undergoes the biggest transformation of all my heroes. One of the drawbacks of writing about successive generations of a family is that you have to eventually kill off characters. I weep every time I read the details of Caedmon’s demise. (Sweet Taste of Love)
Outside of your own genre, what’s your favorite genre?
- Historical fiction and Regency romance.
We hope you enjoyed getting to know Anna and her story a little better. You can check out Anna’s latest release “Kilty Party” right here!