Thursday, March 10, 2011

Author Interview - Ann Stewart - Romance Author

      I’m so glad to reintroduce you to a wonderful romance author, Ann Stewart. We’re on location at Saddlebred farm in North Carolina so grab your beverages and a space on the fence because Ann has news of her new upcoming release, Brigadoon’s Guarded Hearts!

Deanna: Welcome back Ann. I'm so glad you've been busy writing and congratulations on the new book!

Ann: Thanks Deanna. I’m glad to be back. Thanks for having me.

Deanna: Last we spoke you were promoting your debut Contemporary, Awenasa Island. I hear you have some news for us about a new story.

Ann: Yes, Deanna. I am very excited about my next release, Brigadoon’s Guarded Hearts. The story is set on a Saddlebred farm in North Carolina, much like the one I grew up working and riding on. Chelsea Bradley is moving on after a divorce and takes an instructor position on the farm only to find the very hot, and hot headed trainer, Steven Bradshaw, may be more then she can handle.

Deanna:  What type of Romance do you typically write?

Ann:  Most of my work is labeled as contemporary. I like stories that focus on the hero and heroine, but also create a since of unity with a small supporting cast. To me, setting is a main character in every story and I strive to drop my reader smack-dab in the middle of my character’s homes. I tend to write on the ‘sweeter’ side, mostly because I know my father will read anything I write and I can’t bear the thought of him sitting blush-faced in his recliner reading torrid sex scenes. I think the lack of actual ‘sex’ deepens the sexual tension between my characters.  They have to really work at getting me to put them in bed together and that tension and conflict adds to the story.

Deanna:  Do you write under a pen name?

Ann:  I write under a version of my real name. I can’t imagine spending months with my babies only to send them out into the world under a pen name.

Deanna:  I understand you’re a mother and work full time. How do you fit writing into your day?

Ann:  I’m not sure if I live to write or write to live, but I do know very few days go by that I don’t put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard for one reason or another. I’m up by five am on the weekdays to get my son off to school and me to work, so I don’t get much done in the mornings other then downing caffeine by the cup loads. I steal a few minutes after work to write or brainstorm and read while the family watches T.V. Most of my writing happens when everyone else is asleep. I’m a morning person, but over the past few years I think I’ve converted in order to write in peace and quiet, but I wouldn’t give any of it up.

Deanna: With a family, making time for both is a challenge for sure. Tell us a bit about yourself that our readers might not know.

Ann: When my muse isn’t playing nice I take her on picture walks. I’ve always had a great love of photography and learned how to develop my own film in high school, although there isn’t much use for that talent in the digital age.  I also love to paint, even though I’m not very good at it, and most weekends you’ll find me cooking dinners for the week. I love to cook but hardly find the time.

Deanna: When you have time to read, what type of books to you tend to reach for?

Ann: As long as the story is engaging, and the writing quality, I’m interested in reading it. That said, I tend to read in spurts. This past month I’ve read a lot of writing craft books I stumbled on at the library. Before that I went on a Young Adult kick, and before that Texas Romance. I’m taking part in the Book-A-Week challenge set up by a friend and so far I’m still on target. I think reading is as important to writing as main characters and plots. If you don’t read, you can’t produce a product that fits into today’s market.

Deanna:  When reading a good book, what pulls you into the story and what pulls you out?

Ann: I am reading the most fantastic story right now, The Demon Trapper’s Daughter, and I think I find the story so fascinating because I’ve never read anything even close to it before and I have no idea where the plot is leading. The writing is tight and cleaver and the character’s jump off the page. When the story is that good, I dream about it, and that to me is the ultimate compliment of a book.
       The thing that pulls me out (queue Steven King) is excessive dialogue tags. I hate to harp on an overexposed writing faux pa, but it really grates my nerves to be reminded every other sentence that I am in fact reading.

Deanna:  That is something that also bothers me when I read because if the writing is good, a tag isn't needed. Can you tell us a little about your upcoming release?

Ann: Sure. Chelsea Bradley is on a journey of discovery so to speak. She’s left her husband and taken a job as a riding instructor at Brigadoon farms only to find herself under the scrutinizing eye of the head trainer, Steven. These two barely get along as it is, but when they find out their pasts are intertwined things really start to heat up.

Deanna: Sounds interesting. Love that kind of conflict! Can you give us a blurb or exert?

Ann: Sure

Eight years ago, Chelsea Bradley gave up a promising career in equine management to marry Chase Montgomery, a struggling real estate developer with a roving eye.
Now with their divorce settled, she’s turning to a past she’d long thought gone. The ad in the local paper for a seasoned riding instructor at Brigadoon Farms couldn’t have come at a better time. Chelsea sees the position as her ticket back into the career she loved. She has nothing to lose and everything to gain until she meets the man who could make her put everything on the line.
Will she be able to forgive his past to share in his future? All Steven Bradshaw has left of his once glowing reputation is the family he’s acquired at Brigadoon. They took him in after the horse drugging sandal that tarnished his name and gave him the chance to rebuild his life. Now he aims to repay them by protecting the farm from the threat he sees in Chelsea. She walked out on a career at a horse farm before, leaving a farm high and dry during show season. He won’t let that happen to Brigadoon, no matter how much he is falling for her.

I’d love to share a sample, but the book is currently under final edits. I will be reserving one e-book for a reader who comments on this interview. 

Deanna, thanks again for having me back.
Deanna:  Readers, there you have it! Comment to be in the drawing for the ebook and Ann will pull a winner Saturday! Be sure to leave your email so she can get in touch with the winner. Good Luck everyone. Ann, it’s a pleasure to hear about your new books so be sure to let us know when the next one is coming up! Thanks so much for being here!

Here is where you can find Ann so be sure to stop at her sites! Don't forget to leave her a comment or question to be in the drawing for the ebook: 

                                     Ann's Website     Ann's Blog