Down Under Showcase Author – Anne Barwell

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Meet Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell  is the author of four series and 2 stand alone novels (listed below).

To get to know Anne Barwell a little better, she agreed to an interview. Look for her guest post below and the Down Under Scavenger Hunt word found somewhere within.



Author Bio 1

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with two cats who are convinced that the house is run to suit them; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date it appears as though the cats may be winning.

In 2008 she completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra.

She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth.

Author Contacts

Dreamspinner Author Page:



Author Books Stories Down Under1 copy

All published by Dreamspinner Press:

Hidden Places series:
• Cat’s Quill
• Magic’s Muse
Echoes series:
• Shadowboxing
• Winter Duet
Dragons of Astria series:
• A Knight to Remember
The Sleepless City series:
• Shades of Sepia
• Slow Dreaming
• On Wings of Song

Hidden Places is contemporary fantasy
Echoes is historical (WWII)
Dragons of Astria is high fantasy
The Sleepless City is urban fantasy
Slow Dreaming is SF
On Wings of Song is historical (WWI)

Contests and Giveaways:

1. Today’s Giveaway (thank you, Anne Barwell) is an eBook copy chosen from Anne Barwell’s backlist. Enter using this Rafflecopter link here. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

2. Down Under Scavenger Hunt – find Anne Barwell’s Hunt “Word“. Collect all the words from each author and submit the list in writing no later than midnight on February 1st. Make sure you include an email address where you can be reached. Prizes will be given to 5 people selected, from 1st place to 5th! Happy Hunting.



Anne Barwell on The Kiwi Connection!

The Kiwi Connection

Thanks for hosting me today J

As a Kiwi writer, my books often have New Zealand references or characters although sometimes this isn’t possible, as it needs to work with the story I’m telling. So far, I only have one story set in New Zealand, but I’m planning to do something about that.

Slow Dreaming is set very close to home to me as it takes place in Petone where I grew up. Sean’s a songwriter who works in a café in Jackson Street, and one of his favourite places to go and think is the Petone foreshore. I’ve spent many hours on that same beach, and the café is based on one I visit regularly. It was fun writing something set locally, and I had a few comments from local readers who recognised the places I was writing about. It made the research so much easier too and I was able to use some Kiwi idioms.

In Winter Duet, book two of my WWII Echoes series, Kristopher, Michel and the team meet a downed RAF pilot, Leo. During WWII many NZ pilots flew with the RAF. Leo is from Wellington and his uncle has a farm in the Wairarapa, which is several km from here. I remember my dad talking about a big earthquake that took place during the war, which was centred in the Wairarapa. Leo references it in the book, and also mentions the sheep on his uncle’s farm. After all, a New Zealand reference needs sheep in there somewhere, right?

Shades of Sepia, the first book in The Sleepless City series I’m writing with Elizabeth Noble, introduces Ben Leyton. Ben’s a Kiwi on his OE (overseas experience) in Flint, Ohio, a city in the States. It’s the little things that take Ben by surprise as he adjusts to life in the U.S. Here, a flat white refers to coffee with milk; there he’s asked why he’s talking about house paint. He doesn’t like creamer, being used to milk in his tea and coffee. Creamer here is powdered stuff used in coffee machines. We’re an agricultural country, so dairy products are a biggie. Milk is available as full cream, homogenised, trim (low fat) and calci trim (added calcium), and it comes in various flavours such as chocolate, strawberry, lime etc. On a side note, I had a friend visit the U.S after I wrote Shades of Sepia. He was waiting at a dentist and was offered tea with creamer. His reaction was the same as Ben’s.

With the Sleepless City being a series, and contemporary, I’ve been able to explore a lot more of the differences between here and the U.S than in other stories, through Ben’s reactions and speech. Although we all speak English we have different names for different things eg garbage/rubbish, sidewalk/footpath. Ben’s use of slang often leads to questions too, especially when he refers to something as ‘sweet as’. There isn’t a word missing—the point of it is that there is no comparison. We also refer to something as ‘cold as’, ‘hot as’ etc.

In book three of the series, Family and Reflection, Ben’s friend, Ange, comes to visit. I had several betas (non-Kiwis) who asked me if her saying she was going to find a ‘park’ was a typo and whether it should be a parking spot. Neither of my Kiwi betas commented at all, as that’s what we say here, and how Ange, a Kiwi, would say it. It’s the little things that show our origins.

I’m looking forward to setting my new series Outliers in Wellington—once I’ve finished my current series. Ben and his vampire partner, Simon, will also be visiting Wellington, and interacting with some of those characters, in book three of the spin off series Opus: Tales of

the Sleepless City. After all, Ben’s had fun trying to adjust to a culture that isn’t his own so it’s only fair that his partner gets to do the same in reverse.

By Scattered Thoughts

At over 50, I am ruled by my terriers, my gardens, and my projects. A knack for grubbing about in the woods, making mud pies, and tending to the injured worms, bugs, and occasional bird and turtle growing up eventually led me to working for the Parks. I was a park Naturalist for over 20 years, and observing Nature and her cycles still occupy my hours. From the arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the Spring to the first call of the Snow Geese heading south in the Fall, I am entranced by the seasons. For more about me see my bio on my blog.


  1. Thanks for the post and contest! I’ve loved fantasy books since I was a kid because I enjoy the world building and how the “rules” of life can be whatever the author chooses.


  2. I’m not a massive fantasy fan so it has to have roughly 70/30 real/fantasy mix for me to enjoy. I actually have Shades of Sepia to read, and have read Electric Candle without realising I had Shades to read first!


    1. We’ve tried to write the series so they can be read out of order, but like most series they do make more sense in order. I love contemporary fantasy too – fantasy elements in the real world.


  3. I enjoy reading fantasy books because the authors can create such wonderful and different worlds and characters so different from our own.



    1. It’s one of the fun parts of writing fantasy, even if it’s something that takes place within our own world, it’s still kind of a world within that world.


  4. For a while, I was reading fantasy exclusively. What I really like is the worlds and characters that authors create. I also really like dragons. 🙂

    Waxapplelover (at) gmail (dot) com


  5. As a kid and even now I love reading fantasy. It was a way of seeing the world differently, escaping into another world one that was better or very different from my own. I also though it was cool what type of abilities and traits were seen as prominent.


    1. When I was growing up there wasn’t a lot of fantasy to read so I read a lot of SF. Now it’s more the reverse. The types of abilities and traits is a big thing that pulls me into fantasy too.


  6. Hi, thank you for another interesting post 🙂 I have always loved fantasy, well I have always loved reading most genre and sub genre. Partly as I enjoy the creation of a new world or alternate earth, with mythological beings and creatures and often magical skills and fantastical elements of power and beauty. I also like that an author has the power to create this world, their own rules of science and fact and does not have to abide by past historical occurrences and can add their own, which might apply to why I also enjoy steam punk.

    Thank you for the giveaway and, by the way, cats know they rule the roost so you must just accept it and they will then make allowances for you 🙂


    1. Thanks, sula. I love world building, it’s one of the fun things about writing fantasy. I’m a big fan of steampunk too. *grins* I know the cats rule the roost but I’m not about to admit that to them 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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