Available for Purchase at Dreamspinner Press
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Anne Barwell here today on her One Word tour. Welcome, Anne, and thanks for answering some of our author questions for us.
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Anne Barwell
Thanks for hosting me today as part of my blog tour for One Word, the 3rd book in my Hidden Places series from Dreamspinner Press.
- Has your choice of childhood or teenage reading genres carried into your own choices for writing?
Yes, definitely. When my brother and I were kids, my dad introduced us to the SF genre, and both of us were hooked very quickly. I still read a lot of SF, although I tend to drift more into fantasy these days because there is more of it about. It was the other way around then. I write what I like to read, so a lot of my stories have SF or fantasy elements to them. I also write historical although my interest in those didn’t come until later, although some of that was because of stories Dad told about family history.
- Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?
I’m happy with either. I think some stories work well with a HEA, but some don’t. With an MM historical a HEA is often not feasible, given the penalties for being found in a homosexual relationship. Also, I think that often stories are a slice of someone’s life, so I like to think of the characters continuing their story after the final page of the book. Life doesn’t always tie everything up in a pretty bow, so stories shouldn’t always need to either.
- Do you read romances, as a teenager and as an adult?
I didn’t read romances as a teenager, and only started reading them in recent years. I enjoy them, although I still tend to lean toward the genre romances such as SF, fantasy, historical etc. Sometimes, though, I just want something lighter and I have a few favourite authors I turn to for that.
Who do you think is your major influence as a writer? Now and growing up?
Susan Cooper, who wrote the Dark is Rising fantasy series is a big influence. I blame her for my interest in fantasy and anything Arthurian. Madeleine L’Engle is another. I love A Wrinkle in Time and the other books in that series, and the way her other books, although in another series, were connected and had characters in common.
More recently reading Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series inspired me to start writing again as an adult. Tanya Huff is another one. They’re also both mainstream writers who have gay characters in their fiction.
- How do you choose your covers? (curious on my part)
Instead of a scene from the story, I like my covers to reflect elements of the story and its characters. Most of the story in One Word takes place in a small English village hence the background on the cover. The Morris Minor is Donovan’s pride and joy—and was also the car I learnt to drive in. Ethan is a Maths and Science teacher, hence the mathematical equations as part of the background.
Do you have a favorite among your own stories? And why?
That’s like trying to choose a favourite child. One that will always stand out for me is Shadowboxing which is book 1 of my WWII Echoes Rising series. I’m proud of that story, and the series, and it was the first story I wrote that I knew was going to be a novel—it turned into a three book series.
- If you write contemporary romance, is there such a thing as making a main character too “real”? Do you think you can bring too many faults into a character that eventually it becomes too flawed to become a love interest?
I prefer my characters flawed, but in saying that I think they still need to be likeable. If they have no redeemable features why would someone fall in love with them? On the flip side, people aren’t perfect and I’d be very suspicious, and think a main character was unrealistic, if he or she was cheerful all the time and didn’t have the occasional bad mood. There are things in this life that would make anyone grumpy. Ditto for someone who never makes mistakes—the saying comes to mind about not knowing that Mr. Right’s first name was Always.
- With so much going on in the world today, do you write to explain? To get away? To move past? To wide our knowledge? Why do you write?
I write because I have characters who want their stories told. With life being a bit stressful at times, I enjoy being able to escape into another world, and giving these guys the happy endings they deserve. However, I do believe in making them work for that HFN or HEA.
- What’s next for you as a writer?
My next book is called Prelude to Love and releases from Dreamspinner on 2nd January as part of their Dreamspun Desire range. I loved writing this story as it’s set locally, plus one of the main characters is a music teacher so I didn’t need to do a lot of research. Here’s the blurb:
Music speaks directly to the heart.
Two very different men face turning points in their lives after the collapse of long-term relationships….
Joel is a music teacher who knows it’s time to forget his ex and move on, while Marcus runs a lawn-mowing business and has come to Wellington to escape the reminders of a recent breakup. Although they’re opposites, when Joel and Marcus connect, their romance has the potential to hit all the right notes.
Too bad neither of them feels ready for new love.
With family and friends in common, dating is risky—things could get messy if it doesn’t work out. The sweet song of possibility draws them to each other, though, and they share a kiss following a Chopin prelude. But it will take some practice and perseverance to find their perfect harmony….
Once my blog tour for One Word is finished, I’m getting back into writing The Harp and the Sea, which I’m co-writing with Lou Sylvre. It’s an historical with a dash of fantasy set in 1745 on the Isle of Skye. While she’s writing her part of it, I’ll be working on A Sword to Rule which is the second and final book in my fantasy Dragons of Astria series.
One Word Blurb
A Hidden Places Story
Ethan Leavitt arrives in the idyllic village of Oakwood to search for a missing friend. Having always prided himself on his ability to find rational explanations, Ethan’s trust in concrete evidence and logic is tested by the mystery of Oakwood and Tomas’s disappearance.
Donovan Campbell’s happy, sometimes flippant, exterior hides a past he’d rather forget. As he struggles with his memories and to hold on to the inn he owns with his best friend, the last thing Donovan needs is for some guy he’s only just met to start getting under his skin. When a bank robbery escalates into a dangerous situation, Donovan must embrace a part of himself he can no longer ignore in order to save a future that might never have the chance to exist.
Ethan learns that often the person you’re looking for is not the one you find. But have he and Donovan both realized that too late…?
You can find the list of sites taking part in the blog tour here:
November 3 – Open Skye Book Reviews
November 6 – Book Reviews and More by Kathy
November 6 – Top to Bottom Reviews
November 6 – Two Men Are Better Than One
November 6 – Gay Book Promotions
November 7 – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
November 8 – Happily Ever After Chapter
November 9 – Love Bytes Reviews
November 10 – Boy Meets Boy Reviews
November 10 – Nic Starr
November 13 – The Novel Approach Reviews
November 14 – Dreamspinner Press Blog
November 15 – Aisling Mancy
About the Author
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. She also hosts other authors, reviews for the GLBTQ Historical Site “Our Story” and Top2Bottom Reviews, and writes monthly blog posts for Authors Speak and Love Bytes.
Anne’s books have received honorable mentions four times and reached the finals three times in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical.
- Website & Blog: http://annebarwell.wordpress.com/
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/anne.barwell.1
- Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/sylvrebarwellhoffmann/
- Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/115084832208481414034/posts
- Instagram: https://instagram.com/anne.barwell
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/annebarwell
- Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4862410.Anne_Barwell
- Dreamspinner Press Author Page: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/authors/anne-barwell-65
- DSP Publications Author Page:https://www.dsppublications.com/authors/anne-barwell-49
- Queeromance Ink Author Page: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/anne-barwell/
- New Zealand Rainbow Romance Writers: https://www.facebook.com/groups/491382394538058/