Great to have you on the sofa. Here is Annie's bio :
Annie is a 25 year-old writer from the north of England. She dreams up erotic stories at work and scribbles them down at night in an apartment she shares with a tabby cat. Mostly shorts stories, she’s thrilled now that her second novella, ‘The Bucket List 2 – Caught’ is about to be released by Steam eReads.
Q: Can you tell my readers a little about your writing? What genres do you enjoy writing?
It’s almost exclusively erotica these days. I started off ghost writing romances, but they had an edge that seemed to please my clients and they encouraged me to write steamier stuff. I’d always had a ‘fruity’ imagination and used to write naughty (if inaccurate) tales for my school friends to giggle over. Steam eReads contracted me to write ‘The Bucket List’ last year and I’m already working on the fourth story in the series.
Q: Do you write on a schedule or when the Muse decides?
Oh, my Muse gets to do what she wants. I’ll go for weeks without an idea and then she’ll return from her Walkabout, dump her back and shake the mud from her shoes before grabbing my ear and saying ‘Right, this is the next idea…and the one after that, too!” I mean, ew! She could at least shower first.
H.C. I think that's what a pantser Muse does, throws ten stories at once then goes on holiday for three weeks.
Q: Can you tell us about your writing process, for example, do you write an outline first?
An outline? I’m not that organised. No, I’ll jot down a few ideas, maybe even a paragraph on how the story will begin, but after that I’m a complete ‘Pantser’. I show the characters into the room, tell them what will probably happen to them and then I step back. Stream of consciousness takes over and the entire story can flow from my fingers within a couple of days (I DO have a day job, otherwise I’d be able to finish the entire novella in one go). The Bucket List 3 – ‘Flames of Passion’ for instance, was written in about twelve hours on a rainy weekend.
H.C. I'm a pantser too. I love the freedom of writing without a net :-)
Q: What qualities do you instill in your heroes?
Loyalty, humour, restraint and (I hope) a healthy dose of ‘feet on the ground’. I wouldn’t ask my characters to do anything that I wouldn’t do in their situation. That’s not to say that they don’t find themselves in some odd scenarios, but they’re not Action Heroes – just fun lovin’ girls.
Q. Coffee or tea? Coffee, please. But it’s got to have a biscuit (please).
Q. Beach or countryside? Oh, that’s not fair! Please don’t make me choose! I love the beach because it’s wide open, usually breezy and often cold (I live in the north of England, remember?). But the countryside is like a peaceful blanket that I can wrap myself up in. If there’s been a frost, I feel particularly peaceful. Okay then… beach in the summer, countryside in the winter. Can I do that?
HC. Yes, of course you can. I would agree but it's hot all year round where I live.
Q. Do you write about the places you know or prefer to take your readers to exotic places?
*Laughs* Two of my three completed Bucket List stories have been set in the same house. What? It’s a very big house, okay? The other was in a bed shop. *Hold up a hand* No, you’ll have to read the book to find out why.
*Ponders for a moment* Some of my short stories were set in the countryside and one was on a beach, so I guess I write about places that bring me comfort – even if my characters have a weird time.
Q: Where do you get your inspiration?
The oddest places. Most comes from inside my head, but occasionally, a passage in a book or a magazine to start the thought process rolling. The second Bucket list story…it’s in a bed shop, right? I was driving to work and a news article on the radio was about a bed shop closing down. The idea hit me in a flash. Sex in a bed shop! *Grins – then blushes*
H.C. No blushing allowed LOL.
Q: Would you change anything in your life to make writing easier.
Give up my day job? *chuckles* I guess everyone says that. No, if I wasn’t out and about, I wouldn’t get the inspiration to write – and I need that. That radio article, for instance. The radio is never on at home because I couldn’t concentrate on writing if someone else’s music choice was playing. Maybe I would change the weather – or move to somewhere warmer.
Q: We have all suffered submission rejections. How do you cope? Do you have any advice to other writers on coping with rejection?
A lot or writers say ‘don’t take it personally.’ But why the hell shouldn’t you? A lot of thought and effort has gone into writing and it’s been dismissed. I’m sure car designers fume when some hack says that their car resembles ‘a squinting haddock’ (early Ford Fiesta) or ‘has as much aerodynamic charm as a sub-post office.’ So I say, get angry, fume and pace, drink some wine and wonder if you should give up writing. The next day, you’ll feel much better, decide that the agents or critics are really looking after (or up, depending on your anger level) their own backsides… and then move on. Leave it behind you. That was yesterday. Get on with writing your next magnificent manuscript. Oh, and have a little more wine if it makes you feel better.
H.C. I don't get many, thank God but when I do send it to somewhere else preferably a publisher who appreciates my style. * Grins* Honestly, no good fretting over a rejection, we can't change a person's taste can we? What really makes me smile is when that rejected story makes the bestsellers lists.
Q: What do you like to read and who are your favourite authors?
I love all the supernatural romance that around at the moment, so I have a bedroom full of Alyson Noel, Becca Fitzpatrick, Rachel Caine and Kelly Armstrong. Oh, and I adored Richelle Mead’s Succubus series. To be Georgina Kincade… *sighs*
Q: Do you write one novel at a time or do you move between works in progress?
I prefer to finish one story at a time and either send it off or have it ‘resting’ in a virtual drawer until it’s ready for a final read-through. I will pen a couple of short stories in between novellas, but until I receive the final edited copy, that story will stay alive and very real in my head.
Q: Do you have times when the Muse is away on holiday?
Yes, my Muse often goes on Walkabout. I don’t know if she prefers the beach or the countryside, but she can be gone for weeks, leaving me with nothing but my own life experiences to draw upon for inspiration. I can get very lonely during those times.
HC. I'm convinced my Muse is a guy, so he's probably gone Walkabout with yours, they do that a lot in Australia .
Q. What motivates you to write?
My head seems to fill with clutter very quickly. To me, writing is a way of purging that clutter. Once the ideas are typing out or written down, my mind is calmer and I can think more clearly. Plus, I get a blast out of thinking up new stories and (nowadays) meeting other writers, both up-and-coming and experienced.
Q. What advice would you give to unpublished authors approaching an e publisher?
If you’re not already committed to writing the novel of your dreams, try writing short stories, or novella-length (about 15,000 words) maximum. That way, you can try a variety of subjects without committing too much time to each one. A novel is a huge undertaking (I might actually try it one day) and is more difficult to sell. Join a contracting site (I began on oDesk) and list the subjects you can best write about. Create a small sample that proves you can write well. I am so busy writing, I have to turn down work because I love working with Steam eReads and I want to concentrate turning out good quality novellas for them. But if you have more time and are a prolific writer, then the opportunities are out there. And above all, keep writing – as much as you can!
H.C. That's great advice.
Q: Is there anything you would like to share with us about upcoming releases? The second Bucket List story is due for release this month, with a third for October and even a Christmas special in December.
Blurb: When drunken BFFs Lucy and Amber scribble down their list of ten erotic things to do before they die – their bucket list – quiet, reserved Lucy never suspects that her wildcat friend has plans to bring more of their craziest sexual fantasies to life.
Amber has called Lucy to a department store on the other side of town on a dark Friday evening. But why? What was so important that Lucy had to race through the evening traffic to meet her?
“Happy Number Four, Honey!”
Excerpt: Amber slipped the jacket from my shoulders. I pushed myself up onto my knees and shrugged it off, laying it on the floor next to the bed. She opened her jacket and I helped her out of it. Her breasts thrust upwards at me and I was sorely tempted to take them in my hands right then. But what was the hurry? I wanted more of her soft, sweet kisses first. I tried to straddle her outstretched legs, but the damn skirt restricted my knees. So I hitched my skirt up my thighs until I could part my legs comfortably, placing my knees either side of Amber’s. Only then did I lower myself onto her. I gazed into her dark eyes as she guided errant strands of blonde hair behind my ears. My lips ached for hers.
But as I bent closer, ready for a long, lingering kiss, her beautiful eyes widened in horror. She was staring at something behind me. I wasn’t sure if I dared to look.
“What is it?” I hissed.
“I’m sorry,” Amber whispered hoarsely. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry.”
“Well, there’s something you don’t see every day,” a male voice said from somewhere behind me.
H.C. Thanks for joining us today :-)