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Monday, August 28, 2017

Monday Feature: Anne Barwell

C.S.: What do you write?
Anne: I write MM romance across several genres: contemporary, fantasy—urban, contemporary, and high—historical, and have dabbled in SF.  Often my books cross over genres too.

C.S.: Why do you enjoy these genres?
Anne: I enjoy them for different reasons, and also because I write what I like to read.  I love exploring what ifs, which is what fantasy and SF is all about.  I also love historical and the research that goes with it—I’ve learnt a lot about the time periods around WWI and II, and love exploring the way that wars bring out the best and worst in people.  My reading and writing is very character driven, and sometimes I want something a bit lighter, and more slice of life, and contemporary romance fills that gap nicely.

C.S.: Tell us about your writing space.
Anne: It’s usually a lot messier than it is in the photo, but I tidied up for the photo shoot. I usually tidy between books but with several books coming out close together this year, that hasn’t happened. I write at my dining room table, which works well for me as I can multitask and cook and bake at the same time. It also gives me a nice view of my backyard—ignore the weeds—and the Orongorongo Ranges in the distance.

C.S.: What sort of work-related items do you keep at hand?
Anne: Notebooks, pens, diary, and my stash of todo lists.  I often have a stack of reference material close by too, depending on what I’m working on.  And the all important cup of tea, of course.

C.S.: What’s the weirdest item you keep nearby that’s not at all beneficial to writing?
Anne: A calculator.

C.S.: Do you have any ‘good luck’ charms?
Anne: Not as such but I collect plushy dragons which sit on my printer.

C.S.: What’s easily the most distracting item in your writing space?
Anne: The internet.  I often get distracted by oooh shiny, and I chat online while I write, always have done. I used to do that when I wrote uni assignments too.

C.S.: Do you have any bad habits when you write?
Anne: I’m easily distracted by the internet. It often takes me a while to get into the zone on a workday, and then just as everything is flowing, I need to stop as it’s time to go to work.

C.S.: What time of day are you most creative?
Anne: My hours at work at the library are 12-8.30pm so I write in the mornings, and on my weekend.  By the time I get home after 9pm I’m too tired, so I use that time to put up hosted blog posts and things of that ilk.

C.S.: Do you have any ‘helpful’ pets?
Anne: I have two cats, Kaylee and Frappy.  Kaylee likes a good amount of attention, and although Fraps is more laid back, she protests when I spend too much time on the computer.

C.S.: What do you do to de-stress or enjoy that’s unrelated to writing?
Anne: I read, have several TV shows I’m following, meet up with friends for movie nights, and am a member of a SF club. I also play violin for a local community orchestra; we rehearse one evening a week and perform three concerts a year.

C.S.: Do you drink or snack while writing?
Anne: I usually have a cup of tea on the go, either black with a spot of milk, or herbal. I don’t usually snack per se, although I work through breakfast and lunch, and stop for afternoon tea if I’m home.

C.S.: Listen to music? If so, does the soundtrack change with projects?
Anne: Yes. I always have either the radio on, or a CD playing. Often the soundtrack does change, depending on what I’m writing and what music I associate with the characters I’m writing.

C.S.: Question from the audience: What are a few of your favorite books that you wish you could re-read for the first time and experience all over again?
Anne: It’s difficult to choose as there have been so many.  ‘Dark is Rising’ by Susan Cooper, ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ by Madeleine L’Engle, ‘Cross Stitch’ by Diana Gabaldon, ‘Libriomancer’ by Jim C Hines, and ‘Force of Nature’ by Suzanne Brockmann.

Title: One Word
Release date: November 6, 2017

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 and Cathal’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….

Cover reveal and pre-order sales begin with Dreamspinner Press on October 3, 2017.

Author bio: 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.

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  1. Awesome interview! I really enjoyed this.

  2. Thanks, Gillian. I loved the questions, as they were a bit different though I had to tidy my workspace before I took the photo!