Do you love historical romance as much as I do? I’m a huge fan of historical romance, especially Regency romance. I first came across Anna St. Claire’s books from a prolific Dragonblade Publishing author friend of mine. She raved about Anna’s books, so I had to read one. Oh man, I was hooked. When I asked politely if she’s like to sit down for an interview, she graciously agreed. I had such a lovely time with her, I just had to share it with you. So, grab your favorite beverage and join us. Anna, take it away:
What is your writing process?
I begin with a plot idea and spend time developing it. This includes picking out character muses, and other secondary characters that could be key. I do research on the area where I’d like the story to take place, and other key factors for the story. Usually, I create a blurb—but it’s one that could change as the story comes together. I say it like this, because I’m a pantser.
Once I begin writing, I keep two things: a notebook that I list every character, as they emerge. Separately, I track (with bullet points) the story, by chapter. The story rolls out, chapter by chapter.
When the first draft is completed, it goes through a multi-layered editing process.
Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you?
I fell in love with this genre reading books by Kathleen Woodiwiss, Rosemary Rogers, Laurie McBain, and Johanna Lindsey--and I may have most of the books they have written. You might call my hallway bookcase my small shrine to these inspiring writers.
Have you always liked to write?
I was a child when I began my fascination with books. My. mother read lots of books to me and my maternal grandmother watched my sister and me while my mother worked. She frequently worked with me and taught me to read and write before I started kindergarten. Once I learned to put sentences together, my fascination with writing stories began. When I was ten, I had a next-door neighbor who worked as a Bell South operator. I frequently visited her, fascinated with her huge collection of books. Even better -- she had a typewriter and encouraged me to use it. On it, I wrote several stories about princes and princesses and always made sure they had a happily ever after ending. These were gifts I proudly presented to my mother.
As a sidenote, my maternal grandmother died when I was six and a half years old. Her passing left a huge hole in my heart. I have never forgotten her or the gift of time that she gave me.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I’m a pantser writer. I have tried to plot and did it when I HAD to in high school and college. However, it was never my preferred style—my characters always have different ideas on how the story needs to flow.
Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?
I read reviews, especially when the book is newly launched. Whether I respond to them depends on the forum. I do not reply to reviews as a rule, and I try not to focus on the bad reviews and sometimes, that’s very hard. It is also my advice on how to deal with the bad. It’s hard, but it’s best. Move on and do not respond to bad reviews.
What are you working on now? What is your next project?
I’m working on The Heart of A Lyon, my second contribution in the Dragonblade Lyon’s Den series. As soon as it’s finished, I will be working on my contribution to The Wedding Wager, a new anthology coming out in the fall!
Characters often find themselves in situations they aren’t sure they can get themselves out of. When was the last time you found yourself in a situation that was hard to get out of and what did you do?
My characters found themselves in a very difficult position once when I was almost finished with the story. I had two more chapters to write and was pulling my hair out (not literally, but almost) over a timeline problem. I made myself step away from my computer screen for hours while I cleared my head and then, brainstormed. Gradually, I came up with an innovative solution. I think the problem and the solution made the story better.
Do you drink? Smoke? What’s your vice?
Chocolate is my vice…that and popcorn. I will occasionally socially drink, but I don’t smoke.
What do you want your tombstone to say?
What an interesting question. It might be nice to have it say, “She loved, and she lived her happily-ever-after.”
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
I always loved the television show, Bewitched, and never tired of the reruns. The show starred Elizabeth Montgomery, as Samantha Stevens, a good witch married to a mortal. Her determination to fix things made life fun and interesting for everyone. It was her ability to twitch her nose and move things that fascinated me and I’d imagine what it would be like to be able to wiggle my nose and make things happen. The ability to twitch my nose and make things happen would be a fantastic superpower. There is always that never-ending list of things to do, and working from home, only elevates the chore list to the point of distraction. If I had Samantha’s superpower, I could wiggle my nose and clean the house (or do other chores) while I craft my stories.
What secret talents do you have?
I’m not sure there are any secret talents, but I do have what my husband calls my special ability to look at things like a patch of clover and quickly see something that doesn’t belong or match the rest—like the four or five-leaf clovers. And I can find them quickly. Finding Waldo puzzles and things like that have always been a favorite for me.
Thank you, Anna, for the fascinating interview. Chocolate is my vice as well. Readers, scroll down to read more about Anna St. Claire’s latest release.
Title: My Lord, My Rogue
Author: Anna St. Claire
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Sassy Romance
Lady Honora Radcliff was betrothed to the most sought-after man of the Season— just not the man she loved. Too much champagne and too many dances with a handsome stranger leaves her life in tatters and she finds herself married to an abusive man whose only interest is the dowry her father refuses to release. Desperate to save her life and that of her unborn child, she fakes her death and disappears. Lord Benjamin Crewe, the Marquess of Willington, planned to enjoy the Christmastide season relaxing. Instead, he accepts a dangerous assignment from the Crown and while working it, comes face to face with the woman he always wished he had married. Only she has been thought dead for three years. Needing answers, he pursues her at the same time a treacherous enemy of England surfaces, and the two of them become tangled in a web of danger, espionage, and deception. Can Honora and Benjamin survive the danger in which they find themselves and gain a chance for love and happiness?
Previously released in Hello Rogue, anthology.
Saltdean, Brighton, England
Lady Honora Aster stood at the edge of the cliff and regarded the black void of the ocean pounding below and wondered if she could blend in anywhere, ever again, or if her life would be the endless onslaught of pain and mockery she endured today. The frothy waves beckoned her, daring her to jump and join them. The cold March winds whipped her auburn curls wildly about her face as she stood in her night rail and wrapper at the edge of the cliff, staring through the thick layer of sea mist. The smell of salt and seaweed hung heavy in the air. Wet fog soaked her night clothing as she watched the water crash onto the jagged rocks below. She felt lost and hopeless.
Her mind spun with memories of the life she had foolishly cast aside. Two months before, she had been on her way to Lady Beaumont’s event, betrothed to Adam Hunter, the Marquess of Greystone. Her disgraceful behavior that night ended her betrothal and forced her to wed another—a man she barely knew, who had waltzed into her life that night and convinced her they were meant for each other. Today, her marriage to that man was anything but what he had promised her. A shiver shook her. Shamefully, in mere months, her former betrothed would return home from the battlefields to find out she had jilted him. And for what? For the man who married her and used her. Tonight, there was only ache, cold, and loneliness.
Closing her eyes, she struggled against the memory of that fateful night.
She had been eager to attend Lady Beaumont’s event. It had been the height of the social season—and the end of life, as she had known it. With Adam off fighting against Napoleon’s armies, her social life had been limited and felt stifling.
As her parents’ carriage slowed to a stop behind the waiting line, she noticed they were already discussing how long they should stay at the ball. Her betrothal to Adam had been the match of the Season, and her parents wanted nothing to mess up the engagement. A sarcastic laugh escaped as she gave thought to it all. Her parents had wanted the engagement more than she had.
Curse her heart, but she had hoped a different lord would offer for her—one who acted as if she did not exist. To make matters worse, it had been weeks since her last letter from Adam. He was everything one could want in a suitor. She would love him, she felt sure of it.
“Honora,” her mother said as she snugged her pelisse closer, “remember you are engaged. Do not dance more than once with anyone.”
“Yes, Mama.” Her mother did not have to worry. She might not love Adam as he professed to love her, but she cared for him and fervently wished he was here tonight to show off on her arm.
However, when Lord David Aster had shown her attention, she had ignored her promises, dancing twice with him, eliciting looks and whispers. The evening had spun out of control when she foolishly allowed him to take her to the garden, knowing he wanted to kiss her. But it had gone so much further—too far. When it did, David had promised they would be happy together. She attributed her foolishness to frustration, loneliness, and too much champagne.
He had professed to love her and had been quite attentive—at first. Honora had thought she loved him but realized now that she had only been caught up in the moment’s passion. How could she love someone so cruel? Absently, she rubbed her raw wrists. “I had everything I ever could have wanted, and like a dog with a bone, I wanted another,” she muttered wearily. David had lied.
Finally, he had admitted it was all about her dowry. He needed it. Not her. Not this baby. The problem was that her dowry was the settlement promised to Adam with their betrothal contract. The contract she had broken. And her father refused to cede to David’s demands that David be given the money. They had eloped. There had been no contract.
Slowly, she took off her shoes and tossed them over the edge, one at a time, watching them land. One landed on the sandy, rocky bottom, the second on a large, jagged rock just as a fierce wave full of foam slapped at the cliff beneath her. When the wave withdrew into the ocean, the shoe had gone with it.
Honora shifted closer to the edge and stood, her bare toes feeling the wet grass beneath them. Her toes hugged the edge. It gave a sense of control to be there.
Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub)
Apple Books - https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1610262220
I’m one of the authors participating in the Are Ye Feeling a Wee Bit Lucky Giveaway and you can win an e-copy of My Lord, My Rogue by Anna St. Claire.
Runs March 1 - 31 and is open internationally for many prizes.
Winners will be drawn on April 1, 2022.
USA Bestselling Author, Anna St. Claire, is a big believer that nothing is impossible if you believe in yourself. She sprinkles her stories with laughter, romance, mystery, and lots of possibilities, adhering to the belief that goodness and love will win the day.
Anna is both an avid reader and author of American and British historical romance. She and her husband live in Charlotte, North Carolina with their two dogs and often, their two beautiful granddaughters, who live nearby. Daughter, sister, wife, mother, and Mimi—all life roles that Anna St. Claire relishes and feels blessed to still enjoy. And she loves her pets – dogs and cats alike, and often weaves them into her books as secondary characters. And she loves chocolate and popcorn, a definite nod to her need for sweet followed by salty…but not together—a tasty weakness!
Anna relocated from New York to the Carolinas as a child. Her mother, a retired English and History teacher, encouraged Anna’s interest in writing after discovering short stories Anna would write in her spare time.
As a child, she loved mysteries and checked out every Encyclopedia Brown story that came into the school library. Before too long, her fascination with history and reading led her to her first historical romance—Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind, now a treasured, but weathered book from being read multiple times. The day she discovered Kathleen Woodiwiss,’ books, Shanna and Ashes In The Wind, Anna became hooked.
Today, her focus is primarily the Regency and Civil War eras, although Anna enjoys any period in American and British history. She would love to connect with any of her readers on her website – www.annastclaire.com, through email—firstname.lastname@example.org, BookBub – www.bookbub.com/profile/anna-st-claire,Twitter – @1AnnaStClaire, Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/authorannastclaire/, Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Anna-St-Claire/e/B078WMRHHF?ref= or Instagram @ annastclaire_author.
Social Media Links:
BookBub – www.bookbub.com/profile/anna-st-claire,Twitter – @1AnnaStClaire, Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/authorannastclaire/, Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Anna-St-Claire/e/B078WMRHHF?ref= or Instagram @ annastclaire_author.