Good Morning!! Today I have bestselling romance extraordinaire Ann DeStefano with me! She is going to tell us a little about herself and about her new book. So let's jump in. Take it away Anna:
How old were you when you first realized you wanted to write?Um, does in utero count? I’ve pretty much been writing my whole life. Telling stories at least, and looking more deeply than others at things and people and emotions. I was a pretty intense kid. I also loved math and problems solving and then in college, computers. So my first career was IT. But I ended up doing the writing on all those jobs, too, until I specialized as a Senior Technical Writer who developed systems documentation for other programmers and project managers. Sexy, right? Naturally, I ended up writing women’s fiction and romance for a living…
Tell us a little bit about the book.Here’s the cover copy for my dark and stormy gothic romance, Her Forgotten Betrayal. To learn even more good stuff about the story and characters and the dream theory behind the mystery at the heart of who my heroine is and who’s trying to kill her…check out HFB’s Pinterest page: http://pinterest.com/annadestefano/her-forgotten-betrayal/.
Remembering will save her life. But will the truth destroy their love forever?
When the CEO of a global technology empire retreats to her ancestral mountain mansion to heal from a brutal shooting, she discovers the danger has just begun. Suffering from amnesia, she is at the mercy of nightmares that soon morph into something much more real…as well as a menacing stalker determined to toy with her sanity.
The FBI suspects her of illegally selling top-secret research, and has sent an agent to find evidence of her treason. She doesn’t realize the man who sweeps in from the cold claiming to be her protector, and her former love, is keeping dangerous secrets from her. She begins to trust him, unaware that he is about to repeat the most painful betrayal of her past–a past she doesn’t remember…a past that may kill her.
“DeStefano crafts a tense and touching suspense about forgotten pasts and reunited lovers.” —Caridad Pineiro, NYT and
What made you choose this genre?
I write in several genres (home and family, sci-fi/fantasy, contemporary romance, romantic suspense/thriller). Her Forgotten Betrayal is actually more of a gothic than anything else I’ve done, though you’ll love the suspense/thriller pacing, too. It’s about facing the creepy things that go bump in the night. Most of the book takes place at night over a 48-hour period of time. I’ve isolated the heroine on top of a mountain in a falling-apart family estate, she has amnesia, and she’s not particularly sure she can trust either the hero (an under-cover FBI agent who’s a past lover she also can’t remember) or the dreams that are the key to finding her stalker and keeping her alive. Bwahahahaha!
Gothics are about trusting your instincts and relating to your environment and conquering your deepest fears. Layer in an epic romance, and you’ve got a lot of great stuff to work with as you entertain your readers. I’m the kind of girl who likes herself a challenge. So pulling all this off in under 70,000 words sounded like great fun ;o)
Most authors have an unusual story or way that they come up with their ideas for books…Do you have one?Well, dreams play a key role in Her Forgotten Betrayal, and I’ve been researching dream theory since I was a kid. See—not your average childhood ;o) In fact, my sci-fi/fantasy “Legacy” series is based on the same obsession. Amnesia and the truth coming to a heroine in her dreams seemed like a great way to do the same thing in a much more contemporary romance, so I ran with the idea.
Also, the novel’s set in the
Georgia mountains, an area that is near and dear to my heart. I’ve
always wanted to set a novel there, and likely will again. Then there’s the
haunted house itself… Those who’ve visited my grandmother’s home (which has
been in my family since the early 1900s) might just notice a few similarities… Fictionalizing
many of my memories of spending summers in that creepy but amazing old home was
loads of fun
What was your biggest influence that steered you towards writing?
This one’s easy.
Reading was my
first love, and it challenged me to write almost from the very book I owned. I
somehow had to make others feel the same way one day, when they read about my
characters. It was the same with movies. I can remember so many movies that
moved me to feel and experience things I never would have without them. From an
early age, I wanted to one day take someone else on that same kind adventure,
with worlds that I’d dream up on my own. Reading
I have to ask, what are the hardest scenes for you to write?I tend to write and rewrite my openings. I don’t know if that’s because they’re the hardest things for me to write. But I do think it’s one of the most important parts of a story. How a book opens and how it ends are the cornerstones of the world you create. I tend to have the ending of every story in mind, before I begin writing it—because the characters are the most important things to me, and endings are all about getting your characters where they need to be in their lives before the reader leaves them.
What I find is that each and every time I actually get around to writing the ending, I ALWAYS have to go back and rewrite my opening scene, sometimes more than once. Because I’ve dug so much deeper into what the story and its characters are about by the time everything’s knitted up nicely in the end. That’s an amazing writing journey—discovering and refining the story that you’re really telling. You always surprise yourself, and what you learn almost always changes where and how you want to invite the reader into the world of your book.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?One of my greatest passions is hiking to interior waterfalls in the
Several years ago, I began a waterfall challenge to visit all the interior falls I can reach within an hour or two driving distance from my home. I’ve seen some amazing things already and share those pictures in one of my most popular blog series. http://annawrites.com/blog/category/annas-waterfall-project/
How do you feel about reader comments?
I enjoy hearing from all readers—whatever their opinion about my books and characters. Of course I love to hear when someone likes something I’ve created. But every conversation and bit of feedback I receive, both pro and con, helps me learn more about how I’m reaching the people I’m doing all of this for. My job is to entertain and to charm you into escaping into the world of my imagination for as long as I can hold your attention. The more I know about how well I’m doing that, the better I’ll become at dreaming up an even better story for you next time around.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Your love for telling stories is everything. Never lose touch with whatever’s inspired you to connect with other people through the written word. No matter much time you feel you need to spend doing the other parts of your job (promotion, social media, travelling to conventions, etc.), always, always, ALWAYS feed your muse and make the time to write forward into your next project. We’re at our best when we’re creating—don’t let anything interfere with that dynamic.
Where are your books available?
My entire backlist is available online on Amazon and Barnes and Noble—so feed you reader, then order yourself a hard copy of whatever you’d like to add to your keeper shelf ;o) Her Forgotten Betrayal is out Friday, June 15th.
Sign up for automatic updates from my blog or for my newsletter, so you’ll get notification of the amazing giveaways and promotions Entangled’s doing for the Dead Sexy Books launch: they’ll be giving away books and a Nook; every guest blog post I do will be another opportunity to win a free digital copy of HFB; and I’ll be hosting Amazon and Barnes and Noble gift certificate giveaways on my blog.
And you can already pre-order my July Harlequin Heartwarming release, A Sweetbrook Family, and my October Montlake release, Christmas on Mimosa Lane. I love these more traditional romances so much!
What can we expect from you in the future?
I have another Dead Sexy title in the works, so that will be a blast to write. My Montlake deal was for three books, so once Christmas on Mimosa Lane is revised and ready to go I’ll be moving on to the summer-themed book that’s next in the series…you’re going to love it just as much!
I’m also working on my first indie/self-pub project—the first book in a contemporary romance series I’m writing about a foster family based a small
By this fall, Father of the Year should
be ready to go as the first book in my self-published Home to Silent Springs series ;o) Georgia
Where can we reach you and become informed of updates?
My blog is a great place to keep in touch—there’s so much going on out there with my weekly posts about The Soule of the Matter, Things my Teenager Says, How We Write, my Waterfall Challenge, Shoes are My Heroine, and of course the latest on book launch giveaways and contests. Check it out at http://www.annawrites.com/blog.
I’m absolutely in love with connecting with readers and other writers on Facebook, so look me up there as well. And twitter is also a great place to pop in and see what’s new.
And as I said above, I’m enjoying exploring and connecting through Pinterest. Check it out. Look for Anna Destefano on all three sites, and there I’ll be!
Best-selling, award-winning author Anna DeStefano wants to you stop, look, and keep digging, until you find the soul of your own fantasies. Her latest release, Her Forgotten Betrayal (available digitally and in print on June 10th), one of the launch books for Entangled Publishing’s Dead Sexy romantic suspense line, the Nina Bruhns Collection, is a psychological thriller she hopes will creep you out (she’s really playing up the Gothic imagery and spooky nightmares with this one). But she’s also dying (heh) to inspire you with another of the happily-ever-after romance ending she’s famous for. No matter how moody the setting or impossible the dilemma, Anna’s characters and stories challenge you to hope and dream for your own exciting future, the way her strong heroines and hunky heroes do!
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