Okay, I finally did my own interview questions...so here's all about me, well, a little about me:
Christmas In July Interview Questions
1) So, tell us a little about yourself? What is your typical day like?
That depends on the time of the year. When I was going to school, that took up a lot of time. I took the Spring semester off, but will be going back this fall for four classes on two days of the week. I’m usually up by 8, though I’d love to sleep later. I answer e-mails, care for my 8-month old granddaughter while mom works, write some, run errands and watch TV. I stay up until 12 or 1, though I’d love to be in bed earlier, I just can’t seem to make it!
2) When did you start to write and how long did it take you get published? How many stories did you finish before you were published?
I started writing in High School, then wrote several Harlequin type stories in my early 20’s. After having two daughters, I put my writing away for 15 years. About 5 years ago, I got serious again and wrote two 110,000+ word novels in 6 months. Then I went to a creative writing class at the local Junior College and discovered I didn’t know how to write! After that I wrote another full-length novel. I also got into writing short stories, and that’s what I’m published in. As of now, I have five published and two contracted—due out this fall. My longest published work will be SALVATION BRIDE, coming this fall from The Wild Rose Press. It’s 29,000 words or so.
3) What influenced you to write?
I’ve always wanted to write. Before I actually started writing, I had imaginary friends, who went on great adventures with me, I think my mom thought I was crazy, cause I talked to them and they talked back. But I think reading Harlequins and historical romances in my teens and early 20’s is what got me into this genre.
4) What inspired you to write romance?
5) What genre or sub-genre do you write? Why did you choose this genre?
Historical. It’s what I read the most. I’d say 95% of the books I own are historicals. I love it, because I love history…which, btw, is my major in college.
Oh, my short stories are contemporary…probably single title if they were full length.
6) What difficulties does writing this genre present?
For historical it’s learning the facts and keeping it real. It’s too easy to try to change things to fit what we want, instead of sticking with the facts…like how long it took to travel from one place to another. You can’t make it 3 days when it should have taken 3 weeks!
7) How much time do you devote to writing each day?
Not enough. I’ve barely written for the last 6 months. Things have just been too hectic around my house. I have managed to revise one story, A COWBOY’S WAY, to fit it into The Wild Rose Press’s Yellow Rose line (contemporary cowboy…had to add the cowboy part) and to edit my historical, SALVATION BRIDE. I keep hoping things will change, they haven’t. LOL. So I need to start carving out my time again.
8) Tell us about your other works, books, stories, etc.
My first published work with The Wild Rose Press is THE PRICELESS GIFT. It was released in November of 2007. It’s a short story, only 17 pages long, but I think very strong and emotional. Here’s the blurb:
The last thing Christina Scott expects Santa to bring her is a sexy—and very familiar—cowboy. Gavin Holloway’s just as shocked to discover she’s the woman he’s sent to pick up from the airport for a Christmas visit with her brother. They'd spent one hot week together months ago—a week where they both left their identities and individual problems behind. Neither ever expected a reunion.
Little do they know, Santa's elf has more than coal up his sleeve. Ho ho ho and a badgering we'll go before reindeer two-step on their rooftop and deliver THE PRICELESS GIFT that will leave their snowy days sizzling.
And what someone said about it:
Ms. Lanier hooked me from the first sentence. Gavin is larger than life, sexy and hot. Christina is a perfect match for his don’t-mess-with-me character. I felt their emotions and passion and wished the story was a full-length novel. Ms. Lanier wove real life into her hero and heroine. I recommend The Priceless Gift to anyone who is a hopeless romantic and believes in a Happily Ever After.
Reviewed by Jannine Corti Petska, REBEL HEART, THE LILY AND THE FALCON
9) What are you working on now?
Well….I’m between projects and trying to settle on one. I have a couple of irons on the stove: a wagon train story, a Regency story and I’d like to do one or two other contemporary short Christmas stories (Christina’s brother’s and maybe a character from A COWBOY’S WAY.) So, trying to decide which to do.
10) How do you write? Are you a panster or a plotter? Is it your characters or your plot that influences you the most?
A punster for sure! I think my characters influence the plot, not the other way around. I’ll have a thread of an idea and get down my characters’ names and I’m off. Sometimes, I don’t even know what eye color they have before I start.
11) What was the most usual way you came up with a story idea? I mean, I’ve gotten a plot idea from a song I heard, from brainstorming with a classmate. What unusual thing caused you to think, ‘hey, I could make that into a story?’
I got an idea from a classmate. I asked her to help me brainstorm for a story that would include a recipe. My recipe of Cream of Mushroom Soup and she suggested a soup kitchen. I took off with the idea that the heroine ran the community center/soup kitchen and the hero just inherited the building, deciding that he’d sale it without knowing what it was all about. That set up a good conflict.
12) If you could spend an hour talking to anyone from any time in history, who would it be? And Why?
Alexander Hamilton – I understand he was very intelligent and a real woman’s man. I’d like to discuss things with him about the shaping of the U.S. and what he did to make it happen. I’d like to talk to Louisa May Alcott, too. She was one of the first romance writers I read. I think she gets overlooked a lot.
13) Tell us some of the things interviewers are saying about your story or stories.
I’ll admit, this is a friend of mine, and she posted this on our local RWA chapter’s loop, but she didn’t have to do that, if she didn’t like the story, so here’s her review:
Okay, I just finished reading The Priceless Gift. What a thrill! ChristinaScott is a charming young lady full of spunk. Gavin Paul is a hunk. (Okay, Ididn't mean to rhyme.) Anna Lanier really knows howto light a fire IN FRONT of a fireplace. A cold winter in Montana forcesthese two people to warm each other up just as a cold past pushes them away.A wonderful read that makes you want Gavin to rescue you from a badger!Judy Garza-Smith
And I got 5 hearts at Romance Studio:
This is a short book but a quick read which packs a BIG punch! It’s heart-warming reading with enough conflict to make it interesting. Great job; you will certainly enjoy reading this book.
Reviewer: Brenda Talley
14) What is your all time favorite book?
I love “The Wolf and The Dove,” by Kathleen Woodiwiss “Slightly Married” by Mary Balogh and “To Marry an Heiress” by Lorraine Heath. I could read them over and over and over…oh, wait, I have read them over and over and over.
15) How do you do research for your books? What’s the most interesting bit of research you’ve come across?
Mostly the internet. I can’t think right now, it’s too late, about the most interesting piece of research…sorry.
16) What advice would you give aspiring writers today?
Finish that first novel. You’d be surprised how many ‘writers’ don’t ever do that. It doesn’t matter how bad it is…just finish it! Those first two novels I wrote will never see a printing press, but hey, I did it! Also, attend workshops, online or in person. You’ll learn a wealth of information. And hook up with other writers. Only they understand the voices in your head!
17) How do you like your fans to contact you?
Via e-mail – firstname.lastname@example.org, at myspace – www.myspace.com/aklanier, at my website – www.aklanier.com or on my blog!
Oh, today's prize will be a "Texas" T-shirt and a copy of THE PRICELESS GIFT.