Guest Author: Anne Gracie
I’m delighted to welcome Australian Regency Historical romance and RITA Award winner, author, Anne Gracie, to the blog today ahead of her appearances at ARRA events in Melbourne (14th August) and Sydney (16th August).
Anne is a former Romance Writers of Australia president and multi-award winning author whose warm and witty romances have touched the hearts of many romance readers, including my sisters and me! I have to admit that I kind of “stumbled” across Anne when I read an excerpt of one of her stories in my RWA conference bag one year. Her writing style and sense of humour immediately appealed to me and the excerpt left me hooked so that I ended up purchasing “The Perfect Rake” and have bought every title since then!
Anne, it’s lovely to be able to host you as a guest author for the quick quizzing blog. Thank you for taking the time today to join me.
It’s lovely to be here, Alyssa. Thanks for inviting me. And how lovely that you read my little excerpt booklet at the conference. I made them all by hand, so it’s good to know I got at least one reader out of them. <g> Thank you!
Firstly, I’d love to hear about your latest release “Marry in Scandal” and whether this story posed any particular challenges to you.
Marry In Scandal is about Lily, the youngest of my heroines. At the start of the book she’s shy and unconfident — she’s a little bit plump, but her main problem is that she can’t read. People today will recognize that she’s dyslexic, but in those days there was no such understanding, and people could be very cruel. But Lily (like most dyslexics) is far from stupid, and when she finds herself in dire trouble, she finds an inner strength that grows as the story develops.
As for ‘particular challenges’, every one of my books has some sort of challenge. Each time it’s something different. And with every book there comes a point when I’m convinced that it’s terrible, that people will hate it and that I can’t make it work. One might expect that after more than 20 published novels, it would get easier, but no — I struggle every single time. What saves me is the deadline — when deadline panic outweighs the-book-is-rotten panic, something clicks in my brain, and I sort out the problem and the writing flows again.
I’m guessing Book #3 in the “Convenient Marriage” series is what you’re working on now? Can you tell us a little bit about what to expect in that story?
There’s a surprise at the very beginning — it’s one of those ‘Stop the wedding!’ moments, and the heroine is Jane, who’s beautiful, outspoken and bold and yet who is determined not to marry for love. Jane has her reasons, but I can’t go into that yet.
Of course it’s part of the “Marry In —“ convenient marriage series (the title hasn’t yet been approved). There’s also a mystery element in this one.
You travelled extensively with your parents and then as a backpacker. Is there one place in the world that you’ve found particularly idyllic?
No, the world is too beautiful a place to settle on just one spot. I started writing (with publication in mind) when I was backpacking solo and was in countries where I didn’t speak the language. I had visions of publication allowing me to sit writing on a beach in Brittany (Le Conquet) and on the island of Corfu — which were places I’d just visited) but as a career plan, that didn’t eventuate. There are these things called responsibilities. <g> But there are so many gorgeous parts of the world I still want to visit, I wouldn’t ever want to restrict myself.
I believe you performed with a band called the “Platform Souls” and played a mixture of Cajun, country, blues, jazz and rock. My gosh, you are multi-talented! Tell us more! How long ago was that and where did you play?
It was years ago. We started off playing at friends’ parties, and then ended up playing at pubs in inner-city Melbourne, mainly. We played mainly songs about trains, and were the warm-up band for some pretty well-known acts, but we were all working full-time, and were in it mainly for fun. At the time, The Melbourne Times called us “a funny, funky, good-time band” which we thought was pretty cool. Some of the band members have gone on to make careers in the music world, and others are still just doing it for fun. We still get together and have a bit of a jam and a sing from time to time.
Thanks again, Anne. I hope to be able to catch up with you in Sydney in August!
Looking forward to it, Alyssa. I’m not giving any workshops this year, so I’m hoping to have a nice time catching up with everyone.
Tickets for the ARRA functions are selling quickly, so be sure to sign up quickly for the opportunity to meet up with Anne in person. Visit the Australian Romance Readers Association website at: australianromancereaders.com.au
You may find out more about Anne on her website: annegracie.com
I hope you'll all join me for my guest author, Kandy Shepherd, on June 30th. Until then, Happy Reading!
Alyssa J. Montgomery
About the Blogger:
Alyssa J. Montgomery is an Australian contemporary romance author who is published by Escape Publishing (Harlequin Enterprises, Australia). She also
writes medieval romance as Alyssa James,