|inspirational romance author, Anne Creene|
Anne, tell us about yourself.
Thanks so much for the interview, Tanya. I’m not sure what readers want to know about me, but here’s a sampling. In my early years I lived in a small farm town in Ohio, and have lived in San Diego, Chicago, and now live in a suburb of Dallas, Texas. I have four grown children, and just recently returned from spending a year in Seoul, Korea where my husband served in the Military. He is a Special Forces Colonel (Green Beret). I love to play sports, sail in the ocean, and travel. I’ve visited twenty-five foreign countries and every State in the US except Alaska. I also enjoy horseback riding, though I haven’t ridden English for several years. And I enjoy swimming. But writing is my passion.
How long have you been writing?
Masquerade Marriage is my second published book. I’ve been writing about ten years. Reading was my escape in my growing up years, and I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I graduated from the University of Texas cum laude with a degree in Literary Studies, but worked as a photographer and as a Real Estate Agent before diving in full-time to write. When I joined American Christian Romance Writers, the journey to writing got much easier. I have a wonderful critique group, and because of their annual conference, I’ve met many editors and agents. Finalling in writing contests gave me excellent feedback, plus got me my latest contract with White Rose Publishing. So, I recommend both contests and conferences.
What genre do you write and why?
I write in the Historical, Historical Romance, and Romantic Suspense genres. As a girl, I didn’t like history—until I read my first Historical. Then I was hooked. So, I know many people today don’t enjoy history, and my goal is to open up the glories of the past to them. History was modern life lived with all its heartache, joy, and excitement in a world very different from our own. I bring these different worlds into vivid, living color, and give a painless dose of history along the way. I write Romantic Suspense because I like to see good win over evil with fast action, surprises, and some who did it and why.
Masquerade Marriage is a book of my heart. My paternal ancestors are Scotch of Clan Gunn, which was located in the far north of Scotland in the Cathness area where Vikings intermarried with the Scots. I visited Scotland with the purpose of setting one or more historicals there, and fell in love with the country. The final battle between the English and the Scottish Highlanders changed the Highlands forever. A way of life ended. The drama in this story appealed to me, and so I wrote Masquerade Marriage. I love this time in history and so enjoyed living it as I wrote the book. I hope the reader finds a new world to love as he reads my book. The following is a blurb and an excerpt.
A SECRET LIST
To protect his loved ones and escape the dark fate of his brothers, a noted warrior abandons his identity. Hiding from relentless soldiers who want him dead, Brody MacCaulay vows to protect the woman he loves more than life, more than freedom, more than Scotland. But his presence throws her into danger.
A VOW HONORED
To escape an arranged marriage to an abusive noble, a Lowland Lady weds a stranger to save his life. But vows spoken do not make a marriage, especially when Megan MacMurry holds a different love inside her heart.
A SACRIFICE MADE
Outlawed, and with a price on his head, Brody condemns himself to a life of heartbreak without Megan. Wanting her desperately, knowing he can't have her, he heads alone to certain death...
EXCERPT FROM MASQUERADE MARRIAGE
Like a determined hero, the fugitive warrior strode through the door at the far end of the tiny stone kirk.
Megan’s eyes widened. Her clenched jaw relaxed. Some of her dread dissolved.
“Impressive.” Molly, Megan’s Irish maid, whispered from where they stood together in the vestibule.
He stopped in front of the hand-carved altar and half-turned toward her. Megan pulled in an uneven breath. This Highlander, wearing formal kilts, was no scrawny lad grown older, nor was he a big, hairy Scot with a bushy beard. The tall, strapping soldier stood with legs braced as if about to do battle.
Her heart skipped. Though she’d known Brody when she wore short skirts, this blond warrior was far more than she expected. Her pulse throbbed in her temples. Doubt niggled her brain. Brody was too tall, too obviously a Highlander. How could she hope to pass him off as a Lowland Laird? He appeared to have too big a chip on his shoulder to let her command him.
Brody’s thick sandy hair swept the collar of his linen shirt. Lace-trimmed cuffs matched the white jabot at his muscular throat. A silver broach clasped his crimson and black tartan to his wide right shoulder. His claymore, dirk, and thick sword belt startled her.
Megan suppressed a shudder. The English outlawed kilts. With his dress, Brody spat in the face of the English and further imperiled his life. Why?
His intense sapphire stare blazed a trail across the empty wooden pews toward her. His eyes made her feel dizzy as if she just danced a fast reel with a lively partner.
Molly grinned and handed Megan the bridal flowers.
What had she gotten herself into?
Do you plot your books before you write them?
I am a pantser. I have tried plotting out a book in advance, including storyboarding, and that just doesn’t work for me. I start with a general idea, a setting, and a general idea of what characters I’m using. But very soon into the first draft the characters take over and direct the book. It’s a bit like watching a movie and just writing down what is happening. It’s quite exciting to see where the book will go.
Do you do much research?
I do a great deal of research for all my books, including the contemporary ones. I always visit the setting and get some good pictures. Then I find books about the history and time. Small details I research on the internet, but the important ones come from non-fiction books. I am extremely careful in my research because if a reader discovers one error, then I lose credibility. If I’m writing detective, I have a detective look over the manuscript before I send it out. If I’m writing WW11 stories, I find someone who has been there. I always find a person who has done the job I’m writing about to look over the finished manuscript. Of course, when I go further back into history I have to rely solely on the non-fiction books. But I enjoy research and often do far more than I ever use in any one book.
The character I love writing about the most—is the one I’m currently working on. I love all my characters. However, I do think I like being in the male point of view slightly more than the female. I like being macho and looking at life from a different perspective. I like being strong enough to handle a couple of thugs. Of course my detective knows martial arts, but she doesn’t use her fists. I like looking at a woman I’m interested in and being totally confused as to what makes her do the crazy things she does. But, on the other hand, I love having a woman use her wiles and smarts when that’s all she has going for her. But Megan and Brody from Masquerade Marriage are probably closest to my heart.
I don’t think I can NOT include faith in my writing. I am a new creation in Christ. I have a Christian worldview. I have deep beliefs and a few boundaries that cannot be crossed. I want my books to have meaning and take-away value. I want my readers to take a deep delicious breath and say—Oh, now I understand. How beautiful God’s way is.
I have a website, http://www.annegreeneauthor.com//. My books can be purchased at WhiteRosePublishing.com and on Amazon. My blog is also on my website.
I’d love to share my email, but I’ve been told that is not a good thing to do. So, readers can reach me through WhiteRosePublishing. I’d love to hear from them. If readers join my website, they can leave comments. I’m also on Facebook where comments are welcomes.
Anne, thanks for spending time with us today. This is an awesome interview. It's truly an honor to be part of White Rose Publishing, isn't it? I am so happy there. God bless you with much success and many more books! oxoxox