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Category: Author Interview

FAQ

Q: What do you write?

A: I write paranormal romances (in the Dark Caster and Beasts of Vegas series) and YA zombie dystopians (in the Red Plague series).

Q: Do you have any other pen names?

A: Yes, I also write short gay romances under the pen name Sadie West.

Q: Where can you be reached?

A: You can email me at theannaabner@gmail.com or find me on these social media platforms:

Facebook

Instagram

Amazon Author Page

BookBub Author Page

Q: Where can we buy your ebooks, audiobooks, and paperbacks?

A: My stories are available at all major online retailers, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Audible, Walmart Online, Google Play, iBooks, and your local library.

Q: How many places have you lived?

A: A lot! Even before I married my U.S. Marine, I lived in five different cities (Upland, Fontana, Hesperia, 29 Palms, and Provo) in two states (California and Utah). After my marriage, we lived on and off military bases in seven cities (Hesperia, 29 Palms, Barstow, Oceanside, Vista, Ogden, and Jacksonville) in three different states (California, Utah, and North Carolina). In 2016, we bought our desert hideaway in California, and I hope this will be our final move. (At least for a while!)

Q: What tends to serve as the most reliable source(s) of inspiration for you?

A: Strangely, I get a lot of great story ideas from dreams, but those are infrequent. So I look to my own imagination and the stories I enjoy reading and watching. I love movies and TV, and I’ve been influenced by Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, Being Human, Warm Bodies, and a hundred other top-notch paranormal/sci-fi programs.

Q: When did you begin writing and why?

A: I feel like I have always been a writer. When I was in the sixth grade I won a young author’s contest and had my short story published. From then on, I wrote nonstop. I would fake being sick in high school so I could stay home and write more!

Q: Do you have pieces of work that you think will never see the light of day?

A: Uh, yeah! Lots. A series of novellas about a multi-generational family of mermaids I wrote in my teen years comes to mind. (Though I would love to re-work it and see it published someday as a fun, sexy paranormal romance.)

Q: How would you describe your style of writing to someone that has never read your work?

My writing has been described as fast-paced and sexy. I like to call my books: sexy, scary paranormals.

Q: What do you love about being an author?

A: My characters. They become a part of me. I love them, hate them, cry for them, laugh with them. They come to life in my imagination, and that’s the best part of storytelling, for me.

Q: Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?

A: A good mix of both, actually! I like a vampire hero, but I adore one who is a little dangerous and out of control. JR Ward does a really good job of mixing sex and violence in her vampire novels.

Q: What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?

A: “Don’t sweat the small stuff” is a good one. I have the tendency to get distracted by all the little things going wrong instead of focusing on the big picture.

Q:If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?

A: A witch, for sure. I love writing witches because I secretly want to be one. I’d love to be able to cast spells and get things done faster.

Q: Where do you write best?

A: I don’t have a home office right now, so believe it or not, I write best wherever my laptop is sitting. Sometimes it’s at the kitchen table. Sometimes it’s in the lobby of a music store while my daughter takes violin lessons. I’ve learned to write wherever and whenever I can.

Q: If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?

A: After paranormal, historical romances are my favorite to read. I would love to write a regency or a medieval romance someday.

Q: Can you say that your journey to publication was difficult? If so, what were the hardest moments to get through?

A: I wouldn’t say it was difficult, but it was long! I spent about ten years writing and attempting to get published the traditional route. About two years ago I decided to take control of my own career and self publish.

Q: How do you overcome the little voice in your head that tells you your writing isn’t good enough?

A: I hear that voice so constantly, I would think something was wrong if I didn’t. Honestly, when I feel overwhelmed and doubt creeps in I force myself to focus on one thing at a time. The next scene, the next blog post, or the next e-mail. Then I tune out the negative thoughts and get back to work.

Q: To you, what makes a good story?

A: The characters. I like fun and interesting plots, but good characterization wins me over every time. I love experiencing a hero’s redemption or a heroine’s awakening. That’s why I read stories.

Q: What is your favorite book?

A: I like so many books, but the one I have re-read the most and still love like the first time I opened it is JR Ward’s Lover Awakened. Zsadist and Bella’s story changed my life. (I’m a sucker for a brooding, emotionally damaged hero.)

Q: What books/authors have influenced your life?

A: What a great question! So many authors spring to mind. Victoria Holt and Lisa Kleypas inspired me to try writing my own stories when I was in middle school and high school. The biggest paranormal influences on my writing, though, are Kresley Cole’s smart-mouthed immortals, J.R. Ward’s dark and violent vampire underworld, and Patricia Briggs’ vibrant supernatural characters.

Q: Do you have any advice for other writers?

A: The best advice I ever received as a struggling writer was to keep writing. Even after you’ve finished your first book, even if you get rejections, even if your latest novel doesn’t sell well, keep writing. Eventually, all your hard work will pay off.

Q: Do you have another profession besides writing?

A: I have a day job, but writing is my passion. Telling stories has always been a love of mine, and I’m so grateful to be able to do it now professionally.

Q: Do you ever get writer’s block? Do you have any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?

A: I do get writer’s block, but I don’t allow it to stick around. If I’m sick, that’s one thing. But if my muse isn’t speaking to me I’ll get up, walk around, maybe make a cup of tea and then get back to work. This is my career and I take it seriously.

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Beasts of Vegas BTS Character Interview (Maks)

Or, I Ask Maksim Volk A Few Questions

*This interview appeared on JB’s Bookworms in March 2018.

Q: Thank you for joining us today, Maksim Volk. Tell us a little bit about your story, Blooddrinker’s ProphecyIs there anything you would change if Anna Abner offered to?

Maksim Volk: To be honest, I’d rather Ms. Abner left me the hell out of her stories. I’m not a character in a book. This is my actual life. By sharing this so-called novel, she’s screwed my anonymity all to hell.

Q: How would you describe Anna Abner?

MV: Not cool. She took my private life and splashed it all over the internet.

Q: Do you feel like she portrayed you correctly?

MV: Hell, no. I’m not nearly as kind as she thinks I am. I have very little sympathy or loyalty to humans. My daughter, excepted.

Q: How about others in the story. Do you feel she did well with them?

MV: ::huffs a disgusted snort:: She made Connor Beckett out to be some kind of hero, though he’s a giant twat. She didn’t describe Oleksander the Destroyer half as diabolical as he really was. The only thing she sort of got right is what a decent young woman Ali Rusenko is. Though, if you ask me, Ali’s even sweeter than Abner portrayed her.

Q: You might be wondering why I’m wearing a scarf on a hot sunny day. It’s not that I don’t trust you ::tightens the scarf:: or anything. I’m just deathly allergic to vampire venom. You know like some people are with bees? So, please don’t bite me.

MV: I’ve considered it, believe me, but your questions amuse me. Continue, and I won’t drain you. Despite what Ms. Abner writes, I have some self-control.

Q: Okay, now that that’s settled. Who created you in the story?

MV: I was turned at seventeen by none other than Oleksander the Destroyer.

Q: Was there a reason for your creation?

MV: He was building an army, and he incorrectly assumed I was a murderer without conscience. Luckily, I’m a world-class liar or I never would have survived this long.

Q: Were you happy or angry about the transition from human to bloodsuc–, I mean vampire?

MV: I wasn’t given a choice, but I took to it like a fish to water, like I was born to carry the infection.

Q: What’s your favorite blood type?

MV: Moppet, the infection is too overpowering for niceties like tastes or preferences. Blood is blood, and I drink it all with equal pleasure.

Q: Where is your favorite place to dine? Some of us might want to avoid any late-night forays there in the future.

MV: Since being forcibly relocated to Las Vegas, I have learned to appreciate American cuisine. Bazaar Meats is one of my new favorite haunts.

Q: Have you seen any more stories in the recesses of Anna Abner’s mind?

MV: From what I gather, she has volumes and volumes of ideas, more’s the pity.

Q: Do you get to play a part in any of those stories?

MV: I can only hope she leaves my daughter and me out of any future novels.

Q: You’re no stranger to darkness. What is your author’s darkest secret?

MV: She reads ::shudders:: superhero comic books.

Q: If Abner makes you mad, you could just bite her when she’s sleeping, you know.

MV: Don’t think I haven’t fantasized about just such a night, moppet.

 

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Enjoy this Free Red Plague Sneak Peek PDF full of excerpts and extras!

<3 Anna

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Beasts of Vegas BTS Character Interview (Connor)

Or, I Ask Hero Connor Beckett A Few Questions

*This character interview appeared at Author’s Secrets in March 2018.

Pull up a chair, grab a drink, a chocolate chip cookie from the plate, and let’s find out a little about The Shopgirl’s Prophecy! Please introduce us to your guests.
Anna Abner: This handsome guy standing next to me is Connor Beckett and the late arrival is Alina Rusenko, the heroine of The Shopgirl’s Prophecy.
Q: Okay, lets start with ConnorWhat event in your past has left the most indelible impression on you?
Connor Beckett: I don’t want to talk about my dad leaving, okay? But if you want something that screwed me up, when my prophecy came out, my whole life got tipped upside down. I went from a mediocre engineering student to a giant disappointment. People who’ve never met me hate me now.

Q: What do you most value?

CB: I don’t really have anything that belongs to me anymore. I live in a hotel. Everything I have was bought by our investors. But if you’re asking what means the most to me, then it’s the memories I have growing up with my grandpa. He was a great man who taught me about respect, hard work, and honor, and I can never repay him.

Q: What is the type of woman you want to spend the rest of your life with?

CB: I’m a little distracted right now with the end of the human race, though I will say I’m partial to blonde cheerleader types.

Q: What do you consider most important in life?

CB: There’s nothing more important than family, and sometimes the family you create is even more important than the family you were born into.

Q: What is your biggest secret?

CB: Well, it wouldn’t be much of a secret if I told everyone who asked. But most people wouldn’t know by looking at me that my bank account is bulging at the seams. That’s all I’m going to say.

Q: Alina Rusenko, who are you really?

AR: Why? What have you heard?

Q: Who were the biggest role models in your life?

AR: My father taught me a lot. Everything I am came from him. I think my mom could have been a big role model for me, but I wasn’t lucky enough to have her growing up.

Q: What kind of man do you want to spend the rest of your life with? (or if you don’t want romance – Why not?)

AR: Romance just isn’t in my future. I’m happy being single, really. It’s safer that way, for everyone.

Q: What kind of man would you never choose?

AR: I’ve had bad experiences with popular jocks. I definitely will never waste time on one of those beefy jerks.

Q: What is most important to you in life?

AR: I value my privacy, as well as peace and quiet.

Q: What is your biggest fear?

AR: There are things I must keep secret, for everyone’s safety. It’s why I live such a secluded life in London.

Q: Anna, tell us a little about writing this story. Was it fun or difficult? Do your characters always act as you expect? Are you a plotter, or fly (write) by the seat of your pants?

AA: Shopgirl’s Prophecy is the beginning of a paranormal series I’ve been obsessed with for over ten years. I’ve always loved this story, and I’m so excited to share it with you. Writing it wasn’t difficult at all! It was a joy to create each character, each setting, and each turning point. That’s not to say the novel didn’t go through several iterations. In one, Oleksander had a mother more vicious than he is. In another, the entire novel takes place in the Ukrainian countryside. But I’m very happy with the final version, and I love the way it turned out.

When I started Shopgirl’s Prophecy, I was a pantser, writing in whichever direction the wind blew. Over time, though, I learned to embrace organization and planning. Currently, before I write a novel, I complete a pre-writing packet and use it as a blueprint for plot and characters. It helps me feel more in control of my work.

 

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Enjoy this Free Red Plague Sneak Peek PDF full of excerpts and extras!

<3 Anna

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Author Interview with Rose Montague

Or, Meet Rose Montague the Paranormal Author of Jade!

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Back Cover Blurb:

Three against Three Hundred. Jade is a little bit shifter, a little bit witch, a little bit Fae, a little bit vamp, and a whole lot of fun. Jade has arranged things so she is partnered with a shifter bear as police detectives on a big case involving vamps killing humans. There is some mystery to the book and many surprises. Jade’s origins, where she came from and why she is here are revealed along the way. A lot of humor , action, and fun involving a visit to Faerie, assassination attempts, adventures in driving, a magical dagger, and a little romance happen along the way. By the end, much of the mystery and her beast is revealed, and her origins and background are explained. All of this with a good deal of humor and some real shockers along the way.

Anna Abner: Welcome to my site, Rose, and thank you for stopping by to tell us about your writing and publishing experience. First, how did you come up with the idea for Jade?

Rose Montague: I love urban fantasy and I am a big fan of strong female characters. Jade is my idea of a mix of different supernatural creatures. How she became that way is part of the mystery in the book. There are a lot of surprises in Jade and that is one of them.

AA: Do you think there is a lot of you in Jade’s character?

RM: I wish I had a few of Jade’s talents! I think there is a lot of my philosophy in Jade. I also enjoy a bit of humor and romance mixed in with all the action. My goal in writing Jade was to have fun writing a fun book to read.

AA: If this is part of a series, can you tell us what is coming up for Jade?

RM: Jade, Jane, and Jill team up in the first book to solve a series of crimes. Book Two will be called Jane, and Book Three will be called Jill. They call themselves the Three J’amigo’s. Jane is a powerful vampire and Jill is Fae. The main theme in Jade is friendship and that theme will carry on throughout all three books.

AA: When did you know you were a writer?

RM: I always wanted to write and I love to read. I recently developed some back problems that would wake me up in the early hours of the morning. What a great time to write with no distractions. The majority of Jade was written between the hours of 4AM and 6AM. Coffee was a big help. I realized I was a real writer about a third of the way through Jade. I was learning this writing thing by doing it and some of my friends were reading what I had so far. When they started having fun with it was when I realized I had the makings of a fun book.

AA: Why write paranormals?

RM: When I was young I loved Sci-Fi. That led me to the fantasy and paranormal genres where I found true happiness.

AA: Have you ever thought of writing in other genres?

RM: I am writing a short story now (that seems to want to be a novella) for a charity anthology about the life of a cat. I am pretty excited about it.

AA: Sounds interesting! Tell us about your writing process.

RM: I try to write about one thousand words per day. Some days it doesn’t happen but other days I do more than that. After Jade was published I focused more on marketing and promoting and now I am trying to find the right balance to do both.

AA: Are you a pantser or a plotter?

RM: I have a basic outline and I usually go off the reservation but eventually come back. It does help to know where you are going, especially if there is some mystery involved. And the ending is a real key. Once you have an outline and a really good ending, you can let the story tell itself.

AA: What was your publishing experience?

RM: I was lucky enough to find a publisher that thought Jade was a terrific read. A small publisher called Eternal Press offered me a contract. The submission process is pure torture and I had eight rejections before that. I just kept tweaking and self-editing. Eternal Press is a small publisher but they took care of all the expenses involved from a real editor, to cover art, getting the ISBN’s and formatting the book for print and eBook.

AA: What advice would you give to new or struggling authors?

RM: If you want to be an author you are going to have to sit down and write. The more you write the better you will get at writing. Just thinking about doing it won’t get it done.

AA: Thanks for stopping by, Rose, and good luck in the future.

Contact Info

Facebook

Twitter

<3 Anna

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Jade Author Rose Montague Q&A Coming Feb. 17!

Or, Check Back In A Few Days To Meet Paranormal Author Rose Montague

Feb. 17, Rose Montague will be joining us for an interview. Come read about how she came up with the idea for Jade and what she has planned next.

 Jade_150dpi_eBook

<3 Anna

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Author Interview with Suza Kates

Or, Meet Savannah Coven Author Suza Kates

Boys' Night Out 2

Blurb

Dr. Michael Black’s world has seen a lot of changes over the past year, and falling for a witch who chats with his animal patients has been the best one by far. He’s decided to make it official, so the men associated with the coven insist on helping him celebrate.

Michael is popping the question to the woman he loves, the coven has only two trials to go before the prophecy is fulfilled, and the guys want to throw him a bachelor party. Sounds like a plan.

And no demon is going to stand in his way.

Anna Abner: Welcome Suza! Thanks for stopping by. Can you tell us when you knew you were a writer?

Suza Kates: In 2001, I began writing to keep myself entertained in my tiny apartment in Germany. I had no TV, was out of books, and it was too cold to go to the library! After a few chapters, I was hooked on writing.

AA: And you chose to write paranormal romances. What was it about paranormals that drew you in?

SK: The darkness, danger, and infinite possibilities.

AA: Would you ever write in other genres?

SK: Sure, I already have some romantic suspense titles out and have an adventure series in the plotting stages.

AA: What inspired you to write the Savannah Coven series?

SK: As a fan of Nora Roberts’ Three Sisters Island trilogy, I wanted to write something with witches. I’ve always enjoyed stories with friendships and camaraderie, so this was an element I wanted to include in the Savannah Coven books. The place…well, I live in Savannah and had easy access!

AA: How much research is involved in your novels?

SK: I always research places to make sure I’m as accurate as possible, but it honestly depends on what I’m including in the book. My adventure/historical work takes a lot more research than paranormal or suspense.

AA: What is your day-to-day process like?

SK: It varies, but the planning and plotting start long before I actually get to chapter one. I must have a candle burning, though.  : )

AA: What a great detail! I’ll bet it helps you come up with spooky new ideas. When you’re not plotting by candlelight, what authors do you enjoy reading?

SK: Jennifer Estep, Julie Kagawa, Kathy Reichs, Kresley Cole. I have plenty more and read every day.

AAI’m also a Romance Writers of America (RWA) member. Can you describe the benefits of being a member?

SK: Education that is invaluable. My first RWA changed my life, and that’s not just an expression. I received guidance and encouragement, and being around so many other authors really amps you up!

AA: I agree completely. You’ve mentioned needing a candle burning as part of your creative process. Any favorite snack or drink that sits next to your keyboard?

SK: Coffee in the morning and chai tea in the evening (my recipe, low cal and almost as good as Starbucks!)

AA: Sounds delicious! Last question. What can you tell us about your upcoming projects?

SK: After the last two books in the Savannah Coven Series, I have another paranormal series coming out. A quadrology, if that’s a word. If not…it is now! All I can reveal at this point is there will be magic, but the world and environment will be very different from the SCS.

AA: Thanks again, Suza, for stopping by.

Contact Info

 Website

Amazon Author Page

Twitter: @Suza Kates

<3 Anna

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Announcing Suza Kates Q&A On Jan 29th

Or, Check Back In A Couple Weeks For The Interview With Paranormal Writer Suza Kates

Exciting news! Savannah Coven Series author Suza Kates will be stopping by on the 29th for an author interview. I can’t wait to chat with her and find out what’s coming next for her Savannah witches.

And don’t forget to check out her website.

<3 Anna

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Author Interview With Christine Rains

Or, Welcome Back The Author Of The 13th Floor

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Six supernatural tenants
Living in a haunted apartment building
On a floor that doesn’t exist.

Six novellas telling their tales. 

A retired demon acquires a price on his head.

A werewolf is hunted by her pack.

A modern day dragonslayer misses his target.

A harpy challenges Zeus for the soul of the man she loves.

A vampire is obsessed with a young woman he can’t find.

A banshee falls in love with someone who’s death she has seen in a vision.

And a sweet ghost must battle a primal monster to save them all.

Welcome back, Christine! I’ve finished your 13th Floor series, and I loved it. I’m so glad you’ve returned to tell us about the 13th Floor collection, now available for download.

Anna Abner: When you started writing The Marquis did you know you were starting a series?

Christine Rains: Yes. I knew even before I started to write that I wanted to do a series of novellas. I wanted to showcase my writing and give everyone a sense of the kind of writer I am.

AA: Did you have a detailed game plan from the beginning for each story or did ideas develop over time?

CR: I’m a pantser. I’d love to say I plotted it all out, but I had no idea how each story would develop or even how they were going to link to one another until I wrote them. I started with a story concept or a character idea and went from there.

AA: Luck plays a part in The Dragonslayer when Xan believes he failed in a task after accepting a cursed token. In your own life do you believe in luck?

CR: I do believe in luck. Being in the right place at the right time can make all the difference. Yet I also believe that through hard work and perseverance, you can reach places luck can’t take you. I don’t believe in lucky or unlucky items, though. That’s all in the heads of those that believe them.

AA: The Harbringer was my favorite story in the series. Was it fun to write a heroic journey set in Olympus?

CR: It was so much fun to write The Harbinger. I wanted to keep a lot of the classic mythology about heroes and gods, but I wanted to modernize them at the same time. Bits like gods using iPhones or using the coliseum as a skate park made me giggle.

AA: How much research did you have to do for The Harbringer?

CR: I’ve always loved Greek myths, and so I already had in mind the gods and myths I wanted to play with in my story. I researched all the gods, looking for not so popular tidbits and stories on their relationships. I needed to know how they interacted with each other to create a realistic divine soap opera.

AA: Well, great job! That story was a kick to read. Speaking of gods and goddesses, in the series you wrote dozens of characters including demons, harpies, witches, banshees, vampires, and werewolves. Did you have a favorite supernatural character to write?

CR: It’s hard to choose just one. The banshee and harpy were new types of characters for me. I like to experiment with different ones, but the ones I write the most about are demons. They have a wide range of powers and looks. There are so many myths to play upon, and I thoroughly enjoy making up my own rules for demons in a world.

AA: I loved the mix of modern movie monsters with beings like banshees, harpies and Greek gods. What made you decide to incorporate so many different supernatural creatures into your series?

CR: I wanted a rich urban fantasy world which brought every legend and fairy tale alive. I like the idea that there’s truth behind every myth. I also enjoy stories that have a variety of supernatural beings. We get not only human fears and prejudices, but those amongst the various creatures in the world.

AA: I know you use beta readers in your writing process. Can you give us a quick definition of a beta reader and how they help you improve your stories?

CR: A beta reader reads through the manuscript looking at plot, character, setting, and background as well as the overall story. They don’t need to go into as much detail as critique partners, nor do they need to worry about editing. (Even though there are beta readers like mine who are generous enough to do so!) It’s helpful to have at least one beta reader who reads and/or writes in your genre. My beta readers are awesome. They’re very different in the way they critique. Each focuses on things that the others miss, and I receive an excellent all-around critique from them.

AA: Who are your favorite authors to read in your down time?

CR: Stephen King, Richelle Mead, and Karen Marie Moning are three of my favorite authors. Recently, I’ve been reading a dark fantasy series by Joseph Delaney called The Last Apprentice. They start off as MG, but they grow with the protagonist. The series is incredibly original, and Delaney has done some excellent world building.

AA: Can you tell us about any upcoming projects?

CR: I’d like to write more short stories and sharpen my writing skills. I’m still not sure which project I’m going to tackle next. I want to take one of my older manuscripts and revise it so I can query it. I have at least three I’m trying to decide between.

AA: Good luck with all your endeavors. I look forward to reading more from you in the future.

CR: Thank you so much for having me here today, Anna.

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<3 Anna

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Announcing Interview with Paranormal Author Christine Rains on Oct. 15

Or, Come Back Soon To Find Out More About The 13th Floor Series

Backstairs - 5 - in an apartment building.

I am lucky enough to be interviewing 13th Floor creator Christine Rains on my blog October 15. Check back in for answers to your burning questions and updates about her latest collection.

<3 Anna

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