fbpx Skip to content

Category: Writing

My Annual Reader Survey <3

Do you have 5 minutes? I’d love to hear from YOU about what stories and characters give you all the feels.

Please click the link and take a 5 question survey to help me write what YOU enjoy the most.

https://forms.gle/mAmFQYSMiv8jGbGb8

Thanks! <3 Anna

Tortured Vampires, Sexy Shifters, & Cheap Books: Sign Up For My Monthly Newsletter Today.

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

You can download my books (free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers) from my author’s site at Amazon.

Leave a Comment

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.

Leave a Comment

I Only Have Two Hands

A Short Gallavich (Ian Gallagher + Mickey Milkovich) Fan Fiction

“I Only Have Two Hands”

Ian Gallagher hated the midnight to two a.m. shift at the Kash & Grab liquor store, but a lot of times his boss Kash liked it even less and so Ian often took his place. Kash didn’t care that Ian was sixteen, that he had school in the morning, or that Ian would much rather be sleeping.

Mickey Milkovich poked his head through the back door in a sleeveless, collared shirt with the word SECURITY on the breast patch. “Hey, you,” he called in his thick Chicago accent. “I’m gonna grab a smoke in the alley. Cover for me, will ya’?”

Ian shot the boy he loved a hopelessly romantic look. If it weren’t for Kash’s security cameras trained on him, he’d join Mickey in the alley. Ian shifted against the counter, tugging at his trouser front. It had been a while, and Ian wanted to sneak outside with him. Maybe, when Mickey returned he could find the sweet spot under the counter where he was invisible to the cameras.

Deep in a graphic mental fantasy, Ian flinched when the front doors banged open and an asshole in a ski mask pointed a semi-automatic handgun at Ian’s nose.

“Open the drawer,” he demanded.

Ian stood in the bread aisle, frozen, while Kash fired a bullet into Mickey’s right thigh. Witnessing the young man he was crushing on knocked off his feet, yelling, and bleeding had no effect on Ian. Shock, he must be in shock.

Only when Kash approached Mickey, weapon still drawn, did Ian leap into motion and shield his friend.

Mickey’s thigh bled a lot, and Ian wanted to hug him so badly, to offer some kind of comfort, but Kash stood over his shoulder with the gun, and Mickey would never allow it. The fact that he let Ian touch his wounded leg was enough.

Ian began to shake. He fiddled with the buttons of the cash register, fumbling the mechanism. Ironically, the wannabe criminal on the other side of the counter was steady as a rock.

“There’s not much.” He wadded up about forty dollars—the entire contents. “Only enough for, uh, change until we close.”

Mickey better stay outside and smoke a second cigarette. If he walked in on the robbery, his temper would get him shot. Again.

The robber snatched the cash and shoved it into his pocket. “Fuck you.” He pulled the trigger.

It all seemed to happen at once—the gun popped, pain exploded across Ian’s abdomen, and he flailed into a rack of liquor bottles and cases of cigarettes.

“No,” Ian begged, a little too late.

Full, glass bottles of Crown Royale, Jack Daniels, and Grey Goose rained down upon his head.

Pain blew away as if caught in a stiff wind as darkness descended. Light dimmed. Ian blinked once, and Mickey cupped his face, his hands impossibly warm and rough against his oversensitive skin.

The air stank like alcohol.

Ian tried to ask, What are you doing here? There’s a creep with a gun. He’ll hurt you. But, “Whuyaaa?” was as far as he got.

“Shut up, dummy,” Mickey said, smiling past a sheen across both eyes. “It’ll only make you bleed out faster.”

Mickey grasped his hand, and Ian clung to him.

Though Mickey was out of juvie and Ian had seen him a couple times, they hadn’t been together yet. Ian snuck into his yard and scratched at Mickey’s bedroom window until the boy he loved slid it open.

“What the fuck do you want?” Mickey stood on the other side of the glass in nothing but boxer shorts.

Ian chipped paint off the wooden sill with his fingernail. “Did the bullet wound heal right?” he wanted to know. Then, on impulse, “Can I see it?”

“I don’t give a shit what you do.” But Mickey left the window wide open when he climbed back into bed.

Ian slid through the portal, landing gracefully on his feet. “What was juvie like?” he whispered. In the dim light, Mickey’s shape drew him like a magnet.

“Fucked up,” Mickey grunted.

Climbing into bed beside Mickey, Ian peeled the blanket off his lower body for a better look at his bare thigh.

Mickey lay real still, unnaturally still. “Yeah, you can suck me off while you’re down there, too.”

Ian couldn’t remember what the scar looked like, but Mickey tasted like clean skin and salt. It was his first time giving a blowjob, and afterwards he sprawled across Mickey’s chest, happy to doze for a few hours, but the other boy’s elbow caught him sharply in the ribs.

“Get the fuck outta here, asshole.”

Ian shivered as dark spots danced like fairies in his periphery. “Mick?” he slurred.

“I told you to shut up,” Mickey said, trying for levity but the tears in his eyes ruined the effect. “Why don’t you ever listen to me?”

Though Mickey was careful, when he lifted Ian’s upper body onto his lap, it hurt. The lights dimmed once more, and Ian may have passed out for a second because Mickey was shaking him and shouting again.

“Stop,” Ian complained. He blinked the shadows away. God, he was weak. He couldn’t feel his arms anymore, though he suspected his fingers were still locked between Mickey’s.

“The cops’ll be here any minute,” Mickey promised.

Ian gazed down his torso at the bloody wound in his belly. “…dying…” Weird, how it didn’t hurt anymore.

“You’re not fuckin’ dying,” Mickey snapped. “They’re gonna patch you right up.”

Ian blinked, and the world went dark and silent. As quick as flipping off the light switch. Mickey moved his face directly in front of Ian’s nose, jostling him. The floor tilted dangerously off balance, and Ian tumbled through a black hole.

Lights flickered as people in scrubs spoke rapid gibberish across Ian’s torso. His whole body jerked like stepping off a curb in a dream. Someone touched his arm roughly, possessively.

“Mickey?” he mumbled, searching through the haze. It had to be Mickey. No one else grabbed him the same way.

The dugout at night was a quiet, creepy place that smelled a bit like beer and urine.

“Don’t get any weird ideas,” Mickey greeted. He was always angry, always hating someone. It excited Ian, who couldn’t hold a grudge. Being with him was like being in the eye of a storm. Ian never knew, from day to day, if he’d experience Mickey’s fury or his protective side.

“Oh, yeah?” Ian shot back. “About what?”

Mickey grabbed him by the arms and forced him to sit, knees splayed, on the ancient wooden bench. “This doesn’t mean anything.”

His pants and briefs slid down and Mickey buried his face between his thighs before Ian fully appreciated the gesture. Mickey liked getting fucked. He’d never returned the favor before.

Is that all it was? A quid pro quo between fuckbuddies?

But then Mickey palmed his balls, and Ian didn’t give a shit why.

Doors and room numbers floated past, but where was Mickey?

Ian heard the words surgery, chances, and wait. Still no Mickey.

“I’m right here, Ian.” Mickey never called him Ian. He called him shithead, dummy, fucktard, and sometimes Gallagher. Never Ian.

He opened his mouth to call for him again when the walls stopped speeding past and something sharp pricked the back of his hand. He sank down through the gurney, through the floor, through the earth itself.

His age be damned, Ian loved to party. His fake ID gained him entry into every dance club on the south side. Mickey preferred a quiet beer at home. Some pot, maybe. He rarely even visited a bar.

So, between the booze and the pills, Saturday night was veering left fast. An older guy pestered Ian right out the exit door. When he stumbled out of the club and fell somewhere down the street in the literal gutter, he didn’t know what to do. If the creep followed him, he was helpless to fight him off. Ian liked fucking, but he wanted to be conscious for it.

Ian crawled out of the street and slumped against a brick wall, pulling his cellphone.

“Who the fuck is this?” Mickey answered.

“Mick,” he said, his mouth swollen and hard to control. “Come get me.”

“Gallagher?” he asked, sounding astonished. “Where the fuck are you? If this is a dumbass prank…”

“I can’t get up,” he whined. “There’s some creep…”

Mickey’s voice, when next he spoke turned serious. “Tell me where you are.”

“…street,” he breathed. “Club Smash…” His eyes drooped, and the phone must have fallen from his numb fingers because he never caught Mickey’s response.

When Mickey arrived, though, he wasn’t quiet or polite about it. He flung Ian against the sidewalk and kicked him in the ribs.

“Is this your idea of a good time?” he demanded. “Flirting with perverts and passing out on the street?”

Ian started to cry.

“You’re a fuckin’ disappointment,” Mickey swore. “Get up.”

He couldn’t.

Mickey pulled him roughly to his feet and supported him on the walk to his pickup.

“I’m sorry,” Ian whined.

“You scared the shit outta me,” Mickey replied, thrusting him into the truck. “I thought I was gonna find you stabbed and raped, you stupid bastard. Why are you out here alone?”

Ian leaned his head against the cool window glass and closed his eyes. “No one to go with.”

“Next time you wanna party, I’ll go with you,” Mickey said, starting the truck. “You need a fuckin’ chaperone. Might as well be me.”

Ian woke like rising from the depths of the community center pool. First, consciousness returned in pieces before he began to flex his limbs. Finally, his vision cleared enough to recognize the person beside him.

Across the narrow hospital bed, a sleeping Mickey balanced on the very edge, not an inch of him disturbing a single spot on Ian’s body. It looked uncomfortable.

“Mick?” His voice was raw and throaty.

The sound roused the other boy, who whipped his head up.

Their eyes met, and Mickey hovered over him, his face a mask of anxiety and grief. “Can you hear me? Are you awake?”

He nodded because his voice was trash.

Mickey hadn’t tried to touch him yet, not so much as a pat on the shoulder. Probably, he stupidly worried about hurting him.

Ian made the first move, laying his hand on Mickey’s. The touch seemed to revitalize him. Mickey’s features softened, and his chin wobbled.

“Is that really you?” Mickey asked. “’Cause you’ve been opening your eyes now and then, but no one’s home.”

Just how bad was it? “It’s me, Mick,” he promised. “Am I dying?”

“No, shithead. You’re not that lucky.”

Things must be okay if Mickey was insulting him. Ian eased deeper into the thin mattress. “Did I get shot?”

“Shot, yep.” Mickey relaxed, too, curling around him. “And your head got split open.”

“The bottles?” Ian asked, sort of remembering all that liquor bombarding him when he fell into the shelf.

“Mmm-hmm.” Ian shifted positions, and Mickey laid his head on his bicep.

“Were you worried about me?” Ian teased. In truth, Mickey’s shared body heat and the weight of his arm was lulling him back to sleep.

“Hell, no,” Mickey said, one thumb rising to tenderly stroke his cheek. “I just didn’t wanna have to tell Fiona her no-good brother died.”

Ian smiled as his eyes fluttered closed. “I love you,” he murmured.

There was a sharp intake of breath and then silence. Ian withdrew his arm and lifted his head to see into Mickey’s face.

Too soon, Ian thought. He’d fucked up and said it too soon.

Mickey bit his lower lip and then shifted around as if he couldn’t get comfortable. After clearing his throat, he blurted out, “I love you, too. Now, shut up and go back to sleep. You’re supposed to be resting.” As he said it, he pulled Ian’s arm back around his ribs. “Dummy,” he breathed into his chest.

“Douche,” Ian whispered back, resting his cheek against the top of Mickey’s head. The corners of his mouth turned up, and he fell asleep.

Like Cheap Books? Sign Up For My Monthly Newsletter Today.
Enjoy this Free Red Plague Sneak Peek PDF full of excerpts and extras!

<3 Anna

Leave a Comment

NaNoWriMo Is Almost Here!

Or, Are You Prepared To Write?

nanowrimo

My favorite time of the year is upon us. November is National Novel Writing Month, and if you’ve ever had an inkling to write a book, this is your chance. You’ll benefit from tons of support from the online site as well as participants in your community.

Last year I wrote Panacea (Red Plague Trilogy #3) during NaNoWriMo. This year I’ll be writing the fourth and final installment of my Dark Caster Series.

If you’re participating, please let me know. We’ll keep each other sane during the next thirty days or so. 🙂

<3 Anna

Leave a Comment

NaNoWriMo is Almost Here!

Or, My Favorite Month Of The Year Is November

I’m so excited that it’s almost November because that means it’s almost time for the National Novel Writing Month! I look forward to November all year long because for thirty days I do nothing but think about characters, weave crazy plots, and write like my life depends on it.

Spell of Summoning was a NaNoWriMo book from a couple years ago. This year I’ll be writing the third book in a new trilogy!

I hope you join me in November!

<3 Anna

Leave a Comment

My 1st Writing Award — For Poetry!

Or, The Poem That Made Me Believe I Could Be A Writer

When I was seventeen I wrote a poem (one of dozens I scribbled in my diary) and submitted it to the Victor Valley College’s annual writing contest. I won an honorable mention, which seems to amount to 4th place. This was the first time I ever made anything I wrote public, let alone allowed it to be judged. The validation certainly had an impact on my decision to continue writing.

So, thank you VVC. And here’s the poem. It’s untitled because I was awful at writing titles, even then.

 

Yes, once upon a time,

Good princes got the girls,

Old dragons lived on rocks,

And ev’rything was nice.

*

Yes, once upon a time,

Was over long ago,

Now princes are just shot,

And dragons live in homes.

*

<3 Anna

Leave a Comment

Top 10 Best Moments at the RWA National Conference

Or, What I Enjoyed the Most About Atlanta

My book swag in the goody room.
My book swag in the goody room.

10. Meeting Robyn Kaye, Kristen Ashley, and Hannah Howell on the patio.

9. Listening to Jude Deveraux speak about her process.

8. Free books.

7. Learning about Save the Cat. I’m behind the curve.

6. Kristan Higgins’ luncheon speech. I cried.

5. Cathy Maxwell’s speech about starting poor. I could relate.

4. Putting my swag in the goody room for the first time.

3. Meeting really cool ladies like Jennifer Tillman and Caroline Fyffe.

2. Learning everything I ever wanted to know about metadata and backmatter.

1. Catching up to old friends from California Mary Galusha and Maria Connor.
<3 Anna
Leave a Comment

My (Imaginary) Love Affair with Eddie Redmayne

Or, Why I Can’t Get Les Miserables Out of My Mind

Eddie Redmayne

I will admit I have a thing for redheads. When I was younger Eric Stoltz made me all fluttery. I think Prince Harry is way hotter than his brother. And Seth Green’s Oz from Buffy the Vampire Slayer starred in many of my adolescent daydreams.

So, when I saw Les Miserables it wasn’t Hugh Jackman’s scruffy Jean Valjean that grabbed my attention, but Eddie Redmayne’s lovesick Marius.

Naturally, I needed to see more of my new crush, which meant discovering heart-breaking little gems like Birdsong and Tess of the D’Urbervilles. It turns out Mr. Redmayne not only sings like an angel, but he’s a talented and award-winning actor. Check out his IMDB page for “date night” ideas here.

And don’t be surprised when the hero of my upcoming young adult series has shaggy auburn hair and soulful green eyes reminiscent of a certain British actor.

<3 Anna

2 Comments
Your Free Stories Are Waiting.Discover the Beasts of Vegas series by Anna Abner.

Join Anna's monthly newsletter for free content, updates, and new releases.