~My apologies for the late posting. Blogger did not follow scheduling directions.~
My guest is historical/mystery author, Anne Cleeland. Anne writes a good story with some intriguing twists. The story may be Regency in setting but the story is anything but predictable!
She discusses a few things about her and offers some good advice about unleashing creativity—dive right and let it flow.
- Why this genre instead of another? What excites you about this genre?
I've always loved historicals, and the Regency era in particular. I think it stems from the Jane Austen/Georgette Heyer/Stephanie Laurens stories that are so enjoyable—partly because the setting provides an immediate tension; young women in society had to operate under strict rules, while love and longing simmered just beneath the surface. Remember how in Pride and Prejudice, Lizzie changes her mind about Darcy but she’s fretting because she’s not allowed to tell him? Or how shocked everybody was in Sense and Sensibility because Marianne was writing letters to a man she wasn't engaged to? There’s something almost chivalric about the love affairs, and I think that’s very appealing in a fairy-tale sort of way.
Meanwhile, while tea was decorously sipped in formal drawing rooms, the world was in absolute turmoil. I use this contrast in Daughter of the God-King; the heroine has lived a protected and uneventful life until the world intrudes and she is suddenly swept up in dire events. Much of the story takes place in Egypt, because it was during the Regency era that the treasures of Egypt—locked away for centuries—were finally unearthed for everyone to see. Egypt is romantic and mysterious at the same time, and the setting is perfect for an adventure story.
- How important is belonging to a writing group, such as RWA, to an aspiring or published author?
To those of you who are thinking about writing your own book, I strongly encourage you to find a writing group of similarly-minded souls. I joined RWA after I wandered in one day to hear an author speak, and kept going back month after month—the combined knowledge and experience in the room was priceless, and everyone was amazingly supportive and helpful. It’s no easy thing to write a book, and you’ll find all kinds of encouragement and practical advice on the how-tos. And I think this industry more than most is built on networking and contacts—so go out and find your fellow pre-published authors; you’ll make lifetime friendships and have a lot of fun while you are embarking on your new hobby and/or career.
- How do you refresh and recharge yourself so you can continue writing?
It’s the strangest thing—the day I decided to sit at the laptop and bang out the stake-out scene in Murder in Thrall I started a new obsession. Now, I’d rather be writing than doing just about anything else, and I think most other writers know exactly what I’m talking about—it even takes up my reading time, which is something I never thought would happen, since I love to read.
Sometime my best ideas come when I’m tired after a long day and I think that I’ll just do a few edits on the last chapter. The idea for the big twist in Daughter of the God-King came to me in such a way—late at night when I was trying to get to bed. (As a reader, I love being surprised and so all my stories have at least one big, shocking twist.)
Sometimes the ideas come when I’m not thinking about anything in particular—walking the dog is the perfect example. So I suppose my answer to this question is vice-versa: it’s the writing that refreshes and recharges me for everything else I have to handle in day-to-day living. Again, to those of you who are considering it, my advice is to dive right in—don’t worry about the logistics until later. You’ll be surprised and amazed by your own creativity.
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The Cursed Tombs of Egypt Hold Many Secrets...
Miss Hattie Blackhouse has never been close to her parents...and no wonder, since the Blackhouses are renowned scholars who spend most of their time excavating ancient tombs in Egypt. But news of their disappearance forces Hattie to leave England and embark on a voyage that will reveal the long-buried secrets of her past.
An encrypted senet board and a gold medallion lead Hattie on a perilous quest to track down her missing parents—and discover why people associated with the Blackhouses continue to turn up dead. What she uncovers is a secret that could alter the course of history...
Excerpt (chapter one)
Filled with intrigue, romance, and ancient secrets, Anne Cleeland's thrilling novel takes you on an unforgettable Egyptian adventure.