Monday, November 27, 2017
Ana Morgan @anamorganana Author of Stormy Hawkins #Historical #Romance #Western
I’d like to welcome Ana Morgan, author of Stormy Hawkins to my blog today.
RW: Tell us about yourself, your family, where you live, etc.
AM: I had an intercontinental childhood, immersed in the disparate cultures of Washington, D.C., Europe and Africa. So, when my new, ex-Marine husband announced he wanted to try dairy farming in northern Minnesota, I said, “Sure.” (We’re still together.)
RW: Why did you decide to write? When did you submit your first manuscript and what genre was it?
AM: The nag to write started after a horoscope reading. The astrologer said, “If you aren’t writing, you should be.” I committed to writing after I read a contrived ending in well-known romance writer’s book. I assured myself I could do better. (I had a lot to learn.)
RW: Has your life changed since you became a writer? What’s the best thing about being a writer?
AM: I get up early, usually between four and five am, so I can write when the house is quiet, before I have to go to work.
Two best things about writing:
1. The sense of joy after reaching each mini-milestone, be it crafting a just-right sentence, uncovering a character’s deepest emotions, or typing The End.
2. The amazing generosity of the romance writer community.
RW: Who are your favorite authors? Who influenced your writing?
AM: I will always be in awe of Jane Austin, Bertrice Small, and Robert Heinlein. Each time I reread their stories, I am humbled by their ability to tell a story.
RW: How much does reader feedback matter to you? Do your fans’ comments and letters influence you in any way? Do you have a favorite comment or question from a reader?
AM: Stormy Hawkins is my first published book, and I have been thrilled to receive four and five-star reviews. I labored over the manuscript for five years, often doubting it would ever be good enough. When a reviewer wrote that she was looking forward to book two, I was over the moon.
RW: How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?
AM: Some scenes in Stormy Hawkins are based on real experience. I’ve herded cattle, put in fence posts, cooked on a wood stove. We borrowed a bull from a neighbor one summer, and it tried to kill me.
RW: How do you come up with story ideas? What kind of research do you do for a book?
AM: I start with an issue that interest me: herbal vs modern medicine; reincarnation; gossip in a small town, etc. I conjure a hero and heroine who start on opposing sides of the issue. Then I add in a villain who can destroy them unless they overcome their differences.
About a quarter of the time it takes to write a story is devoted to research. I check most every historical detail, for my Soul Mate editor will call out everything she can’t verify.
RW: Would you like to write a different genre or sub-genre than you do now?
AM: I have a time-travel that needs a rewrite. I have a half-written contemporary suspense on hold until I fulfill a contract for two sequels to Stormy Hawkins.
RW: What are your thoughts on love scenes in romance novels?
AM: I cut my author teeth on Beatrice Small’s erotic historicals and Robert Heinlein’s chauvinist science fiction. Neither shied from descriptive sex, but neither fully developed emotional arcs. I feel a good author has to do both.
RW: Bubble baths or steamy showers? Ocean or mountains? Puppies or kittens? Chocolate or caramel?
AM: Steamy showers! Kittens. (Puppies grow into dogs and I am not good at dog training.) Definitely chocolate, preferably dark.
I hate to choose between oceans and mountains. I live far from both right now, and I miss both deeply. But lovely seasides and ski slopes tend to be crowded places. I do like living in a log cabin hidden in the woods.
RW: Those are all the questions I have for you. Thank you for speaking to me.
Blade Masters has finally spotted his ideal Dakota Territory ranch, where he can live alone, forget his cheating ex-fiancée, and bury the shards of his shattered heart. All he needs to do is sweet-talk the ailing owner, and his spitfire daughter, into retiring.
If she weren’t desperate, Stormy would never hire a cowhand. She’s learned the hard way that she’s happier working her family’s ranch alone. But, the greedy banker who holds their mortgage just demanded payment in full—or her hand in marriage.
Will this handsome drifter protect her? Or does he have designs of his own?
Fires in iron cressets, mounted on poles, gave off smelly black smoke and illumined the dock with an eerie, writhing glow. Hulking men in mismatched clothes spit tobacco on the rough-hewn planks suspended over the river. A woman wearing an eye patch leaned against a stack of burlap sacks and tossed a small dagger into the air.
Showing no fear of challenge, Blade strode purposefully through the maze of goods piled on the pier. Soot-covered dock rats who stared at Stormy soon looked another way and said, “Evening, sir.”
Blade stopped a foot from the edge of the dock and looked down at the river.
She did the same and gasped. The water flowed with a ghostly light.
“Moonlight reflects off silt particles suspended in the water. Missouri River freighters run day and night.”
With a stab of guilt, Stormy realized Blade’s tales of working on the river were true. She’d chosen not to trust him. About this and a lot of other things. Hoping he wouldn’t read her face, she turned her head and peered downriver. “I don’t see the freighter.”
Blade tapped her arm and pointed in the opposite direction.
When she was small, Ana Morgan’s dream was to know something about everything. She has studiously waitressed, driven a school bus, run craft service on indie film sets, wandered through European castles, wired a house, married a Marine, canned vegetables, and studied the stars. She knows how to change a flat tire but prefers gallant, handsome strangers who strip off their jackets and spin the lug nuts for her.
Ana embarked on her writing career by crafting succinct cooking directions for her Secret Garden soup mixes—and graduated to lyrical essays about living on a small organic farm for her CSA’s weekly newsletter. Eventually she realized she wanted to write what she loved to read—steamy romance novels.
She and her husband eloped six weeks after they met and moved from southern California to northern Minnesota. They taught themselves how to milk cows (at first by hand), and raised three go-getter children. One is an award-winning woodworker. Another is IT super-smart. The third is an actor-director-producer.
Ana edits for a regional literary publication, “The Talking Stick,” and currently serves as president of From the Heart Romance Writers.
Soul Mate Publishing: http://www.soulmatepublishing.com/stormy-hawkins/
Contact Ana at firstname.lastname@example.org
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B075PC6RVG