An interview with Anna Lowe

This was fun! I was interviewed by Paranormal Romance Lovers about my writing process and other fun things. Most of the interview is duplicated here, but you can also see it on the lovely website in original HERE. Enjoy!

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Well, I’m originally from New York state but I always wished I came from Alaska or Montana – in other words, a country girl at heart. Some of my favorite things are dogs, sports, and travel, and I often let these inspire my stories.

Can you describe your style of writing for anyone who might not be familiar with your work?

Well, I love putting the “hero” back into heroine, so you can always count on a story with a woman who can stand on her own two feet instead of waiting around for the hero to save the day. Setting is also a strong element of all my stories — I love letting setting ignore a passionate romance. Think sunset over the red rocks of Arizona on a cool spring night, or skinny dipping in a tropical lagoon. Oftentimes, I’ll let places act as characters. Take, for example, the bar of the Blue Moon Saloon. It’s practically a character in itself, as is Serendipity, the sailboat at the center of my adventure romances. I also enjoy putting humor into my stories, especially to lighten up darker moments when they’re needed. And I love fast-paced stories that keep the pages turning, all of them populated with characters it’s easy to love in spite of their faults.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

I’m a total type A plotter, but once I have an outline in place, I’m pretty flexible if a new idea strikes me (and they usually do) – or better yet, when my readers come up with great ideas! I’ve had several fantastic suggestions pop up on my facebook page where I often post about my latest works or ask for advice if I find myself stuck. That’s one of the best parts of being a writer – interacting with the people who read the stories I write. It makes the world of my imagination that much more real.

Not all scenes are created equal. What scenes do you find easiest to write, and which make you groan?

I’m a fan of action movies (think Raiders of the Lost Ark or Romancing the Stone), so action sequences tend to flow for me. And love scenes – once I get an idea of where and how (because beds can get boring, don’t you think?), those tend to fly, too! The scenes that are hardest for me to write or at least to conceptualize in the early stages of creating a story are those that bridge pivotal scenes. Those are the ones that in your imagination start as just “and then they somehow get to the top of the mesa where they howl at the moon…” That’s the hard part – figuring out how they got here, and how to keep those transitional scenes as engrossing as the rest. Often, they end up being a good place for revealing secrets that have been hinted at all along — which really sparks them up.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

It all depends how busy life keeps me. When the day job isn’t too busy and the kiddos are happily occupied (and thank goodness they’re old enough now that they usually are), I can write a book in a month. (I prefer the pacing and length of novellas or short novellas, so I’m talking about stories of about 40-50,000 words). I LOVE when I have a block of free time, like a week off when I can start the day with a long walk, write for a few hours, then go for a swim or bike ride, and dig right back into writing. (I’m one of those “need to move” people.) Of course, there are times when things don’t go exactly as planned, but I guess that’s what keeps life from getting boring, right?

If you had to choose between living in one of your imaginary worlds, which one would you choose, and why? Who would be your hero?

Oh, man! It would be hard to choose between being a wolf shifter on Twin Moon Ranch and being one of the sailor heroines who get to explore the tropics on a sailboat in the Serendipity Adventure Romance series. But since I really did get to sail the tropics on a sailboat and live many of the adventures (and mishaps!) that inspired those works, I guess I’d choose being a wolf in the end. But choosing a hero would be hard. Dark and broody Ty of Desert Moon? Upbeat and funny Cody from Desert Blood? One of the amazing bear brothers (Simon and Soren) of the Blue Moon Saloon series? Or maybe I’d choose to be Kaya, the dragon shifter in Gambling on Her Dragon who gets to spend her days with hunky Trey, the wolf shifter who has a little of all of the above. Yikes! So many men, so little time…