Author Spotlight

 

Recently, I had the opportunity to chat with a very talented author.  So, without further delay letís hear from

Anne Whitfield

 

Did you always want to be a writer or did you have other goals in mind for yourself?
I always liked writing and reading as a child but Iím not sure if I ever set out to be an author. It was only something that I decided I might be able to do once I was in my twenties.

Tell us a little about what makes youÖwell, you.
Although Iím Australian and love my country, I do have ties to England so Iím sort of a two country person and that reflects a lot of my life and influences me in many ways. Iím honoured to have the cultures of both countries in my life. Iím married with three children and live in a wonderful part of the country. I love spending time with my family, watching the kids play sports or weíll sit together and watch movies. One of my hobbies is genealogy and I have traced my husbandís paternal side back to the convict times of Australia and beyond that to Ireland. Iím now trying to trace my parentís lines.  

You have a love for history. Do you incorporate that into your writing?
Yes, definitely. I donít think I could have one without the other. Researching is fun for me. History is so fascinating and terribly time consuming but I enjoy it.

When writing, do you need a quite office-like setting or can you write anywhere?
No, sadly I canít write anywhere. I wish I could! It would make life easier for me. But, unfortunately, I need peace and quiet when I write at the computer.

Tell us some of your favoritesÖfoods, movies, authors, books, seasons, and any others you would like to share.
My favourite food is chocolate in any form.

My favourite movies areÖum this is hard there are so many, but to narrow it down from a few hundred Iíd say, Steel Magnolias, Notting Hill, North & South (BBC) Becoming Jane, Pride & Prejudice (BBC), The Way We Were, How Green Was My Valley, Beaches, Miss Potter, and Little Women. I could go on foreverÖ.

My favourite authors are Audrey Howard, Elizabeth Chadwick, Sharon Penman, Edward Rutherfurd and another few hundred or so moreÖ

My favourite books are those written by the authors above, plus my non fiction research books which I adore.

My favourite season is summer. I love the smell of fresh mown grass, the flowers, the summer fruits, picnics and bbqs.

When writing, do you plan your stories out before you start or do they develop as you go along?
They develop as they go along. I never know what my characters are going to do or where theyíll lead me and I like it that way. By the end of each book Iím love my characters and they are a part of my life, which sounds rather weird but itís true.

You enjoy music, do you have a favorite group?  Do you listen to music while writing and, if so, what is the perfect writing music?
Only sometimes do I have music on when writing. If Iím writing a sad scene I might have love songs in the background, but not often.

My music taste is wide and varied. I like most modern pop songs and bands like Coldplay, MatchBox 20, etc, but sometimes Iím in the mood to listen to country and will sing along to Kenny Rogers, or I might want to dance and so out come all the disco cds.

Do you enjoy hearing from your readers and what is the best way to contact you?
I love hearing from my readers, it makes my day to know that they have enjoyed my books. Iíve received some fantastic fan mail.

The best way to contact me is via email at whitfield.anne@gmail.com 

With your love of history, if you could go back in time, when and where would you travel to?
Oh that is so hard. Iíd love to have met Eleanor of Aquitaine in medieval times as she was such a strong woman. Iíd like to visit the Great Exhibition of 1851. Iíd also liked to have been an independent woman in WWI and work in the war effort somehow. Thereís so many times and places to choose from, I canít decide.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Eating chocolate and buying booksópreferably at the same time.

How do you promote your work?
In any way I can both online and in person. I have a website, blogs, email groups, written articles, sent out brochures, plus Iíve done book signings, etc.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?  What was the best piece of advice you received when you first started out?
I didnít really have any advice given when I first started because I wrote without the internet and didnít know anybody who did write. It was a very lonely and naÔve time and I wasted years querying the wrong people because I didnít know enough. When I did get the internet, I taught myself so much and it was wonderful to find like-minded people.

My advice to new writers is to write the best book you can, never give up, research your genre market and query only those agents and editors who deal in the kind of genre you write. Research, research and then research some more. Then read everything you can about the industry and ask questions. Most authors are very helpful and kind and will help you.

If you could bring one of your characters to life, who would it be and why?
Oh another tough question. I would love to bring all my characters to life, but if I had to pick one it would have to be Kitty McKenzie. Sheís such a great character and went through a lot. Sheís strong and courageous and loving and would be a wonderful person to meet in the flesh.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?  Any current or upcoming releases?
My current release is my World War II historical romance, Broken Hero, set in England. It is the story of Audrey and Jake and their not so smooth path to finding love with each other.

My next release is Her Shadowed Heart, a historical family drama, again set in England in the Victorian era. This is Anna Thorntonís journey and the very first book I wrote, so it is close to my heart.

Then July 1st will see the release of another historical family drama titled, Woodland Daughter. This story is about Eden Harris and her fight to keep her family together. Itís set in England in 1902.

Thanks so much for having me.

Best regards, Anne Whitfield

 

     

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