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A little chat with ...

Anne Marsh

 

Please tell us about your newest release?

THE HUNT is a sexy paranormal romance with Egyptian overtones. Mrs Giggles called HUNT "unexpectedly and wonderfully enjoyable" and described it as "Lora Leigh goes on the Amazing Race." The women who enter the twisting tunnels of the Guardians have little hope— or wish— to escape. But Miu has her own reason for participating in the Hunt, and she has no intention of being caught... until she meets the darkly sensual predator who's on her trail. A centuries-old Guardian, Jafar is honor-bound to punish all thefts. He mercilessly releases his inner Beast, transforming into the Cat to track and execute any who thieve from his Temple. Yet when he discovers Miu in the act of a stealing a priceless necklace, the brutal violence of the transformation wars with the intense sexual need of his people. For the first time, he cannot kill a thief—although he still might consider hunting this one down. As his mate.


When beginning a project do you know how it is going to come all together right away or do you find out as you go along?

That's a difficult question. With HUNT, I knew what was going to happen in the first three chapters and the very last chapter. Every thing in between, however, was a complete mystery to me. The heroine led the hero on a mad chase through the temple, dragging me right along with them. With my next book, however, I've done much more pre-plotting. One of the fabulous things about working with an editor is that she'll ask all sorts of questions and you can brainstorm possibilities.


What is your writing schedule like on any particular day?


I like to set myself a word count that I'm going to hit for the day. Finish that number of words, and I'm done. I usually start around 4 a.m. and then I can get in a couple of hours before heading off to the day job. I pretty much squeeze in writing time wherever I can find it. The BART is becoming my own personal writing studio! It's amazing what you can get done on the train. Not to mention ten minutes here, ten minutes there-- it really adds up. I'm a huge fan of writing sprints as well.


What part of writing do you find the hardest?

The reviews! I've had some really fabulous ones-- and a few that were curl-up-in-bed-with-a-gallon-of-ice-cream worthy. Objectively, you know that your story won't be for everyone. Some people are going to love it and some people are going to put in the bag for Goodwill. Reviews, however, really, really make you confront that reality.


When you first became published, what was the biggest thing that surprised you about the industry?

The last year has been nothing but one surprise after another! My first surprise was that NYC does business pretty much on a phone conversation and a handshake. I'd just finished buying a house, and we'd been up to our eyeballs in legal documents and contracts. No one handed over the keys until we'd signed at least a ream of paper. In triplicate. Eventually, I did get a semi-enormous ream of papers to sign from the publisher. About six months after my agent and my editor agreed on the deal and it appeared in Publisher's Marketplace and after I'd already turned in the final revisions. The paranoid part of me kept thinking that maybe, just maybe, Dorchester would change their minds. It's so deliciously, wonderfully nineteenth-century to give your word and keep your word without invoking the threat of documentation from the get-go.


What is the most outrageous question you have gotten when telling people about your profession?

Bodice rippers. Everyone wants to know what a bodice ripper is. Apparently all those half-naked, heaving bosoms make a terrific impression. At least, I'm assuming that folks want a vocabulary lesson and not an explanation of how to recreate the process at home. Once I explain that female bosoms are more the territory of historical romances, rather than the paranormal romances that I write, we usually segue into a conversation about covers. Most of the people I talk with don't realize that there's a very definite cover grammar and that the publishing industry invests a not inconsiderable amount of time into figuring out which colors and images cue readers into the book's content in one quick glance. HUNT's cover is dark, with lots and purple and black-- your first paranormal "clue." Plus, there's a moon and a cat (because my Guardian hero shape-shifts into a cat) and a delicious male torso. Bingo. Hot paranormal romance.


Are there any genres that you would like to try to write but haven't yet?

Absolutely! I'd love to write fantasy or YA. I suspect that part of the appeal of fantasy is the length-- the likes of Robert Jordan get to write these beautifully long books. Most paranormal romances are 90K-100K in length. It's a good discipline, but it seems terribly decadent to get to write a 200,000 word book. I have fantasies about not having to delete any scenes and to be able to keep writing on and on and on, rather like the Energizer Bunny.

 

     

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