Please say hello to my friend, colleague and critique partner, Reggi Allder.
Hi Anna, thank you for having me.
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to write. Even as a kid I told stories to my friends. It always surprised me when they listened and asked for more.
I’ve lived in rural towns and large metropolis in California and the Northwest. They were all enjoyable in their own way. Before writing, I worked in the medical field and as an advertising manager.
I love to curl up with a great book. Whether it’s a favourite author or a new author, I look for books filled with love and suspense or a wonderful contemporary with a family winning when the odds are against them.
With a delicious cup of decaffeinated coffee, made with Fair Trade beans, I can stay up late reading. Yeah, even with decaf, a good book keeps me awake.
BTW, I have a wonderful husband and two great kids.
What is your favorite season?
I’d say two seasons, spring and autumn. Every year I look forward to the vivid spring flowers and I enjoy the fall weather and the beauty of the turning leaves.
Do have any personal heroes/heroines?
My grandmother is a hero of mine. The oldest of eight children, she had to leave school at a very young age to take care of her brothers and sisters when her mother became ill. But she loved learning. And though she only had a grade school education, she taught herself about business and went on to start her own successful one. She taught me persistence and to look for the positive side of life.
Do you have any hobbies?
I collect classic movies and antique tea cups. I used to spend hours doing needlework, including crewel and embroidery. Now writing takes up more and more of my time. I like photography and long walks. When I start a walk, I always have some kind of a camera with me even if it’s only my cell phone.
Do you like animals? Pets?
Yes. As a kid I wanted a horse and every year I’d ask my father for one. We lived in town with a small backyard, no room for a horse. And we didn’t have the budget to buy and keep a horse somewhere else. We had a dog and a cat, but I never forgot my love of horses and enjoyed researching the American Quarter Horse for my hero in Her Country Heart. I have two dogs, a purebred and a SPCA rescue mutt. They are an important part of the family and always have something to bark about. : )
What is your feeling about social media? Love? Hate?
I love the communicating with people from all over the world and I see the beneficial aspects of it for writers. Unfortunately, it takes a big chunk of time out of the day that I could spend writing.
Where do you find inspiration for your stories?
I can be inspired to write by events in my local area, a say a big storm or a small earthquake. I think what if two people were caught in it. What would happen? How would it change their lives? Hearing a love song can trigger an idea for a romantic scene with the current characters of a work in progress. A theme, survival, hope, or redemption may also give me inspiration. Sometimes a single sentence uttered by a stranger will prompt an idea for a novel.
In my suspense novels news articles are sometimes a jumping off point.
The thought of living off the land and being self-sufficient was my inspiration for Her Country Heart. While living in Los Angeles, I often heard people wish they could leave the city and live on the land, no traffic, and no time clock. I wondered what if a single mother returned from the city to her rural home to make it on her own. Without any experience farming, what would happen?
Is your book part of a series? If so do you enjoy writing series?
Her Country Heart is book one in the Sierra Creek Series with gorgeous cowboys, and determined women all in the small town of Sierra Creek.
Book two of the series, His Country Heart, follows the main characters from the first book and the people of the small town. I have plans for a third book.
I like the people who populate the book, and as a pantser, I look forward to them revealing their story as the books continue. : )
Newsletter and a chance to win a book
Write the word newsletter in the subject line. Good luck.
“Sierra Creek,” the driver shouted as the Greyhound Bus came to an abrupt stop on the two lane highway.
Amy Long pushed her hair behind her ears and grabbed her worn suitcase. Surprised to see her hand tremble, she seized the case with both hands and rushed toward the front of the bus.
A gust of hot wind slapped her face and gravel pelted her bare legs as the bus pulled away. Sierra Creek population five thousand, she read a faded road sign. There wasn’t a building in sight.
After years living in city, she’d forgotten how sweltering and desolate it was here. She’d vowed never to return home. Odd it was the first place that came to mind when she and her young son needed a fresh start.
With Granny gone, there was no family left to welcome her. She swallowed a sob. Maybe it was a mistake to come back.
The relentless afternoon sun beat down and her shoulders and arms began to redden. San Francisco, the air conditioned city, seemed a million miles away.
She cleared her dry throat and wiped perspiration from her forehead. What wouldn’t she give for some shade and a bottle of ice water?
With a sigh, she pulled out her smart phone and checked the time. Thirty minutes since she’d arrived at the bus stop and not a single car had gone by. Where was the arranged ride into town?
Granny’s handyman promised to meet her. He obviously wasn’t a stickler about being on time. She groaned and reminded herself she was in the California foothills not in a busy metropolis where time was money.
The sound of a truck rumbled in the distance. With the back of her hand, she wiped her bangs out of her eyes and squinted. Hopeful, she watched the pick-up come closer. A shiny black Ford F150 with extended cab pulled up in front of her.
“Amy,” a man yelled through the open window as his dark hair fell casually over a high forehead and deep-set blue eyes sparkled in the sunlight. She moved nearer and viewed his wide cheekbones, clean shaven jaw and full lips. About thirty?
“Hi.” A flutter of recognition stirred in her as palpable charm radiated from his broad smile, Wyatt Cameron.
His muscular arms flexed as his huge hands squeezed the steering wheel. “Don’t just stand there. Get in. The judge is waiting.”