Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Spotlight Author with Ann Lethbridge

Ann Lethbridge is the wonderful author that I have invited to be with us this week. She has a new title coming out at the beginning of May and she is here to tell us all about it. The book is called WICKED RAKE, DEFIANT MISTRESS. Now Ann give us the details please...

Elanor takes the road... as a lady highwayman. Naturally she holds up the hero, the man who is the cause of all her troubles. And things go from bad to worse, because Garrick not only finds her attractive, he is determined to recover his stolen property. And when he does, he offers her a way out of her financial predicament. the question is, when will he discover who she really is and will the pleasure she brings him be just what he needs to ease the pain from her past?

What do Ann Lethbridge fans have to look forward to in 2010?

Quite a lot actually. Which I am very happy about. there is another full-length novel coming out later in the summer, entitled CAPTURED FOR THE CAPTAIN'S PLEASURE. As you can tell there will be some swashbuckling adventures happening. A short story is planned for a Mills and Boon Anthology called THE EARL AND THE GOVERNESS- I am not sure if it will be available in North America, but it will be out in the fall, and three Harlequin Historical Undone s coming out during the course of the year.

At the end of the year, perhaps the beginning of 2011, THE GAMEKEEPER'S LADY, will be on shelves.

So there are appetizers and full course meals to look for.

What are you working on now?

Right now I am finishing up the first undone, with the working title, THE LAIRD AND THE LADY COMPANION. I am also working on a follow up book, the second twin, from the GAMEKEEPER story.

Wow!!! Sounds like you are a busy lady! ;-) Give us an idea of how long a completed manuscript takes you from start to finish.

When I plan a story out to meet a deadline, I calculate my time-frame by using the number of words contracted, since books are different lengths. the Harlequin Historical s that I am working on now tend to take about four months, which includes plotting and polishing. I usually add a bit of extra time for revisions earlier books, for the short stories that are needed and for a vacation. But the actual writing part seems to fit into that four month period quite nicely without having to write on weekends. And if things slow up, I have a bit of a buffer.

i write each weekday until my word count is reached. Life happens and prevents that of course, but I deal with it by spreading the words missed over the next few days, so I can catch up. I do not like to be rushed at the end.

Where does your inspiration come from?

Inspiration can strike from the oddest places. it can be an article in a newspaper, an issue that makes me wonder how a woman would have handled it in the regency. it can be a fantasized scene, much as the opening scene t WICKED RAKE, DEFIANT MISTRESS. I always wanted to play the highwayman as a child. this was my chance. through my heroine.

It can come from reading research books, actual events in history that I can weave around my couple.

What do you do when you get stuck?

Make a cup of tea, take the dog for a walk, do laundry. menial, mind-numbing tasks, free the creative side of y brain apparently. If I'm really having trouble with a plot point that isn't working, I jump in the shower. I have my best ideas shower. I know, you didn't need that visual in your head, but you asked. ;-) I am not alone in the madness either. I have heard other well-known authors say exactly the same thing. I must be the cleanest person on the planet.

If you had to pick one character in your books, who would be your favorite?

I Loved Eleanor, in WICKED RAKE, DEFIANT MISTRESS. She just cares about her family so much. And Garrick doesn't know what a real family is, so they are such a good match. I really did love them both to death. But then I wrote the next two books and I found myself falling for their heroes and heroines.

I've decided I am a very fickle woman.

I guess though, of all of the books I have written so far, Frederica in THE GAMEKEEPER'S LADY stands out for me. She is very different.

But then again...

When I was at the Emerald City Romance Writers Conference last October, I went to a workshop that you co-hosted with Gerri Russell and Theresa Myers on branding. Can you explain what branding is and why it's so important?

Branding is a way for people to recognize you as a writer. Each writer is his or her own brand. When you see the name or the website, you know the writer and know what to expect. I don't claim to be an expert, but I do know that if you write regencies, it doesn't make much sense to personally look like a Goth-girl and have vampires on your website--unless you have regency vampires.

Many writers who write in widely different genres have discovered it is better to use a different name, so they don't provide a confusing message to their loyal readers. they present a different image. A different brand.

If i may be so bold as to use the famous author of all, look at Nora Roberts, her photos and her websites for her JD Robb persona is quite different to those for her Nora name.

There is a great deal to learn about branding and promotion, along with all the other crafte things you need, hence the need for a workshop, but out of all of those things a website is key, in my opinion.

Any advice for aspiring authors?

being an aspiring writer is a difficult thing. There are disappointments and near misses. Most authors have gone through the fires of being aspiring. They all say persevere. There are no guarantees, but if you give up, the guarantee is that you will not be published.

I think for me the primary advice would be, try to hang on to the joy of writing in spite of the disappointment. If you lose that joy, it will show on the page.

It is hard to think of finishing a novel as its own reward, and the next and the next, but in a way, you are doing something so many people aspire to and never achieve. Finishing a book.

I also recommend taking as many classes as you can, and taking from them what works for you while remembering, there are no rules.

Now tell us a little bit about Ann Lethbridge. Who are you? What do you do when you're not writing hunky heroes and romantic love stories?

I started put life as an army brat. My father was an officer in the British army and we traveled all over England. That is when I learned so much of the history of Britain. It was a natural for me to major in business and minor in history. I met my husband in high school and we've been together ever since. We came to Canada together and have two daughters and I had a long and successful career in university administration.

Now I write full time.

I really like the needlework arts, so I smock, embroider and tat while watching tv, American Idol anyone? I like to garden in summer.

I used to play a lot of sports, which was not so good for my knees, so now they refuse to cooperate. I now go for long walks with dog instead.

More than you ever wanted to know I am sure.

Ann thanks for this interview, now let's have a little fun...

Fast Five

Warm Sunny Days or Snugly Rainy Days-
Sun for me. And a good Book and a wide umbrella, and if there is a cabana boy in the background, that would be good too.

Roses or Love Letters-
Roses if they have roots, love letters if they don't. I like things I can keep.

Dark or Milk Chocolate-
Dark. Yep, there's a dark side in this regency writer- and I think it shows in my writing.

Early riser or Night owl-
Early riser generally, but I can do the wee small hours when things are hopping.

Blue eyed or Green eyed hero-

Remember readers you can find Ann Lethbridge books at:
Any bookstore in the month Harlequin Historicals come out, and on-line at those bookstores, e-Harlequin, Amazon all over the world, Borders, Barnes and Noble, Walmart etc. Visit me at my website and I'll be sure to let you know where the books are , or drop by my Regency Ramble blog where you can lose yourself in long elegant gowns and history, as well as catch up on my latest news.

Thank you so much Micole, for having me as your guest. Such fun questions you ask.

It has been a pleasure to have you here Ann. I am glad you enjoyed the questions!;-)

Thanks to all of you have joined us today. Make sure to leave us a question. And remember... if you're new to Micole Writes Romance and you like what you see make sure to become a follower as well as follow me on Twitter. This way you can hear the latest and stay up to date on what is going on here on my blog!

Hugs all!!!



Ann Lethbridge said...

Dear Micole, thanks for inviting me today. Looking forward to any questions folks have about any aspect of writing and publishing.

Micole Black said...

Thank you so much Ann for joining me here!!! I hope you will return when your other books are released! It's been apleasure having you here!