Ten Things About Anne Barwell - An Author Interview

We're rolling right along in 2022 and today we get a chance to chat with Anne Barwell and find out 10 or more things about her! 
Thanks for hosting me today!
It's a pleasure to have you on the blog.  Is it okay to just jump right in?
Okay than, here we go:

Indie or Traditionally published? - Tell us how this works for you...
I was totally traditionally published until 2019, and then got my rights back – long story that I’m not going into here – and am now hybrid.
All books I’ve written by myself are Indie Published under LaceDragon Publishing, and the books I co-wrote with Lou Sylvre are with Traditional Publishers as it was easier to split royalties etc that way.

Going Indie was a huge learning curve and I couldn’t have done it without the support of other writers, in particular the New Zealand Rainbow Romance Writers. I asked so many questions as everything was new.

Now, I’ve taken that step I wouldn’t go back. I love having control of my books, and being able to write what I want, and not worry whether a publisher is interested in the rest of my series. That’s a huge thing, considering 99.99% of what I write are in series.

Plot or Pants? Do you pre-plot your books, use an outline, fly by the seat of your pants or some combination of things? How do you keep track of characters in a series? Do you keep a journal of your characters’ statistics, such as hair and eye color, relatives, hometown, etc.
I do a bit of both. I have a rough outline, but expect the characters to go their own way and change things as I go. I always know the main beats of the story, and the ending though. The journey to get there is the fun part.

I keep track of characters and continuity in series in two ways. I have notebooks for each series, plus I’m using Trello boards. The latter is doubly important for my shared book, and shared world projects.

Elizabeth Noble and I have a shared paranormal/urban fantasy world called The Sleepless City. We co-wrote the original four book series together. I wrote books 1 and 3, and she wrote 2 and 4. We’re now each writing spinoffs set in the same universe, so expect characters to pop into each other’s books, or visit from time to time.

It’s a lot of fun bouncing ideas off each other, but having a shared world bible is a must, not just for characters, but the rules of the world, and keeping track of the bad guys who get around.

Tell us about your first… published M/M fiction/romance
I’m going with my first Indie published M/M romance, as I’m still working through repubbing my original backlist.

Slow Dreaming is a New Zealand set contemporary(ish) time travel story set in 2012.

A Tempus Institute Story.

Should he change the past for love?

As an agent for the Tempus Institute, Jason Adams’ task is to observe the past, not change it. But when he’s sent to 21st-century Wellington, New Zealand, during the last week of aspiring songwriter Sean Henderson’s life, Jason finds he can’t just watch from a distance. He and Sean quickly become friends and then lovers, and when the song that's haunted Jason for years connects them in a way he never anticipated, he'll risk changing history for the chance of sharing a future with Sean.

Author’s note: This story was originally released by another publishing house. This edition has some added content, and uses UK/NZ spelling to reflect its setting.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3ecmfNH
Universal Link: https://books2read.com/SlowDreamingAB

and then your most recent one..
Comes a Horseman, is the 3rd and final book of my WWII Echoes Rising series. It was a Rainbow Awards Runner Up for Best Historical/Best Book

Echoes Rising Book 3

What if those who stand by you are the ones who betray you?
France, 1944

Sometimes the most desperate struggles take place far from the battlefield, and what happens in secret can change the course of history.

Victory is close at hand, but freedom remains frustratingly just beyond the grasp of German physicist Dr Kristopher Lehrer, Resistance fighter Michel, and the remaining members of the team sent by the Allies—Captain Matt Bryant, Sergeant
Ken Lowe, and Dr Zhou Liang—as they fight to keep the atomic plans from the Nazis. The team reaches France and connects with members of Michel’s French Resistance cell in Normandy. Allied troops are poised to liberate France, and rescue is supposedly at hand. However, Kristopher is no longer sure the information he carries in his memory is safe with either side.

When Standartenf├╝hrer Holm and his men finally catch up with their prey, the team is left with few options. With a traitor in their midst, who can they trust? Kristopher must become something he is not in order to save the man he loves. Death is biding his time, and sacrifices must be made for any of them to have the futures they want.

Author’s note: This is the second edition of Comes a Horseman. The first edition was released by another publishing house. This story has been re-edited, and uses UK spelling to reflect its setting.

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3fOkF7N
Universal Link: https://books2read.com/ComesaHorsemanAB
Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Comes-Horseman-Anne-Barwell/dp/0995146659

Do you write full time or part-time?
Part-time, although I wish I could afford to do it full time. My day job is in a public library so I’m surrounded by books all day.

Which character still pops into your mind to visit from time to time?
Simon Hawthorne. He’s my vampire MC from Shades of Sepia, book 1 of The Sleepless City. The stories about inviting vampires in are all true! Once you let them in, they never leave.

One of my current WIPs is his and Ben’s (his human partner’s) first book in their spin off series, but he’s also appeared in my WWII historical On Wings of Song, and a blink and you miss it mention in my WWII story Winter Duet. He figures as he was there at the time…

Where do you write? Do you have a routine?

My office space is my dining room table. I write on my three-day weekends, and use the time before and after work for admin. I work late nights in my day job, and my start times differ over the four days I go into the library, so I found splitting my focus between my weekend/work days was more productive.

Part of the reason I dropped down to four days earlier this year was to get a better life balance so I’m trying to be better at taking down time during my weekends. My littlest granddaughter has just turned one, so the extra day gives me the opportunity to spend some time with family too.

I try to get at least an hour’s writing time in each weekend day, more if I can manage it. Time before work is spend on the admin that requires more energy. After work is social media posting as I’m tired when I get home, especially on a Wednesday after 9pm, which is followed by a 10am start the next morning.

What are your writing goals for the next year? The future?
I’m aiming to publish at least two books in 2022, three if I can manage it. Being a New Zealand author, I’m setting a lot of my new books here, as we need more M/M Kiwi books.

Prelude to Love, a NZ set contemporary romance, is with my lovely editor getting proofed so aiming to get that one out early in the year.

After that is Double Exposure, book 1 of P┼Źneke Shadows, my NZ set Sleepless City spin off. I’m on the third draft of that at present, working through the first round of beta reader comments.

The third is Rosebound, Book 1 of Kiwi Psi, which is set in Wellington and also part of The Sleepless City shared world. I have the first draft written.

But before I start work on Rosebound, I’m diving back into my fantasy Dragons of Astria series, and rewriting book 1, Fire Guard (previously published as A Knight to Remember). As this is a backlist series, I’ll be working on it book by book in between new releases, but not publishing any of them until all three books are ready to release, then doing a rapid release.

I also have another backlist series to finish and republish – Hidden Places – but that will be the in between new books project once the dragons are out in the world. I’m toying with the idea of an interlinked season novella series too, and a couple of other projects… I need more hours in the day.

What else do you want us to know about you?
 I’m a musician, taught piano and violin for ten years, and now play violin in a community orchestra. My stories usually feature music in some way and/or my characters are musicians.

I’m also owned by a naughty tortie cat, so cats often find their way into my books too. And sometimes those cats aren’t exactly what they appear to be either.

And I don’t drink coffee as I hate the taste, despite loving the smell, yet a lot of my characters are coffee addicts. Go figure.

You’ve probably already noticed that I write across genres, although I do have a leaning towards paranormal and historical.

What is your favorite thing about writing M/M romance?
I love the community and friends I’ve made along the way. We have a fabulous supportive community, and I love having found my tribe.

How can we connect with you?
You can follow my website Drops of Ink – http://annebarwell.wordpress.com - and sign up for my newsletter - https://mailchi.mp/39edaba3e3ad/annebarwellauthor - or you can find me in my Facebook readers’ group - Anne's Books and Brews - https://www.facebook.com/groups/annesbooksandbrews/

Elizabeth and I also have a group for The Sleepless City - https://www.facebook.com/groups/thesleeplesscity


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