I'm delighted to be sharing Anne Greene with you for a few days, and a little bit about her exciting book, Masquerade Marriage. Have you ever wondered what makes a writer tick, and what gets behind an author's mind to help in the creation process? We're going to learn a little about that with Anne, who has decided to freely share about herself with us.
Shall we get started?
In Anne's early years she lived in a small farm town in Ohio, and has lived in San Diego, Chicago, and now lives in McKinney,Texas, when she's not deployed with her husband. Anne has four grown children, and just recently returned from spending a year in Seoul, Korea where her husband served in the Military as a Special Forces Colonel (Green Beret). Anne loves to play sports, sail in the ocean, and travel, and has visited twenty-five foreign countries and every State in the US except Alaska. (Most importantly for us) writing is her passion.
Anne delights in writing about wounded heroes and gutsy heroines. She writes both historical and suspense novels. After falling in love with several countries and their people, Anne set a number of her books in exotic locations. She and her hero husband, Army Special Forces Colonel Larry Greene, have visited twenty-five countries, including three communist countries. A visit to Scotland resulted in her newest book release, Masquerade Marriage, published by White Rose Publishing.
In 1990, Anne graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Literary Studies from the University of Texas, Dallas. Her highest hope is that her stories transport the reader to an awesome new world and touch hearts to seek a deeper spiritual relationship with the Lord Jesus. To learn more of Anne and to view pictures from her extensive travel, visit her (after this interview) at www.AnneGreeneAuthor.com.
Shirley: Welcome to A Pen for Your Thoughts, Anne. Let's get to some questions and interesting aspects about you. First of all, why did you write Masquerade Marriage?
Anne: During a long visit to the Highlands and Lowlands of Scotland I became intrigued with why Highland Clans no longer occupied the Highlands. You’ll find the surprising answer in my book Masquerade Marriage. I’m of Scottish ancestry as are so many Americans, and bagpipes music makes my heart sing. I fell in love with the awesome country and the friendly, complex people. So, being a writer, of course I had to write of what I knew. I love the clear fresh air, the handsome people, the amazing openness of the country, the castles, and the Scots violent, adventurous history. In the next few years I plan to add Cailin and Fiona’s love stories to Megan’s legendary love.
Shirley: How about describing your writing space for us?
Anne: I have the pool table room. The center of our big recreation room holds the pool table. Every other nook and cranny holds my glass u-shaped desk, computer, paper, and stacks of work to be done. I have five crammed bookcases, four crammed file cabinets, a comfortable sofa, six 20 x 24 pictures of my family on the walls, a bank of windows to my right overlooking the golf course. A desk and easel take up one corner of the long room where my art supplies and half-finished paintings wait. On lovely days I step outside my door onto the upstairs porch and work. I couldn’t ask for a more perfect writing space.
Shirley: Interesting to say the least. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Anne: That first, all-important chapter. So many things must be included, and yet the pacing has to keep the reader’s interest.
Shirley: What hidden talent do you possess outside of writing... something you do for fun, but are good at?
Anne: I’m really good at games. My family won’t play with me because I always win. I’m also a pretty good artist. Some of my pictures are on my website, but my best two aren’t finished yet.
Shirley: What genre would you like to explore that you haven’t tried to write in yet? Will you? What would you never see yourself writing?
Anne: I’d like to write Medieval and Biblical. Also, I’m thinking of delving into short stories. I doubt I’ll ever write about Vampires or Werewolves.
Shirley: Okay, how about this for a question, Anne? What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten? Anne: In China I watched my dear husband eat a roasted Scorpion. In Korea I ate Kimchi, but didn’t eat the silk worm larva. Phew! In Australia, I didn’t eat Kangaroo burgers. In Viet Nam I ate some really good stuff and have no idea what it was.
Shirley: Well, I've never had Scorpian, but I have eaten Kimchi. Didn't like that one bit. But what in the world is the silk worm larva? Is that in Kimchi? Ugh. You also mentioned Kangaroo burgers. When I was in Australia, I didn't want to touch those either, but my husband and I did enjoy turtle soup. So tell us Anne, what do you like to do when you’re not writing...or eating?
Anne: Go to church. I never write on Sunday. I love being with my family. I enjoy going out, doesn't matter where. I like to travel. I like to take walks with my dog. I love spending time with my friends. Oh, there are too many things to number.
Shirley: If you could go anywhere to tomorrow, where would you go? Anne: I’d like to go back to being twenty-one. LOL.
Shirley: What do you find most rewarding about writing, Anne?
Anne: I like the process. I like becoming the characters and living in the settings. I like the adventure of finding out what’s going to happen. I love working with words. I like to rewrite and polish. I like it all.
Shirley: You make that very clear by what you're sharing with us right here. If you didn’t write, what would you do? Anne: I’d like to be an archaeologist. I’d love to spend time on a dig and unearth treasures of the past. I like the camping out with like-minded people who get their hands dirty and keep their minds agile. I’d like to sit around at night after a profitable day in the field and discuss larger than life characters who made a mark in time.
Shirley: What is you least favorite aspect of writing? Anne: I love it all. I love the initial meeting the characters and finding out what they want to do. I love fleshing out backgrounds and settings. I love watching the characters and transcribing their actions to the page. I love rewrites and working with words to express exact meanings. I love polishing to see if I can make the story even better. My least favorite aspect of writing is the publicity part. It’s not enough these days for a writer to tell an awesome story, the writer must also sell that story to readers, and get her name known. That means book signings and making public appearances. That’s hard for most writers who would prefer to be sitting quietly at home rather than being the center of attention at some store or library.
Shirley: I'm having so much fun learning about you, I must ask you a couple more things. Okay? If you could meet any two people in the world, who would they be, and why?
Anne: That’s a really hard question. I’ve already met the people in the world that mean the most to me, my husband and family. I love meeting new people who become my friends. I’m not star struck, so there are no famous movie, media, or sports figures I’d love to meet. I’m not avidly political, so there’s no president or politician I’d like to meet. I’ve already met many of the wonderful authors I read. I think I’d travel way into the future and want to meet my great-great-grandson and daughter to see if my Christian legacy remains with them—that is if the Lord doesn’t come first.
Shirley: How long have you been writing?
Anne: Masquerade Marriage is my second published book. I’ve been writing about ten years. Reading was my escape in my growing up years, and I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I graduated from the University of Texas cum laude with a degree in Literary Studies, but worked as a photographer and as a Real Estate Agent before diving in full-time to write. When I joined American Christian Romance Writers, the journey to writing got much easier. I have a wonderful critique group, and because of their annual conference, I’ve met many editors and agents. Finalling in writing contests gave me excellent feedback, plus got me my latest contract with White Rose Publishing. So, I recommend both contests and conferences.
Shirley: What is the most illuminating thing you discovered in researching Masquerade Marriage and which character was the hardest to get right?
Anne: I loved delving deep into Scottish history. I am both Scotch and English as are so many Americans. I know my American history, but my knowledge of Scottish history was spotty until I began researching for this period. I loved weaving the information I gleaned into the fabric of my story. So many heroic people lived during that tremulous time. I love reading and writing about courage. In fact, a reader can find that theme in every one of my books. I don’t try to get my characters right. I become the character. She/he tells me what is happening inside and what she plans to do about it, and then I just let her/him do it. That’s what so much fun about writing. I live each journey, each adventure of each character. Shirley: What’s the take-away message you want the reader to find in Masquerade Marriage and what's next? Anne: That God is in control. No matter how awful the circumstances in a person’s life, God doesn’t let anything happen to you outside of His perfect will. (For what comes next) I am working a sequel to Masquerade Marriage, as well as a number of other books. So just keep your eyes open for books written by Anne Greene.
Shirley: Before we get into the story itself, what, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?
Anne: Great question! The craft takes years to learn for most writers. Every element is important. But, I think the writer’s imagination is the most important. Her voice, what makes her who she is, and what she is passionate about. Of course, the most talented writer must learn about characterization, plot, vivid words, and all the ABCs of writing style.
AS WE CLOSE, PLEASE SHARE A SHORT EXCERPT OF YOUR BOOK SO WE CAN GET AN IDEA OF WHAT WE'LL BE READING.
EXCERPT FROM MASQUERADE MARRIAGE
Like a determined hero, the fugitive warrior strode through the door at the far end of the tiny stone kirk.
Megan’s eyes widened. Her clenched jaw relaxed. Some of her dread dissolved.
“Impressive.” Molly, Megan’s Irish maid, whispered from where they stood together in the vestibule.
He stopped in front of the hand-carved altar and half-turned toward her. Megan pulled in an uneven breath. This Highlander, wearing formal kilts, was no scrawny lad grown older, nor was he a big, hairy Scot with a bushy beard. The tall, strapping soldier stood with legs braced as if about to do battle.
Her heart skipped. Though she’d known Brody when she wore short skirts, this blond warrior was far more than she expected. Her pulse throbbed in her temples. Doubt niggled her brain. Brody was too tall, too obviously a Highlander. How could she hope to pass him off as a Lowland Laird? He appeared to have too big a chip on his shoulder to let her command him.
Brody’s thick sandy hair swept the collar of his linen shirt. Lace-trimmed cuffs matched the white jabot at his muscular throat. A silver broach clapsed his crimson and black tartan to his wide right shoulder. His Claymore, dirk, and thick sword belt startled her.
Megan suppressed a shudder. The English outlawed kilts. With his dress, Brody spat in the face of the English and further imperiled his life. Why?
His intense sapphire stare blazed a trail across the empty wooden pews toward her. His eyes made her feel dizzy as if she just danced a fast reel with a lively partner.
Molly grinned and handed Megan the bridal flowers. What had she gotten herself into?
Shirley: I guarantee it's great! I'm in the middle of reading the copy you sent me now, and I'm loving it, Anne.
I also appreciate that you're going to be sharing a giveaway with one of our responders. What question would you like to ask?
Anne: I also write contemporary suspense novels. I have a sassy detective novel, a modern day cowboy suspense, and a Coast Guard mystery, all set in my home state of Texas in the works. Did you know parts of the Civil War were fought in the west? I have a novel in the pipes that is a second book of a family saga which occurred in Talaquah, Oklahoma. I also have a World War 11 Women Pilots love I’d love to know if you prefer historical novels to contemporary novels. I’m taking a poll, so could you leave a comment?
CONGRATULATIONS TO NAOMI MUSCH OF SOUTH RANGE, WI!
Very nice interview. The answer to the question is that I prefer historicals (though I don't mind reading or writing a contemporary now and then.) Still, historicals are what's closest to my passion. That's what drew me to read your interview!ReplyDelete
Wonderful interview, and so great to know you better, Anne.ReplyDelete
I mostly read contemporary because I can't see myself as a historical writer. But reading historicals is fulfilling. Zane Grey was a favorite of my mother's. I inherited and added to her collection. I will choose a western over a regency.
I loved Masquerade Marriage and a glimpse into Scottish past.
I'm most fond of historical fiction (romance, romance, romance). I can't seem to get enough. I also have begun delving into the Western part of historicals and am enjoying that. by the way this was a VERY interesting interview. Your book sounds exciting, Anne.ReplyDelete
I am a reader only, not a writer, and I love reading both. I like having a variety of different books to read.ReplyDelete
And this book sounds wonderful! Can't wait to read it!
I am a reader only. I enjoy reading historical but lately I have been reading mostly contemporary and suspense.ReplyDelete
I prefer a historical book:) I do like a good mystery though. I am a big fan of Scotland and think I wish I could travel there someday. Maybe I can in books:) Please enter me. Thanks!ReplyDelete
I enjoy historical better than contemporary normally. I really like both, but historical is what I am more drawn to! Thanks for sharing that interview! It sounds like a great book! martha(at)lclink(dot)comReplyDelete
I enjoy both historical and contemporary, but given my druthers, I'll pick the historical most of the time. I also enjoy anything set in Scotland!ReplyDelete
twinwillowsfarm at gmail dot com
Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of your book. I regularly read both time periods. In historical, I prefer Regency thru mid 1800's. If I'm reading contemporary, I prefer a really good suspense.ReplyDelete
Masquerade Marriage is truly a wonderful story. I enjoyed it so much. Best wishes to you!
I prefer contemporary stories, although I will read historical. Great interview, btw. Love that you've traveled to so many places! Fun memories.ReplyDelete
I mostly read contemporary nowadays, but like a good historical to give me a feel for a certain era. Would love to read Masquerade Marriage. Reminds me of some of the Georgette Heyer novels.ReplyDelete
Thanks, ladies for your lovely words. It seems more than half of you prefer historicals. When I write contempoary, I write suspense. But there is plently of suspense in my historicals. I love historicals because it's such a good, fun, easy way to learn more history.ReplyDelete
Here's another question. If you prefer contemporaries, what is your favorite genre? If you like suspense, do you prefer mysteries or scare you to death suspense?
If I could have my way, Ann, I would still be reading those kinds of stories by Victoria Holt. I guess that is closer to historican but I liked the scariness of her books (and as a christian I could still read her books.) Does anyone write gothic style anynmore?ReplyDelete
Betty Fimple W
I loved reading Victoria Holt as well. I think gothic may be coming back.ReplyDelete