Today I’d like to welcome author Anne Brooke to The Dancing Dove! Anne was kind enough to take the time out of her busy writing schedule to do an interview with me.
Anne Brooke’s fiction has been shortlisted for the Harry Bowling Novel Award, the Royal Literary Fund Awards and the Asham Award for Women Writers. She has also twice been the winner of the DSJT Charitable Trust Open Poetry Competition. Her latest novel is The Hit List, a romantic comedy about friends, family and fantasy hit lists.
The Dancing Dove: What was it like when your first book was published?
Anne Brooke: My first book to be published was my gay psychological thriller, A Dangerous Man, and I was hugely excited about it! I actually ran round the house dancing when my author copies arrived and I couldn’t stop looking at it. Which just goes to show how seriously sad I am!
TDD: Where/When was your first book published?
AB: A Dangerous Man was published in 2007 by a small UK publisher. I’m now thrilled to say that a new edition is set to be published in the US (and worldwide) later this year by Cheyenne Publishing, so I’m very much looking forward to that.
TDD: Do you have a favorite book? (Of yours) If so, why is it your favorite?
AB: Actually, I think I’d have to choose A Dangerous Man. It’s one of the darkest of my gay thriller novels, and I had the voice of my main character, artist/prostitute Michael Jones, in my head for so long that he all but took over. Which could on occasions be scary! Especially for my long-suffering husband. Even now I can hear Michael’s voice every so often, but he’s a whole lot stronger (and odder) than me so it can be useful sometimes …
TDD: Can you tell us a little about your upcoming book Martin and the Wolf?
AB: Yes, Martin and the Wolf is a fantasy short story about how different love can be. When 36-year-old lecturer Martin meets the mysterious Lucas at a midsummer party, the attraction is instant. The two men soon start a relationship, but Martin is puzzled by Lucas’ behaviour as he’s not like any other man he’s ever known. When one night, he tracks Lucas to the depths of the local park, Martin realizes more eye-opening truths about his new lover and the pack of strange wolves he runs with than he'd ever before thought possible.
TDD: What made you start writing fiction?
AB: I’ve been writing poetry for years, but then in 2000 I stalled due to personal reasons. After several months of being unable to write poetry, I complained bitterly to my mother about it (as usual!) and she told me to stop feeling sorry for myself and just to write prose instead. Brutal but it worked. I’ve been writing fiction ever since, and the poetry came back too in the end. Phew!
TDD: How often do you write?
AB: I try to write something every day, even if I’ve only got time for a poem or a haiku. I also try to continue whatever short story is on the go during half my week, and then the other half is spend on the current novel. On Sundays, I usually work on my spiritual novel, The Prayer Seeker’s Journa;, which I am blogging here: http://theprayerseeker.blogspot.com.
TDD: Is writing your full time job or do you have another occupation?
AB: From Mondays to Wednesdays I work as an Executive Assistant in the Student Care Services department at my local university (and those are the evenings I tend to devote to short story writing). On Thursdays and Fridays, I spend as much time as I can writing the current novel, and aim to complete about 1000 words per day. I also work as a regular reviewer for Vulpes Libris book reviews – http://vulpeslibris.wordpress.com.
TDD: Is there a certain place you like to write? The beach, the library, a comfy spot on the couch?
AB: In terms of fiction, I always – or almost always! – write on my computer in the spare room. Beyond it, I can see out to the local woods, so that’s always very comforting when things aren’t going smoothly. Occasionally, I’ll write in longhand, but that’s rare. For poetry, I always write it out on paper first and then transfer to the computer. I couldn’t ever write poetry directly to the screen – I don’t know why but the very thought makes me go all peculiar!
TDD: What's your least favorite part of the writing process?
AB: Struggling with where a novel/story section is going – I hate it when the ideas dry up or when a scene just isn’t working out. I start to panic, thinking I’ll never solve it, but my husband is always very calming and supportive which is great. These days, I tend to leave it for a bit and write another scene or another story entirely, and when I come back to the one that was causing the problems, it doesn’t seem so bad.
TDD: Do you have any works-in-progress you'd like to tell the readers about?
AB: Yes, at the moment, I’m writing the third book of my ongoing fantasy trilogy, The Executioner’s Cane, and I’m about one-third through. The first of the series, The Gifting, has been accepted for publication by Bluewood Publishing in New Zealand, so I’m thrilled about that. I’m also writing a lesbian erotic short story, Butterfly Girl, which is in the very early stages but I think I’ve got the ending in mind now, so that’s a relief. Alongside all this, the ongoing prayer novel continues, as does the poetry. So I’m keeping busy!
TDD: Do you have anything else you'd like to tell the readers? (Contact info, upcoming books, exclusive website content, etc.)
AB: Thanks very much for the interview – the questions have really made me think. I can be contacted via my website at http://www.annebrooke.com which has a contact page and where all information on me and my writing can be found. I also blog regularly at: http://annebrooke.blogspot.com. Upcoming books are:
Angels and Airheads (gay fantasy short story) on 12 June at Torquere Press.
Martin and the Wolf (gay fantasy short story) on 13 June at Amber Allure Press.
The Boilerman and the Bride (romantic short story with erotic content) on 4 July at Amber Quill Press.
Tuluscan Six and the Time Circle (gay fantasy short story) on 18 July at Amber Allure Press.
Plus Cheyenne Publishing will bring out the new edition of A Dangerous Man in the autumn.
Many thanks for reading!
Thanks again for joining us, Anne! I wish you great success with your books.