Thursday, January 28, 2016
An Interview with Annette Blair
By: Pamela James
MM: Annette, give us the backstory on your writing career?
I began writing in 1989 and received more than my share of rejections. Eventually I won a number of writing contests. I finaled for RWA’s Golden Heart in 1996, 1997 & 1998 with the books that would become Unmistakable Rogue, Sea Scoundrel & Jacob’s Return. I made my first sale, three books to Kate Duffy, Kensington, on June 23rd, 1998 at 1:10 in the afternoon. Kensington went on to buy the four books in my Rogues Club Series before I sold Kitchen Witch to Penguin Random House. They also published my Accidental Witches, Psychic Triplet Witches, Works Like Magick Novels, and the series that put me on the NY Times List, my Vintage Magic Mysteries.
MM: Tell us about your writing schedule and your favorite place to write?
That has varied over the years, but recently we played musical rooms, and my office is now huge. My new bookcases have glass doors to protect my antiquarian research books, purchased on research trips to England and Scotland.
MM: Do you ever re-read your favorite books?
Books of my own, you mean? Once, I read Jacob’s Return. I loved it, I might add. But most of the time, I can’t read my own work without editing, so I don’t put myself through that torture.
If you meant to ask if I ever re-read my favorite books by other authors, yes. Mostly by Jane Austin, Charlotte Bronte, and Mary Balogh. Mary’s Christmas novellas always get me into the Christmas spirit.
MM: They say it takes a village to write and publish a book. Who is in your village?
Rhode Island Romance Writers, every member, past and present. A small group of writers who are always there for each other. They are my sisters from other mothers. We wrote Sisters of Spirit together.
MM: Annette, dead or alive what five authors would you like to sit down to a meal with and what would the menu be? What would you like to know? What would you tell them?
Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Julian Fellowes, J.K. Rowling, Agatha Christie. I think I would go with a British tea, so we could spend less time on food and more time with talk. Of course I would gush about their work, but I would try to learn all I could about their processes.
ps: I share a birthday with Agatha Christie.
MM: Tell us about your latest book/s?
My most recent release is THREE DAYSON A TRAIN
I am currently bringing life to a Bewitching Romantic Comedy Series called Wild Celtic Roots. The four are titled: Relatively Charmed, Sounds of Silence, Restless Daydreams, and Tempting Destiny.
MM: What would your characters tell us about you?
That I might be a little bit psychic. Maybe I channel some of my stories. That I have to be in love with my characters and their stories to write them. That I fear there will never be enough time to write all the stories inside me.
MM: I always like your book covers. Tell us about them and who gets the credit?
The credit for my new, absolutely gorgeous Amish and Regency historical book covers goes to Dar Albert, WickedSmart Designs. She’s amazing. You can see them at annetteblair.com
MM: Now for a few fun questions. What is your favorite meal, dessert, song, binge tv shows, movies and place to vacation?
I LOVE Kentucky Fried Chicken, though I rarely give in. I do give in to Mexican food every chance I get.
Tiramisu is my favorite dessert. Allie’s Maple-Frosted Donuts, too, but unless you’re from Rhode Island, you’ve probably never heard of them.
My favorite song is old but I melt when I hear Thee, I Love from the movie Friendly Persuasion. (Dating myself, but the lyrics gave me the idea for Jacob’s Return, one of my favorite Amish Historical Romances.)
I can really binge on Ghost Whisperer. I would also binge on Downton Abbey and Outlander, if I could.
A few Favorite Comfort Movies: French Kiss, Love Actually, Practical Magic, Sense and Sensibility, Jane Eyre, Pride & Prejudice w/Colin Firth.
Vacation Spots: England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Hawaii, Amish Country USA.
MM: What 2016 writing plans do you have and what are you personally looking forward to in 2016?
I hope to release the Wild Celtic Roots Series in 2016. Personally, more than anything, I am looking forward to every member of my family being mobile and healthy in 2016.
MM: Leave us with an Annette quote or a quote by one of your characters?
I love: "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone." ~ Neale Donald Walsch
My favorite: Don’t sweat the small stuff. (I don’t know who said it first.)
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