Let’s welcome Anne Ashby from New Zealand to the Corner today. Oh, and Anne is giving away a PDF of her latest, LEATH’S LEGACY to one lucky commenter.
Kia Ora, Barbara, thank you for having me as your guest. I have to say I am in awe of historical writers. I love history, but I could never do such in depth research as is necessary for your writing.
Please tell us a little about LEATH’S LEGACY.
After years of financial struggle Leath Robson and her brother are ecstatic when they’re willed a property in northern New Zealand. It gives them some much needed/highly sought after security. But who was this old lady who’d left them so much? Leath struggles with guilt when discovering their benefactor had spent her last years in a nursing home.
Kirk Buchanan had left the family farm years ago to make his fortune. Summoned home he’s devastated to find his father suffering from Alzheimers. Hearing his dad likes to visit his childhood home, Kirk resolves to buy the place to ensure his safety. It’s not much but he has to do something.
Unfortunately the property has new owners who keep refusing his generous offers. He must have his father’s birthplace. Obviously a more personal approach is called for.
A terrific premise. What other books have you published?
I’m lucky to have had five books published before LEATH’S LEGACY- all with The Wild Rose Press: WORLDS APART, DEVON’S DREAM, TIME TO BURY THE PAST, WILDERNESS LIAISON, THE CEO GETS HER MAN.
Goodness you’ve been busy. Congratulations. What draws you to this genre?
Ahh a hard question. To be honest, I’m not sure. My reading taste is strictly clean/sweet contemporary. I don’t believe I’m a prude – I spent over 20 years serving in the then male dominated world of the Navy. I doubt being prudish would have allowed me to survive. My modern, red blooded characters do indulge in sexual encounters, I just allow my readers to imagine that intimacy any way they choose. I don’t feel writing “clean” impacts at all on my ability to spin a yarn. I do believe it is actually more difficult writing a clean story as descriptions implying emotional/sexual tension can take a lot of thought.
Absolutely understandable. What’s your next project?
You can read the first chapter of my next story at the end of “Leath’s Legacy”. It’s called “Worlds Collide” and will take readers back to my first book, “Worlds Apart.”
In my current work, I return to Riversleigh (based on my childhood home town with a very similar name) where a large portion of “The CEO Gets Her Man” is set. While I don’t think I want to get into writing series, I do like the idea of having previous books’ characters pop into another story. I reckon it is entirely plausible when you are using a small town area as a setting that people would interact.
Paper the walls of your writing space with your rejections – each one is an indication of your commitment, hard work and determination. Don’t be despondent. Proudly acknowledge them as part of your journey.
I absolutely agree. We should celebrate each step in our writing journey, even the “No thanks.” How do your stories come to you at first – through characters, setting, story line?
I have to say all three beginnings have happened to me. With my first story “Worlds Apart” it was the setting. Our family had recently shifted to Maryland for two years, and we were surprised how many cultural/language differences movies and television had not prepared us for. What a great idea for added external conflict. “Devon’s Dream” is a secret baby story. I love those, but wanted to add a bit of age to the baby. In “Time to Bury the Past” it was definitely the heroine’s character that started my imagination running. I had read an article written by an abused woman and was astounded at her positive attitude.
There is no apparent trigger. It’s just at some weird and wonderful times an idea will slam dunk into my head. And often whatever I’m doing hasn’t encouraged the idea. I could be watching a rugby match and suddenly get an idea for a story set in the middle of the bush.
Any special places you like to write?
I write in an office dedicated to me and my writing – probably because I made sure I got first dibs on the space when we first shifted into the house. The door is open or closed, usually depending on whether my youngest (20) is at home or work. It tends to be shut if he’s home, his music/tv/video game noises drive me crazy even from three rooms away. I always work on a PC and find laptop keyboards a pain to use. I’m not sure why. I always assumed the keys of a laptop were smaller but I actually measured their size as I’m writing this, and my laptop has larger keys. I’ve never been tempted to write in bed, or in the car while waiting for kids, or out on the patio on a summer’s day. I guess buried deep inside me somewhere is this notion, my office is my workspace, that’s where I do my work. I do take a notebook whenever I go on holiday in case I have some momentous ideas, and would always use it to make enough bullet points to jog my memory when I get back to my office.
I can’t write in lots of different situations, either, Anne. Too distracting, for sure. Thanks so much for being here today. And best of luck with Leath’s Legacy.
I look forward to responding to comments, but because of the time differences between wherever readers might be and New Zealand, my responses may come at what appears to be odd hours.
Just drop by when you can, Anne. Merry Christmas!
Find LEATH’S LEGACY:
The Wild Rose Press: http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=index&manufacturers_id=679
Anne Ashby grew up in a very small coastal town in Southland, New Zealand. An eagerness to travel, fostered by her mother, led her to join the Royal NZ Navy where she enjoyed a very satisfying career. She has travelled extensively and lived in Singapore and Maryland USA. Anne likes to bring something of her beautiful country to romance readers by using New Zealand as the setting for most of her clean/sweet contemporary stories. If not set in NZ, Anne has kiwi characters filling her books. Anne has a keen interest in genealogy, an obsession for rugby and a definite dislike of housework. When not reading or writing, she finds plenty to occupy her time with family commitments and her role as National President of the Royal NZ Navalwomen's Association. She lives in Auckland with her husband and one of their four children. She's blessed to have her four grandchildren living close.