Wednesday, April 22, 2009
IMHO welcomes romantic suspense author Anna Louise Lucia!
IMHO is pleased to welcome fellow Medallion Press author Anna Louise Lucia to the “Coffee, Chocolate & Romance” gift basket party. Anna writes romantic suspense set in exotic locales, and is herself a resident of the very romantic English Lake District (and yes, she does have a creamy English complexion and a charming accent). With castles, mountains, stone circles, ancient woodlands, Roman roads, high moors, mirrored lakes and sweet, clear rivers on her doorstep, it’s hardly surprising that landscapes play an important part in Anna’s books. Her debut romantic suspense, RUN AMONG THORNS, featured an intriguingly dangerous interrogator into mind games who meets his match in “ordinary” Jenny Waring—a woman who turns out not to be so ordinary after all. Anna’s second release, DANGEROUS LIES, tells the story of first-time tourist Marianne Forster, who's seemingly simple Moroccan holiday romance with mysterious Alan Waring becomes a deadly game of kidnapping, death and secrets ruthless men will kill to keep. DANGEROUS LIES will be out in June 2009.
Anna will put a signed copy of RUN AMONG THORNS in our April gift basket. As she is in England and in a different time zone from most of my readers, her comments to your posts may be somewhat delayed. Never fear, she will respond to comments as soon as she can.
IMHO: Welcome to IMHO, Anna. Please tell us about the book we almost didn’t read.
ALL: Thank you, TJ. Let me tell you a secret about RUN AMONG THORNS.
I didn't get it right first time.
RUN AMONG THORNS is my debut release, a heart-pumping romantic suspense awarded 4 ½ stars by Romantic Times Magazine, with a dark, ruthless hero and the subtly strong heroine who helps him reclaim his conscience. Romantic Times called it, "excellent... and all round compelling escape" which was very kind of them, but they might not have been so complimentary had they read the first version of the tale...
You see (I'm blushing here) that first version had a really awful ending. I know my strengths: people have told me I write great emotion, good action and strong, evocative settings. But the original ending was a talking heads scene in a generic setting – an underground car park in the US. Bland, obvious... not playing to my strengths.
So I rewrote it. (I also rewrote the middle and added a sub-plot, but that's another story!) I moved my characters across the Atlantic to the remote, atmospheric, uncompromising Northumberland Coast in England. A place of bitter winds, island castles, long, empty beaches and the shrill scream of sea birds skimming the angry waves. A place I knew well.
And I used it as more than a place, too. By this time I knew Kier McAllister, the hero, very well indeed. I knew he was the type of man to use anything at his disposal – even the landscape – as a tool and a weapon. And I knew that compassionate, caring Jenny Waring was also tough and strong, and had a uncompromising sense of good and evil you could break rocks on.
So I brought the evil – and the unexpected good – to them, in a setting they could use. I suppose you'd call the ending you read now, between the gorgeously designed covers of my Medallion Press book, something of a Director's Cut.
I certainly love it. And I hope those who read it love it, too.
IMHO: I’m sure they will, Anna. And my bet is RUN AMONG THORNS' Kier McAllister is destined to become a classic “anti-hero” over whom readers will take sides for a long time to come. Thanks for sharing your story!
Folks, leave a comment for Anna and let her know if you love your heroes dangerous or safe? Be sure to leave comments for our other guests this month as well to increase your chance of winning the gift basket filled with signed books by Carrie Lofty, Madeline Hunter, Anna Louise Lucia, Emily Bryan, and yours truly, TJ Bennett, as well as a $25 gift card to See’s Candy and a one-pound bag of coffee beans to get your buzz on.
And be sure to come back next Wednesday, April 29, for our final guest this month, Emily Bryan, author of light-hearted historical romance.