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.



Pam P said...

This sounds great. I love an antihero and enjoy watching them battle themselves when they discover they do have a conscience after all. That setting makes for an intriguing plot.

Anna Louise Lucia said...

Ahhh, thanks Pam P! I absolutely adored writing that battle with Kier's conscience. Poor guy doesn't quite know what to do with one when Jenny first digs it out, dusts it off, and insists he live with it again.

Too much fun! :-D

Margay Leah Justice said...

I do believe that dangerous heroes are more fun to read - and to write - but safe heroes have their merits, too. I'm torn.

Keena Kincaid said...

I love anti-heroes. They are so much fun to write, and it's such a challenge to get their relationship with the heroine right because you're walking the line between predator and protector.

Anna Louise Lucia said...

You're right, Margay, there's fun to be had with both. Perhaps the best combination is a dangerous hero who learns to be a little bit safer... but not too much! Thanks for popping by. :-)

Definitely, Keena! I have to say I collected a rejection that said Kier didn't work because he was 'morally ambiguous' (and actually, that editor was bang on - for her imprint) and another that said the book 'was not nearly rought and tough enough'. Looks like there were at least two editors for whom the fine line didn't work out! :-)

housemouse88 said...

I have a tendency to go for the more dangerous hero in my reading. However, every now and then I do like a safe one to pop up. Have a great day.

jcp said...

I like my heros safe

Liz Lipperman said...

There's something about a controversial hero that gets me every time. 4 and 1/2 stars is fantastic. Congrats, Anna.

BTW, NINE is a great number!

JeanMP said...

I like my heroes dangerous. There is that edge to them, you just don't know what they are going to do

tetewa said...

My favorite heroes are the bad dark ones. They usually have some secret you find out about later on in the read.

Anna Louise Lucia said...

Variety is the spice of life, eh, housemouse? :-D Thanks for commenting!

Wall, jcp, I can understand that, too. I'm currently writing a third book with Gareth Lacy, an ex-Navy diver who's the kindest, gentlest, most white-knight hero I've ever written. He's a joy.... :-)

Oh Liz, you sweetie! Yes, nine is a great number - but I was certainly happy with my 4 1/2 stars from RT! I felt like a princess! :-D

Oooh, yes, JeanP, I get that. *nods* I certainly felt like I didn't always know what Kier was going to do in Run Among Thorns!

I think you'd like Kier, then, tetewa! I'm not promising you any big secrets - at least, not of Kier's... Alan, however, in Dangerous Lies. He's your man if you want secrets... ;-)

Rhonda said...

Hummm... how about I just say I love Kier! Quirks, dangerous ways and all! Just wanted to pop in and say Hi! I can't wait for Dangerous Lies to come out!

chey said...

I like dangerous heros! And romantic suspense.
Your books sound great

JMB said...

I loved Kier Mc Allister. There is nothing like a dangerous hero who is inherently good though troubled.

Unknown said...

Hi Anna, nice to meet you! Great interview! I love to read debut books because I get to try a new author and you would be a new author to me. I also love reading romanctic suspense so I would love your book. Your books sounds fantastic and I am going to have to put it on my wish list! Thanks for sharing with us today!

Deborah said...

Hi, Anna! I tend to like a dangerous hero with a bit of safe thrown in. ;) Thanks for the great interview! Your book sounds wonderful!

Blythe Gifford said...

Anna Lucia - Just wanted to pop by and say thanks again for your help on northern England pele towers! I will love reading how the landscape affects your story.
p.s. Dangerous heroes. Every time!

Marilyn Brant said...

Thanks, TJ and Anna! I'm definitely in the "dangerous heroes" camp, and if they're running around in the beautiful Lake District, all the better!! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Anna...I'm in the dangerous camp, too. I really enjoyed Run Among Thorns, fantastic title btw, one of my best reads from last on my keeper shelf. I put up a short but sweet review of it over a Amazon about a month ago. Really looking forward to Alan's story.


Anna Louise Lucia said...

Hi Rhonda! GREAT to see you! I just got my author copies of DANGEROUS LIES yesterday, so there's a lot of excitement here at the moment. :-)

Thank you Chey!

Yes, that's what I love, too, JMB! And I love empowering my heroines to uncover that hidden good. :-)

Oh Virginia, thank you! *blushing* I hope you get Run Among Thorns and enjoy it!

Thank you Deborah! It's encouraging to know what I like is what other people like, too! :-)

Oh, hey, Blythe, any time! I feel so priveleged to live in an area where history is so close to the surface. Past peoples fascinate me... thank you!

You know, Marilyn, I still haven't really let a dangerous hero loose in the Lakes... (Kier and Jenny really only pass through). But I know I will someday soon, and have a ball with it!

Margaret, I just popped over to Amazon to check out your review - I'm in awe! Thank you so much. I am SO glad you enjoyed Run Among Thorns. When you first start writing a book, you write it for yourself. But at the end of the day, when it leaves your hands, it becomes the property of readers. And you always, always, hope people will get pleasure from their read.

Everyone, I'm going out of town (which always sounds strange to me, since I live in the middle of nowhere and have to travel to GET to a town...) for a couple of days, but I will check back in on Sat and catch any other comments, if that's okay!

It's been an absolute pleasure to meet readers who enjoyed Kier and Jenny's story, and maybe some who will in the future.


Carol L. said...

Hi Anna,
Thanks for the interview. I love the dangerous heroes. :) so intense and there is always that secret from their past. :)
I definitely look forward to reading Run Among Thorns and Dangerous Lies. Love finding new Authors. Love your name "Anna Lucia".
Carol L.

CrystalGB said...

Hi Anna. Great interview. I love dangerous heroes. They make the story interesting.

TJ Bennett said...

Thanks so much to Anna for stopping in to answer questions for us, and for her wonderful post. And my goal is to have a picture of the gift basket up in the next couple of days.

One more host to come for April--the lovely and talented Emily Bryan will be here on April 29th, so be sure to stop in then. And leave your comments for all of our authors--the more guests' posts you comment on, the more chances to win!


Lynne Marshall said...

Well, I lost track of the days and missed Anna Lucia, but I still wanted to make a comment that her books does indeed sound intriguing. And just for the record, I like my heroes dangerous and daring.

I love the book cover, too.

Congratulations, and I can visualize those long lonely beaches you described.

Best wishes,
Lynne Marshall

Judy said...

Sorry I am late leaving a post but I loved reading Anna Lucia's remarks. I like my heros dangerous and then to develop a concious they didn't know they had.
I can't wait to read her new book.

Lori Brighton said...

I probably prefer dangerous.
Great interview.
I love the Lakes District! It's gorgeous.


Maureen said...

I do enjoy a dangerous hero because you never know what her will do next.

Anna Louise Lucia said...

Just a quick catch up...

Thank you, Carol! I love my name, too - it's my maiden name!

Yes, Crystal, they certainly add some spice to a story, don't they? :-)

And thank YOU, TJ! I've had a ball.

You haven't missed me, Lynne, I'm here, I'm here! *jumping up and down* ;-) Thank you so much, and I think it's time I got back to one of those lonely beaches... Husband and I celebrated our tenth anniversary on one last year.

Thank you Judy!

I'm very, very lucky to live here, Lori! It's beautiful in all weathers. Even if most of those weathers are raining!

Yes, absolutely Maureen. That unpredictability is great to work with.

Emma said...

Hi Anna,
Great interview. I love the dangerous heroes.

Jody F. said...

Oooohhh, I definitely like dangerous. Things are never boring and when a bad boy shows you his good side it makes ya love him even more.

Beth C said...

Hi Anna-
I love Romantic suspense and yours sound really good! I'll be sure to add it to my "buy" list for the next time I'm book shopping! And congratulations on your 4.5 rating from RT!! That's quite an achievment! I know what you mean about first drafts that don't work and having to rethink an ending... glad the new one worked so well!
Take care, Beth Cornelison

LuAnn said...

You know, this isn't an easy question. Most of the time, I like a little danger in my heroes, but in some stories, that doesn't work. That's when the hero needs to be more safe. Because I read such a wide variety of books, I also meet a vast array of personalities between the pages.

cheryl c said...

I enjoy reading stories about both good guys and bad boys. A dangerous hero who becomes a better man makes a compelling story. I bet it is fun to write, too.

Cheeky Girl said...

This sounds like a great book! Good for you that you were able to change your story setting and scenes around wihtout too much trouble.


aromagik said...

I can't possibly choose between dangerous or safe heroes! It would depend on the character, the book, the heroine, the subgenre... :)