**AUTHOR PEEK** Interview with Author, ANNA BRENTWOOD
Before we get started talking about your writing, tell us a little about yourself, where you’re from, what you do for a living (if you’re not a fulltime writer) what hobbies you have, etc. Whatever you’d like to share.
I am originally from the West Philadelphia suburbs & the accent stuck even though I relocated to Southern California after college. I was an artist, illustrator and graphic artist and later worked in publications, education and business management until switching gears to writing and jewelry design upon moving to Oregon in 1995. I love to read, shop, do yoga, walk and keep in touch with friends. Currently, I work two days a week for Washington County and the rest of the time I juggle home, family, writing and promotions.
1. How did you get started writing?
As a child I wrote stories and poetry and later as an adult took evening classes in creative writing but the series of dreams I had that later motivated me to write The Songbird With Sapphire Eyes was what turned a hobby into a passionate desire to write professionally.
2. What genre(s) do you write in and why?
My first book is historical women’s fiction with romantic and literary elements. The why is because I have always loved reading history, romance and biography and I wanted to create a cross-genre story that combined all of these elements in a unique way.
3. What is your favorite part of writing?
When story and character start appearing to me, when I start writing and sometimes it just flows and when I am actually finished and ready to move to the next stage of the process. I also have enjoyed the experience of being a published author, bonding with other authors, meeting readers and getting positive feedback- that kind of support really means a lot and makes all the hard work worthwhile.
4. What is your least favorite part of writing?
Selling and having to hawk my wares.
5. Where do you get the ideas for your stories?
As a creative person, I always have too many thoughts and ideas and that is not necessarily all good, but when an idea hits me over the head like a lead balloon and keeps pounding at me relentlessly I pay attention. In the case of Hannah’s story, which is the basis for ‘The Songbird With Sapphire Eyes’, it was more of a mystery and definitely something I could not let go of until I explored it fully.
6. What is it that makes your writing different from all the others in your genre?
I don’t pick my stories, they pick me and when they do, I immerse myself in the characters, their story and history to the point of obsession. Not weird obsession as I function normally in my regular life, but the process is such that I have to allow it to fully unfold and remain creative. I am a stickler for research and populate my stories with real life events and people. Early in my career, as an artist, I chose a commercial path to combine art and making a living but lost the spontaneity and enjoyment I’d felt when art was pure so with writing, I don’t want to do that.
7. Are you an avid reader? When you do read someone else’s writing, what is your favorite genre?
Yes, I adore reading and books! I always have a book and a digital story on both my kindle and nook at any one time. I will read almost anything but prefer reading suspense, paranormal, mystery and romance.
8. Tell us about your next book & when is it being published?
My next book will be a sequel to ‘The Songbird With Sapphire Eyes’ and will take readers on a journey through the 1940’s with Johnny Gallo’s son, wartime hero, playboy and New York mobster, Anthony Gallo. I hope to have it available early 2014.
Links to Anna Brentwood’s website, blog, books, etc.
I love to hear from readers and appreciate all your positive reviews. You may contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or through my website at www.annabrentwood.com. Please like me at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Anna-Brentwood/447346295303805?ref=hl
Or add me on Twitter @annabrentwood and Facebook.com/annabrentwood.
BE SURE TO COME BACK to read more about Anna and her historical women’s fiction novel, THE SONGBIRD WITH SAPPHIRE EYES, on Wednesday’s Karen’s Killer Book Bench!
**SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Anna will give away a copy of her book, some flapper beads, and a chocolate cigar to one lucky reader!! Comment on either her Monday Interview and/or Wednesday’s Karen’s Killer Book Bench blogs for a chance to win. Winner will be randomly selected and announced Monday, February 18, 2013. Thanks, Anna, for sharing your stories with us!