Today we welcome New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Anita Clenney to the Waterworld Mermaid lagoon. Anita writes mysteries and paranormal romantic suspense about Secret Warriors, Ancient Evil, and Destined Love. Before giving herself over to the writing bug, she worked in a pickle factory, a preschool, booked shows for Aztec Fire Dancers, and has been a secretary, executive assistant, and a real estate agent. She lives with her husband and two children in suburban Virginia.
Please tell us a little about yourself, Anita. I’m a romance junkie. And a shopaholic. And obsessed with something at any given moment.
How long have you been writing and do you recall what originally sparked your interest? I love to read, and one day about six years ago I decided I wanted to write the perfect book for me, one that had everything I liked to read. Of course I had no idea what I was getting into, but I’m glad I took the leap.
Do you have a favorite author or book? If so, what is it that attracts you to the work and how has it influenced you? Diana Gabaldon is one of my favorites. So is Elizabeth Peters, Janet Evanovich, Kristin Higgins, and Harlan Coben, to name a few. I’m not sure what it is about their stories that appeal to me since they’re very different writers. If anyone influenced me, it would probably be Elizabeth Peters. She’s been one of my favorites for more years than I can count. Her characters feel so real and I love the mystery and humor.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing? Reading, hanging out with hubby and kids, and treasure hunting! (Which means shopping for whatever is my latest craze).
Tell us 10 random things about yourself.
I like green.
I once lived in a tree house.
I have way too many candle holders and mirrors.
I live in Virginia.
I didn’t start writing until I was over 40.
I dream about vampires a lot.
I have two white boxers who rule the house.
I love trees.
I’m part Cherokee.
I wish I had more time to read.
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment? I write big, layered plots, and I’ve had a few comments that the story was cluttered. I try to simplify, but it’s hard because I love twists and turns. As far as compliments, it would really be hard to narrow it down to one thing. My readers are the best and make me feel humbled and a bit giddy all the time. One of the most interesting compliments was from a 73 year old reader who said, “Keep writing, girl. I’ll still read even when I’m packed away in my grave.”
What advice would you give an aspiring writer? Figure out the perfect book you would want to read. Then go write it.
How do new stories evolve for you? And what was the inspiration behind your most recent story? My first series started with a terrifying dream and an intriguing idea. I blended the two and the Connor Clan series was born. A conversation with my agent sparked the idea for the relic seekers series, and I’m forever grateful to her because we’ve gotten some big-name movie interest. Even if it doesn’t pan out, I consider myself lucky indeed. And that’s something important to understand in this business. It doesn’t just take talent to succeed. We all know talented writers who should have already sold. It also takes luck.
What can you tell us about the two new books you have coming out? Faelan: A Highland Warrior Brief was just released. It’s a novella and the prequel to Awaken the Highland Warrior. Here’s a blurb: Faelan Connor was the most powerful warrior the clan had known until a demon locked him in a time vault where he slept for 150 years while he waited to save the world and meet his destined mate. You know how his story ends. Now we’ll travel back to the 19th century and experience Faelan’s journey through his eyes. We’ll find out how he became the Mighty Faelan and if it’s possible that he met Bree before she was born. And for the first time, we’ll find out what really happened inside the time vault.
GUARDIANS OF STONE is a brand new series about relic seekers. It will be released in four days! December 4th. This story has castles, curses, catacombs, and ghosts, with a love triangle for flavor. It’s described as Indiana Jones meets Stephanie Plum. A feisty heroine with a sixth sense, and two sexy heroes, a mercenary, and a dark, eccentric billionaire are on a hunt for four powerful relics that could change their lives…and the course of history.
What’s that? Your evil twin stole the car and you can’t get to the bookstore? No problem! To celebrate Anita’s new release we’ll be giving away a signed ARC of Guardians of Stone! All you have to do is leave a comment between now and midnight EST on Sunday, December 2, 2012 to have your name entered in the drawing!
If you are new to Anita Clenney or want a sneak peak here is a quick excerpt from Faelan: A Highland Warrior Brief. Enjoy!“Are you sure you want another?” the owner of the tavern asked. He looked nervous. The villagers didn’t know they were warriors, but the Connors carried a reputation nonetheless.“Aye.” Faelan slammed his whisky glass on the bar. He blinked his eyes and looked at the two tavern girls hovering nearby. “Forget the drink,” he said, his voice slurred. “I’ll take them instead.” The tavern owner looked at the girls, surprised. Faelan and his brothers sometimes came in for a whisky, but they never used the girls. “Maybe I’d best call for your brothers instead.” “No.” Faelan struggled to his feet and walked toward the girls. Both were young. Bonny. Even though neither one had dark hair and green eyes.
One of them licked her red lips. He’d seen her in here before. The other—he didn’t recognize her—looked ready to faint. He took them both upstairs. Something he’d never done before. Two women at once. Bollocks. He’d only had a couple of women in all. The Council didn’t want the warriors consorting, as they called it. It was against the rules. The warriors needed to focus on destroying demons instead. He was tired of demons, and he was tired of rules.
The boldest lass showed him to a room. “I don’t think I can do this, Maggie,” the timid girl said, staring at Faelan with wide eyes.
“Are ye daft? Do ye know who this is?” she asked, as if he couldn’t hear. “If you know what’s good for you, you’ll do just what he wants.” She put a hand underneath his kilt, running her fingers along his thigh. She smiled. “And we might even have a bit of fun.” Maggie pulled him toward the bed. He tripped and fell back, his head as unsteady as his feet. Maggie lifted his kilt. “You see that, Jocelyn? We’re gonna have a fine time.”
Jocelyn paled and ran from the room.
Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans before we wrap things up today? THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. You have made my dreams come true.
Thank you so much for joining us here in the lagoon today. Don’t forget to leave a comment by midnight EST on Sunday, December 2, 2012 to have your name entered in the drawing for the signed ARC of Guardians of Stone!