Liza Malloy, you are Anna’s winner! She will be in touch.
I love spotlighting my fellow Indiana authors and Anna Hague definitely qualifies! Anna spends part of her days in the writing cave creating her own spin on love stories. The other part of her days, she is a freelance sports reporter crafting stories about a variety of athletic events including high school, college, and professional level sports.
She’s had the fiction bug her whole life, but in 2015 decided, “It’s now or never.” In November of 2016, her contemporary novel Captured Hearts debuted. Anna reads all sorts of love stories, and she writes the same way. She has published the contemporary romance Heart Series and published the first book in a new paranormal series titled Thunderstruck. Anna lives in Central Indiana with her husband, three parrots, and two dogs.
Her motto: Creating different paths to love because different is the only way I know.
The stage is yours, Anna!
Thanks, Nan! I think I’m fairly safe to say all authors go through some sort of process to get from blank page to finished story. Just like my life though, I’m pretty random when it comes to writing. I might a have a loosely formed thought turn into a plot. I’ve had an interaction turn into a story conflict or a scene. Sometimes a setting gives me inspiration, or a character pops into my mind and has a story written for him or her.
My most recent release, Boy and the Family Plan is part of an author shared world series. Fifteen of us wrote a novella with the setting of Bear Creek, Colorado, and something about the story had to involve the USA Music Festival and mention a group called the Whisky Barrels.
Since I’d been on a writing hiatus for over a year due to health reasons, I believed if I were given a deadline, my drive and focus to write would return. By trade, I’ve been a reporter for over two decades so deadlines set by others mean something to me. Deadlines I set are pointless. When I was accepted to the All American Boy Series, I knew this was my door waiting for me to turn the knob.
Okay, great. I had setting, a few pertinent details to work with, and vague storyline in my head. Characters, I needed characters. The other little pitfall was this is a new adult series meaning the characters are usually eighteen to late twenties. You can stretch to thirty, but anything over that is a different category. Full disclosure. I’m so far removed from my twenties, the rock songs from high school my parents thought were inappropriate are now played on B105.7 in Indianapolis, a station who begins playing Christmas music beginning the day after Thanksgiving.
I went the easy route by making Lily a reporter. I already know her mindset at that age. However, the guy, well, he was difficult. I asked my husband, but somehow the answer turned into what it was like building a power plant from the ground up. He’s an engineer. He can’t help himself. So, Devin became who I believed he might be at age twenty five.
As I’m writing, Lily had become a good friend. We were a lot alike. In fact, after a few chapters, I realized Lily was me at that age with dreams, a plan, a little bit selfish in her plan, and had yet to be dealt any big blows in life. She has a big heart and a smart mouth which I know when she’s my age, her mouth will smarter and smarter, but she’ll still have a big heart.
Devin was a problem though. He didn’t seem to have any substance at first. If you don’t love your characters, how are your readers going to love them? Something had to happen because up until the story begins, Devin’s only responsibility was to show up to work. He had a group of friends he hung out with. They drank beer and went out with the women visiting their tourist town. He was sweet but a little shallow. Life had dealt him a blow he wasn’t prepared to deal with, and who he truly was didn’t show up until one moment in the story. This is when I fell in love with Devin Hilderbrand.
She fought to regain her composure relying on her experiences dealing with angry sources to keep herself calm and focused on the task at hand—which was not to give in to her overwhelming craving to kiss him. “What I said was if I were to kiss you. Not that I was going to.”
“So this keeping my caveman instincts under contr…” A blood curdling scream coming from above had Devin racing up the steps two at a time. At first stunned by the horrific sound, Lily then followed and found him cradling a sobbing Natalie in his arms.
“I want my mom. I want my mom,” Natalie cried in muffled words into Devin’s chest.
“I know you do, Baby. I know,” Devin said as he rubbed her back. “I miss your mom too. I miss her so much.”
Lily’s heart shattered as she watched him trying to comfort the little girl. How awful to lose a mother at such a young age. She noticed Heather was awake and motionless on her side as she watched them. The little girl’s face showed little emotion except for a tear escaping from the corner of her eye.
When Devin’s gaze caught Lily’s, she mouthed to him “I’m gonna go.”
He nodded and whispered words Lily couldn’t hear into Natalie’s ear.
When Devin didn’t try and stop Lily from leaving, I knew he was growing up. He was taking the responsibility of being a father seriously. The girls’ needs were more important than a kiss from the woman standing in the doorway.
From then on, I loved this guy, and I loved them as a couple figuring out a relationship that wasn’t just the two of them. Their story became so much easier to write, and being back at my desk writing with words flowing felt amazing.
Boy and the Family Plan is a departure for me. My current projects are shifter romances and couples who are a little older, but this story got me writing again. I am grateful for Lily and Devin. Lily reintroduced me to my younger self and Devin, well, I knew there had to be a hero in there somewhere.
If you would like a chance to win an e-book copy of Boy and the Family Plan, leave a comment, and I’ll pick one winner. If you want to read the novella, it’s only $.99 on Amazon.