I love having guests here on the blog!
Best-selling author, Ann B Harrison has the perfect backdrop for her imagination to run wild, the lush wine growing region of the Hunter Valley in Australia.
She alternates her time between writing small town and western stories and has a passion for second chance romances. She’s often caught staring out the window of her office where her red Ragdoll cat Benson owns the keyboard and demands much of her attention.
When she’s not writing, you’ll find her cooking (she’s fallen in love with her new Thermomix and doesn’t need much encouragement to try new recipes) or walking her dog, Chilli. She often shares these recipes in her weekly newsletter. You can sign up for it here: https://www.annbharrison.net.
Ann and I sat down for a chat. I hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as I did!
N: Have you always wanted to be a writer?
A: No, it never crossed my mind until about 10 years ago when I got an idea in my head for a story. Up until then I was a voracious reader and was happy snuggling down with a book. Now I can’t imagine doing anything else.
N: How do you come up with titles for your indie books?
A: I usually come up with the title before I start writing. I generally have a theme, like names or places or what the core idea of the story is and go with that.
N: When writing a series how do you keep things fresh, for both your readers and also yourself?
A: Wow, that’s a hard one. I tend to drop breadcrumbs about the characters in other books, so hopefully by the time that story is ready to write, I’ve managed to come up with something specific that hasn’t been covered in any of my books before.
N: What was the inspiration for His Valentine’s Wish?
A: I need to have a character to base my hero/heroine on before I start writing. Atticus was always based on Sam Elliot. I love that man and his voice – wow. It blows me away. I could listen to him talk forever! Anyway, back to Atticus, lol. After seeing most of his family get their own HEA, I decided Atticus had to have his. His wife had died suddenly not long after giving birth to twins and he’s spent the last 20 odd years playing dad and making sure everyone was happy. A man that kind and loving had to have a partner eventually, right? Bring in Zoe McGregor, stinging from another failed relationship and job loss. The last thing she wants is to fall in love and fail – again!
N: What do you hope your readers will take away from this book?
A: Second chances are always around the corner, even if you think love has passed you by, be open to whatever the universe throws at you.
N: Tell me about Hope Harbor—is it based on a place you know and love?
A: No. It’s my own little island. I searched for some time to find the perfect place to set it. San Juan Island off Seattle, seemed just what I was looking for. I renamed it Hope Island with the ferry port being Hope Harbor and made it my own little world.
N: What did you edit out of His Valentine’s Wish?
A: Nothing. This was a very clean write. When I got it back from my editor I was very surprised.
N: What was the hardest scene to write?
A: This whole book was a breeze to write. I put that down to having Atticus in my head for so long, I knew exactly where I was going.
N: What are you reading now?
A: I usually have a fiction and non-fiction going at the same time. Story Genius by Lisa Cron. Best plotting book for pantsers I’ve come across. Fiction wise – I’m waiting for Michael Robotham’s new book to come out in a couple of weeks. He’s one of my very favorite suspense writers.
N: What do you like to do when you are not writing?
A: I love to bake. I have a thermomix I borrowed off my daughter and she’s never asked for it back. I absolutely love it! Makes cooking a breeze and so many fabulous recipes to try. If you subscribe to my newsletter https://www.annbharrison.net you’ll get some of my favorites to test out for yourself. Isolation has been bad for my figure!
N: If you had to describe yourself using just three words, what three words would you use?
A: Introvert, nerdy, familyiseverything.
N: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
A: Start writing sooner and never stop learning.
Thanks so much for having me Nan! xxx
Ann’s newest book is His Valentine’s Wish: Atticus Hope lost the love of his life many years ago and hasn’t been too bothered by his single status. Bringing up his children with the help of his sister has kept him busy. Now Gigi has moved on with her life, he’s on his own for the first time in over twenty years.
That is until an old school friend returns to Hope Harbor seeking refuge.
Can Zoe McGregor find a love that works for her on the island or will she do what she always does – jump too fast into a relationship and end up alone again.