Romancing September author Annie Acorn (Day 10)

It’s Day 10 of our Romancing September Across the World Tour and today we meet Annie Acorn, one half of writing duo Charlotte Kent, yesterday we met her writing partner Juliette Hill. Check out Annie’s views on romance writing in today’s society later on Stephanie’s blog.

Annie Acorn authorLet’s get to know Annie a little more; (Please note that some of Annie’s answers have been scaled down in keeping with my blog style, but I’m sure Annie will still appreciate your time spent reading her replies, as I do)

1) Hi Annie, yesterday we met one half of the writing name Charlotte Kent, today we are welcoming you to the blog, please tell everyone how you came to join with Juliette to form Charlotte Kent.

On January 10, 2013, she and I were discussing how best to organize her efforts during the coming year, and I suggested she attempt a romance series. In the end, we decided to collaborate.

2) “A Man for Susan” is the second book in the “Captain’s Point” series, how many books are planned for the series?

The simple answer to this question is who knows?

As I was working on A Clue for Adrianna, text for other books in the series kept coming to me, we titled Love’s Surprise and I Love You, Baby!

3) In this book Adrianna sets out to find a man for her friend, that’s quite a controversial issue, how long did it take for you both to agree the plot?

Two seconds.

Frankly, we didn’t have much choice in the matter.  Adrianna had set her mind on doing so, it was completely in line with her character, and way down deep inside, Susan wanted a man for herself anyway.  It appeared to be win/win/win, so we went with it.

4) When you share writing a book do each of you have a special role?

Yes, but I would point out that when you’re doing a series the way we are, it morphs.

5) I’m glad you have worked humour into you book.  I like a book that makes me laugh.  Many people find writing humour extremely hard, does it come easy to you both? Or are you like a pair of comediennes where one of you is the straight man?

Over the years, I have developed a fair reputation as a humourist, although it is not something that I actively intended to do.  In fact, I was not aware that there was a fair amount of humour in A Clue for Adrianna until I read the whole book from start to finish, once the writing was completed.  In point of fact, the chapter where Adrianna digs up the bottle that contains locks of hair is quite funny, and I surprised myself by laughing out loud when I reread it.

Juliette claims she has no sense of humour at all, but I disagree.

6) How steamy is the romance in this book? What age range have you marketed the book at?

Captain’s Point Stories is not an erotic series.  Having said that, though, with the advent of A Man for Susan, we now have a young, married couple who are certainly going to be spending a good bit of their honeymoon in bed.

We are marketing the series as General Adult.

7) Have you heard of the new marketing bracket for books N/A (New Adult) do you think there was a need for it?

The problem with new marketing brackets is that they tend to be devised by authors and the reality is that book sellers, such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and iTunes, don’t tend to offer the categories as choices to those of us who are uploading content on their sites.

8) You’ve published your books through your own company “Annie Acorn Publishing” do you specialize in certain genres?

We currently have offerings available from a number of authors in the romance, mystery, nonfiction (health, weight loss and finance), anthology, children’s literature and Christian genres, although it is not our intention to limit ourselves to just these.

9) You’re a very busy woman, how long did it take to write and then edit “A Man for Susan”? Could you advise a working time ratio for writers from starting writing to publication?

Now, this is a trick question.  (Not at all! I was hoping you could give some general advice to writers who are starting out)

Any committed author can write a full-length book.  You simply state that you will write a set amount of forward words per day on the manuscript and follow through on this commitment until you have completed the story.  The trick is for the story to say something that will capture readers’ imaginations.

From my perspective, there are three things that contribute heavily to success in this area:

1).  Write about both what you know and are passionate about

2).  Edit well, and

3).  Always, always, always listen to your characters.

I will add two more pieces of advice; One, the minute you begin to write your character’s dialogue for them, you have killed your character.  Two, you write with your heart and your gut.  You edit with your mind.

10) Can you tell fans the title of the next book in the series and its estimated publication date?

Juliette and I are both confident at this point that Love’s Journey will be the third full-length volume in the Captain’s Point Stories series.  The writing on this book is about half finished.  We anticipate publication will occur sometime this fall.  The cover has already been designed and approved.

I will give your readers a sneak preview by confirming that, yes, Kate Sinclair will return to Captain’s Point and will be the centre of the new storyline.  The man she is pursuing?  Now, that would be telling.  Suffice it to say that it is someone readers of A Clue for Adrianna and A Man for Susan will have already met.

A-Man-for-Susan-Final-16x25Thank you Annie. Readers can check out “A Man For Susan” here at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Romancing September Author Juliette Hill (Day 9)

Welcome to Day 9 of Romancing September Across The World Tour. Today we meet Juliette Hill, one half of writing duo Charlotte Kent, we’ll be meeting her writing partner on Tuesday. Don’t forget to stop by Stephanie’s blog later and catch up with Juliette’s views on writing romance in today’s society.

Juliette Hill

Let’s find out more about Juliette;

1) You are one half of the writing name of Charlotte Kent is that correct?

Yes, absolutely!  Back in January, my indie publisher and editor, Annie Acorn and I were discussing future writing projects for 2013.  She mentioned that I should think about starting a romance series.  We have always taken note that our writing styles are very similar and to make a long story short we put our heads together and decided to embark upon a new collaborative project of a contemporary romantic women’s fiction series under the new pseudonym of Charlotte Kent! And the rest is history as they say.

2) Can you tell us where your hometown is?

I live in Frederick, Maryland, a medium-sized town with a quaint and historic downtown area, about 35 miles north of Washington, D.C.  I was born in Washington, D.C. and raised and lived most of my adult life in Bethesda, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, so I have visited the eastern shore of Maryland where the Captain’s Point Stories series is placed many times.

3) How long have you been writing?

I have loved to write all my life, but I have been seriously writing as a full-time profession for the last two years, thankfully with the guidance and support of Annie Acorn Publishing LLC.

4) How does writing with a partner work?

Writing with Annie Acorn as a partner on the Charlotte Kent Captain’s Point Stories series has been an amazing experience.  Our partnership has worked so well! I really attribute that to the fact that our styles are so similar, and we literally think alike in many respects when it comes to our total vision for the series and what we want to accomplish.  We have defined roles when starting one of our novels, but the lines soon become blurred as each of our creative and literary energies feeds off the other.  Right now, Annie has been mastering the role of head writer, and I of copy editor with the added responsibility for writing several sub-plots and relationship storylines.  I also spearhead all of the public relations/marketing efforts for the series.  We tend to fill in roles as needed for each other, which allows us to maintain a very open, fluid and creative partnership.

5) “A Clue for Adrianna” is the first book in the “Captain’s Point Stories” Series. What was the inspiration behind the books?

Living in Maryland, one of our state’s classic vacation spots is our Eastern Shore.  Many resorts are located along the banks of the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean coastline.  These areas are picturesque and full of history.  When thinking of writing a contemporary romantic series, naturally we gravitated to the Eastern Shore as our setting.  A Clue for Adrianna was the brain child of my partner, Annie Acorn, who had had a clear picture in her head of a young, modern contemporary woman coming to an American small town that still held on to an old-fashioned style and way of life, allowing her and a cast of diverse, complex characters to bring progress and positive change to create a thriving modern community.  The inspiration behind the series was also to work in a little bit of mystery and a little bit of humour and contemporary issues in all the books.

6) It is a mystery romance, which takes off at the reading of a will with a mystery clue, can you tell us what that clue was?

The story does take off at the reading of the will of Adrianna’s Great-aunt Martha who has tasked her with fulfilling some unusual requirements before she can rightfully claim her inheritance under the strange terms of the will.  The only clue she is given to achieve these is a cryptic letter from her great-aunt.  You’ll just have to read to book to find out exactly what it was and follow Adrianna’s search for the answer which leads her to many interesting discoveries along the way.

7) What or where is Captain’s Point?

Captain’s Point is a fictional town that we created.  Located on Maryland’s Eastern Shore along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, it is positioned where the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay meet, so it is a picturesque setting with ocean views and access to water.  Our town is full of historic Victorian homes and rich farmland, with a quaint downtown area that is comprised of interesting shops and restaurants along the thriving waterfront.  We have also incorporated many cultural elements such as art and music to complement the environment.

8) Reviewers have loved the descriptive narrative saying they can really picture the places being described, how easy is it to get the descriptions right?

Annie and I both love creating this fictional town and describing in detail the unique aspects of the old historic homes that we have placed in Captain’s Point.  Set against the backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean, we really wanted the reader to be able to place themselves in each residence or business with as vivid and specific a description as possible.  It was pure joy creating the environments of Captain’s Point.  Our goal was to place the reader there as much as possible and invest them in the characters, so that they would never want to leave such a wonderful world.  So far, the feedback that we’ve received indicates we’ve been successful in our endeavours.

9) What was the hardest part of the writing of this book to get right?

For me, the hardest part of writing A Clue for Adrianna was to make sure that our main character could renew old relationships and create new ones, while at the same time finding her way in a distinct cultural environment, deciphering her great-aunt’s clue and tending to the everyday needs of the decaying physical environment for which she suddenly found herself responsible.  Basically, the hardest part was to create a contemporary romance incorporating the demands of modern times with vestiges of the past.

10) Tomorrow we are going to meet the other half of Charlotte Kent, so do you mind if I ask you about a writing group that you helped found called “From Women’s Pens”? What is it all about?

The group “From Women’s Pens” was established by Annie Acorn to bring a group of talented women writers together in promotion of their work, with the first publication being an anthology or collection of holiday stories, Annie Acorn’s 2011 Christmas Treasury. This year’s Anthology will be the third the group has published.  We also support each other’s marketing endeavours by tweeting out new releases and participating in blog tours within the group.

A-Clue-for-Adrianna_revised2 (1)Find “A Clue For Adrianna” here on Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Thank you Juliette, tomorrow we meet the other writing half of Charlotte Kent, come back and meet Annie Acorn.