Since about the age of 4, I have always had my nose buried in a book. I never thought about writing a book, however, until the summer I worked on our military base (my dad was stationed in England). There was little work for me to do, and my boss didn’t want the colonel to come in and see their “summer hire” teen with nothing to do. So he gave me the gigantic IBM Selectric typewriter and a stack of paper so I could write letters to my friends (we’re talking 1984, folks). This got boring after awhile, and I started thinking about an English pirate in love with a French governess, during the French Revolution. I don’t know how this story popped into my mind, but it overtook me until I had to write it down. I wrote 3 chapters that first day, and completed a 100,000 word novel by the end of the summer. I was almost 17 years old.
Before long, I completed two more novels before I graduated high school, and then two more in college. At first, I kept my writing to myself – embarrassed that people would ask how I dared presume to write novels! Only my family and close friends knew. Later, when I was 23, I joined the NJ chapter of RWA and made my first pitch to a genuine editor. After that, I gained the confidence to tell people I’d written six romance novels and was actively seeking publication.
Marriage and kids followed, and I stopped writing for a number of years. About three years ago, I realized I missed writing. I dusted off TAME THE WILD WIND and joined the Tampa chapter of RWA. About a year later, I contracted that book with The Wild Rose Press. Finally, from those early beginnings of sending hand-typed manuscripts with handwritten cover letters, I am proud to call myself a published romance author.
I don’t know where my ideas come from. Songs and movies and other books, most likely, but sometimes, a word or phrase, or even a pair of dark, handsome, haunting eyes will fill my head until a story forms. I recently finished a contemporary romance and am awaiting a (hopefully, positive!) response from a large publisher. I can’t seem to stick to one genre, either. My first seven novels are historical, and I have other works in progress that run from erotica novellas to steamy paranormals, with lots of romance, entanglements, and intrigues. I’ve watched the romance market bloom from a handful of large houses in New York to e-pubs and other publishing possibilities available to authors now that were only a dream when I was a kid. The constant changes and wide open market make it possible for an author to write every story she wants, instead of sticking to a formulaic story for one publisher.
My dream and goal is to write romance fulltime. I try to balance that goal with working a day job and raising two beautiful children (yes, they’re brats, too – and don’t know how to put an empty candy wrapper in the garbage!), along with being married to the coolest man I know. Seriously, he has “hero hands” – you know what I mean – big, strong, wide hands that never sweat, are always warm, and hold our family together. We live on Florida’s Gulf Coast next to a nature preserve, and I’ve recently heard that two pirate graves were discovered not far from our house, dating back to the 1700s. Hmm…pirate ghosts lurking about in my backyard? Sounds like a great story to me.
I always enjoy sharing ideas, thoughts, and dreams with aspiring or published writers, or just people who like to talk! You can write me at Anna_Small34667@yahoo.com or visit my website, www.annasmallbooks.com. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment! I appreciate it.
Anna has generously offered to award one free download of her book (pdf) and one paperback to two lucky commenters. Please include your email with your comment (using AT, DOT, and spaces to fool the trolls). Anna will pick one name for each prize and pass it on to me and I will post the names of the winners.
Anna Small, author of TAME THE WILD WIND, a western historical now available from www.thewildrosepress.com, amazon.com, or barnesandnoble.com
Spirited Cassie Gibson journeys west to the New Mexico ranch she inherited from her father. She is dismayed to find a hard-edged, blue-eyed stranger already staking a claim to her land. Since neither of them has any money to fight in court, they are forced to become reluctant partners.
On the run for a crime he didn't commit, Jed Hazard only wants a quiet life. But Cassie's arrival changes everything.
Anna Small can be found hanging out at www.annasmallbooks.com and www.annasmallbooks.blogspot.com