Thursday, December 14, 2006
Ask Five with...ANNETTE BLAIR..and a giveaway!!
Talk about being published in different genres…and being successful at it! Here is one author who does it. Meet Annette Blair, who started out published in historicals and now also writes contemporary-set stories. She’s been on the national best-seller’s list and is always popular at conferences and booksignings wherever she goes. You can read RRT’s review of THE SCOT , THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE here.
1. What is the title of your latest release and what’s it about?
My latest release, out this month, is THE SCOT, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE. Talk about meeting the man of your dreams ... A Highland Scot with a hidden agenda and a hereditary Pictish Witch in denial discover shared dreams and a century-old spell that could change them forever
This story is about Victoria Cartwright who inherits a key to the family wardrobe that can only be opened by the woman who inherits her ancestor's magic, and will complete the spell on its contents--to reunite a pair of century-old lovers. Denying she has any magic, Vickie is shocked that she opens the wardrobe to find a carousel unicorn and a tarot card that can be interpreted as believing in dreams. Vickie has seen the unicorn before, in her dreams, where she's kissing a kilted stranger.
In Scotland, Rory MacKenzie's been searching for the unicorn, like his ancestors did, because the MacKenzies are pariahs for letting the unicorn slip through their fingers a century before. The villagers believe losing it ruined village prosperity which will be returned when the world-famous Immortal Classic Carousel is complete and working again. It only needs the unicorn.
When Rory sees Vickie on the Antiques Roadshow, she not only has his unicorn, she's the woman he's been dreaming about kissing beside it. Rory goes to Salem Massachusetts to see if it's his family's missing unicorn. A hidden compartment beneath the saddle will prove it's his. And he won't let himself be tricked by the descendent of the witch who bewitched his ancestor into giving her the unicorn in the first place.
2. How do you come up with ideas for your stories?
Story ideas come to me all the time. This one started with my love for the Antiques Roadshow. I wondered what would happen if somebody found an amazing antique that had the power to change their lives. I chose a carousel figure because I'm enchanted with them, and because I had to make it so utterly unique as to be unmistakably Rory's, I made The Immortal Classic a Zodiac Carousel with a different zodiac sign on each horse and on the single unicorn, the sign of Aquarius. I did my research. No such carousel was ever built. I turned my enchantment with antiques and carousels into THE SCOT, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE.
3. What is the hardest part of writing?
I think the hardest part of writing is trying to make people understand that when you're writing, you're working. People call on the phone and think you're free to chat if you tell them you're writing. I sometimes turn my phone off in self defense. Immediate family doesn't understand that if you're fingers are flying over the keys, you're mind is going as fast, and if they interrupt, you can lose your train of thought, and sometimes there's that illusive something that you must, must, must get down before you lose it . . . but they speak, grab your attention . . . and it's gone.
Since I became a full time writer, a few months ago, everyone thinks I have free time to do all kinds of things, which they never would have asked of me to do, when I had an employer to answer to. They've found it difficult to understand that I still have a full time job.
The craft of writing, story creation, is a welcome challenge, a puzzle I build and solve, and it's a joy. I love it. But my family and friends don't have the same respect for my work time that they did when I went to an office everyday, and my secretary answered my phone.
4. What do you do for fun in your spare time?
I go antiquing. :) I collect 19th century glass slippers--yes there's a Cinderella story in there somewhere. I read and spend time with my family.
5. What’s coming up in the near future for you?
My Triplet Witch Trilogy begins in August. Psychic witches with attitude who SPELL identical-triplet trouble in spikes.
The psychic triplets are Victoria Cartwright's half sisters, Harmony, Destiny and Storm. Having been abandoned by her father when she was young, Vickie doesn't know her sisters exist, until they show up on her doorstep. Since Vickie is a witch in denial, and her sisters are free spirits who love their Pictish Witch heritage, they help her to accept her gift. Each triplet has a different psychic gift, one can sense the past as a psychometric; one can sense the present; and one can sense the future. Harmony has the ability to bring peace wherever she goes. And Storm is the Rebel, a Goth, the third twin, unexpected, and to her mind, unwanted. Destiny is the Pollyanna with a hidden strength she'll need.
The triplets' stories are: SEX AND THE PSYCHIC WITCH, August 2007, WHAT A WITCH WANTS, 2008, and THE LADY IS A WITCH, 2008
Thank you, Annette, for chatting with us at the RRT Blog!
To learn more about Annette and her stories, visit her website at www.annetteblair.com.
As a special treat, Annette is giving away a copy of her book, MY FAVORITE WITCH to a lucky blog poster.
Post away! Winner will be drawn Sunday night after 9pm eastern time.