It is my pleasure to welcome back author, Anna Faversham, who first appeared on my website in 2015. Anna has kindly agreed to bring us up to date with her latest writing.
Anna would you please introduce yourself to new readers and tell us about your latest books.
I’ve lived most of my life in Kent, England, although I spent some time in New Zealand and Zambia.
New Zealand is memorable not only for the outstanding scenery but also for the exceptional people I met there who taught me so much about hospitality and self-sufficiency. This came in handy for when I moved to Africa and found that if I didn’t grow the food myself, there wasn’t much to eat.
Life in Africa has made me appreciate so much here in England and I take nothing for granted any more. I also find I can exist very cheaply!
When did you write your first book and how did it come about?
In my daily newspaper there was an article about how to write a book in a year. A year seemed quite a long time so I thought I’d have a go. A couple of characters were kicking around in my head, and an idea of where to dump them began to take shape. Growing up by the sea, I’d always been fascinated by the smugglers’ caves I’d visited, and so I made one character on the side of the law and the other a smuggler. As the weekly articles moved on, I found I couldn’t keep up. But the information I gleaned kicked me into gear and off I went. Slowly. Like a learner driver. Seven years later, I published the eBook One Dark Night. And in the meantime, I’d also written Hide in Time (Time Travel Romance) and published that one first.
Do you always write in the same genre or do you mix it up?
If I were pursuing fame and fortune it would be wise to find a popular genre and stick to it – so I’m told. However, the characters and plots that sit impatiently in the queue in my head aren’t at all interested in following a business plan.
I started with Time Travel Romance (with a touch of mystery). Next came my Dark Moon trilogy – Historical Romance is the overall genre but the three books contain crime, mystery, adventure, and a whole lot more (just like life). I hadn’t intended to write thrillers, but reviewers have described the trilogy like that.
The one I haven’t yet started will be completely different and all I can tell you is that one guy is in for some shocks. I’ll have difficulty, as usual, slotting it into one genre.
Would you like to give us a short excerpt from one of your books?
In this excerpt from Hide in Time, Xandra (from Alexandra) has just left the twenty-first century and found herself in the nineteenth. She has no memory of how she arrived on a deserted clifftop and her mind still thinks in twenty-first century ways.
A distant noise caught her attention. A racecourse. She was near a racecourse. The unmistakable pounding of hooves was coming her way. She picked up her bag, and the hem of her skirt and leapt over spiky tussocks, ditches, scattered lumps of chalk – until she reached a muddy track. Thundering towards her was a coach and four horses.
“Whoa, there,” barked the man with a whip flailing perilously close to the scarlet-liveried man standing guard at the back. “Whoo, whoo.” He brought the horses to a halt and bellowed, “Get out of the way, woman. Are you weak in the mind!”
“Great flumpleducks, girl; what are you doing here?” A woman, wearing a long, grey skirt, brown shawl tied around her shoulders and a white mobcap, stepped down from the coach onto the track.
Instinctively, Xandra put her hand to her head and felt her own cap with the lacy scarf still tied around it. If she could have answered, she would have, but she wasn’t at all sure what she was doing here.
The horses restlessly pawed the ground and tossed their heads. “Get her out of the way. We’re already late,” called the driver.
“You mind your manners. You’re charging a king’s ransom to take us to Canterbury tonight, so you just…”
“What is it, Martha? What causes the delay?” A man in clerical garb alighted from the coach. To say he was amply proportioned would do his physique insufficient justice. He approached Xandra. “Are you in distress?”
Xandra looked down at her wet, sandy shoes and the hem of her dress which hung damp, heavy and close around her ankles.
“Flollops! Of course she’s in distress. Can’t you see she’s all wet and weak?”
Parson Emmanuel Raffles looked both annoyed and abashed. “Martha, you are to be my kitchen maid, not my mouthpiece.” He sighed and muttered, “God forbid.” Drawing in his breath, he boomed, “Return to the coach immediately.” Waiting to see that she did so, he turned to Xandra and, in a concerned tone, said, “You do indeed appear to be in need of assistance. May I offer you the limited comforts of this…” he sniffed loudly and raised his eyebrows, “coach. We are bound for Canterbury but you may not wish to go that far, of course. This being a mail coach, we cannot deviate from our route.”
Xandra responded in a similar vein. “Thank you, sir, I should be most grateful.”
Who is your favourite character and why?
Some of my readers like Parson Raffles best because he’s accidentally funny, fond of his food and very, very wise. Others go for Daniel. I had planned to kill Daniel (ouch!) but found I couldn’t because I started to fall in love with him, oh yes, he’s gorgeous. Some like Lieutenant Karl Thorsen – a man of action, upright, a world-changer, and he’s from Viking stock – yes, I like that kind of man too. Some readers like Lucy; she’s someone who needs a good man to keep her out of trouble (in which she always finds herself). Me? I like all of the above. Perhaps my favourite though is the maid, Martha. Like me, she often cannot think of the right word and so she invents some. She has tried to be more sophisticated but fails. And I like her like that.
What is the best marketing tip you have received?
I think staying in Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing Select has been the best advice I’ve received. It provides a number of ways to market a book. One day I shall probably need to look further afield but it is a tried and tested way to bring a book in front of eyes that browse.
How would you describe yourself?
I steer clear of attempting anything like that. I find that very few people know the real me. Those who do are much treasured.
If you could holiday anywhere in the world, where would you choose and why?
New Zealand, Australia, east and west coasts of the US and Canada (I like the sea!), oh flollops, I can’t really choose just one. Oh yes, I’d like to see the pyramids – aren’t they amazing?
What is the biggest factor for you when selecting a book to read?
Do you have your own website?
Yes, and I can be contacted through it. However, it is very out-of-date at the moment – I must do something about that. www.annafaversham.com
Are you working on a new book at the moment?
My head is. I’m currently working on getting my eBooks into paperback versions. My head has written the first chapter of my new book and I have made copious notes. I’m finding it very hard to wait. It’s very much like expecting a baby and I can’t say much until I know how it turns out.
Do you have any events or book promotions coming up that you would like to tell us about?
I plan to make the first book in my trilogy, One Dark Night, free for a few days at the end of June. I haven’t made any of my books free for about five years, so this is a rare event, which I hope many of you will enjoy. However, none are very expensive anyway… J
Thank you, Rita, for this opportunity to chat and exercise my overworked brain.