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Monday, June 13, 2011

Welcome Author Anita Clenney - Giveaway Today

Anita Clenney grew up an avid reader, devouring Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books before moving on to mysteries and romance. After working as a secretary, a Realtor, teacher’s assistant, booking agent for Aztec Fire Dancers, and a brief stint in a pickle factory (picture Lucy and Ethel--lasted half a day)…she realized she'd missed the fork in the road that led to her destiny. Now she spends her days writing mysteries and paranormal romantic suspense  about Secret Warriors, Ancient Evil and Destined Love. Anita lives in suburban Virginia, outside Washington DC, with her husband and two kids. You can learn more about her writing at www.anitaclenney.com

1.      Where do you hail from?

I was born in Grundy, Virginia, a coal-mining town in the southwest part of the state.

What do you love most about your hometown?

Family and memories. 

2.      As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be madly, passionately in love. Seriously. That was my dream. I wish I could change that now, or at enlarge upon the dream a bit.

How has that childhood dream affected your current career?

I think my love of reading and my love of love led me to be a romance writer. Actually, I think of my writing as paranormal romantic suspense because there is a lot of mystery and suspense along with the adventure and romance.

3.      What do you do for fun?

I love to spend time with my family. We love curling up on the couch and watching movies when we’re not running around for sports events. Personally, for me time, I love reading and I love treasure-hunting for bargains, otherwise known as shopping.

4.      How has your environment/ upbringing colored your writing?

We didn’t have a lot of money and we lived in rural areas, so I find I prefer writing, and reading, stories set in rural areas or small towns. I’m not a big city gal, even though I lived in Washington, DC for a while.
5.      Tell us about your latest book.  

Awaken the Highland Warrior is the first in a series about a secret clan of warriors put in place by Michael the Archangel to protect humans from demons disguised among them. Faelan is the most powerful warrior of his time, but when he’s sent to lock up the demon who has hatched a plot to destroy the world, Faelan gets locked in a time vault that won’t open for 150 years. Along comes a quirky historian who feels more like Indiana Jones because of her love of hidden treasure, in history, in print, and in loot. She finds a treasure map that leads to a crypt. The last thing she expects when she opens this elaborate, antique chamber is to find a Scottish warrior who comes leaping out at her, armed with a dagger.

Do you have anything new in the works and can you tell us a bit about it?

The second book, Embrace the Highland Warrior will be out in November, but is available for pre-order now. The third book, Unleash the Highland Warrior will be out Fall 2012. Here are blurbs on each.

When the powerful demon that left Shay for dead discovers her empty grave, he comes seeking retribution, believing she possesses an ancient book he has sought for centuries. Knowing she can’t fight the demon alone, Shay returns to her clan and the Scottish Warrior who betrayed her…the only man she’s ever loved, where she discovers that betrayal isn’t always what it seems. Sometimes it’s far 



A talisman belonging to Tavis Connor’s brother is the only weapon powerful enough to kill the demon hell-bent on stealing the clan’s Book of Battles so he can destroy the world. But the talisman has been locked in a time vault with Tavis’s brother and won’t open for 150 years. In desperation, the Scottish warrior breaks the clan’s sacred rules and uses another time vault to travel forward so he can protect the book and rescue his brother, or if he’s dead, finish his quest. But when Tavis finally wakes in modern-day New York, he discovers he’s the one in need of help. Anna MacKinley has been searching for her clan’s Book of Battles which has been missing for 150 years, but instead she finds a warrior with no memories who claims he’s come to save the world.

6.      How did you come up with the title for your book(s)?

Originally, I called it Time Warrior, then I changed it to Awaken the Warrior, because essentially, that’s what has to happen. The warrior has to awaken. The publisher added “highlander.”

7.      Have you ever used contemporary events or stories “ripped from the headlines” in your work?

I haven’t, but there are some good ones out there. Truth is stranger than fiction. In fact, I blogged about that once.
8.      How much of your work is real? How much is fantasy?
There is some truth to the story. I think there is evil and good at work in the world, and I do believe in angels and demons, but I’ve really “enhanced” things, so that this is a work of fiction.
9.      Is there anything you find particularly challenging about writing?

Finding the time. It’s hard with a family, kids and their constant need to be at sporting events.
10.  What advice would you give to writers just starting out?

Learn everything you possible can about writing, but don’t compare your journey to others. Writing isn’t one size fits all. It’s very different for each writer. So much depends on luck and timing.
11.  Do you ever suffer from writer's block? If so, what do you do about it?

I don’t know if it’s writer’s block, but sometimes I find myself forgetting how to write. It’s as if I can’t remember how to string words together to make a story, but the minute I read a paragraph in a book, it all comes flooding back to me.

12.  Who is your favorite author and why? What books have most influenced your life?

There are so many great writers, but one of my absolute favorites is Diana Gabaldon. She’s just an amazing writer. Her Outlander series is brilliant. She can get so much plot out of a story, and her settings are so incredible that you can smell the place. I have trouble with settings. I often don’t have enough and have to put more in.

13.  How did you deal with rejection letters?

My husband was very supportive and kept encouraging me. And when I got truly discouraged, I forgot about being published and just concentrated on why I started writing in the first place. I wanted to write a good story. I decided that I would write a story I loved. If it sold, great, if not, then I still had a wonderful accomplishment.
14.  What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?

A computer and a lot of creativity. The internet offers unlimited possibilities for tips on writing, connecting with other writers, and research.

15.  Where do you as an author draw the line on gory descriptions and/or erotic content?

I write about demons, and while the books are full of mystery and suspense and some paranormal eerieness, they aren’t dark. I don’t do really graphic gore. As far as love scenes go, they’re hot, but not erotica.

16.  Do you ever research real events, legends, or myths to get ideas?

I know quite a lot about demons, angels, and Michael the Archangel, so I used the legends and the truth as a basic for this story.

17.  Which is your favorite of the books you have written?

Awaken the Highland Warrior is the first in the series, and so far, I would have to say it’s the book of my heart. I love this story and the characters. The warriors are like friends; big, muscular, gorgeous friends. J I feel as if I know them.

18.  What's the weirdest thing you've ever done in the name of research?

I haven’t done anything really bizarre. I do most of my research online.
19.  Where can we find you on the net?

I’m all over. Here are the links. I love connecting with readers. Sign up for my free newsletter. I’m getting ready to send it out. So many wonderful things have happened since the release of Awaken the Highland Warrior.


Avery Flynn said...

I just love this book. Can't wait for the next one.

Lolarific said...

Great interview! Would love to win this book!

Grace Burrowes said...

Anita, seems like a trip or two to Scotland might be in order in the interests of accurate research--am I right? I loved the book, and hope there are many more to come in the series.

Leanne109 said...

It was great to learn more about you Anita! I would adore to read your book :D

Anita Clenney said...

Thanks Avery. I've got to get this third one written.

Anita Clenney said...

Hi Lolarific! Thanks for stopping by. Good luck!

Anita Clenney said...

Aw Grace. Yes, I think I need a trip to Scotland. Maybe that will be the spark to get this third book done. :)

Anita Clenney said...

Hi Leanne. So glad you stopped by!

Puck said...

I have traveled to Scotland and have several kilts from Inverness.
I have not read any of your work as yet. Would be interested in reading your Highlander book. d.glenjackson@gmail.com

Pintip said...

Great interview, Anita! I really enjoyed reading about your journey.

Liz Lipperman said...

Great interview, you two. having read parts of Awaken the Highland Warrior, I can vouch for it. It's on my list to be read on vacation.

Like the others said, I can't wait for Book 2 to come out.

Anita Clenney said...

Hi Puck. you've been to Scotland and have kilts. How wonderful. I'm envious. I hope to visit someday.

Anita Clenney said...

Hi Liz. Thanks for your kind words.

Anita Clenney said...

Hi Pintip. Thanks for stopping by.

June M. said...

Love highlander books and have seen quite a bit about this one lately. I would love to win a copy of this book. Thanks so much for the interview and for the giveaway.
GFC follower: June M.
manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

Anita Clenney said...

June, I love highlander books myself. Well, I love lots of different kinds of books. I do hope you like this highlander.

Anonymous said...

I have my own autographed copy, so I don't need to be entered into the drawing. :) I've read the first part of this book and am half in love with Faelan already. I can't wait to get some more time with him soon!


Ruby Johnson said...

I would love to read this book. Love the Highlands and a warrior sounds even better

HighlandHussy said...

I really have to grab this one! I keep seeing it around the blogs.

Enjoyed the interview :)

Jena Lang said...

I've heard such great things about this book. I can't wait to read it! Thanks for the giveaway!


Anita Clenney said...

Hi Donna, thanks for stopping by. Glad you're enjoying Faelan. :)

Anita Clenney said...

Hi Ruby. This book has lots of highland warriors. They're great fun.

Anita Clenney said...

Hi Highland Hussy, Faelan and the other warriors are so much fun, I swear they feel like my friends or family. I just love these guys.

Anita Clenney said...

Glad you've heard good things Jena. If you get a copy, hope you like it. Thanks for coming by.

Marilyn said...

I think your comment about deciding to write because you love the process, whether you are published or not, is essential to eventually achieving that goal. The love of the process shows in the writing.


Miranda Grissom said...

That was a fabulous interview!! This series sounds fantastic I love the idea of Time traveling and Faelan having to learn about the new world! Its bound to be an interesting journey especially considering the time in which he's introduced to women are considered equal! I'm excited about this one :)


Donna Hatch said...

This sounds like a fantastic book! I love the premise! This is going on my TBR pile.

Mary Anne Landers said...

Thank you for your post and giveaway, Anita. Got a question for you. What inspired this novel?
Sounds like a wonderful read.

Good luck with "Awaken the Highland Warrior"!