Jen: Please help me give a warm welcome to Anna Sullivan as she stops by Romancing the Book today. Anna, will you share a short bio with us?
Anna: Anna Sullivan was born and raised in southeastern Michigan, the seventh of nine children. There was a lot of noise, frequent disorder and a fair bit of commotion in her early life. Anna escaped by going through the looking glass, over the rainbow, or beyond the back of the wardrobe.
As years passed, she grew up, got married and had three children. Needless to say, there was a lot of noise, frequent disorder and a fair bit of commotion. When her darlings were in bed for the night, she escaped into words again, this time ones she wrote herself. After all, how difficult could it be to string together enough of them to fill an entire book? Pretty difficult, as it turns out. But she kept at it, and eventually sold her first book.
Her children are starting their own lives now. Anna misses the noise, disorder and commotion, so it’s handy that she can recreate those times, and the happy endings that go along with them. She hopes you’ll escape into one of her worlds and spend an enjoyable, and quiet, hour or two.
Jen: Please tell us about your newest release and where the idea came from.
Anna: My latest release is Secret Harbor, the last in the Windfall Island trilogy. Secret Harbor tells the story of Paige Walker and Alec Barclay, and brings to a close the mystery of who is the missing heir to one of the wealthiest families in America. Paige may be the long, lost Stanhope heir, or she may not be, but first she’ll have to overcome some major obstacles, including a villain bent on murder, before she can hope to find a happy ending.
Jen: What age did you discover writing? Tell us your call story.
Anna: I always loved to read, and I can’t remember a time I didn’t want to write. My heart pounds just remembering it. I was writing historical romances and I kept getting responses that said my tone sounded more contemporary. So, stubborn person that I am, I waved that off and kept writing historical romances. Finally I decided to try my hand at a contemporary because maybe all those editors and agents were onto something. At the time a brand new line of short contemporaries was just starting, and here I was with a short contemporary manuscript. I mailed it on Friday and they called on the following Thursday and bought the story. So it took me 8 years and 4 days to get published.
Jen: Are you a plotter or pantser?
Anna: I start off with a plot and usually end up pantsing it because my characters won’t cooperate with my game plan.
Jen: Do you have a writing routine?
Anna: Butt in chair, computer on, write, even if it’s bad. You can’t edit a blank page.
Jen: Who are some of your favorite authors?
Anna: JD Robb, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Carolyn Haines, Stephen Donaldson, I could go on, but those are the ones that come readily to mind. What are you reading now? I’m re-reading the Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters. If you’ve never read Peters’ work, you should. She’s witty and dry and funny, and wordy but she manages to keep you on the edge of your seat.
Jen: How do you come up with characters names?
Anna: Funny as it sounds, I get out my baby book name and read until I hit a name that “feels” like the character. I kind of know what I was looking for after I find it.
Jen: What’s next for you?
Anna: I’m working on a couple of stories at the moment, which is what I always do when I finish a project. At some point, I get drawn into one story and one set of characters, and I have to finish telling their story. The nice part is that the other projects are still waiting in the wings for me to get to them.