We’re delighted to welcome another first-time guest to our Saturday Spotlight. Annie Burrows writes regency novels for Harlequin Mills & Boon and has sold a staggering half a million plus books in 21 different countries since 2007. Impressive! As writers just starting our careers, we were keen to know more. Over to Annie …
When Jessica put out a request for any authors who’d like to do a guest post for the Write Romantics Saturday Spotlight, I emailed, “Yes please! Me, me, me!” Well, you see, my eighteenth book comes out in September, so this is a great opportunity to do a little bit of promotion for it.
Problem is, I didn’t have a clue what to write about. I’ve spent an awful lot of my summer holiday sitting on the beach racking my brains over what I could write for this one – before eventually deciding to just own up.
I am officially RUBBISH at blogging.
I don’t mind doing the ones where someone sends you a list of questions to answer. Because the questions are all about me, (the one subject on which I’m actually an expert.) Though I always feel rather sorry for whoever then gets to read the results. What have I got to say that every other single writer who’s answered those same questions hasn’t already put?
Q – Why do you write?
A – Because I can’t stop.
Q – Where so you get your inspiration?
A – I have a head full of characters doing far more interesting things than ever happen to me in real life.
(You must have read dozens of blogs just like that.)
So – although those blog posts are easy for me to do, I always suspect they make for dreadfully tedious reading. Which makes me a bit uncomfortable. The last thing I want to do is bore my readers.
So on the whole I prefer to have a stab at the type of blogs where someone like Jessica gives me carte blanche. “Write whatever you like!”
Trouble is – what I like writing is fiction. I’m a story-teller, not a blogger. When it comes to writing snappy little articles designed to show you all what a scintillating person I am, and thus tempt you to sample my book, I’m never sure quite where to start.
Should I talk about a bit of research I did? Unfortunately, I am hampered by the fact I write historical romance. I can’t say, like someone who writes contemporary romance, that I’ve just come back from a walking trip up the Alps where I went to get flavour for my next Swiss-set romance, featuring a financier and a mountain rescue worker can I? I can’t physically visit the Regency era.
And how interesting would you be in hearing how many hours I spent scouring etymological dictionaries trying to make sure my hero could “make a run for it” in 1815 (yes, he could, since it has been used as a term for taking flight since the 1640’s), or browsing the website of Westminster Abbey to see which poets had already got monuments that Regency sightseers could have seen?
And I don’t think anyone would be fascinated by an account of my writing life. I sit down in my chair. And I write. That’s it. That’s pretty much my writing day (apart from coffee breaks timed to coincide with pop-master on Radio 2, Let’s do Lunch with Gino and Mel, and Countdown.)
I don’t even have any fascinating hobbies. When I’m not writing, I read what everyone else is writing. (Though I have taken to borrowing a dog on Mondays to make me go out for a walk as I’m a bit worried I’m going to turn into blancmange if I don’t get a bit of exercise.
But lack of inspiration isn’t my biggest problem when it comes to blogging. No. It’s my mother. She was terribly strict about good manners. And one of the worst offences I could commit was to “swank”. So basically, I find it very hard to push myself forward, or blow my own trumpet.
Which is what this type of promotional blog should be about. Whatever content I create, I always have that nagging feeling that what I’m really trying to say is “buy my book”. Which makes me cringe. And yet I do want you to buy it. Because I think a lot of you will enjoy it. If you like Regency set romances with a hero who has never wanted to get married suddenly finding he has no choice, and a heroine who would rather hide behind a potted palm than get whisked out onto the dance floor and into his chaotic lifestyle, you should find Lord Havelock’s List a fun book to read.
Oh, and if you’d like a chance to get your hands on a free copy, I’m doing a giveaway on Goodreads from 2nd to 16th August. You can find out more here.
Thanks for joining us Annie. We wish you continued success.
Jessica on behalf of The Write Romantics