Thursday, December 17, 2015

Interview with Anna Belfrage (plus giveaway)

I am thrilled to have Anna Belfrage visit JustOneMoreChapter today.

It was great to meet you in Denver at HNS2015. Do you attend these types of conferences often?
I enjoy attending the HNS conferences as they allow me to interact with people as crazy about HF as I am plus there are always ample opportunities to expand my knowledge. Other than the HNS Conferences, I've attended a couple of Writer's Conferences.

I get the impression that you enjoy traveling, what's your favorite destination? Do you visit places that you write about?
I travel a lot with my job, which gives me the opportunity to visit very different places on this world of ours. My favourite destination is a tough one: I think I'll say London -:and Istanbul. Yes I do visit places I write about. Sometimes, it's the other way around, I visit somewhere and that inspires me to write.

Is that how Kit and Adam came to be? 

No. They came to be as a consequence of a picture of a very old mirror - I could just about make out the features of the young redhaired woman in the dull reflection . Plus I have always wanted to write about Roger Mortimer. 

So lets talk about Kit and Adam. Totally different setting and time period from Alex and Matt, how hard was it to switch gears away from a couple you obviously bonded with and start over again?

Very difficult. But also a bit of a life-saver, as I was feeling very low after finishing the eighth book in The Graham Saga. Fortunately, Adam and Kit are very different to Alex and Matthew, as are the times they live in, thereby offering a "clean break" of sorts. Of sorts, mind you, because Matthew and Alex do have more stuff to tell me... 

Really!? Do tell (if you can) 

Nope. Not yet. Let's just say Matthew threw a marvellous tantrum, and that just had me hurrying back to 1692 to see why he was so aggravated. 

That Matthew does have a temper, can't wait to see how Alex handles him. 

Adeptly. But then, my leading ladies are quite good at managing their men. Kit is far more subtle about it, and in view of her being a 14th century lady, she is also very aware of the fact that in some matters her husband's word is final. 

Yes a 14th century lady after the strong willed Alex would have been a totally different character sketch. 

So what the average day like for you, you are writing full time correct? 

At present, yes I am - but I don't think that will be the case going forward. Being a writer full time is a bit...lonely? Plus conversations become very one-sided. I talk to Rufus, my dog, he rarely responds...Anyway: I try to get up relatively early, then I spend some time doing social media before either plunging into my writing or my research. I also try to read a lot - I think reading broadly is crucial for all writers. I take breaks: long walks with the dog, visits to my Mum, a lot of time spent on spoiling youngest son with a series of home-cooked meals...But all in all, I probably do 8-10 hour days. 

How much research do you do before the writing begins or do you research as you go along? Have you been to places in this series? 

I would say I do a lot of historical non-fiction reading all the time. I'm not always aware of researching as I research, if you see what I mean, but I always attempt to have a good grip on the period as far as political events go - plus including stuff like food and clothes - prior to writing. As I launch into my first draft, I often discover thgings I'll need to research further, but I usually do that after the draft is completed (but prior to putting it in the "curing cupboard" for a couple of months) 

Ok gotta ask, what's the 'curing cupboard'? 

You know, you set stuff to cure or age... if you want, you can use storage instead.

So after they spend all that time in the cupboard do you encounter any attention seekers, those that wanted more limelight then you originally planned on giving them? 

No. I find a lot of excessive speech tags, plot twists that need to be tweaked, and several mantles that have ended up as mantels...

What do you do while they are in cupboard? 
 Btw I am picturing narrow cupboard, like an ancient pizza oven that you side your book in, slap the dust off your hands and walk away muttering 'where's the wine?'

More or less. While the drafts are in the cupboard, I generally throw myself at a new draft - or start working on one that has been sitting for some time in the dark.

If I recall correctly the Graham Saga was only to be 3 books long but grew to 8 (so far). This new series is set for 4 books, what are the chances of it taking on a life of its own also and growing?
Originally - but that is ages ago - yes, The Graham Saga was to be 3 books. This new series has a somewhat more definite ending point due to real historical events - but it has already grown from 3 to 4 books. I don't think it will expand further, but one never knows... 

Well thanks so much for taking the time to chat, it was a pleasure.


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away 2 eBooks and 1 paperback! To enter, see the GLEAM form—–>

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– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on December 22nd. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open internationally.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.


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