It occurred to me that I have a lot of fabulous friends who are published, so I thought it’d be fun to chat books and writing with some of them. Our first guest is Anneka Walker, a hybrid-published author. Currently she’s focusing on writing Regency-era romances (think Jane Austen). So without further ado, here’s Anneka.
Hey! I’m Anneka (Ann-eh-kah…yes that’s Ann with an E just like Anne of Green Gable except with a cough at the end). My parents named me after Darth Vader. Okay, they had no idea I’d marry a man with the last name Walker. I’m just super lucky.
I am first and foremost a romantic. I have a strong belief that there can never be too many love stories, because love is such an integral part of our existence and purpose on this earth. My family is my life! I have five kids ages 12-3. Motherhood fulfills me like nothing else does even though it’s a constant challenge. My husband works hard to support me…whether it’s in building me the playhouse I dreamed up for my kids, or in listening to me read ten different versions of every first chapter I write. Love in Disguise is my debut novel and I am thrilled for the opportunity to talk about it!
Love in Disguise is a story of whirlwind courtship which leads to an even more complex engagement. William tests different women to see which one will fit best into his lifestyle. He picks the one girl who despises him—Marion. She is hoping to marry quickly because of her mother’s health and is desperate enough to give William a chance. But while love becomes an unexpected factor, there are plenty of obstacles keeping them apart. The wedding date is set, but both are left to wonder if there will actually be a ceremony.
Love in Disguise is your debut novel with a traditional publisher but you have some self-pubbed books too. Why did you decide to go with the hybrid approach?
Anneka: I spent years agonizing over which route of publishing would fit me best. I read so many opinions that pulled me back and forth between the two. It came down to my goals. I wanted to reach readers searching for clean, uplifting books. Covenant was a publisher I could trust with my material and with my covers. It was a perfect match!
Self-publishing allows me to put out more stories a year than would otherwise be possible. I use it to get my name out to hopefully help me market my traditional books. I also write across genres, so I know I’ll face this decision again when I’m ready to publish my fantasy books. That being said, I’ve only dipped my toes in both industries. I have so much to learn!
What does your “typical” writing routine look like?
My writing routine used to be naptime and bedtime like most young author moms. However, I’ve entered a new life phase of no naps and sports in the evening. Thank goodness for summer! I start my day with morning jobs (both for me and the kids), then an outing with my children, lunch, write while my kids fight or play with friends in the afternoon (words are typed frantically and sporadically), then stop for dinner. Occasionally, I sneak in some evening time. But come fall, all that will go out the window. I home school one of my children and will be teaching in a preschool co-op along with many other responsibilities. I’m a Christian writer so I believe if I do all the things the Lord asks of me first, then I will have time for myself. Doing things in this order has blessed me to writer better and faster over the years. Those little snippets of time end up being the most productive!
Do you have a favorite writing resource? (Either craft or historical)
The internet is my favorite resource! There are so many Austen fanatics and their research blogs are fantastic.
- British listed buildings for manor houses.
- Nancy Mayer at http://www.regencyresearcher.com/ for titles.
- Save the Cat for plot structure.
- What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens knew (great for overall Regency and Victorian research)
What advice would you give a beginning writer?
Believe in yourself. Don’t overthink all the do’s and don’ts and write what you love. Then do all you can to learn your craft to tighten the beautiful story you created. Writing a book is a huge accomplishment and someone out there is going to love it as much as you do. I can’t say enough for writing groups, whether it’s critique groups or Facebook groups. People are so generous with their knowledge. Don’t reinvent the wheel! Drafting is a solitary exercise but being an author doesn’t have to be and shouldn’t.
What’s next for you?
I hope to learn as much as I can and keep writing! That might seem like an obvious goal, but it’s still a choice I have to make on tough days. I have a couple projects in the works with my publisher that I am really, really excited about. One I submitted the end of June and the other I’m two-thirds the way in. In the meantime, I have a short story releasing soon in an ANWA anthology. It’s a contemporary rom-com set in the Blue Mountains of Oregon. I might have laughed out loud while writing it, because I am that weird. I also have two novellas for my Regency Ever After series in the works. I have one of the covers already and the sassy girl on front is so perfect for my Lady Mary Contrary. I can’t wait to share it with the world!