Hanging out in online writing groups has one amazing benefit. I’ve met so many talented writers who are, like me, just getting off the ground. On the second Sunday of every month, I’m going to let you meet one of these hidden gems.
Anna W Aden lives in the UK. She also blogs and writes under the pseudonym Biggaletta “Bigga” Day. She is a self-confessed cakeaholic who loves a bargain in the sales, discovering London’s open green spaces, the occasional music concert, and libraries.
And once in awhile she catches up on reality and youtube shows. You can find her blog at https://applesandpeanuts.wordpress.com
We chatted by email, much as I would have loved to fly across the pond and visit her in real life. Here are the questions I asked and her fun answers.
DLH. Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?
AWA. Yes, I let stories stew for much longer, especially when I’m new to a genre. So my first two romance novels are still stewing. The first because it didn’t feel like a romance so I thought I needed to start with something new. The second is complete but I’ve had other commitments so hopefully, I will start editing soon.
DLH. I always find the story improves when I let it sit. Tell us about your writing process and the way you brainstorm story ideas.
AWA. It’s a bit all over the place. I get ideas from newspapers, people’s conversations, magazines articles – anywhere. However, to shape the idea into a story, I’d probably write a short blurb to give an outline or at least what I think the story should be about.
Then I start writing, sometimes in the heat of writing, I’d forget the outline or it gets lost. Or I might get distracted by an interesting development and follow that idea. With novels, I need to know the end first. I’ve learned not to start one without at least an inkling. An interesting blog article on endings by author Bren Kyveli on www.thepolkadotcoffeecup.com or Happy Authors Group blog explains why.
Once I’ve finished the rough draft, I’ll read it and if it feels out of sync or boring, I’ll align it to some storytelling structure to make sure the plot points are in the right-ish place. I’m not obsessed about storytelling structures in case it gets too formulaic, but if well done, they can help sustain a reader’s interest.
Saying that, I do make sure it has at least an inciting moment and three acts – it doesn’t need to show or be transparent to the reader but I need to know in terms of pacing.
DLH. I know I need to work on that pacing thing more in my writing. Now, dark, gritty Romance is becoming increasingly popular. Why do you think that is?
I think because readers want a rush of excitement and an element of danger. Also before ebooks, most people may have felt shy and judged for reading such stories.
You can imagine going to the supermarket checkout with a book with a bare-chested man with ripped muscles, sitting on a motorbike with a graphic title. Lo and behold, it doesn’t scan and the sixteen-year-old checkout assistant picks it up, waves it in the air for the whole supermarket to see, and yells, ‘Hey Billy, could find the price for Billionaire Sex Games? I’m not sure, it’s either romance or adult section.’
However, it’s much easier to download and read in private. Also, society has changed and people are much more open about their reading tastes. I still think it’s the thrill and adventure of reading something dark and gritty that makes the genre attractive.
DLH. Is being a writer a gift or a curse?
As a romance writer, I consider it a gift. I hope when people read my book, they can escape to a different world, been entertained and feel a sense of satisfaction and happiness at the ending. Romance is about love, and what can be better than writing about love?
DLH. Well put. Do you prefer to write series or stand-alone novels?
For romance, I prefer writing stand-alone novels but lately, I’ve branched out to writing a series where the characters are loosely interlinked. I tend to think in threes or fours.
One is based on three brothers, another on three girlfriends, and last three male best friends. That is the goal…I just realized I’ve counted nine novels. Whew! That sounds ambitious, I’ll just have to see!
With that, Anna got back to work and so I wrote up our notes. Do watch for her fiction to be out in the next year or so. Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Thursday.