As part of Australian Romance Month, Romance Specialist Haylee Nash will be interviewing one Australian Romance author per day. Much like a beauty pageant, each author will be using their charm, wit and grace (and the power of social media) to take home the Booktopia Romance Bestseller crown. Booktopia invites bestselling Mills & Boon author Annie West to the stage.
1. Describe the perfect date.
Great company, good food, lovely location (I don’t care if it’s a picnic by a river or a cosy French restaurant) and no interruptions. Sigh.
2. Which of your books are you most proud of?
Argh! So hard. Usually it’s the one I’ve just finished. But ‘proud of’ implies something extra. Maybe my first ever sheikh story The Sheikh’s Ransomed Bride. I never thought I could write a sheikh story and more or less wrote it to get my crit partner off my back because she thought I should try it. It was something very new to me and not what I’d imagined writing. I loved it! It’s a reader favourite too so I must have done something right.
3. What is the hardest thing about being a romance author?
Wondering if I’ll ever come up with a story idea and characters I love as much as my last favourite. It’s all dependent on me – no fall back position!
4. What is the best thing about being a romance author?
Being immersed in a world (and not just within the pages of the book I’m writing) that’s about the good things in life. Romance readers are so positive and ready to be pleased by a great story. Romance writers are so supportive. As for the books – I can’t think of anything more positive than a great romance.
5. Who (aside from a significant other) do you swoon over?
Unoriginal I know, but I still get a flutter inside watching Colin Firth as Mr Darcy. But researching swoon-worthy men is my job. I’m always on the lookout (and finding more)!
7. Describe your writing style in three words.
Writing the book is: Excitement. Panic. Relief. The actual content is: Passion. Emotion. Excitement.
8. What is your definition of a good book?
One I just can’t put down because I’m so absorbed in that world. Love it!
9. Which author would you invite to a dinner party and why?
Impossible to choose one. Couldn’t I opt for a dinner party full of authors instead? It would be a hoot of a meal!
10. Finish this sentence: I would do anything for love, but I won’t do_____
…car maintenance. Oil, yes. Petrol and air, yes. Anything else is beyond me.
One of Annie’ West’s earliest memories is of lying tucked up in bed, drowsy after an afternoon’s adventure in the rainforest gully that was her backyard, and listening to her father read The Wind in the Willows. In her teens Annie discovered romance novels and was immediately hooked. After many attempts, getting positive feedback from editors and placings in competitions, A Mistress for the Taking was accepted for publication in December 2005. Now Annie is enjoying living her dream, writing love stories for Harlequin Mills & Boon’s Sexy line.