Interview with Barbara Edwards, Author of Annie’s Heart

Annie’s Heart, the newest romance novel from my guest, Barbara Edwards, is set in the old west. Having been born and raised in the west myself, I have a soft spot for westerns, and for second-time-around stories. There is something very special about a story in which the heroine and her hero have had their hearts trampled in the past, but are eventually able to let go of that pain in order to make a new and happy life together.

Please welcome my guest, Barbara Edwards . . .

Head and shoulders of author in dark blue floral blouse silver earrings, brown wavy hair.

Thank you, Kathryn for asking me to be your guest. I’m Barbara Edwards and a native New Englander. I’m a graduate of the University of Hartford with a Master’s degree in Public Administration. I write poetry for myself and novels when I need to tell a longer tale. I’m fascinated by the past so naturally turned to writing historical romance. The dark paranormal stories evolve from nightmares. The romance comes from my belief in people’s basic goodness and longing for love.

I lived in Florida for several years and am past president of the Central Florida Romance Writers and a member of Romance Writers of America. When I returned to Connecticut, I founded the Charter Oak Romance Writers, a Chapter of Romance Writers of America, along with several close friends.

My husband is a retired Police Sergeant. We share an interest Civil War re-enacting and travel the Eastern states to participate in events. I love visiting museums, galleries and battle sites, gathering information for my stories.

I taught Romance Writing at Manchester Community college for three years. I’m fond of gardening and growing antique roses with limited success. Most of my exercise is when my Belgian Shepherd, Keeno, demands a walk.

Whew, enough about me. What would you like to know?

Q:   What is your favorite romance genre, and why?

A:   My favorite romance genre is sweet romance. This is a recent decision for me. I do read many books in many genres, but I think that sweet requires a delicate touch to provide the attraction between the hero and heroine that is the reason for the story.

Q:   Do you remember the first romance novel you ever read? What did you like best about it?

A:   I don’t remember the title but it was by Barbara Cartland about an innocent girl and a gypsy. When I read it, I didn’t even know what romance was. I remember it made me smile.

Q:   Is there any romance author you particularly admire, and if so, why?

A:   The list is endless since I find new authors to add on a regular basis. I love Jayne Anne Krentz, J.D. Robb, Linda Howard, —perhaps you can see a pattern? Each writes in several genres and is very productive, both are traits I envy.

Q:   How do you begin thinking about a new story, with the characters or the plot?

A:   Stories appear in my dreams and I hurry to write down the ideas when I wake. Not so easy. Some turn out to be three or more chapters before I stop for breath. At this point, I know how it will end, too.

Q:   Many authors have said that writing the first pages of a new story are the hardest to write. Do you find that to be the case?

A:   Gosh, no. the beginning is the easiest for me. As I mentioned, the idea is full-blown, getting the remainder of the story is much harder.

Q:   Did your latest romance just flow as you wrote, was it a battle to capture in words, or something in between?

A:   Some days flow, most are a struggle to get into the right mind-frame to continue the story. Writing is work, hard work. When I reach my goal for the day, I am really happy.

Q:   When you begin to write, do you know how the story will end, or does that come to you as part of the process?

A:   As I mentioned. I always know how the story will end. When I have those dreams or nightmares that become my stories, I do see the ending, too. It might not make sense to me at the beginning, but I do manage to find the why.

Q:   When you suffer from writer’s block, how do you unblock?

A:   I have no secret weapon. When I’m blocked (and this happens way too often) I try to get enough sleep to feel rested. I sit by water, any water, but the ocean or a moving river work best. Something about the flow appeals to me, maybe my Pisces birthday helps.

Q:   Without spoiling the story for readers, can you share something about your latest romance which is not in the blurb or any available excerpts?

A:   When I wrote Annie’s Heart, I did most of the research at the library. I’d never been to that area of the country. A few years ago, my husband and I drove across country and visited Kansas. To my surprise and pleasure the area matched my research so well I recognized places.

Q:   Do you have scheduled times to write, or just when you are inspired?

A:   Oh how I wish I were just inspired. I must write every day. Early morning works best for me since a good day can go on for hours and thousands of words.

Q:   Do you have a pet who keeps you company while you write? Can you share a favorite story about this furry companion?

A:   I have a dog, a Belgian Malinois. He is the second of the breed that we’ve adopted. Mals are beautiful dogs with a fawn color coat and black markings on the face that make them look like they’re smiling. When my first Mal died of cancer, I was heart-broken and wanted to write a story about her. I wrote Dixie’s Gift, a novella, about the love of a dog for it’s owner. The Wild Rose Press is releasing it this Christmas.

Q:   If you were not a romance author, what other creative activities would you pursue?

A:   I am very creative. Maybe I’d be an actress since I love dressing up to re-enact Civil War events. I paint with acrylics, I knit and crochet, but I can’t picture giving up my writing. It’s too much a reason for my living.

Pale purple cover with an oval frame inside which is a parially open jewel box with a locket hanging out and a pair of gold coins nearby.

Annie’s Heart   Blurb

Kansas, 1872

Only two coins and a gold pendant heart separate widowed ANNIE MOSS from disaster. The fields need to be plowed, the barn repaired and food stored for the winter, but she is alone and afraid. Her dream of a home for her children hangs from the promise of a wandering man to keep moving on, a man she has no reason to trust.

TRACE RANDOLPH has lost everything except his honor, so when a desperate ANNIE saves his life he knows he must pay his debt, even if it means marrying her. The only promise he makes is to leave before the winter snows. A promise he finds impossible to keep.

Barbara Edwards creates a romance that proves life is about "surviving disaster. Growing back stronger," and most of all, the courage to love.
**** (four stars), Gerry Benninger, Romantic Times Magazine

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