From Ada Brownell: I was one of the first to read and review Masquerade Marriage by Anne Greene shortly after it was released. Of course I gave it five stars, because it's a great book. I hope my interview with Anne here reveals some of why she's a great writer. I certainly enjoyed the answers to my questions. Thanks, Anne, for being my guest and sharing how all of those wonderful things flow from your mind to the page for us to enjoy.
1. When Anne Greene sits down to create a new novel, what does she do? She has a fresh idea with an interesting setting, sits down and starts typing. She is a total seat-of-the-pants writer. As she dives deeper into the story, she discovers her heroine and hero and hopefully the theme. But sometimes the theme doesn’t emerge until the first draft is finished.
2. How do your previous novels affect the process? I learn so much from each previous novel, not only through research, but through continuing to study the writing craft. I want to write the best possible books I can for my Savior. I love the very deep point of view that is now popular with writers and readers. I love the details in each book that help make the book authentic. I love the entire process of writing. I think each book seasons me more as a writer.
3. How long did it take to do the research on warriors in your book, Masquerade Marriage? The warrior part came easily. I live with a warrior, my Special Forces Colonel husband. When I visited the site of the last great Scottish battle, the Battle of Culloden, and gazed over the battlefield, I was inspired to write Masquerade Marriage. When I discovered that one decisive battle contributed greatly to the destruction of the Highland Clan way of life, I knew I had to write that story. I hope the readers’ discovering that everything changed in the Highlands after that battle makes it impossible for them to resist reading Masquerade Marriage, and when the sequel, Marriage By Arrangement, releases soon, that they will desire to read that as well.
4. Did it take a certain mindset to enter or create such a society? I have Scottish heritage and have delved deeply into the Scottish history. I visited all over Scotland and loved every minute. Scotland is a beautiful land, and its people are welcoming and friendly. I even enjoy Haggis. So, I found it quite natural to enter into the pages of Scotland’s history and make that time come alive for the reader. My process of writing is much like watching a movie and translating that into the written page for readers. So, for me to go back in time is quite an easy project.
5. You created such in-depth characters, who they are makes them real. Did you work on character traits by themselves, or did they grow out of the story? Thank you for the great compliment. Once I get my subject and my setting in place, somehow my characters spring to life by themselves. Of course, as I get to know them better, as they talk to me, and show me what makes them tick, I refine them. But I’ve never completed a character interview sheet until much later, perhaps during the second draft of a book. I don’t really know where these characters come from, but they are so rewarding to get to know. I think they are formed from the history of the event. For instance, surviving a battle would call for a warrior. Rebelling against a father’s dictates would necessitate a spunky heroine. Becoming the woman your father expects of you calls for an obedient, loyal, loving person. And so the characters emerge, mostly whole, including their descriptions.
6 . Does genuine love eventually blossom in this latest book? Yes, Marriage By Arrangement calls for a totally different kind of love. Because of the circumstances of their lives, each of my heroines and each hero must make the greatest sacrifice for the loved one before they can live happily ever after. And I believe a person can only truly love if they know the author of love, so each must come to a loving relationship with God’s Son, Jesus.
7. What do you enjoy most about writing a book, besides having it completed and published? I love the whole process. However, while writing the first draft there is always the shadow of doubt that maybe I’ll write myself into a corner with the difficulties my protagonists suffer, and they won’t emerge with that happy ending. During the second draft, I have no such problem. So, I really love the rewrite. All the rewrites. I love working with words until they sing and drawing pictures until the book is visual and deepening the characters. I just love the whole process. I’m always a little sad when the book is finished. It’s like saying goodbye to old friends and to places I love to visit.
8. Do your characters have spiritual lessons to share? Yes, my characters are human, so they are flawed. They have lessons to learn along life’s journey. They share what they’ve discovered. Sometimes they gain a new life in Christ. Sometimes they return to the Lord after a time of bitterness. Sometimes their spiritual life deepens as they watch another character struggle with his spiritual issues. I don’t plan the spiritual message. It comes from whatever issues a character faces. And like the theme, sometimes the spiritual message only rises to the surface during the final draft.
ANNE GREENE delights in writing about wounded heroes and gutsy heroines. Her second novel, a Scottish historical, Masquerade Marriage, won the New England Reader Choice award, the Laurel Wreath Award, and the Heart of Excellence Award. The sequel Marriage By Arrangement releases soon. A Texas Christmas Mystery also won several awards. In 2014, her World War II novel, Angel With Steel Wings, about WASPs, women test pilots will release. She makes her home in McKinney, Texas. In 1990, Anne graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Literary Studies from the University of Texas. Tim LaHaye led her to the Lord when she was twenty-one and Chuck Swindoll is her Pastor. View Anne’s other books, her blog, travel pictures, and art work at http://www.AnneGreeneAuthor.com. Anne loves to speak to book clubs, libraries, and conferences. Her love of sailing, horseback riding, history, and art, as well as her Citizens Plano Policy Academy training, and military life sometime figure in her books. She judges the Rita, Golden Heart, Book of the Year, and many other contests. A Critique and Writing Craft group meets at her home on Monday nights.
Her highest hope is that her stories transport the reader to an awesome new world and touch hearts to seek a deeper spiritual relationship with the Lord Jesus. Buy Anne’s books at http://www.PelicanBookGroup.com. Or at http://www.Amazon.com.