I met Ann Voss Peterson through my local RWA chapter, and she is one swell chick. :) She’s always willing to answer my bizarre questions about synopses, plotting or police. And we just discovered we are only a month apart in age!
Oh, yeah, and she writes kick-ass romantic suspense for Harlequin Intrigue.
Anyway, I’m really happy to have a chance to post an interview with her and to celebrate the release of her new book, Wyoming Manhunt—in stores TODAY–I’m giving away a prize to one lucky commenter. Ann’s November 2006 release, Critical Exposure. Don’t ask me how I have it—I squirrel things away for just such occasions. :) So, read the interview and maybe win a book! (Prize to be awarded March 31st.Chosen from comments on this post.)
Author of: Romantic Suspense
Favorite Candy: VERY DARK chocolate
Favorite Cartoon Character: Harley Quinn from Batman
Super Power Most Covets: I’d love to read minds.
Q.) First tell us about your books.
A.V.P.) I write fast-paced romantic thrillers. My current release, Wyoming Manhunt, is the debut of Harlequin Intrigue’s Thriller series. It’s the story of a single-mother accountant who goes on her company executives’ big game hunting trip hoping for a promotion…until the boss starts hunting her.
Q.) Are you a plotter or a panster? Character-driven or plot driven? Ever try to be the opposite? Do you have a set method you use when starting a book?
A.V.P.) I’m a combination of plotter and panster. A combination of character driven and plot driven. I’ve tried to write a myriad of different ways, but it always ends up the same.
I like to say I’m a purger of bad ideas. When I come up with an idea, it always seems exciting and fabulous at first. Then I plan it out on a dry erase story board and immediately see that it wasn’t as good as I thought. Then I write an outline. That’s the second purging of mediocre ideas. Then I write a horrible first draft, that gets rid of the largest mass of bad stuff. I revise as I write the first draft. I revise after the draft is done. I revise and revise and the story grows and grows. And in the end, the novel is so much better, deeper, more emotional, and more thrilling than anything I originally conceived, it’s a little bit like a miracle.
Q.) What attracted you to romantic suspense?
A.V.P.) I love the way love and fear play off one another and make each other more intense. Think about it. Extreme situations lead to strong bonds between characters. And falling in love gives those characters more to lose. It’s a delicious combination.
Q.) Your new release, Wyoming Manhunt, is “duh” set in Wyoming. What made you decide to write something set in the west? Did you get to go on any fun research trips?
A.V.P.) My brother moved to Wyoming about two years ago. I’ve been to Wyoming twice before, so I didn’t go for this book. But I’m planning more Wyoming books and fabulous research trips to come!
Q.) On your web site you talk about some of the adventures you’ve had in the name of research. Which did you enjoy most? What else would you love to try?
A.V.P.) I loved taking part in my local citizen’s police academy and fire department citizen’s academy. I experienced everything from firing weapons and driving police cars to ice rescue and searching smoke-filled buildings. I’ll be using those experiences for books to come.
My list of things to try is long. Right now, I’m taking karate classes and it is adding a whole new dimension to my fight scenes. I’m also planning to do some rock climbing. I’m looking forward to trying out anything that might add to the stories.
Q.) What can readers expect to find in all your books no matter the setting?
Thrilling stories, fast pacing and characters to care about.
Q.) What advice do you have for writers first starting out? What do you wish you’d known from the get-go?
A.V.P.) Writing is a dream. Publishing is a business. Confuse the two at your own peril. I’m lucky in that I always understood publishing meant business. What I forgot to do was nurture the dream and have fun with it. All work and no play makes the muse go away. Luckily she does come back.
Q.) Any new projects on the horizon? What would you like to try next?
A.V.P.) The story I’m writing now is one that I’ve always wanted to do…a gothic. You know, an old house, a dark, tortured hero, a heroine afraid for her life, even a hint of ghosts. As a fan of Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, I’ve always wanted to write a bit of a tribute to that tradition, and I’ve finally found the story to do it.
I also have plans to use my research with my local police and fire departments in a story set in my native Wisconsin. And the Wyoming series that I mentioned earlier will have a definite horse emphasis to it, taking advantage of the many years I spent immersed in the horse world. And I’m working with three other Intrigue authors on a special series celebrating Harlequin’s 60th anniversary. I have a lot of irons in the fire, as they say, but the one thing they all have in common is suspense and romance. Those elements seem to be at the center of all the stories I want to explore.
Q.) Finally, where can readers find out more about you and your books?
A.V.P.) My website! http://www.annvosspeterson.com