Interview with Shari Anton, historical romance author

July 30, 2008 | Author Interviews

Author of: Magic in His Kiss
Favorite Candy: any milk chocolate will do, but my particular preference is for M&M peanuts
Favorite Cartoon Character: Jane (Jane and the Dragon)
Super Power Most Covets: Remember in Bewitched, when Samantha wiggled her nose and wonderful things happened? I’d settle for just being able to clean my house with a nose twitch!

Q.) First tell us about the Magic trilogy and your latest release Magic in His Kiss.

S.A.) The Magic trilogy came about when I had an idea that involved the legend of King Arthur. That book turned into Midnight Magic. I gave the heroine two sisters, and thus a trilogy was born! Each of the sisters has a unique power or psychic gift. In Midnight Magic, Gwendolyn is the guardian of an ancient spell. In Twilight Magic, Emma is able to see visions in a pool of water.

Magic in His Kiss is the story of Nicole, the youngest sister. She’s spent several years in a convent awaiting an arranged marriage. Her Welsh uncle wants to prevent any marriage that bring England’s King Stephen any advantages, so he send Rhodri ap Daffyd, a bard and warrior, to fetch Nicole. Nicole isn’t the most cooperative lass. She can also hear the voices of spirits who haven’t yet passed on to the afterlife, which complicates her journey to Wales and her relationship with Rhodri.

Q.) Do you have any favorite type of hero or heroine to write?

S.A.) I like strong heroes who aren’t afraid to show their softer sides to the heroines. I like heroines who aren’t afraid to take charge when they believe they’re in the right. I like both to be decisive, self-confident and smart, with the exception of how utterly defenseless they are to each other.

Q.) Are you a plotter or a pantser? Character-driven or plot driven? Ever try to be the opposite? Do you have a set method you use when starting a book?

S.A.) I started out as a character-driven pantser. Over time, I’ve learned that a bit of pre-plotting isn’t a bad thing! I start out with characters and a situation and generally allow the characters to lead me where they want to go. The only difference is that I now write things down in a semi-organized fashion ahead of time, and pay a bit more attention to the plot. So I guess that makes me a bit of both.

Q.) What attracted you to the medieval period? Is there any other period or type of book you’d like to try?

S.A.) Would you believe my first book was set in 1864 America? Not much of a market for Civil War era books, so I turned to medieval because I really love soldiers in uniform and knights in shining armor. Those are also the historical eras I found most intriguing.

Q.) What is the smartest thing you’ve done so far as advancing either your writing or your writing career? What is something you wish you had done differently?

S.A.) I think the smartest thing I did was to find an agent who not only knew the romance market but with whom I personally clicked. She keeps me going during those periods when I’m ready to ditch writing and get a real job. The agent I have now is my second, and if I wish I’d done something differently, it would have been to fire my first agent long before I did. There’s truth to the saying that having a bad (read indifferent) agent is worse than having no agent at all.

Q.) Can you think of one day or event in your writing career that was really special? What made it special?

S.A.) The day I learned I made my first sale is at the top of my list. When I got off the phone I squealed so loud that I woke up my son (who was working third shift and trying to sleep), who then had to come downstairs to find out why his mother was screaming. I called everyone I knew (well, almost ;)), until my husband finally figured out that if he wanted supper he’d have to take me out. So he did. We had a lovely celebration!

Q.) What can readers expect to find in all your books—how do they know they are reading a book by Shari Anton (aside from the name on the cover, of course :D)?

S.A.) You’ll find a lush historical setting because I can’t keep myself from including any details I believe will take the reader back in time. I also truly believe romance readers are addicted to the feeling of falling in love, so I try hard to feed that addiction. Sometimes with humor. Sometimes with drama. No matter what their conflicts and obstacles are, by the end of the story the hero and heroine would walk through fire for the other.

Q.) What’s next?

S.A.) I currently have a Victorian era proposal sitting on a few editors’ desks. Everyone cross your fingers!