Co-writing with Your Lover about Love: Award-winning author, Anthea Lawson
I met Anthea at a writer’s conference several years ago. I liked her immediately — her creative spirit, can-do attitude, and open smile. Anthea writes with her husband, Lawson. Together they form the husband-wife team, Anthea Lawson.
I had the honor of seeing Anthea (sans Lawson) again this past summer at the annual national Romance Writer’s of America conference. I loved their first book, PASSIONATE, and so in honor of their second book, ALL HE DESIRES, that was just released, I’ve interviewed them for Writer’s Fun Zone on writing as a couple, what makes writing fun, and of course, their taste in chocolate. In the spirit of their blog tour, they will give away a copy of their newest book to one of you lucky commentators. All you need to do to enter the raffle is post a comment answering Anthea’s question. They will pick a winner tomorrow morning! Read on!
Anthea Lawson is the pseudonym for a husband-wife team who write spicy Victorian romance. Their debut novel, PASSIONATE, was nominated for a Best First Book RITA in 2009, and their newest book, ALL HE DESIRES, released on November 3, 2010. Find them on Facebook (Anthea Lawson), follow them on Twitter (AntheaLawson) and visit their website (www.anthealawson.com) for all their latest news!
1. What is fun about co-writing a romance with your honey?
We love collaborating on projects. It’s fun being able to kick around ideas and inspiration together – to share those joyful aha! moments when we figure out a great plot twist or understand the characters in a deeper way. It’s also great to have two minds working from different perspectives. If one of us gets stuck, the other can usually figure out how to get unstuck and move the story ahead.
2. What is not fun about writing as a team?
We have different timelines, and different ideas about how much is reasonable to accomplish in a given time. It doesn’t help that Lawson got a demanding full-time job a few months before our second book was due. We’re still working out the balance.
3. What is your favorite thing to wear when you write?
Comfortable clothes. For Anthea that means jeans, warm socks, and a big sweater. After spending too long on the computer, she also wraps a blanket around herself and drinks tea. For Lawson, anything that’s not his work clothes.
4. Why romance?
A lot of our friends ask that very question. For one thing, it’s fun! For another, it felt do-able. We’re not blind to the fact that over 50% of mass market paperbacks sold are romance novels. The inspiration came from Anthea reading a romance that disappointed, and saying “I could do that! I could do better than that!” Fateful words.
5. Why historical romance?
We love the research aspect – there’s so much to learn about. So far we have had a chance to investigate sailing-steamships, the origin of the word “posh”, erotic frescoes, the history of tea, music in the Victorian era, Tunisia in the 1840s, mythology and archeology on Crete, and an endless list of other topics. It really enriches our life discovering and sharing these historical tidbits. It’s also a fun challenge to write romantic relationships constrained by the social mores of the day. Plus, the clothes were great.
6. What is your favorite kind of chocolate?
Anthea prefers really expensive medium-dark chocolate. Divine brand is well-named, and Ghirardelli will do in a pinch. Lawson thinks all really dark chocolate is evil and disgusting, but good quality milk chocolates are delicious.
7. What do you love about ALL HE DESIRES?
The hero’s internal journey was really interesting to write. He’s dark, moody and tortured, but oh so redeemable. We are also happy with the chemistry between the two leads. We had to change the heroine from the first draft to get a character and love-interest we were really happy with. It was worth the extra effort. Other things we love: A side story where a mother gets her son back. The sea and village on the Mediterranean island of Crete. A murderous fisherman. An escape from one villain into the clutches of another. A love scene told in utter darkness. We also love the responses we are getting from readers and reviewers. One reader said she stayed up all night reading. Comments like that are music to an author’s ears.
8. Any tips to aspiring fiction writers?
Join writer’s groups, and remember to have fun! There is so much to learn, and the support and friendship of other writers (on-line or in local groups) can make the journey a much more pleasant one. There are only a few best-selling mega authors. For the rest of us, we have each other, the hope or reality of publication, and the magic of language and story.
Thanks for having at the Writer’s Fun Zone today, Beth! We enjoyed doing the interview.