Saturday, June 11, 2011

Interview With Anita Clenney. Also a teaser!

Welcome to Jagged Edge!
would you like to tell us a little about yourself?
I write mysteries and paranormal romantic suspense about Secret Warriors, Ancient Evil, and Destined Love. I live in Virginia with my husband and two kids.

What inspired you to write?
Reading. After an intense reading jaunt, I decided I could write a book. Of course I had no idea what I was getting into. By the time I realized how hard it is to get published, I was already in love with writing, so I couldn’t give up.

What authors influenced you as a writer?
No particular authors, just reading in general. I do have favorite authors. Diana Gabaldon is a favorite, so is Janet Evanovich. I love Kristan Higgins and Elizabeth Peters.

Your favorite character?
I love Jamie Fraser from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. What a great character. But I have lots of favorites. Captain Jack Sparrow. Sherlock Holmes. And I love the characters in my books. My warriors are magnificent, and I have a villain I love so much, I’m considering turning him into a hero.

What is your favorite Quote?
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world, which would it be?
Wow. That’s a tough question. Good books require conflict, and while I love writing conflict, I don’t like it in real life. I’ll say Awaken the Highland Warrior. I would love to see Faelan, Bree, and the other warriors in action.

What is the one thing that every writer needs to have or do?
A vivid imagination.

Are your books different to your personal favorite books by other authors?
I love both romance and mysteries of various subgenres. I read some paranormal romance, but I also love Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series and Kristan Higgins’ romantic comedies.

What lead you to writing in this genre?
This book started with a dream. My son and I were stranded and had to seek help in a castle. The man inside appeared so kind and helpful, but he wasn’t who or what he appeared. That was the foundation of my demons in disguise. I do love mysteries and unexplained things, and around the same time I had been mulling over a story where a heroine finds a buried warrior who isn’t dead. The two ideas merged beautifully to form Awaken the Highland Warrior.

What inspires you the most when you write?
I don’t listen to music when I write. I need silence. I just try to picture the events happening, sort of like a movie. And then throw in surprises.

How long does it normally take you to write a book and go through the whole process?
I really don’t know. Book one and two of this series weren’t typical. Book one, Awaken the Highland Warrior, was a book I honed my writing skills on. I revised and polished for a long time. Book two, Embrace the Highland Warrior, was actually the first book I started writing but it began as a romantic suspense. After I finished Awaken, I realized that the first book needed to be the second in the series, so I revised it into a paranormal romantic suspense. I think book three, Unleash the Highland Warrior, which I’m writing now, will be the true indicator of how quickly I can write on average.

What are you most excited about this year?
This was a great year. I’m thrilled that Awaken the Highland Warrior is finally out, after all the excitement and waiting. It’s getting such great reviews, and I’m getting wonderful emails from readers. I had my first booksigning at Nora Roberts’ husband’s bookstore, signing with Nora Roberts, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Kristan Higgins and several other wonderful authors, and I sold out! That was a wonderful moment. I had so dreaded booksignings. Then, I had a chance to go to Martha’s Vineyard for a panel at a bookstore with my agent and some of her clients. It was my first televised event and I was interviewed for TV. That was exciting because I don’t care for public speaking, but I did it, and it wasn’t bad. Even better, my husband went with me where we celebrated a belated honeymoon after almost 14 years. The entire group, husbands, writers, an aunt, all stayed at another writer’s bed and breakfast and we had a hilarious, wonderful time.

What book do you wish to see come out as a movie? (of course all authors want to see their movie on the big screen but what other book would you like to see?)
I’m excited that Outlander by Diana Gabaldon is being made into a movie. I can’t wait for that.

Funniest question you have ever been asked?
I had one woman email me after seeing the book in her bookstore. She said she was so excited until she flipped it over and read the blurb. “Why on earth would you write about demons?” she asked. “Why not write a nice historical romance?” I thought that was quite interesting. 

What happened while writing one of your books that you did not expect?
Selling out at the booksigning with Nora Roberts was a real surprise.

Do you read the reviews when they are good and/or bad?
I haven’t had any bad reviews yet, although there was one mediocre one, but I will read them all. I can learn from good and bad.

What's next in life for you?
I’m still promoting Awaken the Highland Warrior. Embrace comes out in November, and I’m writing Unleash now. I’m also writing a mystery series that I’m very excited about.

Was there a question you wish I would have asked but didn't?

Tell us a little about the series.

He's had centuries to dream of her...
Mis-adventurous historian Bree Kirkland discovers a 19th century Scottish warrior buried in a crypt behind her house. But Faelan, the warrior, isn’t dead. When he awakes, he has no choice but accept the help of this modern-day woman who’s rescued him, but she’s more fearsome than the demon trying to kill him. If he’s not careful, she’ll uncover every secret his clan has bled and died to protect.
The attraction between Faelan and Bree is instantaneous, and for a good reason, but so is the frustration, because they’re from vastly different cultures. Faelan can’t fathom a female being so bold and rash. The woman attracts danger like a bloody magnet. And she won’t let him protect her; he, a renowned warrior since before she was born. If he could drive that bloody thing she called a car, he’d toss her over his shoulder and get her away from her house before the demon who locked him up comes looking for him.
Bree feels something for Faelan that goes way beyond attraction, frighteningly so, but on the other hand she’s ready to stick him back in the time vault if he doesn’t stop with this over protective nonsense. It’s not the 19th century, for God’s sake, and he’s treating her like a child. Women are tough and independent. But after she finds out what has this big, bad warrior so worried, she’s glad to have all that muscle close by. And she’d give her pinkie toe to get her hands on that talisman hanging around his neck.

When the powerful demon that left Shay for dead discovers her empty grave, he comes seeking retribution, believing she possesses an ancient book he has sought for centuries. Knowing she can’t fight the demon alone, Shay returns to her clan and the Scottish Warrior who betrayed her…the only man she’s ever loved, where she discovers that betrayal isn’t always what it seems. Sometimes it’s far worse.

A talisman belonging to Tavis Connor’s brother is the only weapon powerful enough to kill the demon hell-bent on stealing the clan’s Book of Battles so he can destroy the world. But the talisman has been locked in a time vault with Tavis’s brother and won’t open for 150 years. In desperation, the Scottish warrior breaks the clan’s sacred rules and uses another time vault to travel forward so he can protect the book and rescue his brother, or if he’s dead, finish his quest. But when Tavis finally wakes in modern-day New York, he discovers he’s the one in need of help. Anna MacKinley has been searching for her clan’s Book of Battles which has been missing for 150 years, but instead she finds a warrior with no memories who claims he’s come to save the world.

Where can readers connect with me?

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Here's a Teaser for Awaken:
Bree’s fingers tightened around the metal disk as she ran through the graveyard, zigzagging past leaning headstones. Her lantern swayed, throwing shadows on the crypt looming before her, its stone walls the color of bones. Thick vines crept over it, sealing in cracks left by time, while gnarled branches from the twisted oak hovered like outstretched arms. Protecting… or threatening?

An owl screeched overhead as she scurried up the crumbling steps, wishing night hadn’t fallen, when shadows twisted into monsters and spirits came out to play. The burial vault lay open near the back of the crypt, waiting. Blood rushed past her ears, a sound like all the angels’ wings beating in unison. She moved closer and peered at the chest inside. It was ornate, made of metal and wood, with green gemstones embedded in each corner. It looked ancient, like it belonged in a museum or a pyramid, or perhaps Solomon’s Temple. The beauty of it struck her again, as it had when she’d first discovered it.

She set the lantern on the edge of the burial vault and studied the markings on the chest. Swirls and shapes like writing shifted in the amber glow. Stretching out a finger, she touched the surface. Warm? She yanked her hand back and hit the lantern. It crashed to the floor, throwing the top of the crypt into darkness. Dropping to her knees, she scrambled for the light. A sound cut through the silence, scraping, like fingernails against stone. She grabbed the lantern, not daring to blink, then remembered the wind outside and the claw-like branches of the old tree.

She placed the lantern securely on the vault cover she’d pushed onto the alcove and unfolded her hand. The metal disk she held was three inches in diameter and appeared to be made from the same metal as the chest, not silver, not gold. One side had deep grooves; the other was etched with symbols. With trembling fingers, she lined up the disk with the matching grooves on top of the chest and pushed. There was a series of clicks as the notched edges retracted.

A voice rushed through her head. What lies within cannot be, until time has passed with the key.

Bree whirled, but she was alone. Only stone walls stood watch, their secrets hidden for centuries. It was sleep deprivation, not ghosts.

She pulled in a slow, steadying breath and tried to turn the disk. Nothing. Again, this time counterclockwise, and it began to move under her hand. She jerked her fingers back. A loud pop sounded and colors flashed… blue, orange, and green, swirling for seconds, and then they were gone. Great, hallucinations to go with the voices in her head.

Her body trembled as she gripped the lid. This was it. All her dreams held on a single pinpoint of time. If this ended up another wild goose chase, she was done. No more treasure hunts, no more mysteries, no more playing Indiana Jones. She’d settle down to a nice, ordinary, boring life. She counted.




She heaved open the chest.

Terror clawed its way to her throat, killing her scream.

The man inhaled one harsh breath and his eyes flew open, locking on Bree. A battle cry worthy of Braveheart echoed off the walls. Bree jumped back as metal flashed and a rush of air kissed her face. Petrified, she watched him crawl out of the burial vault, a wicked-looking dagger in his hand. Her scream tore loose as she turned and fled.
Fingers grazed her shoulder, and she glanced back. The last thing she saw before her feet tangled with the shovel was the dead man reaching for her.

Anita Clenney grew up an avid reader, devouring Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books before moving on to mysteries and romance. After working as a secretary, a Realtor, teacher’s assistant, booking agent for Aztec Fire Dancers, and a brief stint in a pickle factory (picture Lucy and Ethel--lasted half a day)…she realized she'd missed the fork in the road that led to her destiny. Now she spends her days writing mysteries and paranormal romantic suspense about Secret Warriors, Ancient Evil and Destined Love. Anita lives in suburban Virginia, outside Washington DC, with her husband and two kids. You can learn more about her writing at

1 comment:

Denise Z said...

I really want to read Awaken the Highland Warrior. Thank you for sharing today.

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