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HEART OF THE HIGHLAND WARRIOR
Heart of a Highland Warrior

The Lost Chalice -- Anita Clenney
The Lost Chalice

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Anita’s Q&A

How did you come up with the idea for Awaken the Highland Warrior? 

The story was inspired by a gripping dream about my young son and myself seeking help at a castle after our car broke down. The handsome owner and his companion invited us in to wait for help. They offered us lunch, and as we ate, I saw  a look of pure evil pass between them and knew we weren't guests, we were prisoners. Of course I woke up as I was plotting a terrifying escape. It took days to shake that dream, but it fueled the idea of evil hiding behind a handsome face. I had already been playing around with an idea about a warrior who was buried but not dead, so I combined the ideas, threw in some hot highlanders and evil demons and Awaken was born.

Did you always know you wanted to write?

No. I had no idea until several years ago, but I should have since I've been a daydreamer all my life. 

When did you start writing?

February 6, 2006.

What made you decide you wanted to write a book?

I love reading and had been on a reading rampage when it hit me that I wanted to write a book; the perfect book for me. Little did I know how difficult it really is to write a novel, but I was already hooked by the time I discovered that fact. 

When writing a series do you have a detailed overarching outline for the series plot or just let each book happen as it comes?

A little of both. I know in part where the series is going, and I have lots of notes, but with each book new possibilities come into play as the story emerges.  Some of my best ideas come at the last moment. 

What your favorite part of the writing process?

Plotting, definitely. I love letting my imagination go and creating the characters and plot twists and turns. 

Do you have a writing schedule?

No. Like everything else I do, that's spontaneous. I need to change that.

What's the best thing about writing? 

Seeing my books on the shelf and hearing from readers how much they enjoy the stories. It's humbling and amazing. 

What's the worst thing about writing?

Promoting. I don't like pushing my books. Also it takes so much time from my family and my own reading time.

How much time is spent researching in comparison to actually writing?

My first step is just letting my imagination go and playing "what if"? Then I'll research as I need it. Maybe a place or object, perhaps a myth. I don't spend as much time researching as writing. Partly because I'm somewhat familiar with my material, and with paranormal I can create my own rules. But there are those times when I'm researching and I get distracted by something fascinating  and when I look up two hours have passed. 

How do you keep your characters separate when you write more than one series?

Each character is really their own person, kind of like your friends have their own personality. What does prove to be a problem is appearance. Eye color, hair length.  I started out intending to use character sheets, which keep track of all those details, but I didn't keep up so if I have a question now I consult the previous manuscript. I'm always checking it for small series details. I have been known to accidentally switch a name. I do a final search for my hero and heroine's names before I submit a manuscript. 

Have you ever been to Scotland? 

No, but I would love to go. I'm fascinated by castles and old ruins. 

What do you like to read?

I love romance, mystery, suspense, thrillers and humor. I usually have a little of each in my own stories. 

Who are some of your favorite authors?

Harlan Coben, Diana Gabaldon, Janet Evanovich, and Elizabeth Peters, just to name a few. 

What are your favorite things to do? 

Read, bargain hunt (which means collecting things I love - jewelry, candlesticks, decor), decorate, snuggle and watch TV with hubby, watch my son play baseball, watch my daughter ride horses. And of course cuddle with Lily and Luna, my cute boxer doggies. 

Any advice for someone who wants to write a novel?

Read, read, read. You need to know what kind of stories you are drawn too. Chances are, you will want to write what you love to read, and it's helpful to see what makes a story work well (or not so well) in your eyes. Take some classes to learn the craft, and then write a story that you would want to read.

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