WATCH OUT: Anara Bella
SC: I want to welcome you all to another edition of Watch Out. This week I’m pleased to bring you author Anara Bella. Welcome to Watch Out, it’s so great to have you here.
Anara: Hey everyone! Thank you so much for having me, Savannah. I’m so happy to be here.
SC: For the readers out there who might not know about you or your work, can you please tell them a little about yourself.
Anara: I live a pretty quiet life with my hubby and two rescue kitties, JuJube and JellyBean. I’m a bit of an oddity when it comes to writers. Unlike most, I didn’t spend my youth writing stories and dreaming about becoming an author. The idea of writing books never even crossed my mind. I was, however, an avid reader from the moment I learned how. I loved going to the library and spent my summer vacations with my nose firmly planted in one book after another. But I never thought writing was something I was capable of doing. It wasn’t until about nine years ago that an acquaintance of mine sort of challenged me to give it a try. Not one to pass on a challenge I gave it a shot and shocked myself when I realized I loved writing more than I loved reading. Ever since then, I’ve been working hard at improving my abilities as a writer. Seven completed books later, I’m still loving every minute of it.
SC: I read in your bio that in 2004 you won the Lori Foster Brava Novella Contest. What did that mean to you?
Anara: I can’t even adequately express just how much it meant to me. It was shocking, amazing, thrilling, and completely unexpected. A real turning point for me as a writer. Up until then, my critique partners were the only ones who’d read anything I’d written and even though they encouraged me to keep going and assured me they loved what I wrote, deep down I didn’t really believe my writing was any good. Having an editor like Kate Duffy, a legend in the publishing industry, pick my entry as the winner was unbelievably validating and a real boost to my confidence as a writer. From that moment on I knew I could write something that caught and held an editor’s attention. I still had a lot to learn, heck I still do, but at least I knew I was on the right track. And remembering the conversation I had with Ms. Duffy as a result of winning that contest definitely kept me writing during the low points in my career.
SC: Can you tell us a little about your current release?
Anara: I’d love to. My current release is Bound and Determined. The heroine was seriously betrayed by her ex-fiancé and has allowed her fears to completely take over her life to the point where she refuses to get back into the dating pool again. But when Marcus comes to town, he shows her what she’s been missing and entices her to take a chance on love. Here’s the book blurb:
Falling for a hot guy is not in her plans. He’s got a different agenda.
Nothing much ever happens in Forsythia Falls—except the only robbery anyone can remember, which leaves Asia Smith tied up in her grandmother’s antique shop. Just her luck, her rescuer turns out to be Marcus Thorne, the single most tempting morsel of male flesh she’s ever encountered. As he unties her knots, his touch sorely tests her resolve to avoid any involvement with the male species.
A bestselling author, Marcus is used to women throwing themselves at him. Asia’s resistance to his charm is a whole new challenge, a temptation he has no intention of resisting. All he has to do is break down her defenses and get at the soft, willing woman he suspects is hiding inside.
As chance—and her meddling grandmother—throw them together, Asia tries to remember why she shouldn’t just follow her friends’ advice to jump on Marcus and ride him until she can’t see straight. In one storm-swept night, she throws caution to the wild wind and savors pleasures she’d almost forgotten.
Except some old hurts just won’t stay in the past. Marcus peels away her inhibitions with sizzling ease. But now comes the biggest challenge of all—winning her trust.
SC: Which do you prefer eBooks or paperback?
Anara: Both. LOL I like each format for different reasons so they both have a place in my life. I love the portability of eBooks, but before bed I prefer to read a paperback as my eyes tend to be really tired by then from reading a computer screen all day.
SC: What influences the topics, and genre’s that you pick to write a story in?
Anara: I love a wide variety of genre’s both in movies and in books but the recurring theme in all of them has always been romance. Doesn’t matter if it’s fantasy, sci-fi, paranormal, western, historical or contemporary, I enjoy them all as long as they have at least an element of romance in them.
That’s why I write romance, because I absolutely love it! But despite my varied taste in genres, when it comes to writing I focus on contemporary romance because I enjoy writing it the most. Even my paranormal book, The Trouble with Curses, is more of a contemporary romance where the heroine just happens to be a vampire and the hero just happens to be the slayer. LOL I’ve had more than one reader tell me that even though they don’t normally care for books featuring vampires, they really loved mine. It’s sort of a paranormal light, if you will. LOL
SC: One thing readers might be surprised to know about you?
Anara: I’m generally an open book but one thing did happen not too long ago that came as a surprise to some. I’m currently in the middle of doing a major cleaning and reorganizing of closets and drawers in my home. In the process of cleaning out a particular drawer I found a bunch of candy that had to have been at least ten years old (and no, I’m not exaggerating LOL). I happened to tweet about my so-secret-even-I-didn’t-know-about-it stash and its subsequent demise into the nearest trashcan. Everyone was shocked that I had candy that old sitting around, stating it would never have lasted that long in their household. I was surprised at the reaction because I like candy well enough, I just never seem to crave it (my particular vice falls more in the direction of cream-filled pastry—YUM!). I can have candy sitting out on the counter forever and never be tempted to eat it so the fact that this particular candy was in a drawer I rarely use (obviously LOL) it’s really no surprise that I simply forgot it was there. Anyway, I guess my lack of candy love is considered pretty surprising by some. =)
SC: Your favorite part about being an author?
Anara: My absolute favorite part is hearing from the fans. There is simply nothing better than that. My second favorite part is that I can work from the comfort of my home doing something that I love. I feel truly blessed.
SC: What are you currently reading?
Anara: I recently started reading Nalini Singh’s Psy/Changling series. I got the first book, Slave to Sensation, in the swag bag at Lori Foster’s Get Together last June and loved it. I will definitely be devouring the next ones in the series once my order comes in. Right now I’m reading Collide by Megan Hart and really enjoying it.
SC: Currently listening to?
Anara: When I’m writing I need peace and quiet so I don’t listen to anything. But when I’m in the mood for music my taste is pretty eclectic, very much depending on my mood. Lately I’ve been listening to Hugo’s 99 Problems, Carrie Underwood’s Before He Cheats, and Adele’s Rolling in the Deep.
SC: What is the hardest thing you find to being an author?
Anara: Keeping up with all the social media that’s out there like Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Twitter and so on. They’re a lot of fun but they can eat up huge chunks of time that I should be spending on writing so I have to be really conscious of that and keep it in check.
SC: Describe your books in 3 words.
Anara: Sexy, sassy, fun.
SC: If you could step into the shoes of another author who would you pick? Why?
Anara: I can’t say that I’d want to step into another author’s shoes because I’m quite happy in my own. But one of my all-time favorite authors is Lori Foster. I love her books, and I admire both her work ethic and the way she so openly pays it forward to others.
SC: If you could step into one of your characters lives for the day who would you choose?
Anara: That’s a tough one because I love all of my characters but if I have to choose I’ll go with Dana from Batteries Not Required. I love her chutzpah and Reese is hot! LOL
SC: Is there anything you’re currently working on that you can give us a taste of?
Anara: Right now, I’m working on what I hope will be the sequel to my current release Bound and Determined. Unfortunately, there’s nothing I can really share at this point. But, I’m really excited to share with everything that my next release, Sweet Temptation, is coming out December 6th. It’s my very first print book, an anthology of my first three contemporary novellas, Ready or Not, Batteries Not Required and Brazen or Bust. If you’d like to read some excerpts from any of those novellas just go to my website www.AnaraBella.com and check out each novella’s book page.
SC: What is the best advice you ever got with regards to writing?
Anara: I’ve come across a lot of really terrific advice over the years but two things come to mind immediately. The first is to give yourself permission to write crap. Crap can be fixed. I’m a perfectionist so reminding myself of this repeatedly really helps me to keep moving forward. Otherwise, I’d completely stall out and not be able to write a thing. The second thing is to not force yourself to write using anyone else’s method. By all means, check out what works for other authors, try things on for size if they resonate with you, but in the end, you have to find your own method and what works for you. Every writer is unique.
SC: Any advice for new writers out there?
Anara: It probably sounds trite, but try to write something everyday and be determined to persevere through all the setbacks you’re sure to come up against. That’s crucial in this business because there are a lot of things that can bring you down, but if you’re determined to keep going no matter what you can get through them all.
SC: Where can readers find out more about you and your work?
Anara: My website is the best place to go – www.AnaraBella.com. But you can also check out my Facebook Author Page – https://www.facebook.com/AnaraBellaAuthor or follow me on Twitter – http://twitter.com/AnaraBella. I’d love to see you there. =)