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Monday, June 11, 2012

Moving On: A Prairie Romance

Welcome to Annette Bower's blog tour. Today Annette is answering a few questions for us and lettin us read an excerpt from Moving On: A Prairie Romance. Annette is offering a $25 gift certificate from All Romance eBooks to one lucky commenter, so follow her tour and comment often. You can find her schedule at at  Annette, welcome to my blog.

1.      Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am the author of Moving On-A Prairie Romance.  I live in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. I love walking around any communities and if there is an event or a monument or plaque, I will stop to read it. I enjoy learning about my neighborhood. When I have a choice of lonely walk along a country road or mall, I pick mall with people.  Some might call me noisy but I call myself curious.  If there is a person of interest to speak with, I may not be able to tell you what was in the room but I can usually tell you what was uppermost on their mind and a bit about their life story. I enjoy learning about people.  I have had the greatest conversations with strangers.

2.      What event triggered you to become a writer? Any major inspirations?

Whenever I could I took creative writing classes. When my children were young I took night classes and then when they were in school I would attend day time classes at the university.

But I didn’t ever reach the success that most writers are judged by and that is publication.

When my children were in high school and didn’t need my supervision and I had stopped working at my present job, I thought this was my time to turn my dream into reality. I sat at the brand new computer and typed up at least 60 pages of a story. I pressed a button and it was all gone. I didn’t know how to retrieve it. I cried and told my husband that I either had to get a job or divorce him. He suggested going back to university full time. And that is what I did. I acquired my BA with a major in English. I also had my first story published, then slowly after that more short stories were published but I wanted to write a novel. And I did. Moving On is one of the novels I finally wrote.

3.      How many manuscripts did you submit before you were published?

I had two novel length manuscripts that I submitted at least twice each. I pitched them at RWA conferences. However both novels combine women’s fiction in the series romance word length so it was a difficult sell.

How did you feel when you got the call?

In the past writers waited for the mailman, but today it is electronic mail. When the email pinged through from XoXo Publishing I scanned the body of the text and sat quietly. My hope was on the way to a reality. I made myself a cup of coffee, put a laundry in the machine, made the bed and came back and read the acceptance again. I called my husband.

4.      What’s the very best thing about being an author?

The best thing is receiving the finished product. I have received print copies of anthologies I am published in and magazines so this is different. I opened up the attachment and there was my book with the wonderful cover and then the dedication page and acknowledgement page.  Then chapter 1. 

The very best is when a reader shares that they read my work, identified with parts of it and enjoyed it. That is the absolute best.

5.      Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Learn the craft of writing and give yourself permission to practice. Just because each of us can hold a pen or use a keyboard does not mean that a perfectly formed story will emerge.

We allow singers, dancers, musicians, baseball players, football players to practice, but for some reason just because we can spell, write and read writers expect their craft should come easier. For most writers it does not. So give yourself permission to practice. One Christmas when I was especially discouraged I had t-shirts printed for my whole writing group:  It said:  ‘I write: “Therefore I am.”’  I wore that t-shirt for a month if not more. Now I don’t have to wear it as often, I just need to know I can if I need to.

Annette, thank you so much for your interview. I wish you all the best with your book. And right now, let's have a blub and excerpt from Moving On: A Prairie Romance.


Anna is a mysterious woman that has just moved to Regina Beach. The residents of the small town know everyone’s business and they are very interested in discovering Anna’s secrets. Nick was a Sergeant in the Canadian Army, doing active duty until a horrific accident sent him home to recover. He helps Anna feel safe and comfortable in her new environment, just as he has always done for his men in strange, dangerous places. Meanwhile, he focuses on preparing for his future physical endurance test to prove that he is capable of returning to active duty.

Anna doesn’t talk about her past, and Nick doesn’t talk about his future therefore she is shocked to discover that his greatest wish is to return to active duty. She won’t love a man who may die on the job again. Intellectually, she knows that all life cycles end, but emotionally, she doesn’t know if she has the strength to support Nick.

Anna plowed through fallen leaves and broken twigs that were spread over the stone pathway leading to the stairs. The screened summer door sprung open but the solid weather door refused to budge. She twisted the key, jiggled the door knob and finally she turned sideways and bumped her hip against the stubborn paint- encrusted door. Banging against something and having it move felt wonderful. The momentary hip sting was an annoyance compared to the pain that she’d endured over the last year. Taking a deep breath she pushed the door open, inhaled stale air and watched dust motes floating on current of outside air.

The lawyer hadn’t known if Murray had spent any time here. Part of her wanted to look around and think of him as a carefree child, then a young man whole and alive, while the other part of her wanted a clean slate.    

Anna ran her hand over the white refrigerator and matching stove and trailed a finger in the dust on the country kitchen table and solid chairs. Through a large window was an expansive view of blue water. Her tongue stuck to the roof of her mouth reminding her that she was thirsty. Anna turned the taps at the kitchen sink. They squeaked, but nothing came. All that water out there but none where she was going to live. She walked down a hallway and peered into rooms until she found the bathroom. The taps in the sink and tub repeated the noise and the toilet had green liquid in the bottom. She stomped her feet against the tiled floor. Damn. There were a few bottles of water in the car, but how would she use the other facilities? She didn’t know how to rough it; Murray was supposed to teach her how to camp in the wilds.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Annette Bower lives and writes in Regina, SK Canada. She is an author of many short stories published in anthologies and magazines in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. She explores women in families, women in communities and women at the beginning and end of love and their quest for love. She pursues the writing craft in workshops, conferences, Writing with Style, Banff Centre for the Arts, Victoria School of Writing, Sage Hill Writing Experience, the Surrey International Writing Conferences and the Romance Writing of America Conferences. 

When she isn’t writing she walks or bikes around the streets and parks in her neighborhood imagining complex worlds behind seemingly ordinary events.

Her first contemporary romance, Moving On A Prairie Romance is published by XoXo Publishing™ a division of Ninni Group Inc.


Annette said...

Dear Elaine,
Thank you so much for hosting me today. I look forward to commenting to the readers who come to your blog to learn a little about me and Moving On-A Prairie Romance and you as well as author.
Yours truly,
Annette Bower

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting Annette today.

Anonymous said...

What a nightmare, losing your first story like that! Congratulations on your book's well-deserved!


Annette said...

Good morning Anonymous,
Thank you for joining Elaine and I today.
Yes, it was a nightmare to lose those pages but it did send me on another journey.
I have learned a great deal along the way and still have so much more to learn.
Thank you for the congratulations and for joining my tour.
Yours truly,
Annette Bower

Karyn Good said...

I loved your advice, Annette! So true. In everything else practice makes perfect. We're encouraged to find our way by trying different things and learning. But it seems with writing, you're supposed to have brand, platform, genre, etc figured out from the start!

Catherine Lee said...

Oh Annette...I'm so envious that you can chat up strangers. I'm not especially a people person and generally do not approach people I don't know for conversation. I think it's wonderful the way that some people can do that. My hubby also has a gift for it. I find it an endearing quality.

Annette said...

Hello Karyn,
Isn't that true that our expectations on writers are great.
A while back a teacher I knew retired to write. He said that the adults always asked him where he was published and children asked him if he was writing. Children know you need to practice because adults tell them too. When we begin a new venture we are all in the early stages of learning something new.
Thank you for stopping in at Elaine's and leaving a comment.
Yours truly,
Annette Bower

Annette said...

Hello Catherine Lee,
Thank you for joining the tour and commenting.
I used to think that everyone would like to chat. I think that is part of small town but after I have travelled a bit especially to very busy cities I see that sometimes people really just want to be in their own thoughts.
I do make eye contact and see if a person is receptive.
In these days on occasion a word and smile is like a touch.
Yours truly,
Annette Bower

Annette said...

Hello Everyone,
Thank you for dropping in at Hope. Dreams. Life ...Love. Catherine Lee is the last comment for the draw.
I enjoyed being a guest on Elaine's blog.
Yours truly,
Annette Bower