Name Anne Conley
Age The big 4-0. I turned 40 this year, and as much as I thought it would suck, I’m actually loving it.
Where are you from I was born and raised in Houston, Texas, but now live in rural East Texas, in a tiny town that I love.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
After 8 years of college, I finally graduated with a BA in Communications with a ton of post graduate literature courses. I’m married, with two kids. A former teacher, I realized after six years that teaching is not my bag, and I’ve been staying home with the kids ever since.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I’m working on a new series I hope to have out in April. It’s a mix between Contemporary and Historical romance with a mix of light paranormal and some suspense tossed in to the mix. I’m not sure at all how to market it, or if anyone will even like it, but it’s coming. LOL.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
This is a hard question, because I’ve always been writing. Whether it’s journals or bad poetry, I have always had some random notebook with me for as long as I can remember. Writing novels? 2011 was when I started my first one.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
2015 New Year’s Resolution was to tell people I was an author. Since I had 14 books published at the time, I told myself to own it, and be proud of it. I stopped telling people I work from home, and told them instead I write romance novels. Now I just have to get through the obligatory eye rolls and questions about Fifty Shades of Gray.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My husband told me to quit reading so much and write one.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I write in the 3rd person, multiple POV, but other than that, I’m not sure.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Titles are hard for me. They usually come after months of blood, sweat, and tears, and I almost always hate it after I’ve got one.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
There is usually some thematic something or other in my books that I want readers to come away with. Most of the time it’s the normalization of someone’s issues. Everyone has problems, it’s the way you deal with them that makes you who you are.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Most of my books have people with realistic issues and things. But the romance is pure fantasy. I mean, everybody is beautiful, they get through their issues in the end, there’s an HEA, multiple orgasms during the sex scenes—those things aren’t always realistic, but I try to start out with realistic issues for the characters to deal with, so readers can relate. For example, Miriam, in Click, has just had a double mastectomy because she’s high risk for Breast Cancer and she’s dealing with issues of femininity.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Most of my books have some aspect of my real life or someone I know that has touched me in them. That’s inspired me to write the story, yes.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
Listening to Liliana Hart speak about Indie Publishing changed my life in a major way—inspiring me to take this journey with my writing. I’ve since joined an organization she put together (with her husband, Scott Silverii) for crime writers, SilverHart, and they answer any questions I have. It’s awesome.
As far as books that have influenced me, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See is one of my all-time favorites. In fact, I think I need to go back and re-read it. I don’t know how much it’s influenced me, but it’s an amazing read.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Right now, I’m reading, Finding Frasier by kc dyer.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I’m always finding new authors! That’s the amazing thing about Indies today! Amy Roe, Amber Polk, Stacy Kestwick, CM Foss, KD Carillo, soooooo many…
Fiona: What are your current projects?
Currently, I’m working on Seek, Book 5 in the Pierce Securities story, as well as the first book in my new Book B!tches Series, The Power of Love.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Remarkably, my old Associate Pastor at church. He’s moved, but he told me once when I was struggling with the “un-Christian” aspect of my books that the world had plenty of Christian artists, it needed more artists that were Christian. He was paraphrasing someone, but it stuck with me. He is very supportive of my work.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes, absolutely. This is how I feed my family and put clothes on them and stuff.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Not really. I’m sure there are still typos, but people will let me know. LOL.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
No, I don’t. I have always written. I won short story contests in Elementary School, so it’s just part of me.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Sure! This is from Seek, book #5 in the Pierce Securities. Zack is the lead male character, and he’s blind. This is unedited, first chapter. Oh, and there’s some cussing.
Zack’s eyes watered through the pain as the dark shadow advanced on him. Holding his gloved hands up in front of his face, he missed the sucker punch to his ribs.
“Goddammit, Q. What the fuck?”
Quinten’s voice was a satisfied rumble. “You wanted to spar, sharpen your skills you said. Get with it. You have to sense me coming if you can’t see me.”
He was right, but that didn’t make it any easier. Zack’s head wasn’t in the game, and the shadow that was Quinten kept coming at him. He tried to focus on the other man’s breathing, something to alert him to another strike.
When he knew Quinten was within range, he fluttered his left arm, readying for a punch to Quinten’s nose. When the shadow reacted, Zack’s right arm jutted out, lightning fast and hit a torso. A gratifying exhalation of air hit his ears.
His sense of satisfaction was short-lived, as Zack immediately lost his own air in a rush. Then he felt the pain. And registered the nausea-inducing blunt force to his rib, right where Quinten had just hit him.
The shadow retreated, and it was Zack’s turn to advance. He knew he didn’t have a chance against Quinten. He was a scary badass. He won fights like this all the time, but Zack had been under the mistaken illusion this was a friendly spar. He’d been sorely mistaken.
When he felt himself in the other man’s space, he launched himself, grappling Quinten like the blind man he was. He used his feet to kick the backs of his knees, bringing him to the ground with an oof.
But he should have known better. Quinten on the ground was in his element.
Before he knew what had happened, Zack was on his stomach. His right forearm between Quinten’s legs which were somehow contorted around Zack’s body, ready to snap. Of course, Zack had no idea how he’s managed to get himself in this position.
In the back of Zack’s mind, another version of Zack dwelled. A bigger, buffer version of Zack. His constant companion—or alter ego—had a bushy beard and was two hundred and eighty-five pounds of oily tanned muscle. Zack fondly referred to his mental companion as Dude.
Right now, Dude was pissed. He raged around the recesses of Zack’s brain, cigar hanging out of the corner of his mouth, sweaty muscles popping from a ripped tank top, as he clutched a fully loaded and cocked .50 caliber, air craft mount machine gun in his arms, ready to blow Quinten to smithereens.
“Dude chill,” Zack muttered under his breath, right before tapping out. Dude looked at him, as best he could, with his own designer sunglasses. He grit his jaw, but complied, gun disappearing, before he sat on a bench and pantomimed zipping his mouth shut.
Gasping for breath, Zack cussed through the pain with each inhale.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
The promotional aspect of it. But I consciously try to challenge myself with my writing, all the time. The Pierce Securities series was my first foray into straight romantic suspense. My new series will be my first foray into historical. I love trying new things and seeing if I can pull them off.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I like authors like Diana Gibaldan and Michael Crichton, who utilize massive amounts of research and incorporate it seamlessly into their narrative. I feel like I’m learning while I’m reading a good story.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
No. I go to book events and such a few times a year, but I’m a homebody, and being around all those people make me uncomfortable. LOL. Most of my books are set in fictional towns in Texas. Pierce Securities is set in Austin, TX, so I don’t really travel much, not for research anyway. I’d love to take a historical tour of some parts of Texas, but travelling can be difficult with my kids. They’re total brats in the car.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Pierce Securities was designed by LLaLS Cover Art. I ❤ Samantha Holt. She’s an amazing writer, graphics designer, and person. She’s one of the people I admire, personally. She’s an Indie Author who is making the industry work for her.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Selling the damn thing. Getting new readers to take a chance on my writing is always a challenge.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Take all the advice you can get, use what you want, and don’t look back. Do NOT quit because someone else says you’re not worth it. We have enough problems doubting ourselves without other people jumping on that stupid bandwagon.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I love them all, and I appreciate their constant support. My purpose is to entertain. Without my readers, I have no purpose.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
No. I don’t.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Hallmark movies. Every. Damn. Time.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
Anne Bradstreet. She was one of the first American pioneers in so many things. She was an early settler, the first published American woman, and she lived through lots of tragedies that were typical of the time and managed to come out with poise and grace. I’d like to know how she did it all without losing her shit every now and then.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
Loving Mother and Wife. Simplicity at its best. But I would like one of my book covers to go on it too.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I walk a lot in the woods surrounding my house, and I drink a lot of beer. Not sure the beer thing is a hobby, but I do that a lot.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I don’t have TV service, so mostly I just watch whatever suspense movies I find in the Redbox at our grocery store. That’s a self-preservation thing. I get sucked into TV shows. Total productivity loss for me.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
I eat anything that won’t eat me back, and I love it all. I’m a total food junkie. I like the color blue in all its shades. And I have rather eclectic tastes in music, although Nine Inch Nails and Aerosmith are all-time favorites. I also like Royal Bloods, Sam Hunt, some Country Music, Our Last Night, and Stromae
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
At one time in my life, I wanted to be an actress, but after majoring in Theater Arts for three years, I realized the profession wasn’t for me. I’ve tried everything, it seems, and there’s really not anything that I’ve enjoyed as much as writing. I love it.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?