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Welcome Guest Author: Anne Barwell

Good morning everyone. Today I'm excited to welcome my first guest author for 2015, Anne Barwell. Anne writes across a variety of genres but underlying all of her work is a deep understanding and acceptance of the truths that make us human. In other words, she's a great read and she's here to tell us what we can expect in this new year.


Thanks for hosting me today, Chrissy.

For me, last year was a year for writing about history, and music.  This year I’m writing fantasy and heading back into dragon territory.

Why the change of genre?

I blame my muses, and the fact that everything I write turns into a series. I had intended to just have two series on the go at one time, as that’s easy to manage and readers aren’t waiting too long between books. But I had vampires and dragon queue jump and the dragon’s story—which was supposed to be a one shot—turned into a trilogy. I did try to write an epilogue to wrap everything up, but one of my betas told me it was the beginning of a new book and I did realise that, right?  Then another beta not only agreed and then pointed out that really it was a three book series.  They were right.

With having a few series on the go I write in a circle ie series A, series B, series C, series A, with a new book in each so the readers following those series aren’t kept hanging too long for the next instalment.  I write across different genres, which is the same way I read, but often I find readers who love historicals don’t read fantasy, and vice versa.

As I’m working full time—in a library which is an evil den of temptation—I aim to write two books a year.  This year it’s two and half as I’m also co-writing an historical fantasy with Lou Sylvre called The Harp and the Sea.  We started this story last year but real life caught up with both of us so we’re prioritising it for this year. Here’s the blurb:

In 1745, Ian MacDonald keeps watch from the Isle of Skye, hoping to see Bonnie Prince Charlie’s ships hove into view. A highlander and a Jacobite born and bred, he’ll follow and fight when the prince comes to Scotland, and meanwhile await and guard a treasure meant to finance the future war. Perfect for the job because he has no wife and is never likely to take one, he wishes nonetheless deep in his heart for love, for that one man of them all who could be his match.

Then one morning, something comes in on the waves, not ships, but a twisted, waterlogged harp. He doesn’t understand his need to fetch it in to shore, to carry it up to the cottage he’s made home. But when the harp is taken, he’s driven to follow the trail of the thief—and it’s a man. A strange and beautiful man. Robbie Elliot—he defies explanation, and from whence did he come? And why, sweet mystery, why does the broken harp sound when Ian lays a kiss on Robbie’s lips?

My other current WIP is One Word, and is the next book in the Hidden Places series.  It’s a side novel to Cat’s Quill and takes place during the six weeks that Cathal and Tomas are in Naearu.  Donovan and Ethan play an important part in the last book in that series Dragon’s Price which I’m writing in 2017 and I wanted to explore their characters in more depth before I wrote that one. One Word is more of a contemporary story but there’s still a hint of fantasy to it. 

When Ethan Leavitt comes to the village of Oakwood to search for a missing friend, he isn’t sure what he’ll find.  He’s always prided himself on his ability to find rational explanations in situations where often there doesn’t appear to be one.  Evidence, after all, is something that is usually backed up by logic. Right?

Donovan Campbell has worked hard to put his past behind him. His happy, sometimes flippant, persona hides memories he’d rather forget. The last thing he needs is for some guy he’s only just met to start getting under his skin.

A dangerous situation escalates, and Donovan must embrace a part of himself he can no longer ignore in order to save a future that might never have the chance to exist.  Often the person you think you’re looking for is not the one you find—but have he and Ethan both realized that too late?

Once The Harp and the Sea and One Word are written, I’m writing A Mage to Forget which is the second book in The Dragons of Astria series, and the sequel to A Knight to Remember.  Given that the code phrase of the resistance in Hidden Places is “I believe in dragons” it seems to fair to me to blame dragons for this years’ writing.

Next year I’ll shift the blame elsewhere as I’ll be writing Comes a Horseman, the final book in the Echoes series.  I’ll be following that with Double Exposure, the first book of the ongoing Opus series. This is a spin off of the urban fantasy series The Sleepless City.


Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand.  She shares her home with two cats who are convinced that the house is run to suit them; this is an ongoing "discussion," and to date it appears as though the cats may be winning.

In 2008 she completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra.

She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as "too many." These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of "spare time" is really just a myth.

Contact Anne:
Blog:  http://anne-barwell.livejournal.com/
Website: http://annebarwell.wordpress.com/

Coffee Unicorns:  http://coffeeunicorns.wordpress.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/anne.barwell.1

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4862410.Anne_Barwell

Dreamspinner Press Author Page: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=55_426


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 24th, 2015 01:41 am (UTC)
Wow. Can I say I want to read them all? :) I like your writing in a circle idea, what a nice treat for your readers. Thank you for sharing some of your upcoming work with us, Anne. I'll be keeping my eye out for your progress.
Jan. 24th, 2015 06:48 am (UTC)
Thanks again for hosting me, Christy. And I'd love you to read them all ;)

I also love your icon. I have two cats, I'm totally owned by them and they know it. For some weird reason a lot of my books seem to feature cats in some shape or form too. Not sure what's up with that.
Jan. 25th, 2015 03:20 am (UTC)
I think adding pets to the stories help make the characters more real. How many people do you know and trust in real life that don't have/like animals?

We did have a good laugh here when I posted an image from "Cats in Manly Poses" and confessed I spent more time admiring the cat than the hunk. Sigh. Sad but true. Just scroll down a bit on my recent entries and you'll see the one. :) Now that's a fine looking cat.
Jan. 25th, 2015 05:30 am (UTC)
I saw your post with the cats and the hunk. I must admit I spent more time admiring the cat too.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )