A Clue for Adrianna (Captain’s Point Stories) a romantic women’s fiction novel written by Annie Acorn and Juliette Hill writing as Charlotte Kent
As many of my readers, Twitter followers and Facebook friends know, I have been working with the fabulous and talented Annie Acorn on a collaborative effort, creating a new Contemporary Romance Women’s Fiction series of novels under our joint pseudonym of Charlotte Kent.
The first in our Captain’s Point Stories series, A Clue for Adrianna was just released. The second book in the series, following close behind, has a projected release date of August 1, 2013. Annie and I have set out to create an enriching environment and inspiring cast of character that will entertain, enlighten and inspire our readers to grab hold of life’s opportunities, work out life’s challenges and struggles, and enjoy falling in love!
I appreciate the opportunity given to me through this collaboration to stretch my abilities as a writer and work with one of my true role models in the field, Annie Acorn. I’ve learned so much during this process that will enrich my future individual literary works as well as provide meaningful creative contributions and editorial talents going forward! Thank you, Annie for this chance of a lifetime.
Today, I have a special surprise! Finally, Annie Acorn has agreed to a rare interview. We’re all in for an enlightening treat!
Question #1: We were able to write and edit A Clue for Adrianna, the first novel in our Captain’s Point Stories series in the contemporary romantic fiction genre in approximately 90 days. Besides churning out sometimes thousands of words a day, what do you feel was the secret to accomplishing such an ambitious goal?
Annie Acorn: It isn’t only the number of words we produced each day that led us to accomplishing such a goal–the key to writing a good novel, which was our goal, is saying what you intend to say in a way that will be entertaining and helpful to the reader, if they should chose to learn from the experience of the characters presented.
I am personally proud of what came out of our daily collaboration, during which we continually reminded ourselves who these characters were, what their lives were like, what their hopes and dreams were and their baggage (or what they as individuals had to overcome) in order to become the best they could be.
We put ourselves in the position of our characters to truly understand their actions and individual growth.
Question #2: Did you ever experience writer’s block while we were working on A Clue for Adrianna or while you were writing any of your prior literary works? If so, how did you deal with this issue?
Annie Acorn: I can honestly say that I have never experienced writers’ block. Scenes will come to me unexpectedly like a gift but when writing a daily quota, what I do is reread the previous scene and ask which one of the characters would take the next step, or who might show up at the door–that sort of thing.
Question #3: How did you find the experience of our collaboration on such a large undertaking like A Clue for Adrianna?
Annie Acorn: I have always had an overactive imagination and obviously you do, too, Juliette. Every time I thought I had a story line, you brought just as much to the table. By bringing our creative perspectives together in the book, we produced vastly better material than we could have on our own.
Saying that, there were three things that I found during my experience: (1) knowing I was checking in with you each day kept me writing; (2) having daily collaboration discussions helped me focus on characters’ motivations, dreams and goals; and (3) I often saw your role, Juliette, in collaborating as keeping me on track–true to the characters by insisting that a character had to do something or not do something.
Question #4: How did you approach this undertaking, given that this novel is the first in the Captain’s Point Stories (romance) series, compared to any of your previous works such as your highly successful Chocolate Can Kill, the first in the Emily Harris Cozy Mystery series?
Annie Acorn: First, in a mystery series, the author is constantly looking to move the sleuth from one environment or group of people to another so that the reader has a fresh suspect or set of suspects to chose from. With a romance series, a writer wants to set up an environment and a broad group of strong characters that the reader will want follow as they move forward together in the series.
When writing a mystery, one usually wants to limit the number of characters to between 12 and 15. While in an ongoing romance series, the more characters that are casually introduced the better, without confusing the reader.
Question #5: What if any, surprises or unexpected challenges did you encounter during our collaborative effort?
Annie Acorn: I was surprised by how much fun that it was! At the start, I had carried around a setting for a series for 30 years–a young woman that inherits a large money pit property in a small town who meets a cast of characters who change, broaden and enrich each others lives. On Jan. 10, 2013, I had no plot, no characters, no message beyond the single woman and the house. In point of fact, the town of Captain’s Point is small but the house is not at all what I had envisioned nor is the character of Adrianna. After we started, Adrianna took on a life of her own. When she became defined, she dictated how we would move forward imagining the people around her and who might be thrown in her path that we could draw upon for the story.
The second surprise would be how much fun it could be to write collaboratively with another author who’s voice and vision are so similar. I found it stimulating working with another accomplished author such as yourself, Juliette. Our brainstorming sessions were amazing.
Question #6: Working with you on this endeavor has been a dream-come-true for me and I have learned so much about completing a full-length novel. What would you say is the greatest lesson that you’ve learned from this experience?
Annie Acorn: Having written for more decades than I care to reveal, after all, Annie Acorn writes blog posts as– A Tired Older Woman… , it was wonderful to reaffirm that you’re never too old to take on a new challenge and stretch your talents such that they may be.
Second lesson: Annie Acorn really does need 8 hours sleep a night rather than 4!
Question #7: Was there anything about the collaborative approach to writing this novel that has surprised you?
Annie Acorn: At times, A Clue… poured out of me! So many words wanted to come out that it would have been physically painful not to put pen to paper.
For days on end, I would go to bed, only to wake up three hours later having to complete one or two chapters that were ready to be borne. Being A Tired Older Woman… this took its toll–flipping my days and nights, forgetting to eat–a slave to my words. At the end of the day, reading A Clue for Adrianna–it was all worth it!
Question #8: Since A Clue for Adrianna is your first novel which would be categorized primarily as a romance, what have you found to be the most appealing aspect of working in this genre?
Annie Acorn: Having the opportunity to fall in love again. I have occasionally on my blog annieacorn.com mentioned that I’ve been a widow for almost 20 years, writing this story of two, three-dimensional true to life young professionals, whose paths have met at a crucial time during which they fall in love, has allowed me to relive the time when I fell in love and married my soul mate.
We set out to write a romance and what we wrote was a romantic women’s fiction novel taking our work way beyond our initial expectations. Our characters are so strong!
Question #9: Which writers would you say have influenced your career?
Annie Acorn: All my life, I have been a voracious reader so the list would be very long to be complete. The authors who are among my favorites, and the ones I reread over and over again are:
(1) Jane Austen; (2) Agatha Christie; (3) Georgette Heyer; (4) Dorothy Sayers; (5) Margery Allingham; (6) Frances Burnett; (7) Debbie Macomber; (8) Deborah Crombie; (9) Madeleine L’engle; (10) Noel Coward; and (11) Oscar Wilde
These are authors who consistently produce works of such quality and diversity.
Question #10: What do Charlotte Kent’s readers have in store for them in the near future?
Annie Acorn: Lots of fun and romance! A Man for Susan, the second novel in our series has a projected launch date of August 1st! Substantial writing has been completed on this work. At the moment, we have five books in the works with others to come. Romance and humor consistently flow through all five books as do a strong cast of characters experiencing and learning from life surrounded by friends and family at Captain’s Point.
Thank you so much, Annie, for spending this time with us and sharing your personal experiences, so that our readers and fellow authors have a better understanding of what motivates and influences you as a writer, as well as insights into our new collaborative undertaking, the Captain’s Point Stories series!
For more information about Author Annie Acorn or her blog visit her website at:
Twitter: @Annie_Acorn or @CharlotteKent20
Facebook: Annie Acorn