Blog Tour – One Word by Anne Barwell

Thanks for hosting me today as part of my blog tour for One Word, the 3rd book in my Hidden Places series from Dreamspinner Press.

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I have a Rafflecopter running as part of the tour so be sure to enter.

Dreamspinner Press also have the ebooks for Cat’s Quill (book 1) and Magic’s Muse (book 2) on sale for 75% off on 6th November as part of their daily deals newsletter.

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

Tell us a little about yourself.
I live in New Zealand, work in a public library, and play violin for a local community orchestra. I’m a huge geek, especially when it comes to SF, fantasy, and comics, and anything related to them. My first book was published by Dreamspinner Press in 2011. One Word is my 12th title with them. I write across a number of genres including contemporary, historical, SF, and fantasy, often with a bit of mystery/detective sprinkled into the plot.

What would people be most surprised to know about you?
I don’t drink coffee. Love the smell, hate the taste, and it makes me sleepy.

How do you relax?
I play in an orchestra, read, and watch TV and movies. I belong to a science fiction club, and meet up with friends regularly for meals and/or a movie. I always have a knitting project on the go and that often accompanies the TV watching and get-togethers. One day I’m hoping to have time to get back into cross-stitch and finish the projects I’ve started.

Do you have a favorite quote (either from your own books or one’s you’ve read)?
But words are things: and a small drop of ink
Falling like dew, upon a thought, produces
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.
—George Gordon Byron

I used this as the quote at the beginning of Magic’s Muse, and liked it so much I named my website Drops of Ink.

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How long have you been writing and what made you fall in love with writing?
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. When creative writing was set at school, it always turned into elaborate world building with fleshed out characters. I didn’t do any for years while my children were small but then I found the internet, and fanfiction, and started writing again.

Did you always want to be a writer?
Yes, and thought being a published writer was a pipe dream. I still can’t believe I have book #13 coming out in January.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?
To keep writing, and for publishers to still want to publish what I write. I’d love more hours in the day so I could write more, but it’s difficult with working full time, and having family commitments.

What’s your favorite part of writing?
Seeing my characters grow on the page. I usually start a book with a fair idea of the direction of the plot, and the characters, but they always like to take the scenic route, and I learn things about them I didn’t know.

Why did you choose to write GLBTQ romance? Why not another genre?
They are the characters who came to me and wanted their story written. My writing tends to be character driven, rather than romance driven, and in some stories although the romance is there, it’s not what the book is about.

Give the readers a brief summary of your latest book.
Ethan Leavitt arrives in the idyllic village of Oakwood to search for a missing friend. Having always prided himself on his ability to find rational explanations, Ethan’s trust in concrete evidence and logic is tested by the mystery of Oakwood and Tomas’s disappearance.

Donovan Campbell’s happy, sometimes flippant, exterior hides a past he’d rather forget. As he struggles with his memories and to hold on to the inn he owns with his best friend, the last thing Donovan needs is for some guy he’s only just met to start getting under his skin. When a bank robbery escalates into a dangerous situation, 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.

Ethan learns that often the person you’re looking for is not the one you find. But have he and Donovan both realized that too late…?

What genre does it fall in?
Mystery detective, although it’s also been described as romantic suspense. There’s also a touch of fantasy, but blink and you’ll miss it.

Share a few words about your latest book, other than the usual blurb.
Although One Word is book three of my fantasy series Hidden Places, it’s not a fantasy. It’s also a side story to book one in the series, Cat’s Quill. Although it takes place at the same time as the last few chapters of that one, it can be read as a standalone. I wanted to tell Donovan and Ethan’s story before I write the final book in the series, Dragon’s Price, as they play a big part in it.

Give us a little insight into your main characters. Who are they?
Donovan Campbell is very laid back, and his default mode is good humoured. However, that is also a façade for the pain he hides from a past he still hasn’t come to terms with. He owns an inn in the small English village of Oakwood with his friend, Heidi. Donovan is American, and came to England for a fresh start.

Ethan Leavitt is British, and a high school Maths and Science teacher. He believes that everything has a logical explanation. He has a very dry sense of humour, and isn’t great at making friends. He’s still recovering from his bad breakup with his previous partner.

Will we be seeing these characters again any time soon? Is this book part of a series?
Yes! One Word is a Hidden Places story. Readers met Donovan in book one of that series—Cat’s Quill—when Tomas came to stay at the inn he owned. Ethan is Tomas’s friend, and although he was mentioned in that book, he didn’t appear ‘on screen’ until book two—Magic’s Muse. Although the rest of the series is a portal fantasy, their story isn’t. I’m looking forward to writing the last book with Ethan trying to get his head around being in a world in which magic is prevalent, given how much he’s determined to find a rational, scientific explanation for everything.

Which actor would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
Craig Olejnik for Donovan, and Christopher Gorham for Ethan.

Tell us a little bit about your writing style. What does your writing process look like?
I love notebooks. I have one for each series—as I love to write in series—which I fill with notes and ideas. By the time I get as far as writing most of the book is already outlined in those notebooks, although scenes I never thought of always manage to sneak into each book.

Once I have a very loose bullet pointed outline, I start writing. I usually do at least three drafts, and am constantly tweaking as I re-read through. I love my beta readers.

I’d describe my writing as character driven, usually with a romance and often with a good dollop of action and drama.

When/where is your favorite time/place to write?
I work afternoons/evenings and weekends so I write in the mornings before work and on my weekends which are Monday/Tuesday. I have my dining room table set up as my workspace, which works well as I can multitask and cook/bake at the same time. Nevertheless I have got so involved in a scene I’m writing that more than one batch of muffins have come out a little blacker than they were supposed to. I also have a nice relaxing view of my backyard from the window, and can see the Orongorongo ranges in the distance.

What genre/s do you enjoy reading in your free time?
SF & fantasy, historical, anything that looks interesting.

What was the last book you read? What did you like about it?
The Jackal’s House by Anna Butler. I loved the leads, Ned and Rafe, and the way they complement each other. Her world building is fabulous, and I’m always partial to a good steampunk story with an intriguing layered plot.

I usually have two books on the go. One on my tablet which was the latter, and a hardcopy to read during breaks at work. That one was The Furthest Station by Ben Aaronovitch. It’s a novella and part of his Rivers of London series which is about a London copper who is part of The Folly, the wizarding branch of the London Met. I love this series, its characters, and its humour.

Have you held any interesting jobs while you worked on your books?
I work in a public library and have done since my first book—Cat’s Quill—was published. I wrote that first book while I was studying for my Bteach/BA in English Lit/Music.

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Blurb:
A Hidden Places Story
Ethan Leavitt arrives in the idyllic village of Oakwood to search for a missing friend. Having always prided himself on his ability to find rational explanations, Ethan’s trust in concrete evidence and logic is tested by the mystery of Oakwood and Tomas’s disappearance.

Donovan Campbell’s happy, sometimes flippant, exterior hides a past he’d rather forget. As he struggles with his memories and to hold on to the inn he owns with his best friend, the last thing Donovan needs is for some guy he’s only just met to start getting under his skin. When a bank robbery escalates into a dangerous situation, 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.

Ethan learns that often the person you’re looking for is not the one you find. But have he and Donovan both realized that too late…?

Excerpt:
“I’m so sorry, Jane,” Ethan said, “and I apologize for my insensitivity earlier. It was completely out of line.”

She managed a shaky smile. “Thank you for being understanding. Good afternoon, gentlemen. I guess it’s a good thing that I have the day off, isn’t it?”

“I’m sorry for kicking you,” Donovan said after she’d left.

“I can be an insensitive jerk at times. Lord knows, I’ve been told that often enough.”

“Not always. You’ve got a kind side to you too.”

Ethan’s concern for Jane had been real enough, as was his mortification that he’d been rude once he’d seen that she was upset.

“You say that like it’s a good thing.” Ethan retrieved his napkin from the side of his plate and wiped his mouth. “Sometimes it’s not, you know. People take advantage. Not that I’m saying she is, but….” He sighed. “Just forget it, okay.”

“Okay.” Donovan wondered who had hurt Ethan and recently. He’d seen enough to connect the dots. “Lots of assholes in this world, unfortunately.”

“And some decent people too. Oakwood’s been good for reminding me of that.”

“Are you sure you’re okay to come to London with me tomorrow?” Donovan couldn’t help but think that something in their conversation had triggered Ethan’s reaction. He’d said Mitchell and Vincent were good friends. Perhaps it was this acquaintance he’d mentioned? The one who had introduced him to them.

“I’m looking forward to it.” Ethan glanced at Donovan’s empty plate. “Have you had enough lunch?”

“Yes, thanks. I was hungrier than I realized.” Donovan finished the last of his beer.

“I went to see the owner of the Chronicle the other day, but he was too busy to talk and suggested we meet briefly today instead. I’m hoping, as he’s been working at the newspaper a while, he can tell me some old stories about Oakwood that didn’t end up in print. You’re welcome to come if you’d like.”

“Thanks for the offer, but I need to do some work at the inn this afternoon. We had to replace some weatherboards a few months ago, and I need to get them painted before winter.” Donovan wished he could have said yes, but Heidi was stressing about it. If he didn’t get onto it soon, she’d be out there doing it herself, and she did enough already. Part of their agreement in taking on the inn was that they split the workload between them, and Donovan made sure he pulled his weight. “You’re okay to find your own way back?”

“Yes, I’ll be fine. Thanks for asking.” Ethan pushed back his chair and walked over to the counter to pay for their meal. “I’ll see you later, at the inn.”

“Okay. Sounds good.” Donovan didn’t follow him immediately but instead stayed at the table watching Ethan at the counter. His hair curled up slightly at the back, his jacket falling to mid-ass, not quite covering it. He had a very nice ass.

Bet he kisses well too.

Oh fuck. Donovan closed his eyes for a moment. Where the hell had that thought come from? He was falling for the guy, wasn’t he—falling for a guy who wasn’t interested and would be walking out of his life in a couple of days.

Donovan heard footsteps walking away. He opened his eyes just in time to see Ethan disappear out the door. It was time to leave and bury himself in the work he needed to get done. He stood and headed for the door, giving Eoin and his friends a wave as he passed their table.

He hadn’t missed the money the three men had given Craig or the grins they all wore.

Donovan groaned. Great, that was all he needed. The pub door slammed as he stalked through it. Yep, they were running another betting pool all right.

It wasn’t his fault they were wasting their time. They’d find that out soon enough for themselves.

Buy Link

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Tour Stops

November 3 – Open Skye Book Reviews
November 6 – Book Reviews and More by Kathy
November 6 – Top to Bottom Reviews
November 6 – Two Men Are Better Than One
November 6 – Gay Book Promotions
November 7 – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
November 8 – Happily Ever After Chapter
November 9 – Love Bytes Reviews
November 10 – Boy Meets Boy Reviews
November 10 – Nic Starr
November 13 – The Novel Approach Reviews
November 14 – Dreamspinner Press Blog
November 15 – Aisling Mancy

About the Author

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. She also hosts other authors, reviews for the GLBTQ Historical Site “Our Story” and Top2Bottom Reviews, and writes monthly blog posts for Authors Speak and Love Bytes.

Anne’s books have received honorable mentions four times and reached the finals three times in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical.

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2 thoughts on “Blog Tour – One Word by Anne Barwell

  1. Pingback: Travelling Around With One Word | Drops of Ink

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