Guest: Maree Anderson + Book Giveaway!

The One Where Maree Eats Humble Pie
By Maree Anderson

Thanks heaps for having me as your guest on Fierce Romance, Nicole. I had a ball last time I was here (and I’m thrilled that I was well-behaved enough for you to ask me back *g*)

I used to believe I was incapable of writing an outline and pre-plotting an entire book before I sat down to do the fun stuff – yanno, the writing-and-wondering-what’s-gonna-happen-next-bit. *VBG* I was a seat-of-the-pants writer. Period. But last year, because I’m, like, a total sucker for punishment, I decided that I was going to give this plotting business my best shot. After all, loads of other writers do it. And if I’m ever in the position of selling books to editors based on outlines, I needed to know how to do it, right?


So how did it go?

I shudder at the memory. Kidding! Kinda….

It took about three or four days before I was totally happy with the outline. (And perhaps I shouldn’t mention it was like pulling teeth with a pair of fricking pliers. And that I did A LOT of wandering round the house muttering to myself and finding excuses to procrastinate. Like doing housework. You know there’s something up when you’d rather vacuum the house than write an outline.) But it was worth it in the end, because then I got to reward myself with the fun stuff.*cue me rubbing my hands together with glee*

Then b*gger me (as we say in New Zealand - and not in a rude way) as soon I started writing, one of my main characters went neener neener neener! and decided to change professions. So there went a somewhat crucial aspect of my carefully planned goal, motivation and conflict between the hero and heroine. Nooooo!

“Oh, come on!” I whined to my muse (who by this stage was snickering in a most unladylike fashion). “Don't do this to me! What’s the point of plotting if my characters aren’t gonna stick to the darn plot?” No answer from Ms Muse. She was too busy having fun at my expense - evil beyotch.

Mutter mutter growl growl. Okay. Okay. It's not the end of the world. Just go with it, Maree.

I went with it.

And about five thousand words into the story I got smacked upside the head with another curve ball. My editor emailed me to ask if I had a novella ready to submit. Like, now. Because the publisher had a gap that needed filling. And it’d be a chance to submit a novella for the next Red Sage Secrets anthology. Which meant I’d finally achieve my dream of being in print.

Since the “Are you freaking kidding me?" response that sprang to my fingers didn’t seem appropriate (*g*), I told her I had something in the works. Only trouble was that it’d been planned as a novel-length non-erotic romance. But hey, since it was already fully plotted (there's that heinous word again) I could have a go at scaling it back to a novella and get it to her by, say, the end of the month?

Three weeks. Gulp. (I tried really hard not to think about that whole three weeks thing for fear I’d get writers block.)

“What the heck,” she said. “Go for it, and see how quickly you can get it to me.”

So I went for it.

And despite some plot tweaks – like, having to get the hero and heroine er, “together” really early on (*cough* erotic romance *cough*), and secondary characters who had far too much to say for themselves, I had a ball writing the story. And an incredibly short time later, I typed The End on the last page of a 30,000 word novella, Kat On A Hot Tin Roof. I’d written 25,000 words, and rewritten the first 5000, in three weeks.

Better still, my editor gave me the best feedback I could ever ask for when she emailed me with: "I absolutely loved it. Made a bad day go by fast! And to me, the ultimate recommendation for a story is that it gets the reader through a bad day."

She also said my story was howlingly funny, deliciously tender and super-hot - not that I’m blowing my own trumpet or anything. Aw, what the heck. Toot! Toot! *grins and buffs fingernails on the front of her pjs* (Mind you, I suspect the howlingly funny part might be a nod to my heroine’s Grandma Louise, who lives in a retirement home and refuses to age gracefully. She’s a terrible flirt and she constantly gives the staff conniptions with some of her antics. Moon-hopper races, anyone?)

So, there you go. This pantser is eating a big slice of humble pie, because I truly believe that without plotting and outlining Kat On A Hot Tin Roof before I started, I would not have been able write it so quickly, and I’d have lost my opportunity to have a novella published in a print anthology - my first ever story to go to print. SQUEEEEEE! Mmm. Maybe this plotting business has some merit, after all ;-)

BTW, that slice of humble pie I'm eating? It's apple. With a large scoop of hokey-pokey ice-cream. My favorite!

And if you’d like to read an excerpt from KAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF, please click here.
 (Warning, readers must be 18 years or over. *cough* erotic romance *cough*)

Time for a giveaway!

Unfortunately I can’t give away a copy of Secrets Volume 30 as I’d planned, but…. Instead, I’d like to offer one commenter (chosen at random) who answers my easy peasy question, their choice of any eBook from my backlist:

Even Demons Get The Blues (Demons, Book 1)
Let Sleeping Demons Lie (Demons, Book 2)
From The Ashes
Scent Of A Man

So if you’d like to enter the giveaway, please leave a comment telling me the answer to this question:

What is Jace’s private nick-name for Kat when he first sees her?

Hint 1: the initials are M-K
Hint 2: the first word is “Miss”
Hint 3: Shhh. Don’t tell anyone, but the answer is in the excerpt ;-)
Hint 4: You can always wait for someone else to leave a comment with the answer, and copy their answer... but then you'll miss out on all the fun of reading the excerpt!

~To enter the giveaway, you must be 18 years or over *cough* erotic romance again! *cough*
~Please indicate your choice of prize with your comment.


Maree Anderson


About Maree:

Maree always knew she had a reeeeally warped imagination. The trouble was finding a socially acceptable outlet... which is why she became an author.

The other great thing about being an author is having a valid reason to read loads of books -- all in the name of research, of course. When she's not 'researching', Maree's writing romance of the paranormal persuasion. She's a Kiwi, a New Zealander, and she's addicted to chocolate -- the darker the better. Not to mention coffee and excellent NZ wine. She's not quite so addicted to her local gym but she's working on it ;-)

Maree’s Website
Facebook author page



COX CLUB ~ Alice Gaines
At the urging of her best friend, Andi Crawford visits an exclusive club in order to find some sexual satisfaction after her divorce. The last person she expects to find at a place like Club Cox is her overbearing ex-husband, Blake. But, he’s there and as tempting as ever. Can she maintain her independence, or will she surrender to the intense physical pleasure only he can give her?

KAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF ~ Maree Anderson
Workaholic architect, Jace Burton, inadvertently flashes Kat Meyer, who later turns up at a crucial meeting…and seduces him in the bathroom. She’s one of the designers vying to impress him. And boy, is he impressed to discover her prowling his house—naked. Kat has no clue what’s causing her nocturnal wanderings. And when Jace discovers she’s the victim of a zodiac curse, will he fight to keep her, or run for the hills?

As an Alph-Elite warrior, Kellen is used to getting what he wants, and what he wants is the sexy data thief, Mia. Problem is she won’t admit she wants him or that someone is trying to kill her. It takes all of Kellen’s mutant strength and Mia’s streetwise smarts to keep her alive long enough to unravel a vicious plot for revenge.

Brodie, Chieftain of Clan McCain, is a dark, sensual Scottish scoundrel, who likes nothing more than being a selkie shape-shifter, even if he has been cursed by a witch of the dark arts. Stunning, modern day supermodel, Erin Schultz, blazes into his 1621 world like a falling star. Though he’s certain she will shatter life as he knows it by breaking his curse, he can’t resist her tantalizing seduction.

Secrets Volume 30: Desires Unleashed available now from Red Sage Publishing, and coming soon to good bookstores 


Carly Carson said...

Ha ha. Clever question. I'm not gonna answer since I'm the first commenter and everyone should read the excerpt. Because then they'll have to read the book. Which will make everyone happy.

Yes, I know I'm annoying. I'm not telling, I'm not telling. Can you tell I have lots of siblings, and I've recently been with them all? lol

Liv Rancourt said...

Fun read! Everyone should check out the excerpt whether or not they enter the contest. I know the answer, but in the spirit of not giving things away, I'm just going to say that the second letter in the word that begins with "K" is an i....

derek d said...

Funny scene. Sounds like a fun book. Thanks for the interview. I waffle back and forth on the pantser/plotter thing, but see the benefit in planning. Hadn't thought of the benefits you mention. Great timing to have experimented with being a bit more organized. Good luck with the book.

Sherry said...

I really enjoyed your post. I think the books sounds very good. The answer is (Miss Kissable).
If I win I would like From The Ashes.

sstrode at scrtc dot com

Lizzie Walker said...

Maree, I am laughing my arse off as I am doing the synopsis avoidance dance. The day that the house is cleaner and tighter than my writing is a very bad day for me. I know eventually I can not avoid it but I have to write three! EGADS!

*He couldn’t quite tell what the rest of her was like because of that hideous baggy sweatshirt—wait. Oh, yeah. Yeah, baby. That’s it. Take it off for me.*

LOL loved that line and I can't wait to read this novella. If I win I would like Even Demons get the Blues.

Maree Anderson said...

Carly, you crack me up! Everyone, I'm sure she'd be open to bribery and corruption ;-)

Liv, thank you! This one was such fun to write. I was really in the "zone" and it didn't seem like work at all. Doesn't get much better than that for a writer.

Maree Anderson said...

Derek, I STILL waffle back and forth on the plotter/pantser thing. Because as every pantser knows, nothing will suck the joy of writing from your soul quicker than sitting down to write, opening up that manuscript and seeing everything already laid out for you. Where's the fun in that?

For me, it's about being flexible and having options. I've previously plotted chapter by chapter, paragraph-long outlines when I've been stuck halfway through the story and it's just not working. And funny old thing, turned out after I'd changed the order of the chapters I'd already written, it flowed.

For me, there's a certain degree of relief at being able to follow an outline when I'm not in the mood for writing and nothing's going right. Then, it's a useful tool -- great for tackling major revisions, too! It's like finally writing the synopsis after you've finished the manuscript, and realizing when it's all laid out in black and white, OMG, that bit so doesn't work!

But bottom line? I love to be surprised and astonished by what happens in my story, and I hope I'll never lose that. Whatever works for your muse, I reckon!

Maree Anderson said...

Sherry, thank you for stopping by and for your lovely comments *g*

Maree Anderson said...

Lizzie -- the synopsis.... there should be a special circle of hell just for those little buggers. And the worst thing about being a pantser (or "barnstormer" as I prefer to call it) is that we're writing the darn thing AFTER the manuscript's completed and there's SOOOO MUCH we NEED to include and can't possibly leave out *whimpers*

One of my fellow Writers Gone Wild calls it the "sh*topsis" LOL. I can relate! And writing back-cover blurb for Kat.... Man. I had such a tiny word limit and two days to do it, and I reeeeally thought I was gonna die.

And you have to write three? OMG, have you been really really bad in a former life or something??? Sending you BIG HUGS!!!

J K Maze said...

I loved your post. It was hilarious and, I imagine, so are your books. I would love to receive Even Demons Get the Blues - the nickname is Miss Kissable.


Maree Anderson said...

Hi Joan! You caught me just before I was about to grab breakfast and have a much-needed caffeine infusion. So I hope I make sense and don't start spouting rubbish, LOL.

Thank you so much for stopping by today and I'm glad my post got a few smiles. Yay!

I gotta say, most of my published works have some dark broody stuff but the characters have enough snark and wry humor to provide a balance and wring smiles from the readers. At least, that's what I've been told. Hope they're not just being "nice" because they feel they have to!

Kat On A Hot Tin Roof seems to have turned out funnier than the rest -- at least, I hope the readers find it as amusing as me and my editor do!

Na said...

Hot and cute excerpt. Jace's secret nickname for Kat is Miss Kissable. Poor Kat has no idea simpling delivering mail lol.

I would like to read Even Demons Get the Blues.

Maree Anderson said...

Thanks, Na! I have a bad habit of greeting couriers at the door in my pjs and dressing gown, but at least I've never flashed anyone. Just as well! Think of all the therapy I'd have to pay for!

Actually, there's a funny scene in Even Demons Get The Blues where Rez is chasing down the street after Leisa, and it's, uh, rather obvious how well-endowed he is. Ten inches of dangly man-parts whipping from side to side? Uh. Yeah. *g*

Nicole North said...

Thanks so much for being our guest today, Maree!! I enjoyed your post so much!!

Sharla Rae said...

Thanks for the laugh! I esp. liked the neener, neener part. I've always been a panster and would love to be an outliner but . . . Well, maybe the next book. :)

Maree Anderson said...

Thanks for stopping by, Sharla! Glad I could make you smile :-)

And Nicole, as always, you're very welcome!

Hugs to y'all!