Posted in Creekside Cafe, interview

Welcome Destiny Swallows, to Creekside Cafe

Welcome Destiny Swallows to Creekside Café. Destiny is the other half of the writing duo of the debut novel, The Lost Maidens.

10 facts:

1: This is my first Romance novel. 

2: I made that helmet behind my head in my photo. 

3: I have autism.

4: My wife calls me Loki spawn, so it would be fitting that I’d end up writing an agent of chaos.  

5: I did 3 tours of duty in the Navy, which allowed me to travel around the world. 

6: If I had another chance, I’d love to return to Germany. I only spent a week in the nation. 

7: I can still hear the dial-up sounds, and you got mail when someone says anything about it.

8: As a panster, working with an outliner was interesting, to say the least. Having to plan out the chapters with Ruby was quite the experience. 

9: I hold a Batchelor of Science in Computer Security and a Master of Business Administration that I earned in the early 2010’s. 

10: I grew up in Portland, Oregon but now live in Colorado. The climate shock between almost a rainforest to the high desert has been interesting.

Bio: Destiny was kidnapped and forced to write this at writer point by Ruby. Having written privately for years, Ruby convinced her friend to share her work with the world. She’s traveled around the world, seeing far-off places that inspire the worlds she writes.

According to your bio you were held at ink point to write this novel. Tell us the truth, we won’t tell a soul. Is Ruby a vicious task master?

Destiny: No, she isn’t. Once she got me to start the project, I was the one with the whips.

Sherri: As a pantser myself, I understand the difficulties you must have faced working with one who plots and outlines. I do try but I’m not consistent. What was the most difficult for you?

Destiny: I tend to have an idea of where I want the book to start and end. From there, I tend to let the characters lead the way, often changing the ending I wrote down. I will build scenes in my mind before I sit down to write, as I feel like outlines are double the work. If you’re writing details already, might as well just write the draft.

Sherri: Oh, I agree. I fast draft, which is like an outline, before going back to hand fruit.

Destiny: Ruby is the type of writer that needs to have an idea what chapter is covering what. To have road signs as she writes and to have the details already worked out.  

Sherri: From Ruby’s interview, I know the two of you met through an online writers’ group. What do you usually write?

Destiny: I tend to write Sci-Fi, Historical Fiction, and Mythology. It’s wide selection of genres, but they are interesting to research how to provide realism to my novels. I love learning about the subjects I am writing.

Sherri: How did the two of you divide the writing?

Destiny: I wrote for Kaitlyn, while she wrote Alva. We shared the descriptions and NPC’s. As we both are Tabletop RPG players, we let the dice dictate how our combat actions, with a few exceptions for the plot.

Sherri: Tell me about the helmet in the photo. What was it for? You said you made it.

Destiny: I made it for my wife. It is the Lich King Helmet from World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King. In 2015, she wanted to go to DragonCon, in Atlanta, as Elsa, the Lich Queen. We made her the helmet and sword, Frostmourne, for her to cosplay. We took cardstock, cut a pattern out for them, glued the pieces into a 3d model. From there, we fiber glassed them and used Bondo (for cars) to harden it and provide shape. My daughter airbrushed both for us.

Sherri: My daughter-in-law and grandchildren took me to a comicon. I enjoyed dressing up. I wish I’d known about using Bondo to fabricate my costumes. He’s a mechanic.

You said you hope to return to Germany, what adventures do you hope to do when you return?

Destiny: As a historical writer, I would like to see the rich history of the area. There is only so much you can understand from books, but physically seeing what happened in the old USSR state, to see the buildings that the Holy Roman Empire was ran from, to see the hills where the Celtics and Romans fought would help me translate that into my novels.

I’ve been to Italy, which allowed me to see the Vatican, Rome, Naples, and other towns on the Mediterranean. I’ve been to England and Ireland. I rather enjoyed their history as well.

Sherri: I love history as well and envy your travels.

The Lost Maidens is a historical, sapphic romance. I know you are married and have your own sapphic romance, but you said you’d never written romance, so how did this come about? Why romance? Why historical? How did this story evolve?

Destiny: Ruby was visiting my wife and I, and we started tossing ideas back and forth. The basic idea came rather quicky, one of us suggested Viking, which lead to a lesbian romance of the pair lost from their tribes. Ruby writes romance, so she talked me into adding it into the story.

Alva and Kaitlyn were not originally enemies to lovers. At best, they didn’t know each other but turned out that the healer cared more about making sure Alva would live than being nice. 

Sherri: How did you and your wife meet? And why does she call you Loki?

Destiny: I met her on one of those sites in 2012. We had dinner, and I pretty much never left. It was like magic, as we are both pretty closed off people, that we opened to each other. We’d spend every night after work smoking (bad habit, quit later) and talking on her back porch. We were married in 2015.

I am Loki spawn because if I can cause chaos, I will, just to see what happens. Loki’s role within the Gods was to be an agent of change. I tend to also push my friends to become the best they can be. Because of this, I earned the nickname.

Sherri: Do you use your education in your career?

Destiny: I use my MBA in my career, but my Computer Security degree, I haven’t worked in that field in 7 years. It is a very competitive field.

Sherri: With a degree in computer security, yet you have no social media presence. Has the knowledge kept you from setting up an account?  

Destiny: Mostly. I used to use social media a lot, but a few years ago, I said I don’t need this kind of negativity in my life. I walked away from most of them. I rather enjoy the person I am now that I’m not chasing likes and spending so much time doom scrolling. I also kinda forgot to make a Twitter account to promote my books until you asked.

Sherri: Now that your debut novel is ready to go live, what is next? Do you have other books ready to publish? Will The Lost Maidens be part of a series?

Destiny: I don’t have any more books ready to publish, but Ruby and I are talking about writing starting a WW2 Spy Novel series, taking place in the early days of the war in France. We want to tell the stories of the woman who spied for the allies, like Virginia Hall. She had a wooden leg, and managed to cross the Pyrenees mountains, twice with it. She had named it Cuthbert, and her handlers once told her to cut Cuthbert loose if he’s giving her too much trouble.

There are many women who helped the Allies stop Germany. From France, Italy, Russia, and many other places. I hope in the series that we can include stories about the Night Witches (A WW2 Female only Bi-Plane Bomber squadron) and Lyudmila Mikhailovna Pavlichenko, was a Soviet sniper in the Red Army during World War II, who was credited with 309 deaths, making her the most successful female sniper in recorded history.

Sherri: Ah, you are talking to my heart with WW2 stories, especially female spies. I will be happy to do another interview when you get that series up and going.

Thank you for joining us at my Creekside Café. I wish both you and Ruby great success with your debut novel.

If you enjoyed this interview, check out The Lost Maidens pre-order now, it goes live July 19th.

Book Links: Ebook:
Print Book Link:

Book Blurb:

Alva and her wife Lise are on a mission to lead the sassy Princess Kaitlyn to a new land. They will combine clans through Kaitlyn’s marriage to the son of Alva’s chief. Standoffish at first, the pair quickly draw a disdain for one another, unmatched by any sense Thor and Loki.

However, when a storm rocks their world and capsizes their boat, Alva and Kaitlyn are the sole survivors. They are left with the tasks of exploring not only a new world, but also their newfound desires for one another. When the pair comes across a village hidden in the cold Canadian arctic, they embark upon creating a new life with the native people.

As they become one with the Inuit, how will these shield maidens prepare for their biggest threat yet? Will Alva be able to find Lise in their new village? Or will she seek comfort in the arms of Kaitlyn? Will the shield maidens be enough to protect the village from Frost Giants?

Find out in The Lost Maidens

Book Links: Ebook:
Print Book Link:

Posted in Creekside Cafe, interview

Kaitlyn Kalor Visits Creekside Cafe

Kaitlyn Kalor is a 9-year Navy Vet, having spent most of the first decade of the century on active duty. She grew up in the Pacific Northwest, giving her a love of the mountains that she enjoys daily viewing as she now lives in Colorado. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Security and a Master of Business Administration that she earned after the Navy. She has the weaknesses of Vampires, having porphyria. Vampiric myths about their sun weakness were based upon this illness. She is also a Transgender author.

Welcome Kaitlyn Kalor to Creekside Café. I am so excited to be hosting my first author from Tea with Coffee Media Thank you for stopping by my virtual café.

Kaitlyn: Thank you for letting me come by.

Sherri: You spent nine years in the Navy? I have a son who has been in for almost two years. He has just finished his rescue swimmer certification. What was your job in the Navy? Do you use it now that you are a civilian again? Does your time in the Navy influence any of your writing?

Kaitlyn: I was a computer repair for the first 6 years of my time in the Navy. My last 3 was spent as one of their white hat hackers. As a repair person, I managed to half fill a passport in 2 years traveling all over the world to include catching a flight to a carrier from Japan and flying out from Hong Kong. When I left the military, I worked for a Software company that developed software for the Government but after I left that job, the only aspect I still use is the technical writing I did for the Government.

I have a point in the book where one of the characters visit a native city whose design was directly influenced by the time I spent 3 months in Naples and the cities I visited while doing a network install there.

Sherri: You grew up in the Pacific Northwest, I have not been that far west. I’ve only been as far as Wyoming and New Mexico. My niece is out in Washington, and I hope to visit her and her wife one day. My sister-in-law has been out there a couple of times. Do you set any of your stories in Pacific Northwest? Where are your stories set?

Kaitlyn: I currently have no plans to use the Pac NW in the series due to the cultures I am involving. While I have several books planned for the Americas, the time frame puts most of the north under 2 km of ice. The books start 400,000 years in the past, but with Earth looking a little different. The image below is what Earth looks like at the start.

Book one starts between Africa and Asia, in a location that eventually becomes the Middle East. I have a plan that is very very loosely based upon a few scientific theories that will bring the planet inline with how we know the planet to look like.

Sherri: You hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Security and a Master’s in Business Administration. No offense but they hardly seem like creative pursuits. How did you go from computer security and business to being an author?

Kaitlyn: At the time I picked up my degrees, I was heavily involved with both in my company. I started writing when I was 17, in the days of Dial up internet with a Star Trek Play By e-Mail Roleplay group. I started a book with a friend in 2003, but that was never finished due to life for both of us.

In 2015, my company let me go. My health at the time started to slide so I started to stream on Twitch until my pain was too much to focus. I will say this, writing good research papers did help my technical performance in writing.

Sherri: What does Pride Month mean for you?

Kaitlyn: I have no option for it. It’s taken decades for me to accept who I am and to figure it out that I am transgendered. This apathy is a side effect from growing up in a Super-Christian household who preached separation, so I disassociated a lot of things, from birthdays to all holidays as I just didn’t grow up with them.

Sherri: Do you know where your inspiration came from for your novel Dawn of Humanity or the series Generations of Humanity? Did you first get started with a character or scene?

Kaitlyn: The story idea came to me one day in early 2018 when I fell into that part of YouTube. The video suggested that Atlantis might have been in Western Africa, the Eye of the Sahara, or its other name, Richart Structure. By the time I had finished watching, I had a basic outline in my head, covering at least 25 books. It has undergone several revisions since then, but the primary story arc has remained the same.

Sherri: Are you a plotter or a pantser? How do you write? Is this your first novel? How long have you been writing?

Kaitlyn: This is my first completed novel that was started in 2018, but I’ve been writing since 1997, mostly Fanfiction.  I am a planster right now. Draft 1 was written by the seat of my pants, then I started using the snowflake method to plan out the rest of the series. Draft 1 was a dual timeline novel, with a group from today discovering the past and re-living memories of the Aliens. I ended up scrapping most of my first draft because the second half of the series didn’t work due to power creep, and I couldn’t find an interesting way to keep the current timeline involved with the past. When I went to do draft 2, I ripped out the modern timeline and everything slid into place.

Sherri: How many books will be in this series? What is the overall theme? What do you hope readers will think or feel when they finish your book?

Kaitlyn: The series is currently planned for 22 books plus an apocalyptic trilogy to wrap up everything at the end.

I am hopeful that my books have my readers looking into our history, learning about civilizations that helped create our current world. I have a plan to write worldwide cultures to include African and American Gods. Morimi is the Yoruba Goddess of Fire for example, and she will have a strong role in the series. 

Sherri: Tell me about some of your characters. How would you describe them? What is their theme song?

Kaitlyn: The series uses the concepts of the Yuga’s from Hinduism and Reincarnation. While my ages are shorter than the ones in Hinduism, the concept of the Earth going through Cycles is a key plot point. Right now, I plan on having 6 major ages.

With this in mind, we learn that Enki is a new soul, learning about the world for the first time, while his biological father, Enlil, has been reincarnated several times. Chronos as well. The Anunnaki and Annunaki Titans are Reptilian aliens. Think of the smaller creatures from 1993’s Jurassic Park (Their fake Raptors for example Dilophosaurus) but upright like Humans. They come in all kinds of shapes and sizes.

This is Papsukkal, Gaia’s bodyguard. He is dedicated to protecting her, as he protected her father and grandfather. He very much is like “Another One Bites the Dust” when defending his charges from attack.

Gaia, Khione, and Morimi are Humanaki, they can shift their body sizes from 3 meters plus to human size. They have powers of Earth, Water (Ice), and Fire respectively.

Enki’s Theme song is Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin

F**kin’ Perfect by Pink is Gaia’s theme

Legendary is Chrono’s theme song.

Bad Blood by Taylor Swift is the theme when the two Sky Lords get ready to face off at the end.

Sherri: Kaitlyn, this has been fun. Give us 10 quick, fun facts about you.

Kaitlyn: I am one of the first Navy CTN ratting that was created in 2005. I am a Twitch streamer (when my health allows it), and a Twitch Moderator for a Twitch Partner.

I remember WebTV as my father was one of the few adopters of it. I was the kid who played Oregon Trail in computer labs on the old Apple IIe computers before I was homeschooled. I’ve used NetZero and Juno for dial up internet. My first home computer was a Commodore 64 where I’d end up playing games like F-14 Tomcat. I’d swipe the AOL floppy disc’s from the store entrance whenever I needed floppies.

Being homeschooled, I read a LOT of books. I’d ride my bike 10 miles to the local bookstore and spend the day reading, on most days back when Pagers were all the rage. I’d finish a paperback most days. That’s when I started my writing, via e-mail role play, but I never thought I would be good enough to become an actual author but here we are with my first book coming out 25 years later.

I love Tabletop RPGs, but I tend to be given the role of Game Master. I currently run a game based upon the book with a few from Tea With Coffee Media, for purely selfish reasons. They are helping me flush out the rest of the world.

As I live in Colorado, I grow my own cannabis in hydroponics for my pain management, but I’ve started branching out to grow things like Potatoes and other food in my grow tents.

Sherri: Congratulations on your debut novel. Good luck with your series. I look forward to hearing from you again.

If you all enjoyed this interview, check out Kaitlyn’s book “The Dawn of Humanity” available for pre-order, the links are below, follow her on social media and don’t forget to leave a review. Thanks again for stopping by.

Releases June 21st, 2022!

Book Blurb:

Thousands of years after their planet’s ruin, the Anunnaki and Titans led by Sky Lord An find their way to planet Earth. When this reptilian species lands on Earth, they discover a connection to their powers only described from the days of Olympus.

Sa-Tan Enki led a team of Anunnaki on a mission and set out to create a race of beings that mixed humanity with immortality. However, some of the Titans led by Chronos are unhappy with the creations. What happens when Chronos seeks revenge upon his brother Enlil? To cleanse the new planet of the bastard race, the Titans revolt against the newfound Olympians. Find out what happens in the first book of Generations of Humanity: Dawn of Humanity

My Social Media links are:

BookBub coming soon

Book Links Available for Pre-order! Releases June 21st!

If you are an author looking for a virtual coffee shop to hang out, stop by Creekside Cafe. We’ll treat you so many ways you’re bound to like one of them.

Posted in Book Review

Finding Jayci Lee

Finding a new author is exciting. Discovering one with a unique voice and who has been influenced a little bit by a different culture is a lot of fun. I don’t always seek out authors of different races or cultures, but I like to read a variety of authors, genres and yes, different cultures. Why? Because I might learn something.

I have always enjoyed learning about different places, people and cultures. There was a time I really wanted to be an archaeologist, but I digress. Even before my daughter-in-law, Chanthou joined the family, I was enthralled by Asian culture. Chanthou is Cambodian. I have two lovely grandchildren who are half-Asian and all marvelous. I enjoy learning about the differences and similarities of each nationality.

I thought I knew quite a bit about Asian culture from years of reading and studying, but it has only been in the past few years that I’ve learned there are even more diverse cultures than the few I was aware of. I find the links between countries, cultures and the British and French who tried to colonize them to be fascinating and at times frightening.  There is so much our public school history books did not cover.

When I started following Jayci Lee on Twitter it was quite by accident—a happy accident. She is writer friends with a couple of authors I adore. When I saw the cover of her book and read the excerpt, I was hooked, and boy did she hook me. Garrett Song is the brooding, hot businessman who has worked his way up through his family’s company. Natalie Sobol is vulnerable but not weak. In fact, they are both vulnerable but still strong, how Jayci managed to write these characters so well is beyond me.

At the very beginning on the fake spouse plan you know it’s not going to work. They are already attracted to each other, perhaps, that is why Garrett came up with the idea. Each of them has needs that having the other in their life will make the situation better, but they know that their marriage also provides complications, especially to their hearts. I laughed until I cried, and then I bawled like a baby. Oh, my god! You talk about ripping out my heart, the whole last half of the book I’m sobbing as I read but I can’t freaking put the book down because it is that damned good. And get this y’all, this is Jayci’s debut novel. If this is her first book, then I’m standing in line for the next one because if she’s this good already she’ll be serving my heart on a platter with her next one.

If you are looking for a beautiful story with a lot of heart, strong but vulnerable characters and a little flavor of Korean culture, this is a story you don’t want to miss. If you don’t care about other cultures, don’t worry, it’s still a great story. Read the book and you will realize that there are so many similarities between one culture and another that the only differences are in the details. Loved this book. Congratulations Jayci Lee!

Posted in Book Review

Acquiring Analise

K and S Securities Series by A J Andersen

Adorable blond woman hugging a handsome guy

It is difficult to imagine that this is only A J Andersen’s second book. As with Finding Faye, Andersen knows how to hit all the right notes.

The relationship between Ana and X is sizzling. At first, I had a little difficulty with the way she left him but getting into the story, it all falls into place. Neither Analise nor Xavier had a traditional upbringing. Both carry a lot of baggage from the parents. The fact that they are such strong, caring people despite the monsters that raised them is an awesome testament to their character.

Family isn’t just blood, it is the people you choose to be in your corner. The people who have your back when all hell is breaking loose. Travis and Blake, and the men and women of K and S Securities are finding a home in Vegas with Xavier Cerelli, and his chosen people. Faye and Ana are bringing together a group of women who will be the strength and backbone of this new family. Bonded together by their desire to take down the older Cerelli gang, these men and women prove they are not only survivors, but they will thrive even in the shadow of evil.

The relationships, passion and action keep this story moving and leaves the reader wanting to know what happens next. A J Andersen is a new author on the rise. Y’all will want to put her books at the top of your TBR pile.

Posted in Creekside Cafe, interview

Chat with Anna Volkin

Welcome to Creekside Café, Anna Volkin. I understand you are a coffee fan like I am.

Anna: Hello, Sherri! Thank you for inviting me to this lovely talk. I’m thrilled to pieces to be here, in the Creekside Cafe with you, although it’s only a virtual meeting. Yes, coffee is my poison of choice. Espresso lungo. Black.No sugar. I can drink it at any time of day. Does that make me an addict?

Sherri: If it does, I’m right there with you, though I prefer a little cream in my coffee. I used low fat milk because of the calories but, oh, sweet delicious cream.

Anna and I met through The New Romance Café Facebook Group. We will be published in the spring anthology, Love in Bloom. This will be your first published story? You are new to writing, is that true?

Anna: Yes, writing is a new endeavor for me. Actually, I’ve never thought of myself as a writer or being able to write fiction until less than a year ago. It’s all new and shiny. Of course, there had been some attempts in my teenage years, but I blame those on my experimental phase rather than on a serious pursuit of writing. So I’d be safe to say I’ve been writing for less than a year – I’m not taking academic papers and specialty articles into account. 

That didn’t stop me from already having outlined a 7 book contemporary romance series – I know, I know, I’m not sure if saying this out loud is shameless bragging or terrifying stupidity. As well as this, I’ve plotted three more short stories (they would make a nice series with the one I’m about to publish) and I’m contemplating a PNR idea. 

Sherri: You mention academic papers and specialty articles; you have a profession that requires you to do other writing?

Anna: Yes, I am an MD, a medical doctor. I’m lucky enough to have my private practice, so it’s up to me to manage my work and writing schedules.

Sherri: Anna, tell us where are you from?

Anna: I’m Romanian, currently living in the capital city once known as Little Paris – Bucharest. I like to say that I was born on the “wrong” side of the Iron Curtain.

Sherri: What do you mean by the wrong side?

Anna: Because I am a citizen of the world – this is how I see myself, without denying or minimizing my roots and heritage. Nevertheless, the selective isolation and censorship my country was subjected to until the ’90s has definitely shaped our view of the world in a different manner. I am lucky, though: I had the tremendous chance to be exposed to both lifestyles and schools of thought (Eastern and Western) and gather deep cultural influences from both of them. Also, the upside of the aforementioned isolation was that our main entertainment as children born in the early eighties was reading – that was what you could do without television and video games, and I’m thankful for it. It has broadened my horizons in multiple directions and helped develop a strong sense of critical thinking.

Sherri: Do you have a favorite author or genre?

Anna: Until a few years ago, I tended to read indiscriminately. Having done my part with “heavy” literature, lately, I turned to “lighter” genres, as reading is a form of escapism as far as I am concerned. I’m most fond of fantasy, dystopian and paranormal. If there is also a romantic thread, that’s for the better. I’ve also caught up on my romance reading and I really enjoy it. I can’t name a favorite author – I’d feel like it would be unfair to all the stories I’ve loved. Actually, my reading is mostly about the stories than about the authors, and I’m really bad at remembering names and titles. 

Sherri: I’ve never been to Romania, I bet it’s lovely. Have you ever been to eastern North Carolina or the east coast United States?

Anna: No, I haven’t got the chance. It’s not on the other side of the world for me, but it’s pretty close.


Sherri: As a new writer, what is it that you enjoy about writing?

Anna: I love the freedom of it. When writing, you can explore different facets of your personality, different voices of the same persona. You can be both a horrendous villain and a fantastic hero. You can introspect. You can fantasize. You can push your limits. You can test hypotheses. You can empathize.

Sherri: I find I can do some of these same things when I read. Do you think reading helps you be a better writer?

Anna: Reading has the unbelievable power of shaping an individual. You become educated, cultured, and imaginative through reading. It’s one of the most powerful workouts for your brain – if you think of it as a metaphorical muscle. It forces you to covert the words you read into images and emotions, thus creating a very personal and intimate experience with that particular piece. I don’t believe in writers who don’t read habitually. As writing itself involves a lot of resources and skills that have to be so well practiced to the point they turn into reflexes. As a non-native English speaker, I find this particularly challenging, but, oh, my, I’m a sucker for a good challenge. Vocabulary, idioms, phrasing, world building, characters, relatability, and technicalities of the craft – you’re not born knowing those things. You learn them, even if sometimes you’re not consciously aware of it.

Sherri: Have you discovered anything you don’t like about writing?

Anna: Oh, there’s no such thing. But it sometimes feels overwhelming. I tend to dive headfirst in things, and now, writing seems the simplest part of an author’s work. But I’m learning every day.  That’s what I’m best at, after all. 

Sherri: I believe that no matter where we are in our careers, there’s still something new to learn. I write at odd times throughout the day, taking a few minutes before work, during lunch and late in the evenings. Have you discovered your best time to write?

Anna: I noticed that my most productive time is in the late afternoon. Unfortunately, I need complete silence and isolation to be able to write, and that is pretty rare.

Sherri:  What do you feel your writing strengths and weaknesses are?

Anna: I honestly have no idea. First, because I am my worst and most pretentious judge. Second, because my perception of my own writing is definitely different from the others’. One thing I believe in, though, is that people – and extrapolating, in this case, authors – have certain attributes. On one hand, it depends on themselves whether they turn those into strengths or weaknesses. On the other hand, it depends on the others whether those attributes are perceived as qualities or flaws. 

Sherri:  Do you have any other hobbies or interests? Do these show up in your stories?

Anna: Oh, this is another topic I could go on forever. I think my main interest is to know things. The more diverse, the better. I also have a very creative side, so naturally, architecture, design, graphic design, advertising and generally, visual arts are things I enjoy and topics I follow. 

I’m also a DIY-er. I love the feeling of doing things with your hands, though I tend to do more “masculine” projects. I own a serious collection of power tools, so you’d rather find me restoring a piece of furniture than knitting, but I don’t do it as much as I’d like because of the lack of space. I’m the nail beater, light bulb changer, screw screwer and so on in our home. 

I love dogs. We have two at the moment and dog shows and breeding is another one of my interests. It’s not a hobby per se, but maybe when I’m old and grumpier I’ll have my own kennel. 

I’m sure the things I love and know are showing in my writing – it’s the first rule for a newbie – write about what you know and love. But, as you are well aware, stories are not a 1 to 1 reflection of the reality. They, for sure, need to be plausible and relatable, but the beauty of writing is that you can take pieces and snippets from reality, add some wild imagination, bits of what ifs, stir them well, then mix and match. I like to think about it as a mosaic: little, identifiable, known elements, put together to create something new every time. 

Sherri: You have really leaped into writing with your pen at the ready. I’m excited to see all your plans. The New Romance Café has really opened doors for both of us.

Anna: The New Romance Cafe was one of the best things that happened to me in 2018. I met a lot of great people there – readers and writers alike. I’ve made a bunch of great friends – Liana, Suki, Thyra, and Miranda; together we’ve created The Grumpy Sisterhood: Romance with a Side of Grump, our joint authors’ group, where we hope to gather people with similar interests in romance books. And, of course, this is where I met you, and, yay! we’ll both be featured in the spring anthology coming out on March 8. 

Sherri: I can’t wait to read the anthology. I’m looking forward to reading everyone’s stories. Is your family excited about your being published?

Anna: I honestly think they don’t know what to make of it. *laughs* My husband is and has always been very supportive about whatever I wanted to do. We share a love for books and reading so my writing doesn’t look so far-fetched to him. I must confess, though, that he hasn’t sampled it yet. But he’s my to go partner for writing prompts and character development exercises. 

My daughter is still young and all she sees is my umbilical attachment to my laptop; I’m not sure she actually knows what I’m doing.

The dogs seem to be my biggest fans so far. They look at me in awe whenever they take a break from their favorite activity, sleeping. I’m not sure if the adoring look is because of my sparkling personality and writing or because they just need to be fed.

Sherri: I believe Love in Bloom is only the beginning. I would love to do another interview with you in a few years after you have published a couple of books.

Anna: Cheers to a great start! I certainly hope I’ll get the stories on paper soon and for sure, I’d love to keep in touch and chat about books: Mine, yours, other authors’.

Sherri: I hate to say goodbye but it’s getting late and even though it’s only a virtual chat, real life creeps in and work calls. It’s been so nice to have you at the Creekside Café and I hope someday, we can meet for real.

Anna: Thank you for this lovely meeting. The romance community rocks!

Don’t forget to check out our ebook, Love in Bloom. All proceeds will go to breast cancer research.