I have the pleasure of having Annette Gisby on my blog today.
Annette, let's get to know you a little better.
Do you prefer
Milk chocolate or Dark?
I used to prefer milk chocolate, but I can’t eat any sort of chocolate at the moment due to a recent diagnosis of migraine associated vertigo and a lot of things I used to eat I’m not allowed to any more.
Coffee or tea?
Neither, I never liked tea or coffee, I don’t really like any hot drinks. I tend to drink fruit juice or water.
Vodka or tequila?
Neither, I don’t drink alcohol at all.
Romance or a Thriller?
A thriller with a bit of romance ;)
Mystery or Horror?
Oh, that’s a tough one. I like both but if pushed I’d have to say horror but not the ones filled with vampires or werewolves, give me something original.
Did you always want to be an author?
When I was little I always had stories in my head and used my dolls to act them out, as I got older I started writing them down so that I would always have something to read later. I wrote first for myself. Some of my friends told my English teacher that I was writing stories, and not just the ones we’d be assigned. She asked if she could see some of them. Reluctantly I said yes, as I’d never considered they were ever going to be read by anyone else. Once she’d read some of my work, she said I should submit them to magazines, but I was too nervous of rejection then, so it was a long time before I sent any work out. It was when careers day came around that I’d finally decided I wanted to be an author, but the careers advisor didn’t want to put that down on the form. “It’s not a very realistic goal though, is it?” I think that made me even more determined to do it.
What authors had an impact on you growing up and as an adult?
I don’t remember reading any particular authors as a child, I tended to read whatever I could get my hands on, and some of them weren’t children’s books. When I turned fourteen, I was allowed to join the adult section of our local library and one of the first books I took out was a book of short stories by Stephen King. It was the first time I’d read any outright horror, although I’d read a few ghost stories before that. I was amazed and terrified all at once. His writing is quite plain, I would say, but so well-written and you just want to keep reading. For any aspiring writer, I’d recommend his non-fiction book, ‘On writing’. It was almost like reading about myself in that book.
Did anyone in your life influence you or encouraged you to be a writer?
As I said above, my English teacher certainly. It was my husband who gave me the impetus to actually finish a novel. I had lots of parts of books written and would give him each chapter to read as I finished it, but one day he said he wasn’t going to read any more until I’d finished one and he would read the whole book. That book became my first novel, Silent Screams. If it hadn’t been for him, I don’t think I would have finished any book for a long time.
What is your writing atmosphere like?
I have a study with a desktop computer, but I do a lot of writing longhand in notebooks still. I find filling a page easier than a blank computer screen. It’s too easy to get distracted when you’re on the computer, especially if it’s connected to the internet. You start looking at emails or looking up something for research and suddenly an hour’s gone by and you haven’t done much writing. I have to just write, I don’t listen to music when I write, it’s just me and the character’s heads.
What is your favorite aspect or writing? Your Least Favorite?
The fact that once I’ve written a story, I can go back and re-read it at any time. I tend to write the things that I want to read. My least favourite is probably trying to promote a book at the same time as you’re writing or getting edits done on another one. Sometimes there just don’t seem to be enough hours in the day.
Your current book your promoting is:
The Chosen, a male/male fantasy romance.
How did you come up with the your story line?
I wanted to write an adult fairy tale for adults for NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writing Month). I had the prince, Severin and I thought he needed a princess to rescue. I could picture Severin quite well but I couldn’t get a handle on the princess at all. Instead, I kept being haunted by a handsome male slave called Havyn. Severin nodded sagely, that’s who he wanted to rescue. In all my characterization of Severin, it took me a while to realise he was gay. Once that happened, the story flowed much better and it took off from there.
How do you choose your characters names?
A lot of the time by browsing baby name books or websites and sometimes see which names speak to me. A lot of the other names in The Chosen I made up myself, but Havyn and Severin were from a baby book. Those two names spoke to me and I knew that’s who the characters were. You just get a feeling sometimes.
Prince Severin has been brought up to put duty before all else. Now, his duty is to marry and produce an heir. He has his choice of princesses. Unfortunately, his passion is for princes.
Havyn has been a slave all his life. When his powers are discovered, he finds himself purchased and freed by a Prince and apprenticed to the royal wizard, Ildar. His duty is to stay chaste to keep his powers strong. Unfortunately, his passion is for Severin.
With kingdoms at war, the throne hanging in the balance, and magic in the air, can the two men find happiness together, or is duty more important than love?
Annette Gisby grew up in a small town in Northern Ireland. Being a very small town there were no bookshops and a small library. When she'd devoured every book she could get her hands on in the library, she started writing her own stories so that she would always have something to read.
When not writing she enjoys reading, playing The Sims, cinema and theatre. She loves to travel, especially ancient castles and deserted beaches, great places for inspiration.
She currently lives in Hampshire with her husband, a collection of porcelain dolls and enough books to fill a library. The library is diminishing gradually since the discovery of ebooks but still has a long way to go.
“What is going on in here?” demanded Ildar from the doorway. “Severin? What are you doing with my apprentice?”
“Iri and I were just sorting out Havyn’s new wardrobe,” said Severin, waving to Havyn that he could get dressed again. Havyn quickly pulled on the tunic and leggings Ildar had given him on his first night at the palace. A fierce blush heated his cheeks.
“Havyn is my apprentice!” snapped Ildar. “He is my responsibility. Furs and velvets? Silks? A wizard has no need for all of that. I will ensure Havyn gets all the clothing he needs, not you.”
Havyn wondered how the wizard could talk back so forcefully to a prince without worrying about execution. Maybe wizards had no fear of death.
“He’s my responsibility,” protested Severin, his hands on his hips as he stared the wizard down. “I bought him. He’s mine!”
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