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Feature on Andie Brock, The Last Heir Of Monterrato

Today we are talking to author Andie Brock.

Andie Brock on the web:


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What inspires you to write?
Creative writing is just something I have always loved to do.
Plus I’m a very nosy person. So when I overhear conversations (I’m a terrible eavesdropper!), or am chatting with friends over a glass of wine or being told snippets of gossip by my daughters I find myself wondering if maybe that could go into a story. The tabloid newspapers are great for ideas too, I’m always scanning them with an eye for a potential plot.
Tell us about your writing process
I’m a seat-of-the-pants girl who aspires to be a sensible plotter! Whenever I start a new book I am full of good intentions, telling myself that I will work this one out, chapter by chapter, so I know exactly where it is going. Then a little voice inside me says maybe I’ll just start chapter one and before I know it I’m off. The enthusiasm is there but it does mean I lead myself down blind alleys and end up with a lot of rewrites. Put it this way, on the startling line I’ll be the one who jumps the gun but never ends up winning the race!
Do you listen (or talk to) your characters?
They talk to me! I love writing dialogue and when I’m mentally trying to figure out some plot issue (often when I’m taking a walk as I find this helps) my hero and heroine pop into my head and start chattering away. Sometimes it helps and I get home and scribble down their conversations. Other times I need them to shut up so I can see the bigger picture!
What advice would you give to other writers?
Decide who you are writing for and really target that market. In my case I always knew I wanted to write for Harlequin Presents so I made sure I read as many of them as I could (amazing what you can get away with in the name of research!) and then focussed on writing specifically with them in mind. My top tip for Harlequin? Get your hero and heroine together on the first page! And never give up. If you really want it, keep believing in yourself and you will get there in the end.
What is your favourite genre to read?
I’m a contemporary romance girl at heart and tend not to stray too far from that genre. If it’s beautifully written and moves me emotionally, that does it for me. I keep intending to read more historical fiction – Wolf Hall has been sitting on my bedside table for far too long. J
Tell us about your book.
The Last Heir of Monterrato is my debut book for Harlequin Presents.
A skydiving accident means that if Rafael Revaldi, the Conde di Monterrato, wants an heir he is going to have to persuade his estranged wife, Lottie, to agree.
Lottie has walked away from their marriage, convinced it was damaged beyond repair. But now she finds herself back at the palazzo and faced with Rafael’s astonishing request!
How can she say no when a baby would mean so much to both of them?
As they wait to see if Lottie will become a mother and Rafael will get his precious heir they are forced to confront the painful issues that wrecked their marriage. But more than that, they have to fight the powerful sensual connection that has unexpectedly burst into life between them. Both of them are determined to fight it. But is this a battle that can never be won?

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32 comments:

  1. A girl after my own heart! I'm also a pantser at heart wishing and trying to be a plotter! :)

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    1. Perhaps 2015 will be the year we both make the change! Good luck!

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  2. Happy New Year Andie, how I LOVED how your characters talked to you - made for an excellent read a very muchly enjoyed! Congratulations on your release, I hope it's very successful. This is the exact story that I read this genre for. I look forward to your future books and wish you a most wonderful and successful 2015 :)

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    1. Thank you so much, Tash! You are very kind and generous with your support and I want you to know it is much appreciated. :) A Happy New Year to you too.

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  3. I think Jemi and I are both in the same boat along with you! Wish I could plot things out, but it just never quite works :) Happy New Year and best of luck with your novel!!

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    1. Thank you and a Happy New Year to you too Meradeth! Here's to a successful year of writing - which ever way we do it. :)

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  4. I like the idea of hearing all sorts of things and wondering how to include them into a novel! I am sure that is a great way of getting inspiration. Happy new year and hope writing goes well!

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    1. Happy New Year to you too, Olivia-Savannah (what a lovely name!). I hope 2015 is an inspirational one for you.

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  5. I love when my characters talk to me. :)

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    1. Yes, it's great isn't it, Kelly?! Like they are taking control of the story without you having to do a thing. Having said that, sometimes they need reining in. They need to know who is the master here :).

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  6. Congrats, Andie, on your new release!

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    1. Thank you so much. I would love your feedback if you get the chance to read it.

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  7. Congrats, Andie! Great advice about knowing your target market as you go in to write.

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    1. Thank you Cherie! Apart from making sure you are pitching the right product to the right person it also gives you a tighter framework to work within and your writing has more focus. I know that really helped me.

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  8. So nice to meet Andie! I tend to be nosy too- but mostly when I am out in public. I start people watching without even noticing. It is amazing all the stories unfolding right in front of us! Wishing Andie all the best!
    ~Jess

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    1. Hi Jess and thank you for your good wishes! Yes, it's amazing the little snippets of people's lives you can glimpse when you are standing in a supermarket queue or something. Thinking about it, maybe people are watching me... probably thinking 'look at that nosy old bat'. :)

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  9. Eavesdropping and the tabloids provide me with good writing material too.

    Good luck and congratulations, Andie. Happy New Year!

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    1. Thank you so much, Robyn, and a very Happy New Year to you too. Here's hoping we come across some little gems this year that spark off a plot for a story.

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  10. I'll only be a pantser with short stories. I plot novels. I think it is exciting to pants and see what one comes up with.

    Great cover and looks like a wonderful story. Congrats to Andie.

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    1. Thank you Medeia, I love the cover too! I think the best combination for me would be 80% plotter and 20% pantster. That way I'd have a good solid foundation to work with but room to let a bit of magic in, should I be lucky enough to find any! Well there's my NY resolution sorted. Not that I've ever been very good at keeping them... ;)

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  11. You can pick up a lot of good ideas just by listening to people talk. Good interview!

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  12. Thank you Sherry! The interview was a lot of fun to do.

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  13. Lovely interview! We were house shopping yesterday and ended up in a new neighborhood where one of the roads was called Harlequin Drive. I thought, "This would be the perfect place for a Harlequin novelist to live!"

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  14. Yes, Stephanie - I want to live there! Imagine a street full of romantic novelists all sitting at their windows tapping away on computers, turtle doves cooing on the window sills. When can I move in?! ;)

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  15. It is amazing how some of our observations often turn into the best story ideas! Wishing you much success, Andie! Happy New Year!

    Julie

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  16. Thank you very much, Julie, and a Happy New Year to you too! Here's to some cracking story ideas for 2015!

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  17. I think it's wonderful how all of us are similar in so many ways. I'm nosy too! Plus I love writing. Plus I love overhearing conversations. Plus... well you get the drift. Happy New Year, Andie. Best to you too, RR.

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  18. Happy New Year to you Joylene. Seems like we are all people watching/listening! The human race is fascinating! Or as my granny used to cheerfully say (she came from the north of England) 'there's nowt so queer as folk.' :)

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  19. That struggle sounds familiar to me - I always think about planning a story and suddenly I've already started it...
    Happy new year!

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  20. Happy New Year to you too, Deniz! At least we've got the enthusiasm, if not the discipline. That can't be all bad!

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  21. That is so good advice you gave to new writers.
    Thanks for the interview.

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    1. Thank you, Lady Lilith. It was lovely to have the opportunity to share some snippets of my experience so far. :)

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