Saturday, August 5, 2017

Sit Down Saturday with Anna J Stewart (and Charlie Cooper!)

Today we're diving a bit deeper into my August release, A DAD FOR CHARLIE. This is the third story in my Butterfly Harbor series, which takes place in a small Pacific Coast town inspired by the Monterey/Pacific Grove, CA area.
How cute is that cover?! I normally don't like faces on covers, but I have to admit, this one just hit me right in the heart. Totally Charlie and Fletcher. But I digress.  Let's get some questions answered.

Where did you get the idea for this novel?

Paige Cooper and her daughter Charlie first appeared in THE BAD BOY OF BUTTERFLY HARBOR. I was in the middle of a scene and for some reason, the diner door opened and in they walked. I hadn't planned on them, I didn't know either of them existed, but from the second they strolled onto the page, I had to fight them from taking over. In that same scene, Paige told me (and the readers) she had secrets. Yeah, everyone has secrets, it's part of what makes romance novels work, but as I learned more about Paige in book two (RECIPE FOR REDEMPTION), I realized her secret was one that could literally destroy not only her life, but that of her daughter as well. 

I know from the start who her hero was going to be and given Deputy Fletcher Bradley's dedication to the truth, who better to create conflict with than a man who might never understand that she is, essentially, a fugitive from the law.

How long did it take you to write?

About seven weeks. That seems to be about my sweet spot these days. I tend to think a book to death before I start getting words on the page. Not plotting necessarily, but finding the right place to start, knowing what the overall arc and conflict is. It's funny how the scenes with Charlie and Simon just flowed every time. I loved writing from a child's perspective in this story. I think it adds a nice contrast to the romance between Paige and Fletcher.

What is your favorite scene?

The banana cake scene between Charlie and Fletcher at the Sheriff's station. I don't want to give too much away, but by the end of that scene, I think I'd fallen in love with Fletcher myself. I'm such a sucker to a hero who loves a child who isn't his. 

Who was your favorite character and why?

In this book, I'd have to say Charlie. She was just joy on the page. That's not so say she's an angel because she's not--and that's probably part of why I love her so much. She's willing to do whatever it takes to get what she wants and if she's willing to go this far at age eight? Who knows what she's going to be like as an adult (maybe I'll find out). She's also a very rational voice of reason and acts as Simon's (her best friend's) conscience. Part Jiminy Cricket, part Yoda with a serious butterfly obsession. That's just a fun combination to write.

This is your 8th full length book.  Exactly what does that mean to you?

I still can't quite believe it's been that many so fast. My very first publication was Christmas of 2014 and those eight aren't including the novellas I've written as well. It's been a roller coaster, but this is what I've always wanted to do. I have to say, the reality, while somewhat more difficult that expected, is even better than the fantasy of writing. Seeing my name on the covers of those books, those stories, knowing readers are falling in love with these characters? It makes me both proud and grateful.


What do you plan to work on next?

I've just started my fourth Christmas Town story, THE CHRISTMAS LIST. This one is going a little out of the box for me character wise with my heroine, but I'm excited about it. It'll come out in mid-October. Then I'll be writing a second novella in Marina Adair's St. Helena Vineyard's Kindle World. LOVE IN FOCUS will be available in November. As soon as I'm done with that, Calliope Jones will finally get her Butterfly Harbor book. Now she's going to be fun. In my mind, she's Butterfly Harbor's answer to The Good Witch (I loved those Hallmark movies). I can't wait to see what she has in store for me...and readers.

Head over to my website, www.AuthorAnnaStewart.com, to order your copy of A DAD FOR CHARLIE, available NOW!




USA Today and national bestselling author Anna J. Stewart writes sweet to sexy romance for Harlequin's Heartwarming and Romantic Suspense lines. Early obsessions with Star Wars, Star Trek, and Wonder Woman set her on the path to creating fun, funny, and family-centric romances with happily ever afters for her independent heroines. Anna lives in Northern California where she deals with a serious Supernatural & Sherlock addiction, surrounds herself with friends and family and tolerates an overly affectionate cat named Snickers (or perhaps it's Snickers who tolerates her). When she's not writing, you can find her at fan conventions or at her local movie theater, or building her client list for her content editing services. 

25 comments:

  1. Anna, Congratulations on 8 books! You are killing it. At this rate you'll have 80 before you know it. Excited to read Paige, Charlie, and Fletcher's story. Picked up the recipe for that banana cake at conference. Can't wait to try it.

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    1. Thanks, Carol. :) Hope you enjoy the cake. It's tasty! <3

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  2. Congratulations on your 8th book! That's so exciting. :) I know what you mean by the reality being harder than the fantasy, but it's the best job in the world, isn't it? All the best on your release!

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    1. It's absolutely the best job in the world (something I need to remind my self of, LOL). Thanks for posting, Patricia. Happy weekend!

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  3. You should be very proud, Anna! You have accomplished a lot in the last few years and your books are terrific.

    If I wasn't already looking forward to reading A DAD FOR CHARLIE, you certainly would have drawn me in with this post.

    Congratulations and best wishes with your eight release!

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  4. 8 books since 2014!!! Wowza! I've already got A Dad for Charlie downloaded and ready to go. So many great reads this month - and every month, too. A talented bunch. :):) Congratulations!

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    1. Totally agree, Janice. Such amazing company. <3

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  5. Like I've said, love all the books in this series. Looking forward to the next one.

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    1. Thanks, Roz! Hope Lori's story lives up to expectations. <3

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  6. Isn't it awesome when a character just shows up? Congrats on 8 books! Looking forward to reading A Dad For Charlie!

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    1. It's one of the best things to happen in a book, I think. Until they want to take everything over, LOL. Someone else's story always sounds more appealing than the one I'm writing. Thanks for stopping by!

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  7. I loved this story, I love Charlie, and I loved the banana cake scene. (Poor Fletch.) Such a great series.

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    1. Awww, thanks, Beth! Yeah, that was one of my favorite scenes I've ever written. Definite save the cat moment (if he hadn't already had a bunch, LOL). Can't wait to read The Alaskan Catch (it's my reward for finishing the next Xmas town story)

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  8. I agree that it's a very cute cover! :) Congrats!!!

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  9. Well now I know why I'm drawn to Butterfly Harbor...I LOVE Pacific Grove and Monterey! I always say that if I wake up one day and I'm a gazillionaire, that's where you can find me. :) Congrats on all the stories -- you've written all different kinds of stories and I love them all. And the scene with the banana cake? OMG, made my heart melt. Great job, you AUTHOR you, and please get back to writing. Want more. (And you'll enjoy The Alaskan Catch.)

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    1. Awwww, Gale. You're the best cheerleader for an author ever. <3 Thank you! I'm right there with you on Monterey. I'd love to live there. I need to start playing the lottery!

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  10. Loved this book and Charlie - all your characters are real. Can't wait for the next one.

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    1. Thanks, Bonnie! Next March will be Lori's story: Always the Hero. <3

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  11. You're a writing machine, Anna! Congratulation on cranking them out. You should be proud. I can't wait to read A Dad for Charlie. That cover is definitely giving me the warm and fuzzy feel! I love it!

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    1. LOL. SOmetimes I feel like a machine . Thanks for stopping by!

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  12. I may like to read Calliope Jones Harlequin Heartwarming someday... but it's not involved in witchcraft, is it?

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  13. Magic yes, witchcraft, no. :) And her story will be out in late 2018.

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