>Seven Questions With Anne Brooke

>New short stories by Anne Brooke:
Angels and Airheads
eBook, Torquere Press, June 12, 2010
Martin and The Wolf
eBook, Amber Allure Press, June 13, 2010

Let’s start with the basics: what are your newest stories about, and how and when can readers get their hands on them?

I have two new stories coming out in June. First off, there’s Angels and Airheads, a gay comic short story. Ricky has been secretly in love with his best friend Jez forever, but he’s never dared confess his feelings as he thinks Jez is too high-class for him. One evening, a mysterious angel, Madred, appears to persuade Ricky to take a chance on love. But Ricky doesn’t believe in angels, and Madred is forced to take desperate measures in an attempt to show the reluctant Ricky the truth. When the angel leaves, can Ricky find the courage to declare himself to Jez and what will happen if he does?

My second publication is Martin and The Wolf, a gay fantasy short stBoldory. When lecturer Martin meets the mysterious Lucas at a neighbor’s midsummer party, the attraction is instant and hot. The two men soon start a relationship, but Martin is puzzled by Lucas’ behavior. He’s not like any other man he’s ever known, and Martin wants to find out why. But when one August night, he tracks Lucas to the depths of the local park, he realizes more eye-opening truths about his new lover and the pack of strange wolves he runs with than he’d ever before thought possible.

How did you get started writing fiction?

I’ve been writing poetry for years, but in 2000 I went through quite a difficult time and found I couldn’t write any more. I complained so much to my mother that she (bless her!) got quite snippety and told me to stop worrying about the poetry and just write prose instead. It worked! I started writing fiction, and found I enjoyed it so much I just kept on going. Even when the poetry came back.

How much time do you spending writing—by the day, week, month, however you define it?

I tend to write something every day, however small. On Mondays to Wednesdays, I write in the evenings, usually short stories, as during those days I work part-time for my local university. On Thursdays and Fridays, on my days off, I concentrate on the current novel, and I also spend some time over the weekend on it, too. In that case, I like to write about 1,000 words a day, just to keep it ticking over. It used to be 2,000 words, but that was way too much and it was driving me mad, so I scaled it down!

Do you write just one story at time, or do you usually have several works in progress?

I like to have several on the go, but only one in each genre. At the moment, I’m working on the third novel in my fantasy trilogy, The Executioner’s Cane. I’m also working on a lesbian erotic short story, Butterfly Girl. Alongside this, I work fairly regularly on a spiritual novel, The Prayer Seeker’s Journal, which I’m blogging on a fortnightly basis.

And, of course, the poetry pops up every now and then too!

How do you write, physically speaking? Longhand, laptop, desktop, inside or out, at a desk, comfy chair, in bed?

I write fiction straight on to the computer in my spare room. I have a terror of laptops, so it’s a desktop computer! In terms of poetry, I always write it out longhand in my living room or at the dining table, and then type it up onto the computer.

What’s the most challenging part of the writing process for you? What comes easiest?

In terms of fiction, the most challenging part is working out what the characters are going to do next! As I don’t work to a definite plan, but only have a vague notion of where things are going, I sometimes find I write my characters into a corner and then have to try and get them out of the crisis—it does make it more exciting that way though, if tricky.

Strangely, the part of the process I do enjoy—where many don’t—is the editing. I like seeing the whole concept when it’s done and then making it work properly—I get a lot of satisfaction from that.

As for the poetry, the most challenging part is not being too wordy! I’m a great believer that less is more, so it does make cutting fun.

What are your long-term goals as a writer?

This is a question I always find hugely difficult to answer. I’m not sure I really have a long-term plan, though I’d like to keep writing and producing books that people enjoy. On a practical level, I’m looking forward to the publication of the first novel in my fantasy trilogy, The Gifting, which has just been accepted by Bluewood Publishing, so I’m hoping they might take the second and third of the trilogy, too, depending on how things work out. I’m also hoping to produce a chapbook of some of my haikus (I write one a week and include them in my blog) at some stage, but I suspect it won’t be soon.

Apart from that, I’d like to go on developing as a writer and enjoying where this very strange but never dull vocation takes me!

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