Hello and Welcome everyone, Today we have Anne Manning with us,
and on behalf of Coffee Time Romance want to extend a warm
welcome to her. Ms. Manning will be discussing her book Just Believe
and some of her other works. Ms. Manning I just read Just Believe. I
loved it and it was really different. Pixies and fairies, What inspiration
if any gave you the idea for this book?
Thank you so much, for that. The first scene I saw in my head was a
council of fairies sitting around a huge table, sort of like King Arthur's
Round Table. When I asked myself, what if they're NOT teeny, but are
human-sized and some of them lead rather mundane lives, right among
us? Would we know who they were?
It took off from there. It just seemed natural to include some popular fairy lore, like
Tinkerbell being cured by the audience believing. I just turned this on its head and
postulated that if belief can cure, then disbelief must be able to injure. And of course, we
ask the musical question, what can you deduce about a male fairy's physique from the
size of his wings? ;-)
Are there going to any more from books off this one?
I've been asked that a lot. I do have a short story that follows two minor characters in
Just Believe, fairy Carly O'Malley and mortal Jocko O'Looney , on their way to finding true
love. "Wooing Carly O'Malley" is available as a free read on my website,
There may be more fairy stories in the future if the readers want them.
Ms. Manning, I noticed a lot of your books are historical, western romance etc., Is this
your first in this genre?
Just Believe isn't my first contemporary. Presidential Liaison was published in 1999 by
New Concepts. It's since gone out of print.
I first fell in love with western historicals after reading Johanna Lindsey, Dorothy Garlock,
and Julie Garwood's westerns. Unfortunately, the market is glutted with them at present,
so I've had to branch out somewhat, like all romance authors.
What are you working on now?
I've got a couple of things working. One is a paranormal romantic suspense where a heart
transplant patient wants to find her donor's killer. This one is set in present day San
Another is a sequel to The Raven's Lady. Where The Raven's Lady was a time-travel
novel, this one is about a shapeshifter. I have plans to do a whole series of novels
following the Ahern family through their history in Ireland and to America. Bloodlines is
also about this family in the mid-19th century.
I also write with my dear friend Kathryn Overton as Taylor Manning. We've got several
novellas published with New Concepts and are currently working on a rather ambitious
So, I'm going to be a busy girl this year!
Ms. Manning could you tell me where you would like to be, as far as your writing career, in
say five years?
I'd love to be on the New York Times Bestseller list! ;-) I think a good goal is to have at
least two books a year as Anne and another two as Taylor.
Everyone usually makes a new year resolution, Did you make one for this year?
I resolved to be more active in my publisher's e-mail list for readers. Writing is a solitary
occupation and it's easy to get so wrapped up in the people we create that we lose sight
of the real world, especially if you spend your writing time in a fantasy world. Unless a
writer is writing for her own entertainment, it's important to know what the readers want.
It keeps us energized knowing there's a market out there for a particular book or idea.
I have also resolved to be more disciplined in my writing life, set a schedule and stick to a
definite level of production. I've got bunches of stories that need to be finished!
Do you have a working routine for your writing?
I wish I did. I'm working on that. I think a writer who can sit and consistently write is
going to be a successful writer. That's something I haven't been particularly good at. And,
something else that I didn't know when I started, the first books are easy. I think that's
because a writer-to-be usually thinks about a story for a long time before finally sitting
down to write it. It's all worked out and all that has to be done is getting it down on
paper. Once you've gone through all the ideas that have been percolating and have to get
to plotting from scratch, usually with a deadline looming, the hard work starts! That's
when discipline and a schedule really helps.
Ms. Manning, what do you do for relaxation?
I piddle with crafty things. I like to make beaded bookmarks to give my fans and I also
embroider baptismal napkins for my church. It's so nice to think that I'm doing something
that a child will have to remember that special day in his life.
I also enjoy all the forensics shows on TV. I watch them all!
Do you have a favorite genre to write in?
I prefer historicals, but sometimes, like with Just Believe, a contemporary idea will come
to me that has to be written. I tend to do well with paranormals, and I love time-travels.
Ms. Manning on your site, it says you feel like you were a Texan in a past life, why do you
feel this way?
My family vacationed in Texas in 1997. We stayed half-way between Austin and San
Antonio, but ended up spending most of our time down this way. We all fell in love with
it. I actually got teary when we got on the plane to go back to Maryland where we were
living at the time, like I was leaving home. There's no city in the world like San Antonio.
It's the 9th largest city in the country, but there's a small-town feel to it. Now, the reason
we were here was so I could do some research for Rustler's Bride which was set in Travis
County and Austin, so I've had an attachment to Texas for a lot longer than when we
visited. As I tell anyone who'll listen, "I wasn't born in Texas, but I got here as fast as I
Which of the books you have written, do you feel was the hardest to write and why?
As I said before, as you go on with a new project, if it's a totally new work that hasn't
been swimming around in your gray matter for a long time, there's a lot of work to getting
a workable plot and making sure it's a good, solid story. I find plotting a bit tedious, but
it's important to me. I can't write by the seat of my pants, so no matter how anxious I am
to get on with the writing, I have to do that prep work first. Sometimes, I find myself
getting bored with the story and if I'm bored, then the reader is likely to be bored. If I
can't put some interest in the story, then I have to let it go. So far, there have been a
couple of those, but mostly, I have come up with a twist that works for me, and hopefully
for the reader as well.
As to which was hardest, I'd have to say it The Raven's Lady. I hit a place in the middle
where it wasn't working. I went on to the end, which I knew already, and wrote backward.
If I were doing that book now, though it is an EPPIE winner and has gotten very good
reviews and reader comments, I would work a little more on that middle, where I know it
does drag a bit. And I'm more aware of character motivation now and would work on the
reactions of my heroine. Some reviewers have found her a little unbelievable in the middle
section. But those are the things you learn as you write and get feedback.
Ms. Manning is there anything exciting or perhaps noteworthy that is happening in the
next few months?
I hope so. ;-) I'd like to get on with the paranormal romantic suspense I mentioned and
get that published, though that'll probably not be in this time frame. Both Anne and
Taylor are looking at 2006 as a year to get into high gear and really produce some terrific
stories for the readers who've been so encouraging to us.
Ms. Manning, I love romance and I am a big time romantic. Are you a Romantic? And do
you think it takes a writer to believe in romance to be able to write romance?
I don't know if I'm a romantic or not. I believe in true love, but I also believe that first
flash of passion has to burn down to a warm, long-lasting flame of respect, care, and
mutual support. That's why I love to return to characters, both as a reader and as a
writer, to see how they're getting on years later. I'm so anxious to see how Eibhlin and
Brandubh from The Raven's Lady are doing now that their kids are grown.
As to your second question, more than being a romantic, a romance writer has to respect
the genre. Romance isn't at all about sex. The most important thing about romance is
that it is, in its essence, about the formation of a family. Far from being "trashy," the
romance genre is ultimately moral, hopeful, and empowering.
Would you please give us your web site address?
Sure will, www.annemanning.com. I've just moved my website, so I'd love to get some
entries in my guest book. As Taylor Manning, our website is www.taylormanning.com.
Ms. Manning is there any advice you would like to give to any up coming authors out
The best advice I've ever heard is from Nora Roberts. She doesn't believe inspiration is as
important as discipline. Her career bears this out. I'm trying to take this advice to heart.
The best thing a new writer can do is to write every day. Have a scheduled time when you
will write and keep that schedule as a gift to yourself. Don't let yourself feel guilty about
it. Like Billy Crystal said in Throw Momma from the Train, "A writer writes…always."
Just remember, the only think a writer really has control over is the writing. So take
control of that part of your career and you'll be a success!
Now, I've just got to take my own advice! ;-)
Thank you Ms. Manning for taking time out of your busy schedule to chat with us and let
us get to know another author a little bit better. Thanks again also from Coffee Time
Thank you, Wateena! I loved talking to you and the Coffee Time audience.