December 22, 2012

Visit New Zealand with ex-Royal NZ Navy, Anne Ashby


Anne Ashby is a contemporary traditional/sweet author from New Zealand, published with The Wild Rose Press. She grew up in a very small coastal town in Southland, New Zealand’s southern-most province. An eagerness to travel, fostered by her mother, led Anne to join the Royal NZ Navy where she enjoyed a very satisfying career. Anne has been fortunate to have travelled extensively and lived in Singapore and Maryland USA. She began writing contemporary romances when her youngest child started school. She enjoy including family issues, genealogy, rugby and/or snippets from her past military life in her stories. Anne realised her very own dream of bringing something of her beautiful country to romance readers everywhere, so New Zealand always features in her stories, normally as the setting. When not reading or writing, she finds plenty to occupy her time with family commitments. Anne Ashby currently lives in Auckland with her husband and two of their four children. 

Could you please start by telling us a little about yourself?
Hi, I’m a contemporary writer of sweet-sensual romance published with The Wild Rose Press. I currently live in Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city but I was born in our country’s most southern province, Southland. I was raised in a little coastal township with about 5o permanent residents so I consider myself a country girl at heart. I live with my husband and youngest son. Our daughter and two other sons have all flown the nest. I have four little grandchildren and they’re the light of my life.
Do you plan all your characters out before you start a story or do they develop as you write?
I try to plan them beforehand but that never works too well. I’m definitely a pantser rather than a planner but for every new story I decide I’m going to plan properly before I begin. But it just never happens. My programming sheet of paper lies in front of me with huge empty squares where details of action are supposed to be. I guess you could say I have an outline of who the characters are and what they’re searching for, but the nitty gritty details sort of develop alongside the story. I find they change dramatically and often unexpectedly as I progress. I have had to go back and re-write portions of my stories that no longer ‘fit’ because of these changes.
How much research do you do for your books? Have you found any cool tidbits in your research?
Because I’m writing contemporaries and setting them in New Zealand (or if in USA, in places I know well) research doesn’t take up too much of my time. Although there are still instances where it is necessary. In “Wilderness Liaison” I did quite a bit of reading about tramping tracks around NZ. I wanted the setting to be in a generic bush so needed more than what I’d gleaned from the tracks I’d tramped myself.
What main genre do you write in?
I write sweet contemporaries, although my publisher insisted my most recent release needed to be termed “sensual” because of one scene. I have a by-line on my website “books you can share with your grandmother” and yes, I know there are grandmothers out there who read the raunchiest stories around but my upbringing was pretty conservative so I’m safe thinking my (late) grandmothers would be okay reading what I write.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
“The CEO Gets Her Man” is halfway through the editing process now and yes, I would make a few subtle changes. “Wilderness Liaison” is getting wonderful comments about my portrayal/descriptions of NZ, I wish I had extended my narrative a little more in this new story to include some more colourful scenes of NZ.
Do you write full time? What did you do before you became a writer? Or Still do?
I’ve been writing full time for almost ten years. Before I began writing I had a career in the Royal NZ Navy which I enjoyed very much, then after retiring to raise our family I owned and ran a vending machine business for about ten years. That was fun, too, but was more than a little dangerous for the waistline.
Can you please give us a sneak peek at any of your upcoming books?
I don’t have a release date yet for “The CEO Gets Her Man” but expect it will be early 2013.
Debra goes undercover to discover why one of her hotels is unprofitable. Her ham-fisted efforts at waitressing alert her chief suspect - who just happens to be the object of a long ago teenage crush – to her duplicity, but her demand he later pose as her lover will give him the upper hand.
Is there a genre of book you would like to write but haven't yet?
I’d love to write something a little funnier than I’ve managed to date. I start out thinking a story could be a comedy but my characters end up having so much baggage it’s impossible. But one day I’ll find a couple who will give us a good chuckle.
Is there anyone who really mentored or inspired you to keep writing until you were finally published?
Yes I had an amazing mentor. Without her I don’t think I would ever have achieved success because I would have thrown in the towel long before my first book “Worlds Apart” was published in May 2010. Loree Lough instructed a course I attended in MD and offered to edit my fledgling work. Her knowledge, wisdom and advice proved invaluable but it was her comment “this book will get published” that kept me going for the nine years my manuscript snail mailed around and around the world again, and again, looking for a home. Because of Loree, I never doubted the story’s appeal or my ability to spin a yarn others would like to read. I dedicated “Worlds Apart” to her and will continue to sing her praises to anyone who will listen.
What would be the best way for readers contact you? Do you have a website? Email address? MySpace site? Blog? Message Board? Group?
I love to hear from readers – please contact me via any of these means
How can readers find out more about you and your books?
Ø You can find me at:         
Ø The Wild Rose Press:       
Ø Amazon:                
Ø GoodReads:           


The concrete jungle defines financier Shal Gregory, who thrives on the sheer vitality of the fast-paced corporate world. Until he finds himself alone in the thick of the New Zealand bush with a feisty guide who despises everything he stands for.
     Jodie Mathieson's devotion to the wilderness fulfills her. She isn't prepared for an intimate liaison with a man who clearly does not share her love of the great outdoors. When sparks between them ignite Jodie runs.
     Bewildered but determined, Shal tracks Jodie down, resolving to convince her that having differing life goals isn't enough to keep them apart.





Anne Ashby said...

Good morning and thanks so much for inviting me to join you. Its such a busy time of year and I'd like to take this chance to wish all your readers a very Merry Christmas, may you all have a safe and joyous holiday

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas to Anne and may you have a wonderful New Year. Congratulations on your success. Hope you're enjoying your Christmas.

Leah St. James said...

Nice interview, Anne. It's nice to learn a little about your background. I love the story about your mentor, and how her comments gave you hope for so long.

Anne Ashby said...

Thank you for stopping by, CK & Leah. It so easy to share ourselves via this media, isn't it? how the writers of yesteryear managed! lol. Loree's an amazing lady. To have anyone with faith in your ability to succeed is so important, but encouragement from someone whose world I was trying to break into really meant so much to me. Maybe I'll be in a position to pay that forward one day

Paula Martin said...

Great interview, Anne. I know exactly what you mean when you say you intend to plan a new story but it never works out like that.
Very best wishes for Christmas, and for your continued success in 2013.

Debra Jupe said...

What an interesting life you've had and its so great that you can incorporated pieces of it in your books!

I'll look for your new release coming out in 2013.

Merry Christmas,

Kim in Hawaii said...

Aloha, Anne! Mele Kalikimaka!

RT Wolfe said...

It's very nice getting to know you, Anne. Here's wishing you many sales!
-R.T. Wolfe

Anonymous said...

What a great interview.