We have many talented authors here at Instafreebie, and we’re really excited to introduce them to all of our readers. Instafreebie’s Author Spotlight gives readers the chance to meet some new authors and learn about their writing processes!
Anna Lowe – Paranormal and Action-Adventure
Desert Hunt by Anna Lowe
What inspired you create Rae from “Desert Hunt?”
As a kid, I was a huge fan of Robin Hood, and I couldn’t resist making my heroine a skilled archer. I also love the idea of the balance of nature: how wolves are actually the friends of their prey because they keep the herds strong. It didn’t take much tinkering with that idea to fill out the rest of Rae’s character and give her a mystical role as Mistress of the Hunt — a wolf shifter who “hunts” endangered species not to kill them but to guide them to safe places of refuge.
Where does “Desert Hunt” take place and what inspired you to choose that setting?
“Desert Hunt” takes place on Twin Moon Ranch – a fictional place based on a real ranch in Central Arizona where I once worked. So many features of Twin Moon Ranch come from the real thing – the entrance gateway hung with the ranch brand, the council house, the dining hall, the one-room schoolhouse, and the overall layout of the ranch. Of course, the real ranch didn’t have werewolves or many hunks, so Twin Moon is much better! The experience of working on that ranch also gave me my fascination with the desert in all its moods and seasons – a fascination that comes through in my stories. The Desert Southwest is a place of incredible beauty, but it can be harsh and even dangerous at times – and as such, the perfect place to set a paranormal romance!
Who was your favorite character to write and why?
While I loved creating the heroine, Rae, and ADORED writing the hero, Zack, a man of great depth. I love the idea of a coyote-wolf mix being the kid from the wrong side of the tracks – and yet he’s also the best friend of the pack’s future alpha thanks to his honesty and reliability. Zack is one of the wounded hero-in-waiting types I love so much, one of those rare people who is born into difficult circumstances yet overcomes the odds. He’s a good man who gets his chance to shine despite many trials and travails. I love how he ultimately wins the recognition of the entire pack and even the grudging respect of the old alpha – but he would never have dared push himself that far if it weren’t for Rae.
What is your writing process?
I love being able to immerse myself in the stories and characters I love and spicing up reality with amazing events or passionate romances. I am a working mom, which means I have to do a lot of juggling. I definitely have gotten good at making time rather than waiting to find time! Being an independent author means I run my own business so it can be a lot of work – but it is rewarding! I love hearing from readers who have enjoyed my books!
When I write, I pretty much get lost in the bubble of the story for as long as my busy life allows me to – a little like the way many people read! I plot my stories out ahead of time but things usually evolve as I go. Typically I only hone in on the core theme toward the end of draft 1. That’s always a “eureka” moment and it’s followed by me rushing to go back and strengthen that subtle element throughout the whole story in draft 2.
Is there an interesting fact about “Desert Hunt” that readers might not know or notice when reading the book?
An interesting fact is that I actually wrote “Desert Hunt,” the prequel to the Twin Moon Ranch series, after writing books 1, 2, and 3! The concept of a prequel was born when I had the opportunity to participate in a limited-time boxed set called “Masters of the Hunt” (now out of print) and took that as my theme – with a twist! It was also the perfect opportunity to show the background of the pack at a time when the younger generation (personified by Zack and his friend, Ty) was just starting to push at the limits set by the overly traditional old alpha, old Tyrone. Since Books 1, 2, and 3 hadn’t yet gone to press when I worked on this story, I was able to work hints of Rae and Zack into each of those stories. That’s actually become one of my favorite quirks as an author – I love each couple so much, I hate to let go of them at the end of a book. So I end up giving them a lot of encore appearances and supporting roles in subsequent stories. Many fans say that’s one of their favorite things about this series – the sense of joining a community that grows and matures over time. Here’s an example: there’s an early scene in “Desert Blood” (Book 2 in the series) in which Heather, a newcomer to the ranch, wistfully watches couples at a barn dance. If you read closely, you’ll find that Zack and Rae are the ones that strike her most. Zack and Rae make many more appearances throughout the series, so keep your eyes open for them as you go on to explore the rest of the Twin Moon books!
Dean C. Moore – Science Fiction and Thriller Author
Time-Out by Dean C. Moore
What inspired you to write “Time-Out?”
I spend a lot of time contemplating different near-future scenarios, the various directions emerging technologies could take us in, and their potential impacts on society. Time-Out was written to showcase just how varied these near-future worlds can be.
What inspired you create your Act 3 lead character from “Time-Out?”
So many of us pride ourselves on being a lot more self-aware than we actually are. I wanted to challenge my heroes/heroines to see just how true that is. I’ll let the reader decide just how conscious my leads are of what’s really going on in their lives.
Are any of your characters based on real people?
It’s fair to say that certain character traits are based on people I’ve known. But I may combine traits from several different people into one character.
Where does “Time-Out” take place and what inspired you to choose that setting?
Time-Out is set in the near-future. Some may argue on just how close we are to some of these scenarios playing out, whether we might achieve what’s depicted on the page five or ten years from now, or more like twenty to thirty years out from today. What inspires me to write so heavily about the future (either the near future or the far future) is the idea that we’re evolving both as individuals and as society over time. So just what are we evolving into? And what setbacks can we expect along the way? And what is the price to be paid for becoming more sophisticated and for living in a more complex and challenging world over time? What are the potential rewards? I try to show both the upsides and the downsides to various emerging technologies to help the reader think more deeply about the impacts to our lives before these technologies even come to pass.
How many hours a day do you write?
I write between 6 and 8 hours a day, everyday. That discipline was a long time coming, and it’s responsible for my prolific output. I don’t think I could have managed this kind of focus over such a sustained period when I was younger. So some of that is just maturity that’s come with time.
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