Since 1980, prolific romance writer Ann Major has penned nearly 50 romance novels under her Major pseudonym and under her real name, Margaret Major Cleaves. The Texas native is a founding member of the legendary Romance Writers of America (RWA).
The iconic Ann Major was gracious enough to take a few moments to be interviewed and by doing so made one of my dreams come true.
What was the most memorable research trip you’ve made?
I went to Ravello on the Amalfi Coast in Italy. Because I was meeting a stylish friend, my husband and I stayed in a five star hotel there that was heaven
on earth. It was like being inside a Maxwell Parrish painting. While in Rome before driving down to Ravello, I met this lovely young couple at an outdoor restaurant near the Roman Steps. When the bill came, the Italian guy vanished for a very long time while his Australian date, a burned out attorney in search of her soul and other adventures remained to pay the bill. She told me the story of their romance which inspired in large part The Amalfi Bride. When I went to Rhodes, Greece, I was so inspired I came home and wrote A Cowboy and a Gentleman very quickly.
Please share with us the most interesting stories law enforcement
professionals have told you:
I remember this detective told me he has nightmares about using his gun. When he gets ready to shoot, the bullets just drop out of the front of the gun.
Are there any stories that have made you cry, laugh, stunned you or
rendered you speechless when you heard it, that you had to incorporate them in your fiction?
Yes — but being 65, I can’t’ remember them off the top of my head.
What is the most memorable moment you’ve woven a story around?
Oh, so many. I think the one that got me in trouble though was this one: My mother-in-law and father-in-law were having an argument in the car while in the middle of west Texas, which is very desolate. Furious, he stopped the car and got out to get a break from her. She pulled out a spare set of keys from her purse, slid over into the driver’s side, restarted the car and drove off without him — leaving him in the middle of nowhere. He had to hitchhike back to civilization. So I had this happen to my heroine. She argued with her headstrong mom and got out of car. My hero, a biker, picked the heroine up I believe.
How would you say you have evolved as a writer over time?
I wish I had evolved. I love evolved writers. Maybe I found my niche early because my third book was a Desire which was published in the early ’80s and I am still writing Desires.
The market itself evolves and the readership grows younger while the writer grows older, so you have to constantly update yourself. You can’t ever sit on your laurels and think you know it all.
When you’re not writing, what are your favorite ways to relax and have
I like to meditate, read, play the piano, study stuff, travel, kayak, walk, hike, sail, cook, get massages, garden, hang out with girlfriends, hang out with grandchildren, shop — or just hang out with my husband.
Of all the books you have written, do you have a favorite? If so, which
one and why?
Hot Ladies Murder Club… Well, it’s local and it’s about something that happened to me.
Do you have plans to write other genres in the future?
Has your life changed since you’ve become a published author? If so,
I am not chained to an 8 to 5 job as I was when I taught. While at school, bells were always ringing, and lots of those bells meant I had to be somewhere specific doing something specific. Now every day is different. This morning I bounded out of bed at four a.m. because I was dreaming about my characters and excited about writing.
Have you ever had an embarrassing moment at a booksigning?