My guest today is Amazon bestselling romantic suspense author Anna del Mar. She’s here today to chat about her latest novel, The Guardian, which takes place in Africa and was inspired by the author’s own safari adventure. A Georgetown University graduate, Anna enjoys traveling, hiking, skiing, and the sea. She splits her time between Colorado and Florida, where she lives with her husband and, according to her, a very opinionated cat. Welcome, Anna!
Hi Anna and congratulations on the release of your latest book, The Guardian. When did you start writing and what got you into romantic suspense?
I’ve been dabbing in writing for a little while now, but I only started to write romance a couple of years ago. Last year saw the publication of my first two romantic suspense novels, The Asset and The Stranger. This year, I’m celebrating the release of my latest, The Guardian.
I love romantic suspense. I especially enjoy reading it. The combination of action, adventure and romance is irresistible to me. The ingredients are exciting: Two flawed and complex characters struggling with their demons. An attraction that defies the odds. An explosive, twisting plot that takes place in a remarkable setting. High stakes that matter. Add to that lust and sex on the way to true love, and I’m hooked.
What is your book about?
The Guardian is the story of Matthias Hawking, an ex-SEAL turned game warden, engaged in a fierce battle to end poaching in Africa. When Jade Romo, a beautiful, stubborn, fiery journalist defies the poachers, Matthias will do everything in his power to protect the woman who has captured his heart.
What was your inspiration for it?
The Guardian was born during a holiday in Africa. It was supposed to be a no-laptop, no-writing vacation. But I get a lot of inspiration from my trips and this one was packed with inspiration. Tanzania is an amazing country. And who could resist the magnificent Serengeti as the backdrop for an epic love story?
What type of challenges did you face while writing this book?
The Guardian was the type of novel that pretty much wrote itself. After my experiences in Africa, it flowed easily onto the page. Matthias and Jade were a joy to write. But then came the editing and that took forever. Even after that, the wheels of the publishing world came to a grinding halt. Bringing the novel to market tested my resilience but also taught me a lot. I’m a better writer and a wiser person because of The Guardian.
Did your book require a lot of research?
Yes, but I was lucky. I had some amazing guides as I traveled through Tanzania, so I had a great head start. Traveling is the best way of doing research. In fact, if you’d like to see the images that inspired many of the pivotal scenes in The Guardian, click here to see my pictures of Africa.
What do you do when your muse refuses to collaborate?
Haven’t had that problem yet.
Many writers experience a vague anxiety before they sit down to right. Can you relate to this?
Nope. I can’t wait to sit down and write.
Do you have a writing schedule? Are you disciplined?
I write every day, rain or shine.
How do you celebrate the completion of a book?
By starting a new book!
How do you define success?
Success is a state of the soul. It means you define what makes you whole and you’re committed to your own happiness. The rest is all hype.
What do you love most about the writer’s life?
The writing itself. It’s my sweet, sweet indulgence. And my readers. I write for them.
What is your advice for aspiring authors?
Write a lot, write now, keep writing.
George Orwell once wrote: “Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.” Thoughts?
Orwell has a perverse style. I’m not sure I’d use the word “horrible,” but I fear he might be right. Exhaustion is par for the course and there’s a little madness in what we do. Or a lot.
What’s on the horizon for you?
I’m working on a brand new series that I’m really excited about. I also have several new novels in the pipeline. My plan is to hunker down for the remainder of the year and give my readers something new and amazing next year.
Anything else you’d like to tell my readers?
If you’d like to experience the majesty of Africa from the comfort of your favorite couch, if you’re looking for a thrilling adventure that will take you in a new journey, spice your day, and warm your heart, give The Guardian a try.