A Georgetown University graduate, Anna enjoys traveling, hiking, skiing, and the sea. Writing is her addiction, her drug of choice, and what she wants to do all the time. The extraordinary men and women she met during her years as a Navy wife inspire the fabulous heroes and heroines at the center of her stories. When she stays put—which doesn’t happen very often—she lives in Florida with her indulgent husband and two very opinionated cats.
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/anna_del_mar
Thanks for letting us interrogate you!
Thanks for inviting me over. I’ve been interviewed before, but I’ve never been officially interrogated. I hope there’s no waterboarding included. But go ahead. Do your best.
Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?
I swear, I tried really hard not to be an author, even if the idea of being a writer is one of the earliest memories I have. I have these vague recollections of me somewhere around age three or four, holding a storybook on my lap and thinking “hey, I love this book. I could tell stories too!”
From there on, the fight was on. The thought of having to make a living out of writing terrified me. Maybe that explains why I went for the MBA instead. But in the end, I couldn’t help myself. I wrote a story. And another one. And now…well, here I am.
Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be? I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?
The perks? I get to work in my pajamas. That’s the big one. Oh, and I get to write for a living. If you are obsessed with writing like I am, that’s the dream.
The demands are many. I don’t think that people understand the sheer amount of time and effort involved. Writing a novel is grueling work! But if you love it, then you’re right where you want to be. In the end, the biggest perk is doing what you love.
Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?
The Asset is published by Carina Press, an imprint of Harper Collins. I went through the traditional process, but first, I hired a private editor, Nancy Cassidy from the Red Pen Coach. She helped polish my novels, encouraged me to seek publication, and then guided me through the process of finding a publisher. I thought it would be really difficult, but I was lucky. My queries generated interest and within a few weeks, I was talking to the senior editor at Carina Press, which had always been top of my list.
Carina Press is a classy outfit and they put a lot of time and work into their manuscript evaluation process. They have a committee of twenty people who review a submission. To be brought on, those twenty people have to agree that a novel is a good fit for Carina. Unanimously. I can’t even begin to imagine how you get twenty people to agree on anything. But they did and I was thrilled. That’s how I found a home for my Wounded Warrior series, a collection of stories about strong heroines struggling to find their place in the world and the brave, sexy, military heroes who challenge their limits to protect the women they love.
Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?
I’m really lucky. My family is super supportive of my writing. It makes such a huge difference when the people in your life rally around you to help and encourage your passions. Yes, I spend an inordinate amount of time writing and taking care of the business of writing. And yes, I go AWOL for days at a time, sometimes weeks. But we all keep in touch and my hubby backs me up, so that we’re never in danger of succumbing to avalanches of dirty laundry or dying from starvation.
Do your pets actually get their food on time or do they have to wait until you type just one more word?
My cats rule this place. If they don’t get fed right at the appointed time the two of them will team up to jump on my lap and rub against the screen until fur is sticking all over and my monitor looks as if it’s about to meow. Honestly, I love animals. I actually wrote a service dog into The Asset, a handsome German shepherd who’s trained to support the hero in the story. That was such fun. Animals are amazing.
Are your plants actually still alive?
Sadly, nothing green survives Anna del Mar. But my son found a solution. He gifted me a Flip Flap, a little plastic plant with make-believe leaves that bounce when the sunlight hits it. It’s cute. Best of all? It can’t be killed.
In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late?
I ignored all of it and kept writing.
What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?
The craziest thing that happened was when Carina decided to publish not only my first novel, but all four romances I had written. Awesome. That was epically insane because it was happening to me. Me!
How about the social networks? Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?
I think social media offers alternative ways of communicating with readers, colleagues and prospective readers. To be honest, I don’t know that anybody really knows how much social media impact book sales at the end of the day. But it does help to widen exposure.
The main challenge with social media is that Facebook, Twitter and the rest can be a major drain in a writer’s time. Yep. They’re time-suckers. I know a lot of writers who spend a lot of time on social media, time they could be using to put down some glorious stories.
For my part, I just began to setup my social media accounts. I figure I’d start with Facebook and Twitter and see how it goes. By the way, if you’d like to be among my inaugural likes and follows, I’d really appreciate it. Here are my brand new links: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAnnadelMar/?ref=hl and https://twitter.com/anna_del_mar
Book sales. Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)? How are you making the sales happen for you?
Well, the question is premature, since my book is coming out February 22nd. My publisher has taken the lead by soliciting reviews, placing advertising and promoting the novel through numerous marketing strategies. I’ve embarked on a promotion effort that includes both traditional and innovate marketing strategies and will take me deep into cyberspace to meet some awesome folks like yourselves.
What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?
The divided state of our country and the world. Why can’t we all set our differences aside, work on those things we know have to get done, and move forward for the betterment of mankind?
Okay, too much sugar for you today! Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in. Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?
Well, since you already said all of that, I won’t repeat it again. But I will thank you for interrogating—I mean—interviewing me today. I enjoyed talking to you and I hope that your readers may consider giving The Asset a read. You are all invited to check out my website at www.annadelmar.com. You can preview the first chapter at: http://www.annadelmar.com/pages/excerpt.html. And if I can answer any other questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cheers and best of luck to all of you.