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Monday, January 07, 2008

About a Book Mondays

Ann Christopher’s Sweeter Than Revenge



It’s so wonderful to be able to kick off “About a Book Mondays” with the talented Ann Christopher. I interviewed her back in March 2007. And she has quickly become one of my must-read authors. She has been nominated for two Romantic Times Awards for her novels Risk and Just About Sex . And her newest novel, Sweeter Than Revenge will no doubt garner awards and lots of praise as well.

Here’s the enticing book blurb for Sweeter Than Revenge :

COFFEE, TEA OR...THE BOSS?

Was Maria Johnson a pampered princess who relied on her good looks and daddy's money? You betcha! But when her father cut off her funds and ordered her to become an executive assistant at his firm, Maria was forced to make her new position work. Until she met her new boss -- the gorgeous man who'd broken her heart four years ago. How was she supposed to work with David Hunt?

Not with -- for, David kept reminding her. He was back in Maria's life for one reason only, R-E-V-E-N-G-E! And he knew the sweetest way to get it, too...

And here’s my conversation with Ann about her wonderful new novel:

GB: Well, first let me congratulate you on your fourth novel. You had me turning the pages until the wee hours of the morning because I didn’t want to put it down. I loved the book. And I have to say I knew from the beginning that it would be an engaging book, not just because you’re such a dynamic author, but also because you’re tackling the revenge plot. What made you want to write a novel about R-E-V-E-N-G-E?

AC: Thanks for having me, Gwen! I’m really glad you liked the book. I’m not sure where the idea originally came from (sometimes it’s hard to remember once you get deep into the writing) but this isn’t really my first revenge book. Alex sets out to get revenge against Simone in Just About Sex . Or maybe it’s more that he wants to give her a comeuppance. But I’ve noticed this theme running through three of my books now (including Risk ) of righting past wrongs.

Wonder what that says about my psyche? *VBG*

GB: Hmm… no comment, soror, no comment… But remind me to stay on your good side. LOL. *G*

AC: In Sweeter Than Revenge , I was intrigued by the idea of the one true love that got away. Of a hero who had everything except the one thing he really wanted/needed. And of course it was fun to create a hero who was so out of touch with his real feelings that he thought what he wanted was revenge when what he really wanted was to get the heroine back.

GB: You know I have to ask this question because we all want to know… There are no lawyers in this book. Why?

AC: Shocking, I know. I blame Samantha Jones from Sex in the City for making being a publicist seem so exciting. Plus I had this idea: wouldn’t it be fun to saddle a publicist with a client who was her own biggest enemy and couldn’t keep her own foot out of her mouth? (Britney Spears, anyone? Michael Jackson?) Thus was born Anastasia Buckingham, the pain-in-the-rear author diva David and Maria have to rehabilitate during the course of the book.

Anyway, it turns out I can have fun writing about people other than lawyers. Who knew?

GB: I’m sure you’d have fun writing and we’d have fun reading whatever kind of people you decided to write about. And that Anastasia Buckingham was something else! Oh my goodness what a nightmare of a woman. I alternated between dropped jaw and laughing out loud with some of her antics.

Okay, you know I love your heroes. Even when I want to sock them in the nose, I love them to death. And David Hunt was no different. He was so complex and so sweet and so mean and so irritating all at the same time that I just adored him. But something different happened to me when I was reading Sweeter Than Revenge . Usually I like your heroines well enough to gently push them out of the way to get to your yummy heroes. But this time I found myself just adoring and rooting for Maria Johnson. And I just knew that a pampered princess would get on my last nerves. But I adored Maria! I wanted her to win. So tell me, what was your inspiration for creating such a complicated and delightful woman?

AC: It’s funny you should ask this question, Gwen, because when I first turned in the manuscript, a year ago this past August (eons ago, right?), my editor sent me a 3-4 page revision letter gently outlining all the ways in which Maria was not a sympathetic heroine. This wasn’t a “tighten up the dialogue on page 62” kind of letter, but the kind of letter that has you reeling for several days and then retooling a huge—and I mean HUGE--portion of the manuscript.

So, I’m not gonna lie. It was a painful process. And it was hard to think of how to rework the manuscript, but you know what? My editor was absolutely right. Maria’s characterization did need a lot of work. I needed to make her flawed but still sympathetic, not flawed and bitchy, which she was.

So I worked on her. Made her stronger and less of a whiner. Funnier and more determined, but also more vulnerable because she just absolutely loves David and always has. She has a huge growth curve, sure, and a lot of challenges to overcome, but I think she rises to the occasion. She starts out spoiled and lazy and ends up a strong career woman who gets the man of her dreams and her fortune. And you know what? She earns them.

And don’t we all love to root for an underdog? It’s the ROCKY thing, I think.

GB: Well you did an excellent job at making her not just likable but loveable. I felt like sobbing and screaming at her father and David, “LEAVE MARIA ALONE!” Like that “Leave Brittney Alone” You Tube guy. LOL. So Ann, what do you think is sweeter than revenge? Besides Ann Christopher’s latest novel that is…

AC: LOL! Don’t they say success is the sweetest revenge? Also a nice gooey chocolate brownie. And maybe key lime cheesecake. But I digress.

GB: What’s next for you? What are you working on now?

AC: I just turned in a manuscript for Harlequin, but I will say no more about it until I hear back from my new editor. *G*

Thanks again for letting me stop by, Gwen! And I’ll be looking for you to visit my neck of the woods come July when your HIGHTOWER HONORS series begins!

Purchase your copy of Sweeter Than Revenge here:

  • Kimani Press


  • Be sure to come back for "About a Book" next week when we'll meet debut author Maryam Diaab.

    64 comments:

    Angelia... said...

    Gwyneth,
    there you go, giving us all these awesome books, that means now I will probably have to purchase at least 52 more books a year, you my sister are a PUSHER...Great Interview, sounds like another winner, Ann...

    smooches,
    angelia

    Shelia said...

    Great interview ladies.

    Gwyneth Bolton said...

    Angelia ~ A book pusher... hmmm... that sounds good. LOL.

    Shelia ~ Thanks for checking it out!

    Gwyneth

    LaConnie said...

    Wonderful interview Ann!!

    Boy do I understand that revision process. Happy to know you made it through.

    Keep up the good wrok and I've got your book on my "To Order" list.

    Best,
    LaConnie

    Michelle Monkou said...

    Ann & Gwyneth

    I loved the interview. I have not read Ann, as yet, but the behind-the-scenes work on this latest book has intrigued me. I'm looking forward to getting this book, though.

    Michelle

    Ann Christopher said...

    Gwen, thanks again for having me! It's great to be out and about among adults after the WORLD'S LONGEST Christmas break. ;)

    Angelia, if Gwen's a book pusher, I must be a book junkie. Yeah. I am. Hello, my name is Ann Christopher and I'm a bookaholic. *SIGH* Cheaper than shoes, I guess.

    Thanks for stopping by, Shelia!

    Laconnie, hang in there with your own revisions. :)

    Michelle, nice to "meet" you! I enjoyed SWEET SURRENDER!

    Anonymous said...

    Gwyneth, that was a great interview and Ann I loved Sweeter Than Revenge.

    Gwyneth Bolton said...

    LaConnie ~ Revisions are painful aren't they, soror? I get traumatized just thinking about them...

    Michelle ~ Thanks for checking out the interview.:-)

    Ann ~ Any time soror, any time!

    Tiffany ~ It was great wasn't it? I really enjoyed reading Sweeter Than Revenge .

    Gwyneth

    Farrah Rochon said...

    Okay, I have GOT to stop reading these teasers about SWEETER THAN REVENGE! Though it is now my motivation to finish up my latest WIP.

    Thanks for the interview, Gwyneth, and much success on the newest release, Ann! I can't wait to finally sink my teeth into this story.

    Farrah

    bettye griffin said...

    Hi Gwyneth,
    Nice interview. I love it when authors speak honestly about how difficult the writing/revising process can be. It ain't all sundaes with a cherry on top!

    Gwyneth Bolton said...

    Farrah ~ See you had to mention working on the WIP. Now I feel all guilty for squeezing in a reading spree... Hold up, wait a minute... Okay it's gone, it's passed, whew! Thanks for checking out the interview.

    Bettye ~ The writing and review process is definitely not a walk in the park. Thanks for checking out the interview.

    rhondajjoseph said...

    Hi, Gwyneth,

    That was an awesome interview! I have to thank you and Ann for sharing such an insightful, honest, and entertaining conversation. It served as confirmation that my personal writing goal of improving my characterization skills is indeed one I need to keep striving to make better and better.

    Keep up the wonderful work, ladies!

    Yasmin said...

    Nice review...thanks for introducing me to Ann.

    Gwyneth Bolton said...

    Rhonda ~ Yes, I'm always excited to hear how others work on issues of characterization. Thanks for checking out the interview.

    Yasmin ~ Thanks for checking out the interview. I appreciate it!

    Gwyneth

    Ann Christopher said...

    Thanks for all the thoughtful comments! I'm glad my revisions experience resonated with some of you. Writing is tough, isn't it? We all have our little challenges to work on. Here's one of my favorite quotes:

    There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.
    --W. Somerset Maugham

    I don't know about you other writers, but this is still true for me. ;) But I'm working on it...

    Maryam Diaab said...

    Excellent interview. Can't wait to pick up my copy of Sweeter Than Revenge.

    Patricia W. said...

    Gwyneth, I said I was reducing the number of books I read this year. You're not helping!!!

    I've got Risk in my TBR pile. I've heard so many good things about Ann's books I'm afraid to read it. I'm one of those that when an author grabs me, I compelled to go find the entire backlist.

    I'm writing, I'm writing, I'm writing...

    Gwyneth Bolton said...

    Maryam ~ It was really good. You should check it out! And everyone, Maryam is the Debut Author on Monday next week so come back to learn all about her and her new novel.

    Patricia ~ Go ahead, read Risk . You know you want to. It's really, really good. It's one of my favorite Ann Christopher books. I mean it might make you go and read all of her other books... but reading is good for you... Just read a chapter or two and see what happens... :-)

    Gwyneth

    Ann Christopher said...

    Yeah, Patricia! Go ahead! Read the book! And what, I ask you, is wrong with picking up an author's entire backlist??? ;)

    GENESIS said...

    Loved the interview!

    stay peace

    Genesis

    Ann Aguirre said...

    This looks really good. I had the pleasure of meeting Ann (who has a truly superior name) at RWA in Dallas, so I'll enjoy reading this even more.

    Demon Hunter said...

    Another great interview with Ann, Gwyneth! :*) Ann, I will get your book as soon as I can. I have a TBR pile that is mostly horror, fantasy, and a sci-fi. I read mostly paranormal romance when I do read romance, but I plan to get started with AA romance.

    There aern't enough people of color in horror, and since that's my favorite genre, I have been working feverishly on polishing the first book in my series.

    Gwyneth Bolton said...

    Genesis ~ Thanks for checking out the interview!

    Ann A ~ Yeah Ann C is pretty cool! LOL @ the name comment. :-)

    Tyhitia ~ Hey! I hope the revisions are going well.

    Gwyneth

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