Happy Valentine’s Day! In light of the holiday, I do believe I’ve brought you all the perfect guest, as she’s here with a book called—what else?—V-Day! Anne Holly’s new release is the ideal way to close out a smokin’ hot holiday, and I’m so glad to introduce you to Anne and her erotic romantic comedy. Give her a warm welcome!
Hi, Sarah. Thanks for having me!
My pleasure! (And I bet it’ll be everyone else’s, too! *grin*) Since it’s Valentine’s Day, I’ve got to ask what you’re doing to celebrate. Any plans?
Well, this blog tour will likely keep me busy for much of the evening, responding to comments and things, so that might scuttle most of my R&R. Other than that, most likely it will be ice cream and Beauty and the Best with my three year old. Or maybe we’ll go really nuts and watch Clifford the Big Red Dog’s Valentine’s Day special. The exciting life of a romance novelist, eh? Perhaps I should have made up something more romantic there…
LOL! I have a whole houseful of kiddos so I feel you there! I’m going to steal a line from your blurb: “V-Day is the story of a Valentine’s Day weekend Daniel fears he may regret, but will never, ever forget.” That’s sooo enticing! Did you decide to write a story for Valentine’s Day and then come up with the plot, or did the whole idea hit you at once?
Well, I had always intended to write one for Valentine’s Day back in 2010, because I was already planning and starting the stories that would become my holiday series. And I knew I wanted to make it focused on the violin, because that’s my favourite image of Valentine’s Day, being an old violin student, myself. But, I admit, the actual idea for the story came from a chat on Facebook – I was challenged to write a virgin hero story from the male perspective, so that’s how V-Day was born! You really never know what conversation will lead to a new story.
That is so true! And that’s a fantastic “behind the scenes” look at the story. Let’s dig a little deeper. V-Day features musical plot elements. Is music a big part of your life? In that sense, do you have a personal connection to the story?
Oh yes. Music is very important to me. Violin was a childhood obsession, and I had an $80 second hand violin I treated like my heart and soul. Then one evening I was watching PBS and I saw some 13 year old prodigy, and I realized I was already “too old” to be a genius (I was 14), so I started to move away from it after that. I regret that, but everything always seems so dramatic at that age. Now, I mess around with a couple instruments with my preschooler – but I make sure he knows you do it for love and fun, and not in order to be the top of the musical world by the age of 12.
Daniel is the 19 year old prodigy I sadly wasn’t, I guess.
I think it’s easy to feel that sort of intimidation at any age. (I still experience it now, LOL.) This is so cool, Anne. I love this glimpse into you as the author, and I’d love to see a little more of your characters. What’s the most romantic thing one of your characters does for the other in V-Day?
That would have to be the serenade. Daniel, knowing that Bronwyn just went through a breakup and is disillusioned with Valentine’s Day, stands in a foot of snow beneath her window with a cheap carnation and plays Beethoven’s Romance no 2 just for her. It’s my favourite piece, and my favourite scene. It might sound a bit cliché, I suppose, but I made it just goofy enough to make it respectable.
Of course, I’m a bit strange, as I also see them making a snowman together very romantic. That might be a Canadian thing, though.
LOL! I think it sounds wonderful. *swoon* Let’s have some fun with V-Day. What’s the first sentence?
First sentence reflects the author’s dilemma, I suspect: What could one say about Daniel Vouks?
Enticing indeed! How about an excerpt … three sentences long! Yep, that’s it. Three!
In any case, the bitter irony was he seemed to feel ten times more love for Bronwyn than Warren did, yet it was the hunkish blockhead who was now enjoying her company, while Daniel steeped in his own unmanly grief.
For the hundredth time, Daniel clutched his hair in his hands and tried to focus on the paper flickering on the computer screen before him. But what did the Baroque period matter to him anymore?
That’s fantastic … I love your voice. ;c) Which scene of V-Day was most difficult for you to write? Why?
The first love scene was a big challenge. How do you make a virginal guy seem heroic when he doesn’t really know what he’s doing? I think that’s where humour saved my butt.
Oh my gosh! LOL. That just HAS to be a great scene! ;c) If a reader is unfamiliar with your work, which of your books would you suggest he or she read first? Why?
I think a reader could jump into any of my books and get to know me. So… A cheap one, I guess, would be my advice. But if you want an actual title, this whole publishing thing started for me with my novel Strings Attached, so you could start there as well. That one is a traditional contemporary romance, set in Canada’s north, but all my elements are there – love over heartache, optimism, a little humour, heroes that sneak past your defenses, and heroines you don’t want to drown in a bucket (unlike some traditional contemporaries). I hope that’s my “brand” as an author.
“Heroines you don’t want to drown in a bucket.” BUAHAHAHAHAA! Okay, that line is a classic! LOL. Let’s see if I can come back down to serious now. *grin* Looking back over all of the intimate moments you’ve created between characters, which scene would you most like to experience for yourself? What makes it so alluring?
In my Halloween story Like Magic my characters make love in a rooftop garden, very early in the morning and in the rain. I love the morning, rain and gardens, so I’d have to go with that one.
Oh. My. Gosh. That sounds INCREDIBLE! On the more combative front, have you ever battled with any of your characters over their personality traits? If so, who won – you or the character?
When I first wrote Strings Attached back in 2000 or 2001, the heroine Josie was a perfect Mary Sue. She was flawless. I was 21 or thereabouts, so I forgive myself that amateur enthusiasm. When I re-wrote it in 2010, I laughed and laughed at that. Josie became much, much more realistic. I’d had years, and a major breakup, and marriage, and motherhood, etc, between 2000 and 2010, so I understood that no one is really perfect, and love can actually be a lot better between imperfect people.
I guess you stuffed the original Josie in a bucket, huh? LOL. I have to admit, I laughed along with you on that one! How do you keep track of plot elements or twists?
Notes – lots of notes. I teach at a university, and we use these nifty little booklets called foolscap for exams. I make a folder for each project in the pre-writing stage. I start with a little rough blurb, and then character sketches. Then I write a plot outline, and then a relationship outline, and then I lay those two over each other. Then, I usually pick a title, and then write out my chapter-by-chapter design. Then, I start to write. And I keep notes as I go, so if something interesting pops up during the writing phase, I can make sure it gets developed in editing and re-writes.
Wow, that’s an amazing process! I am *seriously* impressed, Anne. Clearly you put a lot into each of your stories. Which of your novels most reflects who you are as a writer? Why?
The novel I have coming out this summer, Textbook Romance, does, I think. It takes place in a university, and the story line is about how romance conflicts with (and causes problems for) real life. I realize it does, and I struggle with the notion that I might be selling people, especially young women, on the idea that love is all hearts and perfection, which is wrong. I try to balance the magical parts of being love with the work that it takes to make a partnership long lasting, so I hope I do that. In Textbook Romance, I really wrestle with that. It was an important book for me to write, and I think it’s my best so far.
Then again, I think most writers will tell you the most important book of their career is always the next one, or the one they are currently working on. That’s inevitable, since we change so much from book to book.
I really, really love how much thought you put into your stories. What are you currently working on?
I have sort of a Top Secret project right now. Not really a romance, though it has a love story. It’s a big change for me from my published work, so I’m not sure how it will pan out. It’s a recent historical, and deals with how one carries on with life after a cataclysmic event, when you’d rather just lay down and die. For me, love and optimism, which many people snicker at, really comes in handy at times like that.
I’m impressed enough already to say I’m sure that will be something to behold when you finish it, Anne. In the meantime, let’s take a closer look at V-Day, which is available right now, and there no better time to buy it than today!
V-Day, an erotic romantic comedy for Valentine’s Day
By Anne Holly
It all started with a serenade…
A family like Daniel’s and the solitary pursuit of musical excellence is enough to make a young man crazy. No wonder all Daniel Vouks dreams of is getting away. He knows his violin will take him places in life, but the only place he really wants to be is next door. He’s been in love with his neighbor since he was fourteen, but can he ever make her see him as more than just a lovesick kid?
V-Day is the story of a Valentine’s Day weekend Daniel fears he may regret, but will never, ever forget.
For more information about V-Day, please see my holiday stories website: http://annehollyholiday.webs.com/valentinesdaytales.htm
ANNE HOLLY | bio & links
Anne Holly is a Canadian writer of romance and erotic-romance, as well as a mother and teacher. You may visit Anne at her blog or website, or find her on GoodReads, Facebook and Twitter (@anneholly2010). Sign up for her newsletter here. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anne, thank you so much for spending part of your Valentine’s Day here with us, and I sure hope you enjoy your evening with those little Valentines of yours. ;c) Readers, thank you for being here. Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!
Sarah here: Congratulations to pdbartkiw(at)etc, winner of last week’s gift card giveaway! To enter for a weekly chance to win a gift card, please subscribe to my blog **by email**!