Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Interview with Romantic Suspense Writer Toni Anderson

Toni Anderson is a former Marine Biologist turned Romantic Suspense writer who now lives in the Canadian prairies with her husband and two children.  Her stories are set in the stunning locations where she’s been lucky enough to live and work—the blustery east coast of Scotland, the remote isolated mining communities of Northern Labrador, the rugged landscapes of the U.S. and Australia. Check out Toni’s website for a list of current titles, her blog and Facebook Author Page for writing news and her personal Facebook page and Twitter for constant nonsensical chatter. She is also part of a wonderful group blog—Not Your Usual Suspects. Come introduce yourself.

     I discovered Toni Anderson on a lark. I was in need of a long book to listen to while I did some work around the house. I checked out the Romantic Suspense genre at Audible.com ( one of  my favorite genres). Toni had the longest book in the list of books that looked interesting. That book  SEA OF SUSPICION . I was hooked. After finishing this book I looked  to see if she had any other books. WOOHOOO to my delight she had two more books on the shelves. STORM WARNING   and her first book published HER SANCTUARY .

     After reading all three books, I wanted more to read and I wanted to tell the author how much I enjoyed her books. I hit google up and found her on facebook.  I messaged her and told her just how much I enjoyed her books and how I really hoped she had another one coming out. Luckily for me she didn't find me as stalker-ish as I'm sure I sounded and accepted my friend request on facebook.  Toni has been nice enough to indulge me in my amateur  interview skills and is granting me an interview for my blog. Toni describes her books with the tag line  Atmospheric Tales of Love & Murder. I have to agree.  Now on to the Interview. 

1.     I know you had a full career in marine biology before you became a published Author. When did you know you wanted to be a writer? Well a fiction writer anyway? I’m sure you did plenty of writing as a marine biologist J

     If you want references to my old papers I am sure I can track them down...just kidding J. The weird thing is I did a lot of writing as a kid. Poetry, songs, torturous diary entries, but then my older sister read my diary and exposed my secrets to the world and I don’t think I wrote another thing—outside science—for 20 years. Then when I moved to Canada in 1995 (for the first time) I discovered romance novels and this really gave me the impetus to at least think that I could try my hand at writing a novel. When I was back in Scotland, expecting my first child, I finally got the time to give it a go.

2.       How did you figure out what genre you wanted to write?

     I knew what genre I loved to read—Romantic Suspense—and the types of TV shows I love to watch (CSI, Criminal Minds, NCIS), so Romantic Suspense and Mystery seemed like a good fit. I love the idea of people falling in love in difficult, even dangerous, circumstances. Actually, I did once write a straight contemporary aimed at Harlequin Presents (it’s still on my PC). It was the hardest thing I’ve ever written (perhaps barring my current snow leopard story) because you have to maintain tension without any external help. No bullets or bombs to bring the hero and heroine closer together or to drive them apart. It opened my eyes as to how something so simple can actually be incredibly hard to achieve

3.     I know you have shared writing strategies on “Not Your Usual Suspect “ blog such as WIP organization and character naming. Do you enjoy sharing your writing strategies with others? I know I enjoy learning how others go about things.

     This is a difficult question. I do enjoy sharing writing strategies, but I’m never sure I have that much to offer other people. There are so many more established writers out there, and some fantabulous writing books, that what I’m sharing seems very minor. However, if I do help anyone, offer encouragement or inspiration, well, that’s a good thing

 4.      You have your 4th book  EDGE OF SURVIVAL. Coming November 21st, 2011, from Carina Press. I know your readers are excited for its release.  (if I could I would have stood over you with a whip until you were done! )  When you published your first book HER SANCUARY  could you imagine your 4th book coming out just a short 2 years later (ok not so short for us readers!) 

*Ouch*. No whips. I’m work hard, honest J. And thank you for being excited J.

     When you say four books in two years it actually sounds pretty good, huh? But, yes, I could imagine it because I’ve been working on these stories for a long time. I’ve been writing for 12 years so no overnight success for me. One thing I would say, I’m not someone who is easily satisfied and I’m never 100% happy with my work, but I am cognizant of the fact that there is a time when you must let it go. I’m getting better at letting go.

5.   Is the release of this book as exciting to you as the first time?

     Yes! Actually I really love all my books. They might not be as perfect as I envisage them before I start writing, but I really love the stories and the characters in my books. I was super excited to write a story set in Northern Labrador and I adore my hero and heroine (just hoping others do too!).

 6.      Do you do anything special to celebrate each release? Like send the kids to a sitter and enjoy some peace and quiet J or do you and your husband go out for a nice dinner and night on the town?

     We go out as a family for a meal, usually fish and chips in the great British tradition. To be honest my hubby is Irish and any excuse for a night on the town, he’ll take it J

7.      I know you are a stay at home mom. When school is out how do you manage to get time in for writing with the little ones running around?

     It can be pretty intense being a mom and a writer. At first you have to pound it into people that you aren’t at home, you’re writing. When the kids are out of school my sanity is strained (understatement). This summer, I took to getting up at 6 am to write. This is totally out of my natural sleep rhythm. I’d write until midday and then I’d do stuff with the kids. I also use earplugs—isn’t that awful? J But my workspace is on the ground floor in an open plan house, so I put earplugs in and ignore everything except blood and broken bones.

8.  Is there anything else you would like to share with your readers?

     I’m always thrilled to hear from readers (well, less thrilled if you didn’t like the book but thankful you paid your hard-earned money to buy the book J). And I love connecting with people online (just ask Doris J) so drop me a comment on my blog, Facebook Author Page or Facebook page.

Again Thank you Toni. I appreciate your willingness to play along. 

Next Author Interview will be with up and coming YA SFF writer Jill Schafer Boehme.


  1. I think I am going to have to read her books not only because you enjoy them so much but also because I like her answer's.

  2. Mom I think you would really enjoy her style.

    GRRR Can't get the formatting to all work together LOL

  3. Doris, Doris's mom, thanks for having me :)

  4. Toni, Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer my questions :-)

  5. How come I missed this? Lovely interview, ladies!

    I can't believe you use earplugs, Toni. *snort* Love the whole getting up at 6 am thing. I'd do that myself but I'm allergic to mornings. :)

  6. Thank you Shirley!

    I wish I had thought of earplugs when my kids were little ;-) not that I was a writer! I do use them now to sleep LOL especially on the nights my husband tends to snore a lot.