Today I am introducing the very talented writer Aneesa Price. As reviewer I get asked to read a lot of fantasy, horror, romance and paranormal novels and while I am not entirely ‘at home’ in those genres, occasionally I come across writers that manage to change that. Aneesa is one of them. I have actually read her entire work by now. Here is an interview with Aneesa and an overview of her work thus far afterwards.
Hi Aneesa, please tell us a little about yourself as a person and as author.You write Romance as well as paranormal stuff. Which genre came first and do you find one easier than the other?
Thus far I’ve written contemporary romance, paranormal romance and a paranormal erotica. The general theme to my work is romance and / or paranormal. With each book I write, I experiment – writing in the third versus first person, a full length novel versus a novella, different settings, etc. Because of my promise to myself to try and improve with each book I write and my tendency to experiment, none of the books I write are easy. But, I do write contemporary romance a lot faster than I do the others. I wrote Finding Promise in two weeks and Home for Love in about 3 weeks – that includes research time and I research thoroughly.
How long have you been writing, and how did you start?
I began writing at the end of 2011 with Finding Promise. I never had a dream of being an author but I’ve had my nose in a book since I was three years old. I truthfully started clicking the keys on my laptop one day while I was on sick leave and completely bored.
How did you come up with the idea for Coffin Girls?
I wanted to write a vampire novel but didn’t want to do the usual hot guy angle. So I embarked on extensive research on anything paranormal. I knew that I wanted more than just vampires to be in the novel, hence the addition of witches, witch-vampires, voodoo, weres, etc. I found a myth about the Coffin Girls who were brought by the Ursuline nuns from Rouen in France to the then French colonial New Orleans as brides. These girls brought caskets with them that were rumoured to hold vampires, although some believed that the girls were vampires themselves. It was too delicious to be left alone. And, it allowed me to have women as the primary heroines.
How did you create the plot and the titles for your books?
I honestly don’t know. I’m still working on the process and it varies per book. I start out with an idea, then do some research. I research until I’ve had my fill (and I do everything from read economic reports of the towns that I may base my settings on to watch cities and towns on Google maps). Thereafter I sit and write. I sometimes go back and change things as I write too. But I try not to think on the process too much. It’s still too new for me.
Who or what inspired you?
I take from everything in my life – what I’ve learnt, the journey I’m on, my aspirations, people I meet, snippets of information. Ultimately, if writing is an art, and we project what we are into our art, then it is a reflection of me, be it fantastical or real. What is fantasy or reality is not something I will divulge… I’ll leave that to your speculation.
Who would play your characters in a movie?
I would want fresh blood and abs. Ha ha ha. When you use known actors, they come with audience expectations so at some point, their celebrity persona overrides the character. I can tell you that everyone will be deliciously hot, many will be sophisticated and all will contribute to fantasies.
I know you have a thing for blond guys. Did you have any (other) actors (than Alexander Skaarsgard) or people (other than your blond husband) in mind when writing your characters?
I do love blonde guys with great shoulders, legs and asses… Skaarsgard has a killer torso! *sighs and pants alternatively* LOL
I don’t picture actors, models or celebrities. I try to match looks with the character’s personality. It is truly my imagination. The models on my covers I find after I’ve written the books.
Did you have it all planned out before you write your stories or do the characters and story surprise you?
A bit of both. I have an idea of what I want but no fixed plot. I do, after the third chapter usually, sit down and jot down a high-level plot but that always ends up changing anyway.
What do you most enjoy about writing?
The zone. I’ll never forget my first experience of it. I was writing Finding Promise, my first novel. It was a Friday night and once I’d seen to dinner and put the kids to bed, I sat down to resume writing. I got up at 6am the next morning. I hadn’t moved until then. I went to bath, made pancakes and woke hubby up to watch the Rugby world cup then went back to writing. I eventually crashed at 2pm Saturday afternoon. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life and I eagerly anticipate it with each book I write. There are usually one or two per book but none of them have been as strong as that virgin experience with Finding Promise. I guess the first ‘love’ is the one that embeds itself in your memory the most.
What would your character(s) say about you?
Some would relate to me and others I would irritate. I have kutzpah (tenacity) – like the Coffin Girls, I am strong (like all of my female characters), I appreciate the aesthetic and wonderful, I like taking care of others and making them happy but I make myself happy too (a lesson some of my characters have had to learn), I value honesty and loyalty and I strongly believe in the creed, “Do as Ye Will An Harm Ye None”. In other words, I’m odd, strong, will love and care for you but if you hurt me or those I love, I will cut you off at the knees.
I would hope that I could be girlfriends with some of the female characters – they’re strong like I am and I value that. I would, of course, hope that the guys find me hot. Although I’d have to politely put them down because of my own hot blonde hubby. But that is my fantasy, not reality, and so I write about it. Don’t all writers do that?
Would you say your books have a message and could you hint at it – for the confused?
Because of my background in psychology, I can’t write airhead characters. I believe that any life has its pain and obstacles but I’ve seen unimaginable trauma overcome and turned into something positive. I truly believe that if you want something, you’re honest with yourself that you want it, you allow yourself to dream and then work at it – hard, very hard – you will get it. It’s that simple. We continuously underestimate ourselves as human beings and it saddens me.
Who are your favourite authors?
Sherrilyn Kenyon, Laurell K Hamilton for Paranormal Reads
Nora Roberts and Susan Mallery for Contemporary Romance
Kathy Reichs and Patricia Cornwell for Suspense
Charlaine Harris for Murder Mystery
I know you support indie authors, who are your favourites?
YA – AJ Lape, Julie Cassar (and I don’t like the genre so this is a big deal for me)
Contemporary Romance – Morgan Kearns, CR Everett
Paranormal Romance – Heather Killough-Walden, Rosanna Leo, JD Nelson, Kelly Grealis, Rose Pressey
Who would you say are the biggest influences?
Rose Pressey inspires me to persevere as an indie, Heather Killough-Walden’s success encourages me and Nora Roberts is my biggest writing influence. Susan Mallery with her Fool’s Gold series, may be a new influence.
How do you handle criticism of your work?
Really well. I’m not arrogant. I have the same insecurities many other artists do. When I decided to be an indie writer, I also promised myself that I would see this as a journey where I strive to improve with each book that I write. I thus take all feedback seriously. A 3 star review is as important to me as a five star review – both serve a purpose. So, I would encourage all who read my books to please leave an review.
What are you working on now?
I’ve just finished writing Supernatural Seduction, book 2 in the Coffin Girls series. I’m taking a few days off from writing and then I’ll begin crafting the second book in the Promise series.
Is there anything you would like us to know about yourself and your books?
I write for adults and I try to write the type of books I like to read. So, there’ll be sad moments in my works, funny or cute incidences / interactions between characters but there is also swearing / cussing, sex and always a happy ending. If art imitates life and I have my own happy ending, then so must my books. I also want to give people a place to escape to and where they’ve been on an emotional journey and I need for the ending emotion to be one that is positive.
Connect with Aneesa Price:
Amazon Author Page
Facebook Fan Club
Facebook Author and Reviewer Page
About Aneesa Price:
Aneesa Price writes romance and lives it with her university sweetheart and husband. After having surmounted the challenges of being in a bi-racial marriage in the newly democratic South Africa, she now attributes her marital bliss to purposefully added spice and passionately resolved differences. After living in a variety of cities in South Africa, she now lives the life of an expat and sees the world as the playground she enjoys with her husband and two daughters.
Aneesa completed her internship in counselling psychology and went on to work first as a therapist and then in Corporate Finance in on projects and in organizational change. This diversity in experience, coupled with her understanding of the human psyche, is translated into her writing through the creation of believable, flawed characters with the innate ability to overcome adversity.
She writes to give her readers the gift of experiencing the new and fascinating, something she strives for herself when she explores new places, reads, cooks with her kids or goes picking for antiques with her husband.
Home for Love (An Adult Contemporary Romance)
Seven years ago sexy Bree fled Devil’s Peak, Alaska, disillusioned with her high school romance and with a baby in her belly. Now, she’s back and seeing devilishly handsome Todd again challenges her carefully constructed plans for amicable co-parenting.
Todd’s delight at Bree’s return swiftly turns to disgust when he discovers her secret and he vows to keep her at arm’s length. Upon discovering the context behind her secreting their child, he decides to give their daughter the love and stable family home he never knew. Despite her attraction to Todd, Bree has no interest in rekindling their relationship and is focused on settling into the town.
But the town and its match-making busy-bodies are not willing to allow the lovers to remain apart and test their resolve in a series of planned misadventures.
Bree is home for good but will she be home for love?
From my review:
Bree and Todd are great characters, believable as grown ups who have the best interest for their child at heart, both dealing with issues beyond their love life and struggling with life in their small and sometimes claustrophobic community.
Price seems to be in her element in the romance genre, confident, charming and cheeky. A welcome change from love stories that are overly complicated or hyped up, this was a very pleasant read.
Coffin Girls, Elegantly Undead (Book 1 of the Coffin Girls Series)
A sexy, female vampire with secrets. A sinfully-handsome witch prince on a mission. A formidable Vampire Council with something to hide.
A vampire descendent from the original Coffin Girls, Anais runs a successful event and wedding planning business from her majestic New Orleans plantation house. To the Vampire Council, she is seen as an exemplary hostess and household head of a misfit bunch of vampires.
When Yves, her maker and head of the Vampire Council requests her assistance in hosting the mysterious, yet dashing Prince of Witches, Conall, she has no option but to accept. But Anais is the keeper of secrets; secrets that can kill. Protective of her family’s undiscovered uniqueness, Anais is guarded, yet intrigued by the enigmatic witch prince.
Conall and Anais are drawn together when confronted with fatal encounters and an unimaginable destiny… if she’s willing to accept it and fight.
From my review:
I enjoyed the book and its confident and stylish writing, the story moves fast from the beginning, the tension between Anais and her two love interests is written particularly well and convincing. This being the first in the series I would not expect the story to get too complicated, this is a great set up for the series. As far as romances go I personally found it very ‘tasteful’ and elegantly done, explicit at times but not too much. The story is an entertaining feast for lovers of chick lit and the paranormal.
Finding Promise (A Small Town Contemporary Romance)
A woman striving for independence.
A man with a charmed upbringing.
A small town filled with welcoming and quirky characters.
Caroline had led the life of a high society daughter and wife, one that was filled with soul-destroying emotional abuse. When her husband unexpectedly dies, she finds herself broke and flees New York without a plan or destination in mind. Her travels lead her to Promise, a small town on the New England coast.
Following instinct, she settles in Promise and begins to explore her new found independence and the pleasurable side of love with ruggedly handsome local, Luke Edwards. Her contentment is shattered as past resurrects itself and she needs to find the courage to face it before she can truly re-build her life
“Finding Promise” by Aneesa Price is a wonderful novel written in beautiful prose and has a believable and heart felt story line. I am not often taken in by romance novels like this, being often too cynic to enjoy love stories. However, the first few pages follow a very sad and grief struck Caroline. Not that her late husband has been the perfect husband, no, her feelings about her life back in New York are remarkably ambiguous.
Anyone who ever lost someone knows how time stands still or moves slower. Price mimics this perfectly in her prose. You can simply feel the sadness and the weight pulling her down as Caroline comes to realises she needs a new life. Price gives her character an eye for beauty and does not let her crash but gets her to move on with the view of a new life and new projects, like that house in Promise that she is going to restore to beauty.
I thought it was excellent writing how over the course of the first ten % of the book on my kindle the heaviness drops of Caroline and her spirit comes back. The story picks up pace just perfectly timed. She finds a new social life and on a girl’s night out she gets noticed by Luke, the brother of her new friend Luke and his business rival Brady.
Rebuilding the house becomes symbolic for the re-building or actually new building of her own life in this lovely place Promise, full of helpful people.
It is time for her scars to heal and become independent, shake of the ghosts from the past and learn to live for real.
Fortunately Price does not make it simplifying and unrealistically east for her heroine, nor does she create unconvincing obstacles in the way of romance. The problems Caroline faces are deep and they are being dealt with perfectly within the course of the novel.
I highly recommend this book to you if you like to feel good after you read a book. A must read for romance fans.
Ghosts & Lovers: First Confession (An Erotic Novella)
“I am female, I am a slut, and most days, I think I’m a loon too, but those are my secrets to keep except from you. … I ask you to play the role of a priest – nonjudgmental, understanding, and to atone me for my sins…” ~ Simone
Simone, the quintessential desperate housewife, is primarily absorbed on settling her family into their new home in the vibrant, metropolitan city of Johannesburg, South Africa. Unbeknownst to her, the greatest threat lurked not outside of the eight-foot walls and electric fencing but within the walls she seeks sanctuary. But the threat comes disguised as tantalizing pleasures of the most carnal nature that challenges her views of love, marriage and sex. Can Simone resist and rescue her family from the evil she’s let into their lives?
This is her first confession.
“Ghosts & Lovers: First Confession” by Aneesa Price left me with some very distinct impressions. First of all it is an odd concept that worked incredibly well. In the year 2042 a woman confesses about an incident of ‘virtual’ unfaithfulness back in 2012. An encounter with an invisible, phantom or ghost lover leaves the married woman more than confused and thrown into moral and sexual ambiguity.
Written incredibly well in a voice that is impossible not to care for and identify with, Simone, our protagonist, tells of her steamy sexual encounters with both her husband and the ghost. Price manages to navigate the dividing line between erotic and graphic well to remain ‘tasteful’and ‘inoffensive’ to this reader.
I was taken in by the original concept and the decision that Simone eventually will have to make whether or not, and if yes, how to get rid of the ghost.
Given Price’s background in psychology it would be easy to have a field day analysing the story for projections of the unconscious,the meaning of unfaithfulness if it is only done in thought (or in masturbation). It is a great pleasure to see a romance / erotic writer with great talent who brings more to the table than just sexual fantasies. In the introduction we also learn a lot about Simone and her tragic background, even more powerful since said circumstances and violence in parts of South Africa are still a present concern. Rest assured that these issues however do not get in the way of the erotic scenes once they get going, they merely present us with a rounded character that will hopefully continue through the next set of confessions.
I came to expect a simple ghost story, which in a way this is, but ended up with so much more and most importantly, I put the book down being genuinely impressed
The Romance Collection: Christmas 2012 3 in 1 Romance Bundle
This is a special romance collection that includes sizzling tales that have each received excellent reviews. Catering for the lover of adult romance, it includes a paranormal tale of love and deception, a sweet contemporary romance about a woman who needs to find her independence and a scorching paranormal erotic novella.
“I can’t wait to read more by this author.” (Tattle Tale)
Coffin Girls Book 2 – Supernatural Seduction
Cover Reveal – Coming August 2013!