Today, please welcome Regency Romance author Anneka Walker to I & R. Anneka is an award-winning author who writes all things romance. She graduated from Brigham Young University-Idaho with a Bachelor's degree in English and History. She is a wife, mother of five, and believer in happy endings.
Today she is talking about her latest book Refining the Debutante and she is giving away a print copy to one lucky winner!
Anneka, welcome to Interviews & Reviews!
What is the central theme of your book?
In Refining the Debutante, a character-driven romance, anyone can have a change of heart. It’s set in 1816—the famed year without a summer—and the two main characters, who begin the book completely wrong for each other, come to learn that nothing overcomes adversity and struggle like the power of love.
What inspired you to write this book?
I love chatting about book inspiration! For this particular story, I was reading the parable of the Prodigal Son in the Bible, and I felt strongly that I needed to write a story about redemption—except, my heroine would be the one who fell from Society and my hero would be the one to bring her back. Along with my heroine, almost all the characters featured in the book go through some character refining and growth. My goal was to provide a swoon-worthy romance with lighthearted moments to balance the hard. But most of all, I want my readers to close the book knowing that change is possible for all of us.
Do you have any other books in the works?
Yes! In September, I will be releasing my first Contemporary Romance, Brides and Brothers (yes, after Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, the classic), and a Christmas novella in an anthology. Both projects were so rewarding to write. My current project is another Regency and so far my readers say it’s my funniest story yet. I can’t wait to share all of these stories with the world!
I loved Seven Brides for Seven Brothers! It was one of my favourite movies growing up. I can't wait to read Brides & Brothers now! How many books have you written?
I have three novels and three novellas published, and they are all Regency Romances. Unpublished, I have written three more novels and three novellas spanning several different genres from historical to fantasy. Some of those we will see in the next year or two!
What is the hardest thing about writing for you?
The top of my writing challenges are definitely time and balance. Ideas and deadlines don’t always come at the most convenient time, and as a stay-at-home mom with five kids, I have to be super flexible. Yes, that means sometimes I have to walk away from my computer when the words are flowing. It also means we have breakfast for dinner a LOT so Momma can work a little longer. Motherhood was always my first dream, so I try to keep that in perspective, knowing that my life experiences will only better my writing.
Which do you enjoy more, the research part for a book, or the writing?
Research is secondary to the story for me. While I do spend a significant time researching and feel strongly about historical accuracy, there is nothing I enjoy more than writing witty/heartfelt dialogue, creating memorable characters, and crafting ways to bring two people together. A fun quirk about me is that I LOVE writing awkward scenes to make my characters vulnerable and add humor to the book. For example, the first line in this story is: What’s a man supposed to do in a dressmaker’s shop? Creating scenarios like this one makes writing exciting for me!
What do you do when you aren’t writing?
If I’m not writing, I’m creating my real-life stories with my family. We love baking together, playing games, hiking, biking, and camping. The pandemic turned me into a homeschooling mom, and I also teach in a preschool co-op, volunteer for my church, run, and eat ridiculous amounts of dark chocolate.
Thank you for sharing with us, Anneka. It sounds like you have managed to make things work, despite the pandemic. And with five kids to schedule your writing around too! I am impressed. You can touch base with Anneka through her website at https://www.annekawalker.com/.
If you would like to win a print copy of Refining the Debutante and are in the Continental U.S., fill out the form below. One winner will be selected. This contest ends on April 6, 2021. The winner will be contacted via email and announced here and on our Facebook page. Failure to claim your prize within one week will result in a new winner being chosen.
Congratulations to Karen Mercer!