Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Interview & Giveaway: Anne Brooke

Oh my, I am so vera excited. Vera vera! Today is my blog stop day for Anne Brooke’s The Heart’s Greater Silence Blog tour, which I might add was… ahhh-mazing. Bitterly fantastic story of awesome. That’s what that is.

Um… right. As I was saying, it’s my my blog stop day which means I get to hang out with her. W00T! It’s her first time at mah Place, and she’s brought a vera cool giveaway too. Don’t forget to check that out at the end of the interview. Giveaway’s rock! More with the W00T!! :D

So with a big warm welcome, I say… ready, set…let’s play! :D :D

Amara: Hi Anne! Welcome to my Place, make yourself comfortable. I’m sooooo excited that you’re here. *smiles* Thanks for coming to sit and chat with me. *gets out the interviewer notebook of awesome questions and flips thru to find some good ones* To start, if you don’t mind, tell me a little bit about yourself.

Anne: I’m a slightly odd redhead with an abiding love for snowglobes and pens in the shape of fluffy birds, the bigger the better. Well, I like to maintain a professional image at the local university where I work part-time in student support – I just don’t quite know when I saw it last … Much to my shame, I can neither ride a bicycle nor swim, but I’m hoping I’ll be okay just as long as I keep away from wheels and water. Hmm, could be tricky. I was born in the countryside, got lost in the city in my twenties but have somehow found my way back to rural life in southern England just in time to hit 50 – in about two years’ time, if you’re asking. However I only admit to 39, as long as the light’s behind me.

Amara: OMG, I love snowglobes! Love Love LOVE. And pens? Don’t /even/ get me started on my pen thing. Uh… I’m getting off track. Let’s talk books. Tell me about your current book. *smiles*

Anne: The Heart’s Greater Silence is the story of Mark, who is torn between his relationships between two very different men. When his secret life is discovered, he is forced to make a traumatic choice, but what is his heart really telling him?

Here's the blurb:

Mark isn’t sure he believes in love, especially when he finds himself torn between two very different men: his reliable boyfriend, Craig, and his illicit lover and priest, Richard.

Mark knows what he should do, but he can’t bring himself to give Richard up. The sex with Richard is unlike anything he’s ever known with Craig, and he hungers for it as much as—if not more than—the truer intimacy he finds in his boyfriend’s arms.

When Craig discovers his betrayal, Mark is forced to look at his life more closely, but the path to self-knowledge is never an easy one. Richard seeks the way back to God, but Mark finds no solace there. Can he ever discover the truth of his own soul, or is he too afraid of what he will—or won’t—find inside his heart?

Amara: What a great story it was too! *leans in and whispers* I heart it. *grins* So tell me, how has it been working with Riptide?

Anne: It’s been inspirational and hard work, both of which I love. Working so closely with the Riptide editorial team has helped sharpen and deepen the story a great deal and I’m incredibly grateful. I’ve also found they’re very supportive and easy to contact and deal with, which is marvelous. Plus the marketing planning and support is absolutely second to none.

Amara: *nods* Awesome. I keep hearing so many great things. I love them from reader end, that’s for sure. Now… please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.

Anne: It’s a sensuous and erotic tale about sex, love and decisions.

Amara: *smiles and nods* Good reason. Have any other books in the works? Goals for future projects? 

Anne: I’m currently working on the fifth book of the m/m/m Delaneys series, called The Delaneys At Home, for Amber Allure Press. I’m also writing a gay fantasy novella called The Taming of The Hawk, which I’m hoping to submit to Riptide either later this year or early next. At the same time, I’m planning a sequel to gay BDSM story, For One Night Only, so I think it’s going to be busy …

 Amara: Busy indeed! Awesome. I have to check out the Delaneys series. I don’t think I have those. *scribbles note* So Anne, The Hearts Greater Silence was really good, I’m curious, what inspired it? 

Anne: I’ve been a Christian for nearly thirty years now, and I’ve always wanted to combine aspects of my distinctly Anglican version of faith with my love of reading and writing m/m fiction. When I began writing The Heart’s Greater Silence, I realized the “other man” in Mark’s life was in fact a Church of England priest, which gave me the chance to set a large part of the action in a church. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would definitely combine the two elements again – goodness knows why I haven’t before! I’m also very much inspired by the twin themes of love and obsession, and have used them in earlier stories, such as A Dangerous Man and Brady’s Choice. So in many ways, this particular book was both familiar and unfamiliar territory.

Amara:  Awesome. I can’t wait to check out A Dangerous Man, that one is already loaded on mah Kindle. *smiles* Now, hm…*ponders next question*… What's the best advice anyone has ever given you?

Anne: A writing friend of mine once told me that the key aspects to a book were allowing the reader (a) to develop intimacy with the characters by seeing, feeling, hearing, tasting and touching what they do; and (b) to experience the setting as a kind of character in itself. I’ve tried to remember that whilst I’m writing, especially Point (b) as it doesn’t always come naturally so I have to really concentrate on it.

Amara: Sounds like vera good advice. Alright, lets do some ‘about Anne’ questions. Tell me… *flips thru notes*… Oh, I know… with whom in history do you most identify? *nods in satisfaction* Yeah, that’s a good one. *smiles*

Anne:  This is going to be a wildcard answer and I’m sorry as I know it will upset some, but I actually do have a lot of time for Oliver Cromwell. He was from East Anglia, like me, so I know something about the environment he grew up in. He also had a deep religious faith and could, from what I gather, become very obsessed about issues, as well as having a strong sense of justice. I also admire what a great and innovative master of military tactics he was (though I have no experience there myself!) and I also like the fact he on the whole treated those immediately below him in the hierarchy with fairness and compassion. Yes, he had many faults and he was, after all, very much a man of his time with the prejudices and instincts which come with that, but there’s just something about him that draws me.

Amara: Interesting. If you were an animal, which one would you be? Why?

Anne: I’d love to be a tiger. I think they’re beautiful and dangerous, and I love that combination of attributes! The hair colour is similar to mine too so I wouldn’t have to dye it J They’re definitely sexier than lions anyway … Still I suspect I’d probably end up being a ginger guinea pig or something which, though cute, doesn’t quite have the pizzazz.

Amara: *laughs* I wanna be a Tiger. Tiger’s are awesome! Alright, let’s say you have won one million dollars what is the first thing that you would buy?

Anne: I’d buy land. My father always said you couldn’t go wrong with land, and these days I think he was right. Can you buy an island for a million dollars?? Alternatively a second home would be nice, preferably somewhere warm (says she, writing this in the middle of an English winter …). And art. I’d buy paintings too – I’ve always wanted to be a collector J If only, eh … As you can see, I’m married to an accountant as all three of my “first” choices are investments – something of my husband’s wisdom must be rubbing off on me at last then!

Amara: Nice. I want to come visit you on your island. I used to sell art, I will help you with your collection. Or at least… admire it with you :D :D That would rock. *smiles* That was fun. Thanks so much for coming over and chatting with me. I hope we get to do this again.

More of Anne online…
Email address:

Giveaway…Anne's contest and prizes:1. I have one contest per stop - with the prize being a backlist ebook giveaway for one commenter. 2. I also have a cumulative competition throughout the blog tour involving answering 3 questions from HGS - with the prize being 3 backlist ebooks for one commenter from the tour as a whole. The questions are
  • (a) What item of his trade is Richard wearing when Mark sees him in church? 
  • (b) When Craig discovers Mark and Richard together, what does he do just before leaving? 
  • (c) What action does Mark take at the end of the story?
3.  One signed cover flat and magnet for one commenter per stop - with this NOT being the winner of Item 1 (see above)4. One gift certificate to be drawn at the end of the tour - with this NOT being the winner of Item 2 (see above).
Oooooo! Backlist book! And…*tries to control the grabby hands* …mmmmm, signed cover flat! I heart those. :D

'k, ready, set... time to play giveaway! Comments away!!! :D :D


  1. Many thanks, Amara! You can come and live on my island any time!! Don't forget your jewellery!! :))

    Ooh, and if people want to send their comp entries to me at: albrookeATmeDOTcom then that will be lovely - thank you!!

    Hugs galore


  2. Hi, Anne! Very cool interview. I don't think I've ever seen Oliver Cromwell come up before on an m/m book blog tour. :D

    I know very little about him. I read an historical novel once written by an Irish author that made him out to be like Hitler, but I got the impression from other sources that he was important in shaping the British political system away from a monarcy and towards a commonwealth. That's about all I know, but his name has a very controversial vibe about it.

    And what you said about your new book and exploring Anglicanism within the lives of gay men -- very intriguing! (Again, I don't know anything about the Anglicans. The Episcopalians over here have similiarities, I think, but I don't even know much about them. Always interested to learn though!) I wish more m/m romance authors would do what you're doing and explore the intersection of spirituality with everyday life, including romance. :)

  3. Many thanks, Val. Always a first time, eh! :)) But yes, all the Irish hate Cromwell as he was very hard-line with them during his leadership years - a real "blind spot" for him and one acknowledged in all the biographies. I can certainly understand that view though - interestingly - the English of the time (I hasten to add that phrase ...) very much supported his actions there and wanted him to go even further, which was a mainstream view of the Irish during that era. Sad to say ... :(( It is, however, overstating the case to say he was another Hitler. Horrific thought! Always a soldier first and foremost though, and a brilliant, some say genius, battle technician. It's suspected these days he might have been bipolar - hence the violent explosions of temper (towards the Irish, mainly), the "downs" and the strong religious feelings. Interesting stuff ...

    Am planning to add more issues of faith to my m/m writing, as I go on - we'll have to see where that takes me!


  4. Always a first time, eh!

    Ha, ha! Very true. I love to be surprised like that. :D

    You're right about the Hitler-eseque comparison. I was getting a strongly biased depiction. Amazing how the strong feelings can last for so many generations.

    Over here (not that our relatively short history can even compare to the sheer length of Britain's) there are still strong feelings towards, say, General Sherman from southern Americans about his burning of Atlanta and his March to the Sea, and it was almost 150 years ago! His name still has a controversial vibe in history books.

    So the English of the time wanted Cromwell to go further with the Irish than he did? Whoa. That is very interesting. I mean, it casts him in a different life, and gives him some context of his time in which to understand him. And bipolar? I had no idea. The military history intrigues me, too. I'm definitely going to have to read up on him!

  5. I'm a big fan of your writing Anne. Maloney's Law was the first book of yours I read. I couldn't find a version for my Kindle, so I just ordered the book from Amazon. That was the first of many of your works that I have enjoyed. Congratulations on your new release. I look forward to reading it, too. Great interview!


  6. Reasons to read 'The Heart's Greater Silence': "It’s a sensuous and erotic tale about sex, love and decisions."
    'Nough said! Y^Y *nods*
    ooh~ a Tiger? Yeah, that's a good one, though for me, I'd go for a Liger (perhaps a Tigon). ahh~ Such beautiful creatures... I'd love to meet one in person. One day soon! lol..

    Enjoyed the interview! :D


  7. Mmmmm, tigers :) I would love to be a grizzly bear. Stuff my face all summer (with the specific aim of putting on as much weight as possible), curl up in a warm corner in October, set the alarm for half past March and go to sleep. Wake up slim and do it all again. What's not to like?

    The only downside I can see is that I wouldn't be able to hold a Kindle in my big bear paws :(

  8. Thanks, Val - yes it's amazing how long these situations last, and how different an approach people in the past had to how we see things now - if you see what I mean!

    Many thanks, Lisa - glad you enjoyed Maloney. I'm working on that one and hope to have positive news on it early next year - so sorry about the long wait though ...

    And it's certainly hard to choose, Judi! Weirdly I'm coming round to that guinea pig now - especially a long-haired one. So sweet!

    Nithu - a bear would be lovely and warm - perhaps you can arrange for someone else to hold your Kindle for you, tee hee ...

    Love to all!


  9. Thanks for coming by everyone! Biggest thanks of all to you Anne for coming to play blog with me. That was fun. :D

    Hope the week was good to you all :D :D

  10. Thanks for coming by everyone! Biggest thanks of all to you Anne for coming to play blog with me. That was fun. :D

    Hope the week was good to you all :D :D



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