Friday, January 23, 2009

Please Welcome Ana Aragón, One of Our Own!

Ana Aragón lives in the North Georgia hills with her husband and Walker hound dog, Max, and has three grown children who are constantly moving in and out of her home. Born in New Mexico, she loves writing stories that include elements of her native Hispanic culture. Ana writes hot contemporaries in the Champagne line and erotic romance for the Scarlet line of The Wild Rose Press. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Georgia Romance Writers and RWA Online chapters of RWA, and Romance Writers Unlimited.

How did you get started in your writing career? Like most authors, I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing! Prior to making the commitment to write romance, I’d written several non-fiction pieces and published and edited a sports magazine for kids. Writing articles for the magazine stimulated my dream of being published.

What or who has had the most influence on your writing? Probably the nuns and priests at my elementary school! Beginning in sixth grade, we had to write long essays every day during religion class. I learned to write fast and use big words that took up lots of space. After my latest release, I’m sure Sister Mary Bridget is rolling in her grave! She always thought I’d follow in her shoes, but when I realized that “nun” meant “none” I decided I wasn’t interested in that particular career path!

Seriously, I have always loved romance, and over the years I dabbled in writing fiction, but never had the guts to put my work out there. Four years ago I made a New Year’s resolution to join a writer’s group and seriously pursue publication. My first Georgia Romance Writer’s meeting was very intimidating, and if I hadn’t met a friendly face in the hotel lobby, I’m sure I’d have walked right out. But I met some wonderful women that Saturday morning and remember being so impressed that authors came and sat at your table and asked you what genre of romance you wrote (at that point, I had no clue what I was writing!) I’ve rarely missed a meeting since!

Do you have any special writing rituals? Besides parking my butt in the chair and refusing to move until I get (insert number) pages written? Not really. I enjoy writing late at night and like to have a cup of Chai tea at hand. I prefer to write in my jammies—I need to be comfortable! I usually write at home in my office, with a gorgeous view of my wooded, North Georgia back yard, but lately I’ve taken to meeting one of my writing partners, Tammy Schubert, at a local donut shop a couple of times a week. It helps to have someone creative at hand to bounce things off of!

What drew you to writing spicy/erotic romance? I love to read it. For me, a romance needs to play out all the possibilities of the relationship, and I feel cheated if someone slams the door just when things get interesting! I also find it a challenge to push myself past my own insecurities to write highly-charged sex scenes. Writing erotic romance for The Wild Rose Press requires a sexual premise for the story, but once you get past that, it’s all about writing a well-crafted romance that includes graphic love scenes and language.

Why e-publishing? I’m firmly convinced that the industry will be transformed in the next few years as the public embraces electronic books. Already we’re seeing an increase in the number of books being released as e-books as Amazon, Sony and others attempt to corner the market with their proprietary products, like the Kindle and the Sony e-Reader. People are becoming more comfortable reading books from a computer screen, and your market is limitless—anyone in the world who has access to the internet. As social networking (Facebook, Myspace, etc.) takes off and as e-readers become more user-friendly, it’s only a matter of time before most book sales are electronic. It’s more economical, convenient and greener. E-books make sense.

That’s not to say, however, that print books will go the way of the dinosaur! Even though my works are available electronically, my publisher also releases full-length novels in print, although the sales for e-books far outperforms print releases. Nowadays, I read as many e-books as print books and can’t wait to get my birthday present to myself—an e-reader!

Tell us about your most recent release? Stroke of Midnight is a novella-length Christmas story that was an e-release this past December, and will be packaged in an anthology of four stories for a holiday release next December in both print and e-book. It’s based on a song by the late Dan Fogelberg, Same Auld Lang Syne, about him meeting his old lover in a grocery store on Christmas Eve. Stroke of Midnight portrays a recently-divorced US Attorney who meets up with her first love, a former musician turned Mayor, and the sexual tension between them hasn’t dissipated one megawatt in fourteen years. She’s happy to use him to get over her infatuation, but he has different ideas. If you like your alpha males hot and sexy, and enjoy romance that makes you squirm in your seat, this is the book for you!

What’s in the works? The rewrite of Strike Three You’re Mine (new editor with some great ideas that require extensive rewrites) and another erotic romance for TWRP, Stroke of Genius, a story about a beautiful, but ditzy, chemist who discovers a secret Love Potion, No. 69, and plans to use it to seduce the man of her dreams. Fortunately for her, she doesn’t catch him but instead finds her true love waiting on the sidelines. There’s a third book in the series called Stroke of Luck. Well, I have the title anyway! I’m hoping one of my crit partners can help me flesh out the basic storyline I have planned for it!

Thanks, Ana. Now tell us about your contest giveaway. The Wild Rose Press will be giving away a Sony e-reader to anyone who purchases a book from one of the sponsoring authors between now and March 17. I didn’t get on the list this time (it’s very popular with our authors) but I’m offering a gift certificate for a free e-book from one of the sponsoring authors—you pick the e-book and the author, and you’ll be entered in the contest to win a free Sony e-reader!

TWRP has some great, award-winning authors who write in a variety of sub-genres, from historical to YA, western to paranormal, sweet to erotic. So if you’ve never downloaded an e-book, here’s a chance to get one free—and a chance to win a Sony e-reader as well!

I’ll also throw in an e-book of either Sidelined by Love or Stroke of Midnight, your choice, to another lucky winner. If you’ve gotten this far on the blog, hooray for you! Thanks so much for spending time with me today, and please leave a comment for your chance to win one of the prizes.


Anonymous said...

Hi Ana,

Thanks for your post. I look forward to reading your next release.


Anonymous said...

I loved your interview and learning more about what you write and how you write.

The e-publishing world is new to me. But I'd like to try it.

Marilyn Baron

Sally Kilpatrick said...

I loved your post, especially how "nun" meant "none." I'm a sucker for a great play on words. You've also talked me into it; I'm going to buy some e-books today!


Anna Steffl said...

Thanks for your insight on e-publishing. I'd never have guessed that your e-books outsell the print edition.

Great post!


Cyrano said...

Ana, loved your interview. And like Sally mentioned, I got a kick out of your "nun/none" play on words too.
I'm still really interested in the e-book route. You made a good argument for it in your post. And though I'm horrible with technology, the e-reader sounds so cool.
You said you meet with Tammy at a donut shop and that you're writing partners. Are you guys critique partners or do you actually go there to write and as concerns come up with your novel, you help each other out? Just curious about that. Because there's been so many times when I'm sitting at the computer typing, and I would love to have one of my crit partners next to me to talk me through a problem.
I plan on downloading one of your books today. It will be my very first e-book!!
Have a great weekend Ana,
Can't wait to say hi Saturday.

Cyrano said...

I just downloaded Stroke of Midnight!
Can't wait to read my first e-book!


Tammy Schubert said...

Tamara, you are really going to enjoy Stroke of Midnight. Although I enjoy all of Ana's stories, this one is my favorite.

Anna, great post. You made a great argument for e-books. Greener is always better.

Tami Brothers said...

Hey Ana,

Just wanted to tell you how much I LOVE Stroke of Midnight. I was actually able to download it without buying four copies this time (I'm sure you wouldn't have minded the error, though...grin).

LOVE, LOVE, LOVED it!!! I highly recomment it to anyone.

Also, I agree with the others above. That nun/none play on words had me laughing out loud in the middle of a military library. Talk about some funny looks!!!

Can't wait to read more, so get back to typing...grin...

Tami Brothers

Nicki Salcedo said...

Ana, we look forward to seeing and reading more from you!

Chiron said...

Hello Ana!

Great interview. And like the others, Nun/None cracked me up. *smile*

You're so right about the e-publishing. Hubby and I were discussing it just last weekend. The publishing industry is changing and while books will never disappear, there's a new paradigm in town. *grin*

Smiles to you!

Joyce J. said...

I've seen an e-book demo at a bookstore and am not sure I'd like it as much as a real book. I feel that younger folks are more into tech that I am. (I work in a library, so I must love books.)
Also, Dan Fogelberg's Auld Lang Syne always makes me cry, especially after my divorce! Sounds like a good book.

Linsey Lanier said...

Way to go, Ana!

You are right on about e-books. They are the wave of the future. Once the prices of e-readers drops a bit (as all new technology does), e-book sales could really soar. Not that they are shabby now.

You are a very entertaining writer. Hope you sell a million!

Great post.


Sandy Elzie said...


Good post. I won't tell you that I laughed at nun/none...because you've heard that from everyone else! (But just between you and me? I did laugh)

Take care and keep on writing!


Ana Aragón said...

Hello, all,

Sorry to pipe in here so late...the day job got in the way.

Kelly...thanks for stopping by!

Marilyn...thanks. I hope you'll give e-publishing a chance, either as a reader or a writer.

Sally...I hope you enjoy your books! And think of it this didn't even have to dress up to go to the bookstore!

Anna...I was floored when I got my royalty check. I never believed those who said that they sold more e-books and made more profit on their e-books than their print...but it's true. I get five times the percentage of each e-book compared to my print book. Even though it's half the cost. That doesn't necessarily happen with traditional publishers, though.

Tamara--Tammy and I do critique each other's WIPs, but usually do that on-line with Track Changes on the actual document. When we have "write" night, we're actually sitting across from each other and writing. When I have a question, I pipe up; same thing with Tammy. You might want to try this sometime with one or two of your critique partners.

And thank you Tammy and Tami for your kind words about Stroke of Midnight. I really love that story. You guys are the best cheerleaders in the world!

Hi, Nicki...thanks for stopping by!

And, a blast from the past! I love reading your weekly motivational blog. And you're going to be published soon, right?

Joyce...I totally understand. But I'm proof positive that old dogs can learn new tricks! As I said, the technology is improving quickly. The biggest advantage to having an e-reader is the size/weight of the product. You can carry around 100 books or more on an e-reader. I see a time when college students will purchase their course books online and to heck with carrying around big heavy bookpacks!

Hi, Linsey, thanks for dropping by. I appreciate your kind comments about my writing. A friend of mine picked up a used, refurbished Sony e-reader at Christmas for about $100 and she loves it!

Hey, Sandie, I knew you'd appreciate my pun on words. We're spun from the same cloth!

Well, off to write...I have my 250 words a day minimum I have to get out!


Amber Green said...

I like that song too.

Ellie Heller said...

Congrats on the book release and can't wait to hear more about book number three.

Ana Aragón said...

Hi, Amber and Ellie, and thanks for stopping by! Dan Fogelberg was a phenomenal songwriter and performer. My favorite concert (well, a close second to seeing Jimi Hendrix live!) was seeing him perform under the stars at the Paolo Soleri Amphitheater in Santa Fe, NM about 15 years ago. It was a beautiful evening that I'll never forget!

Molly Evans said...

Hi Ana,
sorry to be chiming in late, but better late than never. Your new stories sound fabulous and hot, hot, hot! Love TWRP.
Tami Sinclair
sinfully hot erotica

Ana Aragón said...

Hi, Tami,
Looks like Beast of Burden has been doing well! I can't wait to read more of your stories...keep me posted, will you?