Friday, August 28, 2009

Petit Fours and Hot Tamales Welcomes Author, Anna DeStefano

When Dreams Meet Reality

I'm over the moon excited to bring my blog tour to PF&HT. Thanks to all the hosts and readers for sharing this amazing experience with me—the release of my debut paranormal romantic suspense Dark Legacy. Check the excerpts on my blog, and you'll see that I'm fascinated with dreams these days. Probably because I'm right smack dab in the middle of living a dream come true!

Now, if you've read any of my classic romances from Harlequin and Silhouette, you already know that my characters have to work a bit for their happily ever afters. Dark Legacy's no exception. But it's the long road to something new that makes the journey and the reward that much sweeter—for a story's characters and in real life.

Take my word for it. I still love writing my Harlequins and hope I'll always have a footprint in classic romance. But I think I've been waiting to write my Legacy series since I penned those first few tentative sentences nearly ten years ago. Now that the timing's right, I have a super supportive new publisher with great plans for my books and an original idea I honestly think I can write into for many, many years to come. A contemporary paranormal world that I look forward to delving into each morning...because that's my job! What could be better?

No, it's still not easy. And there are always new dreams on my horizon. New things to aspire to and work super hard for. But that's what our dreams do for us, I think. They point the way and reveal what we're willing to sacrifice for. They're markers along the path, so we can look back when we celebrate an accomplishment and see how far we've come.

The key is to welcome your dreams in. Don't be afraid. Don't hide from them or avoid taking a closer look. Embrace your dreams, my friends. See the you you're wanting to be, and find a way to be just that! I promise, all the hard work and believing, no matter how difficult the journey, will pay off ;o)

I've been researching and writing about dreams for the last two years, but I've been in love with the beauty of dreams all my life. What's your experience with the stories your mind tells you each night, and the fantasies you secretly want for yourself when you're awake? How have dreams enriched and changed your life?

Leave a comment to be in the running for a signed Dark Legacy ARC. I'll be giving away 2 copies to PF&HT visitors today. And keep checking my blog for more chances to win great prizes like Dream Flutters Jewelry, an XOXO Butterfly Purse and tomorrow's grand prize, a COACH Butterfly Purse, to celebrate Dark Legacy's June 25th release date!!!

To read an excerpt of DARK LEGACY, click HERE


Sandy Elzie said...


I want to start by thanking you for joining us today. I also want to congratulate you on your new line of books and can't wait to read it!

I love your line about how dreams "point the way and reveal what we're willing to sacrifice." That is sooooo true. Those who succeed are the ones willing to spend more time doing and less time talking about doing. (or complaining about having so little time to "do")

One morning, recently, I began to wake (around 4 a.m.) with dialogue running through my head. Literally I was reading a book. I got up, went to my computer and soon had the first page of my next book. (after I finish the two I'm in the middle of)

Inspiring piece and again, thanks for sharing with us today.


Tammy Schubert said...

Hi Anna,

Thank you for joining us today. Your post is very inspiring.

Where did you get the idea for the Legacy Series?


Debbie Kaufman said...

Good morning, Anna! So glad to have you with us today. Always fun to be a tiny part of someone's dream!

What was the biggest change in your writing life when you started writing Dark Legacy?

Sally Kilpatrick said...

Anna--thanks for dropping by. I think dreams are fascinating, too, and I even have a Dream Dictionary that I picked out of a bargain bin somewhere. It's fun to see what the symbols in your dreams supposedly mean.

I hadn't really thought much about it, but I have dreams that sometimes come true creating an odd sense of deja vu. I think it might have inspired one of my latest characters, a psychic.

Thanks--I'm looking forward to Dark Legacy.

Tami Brothers said...

Welcome, Anna! Thanks for blogging with us today.

Like Sally, I too have those deja vu moments because of dreams I've had years earlier. They are never exactly the same. The settings are usually different, but the acting is spot on. Used to freak me out because when I'd wake up from a bad dream, I'd start worrying that would actually come true.

I love the ideas you are giving us and can't wait to read Dark Legacy.


Maxine Davis said...


Thanks for the post and it is so good to see one of our own as the guest blogger!

I too enjoyed the part about dreams. I think it must be fun to write something different once in a while. I really want to try that - whenI finish my current works.

Whalehugger said...

Considering some of the dreams I have, I don't know if I could figure out how to write them. The NCIS team running a bakery? I don't even know how to classify that one LOL

Thanks for sharing your time on the blog. Definitely very good reading!

Cinthia Hamer said...

Thanks so much for visiting with us today, Anna. I appreciate the time you've taken out of your own busy schedule to hang out here at PF&HT

You and I are GRW veterans. I can remember when we both worked for the same company, but on opposite sides of town and I wished we worked closer so we could hang out. :)

It's been fun watching you rise from the lowly unpub'd ranks to live your dream of being a published author.

Talking of dreams, I still remember a very vivid one I had a few years ago. I dreamed I was standing in line at the grocery store and I glanced to my right at the book rounder a few feet away and I saw my name on the cover of a book. I was rather surprised because the cover was a Historical and at the time, I was writing Contemporary Women's Fiction.

Any coincidence that I'm now writing historical? Was the dream prophetic?

tatt3r said...

Congratulations on your new series of books, I can't wait to read it! I believe when we dream we open the door to our subconscious. When I listen to my dreams, I make amazing progress in many areas of my life.

Anna Destefano said...

Good morning, you "hot" petite ladies!!! ;o) I've been waiting and waiting to say that, LOL! It's great to be here on this stormy Atlanta morning, and to see so many folks already up and online.

First off--those of you who know me won't find this a surprise--there's a wee bit of a typo in my post, at the bottom: the Coach Butterfly Purse I'm giving away on my site is September's grand prize on my blog (next "month's" rather than "tomorrow's"). My apologies. I was getting ready for my NYC book signing trip when I wrote the blog post and my mind was, well, already in New York. But any comment you leave in August and September goes into the drawing, so come on out and play, regardless.

Okay, onward to read and playing with all your lovely comments ;o) BRB!!!

Anna Destefano said...

Sandy, I wake up "mid story" all the time. My mind's either working on something I'm writing, something I'm putting off writing, or even something I'm reading (and throwing me in the midst of the story ;o). I brains truely do work while we sleep. It's amazing to think what they could do for us if we could direct even a smidge of what they're processing, right?

Hey Tammy! The Legacy series came to me first as characters. The same way all my stories do. I wanted to write about sibling rivarly, and the twin dynamic has always fascinated me (my dad's mother was an identical twin, and my mom's grandmother was a boy/girl twin). Then, I wanted to write bigger, outside the box stories. And dream theory and the things that happen when our conscious minds close down has been pestering my creativity for years. Once I strated playing with all that, I couldn't put the proposal down...for over two years...until I had a pitch that I thought I might be able to sell and write into for a long, long time. Believe me when I say that I'm really a lucky girl!

Anna Destefano said...

Debbie, great question, because I hadn't really noticed that my writing process had indeed changed, until you asked. I'm writing freer in all my work now. With more confidence, though that's not the right word, exactly. I think it's my imagination taking over sooner in the process now, instead of the more analytical side that always lead before.

I wrote Dark Legacy's in less than two months after selling the series on 70 pages and a sysnopsis, because Dorchester was pushing for a '09 release, bless them. Which means I had to write and not look back and believe I could make this ellaborate world I'd created in my mind happen on paper. And... I did. It was rough and I spent a good bit of time revising. But the world was there in my imagination all along. It's freeing to know you can trust yourself as a writer that way. I've never really had that confidence in my drafting process before. It was a great adventure!

Now, I'm diving into Secret Legacy (after completing my next Atlanta Heroes for Harlequin), and I can't wait!

Anna Destefano said...

Tami and Sally--deja vu is something I've dealt with all my life, and people wouldn't believe me when I was a child. But more and more adults I talk with about dreams now admit they've felt it. I really do think I dreams knit together all the cues and clues our mind's pick up during the day, and organize and analyze and project what might happen next. Sometimes, those dreams turn out to be pretty accurate--and if you're paying close enough attention, that can spook you good ;o)

Maxine, run with the different... I highly recommend it!

Whalehugger--now your dreams sound like a hoot! I'd love to take a closer peak ;o)

Anna Destefano said...

Hey Cinthia!!! Yeah, we're oldies--but goodies, right? I do think our mind/subconscious can know things long before we're ready to recongnize the reality. Sometimes for years. The dream research I've done suggests that processing information and desires and other emotions is part of a dream's job. It's where we deal with the things we haven't dealt with during our day. That's why it's so important to look at your dreams if you can. There's a lot of key stuff there--not literal things, always, because dreams are mostly symbols and images. Sometimes our dreams seem too scary to get close to. But remember--it's the overall emotion and feeling the dream's giving off that's telling you something, not the specific things you're seeing. Like...maybe you should try writing in THIS genre for a wile, might just like it ;o)

Tatt3r--I couldn't agree more! Looking inward at the dreams is like embracing a part of yourself you've been ignoring since you were a child.

Keep the questions coming, my PF&HT friends. I'll check back soon!

J Perry Stone said...

Thanks so much for coming by, Anna.

You should know that when I hear your story about getting your paranormal published, I feel very encouraged.

A good work ethic, for me, is one of the few tangible aspects of this business a person can rely on. To hear you--to quote Tim Gunn--"made it work" simply by working your tooty off, fills me with hope.

Thank you so much for sharing.

And please bring some ARCs to the meeting in case I don't win one today ;)

Anna Destefano said...

LOL, Julianne--the working off of the tush never ends, so it's best not to resist.

Oh, I'll have some signed copies to give away at the September GRW meeting, plus I think they're arranging a signing after my presentation.

Can't wait to see everyone there!

Tricia Schneider said...

Hello Anna,

Congrats on your new release! It looks excellent and I'm looking forward to reading it. Dreams have always been fascinating to me. I enjoy listening to people describe their dreams and their interpretations. My dreams always keep me entertained (even nightmares). I get alot of my story ideas from my dreams and I write them down each morning so I remember as much detail as possible. Good luck with your new series!

PJ said...

Hi Anna! Congrats on the release of Dark Legacy! I've been a fan of your Harlequins and am looking forward to following you into your new paranormal realm.

I'm fascinated by dreams and the sub-conscious. I've dealt with those deja vu moments my whole life. Sometimes I'll even have a dream that I've already had years earlier but haven't thought about in all that time in between. It's a strange feeling.

Hope to see you at M&M!

J Perry Stone said...

Cinthia says:

"Anna, i think you're right because not long after we met, JPS told me that I should be writing historicals and it took me two years to take her advice."

Cindy is on her way to work. She's on the phone acting as my Tudball and I'm her Mrs. Wiggens (a la Carol Burnett show).

Anna Destefano said...

Tricia, I love hearing about dreams, too. It worried me at first--I wondered if folks would think I was intruding. But it's been some of the most-commented-on posts on my blog, when I open things up to what people are dreaming about. It's truely inspiring stuff.

PJ, thanks for the Harlequin luv ;o) I just finished my next "Atlanta Heroes" story, due out in April, about a "Firefighter's Secret Baby" and a heroine on the run and under witness rellocation/protection--hope you enjoy!

Julianna, LOL! You and Cinthia make a good team ;o)

ECSpurlock said...

Hi Anna, thanks for being our guest blogger today! I miss being at GRW and hearing your great advice and encouraging workshops. Very much looking forward to reading Dark Legacy!

I have an entire file folder filled with story ideas taken from my dreams. Usually they are just story concepts and key characters, which I fill out in the morning into basic outlines; sometimes pivotal scenes that I will write down with as much detail as I remember. Once or twice I have dreamed entire plotlines that have fleshed themselves out the more I thought about them. The hero in my current WIP actually showed up in my dreams every night for two weeks, this big silver-haired guy in a fancy, mythical soldier's uniform, even in dreams where he was totally incongruous, to the point where I would wake up yelling "Who are you and what do you want?!" (He wanted a suitable heroine, of course!)

Our dreams are our unfettered imagination at play -- or at work, if you let it work for you! When our conscious mind, that logical censor, is shut down, our subconscious can let loose with all the ideas our conscious mind keeps telling it are impossible. How many times have you gone to sleep with a problem you couldn't resolve, only to wake up with a great solution that your subconscious has been working on all along?

CrystalGB said...

Hi Anna. I often find myself wondering what my dreams mean. They are often strange and convoluted.

Anna Destefano said...

Elizabeth, I think my first real acceptance that I was sorting through stuff while I slept was in college. I'd wake up in the morning with the solution to a difficult programming or math problem I'd been slaving over the night before. Now, the same thing happens with tough turning points in my stories. If I "sleep" on them, I'm more ready to tackle the creative solution when I wake up!

Crystal, learning more about how to read dream symbols has been one of the great perks of running with this story idea. I have some amazing research books I'll get to use even more in Secret Legacy--where the dream theroy gets even more focus!

Linsey Lanier said...

Thanks so much for being with us at PH&FT today!

Your post gave me goosebumps. And hope. I thought "Dark Legacy" sounded like a fantastic book when I read about it on your website. I'm even more convinced now. I wish you much success with the series.

I'm loving this discussion of the subconscious and dreams and how they can help us solve problems and point us in new directions.

I love to delve into my character's dreamlife. In my current wip, my heroine dreams about her father, a cop who was killed by a mobster. She sees it as her destiny to avenge him.

I was going to ask a question similar to Debbie's since I know from your terrific workshops that you're big on processes. Sounds like you're becoming more of a pantser? Your outline was there, though. Just in your head, right?

Was this "the book of your psyche?" :)


Marilyn Baron said...


Thank you for blogging with us.

I have experienced deja vu many times, but not in a dream state. It happens when I'm awake.

Tell us about your book signing in New York.

Marilyn Baron

Jane said...

Congrats on the new release, Anna. I don't remember my dreams, but I do believe that they must have some meaning in regards to what has happened or what will happen.

Anna Destefano said...

Linsey, actually I still plan a good bit. But I'm learning more every day to let the planning go while I draft, and to trust my instincts. The prep I've done is still there, and it really comes in handy when it's time to revise/rewrite. But I'm learning to listen to the characters and to the "inner voices" of the girls in the basement when I draft!

The signining in NYC was amazing. I'm still not quite myself, after flying up and back in less than 24 hours. But we spoke to a packed house at Barnes and Nobles' top event venu in the city, and the panel of authors I was on were amazing. Just getting to meet them made the whole trip worth it. The Dorchester folks that were there really seemed pleased, too. There are picks up on my blog at:

Hey Jane! Good to see you here ;o)

ddurance said...

It seems to me that the best thing about dreams are that deja vu feeling that I get sometimes. It just seems so cool. lol


Ana Aragón said...


Thanks so much for sharing your inspiration for your new Dark Legacy series...I'm looking forward to reading it and the others that follow!

I've always been impressed by how you took a basically "techie" writing background and have gone out and crafted such incredibly rich and moving stories. Congrats on the new series and new publisher...and best wishes for a long and prolific writing career!


Anna Destefano said...

Deidre, I'm with you ;o) I like that "wait, have I been here before?" feeling.

Ana, you're so sweet. Here's hoping we all have long, prolific careers ;o)

Carol Burnside said...

Dark Legacy sounds wonderful. I look forward to reading it.

As for dreams...I don't dream, per se, of new stories, but my brain does work on ideas during the night. Several times I've woken with the solution to a problem within a story. Other times, there's a scene running through my head and I have to get it down immediately. However that works, I'm grateful for it. :)

Thanks for adding us to your tour!

Dina said...

Hi Anna,

I like your cover, it grabs your attention.