Introducing Anna Applegate
Anna Applegate is a paranormal romance and urban fantasy author. Her debut trilogy, The Ariya Adams Trilogy, is available now. She started out as an avid reader who kept finding that she wanted an extra scene, or alternate ending in the books she was reading. After being challenged to try to write her own story, the words poured out of her and she has pursued writing ever since.
Anna loves reading, romance of ALL kinds, sappy chick flicks, paranormal literature, shooting stars, Disney, nerdy fandoms and having an imagination.
Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself.
So, hello! 🙂 My name is Anna Applegate. I live in rural Pennsylvania with my husband and four incredible kiddos. When I’m not writing, I’m a marketing assistant and meeting/conference planner. I’d love to someday be able pursue writing full time. I have a coffee addiction that I refuse to try to break and enjoy thinking that I can actually sing during my commute to and from work each day.
I’ve loved reading my whole life and I’ve always had an active imagination. I’m a big fan of happy endings in the books I read, which makes me a sucker for any kind of romances — paranormal, historical, time travel, fantasy, etc. But I do love other genres as well! I’m a big fan of people doing what they are passionate about and dreaming big so that is what this writing journey has been about for me.
Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?
My latest book was Sacrificed (Book 3 in the Ariya Adams Trilogy). It was released this past December (2017). The Ariya Adams Trilogy was my first debut into the writing world. I started back in 2012 and published Protected (Book 1 in the Ariya Adams Trilogy) and Awakened (Book 2 in the Ariya Adams Trilogy) back in 2013. I went on an unplanned writing hiatus and desperately missed it.
I finally got around to finishing Sacrificed last year and was so excited to get it out to everyone! I had some wonderful people reaching out and checking on the progress, even after that 4 year gap! So it felt wonderful to finally get that out.
I was definitely sad to say goodbye to Ariya and the gang from the series. They were the first characters I really wrote, and they’ll always have a special place in my heart. Ariya Adams is a college aged student, in her final year at Kingsbrook College. She learns quickly that her life is not at all as normal as she thought it was. The trilogy is a paranormal romance / urban fantasy mix, but I also have suspense and some mystery in there. One day I would love to write a historical romance, and I was able to add in some modified history into the Ariya Adams Trilogy with information about a bloodline of Protectors. Protectors are a group of vampires, and you can learn all about who they are, what they do and their history in the trilogy!
The trilogy has a variety of paranormal creatures in it including vampires, werewolves and warlocks. The series takes place in a few different locations, the school where our main characters attend, Germany, Colorado and a few others. There’s daring escapes, kidnappings, romance, mysteries, suspense and big bads that you love to hate! Plus, the trilogy is full released now and available on Amazon and it’s a part of the Kindle Unlimited Program!
Who is your intended readership?
I’ve noticed a wide range of ages and backgrounds in my readers lately, which has been incredibly fascinating to me. I feel like I write the books that I want to read. I’m in my early thirties and a Mom, so I enjoy escaping to another world sometimes. My books are written with characters who are college aged and older. I’ve noticed that there is a definite increase in my readers who are 35-50. So I feel like I write for other people who like to get away into the pages of a book — whether it’s getting away from job stress, kiddie stress, whatever stress. I feel like while the sexual content is mild in this upcoming book, there is some violence (not intense, and not very graphic).
In my previous trilogy, The Ariya Adams Trilogy, there was sexual content and violence, so I’d say that trilogy would be for 18+.
When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I had taken a Creative Writing elective in High School and I loved every minute of it. I had such an easy time with assignments, at least the ones where we got to write fiction! So I always enjoyed writing. I never thought in a million years I’d have my work out there, or write a book for that matter.
I had graduated college and was working for a wonderful company with a few other women my age. We all had similar reading tastes and devoured books. I was reading 2 books a week, and that was on a slow week for me! I just couldn’t read enough. I was starting to sound like a broken record with my friends at work, telling them — well what if this had happened? Or I wish they would have explored this part more. Finally, one day one of my friends said, well if you think you can do better, try it! We all laughed, and I went home that night and thought about it. I did NOT think I could do better by any means, but I thought to myself that it might be fun to try to write.
Before I knew it, I had 60,000 words of a book. I felt a spark I had never felt before inside of me and suddenly, all I wanted to do was think about my story and find out where it was going (remember, earlier I let you in on my secret that for my first 3 books, I had NO PLAN! haha). I had started reading an H.P. Mallory Book, Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble (Book 1 in the Jolie Wilkins Series). In the back I saw a note that she was an Indie Author / Self Published. I had no idea what that meant and I looked into it. She had written a Self Publish Guide, which I bought and suddenly the Indie Author world was opened before my eyes! I hopped into a Facebook Group, met my two writing sisters who provide critiques and motivation for me and have become dear friends, and I haven’t looked back! I had a bit of a hiatus during my trilogy (well, longer than a bit, but life got crazy). But now, I’m back to writing and excited to be pursuing my passion again.
Do you have a favorite author, or writing inspiration?
It’s so hard for my to pick favorite authors. Being a part of B2BCYCON this year, I saw so many Fantasy works. It reminded me of my childhood. Growing up, my parents read me books like The Hobbit. My childhood fear wasn’t monsters under my bed, it was Gollum. I was terrified, and still to this day I get goosebumps hearing “My Precious.” I have always enjoyed reading, and I think it’s because my parents instilled that into me at a young age. As I got older, my Mom would read me the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mysteries, and when I started reading more on my own when I was older, I gravitated towards Agatha Christie novels. So fantasy, mystery, suspense, those books grabbed me and shaped what I loved to read. When the paranormal romance genre took off, I think really when I was in college I got into it the most, I loved everything about the genre and the books I was reading, because I felt like it was capturing everything I had loved mixed together in one genre! Some of my favorites in the genre I write would have to be Amy Bartol and H.P. Mallory. But really, in this age of self-publishing, I am constantly discovering new authors who grab my attention. This world is FILLED with talented people and I love that there are so many who are willing to share their stories with us. I am first and foremost a reader!
What advice would you give beginning writers?
I went through a really hard time in my life right as my second book in my trilogy was coming out. I had been on a roll when I first started. I was so excited about writing and discovering this entire new world I hadn’t known existed. But then life happened, like it so often does. I went through some very hard personal times, then went through some happy times, then became a Mom and that changed everything. Suddenly, I let my writing go altogether. People would ask me occasionally when the third book was coming out, but I had been so far removed from everything that I let doubt overtake me completely. I thought no one would care if I didn’t write it, that it didn’t matter. I had such bad writers block, I thought I was done. Plus, I kept using the excuse that I didn’t have time. But then I started talking to some small business women who broke everything down into simple facts. I had a woman ask me if I had enjoyed writing. YES! Had it made me happy? YES! Could I find 30 minutes a day to write, everyday? Uhhh…I hesitated. She made it even more simple … Was I willing to make writing a priority? I had to think about that. I needed something in my life again for me, and writing had given me such a wonderful outlet. I was able to meet new people, and connect with new friends and create whole new worlds in my mind. It is such an amazing feeling. So I said YES! And guess what? I may not have had 30 minutes a day to write at first, at least I didn’t think I did. But I could find 30 minutes 3 times a week. So I did that and soon enough, I was in the groove. I had created a habit out of writing, and I stuck with it. Even if I got 2,000 words out and had to delete all of it later, I was writing again. For me, I just need to get the words out onto paper. Then when I edit I can tweak and idea, erase stuff that was garbage and rewrite it. But if I can break past that initial barrier and just get the words down, it usually makes the rest of the process easier! And I DO have the time — that’s 1 less TV show, or setting my alarm a little bit early 3 days a week. Writing is my passion, and I needed to make it a priority again, schedule time for it like I was doing for everything else!
Do you have any amusing writing stories or anecdotes to share?
I wish I had something interesting to share here 🙂 I love a pretty boring “Mom” life, Tim 🙂 haha I’ll have to start thinking about how to spice things up haha!!
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Any hobbies?
I’m a nerd at heart, so when I’m not writing, I’m probably binging on shows like Doctor Who, Timeless, or other Netflix / Hulu shows, or reading 🙂 I have four wonderful kids who keep me quite busy as well — two of them being twin toddlers, so the opportunity for hobbies was pretty much eliminated when they were born. I’m slowly working back up to having some again, i.e. writing. My other hobbies will have to start developing again as my kids continue to grow up!
What’s your next project? Any upcoming book secrets you care to reveal?
I just finished Book 1 of a Duology! It’s a paranormal romance / urban fantasy, with vampires and some other creatures that I can’t give away just yet. It also includes vampire hunters! Book 1 is titled “A Hunter Within.” I’m shooting for a July 2018 release, and will have more information on the specifics of that date in the next few weeks. Right now the first draft is done and I’m working through edits with my beta readers and writing sisters. The book will be officially off to my editor on June 8th!
I loved writing this one. It by far was the quickest I’ve written a book. I started this past January and the first draft was completed and sitting at around 80,000 words by the last week in March. I used an outline for the first time, and as much as fought writing that way, I may be hooked now! I previously wrote a paranormal romance trilogy, The Ariya Adams Trilogy. For that one I just sat down at my computer and typed away, no plan, nothing. For this book, I tried to approach it with a bit more organization, and it worked out as far as how quickly I could get words to paper. I did want it to be a stand alone book, however it morphed into two books as I wrote, and I didn’t want to fight it! So I’m really excited about this book and its release!
The main character is Jules Parker. She’s reserved, only keeping a few close friends, the main two we get to meet early on. She’s a bookworm in her last year of college studying to become a Research Scientist. We start the book off seeing her in an internship she’s worked hard to obtain at a prestigious company. The problem is, the company has some secrets that Jules discovers early on that make her wary. She lives with her Aunt and has since she was a child and her parents died in a car accident. There’s definitely some mystery around this one, I’d like to think some suspense, and then of course romance and lots of paranormal!
Protected (Book 1 in the Ariya Adams Trilogy)
Ariya Adams has no idea she’s descended from blood so powerful and rare that her life is infinitely more precious than any ordinary woman’s—especially to James Rymer.
James enters her life and stirs up feelings she can’t explain. He becomes a part of her world almost overnight, but Ariya senses he’s hiding something, and she’s determined to figure out what it is.
When “normal” becomes a thing of the past and fantasy enters Ariya’s reality, she’s soon faced with dangerous revelations, the least of which is that everyone she loves has been keeping secrets from her. With a paranormal evil she’s only beginning to comprehend threatening her and her friends, Ariya will have to choose between duty and love. Through it all, she’ll learn to never underestimate the power of blood.
Read the series fans are calling “captivating,” “page-turning” and “not your typical vampire story.”
Then continue to read the rest of the Trilogy with “Awakened” and “Sacrificed”
Where to find Anna Applegate:
You can also reach out to Anna on her personal Facebook
I also have a Facebook Reader’s Group that I can interact with everyone a bit more personally than on my Facebook business page.
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Right now I’m hosting an EXCLUSIVE Character Contest for people who are a part of my Newsletter Subscription list. The winner will have a character named after them in my upcoming novel.
The next Newsletter is going out April 24th and it will have the last chances to enter for that opportunity, with the contest closing on May 8th.