Inkwell Guest: Anya Richards

Today, I’m pleased and excited to welcome fellow Ellora’s Cave author, Anya Richards to the blog. Her new release, Beyond Prudence, has a gorgeous cover and is a super sexy steampunk erotic story. She’s a voracious reader with a delightful imagination. I hope you’ll read her interview and leave a comment to say hi. There’s even a giveaway! To enter, comment here with your name and email address (your comment may go into moderation, but I will approve as soon as I can) or send Anya a Tweet at @AnyaRwrites!

In your bio, you say you surreptitiously read your mother’s romance novels. *grin* But tell us really. When did you know you wanted to be a writer? And how did you get your start?

At the age of about seven or so, I watched an old movie where in the end the pirate sails off into the sunset, leaving the lady behind. I was so incensed at the lack of a HEA, I decided to rewrite the entire thing. LOL! That was my first, failed attempt at writing a book. While I dabbled on and off through my teens, and often thought about making a go at writing, it wasn’t until my son was born that I truly started putting real effort into it. I suddenly realized I wanted him to grow up seeing me working hard at something I truly loved and found fulfilling. I took a writing course at a local university, sold a few articles and literary shorts and was offered an abysmal contract for a children’s story. Eventually I found my niche in erotic romance/erotica after moving to Canada eight years ago.

Where do you find your inspiration?

Wherever I possibly can! Sometimes it’s from a “what if” or “I wonder” question that pops into my brain. My favorite example is wondering one day what exactly would have happened to girls like Lydia Bennett from Pride and Prejudice, who ended up married to libertines. From that question came my novel, Breaking Free. Other times a song can inspire a character, a place can suddenly seem the perfect setting for a specific incident, or I find myself trying to figure out how a person with a particular character trait would react in a certain situation.

What is the one writer’s tool you can’t live without?

Not sure if this qualifies, but tea. Preferably my favorite brand and the stronger the better! I figure I can write longhand if the computer died (with a quill and my own blood if necessary) but my writer’s brain doesn’t seem to want to function if I’m out of tea!

How many words/pages do you do in a day/week/month? And how do you keep yourself motivated to do them?

Great question, but very difficult to answer. In the past I could write between five and seven thousand words a day when on a roll, but rarely can anymore, both because I don’t have the same blocks of time I used to and because I’m more aware of what/how I’m writing. I’m a pantser who self-edits as I go along, so although I may not crank out as much as I used to, what I do write is far cleaner and pretty much ready to go when I get to the end. I try to get a thousand usable words a day, at least five days a week. Often it’s more. Sometimes, when life/family/the evil day job or other assorted effluvium happens I won’t write for a while, but soon the family begs me to get back to it because I’m so cranky. As for motivation, the love of writing—the need to create—is really what keeps me going back. The money doesn’t hurt either. 🙂

Whose work has influenced you the most?

Another hard one, because I’ve been a voracious reader from childhood, love any great story well told and have found inspiration and been influenced by so many writers. When it comes to romance, the author that springs to mind is one so many romance writers, particularly historical romance writers, cite and that is Kathleen Woodiwiss. I didn’t realize until I read her The Wolf and the Dove that there might be another use for my love of history!

This month is the release of your steampunk novel, BEYOND PRUDENCE, which has a gorgeous cover. Where did you get the idea for that?

It was one of those ideas that comes to you just as you’re falling asleep…a gorgeous but curmudgeonly inventor who has been contracted to build naughty machines, a woman who hates machines but desperately needs his help. The bare bones rattled around in my head for a couple of days and then insisted on being jotted down. The hard part came when I went back to it and had to figure out all the whys and wherefores!

How about a blurb?

The mysterious device in Prudence Hastings’ basement could be the answer to her prayers, if she could just figure out what it is. Needing William Foreman’s help, she’s prepared to do whatever it takes to gain it. Even putting aside her dislike of machines and volunteering to test the risqué apparatus he’s developing for the Acolytes of Concupiscence.

Will’s expecting a lightskirt for a test subject and is horrified when he realizes the tempting woman he just debauched is very much a lady. But despite his best intentions, something keeps drawing him back to her, and it isn’t just the thought of discovering the inner workings of her uncle’s last invention. Unlocking their passions is turning out to be a far more pleasurable, if dangerous, job.

Beset by desire, automatons, secrets, an unintelligible maid and the danger of utter ruin should their association become known, Will and Prudence haven’t a chance in hell of remaining unscathed.

Fire up the boiler, open the sluices and take cover. Something’s about to explode…

You have another steampunk short coming out with Cleis Press. Is this a genre you’d like to explore more?

I would. I’ve always enjoyed both the fantasy and historical genres, and Steampunk is a great way to combine the two. The short format in the Steamlust: Steampunk Erotic Romance anthology was challenging, but inspired me to want to do more. I already have the bones of a couple addition books rattling around in my head, but the darn things just have to wait their turns!

What other things are you working on?

At the moment I’m finishing up a contemporary paranormal novel (another new sub-genre for me) and have another short, aimed at a specific sub call, partially finished. I always have three or four books I’m working on at the same time, although, of course, often one has to take precedence over the others.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?

Bored! LOL! Umm, I’ve had so many careers and jobs in my life already, but my favorite was being a private investigator for an insurance company. I wouldn’t mind going back to that, especially since it would also necessitate my going back to the Caribbean to do it. 🙂

What’s your favorite genre to read? What’s your favorite genre to write?

I read everything, perhaps with the exception of romantic suspense (don’t ask me why, I just never got into it!) although I have such limited reading time now I’ve had to get very, very picky. I’m also something of a genre-gadfly when it comes to my books but, if put to the rack, I’d have to admit my favorite genre to write truly is historical.

Where can we find you online?

Buy Links:

Beyond Prudence: Click here 

Steamlust: Steampunk Erotic Romance: Click here

By Michelle

I wish you all could be inside my head. The conversation is sparkling.