The Mistress of Pennington's Tour

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Back from holiday and happy to welcome a brand new guest, Ann Yost!

Great to have you here, Ann! Can't wait to get started with the interview...

1) What is your writing routine:

My best case scenario is to get up bright and bushytailed, take the dog for a brisk two-mile walk, eat a container of yogurt and be seated at my computer by eight a.m., write until twelve, take a short break, then return to the computer for another five hours of writing.

More often it goes like this: I hear my husband leave for work around 6:30. Induced by guilt I prop my eyelids open with toothpicks, sling on the same clothes as the day before, tie the dog in the front yard, warm up a breakfast burrito, work on a jigsaw puzzle, exchange words with son as he leaves for work, read the Style section of the paper, approach my computer around nine a.m. and check to see which of the Bachelor couples is broken up, write for a few hours, nap, run errands, talk on phone, fix supper, write another couple of hours then collapse on the couch.

Sometimes I have pancakes instead of the burrito.

2) Which author/s inspire you to write?

I love them all. Every year for decades I’ve held a Jane Austen festival in the spring during which I re-read all her books and re-watch all the movies made of them. I am inspired by Jayne Ann Krentz, Jo Beverly, Marilyn Pappano, Mary Jo Putney, Georgette Heyer, Jack Hornby, Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh….

3) Which is your favorite romance subgenre to read? To write?

That has really jumped around. Since I re-discovered the romance genre ten years ago, I’ve read and written both contemporaries and historicals. I love the Regency period but I also love stories that could actually happen today. I wish I had more affinity for paranormals but I like to read and write about small towns with quirky people and things that seem real to me.

4) How do you deal with criticism/rejection?

Not real well. I understand it is part of the business and when it is offered gently and, especially with suggestions, I appreciate it. When it is in a form letter that tells me all the possible reasons the manuscript isn’t chosen I find it kind of laughable. When my mother read my first book THAT VOODOO THAT YOU DO and asked whether it was necessary to have all those “bulges” that hurt. On the other side, when someone reads one of my book and tells me she likes it or she laughed I am delirious and that totally makes up for the rejections.

5) what do you expect from an editor?

I have had two editors. One was very prompt and made excellent suggested changes and got the manuscript through the process very quickly. That was great. The other one takes longer but I feel she is more invested in the story so I don’t mind the time. I guess I’d like to feel as if the editor likes the story on an emotional level and is giving me suggestions that will strengthen that level. I have been a journalist for a long time and don’t feel I need too much help with grammar.

6) tell me about your latest release:

ABOUT A BABY came out August. 13, 2010. It is the first book in a trilogy about the Outlaw family of Eden, Maine and it centers around the eldest brother, Basil, a veterinarian, who has been living in exile in L.A. where he got involved with Hallie Scott, a woman facing a fertility deadline. The story starts a year after Baz rejected Hallie’s plea to give her a baby. Hallie now works with Baz’s estranged father in Eden, and Baz is returning home for the first time in twenty years because he is willing to do whatever it takes, including reconciling with his family, to win Hallie back. Despite the sweet story, the books is super spicy.

7) Short excerpt:

“I know I have to regain your trust, honey, but having a baby was the most important thing in the world to you last year. You said you wanted a family with me. Are you trying to tell me you don’t want that anymore?”

Hallie was raw and hurting and she just couldn’t fence with him. She drew in a deep breath.

“Please listen carefully because I don’t want to talk about this again. I don’t want to marry anyone. I can’t marry anyone.” She kept her voice steady. “I’m not pregnant. I will never be pregnant. I told you last year that I had a small window of time for conceiving. The window is now closed, as closed as this conversation.”

She started for the door, praying she could hold back the tears until she got to her apartment.

“You can’t know for sure that you’re infertile.”

There was that typical male arrogance. She turned to look at him. He had his hands on his hips and he wore nothing at all but a scowl. She tamped down the anger and the pain.

“I’ve got a lab report that says otherwise.”

8) I love Hallie. She has been on her own a long time but nearly always has a cheery outlook. She’s got a warm heart. When she has to euthanize a family’s beloved pet she mourns with them. She is also afraid of snakes and I really like the scene where she shrieks and throws two full cups of coffee into the air when she finds a boa constrictor with ennui coiled on her examining table.
9.) What is next for you?

My next Wild Rose Press book is FOR BETTER OR HEARSE. It is the part of the Jewels of the Night series and is the first of three books called THE DARLING BUDDS OF MAYVILLE about sisters in a small Michigan town who decide to turn a former mortuary into a wedding boutique.


In addition to the MAYVILLE series I am working on a short Regency in which a nobleman is forced to marry for the sake of his title. It is called THE EARL THAT I MARRY.

11.) Your biggest piece of advice to aspiring novelists?

Persist. Remember, writing is a form of communication and it is only complete when someone reads your work. Don’t get stuck in re-writing the first chapter one hundred times and don’t walk away when you’re discouraged. The classes and books and workshops are all good but when it comes down to it you just have to plant your butt in the chair and write. You can do it. We can all do it! Oh, and don’t let your mother read your spicy books!

12)Where can readers find you.

My website is It is supposed to be newly updated as of Aug. 17 and I would love for readers to visit and let me know what they think. Thank you so much for giving me this great opportunity to express myself.

Love the sound of your new trilogy, Ann! Sounds fabulous, you must have been over the moon when The Wild Rose Press contracted you! Ann would love to read your comments and answer any questions!


  1. Rachel - thank you for having me on your blog. I didn't realize you were from Great Britain and living near Bath! How exciting! Wonderful pictures of your family and an adorable doggie. I appreciate this chance to get to know more about you and your writing!
    Ann Yost

  2. Hi Rachel and Ann,

    Ann, for a moment there I was seriously in awe of your routine! I thought, wow, she's amazing!

    Congrats on your new's always so exciting, isn't it?!