What’s your pen name? I write under the name A. N. Horton.
Tell me about your most recent book you’re writing and the title. I am currently doing NaNoWriMo for their write 50k words this November challenge and I’m working on my book, A Promise Kept. It’s a historical romance set in the time of the 7 Years’ War. It’s about a peasant girl whose life gets turned around just after she finds herself in an arranged to be married situation with a local poor boy at her father’s wishes. Her parents are murdered and her to-be-fiancé is whisked away to the war and she and her sister have to fend for themselves to pay back the debt their parents incurred. It’s a story about the ugly truth of life and reuniting with someone you once knew before you both went through separate traumas and became different people. It’s about falling in love despite baggage and failures and standing by each other when the rest of the world is out to get you. I’m uploading chapters to my Wattpad account as I write them so that my followers can read them for free and get an up-close look at my writing process as I go through it.
Tell me about a trope you love writing. I love a good strong female character and I love to make them suffer for their strengths. The friends to lovers trope has got to be one of my all time favorites to write. I have to actively keep myself from diving into it in every new project I start. Enemies to lovers is a close second.
What’s the best advice you’ve received about writing? That you’re never going to be at a point where there’s nothing else to learn. You’re never going to be in a position where you can’t possibly get better. It’s really freeing to be able to see harsh criticism as a suggestion. If you take the rude tone or a mean spirit out of the conversation, you’re generally left with honest feedback and being able to see those harsh comments in that way has really made them so much easier to digest. Though no one ever wants a bad review!
If a comedian changed the name of your book title to something sarcastic, what would it be? My book is called A is for Arson and it’s got a very strong female protagonist (to her own detriment sometimes) so I think they would say something like “A is for Amen Sista”!
Where’s the coolest place one of your characters has traveled to? My award-winning series is a historical mystery/romance and so it’s set in Victorian Era London which is a cool setting but not exactly mind-blowing. I’ve written the beginning of a fantasy series as well though and the world I’ve created there I would say is one of the coolest places any of my characters has traveled to. There are dragons and mermaids and deep forests and vast deserts. I would love to visit myself if only it were real.
What’s the last book you bought and how did you hear about it? The last book I bought was You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria and I actually heard about it from a bookstagram review of someone I follow. I’m constantly keeping a running Amazon wishlist of all the books I see on bookstagram that look good and, when my bank account allows it, I buy one! However, I haven’t had the chance to start You Had Me at Hola yet because I’m still reading What Happened That Night by Deanna Cameron, which I saw advertised on Wattpad, and I try not to let myself overlap books because then I’d be buying dozens and reading them all at once!
Have you ever done a book signing? Why or why not? Not formally but I have had people come up to me and ask me to sign their copies. Why haven’t I done a formal one? I would love to but I am an indie author, unagented, so I would have to set that up myself and, quite frankly, I’m just not certain how. There’s still so much of this wonderful industry that I’m learning about in navigating it myself.
Have you ever attended a writing conference? Which one? I have… sort of. Recently, I’ve gone to online webinars hosted by NaNoWriMo or Wattpad or the like. Sometimes I’ll tune in when an author or a publisher hosts something online. But I haven’t been to a writer’s conference in person since middle school. I’d love to get back to interacting with other writers in person though once this pandemic breaks.
Which was your favorite book you read this year? Oh that’s so tough! Probably Rule of Wolves simply because it was the culmination of a series I’ve loved so much. (Go Zola!) But What Happened That Night has been so good as well and I really enjoyed The Selection.
Do characters die in your books? (Don’t tell me who!) Yes.
Do you have a pet who supports your writing? Who is it? I do! She’s a one and a half year old Pembroke Welsh Corgi and her name is Tallulah. (Will send a picture if you’re interested)
What fellow author would you give a shout-out to? I’m not sure that I can count her as a “fellow” author as she’s so well-known and talented but Leigh Bardugo is my writing hero. As far as my peers and other indie writers whose work I know and enjoy, I’d have to say Lyna Forge fits the bill. She’s a wonderful writer and her book Aftermath made me rethink everything I thought I knew about the paranormal genre.
How often do you send out newsletters and how can a reader sign up? On my website, readers can sign up for newsletters that I typically send out only when there’s something to announce. However, if they’re really interested in following along with my progress, Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter is the best place for them to stay informed (I’ll add my linktree with all the links to all my social media below). If they’re looking for interview content or video, they can view my YouTube or TikTok as well.
What’s your writing goals for 2022? For the end of 2021, I am aiming to finish A Promise Kept. For 2022, I am hoping to wrap up my fantasy series with the third book, Peace Will Reign. Then I’m working on the sequel to my Langley & Porter mystery series, E is for Elena and I have a special announcement coming soon for fans of that series as well. So a lot planned and a lot of work to do.
Tell me about a book you’d like to advertise and why? I’m always looking to advertise the first book in my Langley & Porter series, my award-winning A is for Arson. It’s a book that I keep coming back to with characters that I’m passionate about. It’s the most beloved by my readers and has been recognized multiple times with awards and being picked for special category lists. All of this in addition to the fact that most people who have given it a chance have ended up really liking it. So I would encourage anyone interested in mysteries, romances, or the Victorian era to give it a chance.
Do you have a “brand” logo and if so, who made it? I don’t have a brand logo per say but I have an avatar that I use for all of my profile pictures (though I don’t remember what website I made it on). I typically use the cover of A is for Arson itself for anything “branded”.
Social media links: You can find all of my social media links on my linktree: https://linktr.ee/ANHorton