domingo, 2 de septiembre de 2012

A conversation with Anna Karine

Anna Karine or Anabella Franco is a romance writer and Literature teacher born in Quilmes, Buenos Aires, Argentina. She started writing at a young age and then turned it into a profession. She read a romance novel for the first time when she was 15 and fell in love with the genre. She won several writing contests and published her first short story in 2005. Since then, more short publications followed up to 2011, when her first novel called Prohibido llorar por las rosas blancas was published. Her new novel, Malas intenciones, will be released in 2012, by Ediciones B Argentina.

Great to have you here, Anna! 

It’s a pleasure. Before starting, please forgive me if I make any mistakes in English, I promise I’ll do my best.

What is the subgenre you find most fascinating? What type of books do you prefer to write? 

Romance, of course! Preferably the contemporary ones. I also write historical romance but I must confess my heart is divided. I really enjoy the world contemporary stories allow me to create. Our present gives us so many possibilities at the time of writing. There are also less conditions than when you are subscribed to a period in the past. Anyway, my next publication, Malas intenciones, that is coming out in September by Vergara, is a historical romance, so, as you can see, my heart is divided.

When did your love of romance and history compel you to start writing your first story? Did you give in right away, or were you hesitant to put down those first words? 

Curiously, the first thing I wrote wasn’t fictional. It was a kind of magazine I created when I was eight. Then I started writing short stories to include in that magazine and that’s how my imagination came to paper.

I read my first romance novel at fourteen. I think that’s what compelled me to write stories about love, because I enjoyed that book so much! It was Linda Howard’s Heart of fire. 

It was really easy for me to put down the first words. That occurred when I was fifteen. I think writing is in my blood or something, because it wasn’t difficult at all. What is more, it was a necessity. In fact, the first romance novel I wrote had three hundred and sixty five pages, so you can see it wasn’t difficult for me to write. 

Sometimes, despite our dream of being a published author, our determination, and our dedication, life intervenes. How did you handle the challenges that came your way and keep your dream alive?

Well it’s really hard because writers go into this world of publications with so many illusions and sometimes without understanding it at all. The first thing to do is to investigate and to understand writing really, really well is not the only condition to step inside the editorial world. Your manuscript can be interesting, well written, deep, funny and anything you think, and probably it’s true, but if it’s not what the editor is looking for, or what public is looking for, sorry, but entering the editorial world will be harder. 

We the writers sometimes don’t realize there are many factors apart from our skills in writing to be published. And I think that’s what kept my dream alive at the first “NO”. At first I cried and wondered myself why and all that, but then I understood that my writing skills were OK, my story was interesting, the manuscript was well written, but there were those other things we don’t always take into account. And that forced me to keep trying until I finally... got it.

What is your typical day? 

Well, apart from being a writer, I’m a literary corrector and a teacher of Literature, so I’m very busy every single day. 

I wake up at six a.m., go to work, come back home after a six hours shift, and start doing my other jobs or some things I bring home from school. I used to work afternoon shift too last year, I taught Grammar and Writing classes for future Literature teachers, but I didn’t go on with that this year. Actually, in my afternoons I’m dedicated to writing and correcting stuff. 

Oh, and I also study Education, so you can see I don’t have any time left, but I enjoy it very much. I love doing many things at the same time.

What are the main skills you had to become a published writer? 

Ups, that’s difficult to answer because I like readers to let me know those skills. I love when they tell me what my story made them feel, or what they think are my best qualities. Anyway, I think I write out of passion, and that sensation is transmitted to readers, and becomes a main skill in the time of being published. 

In my stories, readers will find the same passion I feel when I write in the characters, in everything they do, in everything they say. Stories full of love, but also full of other feelings and universal messages I learned from classics and I want to transmit in my books too. Feelings, symbols, thoughts, anything readers will remember. I want people to close the book and feel as I feel when I finished the manuscript: at the same time empty and full. Empty because they love the story and the characters so much that they don’t want to say goodbye to them. Full because the book is still in their minds and keeps them thinking. 

That’s my dream. Only readers will say if I made it well enough to make the dream come true.



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