Book Review

Author Interview: Anne Plaza

The Backlist Revival tour for Anne Plaza’s romance novella In Over Her Head. is still happening! Thanks to this project, I was able to pull the book out of my impossible TBR pile (haha) for a quick review. Also, it has given me an opportunity to interview the author herself. Read on as we discuss romance versus urban fantasy, Richard vs. Jerome, and her ultimate book boyfriend. Yep, I made her choose.
1. I know you wrote this story as part of the first ever #romanceclass. Can you tell me a few things that stuck with you about the experience? 
I learned A LOT about organizing my thoughts. Sure, I’ve outlined the stories I’ve written back when I was doing NaNoWriMo (I skipped last year though), but it’s different when you’re following something precise and already tested. The three-act outline is something that I still use to this day, and I find it so useful in my writing, even if I’m not working on a romance story. It helped me stay focused on providing logical and sensible progression in the story, as well as a better appreciation of the characters in every stage. I like that I learn something new about my characters even if I draft out character profiles before outlining the story. Although the story tends to “write itself” as you go along (outline or no outline), having a concrete direction helps get me back on track.

And beyond the technical aspect of what I learned in class, I guess one of the most important things that made an impact with me is the sense of community in this little group. I love how #romanceclass goes beyond supporting each author’s work–we also champion each other’s creative spirit.

2. A lot has happened since you’ve written this book, in terms of stuff you’ve written and even in terms of the publishing landscape. Back then, did you imagine you’d have the writing life that you’re still living now? 
I never really thought I’d still be writing up to now. I tend to procrastinate A LOT and sometimes I have to really force myself to instill the discipline that comes with being an author. I could have stopped doing this after publishing In Over Her Head. I mean, I already crossed off that one item in the bucket list, so I should move on to the next. But I’m glad I didn’t settle for just one book. When I realized that I could actually do this, I wanted more. I’m grateful to be surrounded by people who continue to encourage me as I do this.

3. IOOH delves deeply into the question of second chances. Did you ever consider Erika choosing a different ending for herself? 
When I was working on the outline for this story, I initially wanted a neutral ending. Meaning Erika doesn’t choose any guy, but instead chooses herself. She has a lot of hangups, most of them stemming from issues she had not let go. But as I mentioned previously about stories wanting to write themselves, Erika wanted to choose someone. I’d been steering her back to the original idea, but she was stubborn. She talked incessantly in my head, did lots of crazy stuff as I was writing the scenes. But in the end I think she made it clear to me that she wasn’t taking no for an answer. When I wrote the beginnings of the choice she wanted to make, she started to take it easy on me haha. But seriously, I think it all worked out for the best. I’m glad I made the decision to let Erika write her story instead of fighting it. 🙂

4. Richard or Jerome? Why? Choose one only. 
Richard. Because he found a way. 🙂 Can’t say much without spoiling anything haha.

5. Who is your book boyfriend? Choose one only. 
OMG this is HARD. But okay, off the top of my head: Bowen Driscol (from Tessa Bailey‘s Risking It All).

6. You’ve written in both romance and urban fantasy. Do you intend to pursue both genres in your upcoming projects? 
#Strangelit-incredible-truthsRomance would always be my happy place, but ever since I let that urban fantasy story out of my head, it’s been calling to me. At the moment I think I will pursue speculative fiction in the next writing project/s, but there could be some romance elements there, so I’m not completely abandoning the genre.

7. Any new releases we can look forward to? 
I’m hoping to finish book 2 of my #StrangeLit piece soon! Also, an Amazon version of Bloodline Maharlika (that’s book 1!) is in the works. I’m thrilled to work on this series (and it’s my first serial WIP too), so I’m hoping I get everything done real soon.



Thank you Anne for your awesome answers! 🙂

About the book:

All she wants is to get even…

Erika Apostol’s quiet and unassuming life gets disrupted when she learns that Richard Javier, the very same person who broke her heart many years ago, is now back in the country. Her world is turned upside down as old feelings she thought were buried resurface to haunt her once more.

Determined to give Richard a dose of his own medicine, Erika finds herself involved in an outrageous plan devised by her friends. They enlist the help of Jerome Gonzales, an attractive and charismatic DJ (with a playboy reputation), to pose as her significant other.

As the plan goes in full swing, Erika discovers Richard’s jealous side, and that there’s something more to Jerome than meets the eye. Will this grand charade work out the way it should, or will she be left with nothing in the end?

About the Author

Anne Plaza writes contemporary romance, young adult, and speculative fiction novellas. She has been into writing since high school and has been actively pursuing it on a professional level despite having a totally unrelated bachelor’s degree. Her first contemporary New Adult romance novella In Over Her Head was published in 2013 and was subsequently nominated for the 2014 Filipino Reader’s Choice Awards Romance in English.

When not writing, Anne juggles time in her day job, obsessing over her TV show fandoms, and shopping for new books to add to her growing TBR pile.

Connect with her at:
Email | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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