Anneka Walker was raised by a librarian and an English teacher turned judge. After being fed a steady diet of books, she decided to learn about writing. The result was a bachelor’s degree in English and History. When she isn’t dreaming up a happy ending for a story, she’s busy living her own together with her husband and adorable children.
What inspired you to write? My parents! My mom has been running a library ever since I was little and so books were a huge part of my upbringing. My dad also wrote a book when I was younger and taught English while he put himself through law school. The combination led me to want to be a writer at a very young age.
What is your current read? I am reading The Earth-Treader by Alissa J. Zavalianos
Where would you love to travel to? I would love to travel to Europe. Scotland, Wales, and Czech Republic to see the lands of my ancestors, and England to see the places I have set my books and researched so heavily.
What is currently on your writing desk? My writing desk has become the catch-all for the family. It’s covered in children’s drawings, schedules for school and sports, mail, rearch books, a cute sign signed by some of my favorite authors when they came to my house for a retreat, and obviously, my computer and printer.
If you could go back in time, what would you love to experience? I would love to follow around some of my ancestors to see what they experienced and how it has influenced their posterity. I have one ancestor that was in a concentration camp in Italy. His choices and bravery have changed the course of our family.
What drew you to write Regency romance? I first started out writing fantasy and then I read Sarah Eden, Donna Hatch, Carla Kelly, and several of the earlier authors who wrote in this period, and fell in love with this small window of history. I adore the sweet and proper romances and the era of the gentleman.
What has been the hardest part of being an author? There is a lot of hard parts in each stage, but right now, it’s easily the time commitment. Being an author is a lot more than just writing books and wearing all the hats can be tricky. It’s a good thing I am passionate about what I do, and I absolutely love the book community.
What has been the easiest part of being an author? It’s easy for me to get distracted, haha! I don’t have to turn on my writer’s brain, because story ideas, lines for dialogue, and scenes are always in the back of my mind. It can get frustrating when I am analyzing movies and books instead of immersing myself in them. Or, let’s face it, when I’m trying to sleep!
Any memorable things you learned from research? Instead of being mesmerized by the gentry and their surreal way of life, it is often the poor and the shocking oppression that has stayed with me. My research into debtor’s prison, the slave trade, riots stemming from starvation, tenant life, inadequate medical care, and asylums have left their mark on my soul.
What drew you to write Contemporary romance? I never thought I would write in only one genre, so writing a contemporary romance wasn’t a conscious decision. The story idea came to me, the characters were born, and the story had to be written!
What is your favorite musical? 7 Brides for 7 Brothers. Is that obvious? My childhood obsession for the movie/play is absolutely the reason I wrote the contemporary version of that story.
Will you write other musical retellings? I did start one years ago, and I still love the storyline, but it would be several years out.
What is your writing routine like? It constantly changes because of my family. Last year I homeschooled in the morning and wrote in the afternoons. This year, my kids will all be in school and I hope to write while they are at school and clock out when they get home. As a super scheduled person, the biggest personal lesson I have learned with writing and family is to be flexible and just roll it.
Do you write anything personal in your books? (similar scenario, names of loved ones as characters, etc). I just named a character Marcus Taylor after my dad and brother. And Camille from Brides & Brothers is after my childhood bestie. I do take a little from personal experience, but I love to throw things into my stories that just make me want to smile.
When you have an idea, who is the first person you tell it to? My husband! He hears it all and waaaay more than he wants to hear. And then he tells me that he doesn’t have to read my books because he already knows everything that is in them.
What was it like finding a publisher? I had pitched to a few people and nothing felt right, so I finally submitted a book to the slush pile at Covenant. I feel so blessed to have been “discovered.”
Do you ever picture what your characters look like using celebrities for inspiration? I have found pictures after the fact, but the personality of a person tends to shape my writing more than their appearance, so that’s what I focus on in my first draft.
What is your favorite scene you’ve written? SUCH a hard question. I have so many favorites. The first that comes to mind is in a book that won’t come out for a few years. But an easy fav is the first, unexpected kiss in The Masked Baron.
Do you listen to anything while you write? Mostly the sweet music of kids laughing and fighting! Every once in a while if I am struggling to get the tone of scene right, I will pop in some mood music. The Jane Austen film adaptions have fantastic music for when I write my regencies.
What is next on your writing journey/goal/milestone to hit? I took some advice from a respected author and am avoiding making any award type goals and focusing on self-improvement in my craft. I want each book to be better than the last, but I also want each one to be unique and fun. As far a tangible goal to tell you, I have a new series coming out in March 2022 and lots of plans where that is concerned!
Can you share any fun tidbits of Brides & Brothers? There are so many fun little things about this book that I could talk about for hours. I based the apartment off of where I lived in college. I thought it would be so fun to revisit the apartment after this book was sent to print and visit my niece at school at the same time. Come to find out, she was living in the EXACT same apartment and same number as I had. I told her that she was so lucky because that’s where I met my husband. AND it’s where a bunch of fictional characters lived. I am sure she was more impressed with the prior than the latter!
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See my review of Anneka’s books here