I am so very pleased to have Anna Hackett visit here today, as part of the Science Fiction Romance month, celebrating the launch of Junkyard Heroes, which is released this week.
I feel a kinship with Anna, as she is Australian, and also lives just north of where I grew up in Western Australia.
Anna is also a USA Today best selling author. Please make Anna feel welcome!
It’s really great to have you here today.
Hi Tracy! Happy to be here talking about reading, writing, and science fiction romance! And of course, celebrating your latest release.
On your site, you say you write Action Romance, although all but one of your series fit neatly into the Science Fiction Romance or Paranormal Romance sub-genres. Do you prefer the Action category? Why is that?
I *love* action. Action movies, action-packed reads, anything with life-or-death thrills and cool fights scenes. I also love sexy romance. So when I started writing, I combined all that together. Yes, most of my series are currently science fiction romance (which is something else I’m passionate about) but I knew I had other stories in me that wouldn’t have spaceships in them, so everything I write fits in under my action romance banner.
You have been published by Carina Press and Harlequin. Are you still a hybrid author, or have you moved completely over to indie publishing?
I started out writing for Harlequin and Carina Press, which were great learning experiences for a new author (plus at that time I was busy working as a mining engineer all around the world!) I learned about working with editors and cover artists. But, I was always a little frustrated at how long it took to get my books to my readers. That’s when I decided to dip my toe into self-publishing.
At the moment, I am focused on self-publishing my books. I have more control and I can get my books to my readers faster. They don’t like to wait (-: I also have a great team of people who help me make it all happen: my editor, cover artists, formatter, assistant, proofreaders, and my early review team.
Was it just the boots that drew you to a career as a mining engineer? What else attracted you to the work?
I was a maths and science geek at school! Yes, yes, an author who loves words and also loves numbers. So engineering was an attractive option to me when I was heading off to university. I love to travel, I liked the idea of managing our natural resources well, plus big trucks are pretty cool. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of my mining career.
Did your expectations live up to the reality?
I think it exceeded them. I’ve traveled all over the world and been to some fantastic places and mines. I’ve had the chance to work with amazing people all over the world—from South America to Africa. It was perhaps a little dustier and hotter than I’d imagined (except for my trips to the diamond mines in northern Canada…brr).
One thing that was different from my initial expectations was the use 3D mine design software to map orebodies and design mines safely and economically. I spent a lot of time at a computer and learned to design in 3D and draw on the screen.
Mining is a fairly male-oriented industry, at least in layman perceptions. In addition, Australian men have a reputation for being mildly mysogynistic. Did you have any issues with sexism in the work place? How did you handle it?
Yes, mining is male-dominated, but that is changing. I’ve never had issues with sexism, but I’m not one to stand by and accept it. Remember, I like action, and I’ll charge ahead and find ways to overcome whatever obstacles I come across. I’m also a people person so I work hard to get to know and understand everyone I work with. So maybe it’s been there, but I haven’t seen it, and I’ve never let it stop me.
What do you miss about the work (if anything) now you’re writing full time?
Talking to adults (-: Working from home around the schedules of my young sons means not a lot of adult conversation during the day. I miss the collaboration of working with colleagues. Luckily, I can chat daily with readers and other authors online, so that helps a lot.
Did your reading habits change when you became a professional writer? Who are your major influences these days?
Unfortunately, yes. I have less time to read now that I write so much, but I believe reading is *vital* to being a good author. It means I’ve become more selective in my reading. I don’t have as much time to try new-to-me authors or persist with books that may not be working for me. And I almost always read romance now.
My auto-buy reads include Nalini Singh, Illona Andrews, Meljean Brook and Pamela Clare. In science fiction romance, I do try harder to read different indie authors since they dominate the genre and just a few I’ve enjoyed are Ruby Lionsdrake, Veronica Scott and Susan Grant.
And what is your guilty pleasure, reading-wise? Why?
I never feel guilty about reading! Everything I read is for pleasure. I tend to read what I love to write: action-packed romances (mainly paranormal, urban fantasy, science fiction, romantic suspense). I do like to read something different occasionally, so maybe a contemporary romance or an erotic romance.
Do you read either print or ebooks exclusively?
I’m ebooks exclusively. Mainly because I’ve been living in some pretty remote places with no bookstores in sight! I *need* my fav books as soon as they come out. But from the moment I got my first Kindle, it was love at first read. It’s been upgraded a few times since then, but my fully-loaded Kindle goes everywhere with me.
How do you keep your personal library under control and organized?
*Cough, cough* I don’t. I’ve tried making some collections but end up woefully behind. I generally re-read certain authors, so I just search through their books when I’m looking for what I want. Other than that, everything is on my Kindle all together.
If someone offered you immortality, but you could never write again…would you take the offer?
Well, if I had an unlimited supply of good books… No, I don’t think I’d want immortality, and if I couldn’t write, all the story ideas knocking around in my head might get uncomfortable (-:
The Desiree Staccato
In honour of Desiree Holt who started this Saturday Night Live style tradition:
Favourite colour? Red.
Favourite drink? Tie between Diet Coke, Earl Grey Tea and red wine!
Favourite writing outfit? Whatever is comfy.
Favourite food(s)? Chocolate and cheese.
Favourite music? Um, I like pop. Anything fun with a good beat (-:
Favourite sport? I played field hockey at school. (So did I! – t.)
Favourite body part? On me, my ears…they’re well-shaped (-; On a guy, nice arms!
Favourite spot in the world? Too many to choose from! I always enjoy Sydney – great city.
Favourite movie? Gah, I can’t just pick one! Anything with action and/or sci-fi like Star Wars, Fast and Furious, Marvel Universe movies
Favourite TV show? Still can’t just pick one. Again, anything with action and/or sci-fi like Star Trek, The 100, and NCIS.
Favourite flower? Lily.
Favourite thing to do at knock-off time? Flop on the couch.
Do you have a current or upcoming title you’d like to share with us? A tidbit about the experience of writing it, or what I am sure was a hair-raising experience that inspired it?
The next book in my Galactic Gladiators series, Protector, will be out on the 28th of February.
This series all started when a big, tattooed gladiator stormed into my head and demanded his story about fighting for love, honor, and freedom on the galaxy’s lawless outer rim. So join gladiator Raiden Tiago and the toughest gladiators of the House of Galen as they fight to protect the fierce women they love on the blood-soaked sands of the Kor Magna Arena.
For more info on the Galactic Gladiators visit: http://annahackettbooks.com/books/galactic-gladiators/
Anna, thanks for swinging by today!
Thanks for having me, Tracy, and congratulations on the release of Junkyard Heroes. Here’s to action-packed sci-f romance!!