Monday, 19 June 2017

Author Spotlight: Annie West

Here at Breathless in the Bush, we love cheering on our Aussie authors. Special guest this month for our Author Spotlight is the gorgeous Annie West. Welcome, Annie!

What is the one 'must have' when you are writing?

Something to drink--tea, coffee or preferably water--I like being able to sip as I think.

What are you reading at the moment?

A Harlequin Sexy book by Michelle Smart and a book of essays by Jennifer Weiner.

Name one thing you're scared of.

Image courtesy of:

Horror films.

Like to share something that recently made you happy?

A keepsake necklace was broken so I took it to a jeweller. In the process of fixing it they accidentally broke it even more and had to replace a couple of the green peridots, which meant a long wait. When I collected it, not only did the jeweller refuse payment, but she had also made matching earrings as an apology for the delay. That was a terrific surprise. 😊

Like to share an embarrassing moment?

Sharing dinner with strangers, we got talking about fresh produce. I mentioned my dislike of chokos, saying I couldn't understand why they were sold in supermarkets. It turned out my neighbour at the table was Australia's biggest choko producer. Fortunately he had a sense of humour.

What is the premise of your latest book?

Bound to the Italian Boss is an office romance about an executive PA who's spent the last year hiding her beauty after being sexually harassed in a previous job. In the meantime she's fallen for her boss, Luca, who's not only sexy and charismatic but treats her as an equal. Luca finds himself drawn to the prim, no-nonsense woman who's become his right hand. When they meet away from the office, when all their barriers are stripped away, life becomes very interesting.

What unique challenges did the book pose?

This is only my third novella and while I love the shorter format (this one is half the length of the Harlequin stories) it's a challenge packing a strong, emotional story into a shorter word count.

What are you working on at the moment?

A sheikh story about a man who inherits a kingdom and a woman who changes his life. I've also started another 'Hot Italian Nights' novella.

What is your writing schedule? Morning, afternoon or night?

Day time, as early as possible, except that I tend to go for a long walk before breakfast. By night I'm ready to relax.

Are you a plotter, pantser or somewhere in between?

I prefer 'organic writer'. 😊 I used to plot, until I found I'd plotted so much I hadn't left my characters room to become real, passionate people. Now I start with my characters and their backstories plus a strong conflict and then disappear into the mist, finding out what happens along the way. So invigorating and exciting!

Do you listen to music as you write?

Sadly no. I find myself being distracted by the lyrics and even instrumentals seem to break my concentration, dragging me out of the world of the story. I really do feel like I'm in that other world as I write.

What do you love to love?

My family. And cute furry animals.

What do you love to laugh at?

Image courtesy of Pinterest.

Events rather than people.

Anything absurd, and, I hate to admit--really bad puns!

What do you love to learn about?

I love hearing how writers came to write a particular story or how they became writers. I love history and hearing quirky details in the background behind historical events and people is fascinating. Just today I learned how Tim Tams got their name. Of course I was fascinated--historical trivia and chocolate!

About Annie

Annie is a USA Today Bestselling author who loves writing passionate, intense love stories. She's currently writing her 33rd 'Sexy' series book for Harlequin Mills and Boon. She's won the Australian Romantic Book of the Year and the Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award. Annie has devoted her life to an in-depth study of tall, dark, charismatic heroes who cause the best kind of trouble in the lives of their heroines. Creating heroines who are a perfect match for those strong, stubborn men is one of her favourite things. As a sideline she's also researched dreamy locations for romance, from vibrant cities to desert encampments and fairytale castles. She lives north of Sydney, between glorious beaches, a pretty lake and fine vineyards. Her favourite things are books, good company, good food and travel.

You can find out more about Annie's books at her website.

You can also keep up to date with her news via her Facebook page

or by signing up for her email newsletter 


  1. Hi Annie! I loved learning more about you, and particularly loved your embarrassing moment. :) I also relate to your love of quirky details behind history. I'm researching for a historical based on a real person at the moment and the more I read, the more I find out about other characters who are equally as fascinating and need their story told. I've decided there aren't enough hours in the day to do both research and write!
    Thanks for an entertaining read.

    1. Hi Marilyn! Yes, that choko moment was awful and what an amazing coincidence to be seated next to him! Fortunately his wife disliked eating them too so he was used to hearing such comments. Ah, I know what you mean about the research being fascinating and distracting. It's amazing what you can discover but getting back on track can be tough. Good luck.

  2. Hi Annie. We used to have a choko vine in my grandparent's back yard. My Grandmother used to say they kept it as a reminder of the days when they couldn't afford the kind of vegies we enjoy today. She used to use them in apple pie as a filler and of course with dinner with cheese sauce as they don't taste like anything. Just goes to show how lucky we are now. Luckily the choko grower had a good sense of humour.

    1. Yes, Cassandra, I remember them as pie filler. I hated those days as a child when a neighbour would pass over a bucket of the things for us to eat. I even preferred spinach when I was little! :) Yes, very fortunate he had a good sense of humour.

  3. Hi Annie. Loved discovering a little bit more about you. It's funny, I'm okay with horror films, but don't get me reading the books! Kudos to Stephen King for scaring me with his words.

    1. Enisa, you're braver than I am. I tried reading horror in my teens but got far too creeped out. Brrr.

  4. Hi Annie! Hi Breathless gals! What a lovely interview. I've got to say I loved Bound to the Italian Boss - corker of an opening! Laughed at your choko story. My grandmother had a choko vine too. Not sure why. I don't think she ever ate the chokos. I think it was one of those Depression era habits where you worried that you'd always have enough to eat. Yuck - hate choko! On the upside, she had a huge macadamia nut tree. Nothing nicer than macadamias straight off the tree.

    1. Ah, Anna, I think they were pretty ubiquitous in days gone by. Not so much now, though there's someone local to us who grows and sells them. Yum to the macadamia. My parents had one growing - great, once you cracked them open. So glad you enjoyed 'Bound to the Italian Boss'. It was a lovely story to write.

  5. Thanks for sharing so much about your writing and yourself, Annie. I particularly enjoyed reading about you being an organic writer. Sipping coffee or tea to aid thinking? I can relate to that.

    1. Sharon, I'm glad you enjoyed it. I loved hearing about how others write. Plus I find it reassuring that we've all got bits and pieces in common but differences too - that there's no one single right way to write.

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  7. *Waves madly to Annie!*

    Gorgeous interview, Annie, and I LOVE your story about the chocko producer. Oops! Must say I agree with you about chockos. I don't get the appeal at all.

    Glad to hear there are more of your sexy sheikhs coming. No one does them like you do.

    1. Waving back with gusto, Cathryn! Smiling about the chokos still - he really was a good sport. Glad I'm not the only one who can't abide them. As for sexy sheikhs - that's so lovely of you, than you. I'm dealing with one at the moment who's definitely challenging. But I like him and my heroine is head over heels for him.


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