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USA Today and national bestselling author Anna J Stewart can’t remember a time she didn’t have a book in her hands or a story in her head. Early obsessions with Star Wars, Star Trek, and Wonder Woman set her on the path to creating sweet to sexy pulse-pounding romances for her independent heroines. Anna lives in Northern California where she deals with a serious Supernatural addiction and an overly affectionate cat named Snickers.
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Guarding His Midnight Witness (Honor Bound Book 4) by Anna J. Stewart ~ Genre: Romantic Suspense
She knows what she saw…
Can he believe her?
Detective Jack McTavish can’t afford another slipup. So when artist Greta Renault claims to have witnessed a murder without a shred of evidence, he’s tempted to walk. Jack’s gut propels him to pursue this case—and his attraction to Greta. Soon, not only is his job on the line, but Greta’s life is, too…and only Jack can keep her safe.
USA TODAY Bestselling Author
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Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
Happy to. I started reading romance early in high school and started writing what has become
e known as fan fiction shortly after. The rest of my friends in school outgrew it, but I never did. In fact, my education faltered rather spectacularly because I was either reading or writing romance. It took me a lot of years to find my way, but I published my first novella with Harlequin in 2014 (CHRISTMAS ACTUALLY anthology). Since then I’ve published light romantic suspense with Berkley (and since self-published those books as The Nemesis Files), the Butterfly Harbor series and The Blackwells with Harlequin Heartwarming, and The Honor Bound series with Harlequin Romantic Suspense. I’ve also published some paranormal romance with ARC Manor and Heart’s Kiss Magazine.
I call myself a kitchen sink romance author. I write a little bit of everything. I’m not super spicy with my heat level. I like to think my books would appeal to a wide-range of romance readers. I love writing community focused books; family and friends connecting and popping up in other stories. That’s the fun bit about writing for me.
What inspired you to write this book?
This book, GUARDING HIS MIDNIGHT WITNESS, was inspired by the Hitchcock movie Rear Window and the classic noir/gothic movie Gaslight. I wanted to write a story about a witness to a crime—who might not have witnessed anything. Greta Renault, my heroine, has an interesting and complicated (and somewhat devastating) backstory. She’s quirky (or as some in the book call her “kooky”). She’s definitely different. I equate her to a human Dory. She’s just flitting from one thing to the next and sometimes just stops talking in the middle of a sentence because she gets easily distracted. But when it comes to proving what she believes she saw, she doesn’t have a choice.
Enter Detective Jack McTavish, who has a habit of playing the White Knight despite never having gotten the princess. He’s been a secondary character in previous books and finally he has his own story The sparks between him and Greta are instant and, I think, this is one of the most realistic relationships I’ve actually written so far. I love creating stories that twist and turn and you’re never quite sure where it’s going, or who the bad guy is. I hope it’s as much fun for the reader to read as it is for me when I write them.
Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
For the most part, the characters are from my imagination. My villains tend to be people in my life who have ticked me off (or have hurt people I care about). So…yeah. I can think of one paranormal hero, whose story I haven’t written yet, who is definitely modeled after a certain aquatic super hero, but…he’s waiting in the wings.
Pen or typewriter or computer?
Computer for sure and when I get stuck, I turn to longhand and paper and pen. I would LOVE to use a typewriter again. IN fact, that’s one of my goals, to start a typewriter collection. I just love how they sound! But the computer is so much easier and faster for me. I type almost 90 words a minute and my hands can’t move that fast when I’m writing. That said, longhand scribbling tends to help me when I get stuck.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver readers what they want?
I try to do both, actually. My goal is always to put a spin on something familiar. Like with Jack McTavish in GUARDING HIS MIDNIGHT WITNESS, he’s one of those good guys who just keeps striking out. Not necessarily because of anything he does or doesn’t do, but because something just isn’t right between him and his current paramour. I wanted to explore that a little, to dive into the male psyche. We see that a lot with heroines in not being able to land the right guy, but for this one, I flipped it. So yeah, my goal is usually to try to flip something about the story or the expectations on its head.