Author Spotlight: Anna Clifton
Describe yourself in one word:
What is your background with regard to writing?
Years of legal stodge. Fiction writing felt like a ‘get out of jail free’ card.
When did you first begin writing with a view of embarking on a career as a published author?
I wrote my first manuscript (very badly!) when I was at home with my first-born. Life then got in the way and I didn’t have another go until a few years ago. Thankfully my husband told me to stop making excuses and send the manuscript for my first novel, Falling for the Lawyer, off to a publisher. Escape Publishing’s fresh and innovative ‘feel’ appealed to me immediately.
Tell us a little more about New Year’s Promise:
Justin Murphy is the guy to whom everything comes too easily, except the one thing he can never have. Ellie is the original girl-next-door, and as she says to Justin, guys like him never end up with girls like her. What she doesn’t know is that Justin has secrets – big ones. And after hanging on to them for twenty years, he’s not about to give them up without a fight, not even for her.
When we first meet Ellie she has just been offered the job of a lifetime in Paris, however the plan to live her fairytale adventure doesn’t quite go to plan, does it?
No, definitely not! Ellie’s decision to move to Paris was a very tough one for her. Not only does she have to tear herself away from helicopter-sister duties for her brother, Harry, she knows it’s time to finally leave behind her twenty-year-old feelings for her childhood friends, brothers Justin and Sam Murphy. That Justin chooses that moment to look her way is pretty much a disaster for her.
What was your biggest challenge in writing New Year’s Promise?
Shoving Justin, slowly but surely, through the emotional wringer to make him worthy of Ellie. I gave him one hell of a shellacking.
What one character trait will most endear Ellie to your readers?
That’s easy. Her integrity.
Share with us one of your 2015 New Years Resolution?
Eat less chocolate. It’s the same resolution every year, as is the large quantity of chocolate I still seem to be consuming on a weekly basis.
What do you want readers to know about the romance genre?
That the romance genre readership is a buzzing network connecting literally millions of reading, thinking, talking, fabulous women* all over the world around the written expression of love and relationships. To me, that’s a mind-blowing phenomenon! (*RW of America reports 84% of romance book buyers are women)
If you weren’t writing, what would you be doing?
Thinking about how badly I want to write.
What’s next for you?
Ellie’s eldest brother, Harry. His story, my fourth release through Escape Publishing, will appear in 2015. He’s a thirty-something artist juggling health issues, raising two kids and managing the ex-wife from hell. That is until Somer, a twenty-something nanny, lands in his life and turns it upside down. Ellie has two more brothers, Cooper and Guy. I won’t be hanging up my ‘Murphy’s Law’ series until they’ve both collided, metaphorically speaking, with their romantic matches.
What book is currently on your nightstand?
12 Books that Changed the World by Melvyn Bragg. Regrettably, none of my releases made the cut!
What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
There’d be no point trying. She’d just give me a bored look and then ignore everything I said.
It’s almost Christmas (yes, already!), tell us: what are you hoping to find under the tree this year?
Surprises – especially from my children. I never get tired of them.
Favourite travel experience?
Skiing. It’s the only holiday I know of where the whole family ‘plays’ together, all day long.
Number one thing to do on your bucket list:
I’d love to row in an ‘eight’ with a regular crew of women. That would be oarsome…sorry…awesome.
Milk, dark or white chocolate? Yes please.
Red, white, bubbly? I’m currently going through a ‘white’ phase.
Salty or sweet? Sweet…no, savoury. Actually, make that sweet. Then again…
Beach or mountains? Both, with a passion. But I do find mountains intensely romantic.
Give or receive? Give. I don’t like to be the centre of attention. Receiving puts you there.
About the Author:
Anna Clifton is a lawyer by trade and a mother to several children and a couple of cats. Her husband is not quite sure how her compulsive writing squeezes itself into the family schedule, but knows better than to stand in the way of the woman he loves on a mission. Anna lives in Sydney but escapes with her family as often as possible to Far North Queensland. While there, she loves to sit with a glass of wine and chat to her husband while he does the thing she dreads doing most — cooking!
New Year’s Promise
They’ve been colleagues, allies and best friends forever, but he wants more — and he’s not above using the magic of the Christmas season to get it.
When Business Development Executive Ellie Halligan is offered the job of a lifetime in Paris, it seems her chance to live a fairytale adventure has finally arrived. Her only hurdle is convincing legal eagle Justin Murphy — her boss and friend since childhood — to wave his boss’s wand and waive her four-week resignation period so that she can start her adventure by Christmas.
But Justin proves to be a demanding fairy godmother. He’ll let her go early, but not unless she spends time with him over the festive season up until New Year.
Ellie doesn’t know what to do. Is Justin finally looking at her romantically after all these years, or are far more threatening dynamics at play? Justin has a secret, and he seems to want to pull her back into a past she’d rather forget. But delving into that old pain might be the only way to move forward — and for Justin to finally be free.
Will doing this for Justin become Ellie’s final gift of love as she loses him forever?