Welcome to my weekly Author Spotlight. I’ve asked a bunch of my author friends to answer a set of interview questions, and to share their latest work.
Today, Annabella Stone: First and foremost, I am a reader who had stories in my head that were driving me crazy. When I mentioned it to an author friend of mine, she told me to “write them down,” and what do you know, Jonah’s Compass was born, during NaNo 2017, and published in April 2018.
Annabella is offering an ebook copy of “Jonah’s Compass” or “Zenko” with this post. For a chance to win, comment on the post below.
Thanks so much, Annabella, for joining me!
J. Scott Coatsworth: How would you describe your writing style/genre?
Annabella Stone the characters. I have tried switching things up and plotting a story. The characters laugh at me and say, “Nope, we go this way. Get on board author lady.” So far all of my stories have been MM Military Suspense, with a dash of romance. It’s fun to write and I have an amazing research team that I adore. They pretty much keep me on the right track.
JSC: What do you do when you get writer’s block?
AS: I whine about it to the people closest to me. They either boot me in the backside or arrange some fun times for the family until I am either crazy or happy again. But usually it is because I am not listening to the characters voices, and once I remember to do that, poof, writers block is gone.
JSC: Do you use a pseudonym? If so, why? If not, why not?
AS: Yes, we have a school age daughter, our current neighbors are not the most tolerant. So, to protect her I use a pen name.
JSC: How long do you write each day?
AS: This one varies, If the characters are talking, I can write all night. if they are in a sulk because I want to go a different direction to them. Then I have problems finding any words at all.
JSC: How long on average does it take you to write a book?
AS: I have written one of the books in a week, the longest it has taken is six weeks.
JSC: What do you do if you get a brilliant idea at a bad time?
AS: I have been known to use my sister and my guy as post it boards. “Save this for me, pretty please. 😊
JSC: How long have you been writing?
AS: I wrote Jonah’s Compass during NaNo 2017, I published Jonah and Matt’s story in April 2018
JSC: Are you a plotter or a pantster?
AS: I never know what the characters are going to bring to the table. I have had some plot twists that make me stop and go “Really, WTH?” and I wrote them in there. However, they usually have a reason for it, so I have learned to go with the characters flow and do as I am told. LOL
JSC: What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?
AS: I wanted to show the human side of these tough military guys. They may sometimes come across as cold and hard. Take the shot, follow the orders and sometimes they have to be, as they swore an oath to be that way… However, we need to remember these men and women are people too, with thoughts and feelings and sometimes doing their jobs, that hurts, and it sucks. But they do it anyway.
JSC: Who did your cover, and what was the design process like?
AS: I work in graphics on a daily basis and so far, I have designed all my own covers.
JSC: What’s your writing process?
AS: I usually have music blasting in my ears. My sister and some really amazing friends reading along as I write. And either coffee or Jack and jellies. For the emotional scenes, the ones that are hard to write. The scene with Rock and Grif, or the first chapter of Micah’s Promise. Those I need my guy for. He’s an expert at keeping me sane and stopping me spinning. 😊
JSC: Would you visit the future or the past, and why?
AS: The past. There are some people I wish I had the chance to say goodbye to and others I wish I remembered better. That said I am looking forward to the future as I am pretty sure, that, for our family, it is going to be epic.
JSC: What are you working on now?
AS: Next up is Noble (Tags of Honor, book 2) I can’t wait for everyone to read Noble and Max’s story.
And now for Annabella’s latest book: Christmas Panther Style:
Their world was turned upside down…
With booms, kabooms and bullets flying after a mad dash across continents on a rescue mission in a plane painted like Santa’s sleigh.
Join some friends old and new as they chase the enemy none of them ever wanted. One of their own.Find out who is on the Naughty List this year, in Christmas Panther Style.
Jonah inhaled deeply, not even opening his eyes. Pine and gun oil. God, how he loved that smell. He lay on his stomach and kept his face buried into the warm pillows and sheets of their bed, allowing himself to wake up slowly. If it was left up to him, he’d never get out of this bed, as long as he had Matt with him, pressed up against his back. He would happily stay here forever. Block out the outside world and live in their own little bubble of paradise.
The feeling of Matt’s morning hard-onpressing against his ass might make him consider moving, that would be more than worth waking up without coffee. “Hmm,” Matt’s hand lightly rubbing over his stomach, woke nerve endings that hadn’t really gone to sleep after their round of hot sweaty fucking last night. Having the house to themselves had its perks. Yup, being able to have Matt bend you over the back of the couch and fuck your brains out… yup that’s one hell of a perk.
“That humming sound tells me you are thinking, it’s good to have the house to ourselves.”
Matt’s husky whisper against his ear, made him shift slightly pressing back against his guy’s warm skin. “Yeah,” Jonah whispered back, “I love having them around, but when it’s just us… that’s when I relax most.”
Matt rolled Jonah slightly pulling his face from the warm sheets, so he was facing him. “After all these years you would think we you have gotten over the instinct to hide, huh?”
Jonah wrapped anarm around Matt’s waist and tugged him closer, he pressed his face into Matt’s neck where his shoulder met his neck, dropping a soft kiss there. “Yeah.” He wasn’t going to disagree, even though most of the people coming through their house, were Team Panther brothers, they had gotten so used to hiding in the past that sometimes old habits were hard to let go of.
“Want me to go make coffee?”
“Just a few more minutes,” Jonah muttered, “okay?”
He could feel Matt’s smile against his head. Damn it, they were so fucking lucky to be back together again, he was never letting Matt go, next time he ran, Jonah would be right on his ass reminding him that his ass belonged to him. The ringing of a phone a couple of minutes later made them both sigh. Downtimewas up, no rest for the wicked and all that shit.
Jonah scrubbed his hand over his eyes, trying to make himself wake up fully. Matt rolled away from him to reach for the phone on the table at his side of the bed.
“It’s Betty,” Matt told him, as he swiped his finger across the screen, “HeyBetty, everything okay?
Jonah whipped his truck around the corner of the hangar, he was still trying to figure out what the heck Betty was trying to tell him. She’s been laughing too hard down the phone to understand her and if that was her in the pink dune buggy, she was still laughing. “What is going on, babe?”
“No clue,” Matt smiled across at Jonah, “maybe she found a rattler or something.”
“Betty doesn’t cackle like that for freaking rattlers,” Jonah scanned the outside of the hangar, he couldn’t see anything wrong at all, “she beats those suckers with a shovel until they remember not to come into her kitchen.”
“I know right,” Matt’s grinned wide at the memory, “I thought she was going to beat Pops with it too when he told her that snakes need to come in outta the cold too. I don’t think I’ve seen him run that fast in years.”
Jonah switched off the engine and stepped out to the truck, “Betty you okay?”
“I—” Betty thumped her hand off the steering wheel of the dune buggy, sucking in some breaths as if she was trying to calm herself down. “I—” She pointed towards the hangar and started laughing again.
Jonah winced as Matt knelt, shit that creaking in his knees was freaking loud. Mental note to self; don’t put Matt on his knees tonight.
“Betty?” Matt’s hand was running up and down his step-mother’s back, “do you want me to call Pops?”
“Son, if your Pops gets an eyeful of what’s in that hangar, Jonah will never hear the end of it.”
“Shit!” Jonah looked over his shoulder at the crop-dusting hangar and kind of, sort of froze,oh shit my plane, “what’s wrong with my plane?” He headed toward the door, shit if something had happened to the plane they were fucked if they needed to be anywhere in a hurry as flying commercial with a bucket full of weapons was no fun. Hang on a sec, is Betty humming ‘Here Comes Santa Claus?’What the fuck?
The door creaked and groaned when Jonah pulled it back on his rollers, he was pretty damn sure his eyes nearly popped out of his head, cartoon style when he caught the first glimpse of the nose on his plane.
“I will kill him, Babe, swear to fuck he is dead when I get my hands on him!”
“What the heck are you on about?” Matt nudged Jonah in the back to move him further into the hangar, so he could see what was going on, “holy shit, is that Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer?” He passed Jonah to get a closer look, “it fucking is, babe, why areRudolph and his red nose painted on the nose of your jet, and why does the window look like the inside of Santa’s sleigh?”
“Fucking Micah,” Jonah closed his hands into fists, squeezing so tight he could feel his nails digging into his palms. “It fucking has to be, who else do we know who would pull a prank like this?”
“Um,” Matt walked around the side of the plane, “I can still smell the fumes, so it’s been done within the last day or so.” His voice got lower as he walked further into the hangar, “am, babe, you might want to see the rest of it.”
Jonah ran a hand over his face and sighed, “I suppose I have the whole nativity?” He looked at Betty, who was hic-cupping in her efforts to stop laughing.
“No,” Betty waved her hand toward the plane, “you go see.”
Jonah ran his hand along the base of the Rudolph, “this shit is still sticky.”
“Yup,” Matt answered, “but you gotta see this.”
“Are you taking pictures?” Jonah was going to kick his ass; did he not see how angry he was? Did the steam coming out his ears, not show it? “What the fuck? Jonah read the words written all along the side of his plane, running the full length from the nose to the tail. ‘Dear Santa, I’ve been naughty.’One of the windows was painted so appeared to have a Christmas tree sticking out of it, another showed Santa sacks falling out and yet another the muzzle of a sniper rifle wrapped in tinsel.
“Go around and read the other side,” Matt told him.
Jonah closed his eyes and took a breath, it had to be Micah and his pair of hooligans, he was going to kick the shit out of him from here to New Year’s. The second side of the plane had similar Christmas images on the windows, one was painted like a chimney and showed Santa disappearing down it. Another appeared to be a sparkle bomb that sent a trail of tinsel and glitter across three windows and he couldn’t figure out what that last one was meant to be, maybe cookies and milk? Along the full length of the plane again were some words, this time, ‘It was worth it!’Did he have to paint every fucking window? “Gimmie your phone, babe?”
“Jeez, Jonah, you gotta start bringing your phone with you.” Matt clicked some buttons on the phone and handed it over, “I just sent those pictures to Kalon, just in case you were thinking of deleting them.” “Nope,” Jonah muttered, he flicked through the contact list until he found the one, he wanted, “I am calling Micah fucking Kennedy, to yell at the bastard.”
First and foremost, I am a reader who had stories in my head that were driving me crazy. When I mentioned it to an author friend of mine, she told me to “write them down,” and what do you know, Jonah’s Compass was born, during NaNo 2017, and published in April 2018.
I live with a crazy pack of woofers and a daughter who is turning out to be so like me, I don’t know if I should be scared or proud.
Along with my love of dogs and books, I’m a graphics nerd who also enjoys hiking and dog-shows.
Along with my love of dogs and books, I’m a graphics nerd who also enjoys hiking and dog-shows.
I love meeting the readers who enjoy my stories so feel free to look me up on facebook.