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, Ana Newfolk – Ana Newfolk was born in Portugal where she grew up surrounded by sunshine and countryside. She has always had a deep love of reading, and ever since she can remember her favorite presents and treats have always been books.
Ana is giving away two $5 Amazon gift certificates with this post – comment below for a chance to win!
Thanks so much, Ana, for joining me!
J. Scott Coatsworth: How long have you been writing?
Ana Newfolk: I started writing Made In Portugal in February 2017. Excluding university coursework, Made In Portugal was the first time I attempted to write a story.
JSC: What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
AN: Other authors. There is so much information out there sometimes it can feel overwhelming. In the last year I’ve met some really amazing people who taught me a lot of things. Chatting to other authors definitely helps going straight to the right resource instead of reading through a ton of information.
JSC: Where do you like to write?
AN: I mostly write at my desk but I love writing in my local coffee shop. The background noise helps my concentration. At home it’s too silent, although I now use background noise videos I play when I’m writing.
JSC: Who did your cover, and what was the design process like?
AN: Jay Aheer from Simply Defined Art did my cover. Jay is a great artist. I sent her a photo of the cliff with the beach at the bottom, and the red Citroen. Both feature in the story, and I took them for inspiration. Jay combined them beautifully into the cover. That was an unexpected surprise and now that cover means so much more to me.
JSC: What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book, but nobody has?
AN: Where’s Superman? It wasn’t until the book was complete that I realized the Superman doll was never found. I can’t say where he is but he may appear in future books. Until then readers can follow me on Instagram and get a glimpse into what Superman may be up to behind David and Joel’s backs.
JSC: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
AN: I wanted to be an interpreter or translator.
JSC: What secondary character would you like to explore more?
AN: Uncle Mário. When I started the story I absolutely hated him. I wanted to redeem him but I just couldn’t figure out how until it came to me much later as the story developed. I think there’s a lot more to him than we see in Made In Portugal. He will be appearing in future books so we’ll have a chance to see how he develops.
JSC: Do you have any strange writing habits or superstitions?
AN: Just an unhealthy addiction to stationery, particularly notepads. I’m already thinking of which one I’ll use for the next book!
JSC: Which of your own characters would you Kill? Fuck? Marry? And why?
AN: I would kill Lucas, fuck Max and marry David. I won’t explain the first because readers can see why in Made In Portugal. Max is like drop dead gorgeous sex on legs and David cooks! (let’s ignore that little fact that they’re both gay and I’m a woman…)
JSC: What are you working on now?
AN: In the middle of writing Made In Portugal I stopped to write a short story featuring Max and Isaac. It was set in New York last Christmas. Readers can find it on Amazon KU.
That story was a happy for now with a promise of more, so I’m very excited to go back to Max and Isaac and give them the happy ending they deserve.
And now for Ana’s new book: Made In Portugal (Made In Series – Book 1):
At 10 years old Joel was uprooted from his home and everything he knew in Portugal to start a new life in the States. At 26 he finds himself returning for the first time in thirteen years. So what if looking into the eyes of his childhood best friend again still makes his heart race out of his chest?
Living in sunny, laid-back Portugal isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. For David, dreams of being a pastry chef come second to working in his family’s café where his renowned custard tarts draw in the crowds. Seeing Joel brings old feelings back. Feelings he’s not sure he’s brave enough to acknowledge to anyone other than himself.
With the inspiration of an old travel journal, the two friends embark on a real journey through memories in a country where looking back into the past runs as deep as the blood that courses through their veins.
Falling in love was never meant to be a stop along the way, but maybe inevitable when you have the adventurous spirit and courage to pursue what you want, make love under the stars and even figure out how to jumpstart an old Citroen 2CV in the middle of the Alentejo countryside.
I stood on the pavement outside the café waiting for David to finish so we could walk home. Breathing in the crisp evening air, I couldn’t help but shiver a little. The contrast of the warm days and colder nights in Portugal at this time of year meant I was underdressed in just a shirt.
Of course, seeing David threw me into such a spin I didn’t know whether I was coming or going. “God, I am such a loser,” I muttered to myself while shaking my head.
Throwing myself at David the moment I saw him earlier was probably the most ridiculous thing I’d done in years. I couldn’t regret it though, even if David thought I was a little strange. In that split moment, I had just needed to hug my friend and show more than tell how much I missed him. Once that moment was over though, I realized I was pressing against a very much grown up, beautiful and muscly version of my former best friend.
I’d felt an instant attraction to David, my body betraying me as it had never before, and all I could do was smile to avoid giving away how I was truly feeling. I couldn’t begin to work through all my emotions and let’s face it, I wasn’t sure David was gay, not to mention I couldn’t even go there. First and foremost I could only hope we would be friends again.
All evening my eyes kept finding their way towards David. I had to work very hard to look at other people too but damn, it was so hard. I almost wished I’d seen David before this evening to acclimatize myself to the presence of those dark brown eyes that looked so warm and sincere even if I could detect a little bit of sadness hidden beneath those long eyelashes.
I’d have to make sure we could spend some time together.
I needed to get to know David again.
Wondering if the years of separation had done irreparable damage to our friendship I hoped that whatever bridges I burned by being away I would be able to rebuild over the next few weeks.
Ana Newfolk was born in Portugal where she grew up surrounded by sunshine and countryside. She has always had a deep love of reading, and ever since she can remember her favorite presents and treats have always been books. She would often be found in her not-so-secret spot reading her favorite adventure books (when she was younger) and romance novels (when she discovered boys). At 20 years old she moved to the UK where she has lived since.
In 2015 Ana stumbled across her first MM romance novel by chance, and she was hooked. She loves reading about men falling in love, hard, fast and ever so sweetly. This new found love for LGBTQ+ romance has opened a new world for Ana, and in 2017 she decided to finally listen to the voices in her head and write them down.
In addition to the time she spends reading and writing Ana has a full-time job that involves meeting lots of people with interesting stories to tell. She also loves baking as much as she loves watching people eat what she creates, much to the delight of family, friends and work colleagues alike.