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. 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.
Ana is giving away five copies of “Made in Portugal” with this post – enter via Rafflecopter:a Rafflecopter giveaway
Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/50c0711e2/?
Thanks so much, Ana, for joining me!
J. Scott Coatsworth: What was your first published work? Tell me a little about it.
Ana Newfolk: My first published book was never meant to happen. I was writing Made In Portugal when I decided write a Christmas short for the Rainbow Advent Calendar.
Max and Joel invaded my head to tell me they wanted a story. As they were the best friends of the couple from Made In Portugal I never thought much would come of it but they threw me a curve ball. After a rescue and a day out in New York Max and Isaac fell in love. It wasn’t their time then so I gave them a happy for now with a promise of more and carried on working on Made In Portugal. In some ways Made In Portugal will always be my first book because it’s what introduced me to writing, but Made In New York is my real first one.
JSC: What do you do when you get writer’s block?
AN: After I published Made In Portugal I found myself in a slump. It was the summer, I’d been promoted into a new job so I was busy getting my head around it and mostly using it as an excuse to write.
Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to write, the characters were in my head, they were having conversations but I was resisting everything. You see, when I have the story in my head it runs like a film. I can see the scenes very clearly, how the characters move, how they engage, it’s great, except then I have to put that into words and that’s the hard part. It may sound silly but after Made In Portugal I thought I’d run out of words.
So how did I get myself out of my slump? I persisted with the writing. I knew that after a certain stage I’d know the characters so well, the story would write itself.
I also used a little trick I know works wonders on me. A deadline. I booked a slot with an editor and decided on a release date. It was a lifesaver. There is nothing to light a fire under my creative butt like having a deadline!
JSC: What were your goals and intentions in “Made in Manhattan,” and how well do you feel you achieved them?
AN: I wanted to create a world in which family comes in many forms but is always there for the best and the worst. When I started writing I hadn’t thought beyond the first book in which both character’s families are important to their journey, especially their mom’s. Now looking back at the four books I released I can see I’ve achieved it much better than I thought I would. Made In Manhattan, in particular, shows us how we can make our own family from the people we have around us, even when they live on the other side of the world.
JSC: What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book, but nobody has?
AN: No one ever asks me about the Superman doll. Superman was mentioned in Made In Portugal and Made In Manhattan, first as the doll that Joel borrowed from David when they were kids, and now as the doll that belongs to Filipe, a little boy whose brother works in David’s café. Has anyone noticed that it is the same doll? How did Filipe come to have it? Why has it been mentioned in both books but not in any significant way? I can’t answer all the questions or I’d be giving the game away but there is a sweet significance to the doll. When will you find out? I guess you’ll have to wait for the next book in the series. In the meantime I’d love to hear reader’s theories.
JSC: How long does it take you to write the first draft?
AN: I’ve learned that because I’m a last minute, fire under butt kind of person that I can write very fast. I wrote the first few chapters of Made In Manhattan long hand on the beach in September. Then I couldn’t get back into the routine of writing until I booked the editor. For work reasons I had to cancel a holiday in November, so mere weeks before the manuscript was due and with only a few chapters done I managed to finish it in seven days. Imagine doing nanowrimo in seven days!
It don’t particularly want to write in this way, it’s stressful and not healthy but I’m still trying to figure out how to do it by writing a bit each day over a longer period of time. I also have a doctorate in procrastination so…
JSC: Let’s talk to your characters for a minute – what’s it like to work for such a demanding writer?
Isaac: “She’s works in a strange way. Writes a lot and then keeps us hanging for weeks before she comes back and then works us like mad again.”
Max: “But babe, the shower scene.”
Max: “What. You enjoyed that, it was like edging on steroids.”
Isaac: “She does have good taste in coffee, and the food is great.”
Max: “Damn, the cookie dough.”
Isaac: “She made us wait a whole year to get together.”
Max: “So totally worth it, though. I wouldn’t have changed anything.”
JSC: If you could create a new holiday, what would it be?
AN: The mutual appreciation day. A day where you have to say one nice thing about everyone you speak to but it can’t be a lie. This should be every day at the moment it would be great to have amnesty from trolls and horrible people even if just for twenty-four hours.
JSC: What’s your drink of choice?
AN: Water and coffee. I drink a lot of water. Coffee is a treat that I have way too often.
JSC: If I were a Hollywood producer about to put your book on the big screen, who would you want me to cast as the leads? Why? And can we have pictures to drool over?
AN: I don’t know who these guys are. I found them randomly on the internet, but they are exactly how I pictured Max and Isaac.
JSC: What are you working on now?
AN: At the moment I’m working on a Valentines scene with one of my couples which I will be sharing with readers in my facebook group. I am organising a big Valentines event with lots of authors coming over to share their Valentines stories. There is also a flash fic surprise from the authors so it’s definitely one not to miss. Readers must join my group, Café Lima – Ana Newfolk’s Hangout.
Did I mention I’m a master procrastinator? I’m totally using this Valentines event to delay getting in touch with my editor to set a deadline for the next book. I will be working almost simultaneously on two books. The next in the Made In Series and a new secret project I can’t talk about but will release in the Autumn.
I am equally excited and scared. The characters are talking to me but I’m afraid I’ve misplaced all my words. Don’t worry though, you’ll get your next fix soon.
And now for Ana’s new book: Made in Manhattan:
Will they get a second chance to rekindle their love?
Isaac was kicked out by his family at a young age.
It took him years of hard work to become his own man. Now he’s helping the LGBTQ youth of Lisbon so they don’t have to go through the same.
Max has a long and troubled past.
An ER nurse in New York City who volunteers at the local Liberty center, he knows first hand what it’s like to lose your family and having to make it on your own.
A chance encounter between the two a year ago has them hoping for a happy ever after, if not for the distance between them, but when Isaac takes a temporary work placement in Manhattan, the two men have an opportunity to find what their love is made of.
Will they make it, or will life’s tests tear them apart for good?
Made In Manhattan is the second instalment in the Made In series by Ana Newfolk. It is a standalone gay romance novel with a HEA ending and no cliffhanger. Fair warning, there will be naked man-parts touching, a touch of angst, and the claws of an overprotective cat.
Made in Manhattan is 62k words and features the same main characters from Made In New York – A Christmas Short Story.
You don’t have to read it, but you may want to find out how Max and Isaac first met.
Series Buy Links
Made In Manhattan: mybook.to/MadeInManhattan
Made In Portugal: mybook.to/ana-newfolk-mip
Made In New York: mybook.to/ana-newfolk-miny-christmas
Made In Paris: mybook.to/MadeInParis
“I never forgot about you, Isaac. I guess I was terrified I’d lose you too. Joel encouraged me to get in touch so I emailed a few months later but I never got a reply so my fear came true.”
Isaac got up and went toward the glass panels that surrounded the balcony, but then turned around. “I didn’t receive any emails.”
His curly hair was flying softly in the breeze. I got up and went to him, making sure we were so close we wouldn’t be able to move without touching each other. His eyes looked more green than blue in the brightness of the sunset.
“I thought you’d lied in New York, that I’d just been a bit of fun and you didn’t really want to keep in touch. I mean, why would you even? We were only together for a day.” The doubt in his voice was as clear as daylight. “But I couldn’t get you out of my mind so I sent you an email in February but the email bounced back.”
He looked down and I couldn’t resist running my hands through his soft hair and tilting his head so I could see his beautiful expressive eyes.
“I don’t know what happened, Isaac. Maybe we took the details down wrong. It doesn’t matter anymore.” I smiled at him and when he smiled back, I felt like the sun had skipped the night and was rising all over again.
“Let’s exchange our details properly this time and make sure we speak before we make any more assumptions, okay?” he said.
“Okay.” I allowed my thumb to caress his lower lip and felt his breath catch. “Isaac?”
“I’m going to kiss you now.”
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.