Co-writing with Your Lover about Love: Award-winning author, Anthea Lawson

I met Anthea at a writer’s conference several years ago. I liked her immediately — her creative spirit, can-do attitude, and open smile. Anthea writes with her husband, Lawson. Together they form the husband-wife team, Anthea Lawson.

I had the honor of seeing Anthea (sans Lawson) again this past summer at the annual national Romance Writer’s of America conference. I loved their first book, PASSIONATE, and so in honor of their second book, ALL HE DESIRES, that was just released, I’ve interviewed them for Writer’s Fun Zone on writing as a couple, what makes writing fun, and of course, their taste in chocolate. In the spirit of their blog tour, they will give away a copy of their newest book to one of you lucky commentators. All you need to do to enter the raffle is post a comment answering Anthea’s question. They will pick a winner tomorrow morning! Read on!

Anthea Lawson, hand kiss

Anthea Lawson is the pseudonym for a husband-wife team who write spicy Victorian romance. Their debut novel, PASSIONATE, was nominated for a Best First Book RITA in 2009, and their newest book, ALL HE DESIRES, released on November 3, 2010.  Find them on Facebook (Anthea Lawson), follow them on Twitter (AntheaLawson) and visit their website (www.anthealawson.com) for all their latest news!


1. What is fun about co-writing a romance with your honey?

We love collaborating on projects. It’s fun being able to kick around ideas and inspiration together – to share those joyful aha! moments when we figure out a great plot twist or understand the characters in a deeper way. It’s also great to have two minds working from different perspectives. If one of us gets stuck, the other can usually figure out how to get unstuck and move the story ahead.


2. What is not fun about writing as a team?

We have different timelines, and different ideas about how much is reasonable to accomplish in a given time. It doesn’t help that Lawson got a demanding full-time job a few months before our second book was due. We’re still working out the balance.


3. What is your favorite thing to wear when you write?

Comfortable clothes. For Anthea that means jeans, warm socks, and a big sweater. After spending too long on the computer, she also wraps a blanket around herself and drinks tea. For Lawson, anything that’s not his work clothes.


4. Why romance?

A lot of our friends ask that very question. For one thing, it’s fun! For another, it felt do-able. We’re not blind to the fact that over 50% of mass market paperbacks sold are romance novels. The inspiration came from Anthea reading a romance that disappointed, and saying “I could do that! I could do better than that!” Fateful words.


5. Why historical romance?

We love the research aspect – there’s so much to learn about. So far we have had a chance to investigate sailing-steamships, the origin of the word “posh”, erotic frescoes, the history of tea, music in the Victorian era, Tunisia in the 1840s, mythology and archeology on Crete, and an endless list of other topics. It really enriches our life discovering and sharing these historical tidbits. It’s also a fun challenge to write romantic relationships constrained by the social mores of the day. Plus, the clothes were great.


6. What is your favorite kind of chocolate?

Anthea prefers really expensive medium-dark chocolate. Divine brand is well-named, and Ghirardelli will do in a pinch. Lawson thinks all really dark chocolate is evil and disgusting, but good quality milk chocolates are delicious.


7. What do you love about ALL HE DESIRES?

all-he-desires-cover-150x243The hero’s internal journey was really interesting to write. He’s dark, moody and tortured, but oh so redeemable. We are also happy with the chemistry between the two leads. We had to change the heroine from the first draft to get a character and love-interest we were really happy with. It was worth the extra effort. Other things we love: A side story where a mother gets her son back. The sea and village on the Mediterranean island of Crete. A murderous fisherman. An escape from one villain into the clutches of another. A love scene told in utter darkness. We also love the responses we are getting from readers and reviewers. One reader said she stayed up all night reading. Comments like that are music to an author’s ears.


8. Any tips to aspiring fiction writers?

Join writer’s groups, and remember to have fun! There is so much to learn, and the support and friendship of other writers (on-line or in local groups) can make the journey a much more pleasant one. There are only a few best-selling mega authors. For the rest of us, we have each other, the hope or reality of publication, and the magic of language and story.

Thanks for having at the Writer’s Fun Zone today, Beth! We enjoyed doing the interview.


We’d love to give away a copy of ALL HE DESIRES to one lucky commenter! Tell us—What’s the most fun you’ve ever had with a book?

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10 Responses

  1. Amy says:

    The most fun I’ve had with a book is one that was not published. My preschool age daughter and I wrote a story, took pictures to illustrate the story and then put it all together to read at bedtimes. So much fun!

  2. Valerie says:

    That’s a toughie. Probably the first time I did Nanowrimo, getting swept up in characters and story and discovering I could write a lot in a very short time. I still do Nano for fun…in fact, I consider it my writing “vacation”–anything goes, and probably does 🙂

    I’ve often thought my husband and I should collaborate more, and your success might be an impetus to explore further.

    Thank you both for a fun interview, and thanks to Beth for hosting you!

  3. It’s great to be here at the Fun Zone today!

    Amy – What a sweet story that is – and a precious memory for your daughter.

    Valerie – Every year we think about doing NaNo, but the timing is never quite right. Good for you for taking your vacation through writing! 🙂

    We’ll be here all day, so feel free to ask any questions.

  4. Beth Barany says:

    Anthea,

    We’re happy to have you here all day long!

    The most fun I ever had with a book was the one I wrote in 32 days (with weekends in between). What I thought would be a contemporary romance morphed into a paranormal time travel to the future! I had so much fun writing it, letting my imagination fly. Needless to say, I couldn’t sell that one. 🙂

    I was wondering how long it took you two to write ALL HE DESIRES?

    Beth Barany, of the Writer’s Fun Zone

  5. Dorthy says:

    The most fun I’d ever had with a book?
    The first thing that comes to mind was when I was in 5th grade and my best friend at the time and I decided we wanted to improve our posture.
    We each put an encyclopedia on our heads (I had “D” because my name began with that letter and she had “S” because of her name.”
    We marched around her house trying to keep the book level, and when ever our books fell off we had to give the other person a chocolate (we were playing for Hershey mini’s), it ended up become a game of follow the leader, you were the leader till your book fell off then the other person was the leader.
    I found that walking down stairs was far easier than walking up stairs, and that it takes not only good posture, but also good balance to keep those books on your head.

    as far as writing a book goes…

    well I have many WIP’s, but no books yet. LOL The most fun I had there was when I sat down and wrote while singing along with Phantom of the Opera. My hubby says that he know when I hit a writing stride because the Phantom comes on. LOL

    Do you guys listen to music when you write? If so, what kind?

  6. Beth — It took about a year to write ALL HE DESIRES. A bit faster than our first book, since we were under deadline! We could probably write two books a year, barring any kind of family emergencies etc., but only if we were under contract to do so. 🙂

    Hello Dorthy! Thanks for stopping by (and for following along on our blog tour). Love your encyclopedia story! Anthea finds it hard to write if there’s any music on with lyrics. That said, some songs can evoke the emotion we’re looking for — parts of ALL HE DESIRES were written with Snow Patrol’s “Run” echoing through Anthea’s head (though not actually playing at the time). Currently we’re working on a series that references some of the music of the 19th century. Beethoven is very passionate!

  7. Dorthy says:

    Beethoven is very passionate. He definitely had a way of taking someone through a plethora of emotions, didn’t he?

    I’ve never heard of Snow Patrol, what kind of music do they play? I’ll have to look them up.

  8. We have a winner!

    Congrats to Dorthy – you are the proud winner of our new book, ALL HE DESIRES! Drop us an e-mail to anthea AT anthealawson DOT com with your address and we’ll pop a signed copy in the mail to you.

    Thanks to all who stopped by – there’s a lot of wonderful exploring to do here at the Fun Zone! 🙂

  9. Beth Barany says:

    Thanks Anthea for guest blogging at the Writer’s Fun Zone! I so enjoyed having you here! Until next writer’s conference, Beth Barany

  1. November 23, 2009

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by BethBarany and BethBarany, BethBarany. BethBarany said: Come blog with author, Andrea Lawson, at Writer’s Fun Zone, on co-writing romance, and chocolate; book giveaway http://bit.ly/6QNMbK […]

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