Monday 27 April 2020

A Conversation with Anna Belfrage #Paranormal #Romance @abelfrageauthor

A Conversation with Anna Belfrage

Please give a warm Coffee Pot welcome to Anna Belfrage.

MA: Anna, before we being, could you please introduce yourself to some of my readers who have yet to discover your fabulous books.

AB: Well, first of all, thank you Mary Anne for inviting me over to visit. And I do hope that despite your excellent site’s name you can offer a thirsty visitor some tea seeing as I don’t drink coffee. Never. Except when I’m pregnant (which will never happen again).

My name is Anna Belfrage, and other than being a major tea guzzler I am also something of a chocoholic. Both of these vices make me very happy I live in the here and now as neither tea nor chocolate were in much supply in, let’s say, the Middle Ages.

I have always loved to read. I began to write in my wardrobe at the age of seven as there were far too few stories featuring a wild-haired Anna as the heroic protagonist. These stories were very, very secret and always ended with me saving such people as Richard Lionheart from dire death.

Since then, I have revised my opinion of Richard Lionheart, but I still like my stories to have gutsy heroines who risk everything to save those they love. In general, this approach to life drives my heroes crazy—especially when my books are set in historical times. Men of the past prefer to be the ones doing the saving, but my male protagonists are secretly very proud of their brave other halves.

When I am not reading or writing, I reenergise myself by taking long walks in the woods with my standard poodle Asterix. When hubby comes along, these walks become exploratory rambles, as hubby likes to point at overgrown paths and say “I wonder where that leads?” Last time he did that, it took us six hours to get back home…

MA: You have written so many books, set in a variety of historical settings. And then you took a giant step outside of your comfort zone and wrote a contemporary romantic suspense with quite the dose of paranormal and time-slip. What inspired you to write A Torch in His Heart?

AB: I remember exactly where I was when Jason and Helle (the protagonists in A Torch in His Heart) first began to whisper their secrets in my head: 30 000 feet above the ground. I had been on one of my many business trips and I was feeling restless and tired – but I never sleep on planes because I am convinced that if I do, the plane will tumble from the sky. I’d read all the books on my Kindle, I didn’t want to watch another movie and I sat there, dozing, when out of nowhere came this image of a very young girl—a child—and she was running through the sunset, blonde curls flying, bare feet raising a cloud of red dust behind her. Her antiquated linen garment was worn, there was a belt of sorts round her waist. She turned my way and laughed, brilliant turquoise eyes glittering in the sun, and then she was gone, accompanied by three huge lions who ran beside her.
Just like that, I knew her name was Helle (and this may have had something to do with us flying over the Hellespont) Once she had a name, there was an ancient myth to grab onto, and out of nowhere came Jason—but he was a man in a modern suit, mahogany hair combed back from his face. His copper-coloured eyes met mine and there was grief and darkness in them—so much darkness, so much pain.

So there I was: a young girl running with lions in a very distant past. A man who somehow was tied to her, despite his modern attire. And so, out of nowhere, my story took off, the time-spanning love story of a girl and a very young man who were so cruelly parted in their first life but who are now, after endless wasted lives, given a second chance. Except, of course, that nothing is ever THAT easy: enter Sam Woolfe, reborn bastard who destroyed them 3 000 years ago and wants nothing as much as to do so again.

MA: How did you come up with your setting, and your characters?

AB: I did mention the Hellespont above, didn’t I? I have always been fascinated by Ancient Greece and the Hellenic expansion into Asia Minor. I have been fortunate enough to visit Istanbul on several occasions and have always wanted to visit the Turkish Black Sea coast. That gave me my historic setting: Helle and Jason live close to Kolchis, that ancient kingdom where once the Golden Fleece adorned a sacred grove (until Jason and his Argonauts stole it)

Jason and Medea

For my modern day setting, there was never any choice. Jason Morris is English to the bone (well, when he isn’t channelling his ancient self) I may be Swedish, but I have spent a lot of time in London so I chose to use London as my main setting.

As to my characters, they have a tendency to pop up relatively fully formed. They are also a vociferous lot, and seeing as I have written so many books with so many characters, my head sometimes echoes with their voices… Helle was very shy to begin with—I guess finding out you’re the reincarnated version of an ancient princess does that to you. You see, Helle does not remember her previous lives—at all. Well, beyond the odd dream that is. But once Jason enters her life, those ancient memories start knocking at the door, and that is not an easy thing to handle.

In difference to Helle, Jason remembers all his lives. Unfortunately. He is the one who failed her the first time round, he is the one who has spent life after life looking for her, wanting nothing more than a chance to atone for his betrayal.

MA: There are many books in the Romantic Suspense genre. Can you tell us three (3) things that set your novel(s) apart?

AB: Ugh. I always struggle with that… All romances are essentially a Him and Her (or Him and Him, Her and Her) story, and in Romantic Suspense it is usually the suspense that has our endangered couple realising how much they love each other. That happens here as well—except that Jason has always loved Helle, and once she accepts who she is, Helle loves him just as much. This results in a lot of very steamy scenes—but a lot of romance has hot, erotic scenes.

Anyway: I do think my
reincarnation theme is a unique ingredient, as is the way the past story colours the present. And then, of course, there’s the paranormal angle—but to find out more about that, I think you should read the book!
MA: One last question! Can you tells us what you are currently working on?

Well… I have almost finished a new time-slip book set in 1715, I am a third of the way through the second book in a new medieval series (and in this book I am in Spain. It is hot, it is dusty, political intrigue is rife, the French are trying to invade Aragon and my hero is presently in a very dire situation….), I am toying with the idea of a new contemporary Romantic Suspense series, working title Roxanne’s Avengers, and I have a tenth book in The Graham Saga brewing. That story will serve as a bridge to my new time-slip mentioned above.

My problem is not one of inspiration: it is a problem of time—and my very poor typing skills!

MA: Anna, thank you so much for dropping by to chat with us today.

If you would like to learn more about Anna had her fabulous books then you know what to do — SCROLL DOWN!

A Torch In His Heart
 (The Wanderer #1)
By Anna Belfrage

In the long lost ancient past, two men fought over the girl with eyes like the Bosporus under a summer sky. It ended badly. She died. They died. 
Since then, they have all tumbled through time, reborn over and over again. Now they are all here, in the same place, the same time and what began so long ago must finally come to an end.

Ask Helle Madsen what she thinks about reincarnation and she’ll laugh in your face. Besides, Helle has other stuff to handle, what with her new, exciting job in London and her drop-dead but seriously sinister boss, Sam Woolf. And then one day Jason Morris walks into her life and despite never having clapped eyes on him before, she recognises him immediately. Very weird. Even more weird is the fact that Sam and Jason clearly hate each other’s guts. Helle’s life is about to become extremely complicated and far too exciting.

Pick up your copy of
A Torch in His Heart
 (The Wanderer #1)

Anna Belfrage

Anna Belfrage combines an exciting day-job as a board of director in various listed companies with her writing endeavours. When she isn’t writing a novel, she is probably working on a post or catching up on her reading. Other than work and writing, Anna finds time to bake and drink copious amounts of tea, preferably with a chocolaty nibble on the side. And yes, now and then she is known to visit a gym as a consequence…
Find out more about Anna by visiting her website, or her Amazon page.
You can also find her on Facebook or Twitter.

1 comment:

See you on your next coffee break!
Take Care,
Mary Anne xxx