Anne Hagan, Woman of Many Genres
Anne Hagan Intro and Interview Questions
Anne Hagan is the author of the ten books and counting, Morelville Mysteries series, a mystery/romance series, the spin-off from that series, The Morelville Cozies which features the mothers of the two lesbian main characters in the longer series and multiple lesfic romance short stories, novels and novellas. Her lesbian romance, Broken Women is currently on sale for just $.99, wherever eBooks are sold.
Here’s the blurb for the book: Can two women, unlucky in love, find solace in each other?
Where do you go when you lose everything? Who do you turn to next when nobody seems to want you for more than a casual fling?
When death unexpectedly takes the love of your life, the best you can do is to try to cope and to hold on to the good memories. When your beloved’s family takes everything else you have, hope is all that’s left…if you can hang on to that.
You’ve been smitten more than once. You’ve even been in love a time or two. The trouble is, your feelings are always only yours. Cupid’s arrow always fails to land.
Can two love weary people, from different worlds, find strength together? Can they find more and even a happily ever after?
Fans of the Morelville Mysteries mystery/romance series may recognize these two characters, who played supporting roles in those books but this novel stands alone.
And here’s the ‘pretty’ universal link: https://www.books2read.com/BrokenWomen
- Tell us about writing Broken Women. You seem to lean toward writing mysteries. Why did you write a romance? When I started writing, I only intended to write one book. I failed miserably! That book became a series of lesfic themed mystery/romance novels and novellas, The Morelville Mysteries. Then, I spun off a cozy series, The Morelville Cozies, featuring the over 50ish mothers of my two lesbian sleuths in the first series. Their daughters appear often but the books are focused on them and the denizens of the fictional village of Morelville that I created. After that, I just kept going.
Broken Women is my first all-out romance novel. It features two secondary characters who appear in my ‘The Morelville Mysteries’ series from time to time. The book is very focused on them but they also have a second book, Healing Embrace, where several characters from the Morelville Mysteries play prominent roles. I’m planning on a third and final story for later this year, around the holidays.
It’s a book I felt like I had to write. It just wouldn’t get out of my head. I could tell some of the story in the mystery series but it is, after all, a mystery series and not about the two ladies this book is about.
- Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find? – There are two sides to this question for me. First, every book and story I write has a piece of me and things that I’ve experienced in it. For the most part, none of my family (aside from my mother and an old aunt) reads any of my work. I have a few friends who read all my stuff though. They can sometimes pick out the ‘real life’ stuff that they know about but they’ll miss other things that they weren’t involved in or that I never told them about.
Second; many of my mysteries and some of my romances (the novels) are based in the same universe. The Morelville Mysteries series should be read in order to see the progression of the relationship between Mel and Dana and how everything evolves over time. The thing is, there are nuggets in each successive book, across both series and even in the romances, that only readers who have read everything will pick up on. A reader who just reads the romances, Broken Women and Healing Embrace, for example, won’t feel like she got an incomplete story by any means, but little references and inside jokes are there (especially in Healing Embrace) that only a Morelville Mysteries series reader would know. The same is true of the Cozies series. I have mainstream readers that came to them without ever having read any of the lesfic series that spawned it. Those stories standalone but they too hint at things only my lesfic mystery readers know.
- Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? If you write more than one, how do you balance them? – I’ve been a mystery reader since grade school so for more than 40 years, ahem! I gravitated to that naturally. It was wanting to write primarily for a lesbian audience that got me to include a romantic storyline in my Morelville Mysteries series. Romance is, by far, the most popular genre among lesbians. It’s not even close. I was taken to task for books one and two of that series containing only fade to black sex (book 1).
I do read romance…not as much as mystery fiction, but I read it. I decided to try my hand at writing some. It’s actually harder (for me) than writing mysteries but I’m getting the hang of it and my readers seem to like my stories. I won’t be writing ‘straight’, heterosexual romance any time soon though. I read a little of that – a lot less than I read of lesfic romance – but I don’t have any real interest in writing it.
- What projects are you working on at the present? – I’ve always got a Morelville Mystery for my lesfic mystery/romance series on the burner. As I write this, there are ten books out, one of which, Sullied Sally, is a recent release.
With the Morelville Cozies series, two books are out and a third, The Conjuring Comedienne, is in the works as I write this. It pulls in some elements of the paranormal – something I hadn’t done in any of my books before so that was fun. I may add another couple of books to that series but it won’t be many. There’s so much more involved with writing them than with writing the mysteries. They have to be entertaining without including sex, violence, etc. There’s a lot more dialog and ‘wit’ required. I have been planning a new series that involves mystery and the paranormal, The Craft College Conjurers. It will be somewhere between hard-boiled mystery and the cozy form. There will be lesbian characters but the series won’t be lesfic, per se.
I’ve committed myself to do more short stories, especially romances. I also have two romance novellas planned for this year; the one I mentioned above and one that will be part of a special, super secret compilation for lesfic romance fans that you’ll hear more about later this year.
- You have multiple personalities. Describe some of them. – There’s my post office personality. That’s the one where I’m nice to everyone no matter what because it’s my job to be. Then there’s the one inside trying to get out that wants to say what she’s really thinking sometimes. I used to have a strong military personality that would come out a lot, especially while I raised my son. I see it less and less except in times of stress. In stressful times, I’m usually calm and collected. I’ve seen and been through worse, is the way I look at it.
Where we live, we’re surrounded by my wife’s family and it’s a tiny village where everyone knows everyone and all their business besides. There are always people around. I’m not shy but I am an introvert at heart. Still, I’m so used to all of the craziness, I usually put on a happy face and get out there in the mix. People who don’t know me well, think I’m extroverted. There are times though, with my wife’s blessing, I sneak away to decompress and get some things done. The introvert in me craves the quiet time to work and think.
- Do you believe in love at first sight? I knew my wife and I would be together forever the first time we met. It’s been more than 11 years. She, by the way, took a little more convincing. She was a player back in the day but she’s settled into married life quite nicely.
- Are you spring, summer, fall, or winter? Please share why. – Fall. It’s not too hot, it’s not too cold and the leaves are beautiful. Plus, there’s pumpkin everything and hot and cold apple cider. Oh and, of course, Halloween!
- If you turn into your partner for a day, what would you do? – Oh, what wouldn’t I do?! Seriously, we’re so different. She’s very intelligent but uses her brain completely differently than I do. She’s very mechanical and I’m decidedly not. I know what tool to get when she asks for one and I know what car parts are what but I can’t fix anything. I would so be running around looking for things to fix and tinker with just because I could. She has different creative skills than I do too. I write and I do lots of web design, advertising and other graphics manipulation work. I can’t draw or paint at all. She draws and paints very well but she doesn’t write.
- Tea or coffee? – Tea, hot or cold, sweet or unsweet, any flavor. I don’t care for coffee at all.
- Would you rather have a cat or dog? Why?– A dog. I’ve had both but I prefer dogs. I like taking them outside and doing stuff with them. Plus, my wife is allergic to cat dander. She tolerates dogs because she loves them but, deep down, their dander gets to her too.
- You have to wear a t-shirt with one word on it for the rest of your life. Which word do you choose? – Read!
- You are chosen to make dinner for a very special guest. What will you cook? – I love Italian food and I love to cook it. I’d make my stuffed shells with homemade meatballs, garlic bread and a nice salad full of fresh greens and garden vegetables. There would be something totally chocolate and decadent for dessert like chocolate cheesecake or a multi-layer triple chocolate cake.
- What is your best scar? Tell the story of how you got it. – I have a C-Section scar from the birth of my son. That’s not my only one but it’s the best by far.
- What punctuation mark best describes your personality? Why? – A question mark because I’m curious and always asking, ‘what if?’
- How many brothers and sisters do you have? – I have two brothers, both younger. One’s a small-town cop and one is a private tutor for developmentally disabled students who have to be home-schooled.
- Do you prefer card games or board games? – Board games when I’m playing with younger kids; card games with adults. We love to play card games with my wife’s family including traditional games like Hearts and 31/Blitz but also card games like Apples to Apples and Cards Against Humanity.
- What book do you wish you could have written? – Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
- How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend? – Names are very important. They have to fit the story and the meaning has to fit the character. I almost always look up name meanings when I’m naming villains. I keep the age of the character in mind too. In my mystery series, I have characters from infant to age 80. You can’t name a 60+ year old character with a name that was invented 10 years ago or give them a name with a more modern spelling.
- What is your least favorite part of the publishing/writing process?
- Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Racy? – The racy ones – sex scenes, but I’m getting better at it. I admit, I used a ghostwriter’s help the first time I included a couple of scenes in a book. She wrote some unique scenes based on the setups that I gave her but I still had to rework them some. It was obvious lesbian sex wasn’t necessarily something she’d written much of and one or two things were just physically impossible.