Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Interview with thriller author Anna Willett

Thriller author Anna Willett is here today chatting with me about her new novel, Retribution Ridge.

During her virtual book tour, Anna will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too!

Anna Willett is the author of Backwoods Ripper and Retribution Ridge. Raised in Western Australia Anna developed a love for fiction at an early age and began writing short stories in high school. Drawn to dark tales, Anna enjoys writing thrillers with strong female characters. When she’s not writing, Anna enjoys reading, travelling and spending time with her husband and two children.

Her book, Backwoods Ripper, is a finalist in The Wishing Shelf Book Awards 2016.

Welcome, Anna. Please share a little bit about your current release.
Retribution Ridge is a thriller with plenty of action and tense moments. It’s about a small group of people hiking in the wilderness. Two of the group are sisters trying to reconcile after years of bitterness. But what awaits the group is revenge.

What inspired you to write this book?
Many things including the location. Retribution Ridge takes place on the Cape to Cape Track, a real place in Western Australia. I was inspired by the beauty and danger of this particular area and found it to be the perfect backdrop for a tense action thriller.

Excerpt from Retribution Ridge:
Harper’s hiking boots thumped across the rocks. Her chest heaved as panicky gasps replaced regular breathing. She could hear him behind her, footfalls thundering through the dirt. Her eyes darted in every direction, searching for an avenue of escape. She didn’t dare waste precious seconds looking back.

The craggy stretch of rocks ended with a metre or so drop. She made the split-second decision to leap forward and hope she could land on her feet and keep going. There was still enough light by which to make out the approaching drop, but it was dying fast. If she hesitated, he’d be on top of her.

The rocks disappeared as she leaped forward, arms circling outwards to increase her momentum, ponytail flying over her head. For an instant, she hung in the air and then her boots struck the ground with enough force to jar her knees and send her careening forward at breakneck speed. Her right leg buckled and she spilled over, arms outstretched.

Her hands hit the tightly-packed dirt and she heard a brittle snap, loud and sickening in the twilight’s silence. A shaft of agony tore up her right arm. Her head snapped back and a howl, heavy with pain and fear, escaped her lips.

Behind her, his boots smacked over the rocks. She had no choice but to keep moving. Harper choked out a sob and staggered to her feet. The agony in her arm apparent, but swallowed by adrenalin. If she could make it to the trees, she might be able to hide.

Instinctively, she clutched her injured arm to her body. The trees were less than a few metres away, draped in shadows. The temperature dipped, chilling the sweat on Harper’s terrified face. She sprinted forward, her shirt ballooning out behind her like a cape. His hand closed over the fabric and he jerked her backwards.

“No!” It came out as strangled gasp.

Harper lowered her head and bent her knees, tipping her body forward she ploughed away from him with strength she didn’t know she possessed. The sound of fabric tearing, followed by a grunt, reminded her of a bull blowing air out of its nostrils. She broke free, stumbled to the right and then darted left.

The change of direction gave her the precious seconds she needed to make it to the trees. Behind her came panting and the crackle of branches snapping. It sounded like a wild animal breaking through the trees. She snatched another backward glance and saw a glint of dying light reflect off the blade of his knife. I won’t die like this. Not hunted like an animal. She willed herself to find the strength and speed to outrun him.

Harper cut to the right and rounded a peppermint tree. Then came what might be her only chance. A startled yelp and snapping branches. She looked back and he was on the ground, his face hidden by the growing darkness. His fall would give her a few seconds to lose him. If she could find a place to hide, maybe a weapon, she might have a chance.

Please, God – she mouthed a silent prayer and plunged deeper into the bush ignoring the needle-like leaves that tore at her arms.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m working on a thriller about a group of friends who have the opportunity to spend a weekend at an isolated holiday home. It soon becomes clear that the house’s owner has some deadly secrets. I hope to have it finished and available by the middle of this year.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Even though I’d been writing for years, I didn’t feel like I could call myself a writer until a publisher accepted my novel. I still don’t tell everyone I meet, I’m a writer. I suppose I’m still getting used to it myself.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
 I’m in the process of transitioning to full-time writing so finding time is much easier these days. I’m free to write most days, but even without work commitments, life still gets in the way but that’s okay.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I keep a journal of the dates, times and number of words I write each day. It started as a way to document when I wrote so I’d know what time of day I’m most productive, but it’s become more of a habit now, almost a charm that helps me write.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I’ve always wanted to write, but never dreamed it would be possible. In primary school, I was taught by nuns and hated every minute of it. Strangely, I grew up and became a teacher. Not something I aspired to but where I found myself. It’s only now, as a writer, that I’m really doing what I always wanted. So, I suppose I’m very fortunate that I’ve managed to achieve my goal. A little late, but I’m okay with it.

Thank you for being a guest on my blog!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Anna Willett said...

Thanks for hosting.

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Bernie Wallace said...

This sounds like an interesting read. Thanks for the giveaway. I hope that I win. Bernie W BWallace1980(at)hotmail(dot)com

Victoria Alexander said...

Great post - I enjoyed the excerpt :)

Unknown said...

Congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win :)

Anna Willett said...

Joseph, Victoria and Lisa, thank you so much for following the tour and for your kind comments. Glad you enjoyed the excerpt. Good luck with the giveaway.

Anna Willett said...

Thanks Ally.

Ally Swanson said...

Where is your favorite spot to read?

Anna Willett said...

I love sitting in bed with my two dogs sleeping on the bed or floor (my husband in the other room watching TV). I take my Kindle with me when I go anywhere I know I'll have to wait, but the bedroom's my favourite.
How about you?

Anna Willett said...

Thank you so much for hosting; it's been great!

Ally Swanson said...

I have really enjoyed following this tour and look forward to checking out this book!