In an effort to really get to know each other, we thought it would be a good idea to publish a series of interviews with fellow ROSA members to learn more about who they are, what they've published and what makes them tick. We'd like ALL our members to feature, so please drop our chairperson, Romy, an email on firstname.lastname@example.org and she'll send you some questions to answer.
Today the spotlight is on Annemarie Gaertner, a fellow committee member.
What is the last romance novel you read?
Romy Sommer – Not a Fairy Tale. Loved it.
What type of Romance / what genre do you write?
I am currently into Erotica. I would love to be able to write in this genre. Not sure if I am brave enough.
Are you published yet? If so, with whom?
No – still need to write something from start to finish.
What do you love most about writing?
I love the way writing sorts out my thoughts. Writing challenges me to question every word to ensure that it is not there just to add to word count but drives the story, the plot and the helps to define the characters.
And what is your biggest challenge as a writer?
Getting it finished. The first 3 chapters come fairly easily – then I lose momentum. The biggest challenge is to just keep going through those dark wordless nights that happen far too often.
Do you have a playlist while you write?
It depends on what I am writing. But as a rule music is a great part of it. I try to use music that does not have lyrics otherwise I find myself singing along and losing my train of thought.
What was the inspiration behind your last book?
I often find I live my dreams vicariously through the stories I write. Every story carries something of me in it.
What is your proudest achievement as a writer?
Winning a short story competition on the radio and being published in Essentials Magazine. The short story was about internet dating. I also won a back pager competition. The story was a “slice of life” piece about swimming Midmar mile at the age of 45. I had such fun writing it. It was a good laugh.
What advice would you give someone who tells you they want to write?
Get yourself to a group of likeminded people quick. Support and encouragement are critical when wanting to do this. You need to know that you are not alone. Writing is not for sissies and having a network that can support you is critical.
If you could give your life / dreams / goals a hashtag, what would it be?
#getting there V e r y SLOWLY.
What keeps you motivated to write?
Battling with this at the moment. I get lost in the chaos of my life. I also lack discipline which is critical to writing.
What is your writing schedule like - do you write every day / a certain time of day?
When I was writing I would write at every opportunity I got. The voices in my head just didn’t want to stop so I had to record their conversations. Before I knew it I had written half a book almost entirely consisting of dialogue.
Tell us about the first love story you ever wrote.
It was a story about a girl who inherits a farm in the Natal Midlands. She knows nothing about country life or farming so has to rely on the gorgeous farmer from next door to guide her through the harsh seasons and life lessons on the farm. He however has ulterior motives for wanting to help her and so the battle starts. Of course it ends with the two main characters having realised that they are destined to be together having both experienced several moments of self-realisation and introspection.
What is the best part about being part of ROSA?
The vibe. The support. The integrity of the people. The opportunity to talk about this wonderful yet frustrating love of mine called writing.
Thank you, Annemarie, so many of us resonate with your words!