A big welcome today to Anneli Lort as part of her blog tour with LoveBound Promotions for The Sweet Spot from Creativa.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your writing?
I’m 44 years old, a self employed copywriter and PR, and live in a village in Surrey with my dog and horses. My writing style is a little odd. I don’t do chapter plans and I never know how it’s going to end until I’m at least half way through the first draft. I don’t write in chronological order and I tend to change the entire plot as I go along. I realise it may not be the best way to do things but works for me.
Can you tell us about your new release? What inspired you to write it?
The Sweet Spot is a classic love story with a contemporary and sexy edge. It is mainly set in a quintissental English village but I also take the reader on a journey to some of the world’s most glamorous golf locations. My hero is a golfer – but don’t let that put you off!
I worked in golf for almost two decades and spent most of that time travelling the world with elite sports stars. I got to see all the behind the scenes drama first hand and realised it would make great content for a romance novel. The professional golfers I worked with unwittingly gave me plenty of content to use.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Finding the time to do it. I work full time and have a dog and horse that need exercising. I realised I’d never write a book if I didn’t make time so I usually write in the evenings and at weekends. I work from home so I can usually squeeze a few hours in during the day time as well. One of the perks of working for yourself!
Are there any genres you prefer to write and if so, why? What book do you wish that you had written?
I enjoy writing romance and have written about sport my entire career so it seemed the natural thing to do to combine them. I wish I had written The Ambassador’s Women by Catherine Gaskin. It’s a family saga that is so incredibly well written with a great storyline that spans four generations. I could, and do, read it over and over again.
Are there any characters that you write, that are based on you, or people you know?
Most of my characters are based on people I know. It may be something as simple as using a christian name or by weaving more in depth, unique personality traits in to their characters! I would say that Olivia Carmichael – the heroine of The Sweet Spot – is very loosely based on me. She’s definitely as feisty as I am!
Do you write often? Is it on a schedule, or whenever you feel like it?
I write all the time, even if it’s just a note in my phone when I think of a particular chapter or even a conversation between characters. I don’t have a schedule but when I set aside ‘proper’ writing time I always try to get a minimum of 4000 words done in one session. I’m lucky that I work from home so can just switch from my day job to the book whenever I feel like it.
What are your writing and personal goals for 2017 and beyond?
I’m currently writing the second book in the Appleton Vale series and will have the first draft finished in a couple of weeks. My publisher wants it out for Christmas so that’s my immediate goal. After that I have another four books in the same series to get on with as well as starting to write a series for children. I have another novel in the planning stages but it’s going to take time to research and develop the plot further before I can start writing it.
When is your next book coming out, and what’s it about?
My next book – The Country Club – is the second in the Appleton Vale series and it revisits the village and features a lot of the same characters. I’ve added a whole host of new characters as well and it has been fun to write, interweaving the new residents with the established ones. It will be available mid December 2017.
What are you working on at present? Would you like to share a snippet?
I’m weeks away from finishing the first draft of The Country Club. Here’s a little taster. Bear in mind it is a first draft!
“You’re live in five, four, three, two, one.” The producer whispered into Georgiana’s earpiece.
“Good morning. I’m here at Wimbledon and it’s the big one. Yes it’s mens’ final day. I for one am incredibly excited. I can hardly contain myself.” Georgiana grinned at the camera and men across the United Kingdom swooned at their television sets. “The sun is shining and there’s a tangible air of excitement running through the crowds that have poured in to witness what could be one of the best matches in Wimbledon history. The top two seeded players in the world are set to slug it out on the marvellous Centre Court. It’s going to be totally awesome.”
Gareth Rees, producer of Georgiana’s segment, was grinning from ear to ear. Georgiana was gold dust as far as he and the rest of the BBC sport team were concerned. They unanimously loved her warm and engaging style of presenting and she was singularly responsible for the ratings going through the roof. In what was already a globally renowned event, with millions of people watching all over the world, she had boosted the viewing figures by almost twenty per cent.
“I’m now joined on my little perch high above Henman Hill by the incredible talented, insanely funny and down right incorrigible John McEnroe,” Georgiana turned to face John and continued. “So Johnny boy, what say you?”
For the entire hour of the show Georgiana and John engaged in a tennis match of their own, such was the banter flying back and forth between them. John’s style of presenting perfectly complimented Georgiana’s. It was compelling viewing.
“And we’re out. Great job you two,” said Gareth. The show had gone without a hitch and his bosses were delighted.
Georgiana removed her microphone and earpiece and high fived McEnroe. “That was so much fun,” she grinned. “Gotta go. I’m doing a pre record with Boris in twenty minutes. Thanks John.”
She grabbed her I-pad and flew down the steps in search of former Wimbledon champion and all-round good guy Boris Becker.
Georgiana had been working for the BBC in her role as roving reporter for almost six months and she had quickly made her mark with her quirky style and ability to make her interviewees feel at ease. Even the most obnoxious and ego-driven of sports stars were putty in her hands. She was honest, funny, genuine and, most importantly, knowledgeable about sport. That’s what made her a rising star at the BBC. She was incredibly versatile and could hold her own in any situation.
The younger sister of world number one golfer Sebastian Bloom, Georgiana had not set out to become a star in her own right. In fact it was quite the opposite. She had seen what fame had done to her brother who had been both darling and demon of the international press since he had turned professional. She didn’t want to be in the spotlight but it had come around so unexpectedly that she had been swept along by the excitement of it all.
Do you get emails asking why characters didn’t get together and whether you’re going to write more about them?
The Sweet Spot is my first novel and I’ve had amazing feedback already, much of which is geared towards finding out how the current characters develop further into the series. I have every intention of revisiting each and every one of them and you never know, there may be one or two ‘missed opportunity’ love stories that get another look in!
Are you a cat person or a dog person? Can you tell us about your pets?
I’m a dog person but I love all animals. At one stage had three dogs, two cats and two horses but sadly most of them have now crossed Rainbow Bridge. I currently have one dog, a golden retriever called Hector – he’s hilarious. I also have a new forest pony called Henry and am currently on the look out for a companion for him – most likely a rescue pony who deserves a happy retirement. I’d have a house full of pets if I could.
If you were able to quit your day job and write full time, would you, and why/why not?
Definitely. That’s my long term goal. I don’t feel like writing is work, I enjoy it so much. I spent a whole week writing for eight hours a day last week and it went by in a flash.
Are you obsessed with stationery? And if so, what and why?
I love a proper ink pen and still use one daily – it’s a Grappa that was a gift from a very old friend. I do have an obsession with writing letters and cards to send through the post. I wish more people did that. It is becoming a lost art.
Title: The Sweet Spot
Series: Appleton Vale, Book 1
Author: Anneli Lort
Cover Artist: Louise Mizen Ferguson
Release Date: July 4, 2017
Romance Genre(s): Contemporary, Sports
About the Book
The Sweet Spot is a classic love story with a sexy, modern edge, set in the sleepy West Country village of Appleton Vale, and in the glittering world of professional golf.
Olivia escapes London to overcome memories of heartbreak, and moves to Appleton Vale to ghostwrite the autobiography of Sebastian Bloom, former world number one golfer and global icon. But he doesn’t make things easy for her; Olivia is not ready for a new relationship and fights her feelings for Sebastian.
Their story comes to a head at the most prestigious golf tournament in the world, The Open Championship, where Sebastian’s return to form sets up an explosive clash with his lifelong rival, Troy McLoud.
As the lives of Olivia, Sebastian and the residents of Appleton Vale interweave, passions flare and the stakes rise.
About Anneli Lort
Anneli Lort lived with a charming cast of characters in her head for a number of years before she found the time to sit down and bring them to life in the Appleton Vale series. Once she put pen to paper her imagination was free to create a character driven world of contemporary romance that is both heartwarming and engaging.
In a public relations career that spanned more than two decades Anneli worked closely with elite professionals at the highest level and with some of the world’s biggest sporting companies. With this came an access-all-areas pass to the greatest sports events on the planet where she saw for herself the tension, drama and emotions that were played out behind the scenes. While TV audiences around the world watched the sporting excitement unfold, she was there to witness first-hand what really happened before and afterwards – the untold stories the rest of the world never got to see.This is the rich and enviable background she brings to her debut novel – The Sweet Spot.
Anneli lives in a village much like her fictional creation – Appleton Vale – that is nestled against the foothills of the South Downs. She spends her days working in brand communications, writing, walking her dog – Hector – and riding her New Forest Pony Henry. The dog shares the house; the horse has his own rather spacious accommodation.
Anneli is currently writing the second novel in the Appleton Vale series – The Country Club – which will be on sale in December 2017.
Connect with Anneli
To celebrate the release of her bestselling debut, The Sweet Spot, Anneli is giving away a £20 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner. For your chance to win, enter via the Rafflecopter below. The contest closes at midnight EST on September 8, 2017, and is open to entrants worldwide.
Bookk Review by Foxylutely Books
Author Interview with Drops of Ink
Exclusive Excerpt at The Bookworm Lodge
Exclusive Excerpt at All Things Bookaholic
Exclusive Excerpt at Reviews by Crystal
Guest Post at Lori’s Reading Corner
Exclusive Excerpt at I Heart Reading
Guest Post at Romance Novel Giveaways
Character Interview with Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books
Exclusive Excerpt at Loves Great Reads
Author Interview with Liz’s Reading Life
Exclusive Excerpt at Abibliophobia Anonymous
Tour Hosted by LoveBound Promotions