Annette: I grew up in a very small town in Northern Ireland, quite near to where the Bronte sisters' father, Patrick grew up in fact and our small library was called The Bronte Library. Being so small, there were no bookshops and once I'd devoured everything I could get my hands on in the library, I started writing my own stories so that I would always have something to read later. I only ever write the things that I would like to read myself.
I've been married to John for coming up to twenty one years now (where does the time go?) We met through a lonely hearts ad, this was way before the advent of internet dating was on the scene and got engaged nine months after we met.
I love travelling and seeing new places, although I get quite travel sick. New Zealand is our favourite place and we both hope to get to go there again one day. I love reading, no surprises there, but I also enjoy computer games such as The Sims and Dragon Quest and Japanese anime. Black Butler is my favourite at the moment.
DWED: Have you always aspired to publish a novel?
Annette: I'm not so sure that I've always aspired to publish, but I've always wanted to write. It's just something I have to do. There are so many characters and plot scenarios in my head that if I didn't write them down I'd go mad. They're all clamouring for attention and it's difficult to pick just one to settle on, I usually have 3 or 4 projects on the go at once and it can get confusing at times!
Annette: The writing journey, not so much, as I've always enjoyed doing that. But the publishing and promoting is a different game altogether. I've self-published some work, as well as had work with publishers, but nowadays nearly all of the promotion is down to the author, no matter what way you're published. It's a different mindset and I find it very difficult to write fiction and try and promote books on the same days. I do them separately, and leave days just for writing rather than promotion. I wish I could afford to hire a publicist and have them do all of the promotion, but I can't afford that so a lot of it is Do-It-Yourself. It takes time and effort, but if you get some sales out of it, it's worth it.
DWED: Who or what would you say inspired ‘Shadows of the Rose?
Annette: Since Shadows of the Rose is a collection of different genres and stories, I would have to say quite a few different things. But nearly all of my stories begin with the thought, What if? What if in the future that it was illegal to make love and the only way to have children was controlled by the state? That became the basis for the story Baby Blues. What if the man who was feared and hated as the most diligent witch hunter in the country was something else entirely? That became The Witch Hunter.
I get ideas from lots of things. Maybe a magazine or newspaper article sparks an idea, or perhaps something overheard in conversation. Or sometimes it's just something that's simmering away in the back of my mind for ages and needs an outlet.
DWED: Let’s delve into your writing. Can you tell us more in-depth about ‘Shadows of the Rose?
Annette: It's a collection of short stories and one novella. The book was first published in 2001 by Double Dragon Books. The novella in it, Leonae, is what would be termed nowadays as Urban Fantasy, but at the time I had never even heard of the term urban fantasy or knew that I'd written one, LOL! It's about a woman who discovers she is of an ancient race of beings called Leonae and she discovers she has powers such as mind-reading. She's also very sensitive to emotions, which has its downside when she goes to Pompeii and felt the emotions from the people who were about to die.
DWED: How does ‘Shadows of the Rose stand out? What does it offer and more importantly what can viewers find within it pages?
Annette: Short stories are enjoying a revival thanks to digital publishing, whereas before it tended to be only magazines where you could read them. My collection has lots of different genres within the pages, there is horror, romance, sci-fi, urban fantasy and more, so hopefully a bit of something for everyone. A lot of collections are themed or are only of one particular genre, but as I reader I read in various genres, so I hope there are some more people out there who like a bit of variety.
DWED: How was the concept of ‘Shadows of the Rose born?
Annette: I just wrote short stories and when I had quite a few gathering dust on the hard-drive, my husband suggested I see about getting them published as a collection. They probably would have stayed there if he hadn't nudged me in the right direction.
DWED: Is ‘Shadows of the Rose a part of a series or stand alone?
Annette: It's a standalone collection.
DWED: What can we look forward to seeing from you throughout 2013?
Annette: My romantic suspense, Drowning Rapunzel, was re-released in February by Pink Petal Books/Jupiter Gardens Press. Later this year I hope to have finished some more of my short stories or novellas, all of which are male/male romances.
DWED: What would you say to all aspiring authors like yourself?
Annette: Read and write, that's basically what you need to do. Good books will inspire you and even bad books will have you scratching your head and wondering if you could do better. Just keep writing and turn off the self-editor in your head. Just get your story down on paper or computer screen and once it's finished, then worry about spelling mistakes or typos; plot holes, or how one of your character's has suddenly got blue eyes instead of green. I read a professionally published novel years ago where in one paragraph the heroine was wearing trousers and in the next her boyfriend lifted her up and her skirt flared out ;)
DWED: Is there anything we haven’t covered that you would like your readers and potential readers to know about both your work and yourself?
Annette: I like to think I'm a storyteller, coming from Ireland that isn't unusual, it’s a land of tales, myths and legends. I'm not a very descriptive writer, I write in more of a narrative style, with just enough detail to set the scene and let the characters tell their story through their actions and dialogue. Sometimes I feel as if I'm just a conduit and they are channelling their stories through me. I usually let them, it is their story after all.
Thanks so much for hosting me on my book tour!
Annette Gisby grew up in a small town in Northern Ireland, moving to London when she was seventeen. She writes in multiple genres and styles, anything from romance to thriller or erotica to horror, even both at the same time. When not writing, she enjoys reading, cinema, theatre and travelling the world despite getting travel sick on most forms of transport., even a bicycle. Sometimes you might find her playing Dragon Quest or The Sims computer games or watching Japanese Anime. She lives in Hampshire with her husband, a collection of porcelain dolls, cuddly toys and enough books to fill a library. It's diminishing gradually since the advent of ebooks, but still has a long way to go.
Romance reviews: http://www.theromancereviews.com/annettegisby
Genre: Multiple Genres including: Historical, Sci-fi, Fantasy, Paranormal and Erotica
Publisher: LuLu Publishing/Paperback
Date Published: November 2012
ISBN: (paperback) 9781291197846
ISBN: (Ebook) 9781301379989
Age Group: Adult
Word Count: 62,000
Cover Artist: Claudia McKinney http://www.phatpuppyart.com
Shadows of the Rose is a varied collections of tales, taking place in various times, various places from the witch trials of past centuries to the future in time and space. This collection also features the two recent short stories, The Prince's Guard and Of Pets and Pleasures, which are also available as separate ebooks.
The Witch Hunter - a young girl is accused of sorcery and the witch hunter sent to condemn her is not as he seems...
Baby Blues - set in a future where family planning is controlled by the state and it is illegal to make love...
Free Falling - some friendly aliens have found the cure for most of human diseases, except for one--the one you have...
The Glass Guitar - Meg thinks a haunted guitar might be just the present for her musician boyfriend's birthday...
Shadows of the Rose - a lovers' tryst in a ruined abbey, but there is something not quite right - what's that there, hidden beneath the shadows of the rose?
Excerpt from short story Baby Blues
What she wanted was a baby. Wanted it so badly it was like a physical ache in her womb, an ache deep down in her soul. If she still had a soul. Some days she wasn't so sure anymore. Working for the department of HDS, Human Disposal and Sanitation, she felt she'd seen enough horrors that Hell couldn't be as bad as what she had to deal with every day.
But she wasn't an approved recipient, and so she wasn't even entitled to the four
inseminations per year that the city allowed. As a concession, they had allowed her one. Her appointment was a week away and she was nervous. What if the one chance wasn't enough?
She felt the ache all the time now, gnawing away at her insides. She was empty inside. Hollow. Everywhere she looked there were pregnant women, women with children. And now to have to face this. Sometimes she really hated her job. Fifteen small skeletons, tossed out like trash because they weren't perfect. Each one had a deformity of some sort, toes or fingers missing, a third arm or eye sometimes. These children must have been created illegally, the old fashioned way with not a thought to gene control. How could anyone allow themselves to be misled like this and seek out the unlicensed centres where men and women actually went to have sex? It was disgusting, immoral. And feeling the hollow ache in her abdomen, she knew why it would be considered. If you wanted a child but weren't on the approved recipient list, it was the only way. The other HDS officers around her looked upset at the grisly discovery. She just couldn't allow herself that luxury. She had to be calm, methodical and professional. If she broke down now, if she cried now, she would never be able to stop.