BRoP interview: A.W. Exley

AWExley-1Welcome to this week’s Blog Ring of Power guest, A.W. Exley. Books and writing have always been an enormous part of Anita’s life. She survived school by hiding out in the library, with several thousand fictional characters for company. At university, she overcame the boredom of studying accountancy by squeezing in Egyptology papers and learning to read hieroglyphics.

Today, Anita writes steampunk novels with a sexy edge and an Egyptian twist. She lives in rural New Zealand surrounded by an assortment of weird and wonderful equines, felines, canine and homicidal chickens.

Part 1 @ Terri Bruce – Wednesday, April 10

Part 2 @ T.W. Fendley – Thursday, April 11

Part 3 @Emily LaBonte – Friday, April 12

Part 4 @ Sandra Ulbrich Almazon – Monday, April 15

Part 5 @ Dean C. Rich – Tuesday, April 16


What is your writing process? Do you follow a regular routine? Do you use pen and paper or computer? Work at home or at the library/Starbucks, etc. I’m a bit OCD and really need routine. I also have kids and horses to throw into the equation. So the routine is: get kids to bus stop. Ride horse & muck out paddocks. Then I sit down and write between late morning & doing the afternoon school run. I also use a notebook and pen, for those times when I am forever waiting around on the kids & at their activities. I can churn out 1,000 words long hand, during swimming lessons!

BRoPlogo-1How do you balance writing with other aspects of your life? It’s tough with several jobs to juggle, but a set routine really helps. Notebooks are fantastic, I can scribble ideas, plot or write whole scenes wherever I am.

When do you write? Mid morning to late afternoon. I need some semblance of peace, and kids tend to generate chaos, so I try to write when they are absent.

How much time per day do you spend on your writing?I try and grab at least one hour, on a good day I might get three or four hours of laptop time. I would probably write a lot more if I disabled my internet connection.

What is the strongest criticism you’ve ever received as an author? The best compliment?The query trenches are tough, I preferred to get form rejects over those that said my writing was “flat and unengaging” or even worse, the comment from an agent that “your idea just isn’t interesting.”

The best compliments come from readers who have enjoyed my book. I have a *squee* moment every time I am asked “when is the next book coming out?”

How do you deal with rejection and/or negative reviews? Rejection during querying sucks and it hurts, there’s simply no way around it. But, it builds up a thicker skin, which you really need to survive once published. There is no possible way to avoid negative reviews. If I can, I try and find a constructive element to them, something that I can improve. Otherwise I ignore them, and then go read the 1-star reviews of Harry Potter on Goodreads, which confirms you will never satisfy every single reader out there.

What format is your book(s) available in (print, e-book, audio book, etc.)? e-book and paperback.

NHeart cover-1NEFERTITI’S HEART: Cara Devon has always suffered curiosity and impetuousness, but tangling with a serial killer might cure that. Permanently.

London, 1861. Impoverished noble Cara has a simple mission after the strange death of her father – sell off his damned collection of priceless artifacts. Her plan goes awry when aristocratic beauties start dying of broken hearts, an eight inch long brass key hammered through their chests. A killer hunts amongst the nobility, searching for a regal beauty and an ancient Egyptian relic rumored to hold the key to immortality.

Her Majesty’s Enforcers are in pursuit of the murderer and they see a connection between the gruesome deaths and Cara. So does she, somewhere in London her father hid Nefertiti’s Heart, a fist sized diamond with strange mechanical workings. Adding further complication to her life, notorious crime lord, Viscount Nathaniel Lyons is relentless in his desire to lay his hands on Cara and the priceless artifact. If only she could figure out his motive.

Self-preservation fuels Cara’s search for the gem. In a society where everyone wears a mask to hide their true intent, she needs to figure out who to trust, before she makes a fatal mistake.

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