Anna del Carmen was born in Valparaiso, Chile, and has a fraternal twin sister and three other siblings. Their mother died when Anna was six years old, and her father never remarried. After meeting her husband-to-be, Rodney, in her native city, they fell in love. She traveled to the United States later, and married him two weeks after arriving. She learned English through reading the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew series of books. Then she was introduced to The Lord of the Rings, and loved it.
Early on in her life, Anna showed an affinity for sewing, became a professional seamstress, and took classes that rewarded her with opportunities of costuming the casts of four different plays, which she enjoyed immensely. She wears her dresses down to her ankles and likes them to be very feminine, with lace being one of her favorite trimmings. "I am afraid that I do not follow fashions," she has said. "I wear what I like." That's a woman after my own heart!
She is fluent in both English and Spanish and understands Portuguese. With such a romantic background, is it any wonder her novels deal with romance? Anna and Rodney reside in Utah and are the parents of three princes and a princess.
Anna is an accomplished, multi-award winning author. One of her short stories, "Amerine—Fairy Princess," won an award in the Oquirrh Writers contest. The first book in her YA Romance Series entitled “A Kingdom By The Sea” also won an award. Anna’s works also include The Silent Warrior Trilogy, the beginning saga of her YA Elf Series.
Welcome, Anna. How long have you been writing and why did you start?
I started about seven years ago because my husband wanted to live to the ripe age of fifty. He thought my imagination would be the end of his days. He actually ordered me to. He is awesome.
That's pretty funny, but he does sound awesome. I understand he's a fine editor, too. Some writers start their books at the beginning and keep on going until they reach the end. Others start with a scene in the middle and jump around in their writing until they have enough material to edit together. How do you write your books?
With the Trilogy I started in the front. Curse of the Elfs came to me in the middle, then it took form toward the front and the back. I am not sure why… it just happened.
Was there a particular person or event that inspired you to write your stories?
The last movie of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings was my inspiration. I wanted to know more about the characters’ lives and couldn’t find enough. My husband said, “Why don’t you write your own?” I answered, “Yeah, right!” But his answer haunted me, and in three days I had the draft of The Elf and the Princess in my mind. When I told him the story, he came back with a laptop and told me to write it. The rest is history.
What a great guy! Anna, do you write with music playing? If so, is the music likely to be songs with lyrics or only instrumentals?
I do have music on, though I love quietness. I have my favorite tunes in the computer where I write. Lots of them have lyrics; a few don’t.
What is the coolest thing about being an author?
Meeting great people and other authors.
What would you say is the most challenging part about being an author?
Spending hours promoting my books while I would like to be writing another.
Do you have a particular goal you aim to achieve with your writing?
To take people to a wonderful world where they can forget reality’s cold hand and safely enjoy fantasy. Life is tough and we need something to help us make it more fun and worth living. Fantasy is the way I choose to do it.
English is your second language. Did that cause you to have challenges in trying to write your books?
Not many, really. I write, and my husband-editor has to figure out what I am trying to say. (If I can't figure how a word goes in English, I put it in Spanish...he speaks Spanish very well.) We have a lot of fun when we edit the books, because of my English mess-ups.
In your latest novel, you used the word "elfs." Is that a misspelling of the usual English plural, "elves"?
No. I did that on purpose.
If you could give your book to only one person, who would it be and why?
A teenager in trouble... In the hope that he/she could discover the power they have deep inside to change and become better. I want them to see that nothing is impossible if we put our minds to it.
You have lots of battle scenes and sword play in your novels. How do you describe them so well?
I found a medieval sword fighting class at the local high school, and my husband and I took it. My husband liked it so much he has taken it for a few years now and has even earned two different belts with the clan.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Never give up!!! Join a writer's group close to you right now, and learn the craft from them.
Tell us about your newest novel, Curse of the Elfs.
When an Immortal Race ceases to be immortal, woe to the land.
Ancient legend tells of elfs crossing paths with a dying wizard named Zoltan. The Old Sorcerer’s unrepentant deeds had caused the elders of the wizarding school to chastise him severely. On his deathbed Zoltan asked the elfs for help. Losing patience in his delirium, he cursed them. Now, the immortal elfin race is, slowly but surely, dying.
Their only hope lies in a servant of kings who must learn to love the elfs before he will attempt to save them. But no one, elf or mankind, has ever heard of this man. Nor does anyone know where to find him. Can the best healer in the land find this savior before their race is gone forever?
That sounds very exciting, Anna. I think you'll get many new readers with such intriguing books to offer. Thank you for being my guest on my blog today.
Thank you for this opportunity to visit with you and your friends.
Anna's other fantasy novels, in the "The Silent Warrior Trilogy," are:
Book 1 - The Elf and the Princess
Book 2 - Trouble in the Elf City
Book 3 - Elfs in a Conquered Realm