While Snowbound

I can only think of one band where I know the band members first and last names. Can you guess which one it was? The Beatles. And while I was a much bigger Beach Boys’ fan than Beatles’ fan, don’t ask me to name the members of the Beach Boys.

I like music; I just don’t necessarily know the name of the band currently playing on the radio. As a teenager I never plastered rock star posters on my walls, nor did I squiggle hearts along with my favorite rock star’s name on my notebook.

Basically, I was clueless when it came to the who’s who in music.

I do remember attending a concert in junior high, and my girlfriend got me to stand up with her and scream, like they used to do for the Beatles. I lasted for about 30 seconds, and then sat back down, feeling like an idiot, while my friend continued to jump around playing the role of the star struck fan. Don’t ask me whose concert we were at; I don’t remember.

This bit of cluelessness on my part inspired the plot of While Snowbound. I wanted to write another standalone romance. I thought about a female character who was a little like me, one who didn’t read fan magazines or watch reality TV, and finding herself alone with the man voted the Most Sexiest Man of the Year.  And when she is made aware of who he is—and listens to his music—she finds she doesn’t like it very much.

I had fun working on While Snowbound. I made the female protagonist an Indi writer, like myself. Her genre was strictly historical romance. I do remember one reviewer who got snarky about the fact this character wrote historical romance, claiming that genre was more a hobby for little old ladies. Actually, I chose historical romance writer because I wanted a character who knew more about history than current events. If she wrote something like YA, I would expect her to be less clueless about the rock star.

While Snowbound was the second book written in what became my Unlocked Hearts series, written under my Anna J. McIntyre pseudonym.



Why Anna J. McIntyre?

When I published the first book under Anna J. McIntyre, Lessons (now Coulson’s Lessons),  people asked me why I was using a pen name.

I don’t think I was ever truly honest with them—or myself—as to why I decided to write under a nom de plume. But now, almost seven years later, I think I have a better understanding as to why I actually made that decision.  I was afraid.

It’s a little scary putting yourself out there.  Back then I didn’t have the benefit of beta readers telling me they enjoyed or hated the book. To be honest, only a couple people had ever read Lessons before I hit the publish button, and they were close family members who probably weren’t the most objective readers.

Of course, back then I told people I wanted to keep books written by Anna J. McIntyre separate from the non-fiction I had written under my own name—which were only a couple books with limited appeal.

I don’t have any regrets about writing my Anna J. McIntyre books under a pseudonym.  However, I do regret choosing THAT pen name.

How did I come up with Anna J. McIntyre? It was simple really, Anna for my middle name, Ann—J for my maiden name Johnson—and McIntyre, a surname from my family tree.

Before finalizing the pseudonym, I checked Amazon, to make sure there were no other authors with that name. There weren’t. Unfortunately, I failed to Google “Anna J. McIntyre.” Had I done that, I would have discovered an artist by that name.  It was a novice mistake on my part, and one I didn’t discover until long after I started writing under the pseudonym.

I have always felt guilty for hijacking Anna J. McIntyre’s name. While my J stands for Johnson, hers stands for Jane.

A cautionary tale for other authors—thoroughly vet your pseudonym.

For those who would like to meet the original Anna J. McIntyre, here is her website.







Treadmill battles rosemary bread!

Sugar Rush Unlocked HeartsOn the treadmill as I’m writing this. Trying to ward off any potential damage from my recent rosemary bread binge. Our dear friends, Carolyn and Dave, visited from California, so last night we went out to one of our favorite Havasu restaurants—Angelinas. I like the restaurant so much it is mentioned in my contemporary romance, Sugar Rush, written under my pen name, Anna J. McIntyre.

Food was awesome as usual, but I couldn’t resist the fresh rosemary bread they serve up in baskets. No regrets. So worth it! Gotta go, need to ramp up the treadmill speed to burn off those extra calories!