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Reading to match my mood by Anna Larner

What I read is entirely determined by my mood. Just like I choose a drink to compliment a moment, for example, the celebratory bubbles of a rose prosecco, the refreshment of a morning tea or the comfort of a hot chocolate on a winter’s evening, the absolute same can be said for my choice of reading matter.

When I want to feel something fast my go-to writing form is poetry.

I have a few go-to poems which never fail to inspire me. Two of my favourites are: One Art by Elizabeth Bishop and Funeral Blues by W H Auden. Both are balanced to perfection and are deeply moving.

I write poetry because of them and particularly when I want to reach out and make someone feel something fast.

When I want my mind bent by clever invention my go-to writing form are short stories.

I marvel at the masterful craft of creating characters and settings which linger and develop in my mind, conveyed to me in relatively few pages of storytelling. One of my favourite short stories is I Live On Your Visits by Dorothy Parker. Dorothy Parker has a wit and insight that cuts through to the heart. I also love the collection The Rental Heart by Kirsty Logan. Kirsty Logan’s ‘fairy tales’ resonate and expand in my imagination as each tale conveys haunting emotional truths.

I too write short stories to begin something, to plant a vision in the reader’s imagination that might continue to live and grow beyond the last sentence. For a short story, more than any other form perhaps, is an active collaboration between the writer and their reader.

When I want to be swept up in breath-taking emotion my go-to writing form is lesbian romance.

I adore the ‘will they-won’t they’ of tentative new love, with its heady attraction and pulse thumping passion. A favourite romance trope for me are medical romances, particularly Radclyffe’s Fated Love where hot and talented doctors Quinn and Honor risk their hearts to take a chance on love. I also enjoy the second chance trope and I’m currently reading the love story of Charlie and Emma told in Flavor of the Month by Georgia Beers and I’m enjoying it very much.

As a romance writer I am always keen to learn from other romance writers. Although I tend at times to get wrapped up in the story and forget to note the brilliant craft at work. But then that reminds me of a quote by my writing hero Margaret Atwood when she observes, “I read for pleasure and that is the moment I learn the most.”

My latest romance is Highland Whirl, an enemies to loverssequel to Highland Fling, that tells the story ofcity girl Roxanne Barns as she falls for the off limits feisty Highland hottie Alice Campbell. When I write I know that every word I set down and every scene that I imagine owes a debt to the reading I have enjoyed.

I am so grateful for the infinite talent of the many writers who have shared their words with me and for the solace and inspiration they have provided – whatever mood I’m in.

Highland Whirl due out in December 2021.

Blurb for Highland Whirl

When city girl about town, Roxanne Barns, reluctantly accepts a holiday invite to her best friend Eve’s birthday party in the Scottish Highlands, the last thing she expects is to fall for the very person she’s been dreading seeing again–the feisty Highlander, Alice Campbell.  

The moment Alice learns that Roxanne is visiting her home hamlet of Newland, she couldn’t be more suspicious or defensive.  A warm welcome is certainly not the plan, let alone falling in love.  

Despite Eve’s warnings that Roxanne is not relationship material, Alice can’t ignore her growing attraction. She absolutely trusts Eve’s judgement, but taking her advice just might break Alice’s heart.  Highland Whirl reunites readers with the characters and landscape of Highland Fling in an emotionally enthralling story of trust, friendship, family, and love.

Highland Whirl reunites readers with the characters and landscape of Highland Fling in an emotionally enthralling story of trust, friendship, family, and love. 

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