Interview with Annie Rains, Author of Welcome to Forever
03 Dec 2015
Welcome to Forever is a small town, military romance about two people who have suffered and overcome a lot before the starting point of the story. They’re primed for love, but they’re not going to fall without a fight. My heroine never wants to date a man in uniform again, and my hero believes that 100% of his attention should belong to his son with special needs. So there are huge obstacles from the get-go keeping my hero and heroine apart.
Name a book that you feel has impacted your life significantly. Why was it so impactful?
There have been so many books that have impacted my life. I would have to say A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks had a huge impact on me. I know that’s not considered a romance novel, but it had a love story that stuck with me. The heroine’s voice in that book was so strong. I loved the way she tagged the hero’s name at the end of many of her sentences. That story came alive as I read it, and I remember thinking to myself, “Yeah. This. This is what I want to do.”
What are you currently craving?
Avocado. Always avocado.
Say you now host a literary-themed talk show (congrats). Who would be your first guest? What would you ask that person?
Kristan Higgins. She’s adorable and funny, heartfelt—the list goes on and on. She spoke at my first RWA conference and her speech simultaneously made me laugh out loud and cry. She has such a story of how and why she became a writer. I would ask her that question on my new literary-themed talk show and just sit back and let the world laugh and cry as I did the first time I heard her speak.
What inspired you to put your characters in costal North Carolina?
I live in coastal North Carolina—always have. When I go on vacations I usually think to myself that I’d rather be home. I love the coast of North Carolina. And we have military bases here, of course, so this seemed like the natural setting for my story.
How do you like to spend a rainy day?
Ideally? Writing, drinking coffee, reading, swinging on my front porch swing and dreaming up my next story. Realistically? Listening to my kids tell they’re bored and there’s nothing to do when it rains.
What’s your favorite quote or scene from Welcome to Forever?
I like kissing scenes! This is a snippet from one of the book’s first kiss scenes:
His body leaned in slowly as if to tell her a secret. And yeah, she really, really wanted to hear that secret. Her heart pounded in her chest as he moved even closer. So close she could barely think, barely breathe. Then her eyes started to close. She’d worry about the consequences of kissing Micah tomorrow. Tonight, she didn’t want to worry. She just wanted to kiss this man until her entire body melted into one big, feel-good puddle.
When nothing happened, her eyes fluttered back open. He was watching her with a large grin stretching along his face. It was a good face, she decided. One she could stare at for a very long time.
“What?” she asked, her chest rising and falling as if she’d just sprinted across the parking lot. Why the heck wasn’t he kissing her right about now?
“Just checking,” he said. Then he leaned in and kissed her.
She moaned softly as his tongue touched her outer lip, and then reached inside her mouth. His hands moved up her shoulders, pulling her gently to him. Bracing both hands on his chest to keep from falling into him, she kissed him back, and it felt good—too good.
After a long moment, the kiss slowed like a ride at an amusement park. She half-expected her hair to be up in the air, a huge mess from their roller-coaster kiss.
“What were you checking?” she asked when she had words to speak again.
“If you were ready for me.” He smiled. “If I was ready for you.”
He kissed her lips again, more softly this time. “And I’m still not sure.
Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?
No, but I have a song. My dear agent, Sarah Younger at NYLA gave this song to me, to inspire me as I did edits on Welcome to Forever. It has kind of become a theme song for me in my head. It’s called Tubthumping by Chumbawamba. The song goes: “I get knocked down. I get up again. No, you’re never gonna keep me down.” My journey as a writer has been a lot of getting knocked down and getting back up. It’s all about getting back up, no matter what. That’s why, as writers, we have our characters suffer through their stories. Every time the characters “get back up,” we cheer and admire them more. It’s all about getting back up again—there, that’s my motto.
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