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Ruby Tuesday: Anne Marie Becker

Welcome to another edition of Ruby Tuesday, when we interrogate one of our Rubies and uncover her deep dark secrets (or, you know, not-so-deep, dark, or secret personal data).  Today’s subject is no stranger to written interrogation as the author of thrilling romantic suspense, Anne Marie Becker.  Take it away, Anne Marie!

AnneMarieBeckerName:  Anne Marie Becker

2009 GH Category & Title:   Romantic Suspense, Only Fear

What Happened to That Book: It was published by Carina Press in digital form in September 2011, and released in print by Harlequin (to their DTC book club and limited print run) in June 2012.

Website:  www.AnneMarieBecker.com

What subgenre(s) do you write?   Romantic Suspense and Contemporary Single Title Romance

When did you start writing? (And why?)  Right around the turn of the millennium, I woke up from a dream with a scene in my head. I dabbled with writing that scene and more until 2002, when I began to take writing seriously. Soon after, I had my first two kids and hunting killers and creating romance in my head became a much-needed escape. It’s amazing how the monotony of dishes, laundry, and diaper changes can encourage daydreaming.

Anne Marie's Golden Heart book

Anne Marie’s Golden Heart book

How many books have you written?  About a dozen full manuscripts, and pieces of about a half dozen others. Only Fear was my fifth manuscript.

What are you working on now?   My Mindhunters series has been underway for several years (Only Fear was the first) and I’m starting the final installment (End Game, Book 6) as I finish up final edits for Acceptable Risk (Book 5), due out May 5th.

If you could grow up to be one writer, who would you want to be?  Stephen King or Agatha Christie.

Where do you get your best ideas? When I wake up in the morning – usually on Saturdays, especially if I can lie around for a few minutes and mull the idea over. I’ve also found walks or doing dishes is especially helpful for figuring out a scene (and there are plenty of dishes to be done around my house).

What are your favorite subgenre(s) to read?  Always romance, but everything from contemporary to historical, and sometimes paranormal. I have a particular weakness for Highlanders. 😉

What was the first romance you ever read?   I picked up a few Harlequins at a garage sale when I was in middle school. I had no clue what they were, but I was hooked like a junkie after that. I wish I could recall the titles of those first books! The earliest book I remember the title of was The Wyndham Legacy by Catherine Coulter. The first conference I attended was because she was a speaker there, and I was able to chat with her one-on-one for a good fifteen minutes. It was amazing.

What’s your day job? Mom, Wife, Domestic goddess, Author, Taxicab driver, Starbucks customer. (In no particular order.)

What was the first job you ever had?  I was the first stop in a Mexican food buffet line at Pancho’s in San Antonio. I filled the drink requests and iced the beers. At the same time, I worked as a Games Hostess at the brand new Sea World of San Antonio.

What is the worst job you’ve ever had?  Selling chicken. I can’t remember the name of the fast food chain – it’s a bit obscure – but I only lasted about a week there. At fifteen, I didn’t understand what was dark or white meat. On the plus side, they had the best cinnamon rolls.

College? Major? Post-grad work?  I attended undergrad at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio Texas where I was premed and double-majored in biology & psychology with a minor in chemistry (why not, right?). But I chose not to go into medical school and instead pursued a Masters degree in Counselor Education at Arizona State University.

Marital status?  Kids?  Grandkids?  Auntie? Married to 1, Mother to 3, Auntie to 8.

Where are you from? All over. Born in Hawaii, lived in Mississippi, Indiana, and Germany before I was eight. After that, we stayed put in Texas. (Can you say Air Force brat? 🙂 )

Anne Marie's latest Mind Games novel

Anne Marie’s latest Mindhunters novel

Where would you build your dream house? On a beach by the ocean. I love the sound of waves crashing on the shore.

What is the most interesting place you’ve ever traveled to?  Bora Bora. Beautiful, but isolated. You really have to like the person you’re with. 😉

What three words would you use to describe yourself?  Empathetic, hard-working, flexible.

What’s your astrological sign? Capricorn

Which TV show are you most addicted to right now? Dexter, but Mad Men is about to start a new season, so it’s anyone’s guess.

What advice do you have for new writers just starting out? Write every day, even if it’s just a little bit, or just notes on the story or characters. Read widely, but definitely in the genre you write. Focus on the emotional journey of the characters and you’ll suck your reader in. Never burn your bridges.

What is the best writing advice you ever received?  Be persistent and visualize yourself as a successful author.

Thank you, Anne Marie!

40 responses to “Ruby Tuesday: Anne Marie Becker”

  1. Kim Law says:

    Hmmm…did I know you were born in Hawaii? Probably. I stink at remembering things lately. And hey, can I come visit (often) when you have your dream home? Or maybe I should just build one right next door. Then you can come over and help me tape papers to the walls when I need to plot out a story 😉

    Great interview, and I still love that new cover!

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  2. jbrayweber says:

    Kindred spirits, you and I. At least as far as being Texas girls that love the beach and want to be Stephen King and dream up stories while doing chores. 😀
    What I didn’t know was that you went to premed school. Not that I’m surprised. HAHA!
    Great interview! And congrats on your upcoming release next week> Whooo Hooo! Great cover, too.

    Jenn!

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  3. I think it’s so funny that you escaped from your kids to a dark world. LOL I guess I understand that too.

    So much fun learning about my sister. I was an army brat so we have more in common. Anytime you want to revisit your birth place and need company, let me know. WINK

    Congrats on the new release. I can’t wait to read it.

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  4. Great interview, Anne Marie! I love those moments when I first wake up before I open my eyes. I get the best ideas then, too. I didn’t know you were born in Hawaii. Congrats on your new release. Great cover!

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    • Thanks, Laurie! I have pictures of me in the ocean, so there’s proof I was in Hawaii, but I wasn’t able to return until a family trip for my parents’ 30th anniversary. So beautiful there, and the smell of pineapples in the air – yum! I got to see the house where my parents lived (with the avocado tree in the yard) and the pink hospital where I was born (Tripler). So fun!

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  5. Vivi Andrews says:

    I love Ruby Tuesday! 🙂

    I’ve been binge watching Dexter lately. (My second time through the series.) I flippin’ love that show! I don’t know why reading RS scares me but watching it is one of my favorite things. Go figure.

    Dude. I wanna go to Bora Bora.

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    • Oh, Vivi, I hope you get to go to Bora Bora. So, so beautiful. (Although, if we went back to that area, I think we’d try Fiji next.)

      And Dexter – LOVE that show. We just finished the fourth season and I’m excited to see what comes next…

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    • elise hayes says:

      I keep trying to convince hubby to watch Dexter, because I’ve heard such rave reviews about the show from Rubies, but he just can’t get past the serial killer part. Someday I’ll get to see it, though…(I’m persistent 🙂

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      • It’s such an interesting show, and a great study in character motivation. But if someone can’t take a little gore, they probably wouldn’t like it. Especially season 3 – I think that one had John Lithgow? Yeah, that was a tough season to watch, but still fascinating.

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  6. Anne Marie,

    I didn’t know you live in San Antonio, I live in southwest Austin. That’s it, I’m coming to visit. Name the day.

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    • Haha – you’re welcome anytime, Katie! Except I live in Flagstaff, AZ now. But I still miss San Antonio and am SO excited to go back for RWA. I lived in S.A. between the ages of 8 and 22, so it really is my hometown.

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  7. Tamara Hogan says:

    Awesome advice to new writers, Anne Marie!

    I think so many of us have wanted to live in a house on the beach that we could start a Ruby Compound! We can eat chocolate, drink coffee, binge-watch Dexter together, and borrow each other’s Stephen King novels when we read our own ragged. 😉 And of course, we will lip-synch “girl power” songs into hairbrushes while wearing pajamas and jumping on beds. As one does.

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  8. Rita Henuber says:

    Great advice for new authors.
    Kim, Anne Marie and my kids played together on the beach in Hawaii.

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  9. Amanda Brice says:

    Another Sun Devil!

    Great interview, ladies.

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  10. Kate Parker says:

    I’m amazed at how many Rubies live in Texas. I live near the beach, but not close enough to hear the waves, and definitely not close to Texas. Sign me up for the Ruby beach compound. And Anne Marie, I love your new cover.

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  11. Elizabeth Langston says:

    It’s so cool how many writers have either been in the service or had parents/family in the service. Not sure whether it’s the varied places we’ve lived–or the spells of loneliness that give our imaginations something to play with.

    Great interview!

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    • Thanks, Elizabeth. I’m so, so proud of my dad. And maybe it’s because I grew up living so close to the Air Force and training bases that I think a man in uniform is THE SEXIEST hero. And the library on that base was my absolute favorite summer hangout (not just because of the hot guys in uniform – hah!).

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      • Elizabeth Langston says:

        I spent my entire active duty in Montgomery AL. And, indeed, the base library at Gunter AFB was one of my favorite hangouts. I know those librarians were tired of seeing me drop by on Friday afternoons to pick up my weekend binge reading supply!

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  12. June Love says:

    I so love getting a little behind-the-scenes-info of our Rubies on Ruby Tuesday. Anne Marie, my first book was born out of a dream, too. In fact, it was so vivid, I woke up feeling as if I’d read a book instead of remembering a dream.

    I’d suspected all along you were a hard worker, but it’s official now that I’ve learned how many books you’ve written while taking care of small children. Oh, and then that whole double major and chem minor premed thing that kind of tipped the scales toward being super smart, too. 🙂

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    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Yeah, June–my jaw dropped at the number of manuscripts, too! You’re a super-woman, Anne Marie!

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    • You guys are too kind. 🙂 In my bio, I put “She writes to reclaim her sanity.” That is SO true. I kind of lost myself for a while when I became a mother. I needed to find a part of myself that was all for me, if that makes sense. Writing did that for me. 😉

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  13. Elisa Beatty says:

    So fun to learn more about you, Anne Marie! I didn’t know you were a science geek! (And I mean that in the best possible way.)

    The “writing every day” thing is a piece of advice I’m working really hard to take to heart–not always do-able with my crazy stressful day job, but I’m trying!

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    • Hooray for geeks! I’m a nerd thru-and-thru, and my science background helps me keep up with my engineering hubby. I pursued counseling because the human brain fascinates me.

      Good luck with the writing – it’s amazing when I look back at what I’ve accomplished. Most of it is because I developed a habit (started small) and built on it and build on it until the habits were engrained and seemed part of my day. (But flexibility helps, too, because there are always days when it’s tough to find that time!)

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  14. So great to get to know all about you, Anne Marie! My husband was an army brat and lived in Korea, Germany, and Hawaii. I moved around a lot too. So we swore that we’d stay settled when we had kids. Now my kids complain that they don’t see the world.

    And I love the visualization advice. It is so important to stay focused on the positive goal.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Heather

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    • I loved moving around. And the castles I saw in Europe as a kid – so fantastic! My husband and I went back to Germany for Oktoberfest about ten years ago and toured a castle and I remembered it from when I was about seven! Such a strange experience. LOL

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  15. Fun things to know about you Anne Marie. It was also awesome to see you again at Desert Dreams. If you’re a fan of Dexter, you may like the show Those Who Kill with Chloe Sevigny. It’s very dark and based on a Danish TV show. A&E only shot one season, but it’s worth watching.

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  16. So great to find out more about you, Anne Marie. And I’m ready to sign up for that beach compound. I’ll volunteer to be in charge of the gin and the blender. 🙂

    Fun interview! Cheers, EE

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