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Hey Miss Anne! I’m so glad you are taking a little time out of your day to hang out with me. Let’s start with a few easy questions.
What do you drink when you’re writing?
It depends on the season. I have to admit… I’m slightly addicted to vanilla chai latte from Dunkin (since we don’t really have any other coffee shops around). It’s a must for me to drink in the mornings during the cooler months, and there are many here in Vermont. I also love some tea with my sugar and cream. I’ll have a few cups while I’m working. During the summer I love me some homemade lemon iced tea (of course it’s sweet) or some iced coffee with my sugar and cream.
Do you have any pets?
I love animals. I wanted to be a veterinarian and have always surrounded myself with animals. My family loves dogs, so they have been our predominant pets. I’ve also owned two beautiful horses, with which I competed in dressage. One of my very special pet was a buggy named Little Boy, who was amazing. He was my fourth child, really, because he would always join in with our family shenanigans. He and my youngest son would have races across the living room and, I kid you not, he would cheat! He also loved taking baths with him and swimming around in the tub. He was also a staunch pacifist because he would systematically pick up any Lego weapons from the kitchen table and toss them onto the floor (also no joke).
Right now, my husband and I don’t have our own dog. Our last dog passed away 2 years ago from a horrible skin cancer. Our daughter, who lives with us, has a beautiful, adorable German Shepherd/Bernese Mtn dog cross. We lavish much love on her and she is not in the least bit spoiled. Just this morning, while I was picking raspberries, she was standing right next to me, using her doggy mind trick to drop a few into her mouth. We are very blessed to have her.
Beach or mountains?
Since we live in Vermont, I do love the mountains. But I also love the beach. I lived in Dubai for about 10 years back in the dark ages and yes… we went to the beach. I have been spoiled. The only beach that comes close to what we had in Dubai would be in California, where my son and his wife live.
PC or Mac?
No question, PC. It’s interesting because we’re all a PC family and my oldest son’s wife grew up on Macs. We’ve had a few hilarious discussions about this.
What was the last book you read?
The last book I read or listened on audiobook? These days, reading is a real luxury. I can’t seem to find the time to sit down and read a full book. When I do, I prefer Kindle, because I have an app right on my laptop so I can switch back and forth between the book and what I’m writing. And I can’t lose it lol. The last full book I listened to on audio with my husband was Brandon Sanderson’s Starsight. I don’t do sci-fi, but I love this series!
What author(s) has/have really influenced you?
That would be Ronie Kendig, Tamara Leigh, and recently Susan May Warren. All three authors write women who are so real and vulnerable, and yet they are the strength that is needed. I love Susan May Warren’s book right now because she is a master at deep, deep emotions. I want to learn more lol.
What does your family think of your writing?
My family is very much involved in my writing. My daughter is my graphic designer (because I made her lol), my youngest makes my trailers. My husband suffers through me reading to him. My oldest has been my promoter on the west coast. It’s been such a fun thing to do with everyone. I love that they are on my side and in this with me.
How does your faith influence your writing?
Faith is everything to my writing. If my characters don’t have that moment of understanding who God is and what He’s done for them, it’s not a story I want to write. I try to build my books around the character’s relationship, or lack thereof, with God. That always has to come first.
How did you come up with the title for your book (and what is the title)?
Desire of the Heart was a title that just fit. It takes a while to come up with the perfect title, the one that I’ll go with to publication. It perfectly encompasses the gist of the story.
How quickly did you connect with your MC?
Cady and I clicked immediately. Grant had become a welcome friend. Ashley tries to get in there and she’s done well. I have grown fond of her.
Did any part of this story make you cry while you were writing it?
Ehhh… no comment lol. I usually have a moment or two. Yes. There were a few scenes that caused my eyes to water for some strange reason. I’d say the scene with the wolves and on the beach. Those definitely tugged at my heart. There’s also a scene that is between one of the main characters and a supporting character. It just… it got to me.
What part of writing this book did you struggle with?
Boy… I may write fiction, but I want to make sure that people don’t read it and go: Yeah, that would never happen. Or, I live near Yellowstone and you’ve got it all wrong. The research is hard. I’ve never been to Yellowstone, so it was really difficult to get everything right. I know I probably missed some things, but I hope that I’ve captured the essence of what Yellowstone is. So, I needed to make sure that I got the setting right. My oldest and his wife visited Yellowstone twice so far and the first time they had strict instructions of what I wanted them to find and to help me with my research.
What part of writing this book did you celebrate the most?
I love the characters. Letting them go and moving on is really hard, as I’m finding out. I want to linger, stay with them until they grow old. See their children grow up, visit with them. But it must come to an end eventually. I’m working on the third book now and I know that I’ll be sad at the end of this.
When a reader reaches the end of your book, what do you hope you’ve left them with?
I want them to get a sense of awe about nature. I would love for them to have a God-moment like I have so many times writing these books. I want them to feel hope.
Share an excerpt with us, please.
This is the scene right at the beginning of the book. Cady has done something really silly, gone for a walk in the park. She’s had this moment of awe and come face to face with a grizzly. Although no animals were harmed during this scene, she ended up falling flat on her face and twisting her ankle good. It left her stranded until a rather surly ranger comes by and tries to give her a hand. He’s joined by a hiker, who happens to be a fireman. They end up carrying her out… But don’t let me tell you. Here’s the scene:
“Almost there, Miss Jackson.”
Both men were now breathing heavier. Cady noticed the determined look in the ranger’s eyes. Sweat beaded on Don’s brows, his face flushed.
“Ranger McClintoch. You aren’t so… shabby… for a… ranger. I didn’t think… we would make the mile in one stretch. This is… a good… work-out for me.” Don’s breath was puffing out unevenly.
Ranger McBuff grunted. “Considering this is my third rescue today…”
Cady turned her head in surprise. Gray eyes flashed with unaccustomed mischief.
“I’m kidding, Miss Jackson. You’re my first. But the day is young.”
His lips twitched into what could definitely be considered a teasing smile. Once again, she chided herself for noticing how straight and white his teeth were.
“I’m so sorry.”
Sitting on both of the men’s strong arms, swinging with every step as if she were on an unsteady rope swing, was probably the least favorite part of her trip so far. They were both too close for comfort. Their strong, masculine scent wasn’t offensive since it mingled with the air. It only reminded her once again of her proximity to two perfect strangers.
Both men exhaled grunts now and then that might as well have been code for Stick it out, dude in order to encourage each other. Cady was hard-pressed not to exclaim in jubilation and relief, when the trail marker with the map came into sight and with that, the parking lot where her rental was parked.
As if she were a precious gem, they set her down on the tailgate of the ranger’s truck. Don swiped an arm over his forehead, while the ranger snatched three water bottles from a cooler in the bed.
Cady thanked him with a nod and took a long swig. Don downed his whole bottle and crunched up the plastic. The ranger’s frown reappeared immediately and he extended his hand. With a smirk, Don gave him the trash.
Cady was about to get off the bed of the truck when the ranger put a hand to her shoulder, holding her in place.
“Don, would you be willing to drive Miss Jackson’s car to her lodging?”
Don looked as if he had been granted his greatest wish.
“Are you kidding me?” He glanced at Cady, who was busy checking her phone. “Yeah!”
“Very good. I’ll take Miss Jackson to the clinic and will give her a lift home.”
Cady squared her chin. She hated formalities. This Miss Jackson was beginning to grate on her. “Considering you two just carried me a mile, let’s drop the Miss. I’m Cady.”
Ranger McBrawny frowned at her proffered hand, crusted in blood, and arched an eyebrow. He shook her one clean finger. “Cady. Grant. And we all know he’s Don.”
Don’s face resembled that of the sunrise. “Interesting name, Cady. Don’t hear that too often. Where did you get it?”
Seriously? Cady breathed a laugh. “From my parents.”
Desire of the Heart by Anne Perreault
This final question will wrap up our interview:
What is your dream writing space and do you have it already?
I must say, I’m spoiled. I have a dream space. But there is always room for improvement. I would love to be upstairs in my room, a space right by the window for me to curl up and write. Right now, though, I’m sitting outside in my yard. It’s about as good as it gets. I also love my space by our windows in the living room.
Anne Perreault was born and raised in Germany. By the time she was 14 years old, her family moved to Dubai, UAE. While living in this exotic place, she traveled extensively to various countries around the world. After graduating from an American boarding school in Austria, she attended college in England, where she met her husband. She graduated from New England College with a degree in biology and settled down in Connecticut. Anne became a horseback riding instructor as well as a certified therapeutic riding instructor. She and a group of friends started a therapeutic riding center in Bristol, CT. During that time, Anne also received a master’s degree in secondary education and began to homeschool her three children. While raising their three children, she began to write an inspirational story primarily for her daughter. Anne, her husband, and two of their grown children now reside in Southern Vermont, where they are building their home. Besides writing, Anne enjoys reading, spending time with her husband, grown children, and grand-dogger.
Where can we find you online?
I am very active online, since I’m a bit of a social butterfly. Here is my info.
Anne, I want to thank you for spending time with me today! It’s been a pleasure having you on the blog and getting to do this interview with you. Do you have any final words for our readers?
I thank you and your readers for visiting with me. It’s such a pleasure to get to meet readers and other authors. I appreciate the feedback and encouragement I get from readers. Writing has been a ministry for me, and I’m so blessed to be able to do it.