Friday, November 9, 2012

TBR welcomes Anneli Purchase

TBR: Welcome to TBR, Anneli Purchase. Will you share a little bit about yourself?
Anneli: I’ve always loved the outdoors, camping, and watching birds and other animals. Books I read as a child often told of adventures in outdoor settings. I dabbled in writing stories of my own outdoor excursions. When I retired from teaching I had much more time to spend on writing. My love stories always have an element of wilderness in them. I believe this adds suspense and excitement to the human interest part of the story.

TBR: Tell us about Orion’s Gift and where it’s available.
Anneli: While camping in the exotic landscape of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, Kevin and Sylvia, both on the run from abusive relationships, meet and fall in love. Two things stand in the way of their happiness. One—the secrets they keep from each other. Two—their abusers hunting them down. Will fear drive them apart or will passion and trust surmount the violence and hostility they have endured?

Orion’s Gift is available through amazon at and through at

TBR: Please tantalize us with a story blurb or excerpt.
Anneli: In this excerpt Kevin’s bullying ex-wife, Shiree, comes looking for him in Baja, Mexico, to force him to give her part of his large inheritance.

Baja’s warm, humid air hit me the moment I stepped out of the plane. It was like walking into a steambath.
“Hoo-wee!” I fanned myself. Still dressed for Alberta’s winter, I could hardly wait to get my suitcase and dig out a sleeveless blouse and cotton pants. As soon as the baggage was brought in, I muscled my way through the crowd to heft my suitcase off the loading area. There were times when it paid to be big, and I had learned how best to use my size. I hurried to go change in the bathroom.
“Ah, that’s better. Now to find the car rental counter.” And I had to stop talking to myself. People were looking at me funny. I smiled at one of the gawkers. Piss off!
It took forever to fill out all the papers to rent a car, but once I showed my credit card things speeded up. The employee handed over a set of keys and pointed to a car. I had hoped for something flashier, maybe something red and large, but it seemed all they had was a rough-looking fleet of white compacts.
“Oh well, I need the wheels. It’ll have to do.” I threw my bag into the trunk and got behind the wheel. First thing I had to do was move the seat back. They made these cars for midgets. As I pulled out of the airport and headed towards Loreto, a thought struck me. I didn’t have a clue where to start looking for Kevin. He could be anywhere. Sometimes you have hare-brained ideas, Shiree. I would just have to start networking. Someone will have seen him.
I cruised town to get a feel for it. Nice little place. Following the main street took me straight to the beach. I had to park and get out—feel the ocean breeze. It blew through my hair, which until then had been plastered to my sweating head. I ran my fingers through it fluffing it up and letting the breeze reach my scalp. God, that felt good. Out in the Sea of Cortez, sailboats cruised among the islands. Lovers sauntered along the promenade by the beach. So this was the life Kevin had been enjoying while I was stuck in Alberta’s damn deep freeze looking after his two brats. A surge of anger welled up inside me. I’ll get you. Bastard!

TBR: What inspired you to write about the theme?
Anneli:  While camping in Baja I saw a woman camping alone and wondered what her story was. I made one up for her. My Sylvia is a lovely character, but she’s not perfect either.

TBR: Are you a plotter or pantser?
Anneli:  Definitely a plotter first, but if, after all my careful planning, the characters take off on their own to have an exciting diversion, who am I to stop them?

TBR: How do you develop your characters?
Anneli: I imagine myself as that character and think what would I do or say or feel in a given situation. Sometimes I see people who remind me of the characters in my story and I watch their behaviour carefully. Often I can use some part of their dress or actions or speech in my novel.

TBR: Any tips or tricks for world building you’d care to share?
Anneli: On my bulletin board I post photos or magazine pictures of the type characters and places in the story. They inspire me when I study them. Details are important.

TBR: Do you have a favorite quote you’d like to share?
Anneli: “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” I think this quote would fit with the theme of Orion’s Gift as well as The Wind Weeps and my third novel coming out soon. My characters are all up against huge challenges, so this quote fits very well.

TBR: Which of your characters would you most like to invite to dinner, and why?
I’d love to have Kevin over for dinner. He’s so appreciative of any kind of cooking that isn’t fast food, which is all he ever got from his horrible ex-wife. Besides, he’s not only thoughtful and personable, but he’s easy on the eyes.
I would hate to have to entertain his bullying wife, though. She’s so rude and crude. I don’t know why Kevin ever married her.

TBR: While creating your books, what was one of the most surprising things you learned?
Anneli: I learned that sometimes the characters can take you places you hadn’t intended to go and sometimes that’s a good thing.

TBR: Tease us with one little thing about your fictional world that makes it different from others.
Anneli: There are no cell phones. Much of the story takes place in an area where there are no modern conveniences: no television, no computers, no running water, no electricity, no flush toilet, no grocery stores, no hospital. Unless they want to drive 27 miles, my characters have to do without these things.

TBR: What’s next for you?
Anneli: I have third novel finished that tells of a love triangle that develops after the chaos of WWII as Germany is trying to get back on its feet. Although the aftermath of war is part of the setting, it isn’t a book about war. It’s about ordinary people and their lives and loves. This novel should be available early in 2013.

TBR: Any other published works?
Anneli: The Wind Weeps is available at and at

The story takes place on the west coast of Canada. A young woman marries too quickly and learns too late that her husband has a dark side.

TBR: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Most rewarding?
Anneli: The most challenging aspect is getting all the tiny mistakes out of the finished copy. Hiring a copy-editor is very important.
Most rewarding is having someone say, “I read your book rather than watch TV and I’m so glad I did.”
TBR: What’s the most interesting comment you have received about your books?
Anneli:  “I just hate that guy.” (One of my characters from The Wind Weeps.) “
Is there going to be a sequel, so that I can read about her dragging him around under the boat for about a month and a half?”

TBR: Who are some of your favorite authors and books?
Anneli: Rohinton Mistry (A Fine Balance) and Jack Hodgins (The Master of Happy Endings) are two of my favourites.

TBR: Where can readers find you on the web?

TBR: Thanks for visiting TBR, Anneli. Best of luck to you.


  1. Abusive relationships tend to highlight the abuser as the man but it is interesting to read of a book that takes a look at the man as the victim as well. Sounds like a very interesting novel to read and learn a little from.

  2. Welcome to TBR, Anneli. I agree with Angela. I love the twist you put on your story.

  3. I hadn't really thought about it that way, but yes, Shiree (in Orion's Gift) is formidable! Thanks for commenting, Angela.

  4. Bullying comes in all shapes and sizes, as do bullies. I love the sound of this, Anneli. As you know, I thoroughly enjoyed 'The Wind Weeps' and would highly recommend it. Well done and Good Luck! :) xx

  5. Thanks, Sheryl. So glad to hear that. Nice of you to visit and comment.


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