Joanita Wibowo


5 minutes with author Annie Seaton

5 minutes with author Annie Seaton

In 5 minutes with authorOver60 asks book writers about their literary habits and preferences. Next in this series is Annie Seaton, a writer based on the mid-north coast of New South Wales. Her romance fiction works have earned her numerous acclaims, including the titles of Author of the Year (2014) and Best Established Author (2015 and 2017) in the Readers’ Choice Readers' Choice Awards. Her latest novel, Undara, is out now.

Over60 talked with Seaton about romance tropes, time travel, and the historical authors she would love to have dinner with.

Over60: What is your best writing advice?

Annie Seaton: The best writing advice I can give comes down to three essentials: Have passion, determination and tenacity. Believe in yourself, work hard and you will succeed. Also joining a writer’s association when I began writing and learning about the craft of writing and self-publishing was a key factor in my own development as an author.

What book(s) are you reading right now?

Dervla McTiernan’s second Cormac Reilly book, The Scholar. Absolutely awesome! And Nora Roberts’ Under Currents. I’ve gone off Nora Roberts’ books lately, but thought I’d give this one a chance.

What was the last book that made you cry or laugh?

Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You had me ‘ugly crying’ on a bus tour in Europe. I missed a lot of Swiss scenery because I couldn’t see through the tears! It was a wonderful story that has stayed with me for a long time. Her characterisation was superb.

What book do you think is underrated?

Rebecca Wells’ Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood is a powerful, poignant and moving book about mother-daughter relationships, female friendships, alcoholism and abuse. Unfortunately it was trivialised by the movie. It is one of my ‘read again’ books every couple of years.

What are the tropes that you can’t help but love?

I love paranormal tropes with witches and magic, and the romance trope where the characters are isolated together in a location where they must survive. I indulged and wrote a novella a couple of years ago called Sorry We’re Closed where a maybe-ghost locked my two characters in a room together for a night. I also adore time travel books and indulged my love of seventies music in writing a time travel series.

Alternatively, which trope grinds your gears?

Star crossed lovers – you know that the characters should be together, but fate always throws everything at them to stop it happening, to make a story! I get impatient and frustrated!

Is there any book you wish you had written?

The Harry Potter books, of course!

How do you deal with writer’s block?

I have a very strong work ethic, and I know I have words to write each day. I sit at my desk and write until they are down. I am a prolific writer, and always have deadlines to meet, so I can’t afford to indulge in procrastination.

Which three authors – living or deceased – would you most like to have dinner with?

The first is Anya Seton, who wrote wonderful historical books over fifty years ago. Katherine is my favourite ever book. The second is Diana Gabaldon, who wrote about time travel and history in the Outlander series. The third is Sharon Penman, who wrote the Welsh historical series that began with Here Be Dragons. Hearing how they did/do their research would be fascinating.