Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

My Book News & Advocate for the Writing Community ©

Interview… R. Ann Rousseau

February 1, 2013

Today’s author, R. Ann Rousseau weaves her love and knowledge of her home town into her love story, hence the link to today’s word and it’s second definition. Dextrous – definition 1) skillful or adroit in the use of the hands or body 2) having mental adroitness or skill; clever.


a) Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?
My favorite character in my novel Portsmouth A Love Story is Severine Champagne. She is a woman who never gives up hope and perseveres through times of difficulty. She has a sense of humor, steadiness, and a faith in her own talents, abilities and values. She believes in herself even when no one else does. She stays true to herself and her dreams.

b) Do you favor one type of genre or do you dabble in more than one?

I dabble in more than one genre in the novel. Portsmouth A Love Story is a traditional love story with a historical and metaphysical twist. I have incorporated all the things about love, including the place I love and hope the reader comes along for the ride. The ghost stories in the novel are real. I interviewed various people including the owners of the Three Chimneys Inn in Durham, NH and the staff at the Wentworth Hotel in New Castle. All the metaphysical elements are real.

c) What do you enjoy most about writing?

I love the power to create the ending I want to give myself as a reader. With entertainment and with life, we sometimes have to accept the ending we’re fed by others. As a writer, I have the freedom to write anything I want. I can make the characters as ugly or as good as I want. I can let my heroine experience hot sex, the depth of love and both. I can let them play out their lives in the places I love to go to myself. With fiction, you can design the life you want and actually see it fulfilled. You get the happy ending you deserve.

d) Have you got a favorite place to write?

I go in phases, depending on the season and amount of disruptions. I like to write at home in my home office then go to my favorite pizza shop for lunch and review what I wrote in the morning or afternoon. I will book a room at my local library when I feel distractions are overwhelming and I need to focus on getting a chapter completed. If I’m traveling a lot for business, I’ll write on a bus or in my hotel room. I don’t usually write for more than 3 or 4 hours at a time. I have a short attention span.

e) Do you plan your stories, or are you a seat of the pants style writer?

I plan my story in advance in outline form. I set up all my chapters, then, like a bird, I write a little here…a little there. I move chapters around. I cut them out. It’s a messy process at first. I move front to back then start at chapter one again then tweak and tweak and tweak. When my chapters are coherent, I send them one by one to an editor in Kansas who makes suggestions. Working with Ali has been invaluable…and great for some accountability. She’ll tell me if what I write isn’t believable for a particular character. A great writing partner is like Gold.

f) What inspires your stories?

The man I’m in love with. If he’s not giving me what I want, I write it so he does. : ) If he does give me what I want, I use it for the book. So, I guess you could say, love inspires a great love story.

g) What are you currently reading?

I read something new practically every week, mostly non-fiction. I review books for Hay House Publishing and some others I feel like reviewing. The books I keep by my nightstand are A Course in Miracles, A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle, The Divine Law of Compensation by Marianne Williams and The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer.

h) Do you have any odd habits or childhood stories?

I don’t have any odd habits. My childhood stories are in my novel.

i) Do you have any pets?

Yes. My cat Maxfield is named after the New Hampshire Cornish Art Colony artist Maxfield Parrish. He also makes an appearance in my novel Portsmouth A Love Story. Here’s a quote from the novel where I include Max:

The morning sun slipped through a cascade of cream colored curtains. Maxfield curled up in a giant feline furball, snuggled against the contours of Severine’s soft silhouette. Not realizing he was there, she rolled over, opening one eye to see his warm brown body nestled comfortably against her belly. Before she had time to open the second eye, she heard the gentle whisper of an invisible male voice announce, “It’s time to move.”

j) Do you belong to a writing group? If so which one?

I did belong to a writing group. They were very helpful in reviewing early drafts. I stepped out of the group when one member announced that she was writing a love story set in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. It didn’t sit well with me after I had spent 3 years writing MY love story set in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

k) What age did you start writing stories/poems?

I started at age seven. I remember trying to write lyrics to songs. I would spend hours listening to Motown songs on WRKO – Boston on the transistor radio. I moved on to poetry and then journaling through high school.

l) Do you have a book published?

If so what is it called & where can readers purchase it? I do have a book published. It’s called Portsmouth A Love Story. It is available in ebook and print edition. It’s available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

eBook_for B&N

m) If you could meet one favorite author who would it be and why?

Louisa May Alcott. She not only wrote children’s novels, she also wrote love stories that were pretty sexy. She did it under a different names. She was ambitious, never married and had an amazing imagination. I would love to have lunch with her and chat about life.

n) If you could live anywhere in the world – where would it be?

I’m living exactly where I want to live right now. Portsmouth, New Hampshire. I’ve been to Venice, Paris, South Africa and Geneva and there’s no place like home. I walk on the beach at sunset, as my character does in my novel and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

o) What’s your favorite movie of all time?

I love the old Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies. I love My Big Fat Greek Wedding and You’ve Got Mail. Most of all, I never miss an Ann of Green Gables marathon when it’s on my local PBS station.

p) Where can readers find you and your blog?

They can find me and my fellow bloggers from around the world blogging at

q) Do you have plans or ideas for your next book?

Yes, I’m working on the sequel to Portsmouth A Love Story called Portsmouth The Pearl. Like a pearl, the irritations and challenges we deal with in life make us and our relationships more colorful and valuable as time goes on.

r) Who is your best supporter/mentor/encourager?

I’ve never had one. My own spirit guides me.

Blog at