Author Anne Kemp

Anne Kemp
Author Anne Kemp always knows how to make people smile. After a fun week of family, food and shopping I could go for something lite. We (in the U.S.) are all probably sluggish right now from our American holiday—Thanksgiving—thanking God for our bounty and asking for His forgiveness. Maybe some of us are asking for forgiveness for things we said to family over the holiday. Haha! Many people wished me a snarky Happy Thanksgiving referring to their own family. So, here is an uplifting interview with Author Anne Kemp who is probably not as sluggish as me since she went gluten free. (You can find some of her recipes on her blog.)

1. I know from your book Rum Punch Regrets you like the book The Great Gatsby. In your book, the father gives The Great Gatsby to his children, tipping off Abby’s relationship to Ben. (Nicely done by the way.) Is this something you used from real life?

I just love The Great Gatsby! It was one of the books we had to read in high school that stuck with me. To Kill A Mockingbird was another.

2. In your book Rum Punch Regrets Abby travels to St. Kitts where you have traveled. Do I sense a theme? Do you see yourself as a world traveler penning adventurous stories based on travel research?

The one thing I learned with writing is to always write what you know. When I started Abby’s story, I was living on St. Kitts, so it made sense. I’ve since begun other projects that are based either in Maryland (where I grew up) and I have a novella pending that is based on a wedding I attended earlier in 2013 in Cancun.

3. What is your process in writing a book? Do you find yourself using the same or a different process with each book?

It’s an evolving process. I can’t commit to saying I write one way or the other, because I think with each story and book, you’ll find what you need to do to get it out. To me, the story dictates the writing style and process.

4. You seem to be a social media maven with your website, blog, Twitter, FB and your column. How has social media helped you in your career as an author?

I created a side-business out of it! Insert tons of laughter here…I now do social media for several national brands and work with newbie businesses to find their niche and voice for an online presence. It’s fun! As far as how it has helped me, I find I’m able to connect with fans very quickly, and go to them on platforms like Facebook and Twitter to ask questions or even to have them help me name a character or decide on how a scene should be written. I think it’s great that readers and authors can connect in such a safe space and feel closer!

5. I noticed some of the proceeds of your book go to Lupus LA. Can you tell us why Lupus LA is near and dear to your heart?

When I met my friend Adam Selkowitz years ago, he told me he had Lupus and I didn’t know what that meant. So, I learned about this disease, read up on it and went to benefits for it, began helping raise money and learning more. I now sit on their Poker Committee, working with amazing people to put together a Rooftop Poker Party in LA every year. I followed Adam’s lead to help educate as many people as I could about this disease and get the word out about Lupus. I’ve got a lot more to do 😉

6. What other talents or skills do you have besides writing Contemporary Romance?

Skills, like the fact I can break in to some of my neighbors apartments (when asked AND if needed!! haha) or the skills I have where I’m secretly an amazing Gluten-Free Chef that loves cooking and baking all things gluten free? That one is my proudest – I’ve been gluten free for almost three years now, and I love taking regular recipes and converting them to my way of eating!

7. What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?

Do it everyday and don’t stop. When you think you want to give up, take a break, and come back. Once you’re a writer, you don’t stop being one. And when you get reviewed or you are rejected when you submit to publishers or when you’re looking for an agent, don’t stop. Keep pushing! It’s a matter of opinion, agents and publishers are people too and just because you won’t work with one doesn’t mean your ideal fit isn’t out there!!

8. What do you like to read? Is there a particular genre you like to read?

Thrillers, Paranormal and Contemporary Romance (the new Chick Lit, that is!) are my fave genres!! 

I’m currently working on the fourth installment of the Abby George Series, which we are hoping to release at the beginning of 2014. It’s the next step in Abby’s story as she continues her journey on St. Kitts and navigates the waters of her turbulent love-life!

anne kemp

author & social media strategist



Rum Punch Regrets

Rum Punch Regrets

In the past year I have accumulated a bunch of romance novels in my writing adventures. Many of the books I haven’t read or found there was too much telling and not enough showing. In the romance book world the cover is extremely important. It’s what sells the book. And so many of them have the stock art with the guy’s torso and woman in her bra pushing up against him. When I saw Rum Punch Regrets the colors evoked fun. There are photos of St. Kitts with art in the middle of a drink on a dock. This is a fun summer read just like the cover.

So, when I wrote for the newspaper the editor taught me that the first line has to grab the reader. When I read the first line of Rum Punch Regrets, “Everyone in the main cabin let out a surprised shout as the sputtering, tiny, too-old-to-be-flying biplane lurched suddenly to the left, then dropped about 100 feet in the air,” I thought it sounded like a movie scene. (That must be the author Anne Kemp’s acting experience influencing her.) There is action from the beginning, but I think a biplane is only a two seat-er plane. I read on and liked the melodramatic Abby and the other characters in this book—especially Ziggy. Even the perfect sister Leigh, who isn’t perfect, has her redeeming qualities.

There is a sense the reader gets that the author is writing what she knows. In the back of the book, the author does confess she was laid-off sleeping on an air mattress near a kitty litter box in the Caribbean in her nephew’s one bedroom apartment. In the book, Abby shares a cottage behind her sister Leigh’s bed and breakfast with a male character. Abby doesn’t hit it off with her roommate Ben when he is too busy to give her any respectful welcome. Abby’s a neat-freak and Ben is a slob. At first, I thought something romantic was going to happen between them since they didn’t like each other, but he has a girlfriend who helps explain Ben to Abby. Then there is an interesting twist to Abby and Ben’s relationship. Ben also introduces Abby to a younger guy, Andrew, who is a Brad Pitt look alike.

At the same time, there is J.D., who introduces himself to Abby at the bar. He’s older and has a British accent. He possibly has baggage, but he’s mysterious and sexy.

The island life is introduced to Abby by Ziggy, a local. He is very likeable and laid-back with his one liner, “You’ve got to go to come back.” His wife, Maria, is a character who helps Abby through a rough time. One of Kemp’s engaging descriptions involves Maria, “The kitchen of La Cantina could only be compared to an orchestra performing at the Hollywood Bowl on a summer’s night with Maria center stage as conductor.” There’s that Hollywood influence again from local Los Angeles-based author Anne Kemp.

Cutty is a likeable recurring tourists on the island. Abby describes him as “perverted.” One of the telling decriptions of him reads, “Cutty lit another cigarette and looked at her with such an intense stare she thought he was trying to make her catch on fire.” Abby calls him an, “old coot.” Cutty seems like the kind of man we have all met. He’s a man’s man, but liked by women too. He lives his life the way he wants—nothing fancy. He’s somebody easy to talk to and everybody knows him.

The dialogue is real-life. The characters banter back and forth. They cut each other off and finish each other’s thoughts.

There is some language, but it’s about an adventurous woman in her thirties. Or rather, Abby is thrown into an adventure. This heroine has to balance everything being thrown at her. She is a relatable character. Abby reacts to the situation with humor and decides to fix the problems.

Entwined into the plot is F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Yes! I read this book last summer just before reading Rum Punch Regrets. Both are great staycation books. Kemp will take you to the Caribbean for a quick escape while Fitzgerald will make you want to have a big party. The Great Gatsby is a great movie—go see it—after you read the book.

Rum Punch Regrets keeps you guessing with three twists and an unsolved love-triangle. Now I have to read the next book, Gotta Go To Come Back. Even though it is categorized on Amazon as a Contemporary Romance, the story is more than romance. Abby isn’t living this romantic life living on a budget on a centipede infested island, but the way Kemp writes makes Abby’s crazy life, we can all relate to, sound like fun and romance.

To keep up with adventurous, Los Angeles-based author Anne Kemp visit her website and blog at Anne Kemp. Her website is beautiful and filled with her sense of humor. The blog titled The Ultimate Late Bloomer gives some insight into Kemp’s writing world. Rum Punch Regrets is available at Amazon.