Saturday, June 7, 2008

Guest Blogger: Anita Birt

Today the Oh Get a Grip! crew welcomes guest blogger, Cerridwen Press author, Anita Birt!


I've been a reader since I first learned how to sound out printed letters and link them into words. I was also a devious child. I had and still have a very good memory. My mother thought I was reading from a children's story book but I was pretending. I had memorized the whole thing. It had pictures and text and that made it easy to remember.

How and when did I decide to write seriously? Here's how it happened. My husband and I have known the Franciscan Sisters of The Eucharist for years. Their small convent is located at Bridal Veil, Oregon close by the Columbia River. I was walking the grounds with Mother Mary Michael on one of our visits and I said. "Someone should write the history of this house." And Mother Michael said. "Why don't you?" I had never written a book nor done the kind of research required to put together the history of the house. It was built in 1917 as a summer home by a wealthy couple. Little miracles happened along the way that helped me fill in the history.

If you wonder how two Canadians living in Toronto met the Sisters you'll have to read my book – or ask me! My book is called The House at Bridal Veil. Used copies are available at and ABE books. Check my web site if you're interested in seeing the picture of the house, (it is gorgeous) a little blurb and a map.

Having written a book, what should I do with my idle computer? I decided to try writing romance. Looked easy. I wrote a fantastic story, sent it off to Harlequin and waited for the check to arrive in the mail. My book was rejected but nothing daunted I joined Romance Writers of America and the local chapter. I attended conferences, workshops and joined a critique group. Yes, I learned to write and have had five romance novels accepted by Cerriwden Press.

What keeps me motivated when sales suck? I am fortunate. I'm not trying to earn a living from my writing so when sales suck one month, they usually are better the following month. I don't expect huge returns on my writing investment. I write because I want to. I like creating stories. But it would be nice to hit the New York Times Best Seller List. Dream on, Anita.

I've never suffered writer's block. My present work in progress is a historical romance.
I have decided to take extra time with it. I know where it's going and how it will end. Getting there is half the fun. I'm into the middle now, a critical point. I also have two contemporary romances finished and ready for revision.

Now Anita, can you tell us a little about your latest book?


When Ellie Paxton accepted the position of Nanny with Computer Skills to care for three month old, Nicki Blesnicoff she cheerfully moved to her employer's mansion located deep in the Cascade Mountains in Washington. She'd save money, rescue her sinking bank balance and revive her credit cards. Private re-hab to treat her shop-a-holic problem.

What she hadn't factored into her new job were threats of rape, torture and death by armed thugs who invaded the mansion during the absence of Nicki's parents. A city girl not given to feats of derring-do, Ellie wrapped Nicki in a soft blanket and escaped with him into a dense, terrifying forest. At midnight.

As dawn light filtered through the trees, Jack Merano and his two tracking dogs found Ellie huddling with the baby. A nanny and a baby. What could be more innocently appealing? Rescuing her and the bay from the dangerous forest was the easy part but soon enough Jack learned there was a price on Ellie's head and a master criminal stalking her.

Too Young to Die is out now at Cerridwen Press. Click here or on the cover above for more information.


  1. Thank you, Anita for stopping by today, and sharing your insights. Looking forward to reading more of "Too Young to Die."

  2. This one definitely will get downloaded to my reader. Sounds like a great read.

  3. Heh. Nothing like edging into the writing game sideways... Excellent! Lovely blog, Anita!

  4. All too, too true, Anita. I enjopyed reading it. I've heard of writers that publish instantly and know they exist, but mine friends in the trade are all hard-working and earned their success. Too Young to Die sounds great. Jean

  5. I just got thru reading the excerpt and added this story to my wish list.

  6. Sounds like a great read, Anita.

  7. Fantastic piece of history about you Anita. Thanks for stopping in to blog with us at the Grip. You are the inaugural visitor so I'm glad you trusted us. :)

    I'm still dying to read the first one of yours I bought. This summer... I keep promising myself it will be this summer.

  8. Thanks for the comments. Writing fiction or non-fiction is not for the faint of heart. It takes courage to start and courage to keep on going when the going is tough. And it's good for the brain to constantly whip it into shape when it would like to slack off.

  9. Thanks for coming to visit us, Anita. Isn't it funny how we can get pulled into writing? I loved hearing about how it happened to you and now look at what you've accomplished. The excerpt is great, too. Another to add to my list.


  10. sounds pretty interesting! would love to read an adventure wrought with perils of that kind!


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