Reinventing Yourself by Anna Markland

This morning, I'm having coffee with Anna Markland who has an interesting story to tell about her writing journey.

Anna is giving away a free Kindle book so be sure and leave your email address with your comment to be eligible to win. All the details are given below.

Anna, tell us more!

Reinventing Yourself
by Anna Markland

I spent most of my professional life as an educator. It was a rewarding career, both financially and emotionally, but after 25 years I burned out. After that I worked with my husband in the management of his business. My final “career” was as Director of Administration of a global disaster relief organization.

About 20 years ago, my cousin wrote a historical romance and became an overnight success — NY Times bestseller among her accomplishments. She has since authored many wonderful books. The thought niggled at the back of my mind for years — I could write a book, too. Many people have that ambition and do nothing about it, put off in part, I believe, by the prospect of trying to sell their idea to a large publisher.

I Began

Not content to fade away into retirement gracefully, I embarked upon writing a romance, essentially for my own satisfaction. I chose the medieval period because, as an amateur genealogist, I cherished a dream of tracing my own English roots back to the Norman Conquest — an impossibility since I am not descended from nobility!

So I made up a family. I based the plot on an incident that actually happened to a Norman noblewoman, and before I knew it I had written over 200,000 words.

Publishing Revolution

In the meantime, I gradually became aware of the revolution taking place in the publishing world, thanks to the Amazon kindle device.

I decided my novel was too long, had too many heroes and heroines, and too much you know what. (Did I mention it was a romance?) I reworked it into four books, and published them as a series in quick succession on Amazon. What was there to lose?

My dream was to sell 100 books in a year. As of today I have written 15 novels, all revolving around or branching off from the original family in the first series. I’ve sold over 34000 copies. It’s a thrill to receive emails from readers telling me how much they enjoy following my families.

Life Has Changed

It used to be that people had one lifelong career, retiring with a pat on the back and a gold watch, or something similar. I think those days are long gone. Technology and changes in societal expectations have made it possible for people to reinvent themselves over and over if they wish.

By taking a chance, I discovered a talent I did not recognize I had! I can tell a good story! Sometimes when I re-read my own work I am wonderstruck at where the ideas came from!

If you’re thinking of writing and publishing a book — go for it. Just make sure you get it edited and critiqued by a few people whose opinion you trust before you take the plunge.

I often joke that if only my heroes and heroines had revealed their stories to me in chronological order, it would have made life easier for my readers. I have a handy list on my blog.

Adopting New Persona

You’ll see from my blog that I am well immersed in the Middle Ages, but — hold the phone! I have recently morphed once again, this time into a writer of erotic contemporary romance! This aspect of my career required a new pen name.

I published Boom! Listen To Your Heart as Roxanne Rogerson.

Roxy has certainly added excitement and a new challenge to my life, which is why I believe many people are motivated to reinvent themselves. People are living longer and the same old same old doesn’t cut it any more.

Blurb: Boom! Listen To Your Heart

A near-fatal heart attack changed Michael Atherton’s life. He learned from it, changing his lifestyle. Healthier and in great physical shape, Michael tries to come to terms with long-buried cravings and desires unleashed by his near-death experience. His wife does not share his inclination to the erotic so they divorce. Alone, he explores the emerging Dominant side of his personality. But a Dom needs a Submissive. Enter Jessie Halliwell, bestselling author of a novel about submission, created from research not experience.

Set in the intimate city of Victoria, Canada’s garden paradise, and the lush country of Panama, the story takes Michael and Jessie on a roller coaster ride of emotions as Michael’s work as a private investigator unwittingly puts Jessie’s life in jeopardy.

If you enjoy contemporary erotic romantic suspense with a touch of humor, give Boom! Listen To Your Heart a chance.

My Original Love: Medieval Romance

If you’re more interested in the medieval side of my work, and you’re in a Halloween mood, you might enjoy Haunted Knights (Montbryce~The Next Generation Historical Romance).

Two loyal brothers must cope with afflictions that render them unmarriageable and, in their minds, unfit for love. Two sisters, also afflicted and locked in the attic of a manor home their entire lives, cope with freedom and the love offered them by these noble men.

Haunted Knights takes an unusual and heart-touching approach to the stories of these four people, then weaves it with a tale of court intrigue and malicious intentions that place the lives of these endearing characters in jeopardy.


Anna is giving away 1 Kindle copy of Haunted Knights and 1 Kindle copy of Boom! To be eligible to win one of these copies, do this:
  • make a comment
  • with your comment, leave your email address (write out at for @ and dot com for .com or whatever it might be)
  • specify which book you'd like to receive which you would prefer
A winner will be chosen at random. Anna will notify the winner by email.

Takeaway Truth

Thanks, Anna Markland, for visiting today.


  1. Hi, Anna and Joan,

    I read your background info with great interest. Congrats on the success of your Medieval romance novels. I don't know if it's necessary to offer a different nom de plume with a change of genre. I know many writers think so. But since you hope to build a "brand" name I think it's all right to use your real name.

    1. Hello, Jacqueline! The whole genre/name issue is still with us. I guess in such disparate genres as erotica and historical it does make sense so I understand the reasoning behind those who choose to build a different brand.

      It just seems like so much work! *lol*

      Btw, I'm almost finished with your book Death Legacy and will be reviewing it on the blog this weekend. Congrats on a solid mystery.

    2. Hi Jacqueline,
      Using my real name wasn't an option when I began writing since my surname is Norwegian and rarely pronounced or spelled correctly! Thanks for your comment.

  2. Hi,

    I'm an avid lifelong reader, but until the "Fifty Shades" trilogy, I had never read erotica and knew nothing, really, about BDSM relationships. Since then, I've branched out and read a few of erotic novels, some of which I've liked and others that I couldn't finish. For me, they key to keeping my interest is good writing and a good story. Yours sounds like it might have both. I'll give it a shot. :-)

    Anna Jeffrey

    1. Hi, Anna. Thanks for dropping by. I agree with you that the good writing/good story is paramount for any genre. I like Anna's medieval novels. Visiting the dungeons in Italy and the historical buildings in Venice really strengthened my interest in medieval times.

    2. Hi Anna (love the name!)
      I hope you enjoy my story about two newbies exploring lifelong fantasies. I tried for a "light" approach to the Dom/sub lifestyle.

  3. What a fabulous post. I, too, am a retired teacher who reinvented herself into a writer - but my success isn't as brilliant as yours - yet!

    1. Hi Victoria,
      Thanks for the high praise! I think you'll go far. Thanks for commenting.

    2. Hi, Victoria. Thanks for dropping by. I wonder if anyone has ever done a statistical survey of the number of teachers who became writers. That would be interesting.

  4. Great post! Thanks for sharing & encouraging reinvention, something we women do all through our lives as our lives/families change. I call myself Boomer on the Web with my contemporary romances but maybe I'll consider... something more daring!

    1. Hello, Mary. Yes, we women are experts at adapting ourselves. I'm going to look up Boomer on the Web. I really like that label. *g*

    2. Go for it, Mary. I agree that women are perhaps more adaptable than men when it comes to change. It's a survival mechanism!

  5. As someone who has reinvented myself several times, I admire Anna. Being flexible is the key to growth, mentally and spiritually. Great post.

    1. Hi, Caroline. Thanks for dropping by. Flexibility in all ways -- physical too. Just try yoga! *LOL* I think it helps with mental too.

    2. Thanks, Caroline. Glad you enjoyed the post. Flexibility is key, and courage in no small measure!

  6. Joining the ranks of retired teachers and reinvented folks. I still tutor one-on-one, so I haven't shed that persona. After writing novels for more than 20 years and Indie publishing 5 novels, I too, had to invent yet another persona for my erotic romances. I sold to a publisher of erotic fiction.

    1. Hi Mary,
      Appreciate your comments. Great to know someone is still benefiting from your tutoring.

    2. Mary, congratulations on establishing another writing persona.

  7. As a kindergarten teacher and writer, I know that feeling of burnout! I think Michigan made a mistake with allowing children who are 4 to enter kindergarten. So many young children who can't handle five full days of school. I would love to read Boom and can't wait to see what else Roxie writes!

    daringzoey at

    1. Hello Melissa,
      Roxy has an idea what the next book will be about. It will be entitled Zing!
      Trouble is Anna keeps butting in with the next medieval!

    2. Oh, my! Four-year-olds in school all day? That is not a good idea. Obviously, as with all state boards of education, they did not consult any teachers about that idea.

    3. Anna, I hope you win the battle of the next book although I do like the title Zing! Maybe Roxy will win the fight.

    4. Thanks, Joan. It was fun being your guest.

  8. And the winner is...Melissa Keir! Congratulations.

    1. Congratulations, Melissa! I hope you'll visit SlingWords often.

  9. Anna, thank you again for guest blogging on SlingWords. I really enjoyed your article, and I know my readers did too. Good luck with all your books.