All About Anna Sugden

I’ve always been a sucker for a happy ending. Even as a child, whether it was Laura Ingalls and Almanzo Wilder or Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe, I preferred books and films with a happy ending. And, if a story I loved didn’t come to the joyous conclusion I wanted, I’d imagine a new ending of my own. I was always a voracious reader too, so discovering romance novels was perfect.

It’s probably no surprise that I had a dream of writing my own romances one day. Busy with my career as a senior Marketing manager for a major multinational company that makes household products, then as a primary school teacher, it was something I imagined in the future, perhaps when I’d retired. In the meantime, I dabbled away, penning scenes and scenarios, plotting stories and listening to the characters who inhabited my head. (yes, I hear voices!)

Who’d have known that my husband’s posting to the US would open the door for me to write? With a lengthy and torturous immigration process, and no work permit, I had a lot of time on my hands when we moved to New Jersey. Thanks to an online romance writing course on Barnes & Noble’s website I was introduced to and RWA. I’ve never looked back!

I write heart-warming contemporary romances and heart-pounding romantic suspense, primarily for category romance. A three-time Golden Heart finalist, my work has won or finalled in a number of prestigious writing contests. I sold my first book in December 2012 to Harlequin SuperRomance. A PERFECT DISTRACTION will be out in Sept 2013.

When I’m not writing, I enjoy watching/going to hockey and football games, collecting autographs, movie and TV memorabilia, and penguins. I love travelling too, and enjoy finding ways to combine writers’ conferences with new places to visit. To keep fit, I prefer fitness boxing, aerobics, doing free weights on a Bosu ball and running.

I’m lucky enough to have had a happy ending - or rather a happy beginning as the story continues - in my own life. I’m married to a wonderful man, my very own romantic hero, who supports me in everything I do and who makes me believe dreams can come true. We share our home, in a village near Cambridge, England, with two spoiled cats. To find out more - check out my website.

Connect with Anna


Anna's News & Fun Facts
  • Sold! My hockey romance sold to Harlequin SuperRomance in December 2012. A PERFECT DISTRACTION  will be out in September 2013.
  • I recently completed three 5k runs for charity.
  • I’ve had tea with the Queen Mother at St James’ Palace.
  • The only podcast on my iPod is The Puck Podcast - a fab hockey podcast! Doug and Eddie rock!
Blog Posts from Anna

Stress Dreams

Are you one of those people who can’t remember their dreams or do you have full, vivid, technicolor dreams?

I’m a little of both, in that most nights I don’t remember a lot of what I dream, but I do remember snippets – usually odd stuff, like people out of context or doing things you wouldn’t expect them to! The school friend who appears in a teaching dream or the family member who appears in a writing dream.

But I also have a recurring dream about being in a house, with a bunch of people, and there is a killer trying to find us. We run from room to room trying to find somewhere to hide as the killer hunts us. The people with me are usually a mix that would probably never occur in real life and change all the time. One of the things that always happens in this dream is that we have a phone and we’re trying to call for help, but we can’t dial the right number – either the numbers keep changing or we keep making mistakes. Meanwhile, the killer draws ever closer and we’re hoping he can’t find us. I wake up before the conclusion – kind of like an end of season cliff-hanger in a TV show!

I have no idea what this dream means, but I assume it’s what people call a stress dream. Apparently stress dreams are common and most people have a couple of recurring themes that they dream about when they’re stressed.

The most common themes are:

1. Being somewhere naked.

2. Hunting for an object and being unable to find it

3. Trying to get somewhere urgently and facing obstacle after obstacle, so you’re late.

4. Being back at school for a test and you haven’t studied for it.

5. Running from a tidal wave.

6. Losing all your teeth!

7. Creatures – bugs, snakes and other things you’re afraid of.

8. Fire

I have a second stress dream, which is different to the ‘killer thriller’. In that one, I’m back in the classroom and teaching a new class. But, for some reason, I can’t get them under control. I haven’t taught for more than a decade, so it’s funny that my brain chooses that scenario to tell me I’m stressed!

As writers, we often use our writing to escape the stresses of everyday life. But, writing itself can also be a stress – whether it’s the long, hard to journey to publication, the fear of failure once you’re published, deadlines and sales numbers and reviews, oh my! Then there are all the other worries of balancing your writing time with family and/or work, trying to keep healthy and fit and so on.

According to the experts, these dreams are good for you in that they’re both a sign to help you identify that you are stressed and also cathartic in helping to release some of the stress you’re under. Their recommendation is to take the signal you’re being given by your mind and body and take the time to destress. I’m sure many of us don’t listen to that signal when we should. I know I haven’t.

My new plan is to listen to those stress dreams, identify whatever is stressing me and do something to relieve the pressure. After all, I need my dreams to help me create and write!

Do you suffer from stress dreams? Is it one of the common themes or something different? Do you take action when you have a stress dream or ignore it?

Yes, You Can Grow Your Own!

With spring here … sort of … and summer just around the corner, it’s a great time to think about boosting the fruit and vegetables in your diet. During the cold, dark months, it’s easy to toss a few extra vegetables into a stew, soup, pasta or curry. You don’t need to worry about buying fresh – […]

Positive Mental Attitude (PMA)

Spring/summer is officially here in England. I know the clocks leaped forward in North America a few weeks ago, but they only just changed this weekend for us, here. Unfortunately Mother Nature didn’t get the message and we’ve been suffering with with unseasonally low temperatures, rain, sleet, snow and bitter wind. Some days, it’s hard to tell […]

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Trish talked yesterday about heart health – particularly important when Valentine’s Day is all about the heart! That got me thinking about how Valentine’s Day can be so unhealthy. It can be unhealthy to your diet – A big box of chocolates is a standard present. Dinner out with your beloved or a special meal […]

One Step Forward …

Happy New Year, everyone! Hope that 2013 has got off to a good start for you! As some of you may have seen mentioned, earlier in the week, my 2012 ended wonderfully with The Call! Yes, after 9+ years, 8 full ms, 4 partials + synopsis (with countless revisions and rejections of each one), finalling in or winning […]

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