Interview with Anna Cruise


Anna Cruise, also known as Beth Balmanno, is the author of Set in Stone, Nine Lives, If I Fall, Maverick, and It Was You. She writes middle grade, young adult, and new adult books. Find out more about Anna Cruise on her website.



Cake or Pie? I seriously have to choose???? That’s like asking which of my kids is my favorite.

How I Met Your Mother or The Big Bang Theory? Arrested Development. 🙂

Paris or Rome? ROME!! I’m a huge history buff and would love to see the Coliseum (and all of the Greek-inspired architecture).

The ocean or the mountains? I’m a California girl so ocean, hands down.

Disneyland or Disneyworld? I know Disneyland is like Disneyworld’s poor, backwards cousin but I don’t care – that’s where I grew up going and it will always have a special place in my heart.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Hmm. I hate talking about myself! I’m an unschooling mom, a writer who probably should have been a cultural anthropologist, and I have a soft spot for turtles and owls. Chocolate is my duct tape.

You’re written both middle grade and young adult books. As my readers know, I LOVE MG books. How difficult is it to switch your writing to a different genre? It wasn’t as hard as I thought it might be. Once a character is in my head, I pretty much go on auto-pilot and let them take over.

What made you want to write middle grade books? Honestly? My eleven year-old son pestered me to write one. I had an idea about a kid and a cat – and no idea where it would end up. I kept writing and the story just blossomed.

You have also written some new adult books under the name Anna Cruise. Can you tell us a bit about those? I wanted to write the kind of books I like to read – a solid story with strong characters, dialogue-heavy, a little sexy. OK, a lot sexy… My Anna Cruise books have been incredibly fun to write and I have fallen a little bit in love with all of my male characters. It helps that they’re all incarnations of the man I’m ridiculously in love /lust with in real life. 🙂

Out of all of your books, which one was the most fun to write? Nine Lives. I probably sell the least of that title but I don’t care. So many elements in the story ring true for me. Nick is a great guy and all of the kids in that book are inspired by kids I know in real life. I’m a single mom so writing about Nick’s mom was a little like peeling back the layers of my own story. I live in a smallish town in Minnesota and Nine Lives takes place in a similar town. It was super easy to have fun with the story and the characters.

As an Indie Author, what have been the struggles in your writing career? The writing part is relatively easy. But promotion and marketing? Ugh. I’m not the kind of person who feels comfortable screaming, “Buy my book!!!” So finding readers has been a slow but steady adventure.17694116

What advice can you give to aspiring authors? Don’t rush to publish! And seek out people who will honestly critique your work. The best beta reader is the one who tells you your book sucks…and helps you figure out a way to fix it.

What’s next for you? Anything you’re currently working on? I’m working on a couple of different Anna Cruise books – a follow-up to Abby & West’s story in It Was You and a new, stand-alone novel.

What has been the best book you’ve read recently? I stepped outside the NA/YA genre and just finished Lee Child’s A Wanted Man. Brilliant, as usual.

What is currently in your TBR pile? Girl With Guitar by Caisey Quinn is loaded and ready on my Kindle. Tragic by J.A. Huss is next. And Reality Ends Here by Alison Gaylin is a new release that looks incredible.