Hi-Dee-Ho, Good Neighbor!
Ready or not, it's November! A heapin' helpin' of you out there have joined ranks and plunged into this year's NaNo contest. Wah-Hoo for you, mates!
Speaking of being inspired. . .give a lusty round of applause for ANNA CAMPBELL!
Her latest on dit, CAPTIVE OF SIN, released last week to those of us here in the States and has been officially added to my TBR list. Ain't that a hunky-dunkie piece of man meat kickin' it on her cover?!
Anna has earned oodles of awards and accolades for giving readers a love story with flesh and blood characters full of real life flaws. Her 'dark romance' Regencies are definitely worth a sneek-peek (psst, and so are her articles on writing!)http://www.annacampbell.info/
Bust open that package of Tim-Tams you've been hiding and get ready to fall in love with Anna Campbell!
1) If you were a book, what would your blurb be?
Hi Sarah, thanks for having me as your guest today! What a great question. Let me think…
Swept from her sheltered upbringing on the upper reaches of the Amazon to the whirling glamour of Regency London, beautiful heiress Anna Campbell’s only trusted companion is her marmoset Harold. When the rakishly wicked and wildly attractive Duke of Hotsex (it’s next to Essex – seriously, check it on the map!) pulls her into a broom cupboard at his annual Venetian breakfast and seduces her, marriage to the tormented, one-armed nobleman is her only chance to restore her reputation. But rumors abound that Hotsex has already murdered three wives and keeps their moldering remains in the tower where he sequesters himself every midnight. Even as Anna finds herself lost to passion in Hotsex’s single arm, she wonders can she trust him? Did he murder his three previous duchesses? Or will her dashing husband turn out to be ‘armless? And just why is Harold eyeing the duke in that lascivious way?
2) Using three words describe your voice?
Loud? Oh, you mean my writing voice! Emotional, intense, passionate.
3) What's the best advice you've ever received?
Ooh, where should I start? The wonderful Harlequin author Robyn Donald gave a talk at one of the Romance Writers of Australia conferences I went to where she said, “The people who fail are the people who give up.” At the time, it seemed obvious. But the fact is there’s a point where you’re close but you’re still not selling that book and yet you’re doing everything right. It’s like banging your head against a locked door. The give up comment made huge sense to me then! I remember going to a Donald Maass workshop where he kept saying “Make it worse”. Great advice for writing compelling fiction.
4) I love your concept of a 'dark romance'. What's your inspiration behind creating such out of the box characters?
Sarah, I LOVE flawed characters. Love, love, love them which I think you’ve probably already gathered. I think our flaws are what make us interesting, both in real life and in fiction. Flawed characters also offer the opportunity of a journey, a real character arc. You know, if there’s room for improvement, you’ve automatically got a story. I’m not quite sure where the darkness comes from although I was a devotee of gothic fiction when I was a teenager and I love dark and wildly romantic music and movies and books. In person, I’m not that dark at all! ;-)
5) What has been the biggest obstacle you've had to overcome in your writing?
I finished my first historical romance in between high school and university and it was twenty-seven years between then and when Avon bought CLAIMING THE COURTESAN in 2006. Yes, I am that old ;-) In all that time, discouragement and self-doubt were obviously obstacles I had to overcome. In fact, at one stage, I gave up because I decided being a writer was a childish dream and I ought to get a ‘real’ job instead of the jobs I’d taken because they left me time to write. But I couldn’t bear not writing so I came back to it with a renewed sense of purpose and a few changes in the way I did things that eventually led to publication. Phew! I always did pretty well in writing contests and that was one of the things that kept me going. You know, someone other than my mother and my best friend liked my work!
6) Time to dish it up! You've been a RITA Nominee, a Romance Writer's of Australia Romance Book of The Year nominee, a best first historical in the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Awards, and the list goes on! What does being an award winning author feel like? Is there anything you'd do differently if you had to start all over again?
Oh, I LOVE awards. Yeah, I know – you’re meant to say they don’t mean much but seriously it always gives me such a kick when I final in something. The RITA thing was a dream come true. In all those years of being unpublished, it seemed an impossible dream that I’d ever be up for a RITA. And then both first books were up for the RITA in 2008. A huge squee moment for this little Aussie! If I had it to do all over again, I’d join Romance Writers of Australia the moment I thought of becoming a writer. Or whatever is your national equivalent, RWAmerica, RWNew Zealand, Romance Novelists’ Association (UK). I spent most of those 27 unpublished years on my own without anyone around me who was interested in writing and hardly anyone who read romance. When I found a bunch of people who knew what I love about romance and what I wanted to achieve, it was like coming home. Joining RWA was one of those things I did after I gave up and came back that made a huge difference to where my writing was going.
7) What's up next for Anna Campbell?
CAPTIVE OF SIN, which was just chosen as one of Publishers Weekly’s top 100 books for 2009 (yeah, had to get that in!), has just been released from Avon. You can find out about the book here: http://www.annacampbell.info/captivesin.html My next release is in June 2010. It’s called MY RECKLESS SURRENDER (I love that title!) and it’s about a dangerous seduction in Regency London. Keep an eye on the website for an excerpt and a blurb.
Sarah, here’s a bit from the beginning of COS.
Winchester, early February, 1821
“Good God, what have we here?”
The man’s deep voice pierced Charis’s pain-ridden doze. She flinched, stirring from her cramped position. For one dazed moment, she wondered why she was shivering in fetid straw, instead of snuggled in her bed at Holcombe Hall.
Blazing agony struck and she stifled an involuntary moan. And a curse for her rank stupidity.
How could she forget the danger long enough to fall asleep?
But she’d been blind with exhaustion when she’d stumbled into the stable behind the sprawling inn. Unable to manage another step even though she hadn’t come far enough to be safe.
Now she wasn’t safe at all.
The light from the man’s lantern dazzled her bleary eyes. She discerned little more than a tall shape looming outside the stall. Choking with panic, she clawed upright until she huddled against the rough planking. Blood pulsed like thunder in her ears.
Muffling a whimper as she moved her injured left arm, Charis crossed shaking hands over her torn bodice. Scenting her terror, the big chestnut horse that filled most of the space shifted restively.
As the man lifted the lantern to illuminate Charis’s corner, she shied away. Beyond the ring of yellow light that surrounded him, menacing shadows thickened and multiplied up to the high pitched ceiling.
“Please don’t be frightened.” The stranger made a curiously truncated gesture with one black-gloved hand. “I mean you no harm.”
The rich baritone was sheathed in warm concern. He made no overt movement toward her. Charis’s crippling fear didn’t subside. Men, she’d learned from cruel experience, lied. Even men with velvet voices, smooth and cultured.
A sharp twinge in her chest reminded her she hadn’t drawn breath since he’d found her. The air she sucked into her starved lungs reeked of horse manure, hay dust and the sour stink of her own fear.
She turned her head and really looked at the man. Her throat jammed with shock.
He was utterly beautiful.
Beautiful. A word she’d never before associated with a male. In this case, no other description sprang to her churning mind.
Beauty as stark and perfect as this only stoked her alarm. He embodied the elegant world she must relinquish to survive.
Beautiful excerpt and brilliant writing! LOL I'm such a word geek! I can't wait to dig into one of Anna's romances. Hey, it's all about studying craft, right?!(That's what I tell the hubby-man anyway. *winkwink*)
I'd like to thank Anna for being here with us today! And THANK YOU, TLN'ers, for swinging by! You're all top shelf to me!
To send you off into the post-Halloween weekend, here's another awesome Aussie, Olivia Newton-John and her hit- PHYSICAL. Believe me, workin' out would be much easier if I had a hottie in a speedo to oogle! Talk about a Wow-wow-work out! LOL