What could be better? I’m watching Downton Abbey, and putting together an interview with one of my favorite authors. Since I picked up “Midnight’s Wild Passion, I’ve been hooked on the amazing writing of Ms. Campbell. I read everything I could get my hands on. Her books, such as “Untouched” (oh Matthew!) and Captive of Sin, (Gideon!) are the reason why I became hooked on romance novels. I’m such a fangirl, what can I say!
Her newest release, “Seven Night’s in a Rogue’s Bed” absolutely follows along in that wonderful Anna Campbell tradition we’ve come to expect, with a strong heroine, a tortured, inherently good hero we fall in love with and the struggles towards their happily ever after.
Nancy: I read that you are a pantser (yay! like me), not a plotter so can you tell us how you come up with your ideas for your books -do you do a lot of research or do you really just sit down and start writing?
Anna: Hi, Nancy! Thanks for having me as your guest today.
I’m definitely a pantser. I like to find out what happens to my characters as the story progresses and I’m ready and waiting for surprises. Someone in a writing workshop I ran put it really nicely – I’m my own first reader!
What usually happens is while I’m writing another book, I get this vivid opening scene in my head. Always hero and heroine, sometimes a villain, always a problem. I let that idea percolate at the back of my brain – as time goes on, the idea’s like a magnet, little iron filings of story elements attach to it. Often there’s some specific research I need to do – mental illness in the Regency, for example, for UNTOUCHED or the East India Company for CAPTIVE OF SIN. So I start reading around the subject.
Then once I’ve got the current book out of the way and I’ve cleaned up all the stuff that’s piled up in the interim (it always surprises me how much non-writing work is involved in writing!), I sit down and start the new story. The weird thing is that the finished product is almost always completely different from that ball of inspiration at the back of my brain, but the ball of inspiration gets me going, if that makes sense.
Nancy: What do you find so compelling about Regency Romances that have made it such a popular time period to write about?
Anna: I actually think the popularity of the Regency can be laid at the feet of two writers of genius, Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer. Readers just want to stay in that world! I love the fact that it’s such an age of contrasts – elegant high society and wicked decadence (it’s just before Victorian morality came in), the scientific and industrial revolution, war and peace, great clothes!
Nancy: What is the single most important piece of advice you feel you can give to up and coming writers?
Anna: Turn off the internet (seriously, advice I should take myself!).
Nancy: Tell us about your new release “Seven Nights in a Rogue’s Bed”.
Anna: “Seven Nights in a Rogue’s Bed” is a very gothic take on Beauty and the Beast. When Sidonie Forsythe arrives at Castle Craven to offer herself to Jonas Merrick, a man she believes is a monster, she embarks on a journey that will bring her passion, danger, heartbreak and love. You can read the blurb and an excerpt here: http://annacampbell.info/rogue.html
Nancy: Can you give us a hint about all the books in the series?
Anna: The next book is out September next year, A RAKE’S MIDNIGHT KISS. It’s rakish Sir Richard Harmsworth’s story. He falls in love with scholarly vicar’s daughter Genevieve Barrett, a woman who has no time for rakes. The third book in the series features Camden Rothermere, the Duke of Sedgemoor, who has devoted his life to living down the scandal of his birth. What happens when he’s forced to marry a scandalous woman? After that I’m not sure. What I can say definitely is that in August 2013, there’s a novella, DAYS OF RAKES AND ROSES, centering on Lydia Rothermere, Cam’s sister.
Nancy: Do you plan on coming to the Unites States any time soon for conferences or whatnot? Preferably NYC? Hint hint. .
Anna: Oh, I’d love to, Nancy. I was hoping to get to the Atlanta RWA conference this year but it’s not to be.
Nancy: Just so your readers can find out a little more about you, what is your average day like when you are writing?
Anna: One of the things I love about this gig is that most days are different. If I’m working furiously on a book, I start really early, check email, then get into finishing my pages for the day. I love working from home – I live on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia, and it’s a really pretty part of the world close to the sea. Each day, I try and do a few non-writing things to keep my brain fresh like have a swim or go for a walk, and I’m trying to get back into playing the piano. I played very seriously in high school and half an hour a day bashing away at the keys does great stuff for my synapses.
Nancy: I see there is a strong Australian romance writers group. Do you all know each other and get together on any kind of regular basis?
Anna: When I first joined back in 1999, there were about 300 members of Romance Writers of Australia. Within a short time I would have said I knew most of them. These days, with over 1,000, that’s changed, although I still have lots of friends and contacts in the industry here. I see my particular friends fairly often although I’d love to see them more. RWAustralia has a conference every August which is always fun. In 2013, it’s the first visit to Perth in Western Australia if anyone’s thinking of flying over: http://www.romanceaustralia.com/freo
Nancy: Do you have a favorite book or a favorite character of all the ones you have created?
Anna: Oh, that’s like asking me if I’ve got a favorite child! Impossible to answer. I’m currently writing Cam’s story and he’s having a very difficult time with his heroine Penelope Thornton who isn’t conforming to his ideas of what a duchess should be. So in terms of what’s uppermost in my mind, I’ll pick those two.
Nancy: So I have to ask you:
Rogue or nice guy-which do you prefer to write about?
Anna: You know, I’m kind of divided on this. Some of my guys are definitely rogues – Jonas Merrick from ROGUE and Nicholas Challinor from MIDNIGHT’S WILD PASSION come to mind. But some of my guys are definitely nice guys – Matthew Lansdowne from UNTOUCHED and Gideon Trevithick from CAPTIVE OF SIN, for example. Others hover between the two poles like Richard Harmsworth from my next book A RAKE’S MIDNIGHT KISS.
To celebrate my visit to Nancy’s blog, I’d love to give away a signed copy of my most recent release SEVEN NIGHTS IN A ROGUE’S BED. Just tell me whether you prefer nice guy heroes or rogues? Or a mixture of the two. Good luck!