Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Writing Buddy Wednesday: Anna Campbell

This week, I have as my special guest,  the infectiously bubbly Anna Campbell. I've known Anna for many years via Romance Writers of Australia. She's a lovely lady who is gracious with her time and her knowledge, and always willing for a chat. 

Anna writes gorgeous Regency Noir Romance stories, and has been blessed by the cover dames with the most gorgeous covers.  

Welcome to the Taverna, Anna! 

Hi Eleni! Is that Greek roast lamb I smell? Yum!

I’m feeling very lucky to be here, not just because you were nice enough to invite me, but because I’ve spent most of March with no phone/internet. I can’t tell you how AWFUL that was for a social media loon like me. I broke out in spots! Spots shaped like Grumpy Cat (if anyone follows me on Facebook, you’ll recognise that I’m a Grumpy Cat groupie).

Congratulations on scooping up 5 awards at ARRC2013 including the big one – Favourite Australian Romance Author (the fourth time in a row)!
For those who were not there, here's the round up:
Best First Meeting Between Couple: Seven Nights in a Rogue’s Bed by Anna Campbell.
Best Love Scene: Seven Nights in a Rogue’s Bed by Anna Campbell.
Favourite Cover: Seven Nights in a Rogue’s Bed by Anna Campbell.
The Favourite Historical Romance is Seven Nights in a Rogue’s Bed by Anna Campbell.
Favourite Australian Romance Author 2012 is Anna Campbell.

Everyone was thrilled. How did YOU feel?

Thank you! Still completely astonished when I look at that list. I was beside myself with delight and surprise on the night. To the point where when I got up for the final award of the night, the fave Aussie author, I was pretty much speechless. Anyone who knows me understands that this is not my normal state! I’m so grateful to the Australian Romance Readers Association for their amazing support. There’s something lovely about your home crowd giving you a cheer. 

You latest release is an Indie-Publishing novella called, These Haunted Hearts. What made you go the Indie-Published route? 

It’s a brave new world out there and I wanted to stick my toe into the ocean and see what the temperature was like. The answer is, just right! Last December, I put out a Christmas novella called The Winter Wife and was overwhelmed with the lovely response I received. Like TWW, These Haunted Hearts is an extended version of a long short story that originally appeared in one of the Mammoth anthologies. With both stories, I’d wanted to give them a little more room to breathe away from the 13,000 word limit that the Mammoth people have to impose. 
These Haunted Hearts was originally called ‘The Chinese Bed’ and it appeared in The Mammoth Book of Ghost Romance in June 2012. You can read the blurb and an excerpt on my website here.  It’s going live on Amazon this week at $1.99. 

What attracted you to the Regency period?

I’ve always loved reading books set during the first quarter of the 19th century. It’s such a fascinating era with its high society glamour, elegance and decadence. I’m an avid Georgette Heyer and Jane Austen fan too, as I think so many Regency mavens are.

At ARRC, you mentioned that Seven Nights in a Rogue’s Bed is part of a new series. Can you tell us a little about that? 

Sons of Sin is my first series and I’m really enjoying writing it. 7 Nights came out from Grand Central Forever last October to some very nice reviews, and the second book A Rake’s Midnight Kiss is out next September. Isn’t that a gorgeous cover? Love the blue. The heroes are friends linked by a scandalous family background.

What was your road to publication like and is there anything you would rather do differently?

My road to publication was VERY long and VERY meandering. I finished my first full-length manuscript after grade 12, a medieval. I then spent many years writing in various genres (pretty much all romantic or romantic elements), including eight full manuscripts that I submitted to Harlequin only to get the dreaded ‘lacks emotional punch’ response. In 2006, I sold Claiming the Courtesan to Avon in New York at auction and I’ve been a full-time writer ever since.

There are lots of things I should have done differently. After those eight rejections from Harlequin, I didn’t submit anything to a publisher for thirteen years, although I kept writing. I should have put on my big girl pants and sent something off earlier. I really should have joined Romance Writers of Australia earlier than I did (I joined in the very late 90s). Once I had access to the friendships, support and information there, things started happening for me. Before that, I was pretty much Robinson Crusoe reinventing the wheel with every manuscript!

What or who inspired you to write?

I always loved books and reading, right from when my parents read me fairy tales when I was a really little girl. My first reading crush was Enid Blyton and I’ve had numerous reading crushes since. So I’d like to thank all those wonderful writers for inspiring me to follow in their footsteps.

What do you love about being a writer?

Going to work in my pjs? All right, you want a serious answer! It’s wonderful to know that my stories have touched a chord with readers all over the world. 

What are you working on now? And what’s in the near future for Anna Campbell?

I’m head down on the third book in the Sons of Sin series, the Duke of Sedgemoor’s story. That should be out in 2014. 2013 is a big year for releases for me. Apart from These Haunted Hearts and A Rake’s Midnight Kiss, I’ve also got a Sons of Sin e-novella featuring Sedgemoor’s sister out in August (Days of Rakes and Roses). I’m also hoping to do another Christmas story this year. It was such fun having The Winter Wife out as seasonally appropriate reading last year.

What would be your ultimate research trip? ;))

One where someone else picks up the tab? Oh, you want another serious answer! Sheesh! In 2004, I had four months of long service leave and I travelled around the UK basically location scouting (I wasn’t yet published but I’ve used stuff from that trip over and over). I’d love a chance to do that again, but this time with a chauffeur. I don’t drive and sadly public transport isn’t what it was in Britain. Hmm, perhaps a chauffeur who looks like Richard Armitage? 

Thanks, Eleni, for having me as your guest today. 

Talking about what inspired me to write made me wonder what books your readers loved when they were kids. So share your favourite childhood tales with us today. There’s a download of my latest e-novella These Haunted Hearts up for grabs to someone who comments.

Thanks so much, Anna! Generous as always.

You can find out more about Anna on her website
You can also follow her on Twitter and Facebook

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