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


Julia said...

Congrats on your awards! You write wonderful books!!

Anonymous said...

Anna purely and simply you are a legend.

I really do love that cover, the blue is gorgeous. Can't wait.


Anna Campbell said...

Thanks so much, Julia! It was a VERY exciting night.

Anna Campbell said...

Effie, you're too kind! Especially as we both know what I look like at breakfast, LOL! Isn't that cover gorgeous? I just love it!

Janice Hougland said...

I love your historical romances, Anna. But to answer your question about my fave childhood books. I read just about everything I could get my hands on from age 6 onward. My siblings and I went to the library every Saturday and I joined a summer reading contest at our local library every summer. I loved The Bobbsey Twins and Nancy Drew series and stories of the Old West.

Vonnie said...

Anna, I didn't realise you'd gone Indie on me. Gotta have, gotta have. Yes, Enid Blyton for me too, also some of the non-Anne of Green Gables L.M. Montgomery books. Then at age 11 it was GH and that was that!

Anna Campbell said...

Hi Janice! Thanks for swinging by and saying such nice things! Sounds like you were a booky kid like I was. I read pretty much everything too - never read the Bobbsey Twins, but aside from my Enid Blyton fixation, I loved Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden. And anything featuring a horse. I LOVED horse books.

Anna Campbell said...

Vonnie, I never really got into the Anne books. Not sure why. I loved the miniseries that I saw on TV as an adult. Mum gave me my first Mills and Boon when I was eight and my first GH not long after - didn't read a lot of kids' books after those two. Had an early taste for romance that has only flowered with the years.

Bronwyn said...

Hi Ladies!

Always love to hear Anna wrote another book! I can't wait to have a look at this one and I love the cover for your September release too. You always have the most beautiful covers.

I don't remember what the book was called exactly but I remember as a kid it was so heavy and thick and had it's own special dust cover. It was a big book of fairy tales so it's not hard to guess where I first got hooked on happy endings =)

Good luck Anna with the toe dipping and Eleni, you're missed at the SARA meetings...


Kandy Shepherd said...

Hi Anna and Eleni

Anna, this is my first glimpse of the cover for A RAKE'S MIDNIGHT KISS--it's absolutely beautiful! I can't wait to read it as I loved SEVEN NIGHTS IN A ROGUE'S BED.

My mother introduced me to THESE OLD SHADES by Georgette Heyer at a young and impressionable age and got me hooked on Regency romances!

I'm off to Amazon to buy THESE HAUNTED HEARTS--I feel like a short, passionate read and I'm certain it will deliver! (So please don't put me in the draw.)

Anna Campbell said...

Hi Bron! Thanks so much for swinging by. Isn't that new cover gorgeous? I haven't really publicised it much. Partly because I've been without internet for most of the month (ouch, that was painful) and partly because I'm trying to promo These Haunted Hearts, which sadly looks like it needs another day before it goes live.

Love the sound of the fairytale book. I remember these BIG single story Oxford editions with the most beautiful illustrations that I used to pore over as a toddler. I couldn't read them but the pictures were so romantic, I was hooked. Suspect I was a goner from that moment too.

Anna Campbell said...

Kandy, lovely to see you. Sadly, THH needs another day. For some reason, we're having troubles getting it up on Amazon that we didn't have with TWW. Maybe Amazon likes Christmas books! Thanks for saying you enjoyed Rogue. Hope you enjoy Rake - it's a lot lighter! He was a fun hero to write. Oh, another GH fan. My first GH was Powder and Patch but it was These Old Shades that really hooked me for life.

Linda said...

My earliest memories of reading is of devouring Enid Blyton books. There was this awesome series of hers about a magical kingdom "Faraway Tree"? I forget what it's called now. I admit that was a long long time ago! Probably started my love of fantasy then.

Sharon Archer said...

Anna, HUGE congratulations on your awards at the ARRA dinner! An impressive and well-deserved success!

Hey, I volunteer to be your chauffeur on your next UK trip! Though... I do have to confess that I don't look anything like RA! LOL

Fun interview, Eleni!

Anna Campbell said...

Linda, another Enid Blyton fan! Yay! I think she had such a gift for story and character, she made it easy to become a reader as a result of loving her books. Certainly worked for me.

Anna Campbell said...

Sharon, you're right, you look nothing like Richard Armitage. However if you're offering chauffeur services, I think we can come to some arrangement. Perhaps you could wear a RA mask? Thanks for the congrats. Still slightly reeling from it all - but in a VERY nice way!

Annie West said...

Anna, is there room in that chauffeur driven car for me too? I think Richard would have his hands full on that trip!

Hi Eleni - thanks for having Anna to visit today. Doesn't her new cover look just gorgeous?

As for childhood reads, my parents introduced me to some older stories which I adored including 'Wind in the Willows' and the Dr Dolittle series. Hm, maybe it's the animal lover theme that appealed. I'd never though of that before. I also spend ages poring over illustrated fairy tales. Lovely!

sheila said...

I read anything, but mostly The Bobbsey Twins, Cherry Ames- she was a student nurse, basically anything that looked interesting at the library.

Eleni Konstantine said...

Sorry I've been away - headache all day and Tafe at night.

Thanks for cheering on Anna. Love the cover and like everyone else if you need a partner in crime looking after Richard.... :) Thiugh Adonis is getting jealous.

Sloane Taylor said...

Congrats on the award and wonderful post, Anna. Never met you before, but I certainly want to read you now.:)

Anna Campbell said...

Annie, I think poor Richard needs to start taking his vitamin pills in preparation for this trip if he has to handle both of us. And I mean 'handle' in the Biblical sense. LOL!

Hey, interesting about the animal connection. I read horse books like they were going out of style. Marguerite Henry and the Silver Brumby and pony club books in the thousands. Loved the whole girl with her pony vibe.

Thanks for saying you like the new cover. I think it's gorgeous!

Anna Campbell said...

Sheila, I remember Cherry Ames. There were a stack of those career women books. I remember Shirley Flight and a girl called Carol who wanted to be an actress. Actually a favorite for me were the Lorna Hill books based around the ballet. Loved ballet so those were right up my alley.

Anna Campbell said...

Eleni, I'm thinking we're going to have to hire a stretch limo at this rate! Poor Richard!

Sorry to hear you've been under the weather. Thanks for having me as your guest today.

Anna Campbell said...

Sloane, what a lovely thing to say. Thank you so much! SEVEN NIGHTS IN A ROGUE'S BED is a good one to start with because it sets up the series Sons of Sin. Or if you like a classic Regency romance, MIDNIGHT'S WILD PASSION was fun to write and I loved redeeming that hero!

bn100 said...

liked the Judy Blume books


Anna Campbell said...

BN,Judy Blume was after my time but I know she's a real favorite with people.

Vanessa Barneveld said...

Hi, Eleni! Hello, Anna 'Multi-Award-Winner' Campbell! You totally deserve to have all those awards on your mantelpiece. Congratulations!!!!

These Haunted Hearts is a great read. It just might tide me over to your next book release! Love the blue of your Rake cover too.

I devoured horsey books when I was very young (Black Beauty - sigh!), then the Sweet Dreams and Sweet Valley High series from Bantam, and like bn100, loved Judy Blume too.

Get well soon, Eleni! x

Anna Campbell said...

Vanessa, lovely to see you and thank you for the lovely congratulations and the lovely words about Haunted Hearts. There's been another slight delay - it should be out by the beginning of next week. If you follow me on Twitter (@AnnaCampbellOz) or Facebook ( I'll put up a message as soon as it's live. These ghosts are going to need dusting by the time they get out and about!

Oh, I remember reading Black Beauty with a torch under the bedclothes. Cried my eyes out.

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