Risky Regencies

The Riskies Welcome Back Anna Campbell!

The Riskies are pleased to welcome Anna Campbell back to our drawing room! She is celebrating the release of her second book with Avon, UNTOUCHED…


1) It’s wonderful to welcome you back to Risky Regencies. What have you been up to since the last time we chatted?

Amanda and Riskies, thank you so much for asking me back to chat. I had a fabuloso time last time I hung out (I hope you note the authentic Regency language here!). I’m looking forward to another fun day and to giving away a signed copy of the green monster to someone who leaves a comment.

Life since we last chatted has been absolutely nutsoid. Ah, more Jane Austen influence sneaks into my prose! I’ve written my third “Regency noir” for Avon which will come out in October 2008. Just handed that in on 1st November. I’ve also had a big overseas trip. I had a month in the UK doing research. I soak up landscape and atmosphere and hang around stately homes and drive all the guides wild because I want to know EVERYTHING! I then went on to a week in New York followed by a week in Dallas for RWA Nationals where I got to meet some of my favorite Riskies in person. Although we didn’t get time to chat at length – something we’ll have to remedy in San Francisco next year. I’ve also joined a blog of Golden Heart finalists from 2006. There are 20 of us. When we started six months ago, four of us were published. Now we’re up to 11 which is a fantastic achievement. So generally these days, you can find me hanging out at Romance Bandits www.romancebandits.blogspot.com when I’m not trying to figure out a new way to torment my poor characters.

2) Your first book, Claiming the Courtesan, caused quite a stir! Were you expecting anything like that?

Ah, the famous hoo-ha, not to be confused with Jennifer Crusie’s equally famous glittery hoo-ha! Frankly, the scandal took me by complete surprise. When I wrote CTC, I was unpublished and I just assumed the book would go under the bed with all my other unpublished manuscripts. Then when I sold, I assumed nobody would pay any attention to my debut book at all! The longevity of the controversy astonished me. But then it was a true controversy – CTC divided people radically down the middle into lovers and haters.


3) The new book, Untouched, also has an unusual and intriguing set-up–a new widow kidnapped off the street and told she must seduce the “mad”, reclusive hero under pain of torture and death! Can you tell us more about this story? What was your inspiration?

Honestly, Amanda, I have NO idea where these off the wall ideas come from. Apart from out of my off the wall mind I’m not sure if you’d remember from last time we spoke (wouldn’t blame you if you don’t!) but CLAIMING THE COURTESAN came to me absolutely out of nowhere after I’d decided I was going to try and make a career in Regency romantic comedy. Anyway, I thought I’d never come up with a premise as inherently sexy as CTC again, basically because I never had before. So feeling very sorry for myself, I was lying in the bath and this idea popped into my mind of this woman strapped to a table and told she had to ‘amuse’ a madman or die. Hmm, fairly sexy, I thought. Especially as the ‘madman’ was going to be a gorgeous hero. UNTOUCHED is VERY gothic, even more so than CTC. There were a stack of influences from fairytales like Beauty and the Beast to the 19th century literary obsession with madness to old Victoria Holts I read as a teenager.

4) You might not think it from this unpromising beginning to True Love, but Grace and Matthew really felt like they “fit” together, they were meant to be. At least I, Amanda, felt like they did! How did you come up with these two?

Thank you, Amanda. That was a lovely compliment. I really try and make sure my hero and heroine have qualities in common that aren’t immediately apparent so there’s a soul connection as well as the immediate physical attraction. Sadly, there’s been a lot of serious illness in my family in recent years and I started thinking about heroism that moves beyond the obvious. You know, the sort of heroism that suffers and endures and requires endless, unspectacular courage. That’s the sort of heroism both Grace and Matthew demonstrate. So even though their outer circumstances are quite different, at a base level, they really have faced similar trials and emerged stronger for their suffering.


5) What are some of your favorite research sources for this 1820s period?

I love this decadent period before Victoria took the throne but after the Regency proper, although obviously for sales reasons, the books are marketed as Regency historicals. I first became interested in these years when I read the marvelous romances Loretta Chase set in the same era, although obviously LC’s books and mine have a completely different feel. The more nonfiction I read about the time, the more interested I became. It’s exactly the background for Regency noirs! For UNTOUCHED, I did a lot of research into the treatment of madness in the 19th century (and goodness, would some of that curl your hair with horror!). A book I used a lot was Roy Porter’s MADMEN which was published in the UK under the much more evocative title of ‘Mind-Forg’d Manacles’.


6) So–what about that avocado farm? 🙂

Snort! I grew up on an avocado farm on the south coast of Queensland in Australia. A very beautiful spot, by the way. I can still spot any avocado variety at 20 paces. Strangely, not a skill that has yet earned me any money! Some interesting facts about avocadoes – our collie dog absolutely loved them and used to bump against the branches until the avocadoes dropped off. He’d worked out when they fell, they started to ripen (he was a VERY clever dog). He’d then come back when they were ripe and eat them so delicately that only the thinnest, most perfect skin was left and a completely bare seed. Neat, huh? Foxes like to eat avocadoes too! And we had terrible trouble with crows because they used to peck the fruit on the trees to see if it was ripe and if it wasn’t, they’d just move onto the next fruit. Of course, that damaged fruit was then unsuitable for sending to market. Crows were not popular with the family!


7) We’re starting our “Austen Week” tomorrow, leading up to The Birthday on December 16th. What’s your own favorite Austen novel?

Amanda, what a fantastic question. I adore Jane Austen. Actually I’ve yet to meet a romance writer who doesn’t love Jane and recognize her and the marvelous Brontes as the geniuses who are the source of our wonderful genre. My favorite JA is PERSUASION. There’s so much heart and feeling in that story. Although I waver because I love PRIDE AND PREJUDICE with all it sparkle and wit and has there ever been a better romance hero than Mr. Darcy? I think not! Speaking of the Jane Austen birthday, the Riskies have inspired me to have my own celebration on the 10th December over at my regular blog Romance Bandits. I’ll celebrate all things Jane and give away an ARC of THE LOST MEMOIRS OF JANE AUSTEN by Syrie James. Pop by if you get a chance! And I’d love to come and play with you guys during your Austen week too! You can’t have too much Jane, can you?

(Definitely not enough Jane–and Persuasion is my favorite, too! –Amanda)


8) What’s next for you?

I just handed in my third Avon historical romance TEMPT THE DEVIL which at present is scheduled for October, 2008. It’s another dark and sensual story that I’m calling a Regency noir AFFAIR TO REMEMBER. Although I suspect I’m the only person who will get the connection. It’s another courtesan story although the hero and heroine are older and more cynical than Kylemore or Verity. My pitch when I told my editor about it was that these two people have seen everything and done everything and yet felt nothing. Falling in love is the greatest risk they can take. My fourth book will probably be closer to the feeling of UNTOUCHED than TTD. I’m going to start serious work on that after Christmas. I’ve got a great idea for more tortured characters 😉

Comment on the post to win a copy of Untouched (aka The Green Monster)! And to keep track of all the upcoming interviews and giveaways, sign up for the Riskies newsletter at riskies@yahoo.com…

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Kathy
14 years ago

Hi Anna! I can’t wait to read your books. 🙂 Love your covers!

From conception to THE END, how long do you spend writing a book?

Maggie Robinson
14 years ago

Anna, I loved both CTC and Untouched. You’ve been an inspiration to me, and have brought “dark” back into the light after all the fluffy stuff out there. I’m curious, though—what about your comedic voice? Will we ever see any of that?

Diane Gaston
14 years ago

Welcome back, Anna (even if you didn’t include us in your list of coolest blog names ever–spies are everywhere, you know!)

Oh, I can just hear those camps of pros and cons for CTC, salivating over the chance to be pro or con for Untouched. The title is marvelous, by the way, as is the premise.

I must look for that book of MADMEN.

You would have fit right in with the tour of England Amanda and I went on, where I asked every tour guide about the carpets (among other things). In fact, I think our whole Riskies community would fit in on that sort of tour!

Diane Gaston
14 years ago

By the way, Anna, it looks as if my next book –STILL untitled but affectionately known as Pomroy’s story–will be an October 2008 release, too!

Michelle
Michelle
14 years ago

It sounds like you had a wonderful trip to the U.K. Did you make it up to Scotland? Are you planning on revisiting any of the characters you have written about in future novels/any plans on writing a series?

TiffinaC
14 years ago

Hi Anna,

thought I’d stop by, great interview. I love both your books, and you s cored on two really awesome covers!

I love your books, they really gnaw deep into the person reading them, the characters and settings are so memorable and so beautifully crafted.

Maureen
14 years ago

Hi Anna!
Congratulations on the new book. I have to look for it when I get a chance. It sounds like the type of story I have never read before. I’m wondering if you are sticking with historicals or will you be trying other genres?

Lindsey
14 years ago

Great interview, Riskies & Anna! I LOVE the green monster, and I’m still just totally enamored of the idea of Regency noir. In addition to the gothics, fairytales, etc., has there been any current, darker stuff that’s inspired you?

Anonymous
Anonymous
14 years ago

My mouth is watering at the thought of more novels. I absolutely adored Claiming the Courtesan and geez, Untouched looks to be another winner.

–Angela

Anna Campbell
14 years ago

Hi, everyone! Sorry I’ve been a bit slow to reply. It’s the time difference – it’s actually still REALLY early in the morning here in Oz, so I hope you’ll forgive me if I occasionally sound like I’ve been drinking the butler’s sherry!

Kathy, aren’t the covers gorgeous? I just love them – and I love the way they brand the books. My writing schedule has changed since I sold. I now write full time which makes a huge difference (fitting writing in around the day job was tough). And I have deadlines – ouch! I wrote both Claiming the Courtesand and Untouched over a five year period, I probably worked on each for four years in total but they used to piggyback on each other a bit if that makes sense. You know, I did the first draft of CTC over about a year and then put it under the bed while I wrote the first draft of Untouched. Then I sold CTC about four years after I started it which left me with a year to get Untouched up to scratch. My third book, which I just handed in, was written in a much more conventional way (I imagine – although all writers have their funny little ways!). It was a year from go to whoa.

Anna Campbell
14 years ago

Maggie, thanks so much for those lovely compliments. I’m so glad you enjoyed both those books! I adore writing comedy – the strange thing is I think my more natural voice is a light one. These dark books really came out of the blue, as I said in the interview. The emotional conflicts in the dark books are very satisfying to write so I’m not sure I’d want to give up that aspect of my writing altogether. But one day, I’d love to publish a funny book or two. They also deal with serious issues (the one that finalled in the Golden Heart with CTC had a theme of a woman losing all her financial independence when she marries) but in a light way. Perhaps one day I can do a Nora and put out my J.D. Robbell books as a comedy series! 😉

web
web
14 years ago

I’m so looking forward to this one, my mouth has been watering since I read an excerpt months ago!

Anna Campbell
14 years ago

Hi Diane!!! Laughed at you going all high dudgeon about me omitting to mention the Riskies over on Vagabonds. I thought I was pushing the friendship being as promo gung ho as I was! I promise once I’ve caught up with these great comments here (you get GREAT comments on the Riskies and I’ll let the RVs know!), I’ll go over there and threaten them all with keelhauling if they don’t come over here and play! I rather like being a pirate king, I’ve decided!

Thanks for those lovely words about Untouched. The really weird thing is I was positive if any of my titles was changed, that would be the one. I’m glad they kept it – it’s one of those multiple-meaning titles that I always love.

Anna Campbell
14 years ago

Madmen is well worth reading, Diane. Although really it’s such a sad, sad book. The treatment of madness was so primitive in the 19th century and even well-meaning efforts give you cold shivers. And given how easy it was to have someone committed (the two doctor signature plot point in Untouched is true), it was quite easy for husbands to have unwelcome wives or difficult children put away, for example.

I laughed at you and Amanda asking about carpets. You’re right – I would have been the perfect addition. I met a guy in Regency dress at the Georgian House in Edinburgh but didn’t tell him I was a writer (I still get a bit shy about that, although I’m getting better). I asked him everything from underwear up and how it felt to wear the clothing – by the way, his report was that Regency dress was considerably less constricting than a modern suit and tie). He was looking completely terrified by the time I finished with him 😉

Hey, fantastic! We’re going to be on the shelves together! As you know, I always feel a special bond with you because, completely independently, we both wrote courtesan books at much the same time! And we both got the word at the time from the ‘experts’ in romancelandia that nobody would ever buy a courtesan book.

Anna Campbell
14 years ago

Actually, going back to Madmen, it’s funny how with each book, I do a lot of reading, but one book just seems to resonate for the story more than any other. With CTC, it was Katie Hickman’s Courtesans and with Untouched, it was Madmen, although a lot of the information I discovered didn’t end up in the book. It did, however, add this poignant undercurrent to Matthew’s dilemma that I think helped me create his character.

Anna Campbell
14 years ago

Hi Michelle. It was a wonderful trip, thank you! I revisited a couple of favorite Scottish places. I stayed in Edinburgh for the first time since 1985 in this wonderful hotel just under the Castle. So every time I came out the front door, I used to look up and get goosebumps. I seriously think Edinburgh is one of the most spectacularly sited cities in the world. I then had four magical days up at Morar on the Road to the Isles. Just feast your eyes on these views: http://www.morarhotel.co.uk/

Planning my next trip for 2009 and will definitely get up to Scotland again. As you could probably tell from CTC, it’s my favorite place in the world!

Just a sneak peek, but Verity and Kylemore just MIGHT have a brief walk-on part in my third book Tempt the Devil which comes out next October. I’d had so many letters from people wanting to know what happened to them after their scandalous marriage – and honestly, I wanted to know too! 😉 At this stage, with the dark books, I’m not sure if a series would work although I’m toying with a very vague idea at the moment. Sorry I can’t be more specific – when I say vague, I mean like a puff of smoke 200 miles away vague! The comedies I’d like to write one day are a series but again, they’re off in the far distant future. Great questions, Michelle. Thank you!

Anna Campbell
14 years ago

Tiffinac, thank you for that lovely compliment! I’m delighted you enjoyed both books – they’re quite different from each other, I wasn’t sure if readers would segue from CTC to the next but they seem to have enjoyed the similar atmosphere but the different stories.

Maureen, good luck finding the green monster! As long as publishers keep buying historicals, I’ll keep writing them. I’ve always been hopelessly old-fashioned – writing historical romance is about the only career where that’s an advantage!

Anna Campbell
14 years ago

Lindsey, thanks for the lovely comment. Hmm, a girl could be put to the blush here (trying to get in tone for the RRs!). Basically I think everything you ever see or do inspires you. I agree there does seem to be a darker tone moving through a lot of current stuff – TV shows and movies and books (the wild upsurge in popularity for paranormals). I think I’ve always had these two distinct streams to what I find inspiring – I call one the Jane Austen stream and the comedies come from there and one, the Bronte stream and these dark books come from there. Did you have any particular shows or books or movies in mind when you asked the question? I’m just asking because I said on a recent blog that CTC was a Beauty and the Beast story and someone came on and did an absolutely brilliant analysis of it as a Cinderella story. And I had no idea! The writer is always the last to know 😉

Anna Campbell
14 years ago

Hi Angela! Thanks so much for that. I’m glad you loved CTC!

Hi Web! Hope you find the green monster soon! I’m glad that excerpt teased you into wanting to try the story. I’ll be putting an excerpt up on the website for Tempt the Devil early next year, probably February or March.

Stefanie
14 years ago

Hi Anna!
Great interview. 😉 I’m one of those people that realy loved CTC. So I just can’t wait to read Untouched. I’m also very happy to know that your third book will be released in 2008. I’m looking forward to reading that too. 😛

jo robertson
14 years ago

Hi, Anna, and Riskies, jumping over from the Bandit Lair to say hello.

My goodness, Anna, every time I read one of your posts I learn something new about you. Yummy avocados. I just had to share the hilarious collie/avocado story with my husband. He retorted by mentioning a newspaper article today that claims dogs can read your minds. Hmmmm, mayhap he’s pulling my leg.

As you know I loved both your books. I wondered how you dared take the risk of having Matthew in UNTOUCHED have such an indelicate illness.

I too love dark, tortured heroes, but so many authors reduce their pain to unbelievable and silly angst. You, m’dear, are wonderful!

BTW, Persuasion is my favorite too even though many more films have been made of Elizabeth and Darcy.

Anna Campbell
14 years ago

Hi Stefanie! So glad you loved CTC – as I said, I think that’s one of the reason the hoo-ha just went on and on. People either really took to that book or thought it should have been banned 😉 There wasn’t a lot of middle ground.

Jo, my Bandita buddy! Lovely to see you here! Aren’t the Riskies cool guys to hang out with (in a nice Regency sense, of course!)? Actually I’m dying for Bertram to show his gorgeous self. He’s my favorite Risky – sorry, other gals, but I want to MARRY Bertram and you I’d be happy just to see for a meal now and then 😉

I wonder if dogs can read your mind. This dog seriously was smarter than most of the humans I’ve met (Riskies, Vagabonds, Banditas and everyone else in blogland aside – g). And that’s not casting aspersions on the human’s intelligence. My brother was on the back of a horse which bolted. That dog came from nowhere and ran until my brother fell off – on top of the poor collie. But it really saved my brother from a major accident. I think Lassie was a documentary!

Jo, having a ‘mad’ hero was just as risky as having a courtesan heroine. And again, all the experts told me he’d never sell! Like CTC, I wrote the first draft of Untouched before I had a publishing contract. I was just telling the story I wanted to tell so what was the risk? After all that time without a publisher picking me up, I thought Untouched would join all its siblings under the bed. Thanks so much for saying the books seem real to you – just as a personal thing, if I can’t believe in what I’m writing, I can’t be bothered writing it. Which is probably how some of the more ‘indelicate’ elements got into Untouched. But unless Matthew’s illness was genuinely horrible and his fear of lapsing back into madness was credible, I didn’t think his character would seem real.

I don’t know if you know this – you probably do because you know EVERYTHING, my friend – but Charlotte Bronte actually wrote a fairly scathing piece about Jane Austen. She thought JA was just too frivolous for words. But she’d never read Persuasion. I think CB would have felt completely differently if she’d read that book. It’s still got all the humor and irony but there’s just this incredible subtext of deep emotion. And I always howl my eyes out at the letter scene at the end.

doglady
14 years ago

Hello to LaCampbell and the Divine Ms. G – two of my very all-time favorites on the same blog!! Wonderful interview and I will definitely be checking out Madmen as my DH was a psychiatrist. He even did a research paper on the depiction of madness in opera. (Face it Lucia di Lammermoor killing her groom on their wedding night is not exactly SANE, but it makes for great opera!)Only our Anna would ask a complete stranger about his underwear!! Now THAT’S dedication to your readers! As Anna well knows I absolutely loved both of her books! Anyone who has not read them is really missing a rare treat. She has also served as inspiration for my fellow Passion’s Slaves and I for her dogged determination to get published. Whenever one of us starts talking about giving up another will say “Remember Anna C!”

Jane
14 years ago

Hi Anna,
This is the first time I’ve heard of Regency noir. Did you come up with this new genre? I definitely like a good mystery with my romance.

Keira Soleore
14 years ago

AnnaCcccc… a late welcome to you at the Riskies. The blog’s been hopping.

“Nutsoid” and “Fabuloso” — Poor Jane must be shuddering in horror and cackling in glee at this, er, creative usage of language.

MaggieR asked about your comedic voice. I wonder if you’d be interested in doing noirish comedy?

So many writers talk about getting new ideas or solving problems while in the shower or the bath. What is it about this phenomenon do you think?

Grace and Matthew “fit” together well, eh, Ammanda?

Ah, yes, avocados. We love them. Were they available in England during the 1820s? I’m thinking food and uhm… You don’t want to hear the reason why, but I detest crows!!!

Nathalie
14 years ago

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Nathalie
14 years ago

Regency Noir… love the way that sounds Anna… my sister and I are total lovers of anything noir, partiularly when the french and english authors in the 19th century dedicated themselves to the genre!!

It is bizarre… I am reading Laurie McBain’s Devil’s Desire and you said your next book will be called Tempt the Devil and on your website S. Laurens compared you to her!!

Lily
Lily
14 years ago

Hi Anna,

I have been blogging everywhere when you are in attendance, and I believe I have told you already that I have not yet bought Untouched… I agree it seems like a perfect book to read during the cold holidays!!

Thank you for telling us that you still plan on righting some gothic-like, tortured heroes 🙂

Anna Campbell
14 years ago

Man, Pam, here I was going to tease you about LaCampbell (who is actually closer to La Somnambula at this time of the morning!) and then you go and ambush me with something wonderful like “Remember Anna Campbell!” You’re such a wonderful friend, thank you!

Actually, madness haunted the 19th century mind. As you say, opera is full of it. But there’s Miss Havisham and Mrs. Rochester and a host of other examples. Having researched the way people considered mad were treated, I’m not surprised. It must have been just the worst thing ever that could happen to you.

And I’m not joking about how terrified this poor fellow looked by the time I’d given him the third degree. He came into the room wanting to pretend he’d been a guest at a ball that was held in the house after Waterloo and he left as a shaking wreck 😉

Keira, actually I’m awful at black comedy. As you’ve gathered from numerous encounters in cyberland and a few in real life, my humor definitely leans towards the silly.

I’ve wondered about the water thing. I’ve always loved the water – I grew up a beach baby. And I can feel all my stresses going away if I’m in the bath or swimming or looking at the sea (I should be a water sign, shouldn’t I?). And I think that’s when your subconscious can make itself heard, when your mind is quiet and all the static of everyday life recedes, if only just for a moment.

Keira, you naughty thing! I’m sure Amanda was speaking purely in a spiritual sense. Our Amanda lives on a higher realm, don’t you? Snort!

Actually, I hate crows too. Why do you hate them? Inquiring minds want to know! I’ve never heard of avocadoes served in the Regency. I suspect not. Riskies, you’re the experts. What do you think? I have to laugh – if you read a lot of Regency romance, sirloin and lobster patties seem to be what everybody lives on at the time! I think they’d have awful digestive troubles. And there’s that hilarious story about Beau Brummel never eating vegetables. He once at a pea and didn’t like it, apparently! I think this is true and not an URBANE myth (see what I mean about silly humor?).

Anna Campbell
14 years ago

Hi Jane! Thanks for popping by! Actually the fabulous Stephanie Laurens coined the RN term. She gave me a great quote for Claiming the Courtesan and used the words. That’s the first time I ever saw it but it’s a brilliant description of what I’m writing. There aren’t really any mysteries in my stories – they tend to concentrate very much on the relationship between the hero and heroine.

Nathalie, as always lovely to see you! Thanks for all your support on my world tour of cyberland! I love that noir aspect of 19th century novels – it’s so powerful and atmospheric. A writer I really like , although I haven’t read him for years, is Wilkie Collins. He did the most wonderful atmospheric stories. If you don’t know him, I think he’d appeal to you.

Laurie McBain was a huge favorite of mine so I found SL’s comparison extremely flattering. Not a lot of people now know her writing but she wrote really powerful, epic romances.

Anna Campbell
14 years ago

Hey, Lily, don’t you have exams to study for 😉 I’m glad my blogging takes precedence over your studying! Thanks for popping by the Riskies this morning (well, it’s morning for me!).

Ooh, love a good tortured hero. The one in book four has really had a tough time, poor lamb! And yes, that was a shameless tease – bwahahahahahahaha!

Nathalie
14 years ago

Thanks Anna for the suggestion… I will try it!!

I know that Laurie McBain is one of my favorite historical romances author. I discovered her by chance a year ago and while googling her name, your website appeared and that is how I came to read Claiming the Courtesan 🙂

Good luck with Untouched and your next book 🙂 Did you ususally chose the title by yourself or it is a team effort?

Christine Wells
14 years ago

Hi Riskies! Hi doglady, Keira, Helen, Jo! Good morning Ms. Campbell! Congratulations on having the green monster unleashed!

I think Anna is a perfect writer to guest on Risky Regencies because she takes a risk with every book she writes. Thanks to Anna and Diane and other writers who have pushed the boundaries beyond the ‘good girl’ heroine, the genre has been expanded and refreshed. We need writers to keep pushing the boundaries. Historical romance readers are so jaded, we need to keep evolving to keep them interested.

OK, stepping off my soapbox! I’ve read UNTOUCHED and it’s poignant and beautiful and written in Ms. Campbell’s flawless prose. You will cry but you’ll smile too and even if being kidnapped to fulfil a madmen’s needs is outside the range of most readers’ experience, there’s a scene in there I think EVERY woman will identify with–unless she’s a very lucky girl!

I’ve also read TEMPT THE DEVIL (gloating, much?). It’s fantastic. This writer just keeps getting better.

Lily
Lily
14 years ago

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Lily
Lily
14 years ago

HAHA… super funny!!

Actually, I am in between clerkships, I have just finished one and I am starting a surgery round for the next two months… meaning no studying this week-end, so I have nothing to feel guilty about!! Anyway, everyone deserves a break 🙂

I live in Canada… so it is about 3PM here!

The hero you are now working on is very tortured, that is a really shameless tease… and I have not even read Untouched, where you said he is quite tortured himself!!

It must be great to be able to build a whole new world in your head and put it on paper for all of us to enjoy… how beautiful and engrossing!!

Keira Soleore
14 years ago

My reason for hating crows is because I was attacked by a crow. Do stop laughing your head off, AnnaC. It swooped low over my head and hit me with his talons/claws and flew away, only to return again and do it again. I ran for cover at that point before it could start in with his beak. Now, those beady eyes simply make me shiver. Yeah, that Hitchcock story? Aieee!!

Christine, you’re an awful tease.

doglady
14 years ago

Okay between Anna’s tease about the tortured hero of #4 and Christine’s GLOATING about having read #3 this is going to earn me a page in the book on Madmen (or at least Madwomen!)I think LaCampbell is trying to say she was scarier than Waterloo when interviewing this poor fellow about his underwear!! I have to agree with Christine that Diane and Anna have really pushed the envelope to include some really resilient ladies as heroines and some less than pristine heroes as well.

Christine Wells
14 years ago

Keira wrote: Christine, you’re an awful tease

That’s not my reputation.*vbg*

And doglady, you’re so right. Anna’s heroines might not be those feisty cross-dressing gun-wielding sort but they have quiet courage and they are very strong in a believable way for the era.

tetewa
14 years ago

Love the covers for your books! Looking forward to your newest release and continued success.

Sharon
14 years ago

Hi Anna
Great blog!

I enjoyed reading about your research for Untouched – terrifying how easy it was to keep someone locked away. And what a temptation for a corrupt person.

I loved Matthew and Grace’s poignant story. Matthew is such a beautiful hero, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Another Anna Campbell keeper!

Congratulations!

And thanks, Riskies for having Anna to visit.

:))
Sharon

Anna Campbell
14 years ago

Goodness, Lily, the McBain connection gets stronger and stronger! Titles are a whole blog on their own! Claiming the Courtesan was originally called No Ordinary Duchess which I like because it’s elegant but the people at Avon were right – it’s not particularly sexy! Untouched was a title I was sure would go – there’s a received wisdom that people don’t like negatives in a title. But Untouched stayed! Book three was originally called The Devil’s Due but it’s now Tempt the Devil – again, much sexier.

Christine, that was lovely. Thank you. Um, I can’t imagine which scene you’re talking about – hooting with sly laughter down here. Actually historicals have had some great new voices added in the last few years, including yours, Ms Wells! I’m really excited to see where the genre goes from here.

Anna Campbell
14 years ago

Lily, congratulations on being in between horrific study engagements. And believe me, I’m the last person to encourage you to study and ignore my blog tour 😉 What a lovely way to describe the writing process – actually when it’s going well, there’s absolutely nothing like it. It’s like you get the chance to live a whole slew of other lives. It can be so fascinating.

Keira, actually I’m not laughing at all. They’re big powerful black birds with lethal beaks and claws. You were smart running for cover. In magpie breeding season down here, the magpies swoop people too and they can do terrible damage (but they’re much nicer birds than crows who have always struck me as just spiteful!). I’ve been swooped by a cuckoo shrike in nesting season and it’s actually really frightening to have a biggish (they’re not as big as a crow – sort of like a big pigeon) bird right in your face.

Christine is a naughty girl, isn’t she? And did I tell you I’ve read her Dangerous Duke about the duke who steals the heroine’s erotic diary by mistake? Ooh, mamma! Good or what? And yes, I’m a naughty girl too! 😉

Cassondra
14 years ago

Good morning Lady Campbell!

And hello Riskies! What an awesome site you have!

Swinging by from the Bandit Lair. I believe it’s my first time here, and I just finished Untouched a couple of nights ago, so I thought I could let Anna know what I think.

Okay, only Anna knows my distress over CTC. I wrote her pages and pages of emails as I hung on the edge of quitting writing because of her. The book was so good, I kept saying to her, and that’s what I wanted to do with my contemporary romantic suspense–that emotional honesty–and I just didn’t think I could do it. Oh, the angst.

That’s what I love about Anna’s writing. The emotional honesty. YOu know, I couldn’t BELIEVE the furor over CTC. I didn’t know Anna then, but heard about how divisive it was later after we met–then I read her book. And I thought “WHAT ELSE COULD AN HONEST WRITER DO? THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT KYLEMORE WOULD HAVE DONE.” And this, I think, is the point after all. I believe you can do ANYTHING in a book, as long as you motivate it. Anna’s skill at getting to the depth of emotional honesty–well, I stand in awe.

And as far as Untouched, Anna, I thought but did not say that you wouldn’t be able to pull it off again–pull me in by the throat the way you did in CTC.

But I was wrong. So wrong. I think actually Untouched might be my favorite. I keep switching. An hour from now I’ll go back to CTC. But not this hour. Right now it’s Untouched. Anna, you’re brilliant.

I may campaign Avon for a ramped up publication schedule for you. I do NOT want to wait a year for every book!

Anna Campbell
14 years ago

Pam, the challenge for me when I write is creating people I personally believe could have lived during that time and making them come up against the problems they would have faced then. I’m so glad that approach has worked for you! And hey, after singing all those Lucias, you’ll be just right for the madhouse!

Christine, thank you for that lovely compliment!

Tetewa, thanks for coming over. Always lovely to see you. Yeah, aren’t those covers something else? Swoon! I’ve seen a sketch for Tempt the Devil’s and it’s the most gorgeous deep red. Sigh, swoon, drool!

Anna Campbell
14 years ago

Thanks for popping by, Sharon, and for saying such lovely things about the green monster. To be fair to the 19th century, they did try and circumvent some of the possibilities for corruption. For example, the heir to an estate was very rarely the guardian of minors who had inherited the estate. So for example, if a duke died and his baby son was the new duke, the next in line, say a cousin, would rarely be the guardian of the baby. That’s one of the reasons Lord John is so desperate to keep Matthew alive – once Matthew dies, the estate goes to the heir, a cousin. Lord John, as the previous marquess’s youngest brother is way down the pecking order when it comes to who would inherit the actual title. But as guardian, of course, he has complete access to all the money and property.

Anna Campbell
14 years ago

Cassondra, is it your first visit to the Riskies? It is an awesome site, isn’t it? Mind you, I’m miffed that Bertie clearly had a soiree to go to and he’s not here 😉 C, you would ADORE Bertie!

And wow, I’ve just read the rest of your comment and I’m really choked up. That was wonderful. Thank you so much. It’s been fantastic having support from people like you! You’re the best, C!!! Laughed at you going, blue, green, no, blue… Yes, definitely, blue. No, GREEN!!! You’ll be as mad as Matthew soon!

Sadly, I think the fly in the ointment in the publication schedule is ME!!! I’m horrifically slow. And I find I’m like a wrung-out rag when I’ve done one of these dark books. It takes a while to come back from the abyss 😉

Annie West
14 years ago

Anna,

Fascinating interview, and so knowledgeable about avocadoes! Pity they didn’t have avocado farms in the UK in your period – think of the inside knowledge you could use. Love among the fruit…Ahem.

Actually, I just wanted to say how very, very much I enjoyed ‘Untouched’. Matthew is the sort of strong, gallant hero who works so well for me. It was interesting to see how beautifully the fairy tale elements of the plot wove in with the ‘noir’ side of the things and the more nitty gritty realities of life in that period. Fantastic! Am looking forward to the next one.

Annie

Cassondra
14 years ago

Anna said:

Sadly, I think the fly in the ointment in the publication schedule is ME!!! I’m horrifically slow. And I find I’m like a wrung-out rag when I’ve done one of these dark books. It takes a while to come back from the abyss 😉

Well, that would make sense to me–you certainly put your readers through the wringer, along with your characters. I can see how channeling that kind of story from the muse into text would be wearing. And okay, if I must take only one book per year, better that than NO books from Anna Campbell.

I’ll put a hold on my campaign to Avon for the moment. ;0)

Lily
Lily
14 years ago

Anna, the similarities with Laurie McBain are really interesting… however, I hope you write more than her 7 books!!

Thank you for explaining your titles… yes the final ones are more catchy, which must be something important if we are thinking about a marketing point of view 🙂 especially when we are talking of a first or second book.

Once per year… you really keep us hooked, which is nice because too much from a same author can become tiresome, and you end up reading less of her work than you normally would!!

Anna Campbell
14 years ago

Thanks so much for calling by, Annie. And for those lovely words. When I wrote Matthew, I must say I thought he might be your cup of tea (Annie West is my critique partner and we’re very familiar with the other’s predilections!).

Cassondra, you make me laugh. Yes, please cut Avon some slack! 😉

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