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Monday, October 4, 2010

Spotlight Author with Anna Campbell

October happens to be one of my favorite months of the year. I love Fall. The color’s of the fallen leaves, the cooler weather, all of the yummy food, and the awesome holidays. I spent all of last week trying to gather everything for my Halloween dinner table decorations. Maybe I will include a picture on my next blog. It is done after having disassembling it a couple of times. I have finally come up with something I am able to live with looking at for the next month! ;-) Enough about me… I have an awesome guest here with me today, Anna Campbell. You won’t want to miss this one. Anna has great advice and all of the info you will need to know about her latest and upcoming releases. Let’s not waste any more time. Here’s Anna…

Hi Micole! Thanks so much for asking me to be your guest today.

It is my pleasure Anna. So what’s the 411 on your latest release?

Right now, I’m in between releases so if it’s OK, I’ll talk about two books. Last June, MY RECKLESS SURRENDER, my fifth historical romance from Avon hit the stands. It’s the story of a dangerous seduction in Regency London and you can read an excerpt on my website: http://www.annacampbell.info/recklesssurrender.html Romantic Times Book Reviews chose MRS as a Top Pick and called it “quite a book!” In May 2011, MIDNIGHT’S WILD PASSION comes out. How’s that for a luscious title? It’s the closest I’ve ever come to writing a classic Regency romance. Sparks fly when rakish Nicholas Challoner, Marquess of Ranelaw, intent on revenge, meets opposition from spirited and mysterious chaperone Antonia Smith. It’s an immovable object and irresistible force romance – I always love them! It’s still too early to share the cover, the blurb or an excerpt, but all of those will appear on the website in the coming months.

What drew you to writing Regency Historicals?

I love the elegance and the wit of the period – and they have to be some of the nicest fashions. Yeah, I know, call me shallow! LOL. But there’s something to be said for men in boots!

What are you working on now?

Right now, I’m writing a short story for a forthcoming Mammoth anthology. In August, my extended short story ‘Upon a Midnight Clear’ appeared in the MAMMOTH BOOK OF REGENCY ROMANCE so I jumped at the chance to write another story for them. This one’s a bit off the beaten track for me. After that, I’m starting a new book which features a wonderfully tortured knight-in-shining armor hero and my first Scottish setting since CLAIMING THE COURTESAN.

What is your writing process? Plotter or Panster?

Definitely a pantser! I like to describe my process as ‘organic’. I start with two characters (and sometimes a villain), an opening scene and a problem and see where the story takes me. It’s messy and longwinded and I’m positive plotting would be more efficient but it seems to be the way I put a book together so I’m stuck with this process.

How long does it take you to write a manuscript?

I basically do a book a year.

What is your favorite thing about being an author?

Going to work in my pajamas? Oh, you want a serious answer! There’s a stack of wonderful things I love about being an author. I love being able to share my stories with people all around the world, I adore hearing from readers saying they’ve enjoyed the books, I love that I write full-time and I can set my own timetable.

Often times writers describe writing a love scene like being an intruder in something so very personal. Do you feel this way and how do you get through the dreaded love scene?


Actually, I’m not sure what this says about me but I really enjoy writing love scenes. I adore the way a really good love scenes strips the characters naked, not just physically but emotionally as well.


Pick one of your characters that is your favorite, which one will it be and why?

Oh, no, that’s like asking someone to pick their favorite child! Right now, and only because he’s my most recent hero, I think my heart belongs to Nicholas Challoner, Marquess of Ranelaw, the hero from my next release MIDNIGHT’S WILD PASSION. He’s such a delicious rake and he falls like a ton of bricks for the heroine Antonia. Gotta love a bad boy brought to his knees by love!

Do you have any advice on writing, getting published, or finding an agent?

Ha ha! How long have you got? People write books about this stuff. Here’s a couple of bits of advice I think are invaluable. One is sit down and write the book right to the end. You’ll hit a point where you think you’ve got a better idea and the temptation will be to abandon what you’re working on and pick up the new story. DON’T! It’s your mind playing horrible weasel tricks on you because it doesn’t want to face the hard work of finishing the current project. You’ll notice if you do listen to the voices of doubt and start the new book that about the same stage in the new project, that voice will start whispering with yet another new project. Repeat ad nauseam. I know how dangerous this is because it’s something I used to do and I have the numerous stumps of books under the bed to prove it. Another piece of great advice is once you finish a story, put it away for as long as you can (six months is good if you can manage it). When you come back to edit that manuscript, you’ll have some distance and you’ll be amazed at what you pick up in the way of mistakes and ways you can improve the story.

Give us a glimpse into your writer’s life.


When I’m home and writing, I get up really early, I check emails and do a bit of promotion. Then I have breakfast and settle down to writing or whatever else is urgent. I stop for an early lunch around 11:30, have a bit of a break, then I usually go back for a couple of hours in the afternoon. That’s usually when I do my serious writing. I spend a lot of time with my computer so I love stuff like Facebook and email that remind me there’s a real world out there!

I am so happy that you were able to join us Anna. I know you have been a very busy woman. Here’s to great success on your latest release MY RECKLESS SURRENDER . You can find out more about Anna and her books at…

My website: www.annacampbell.info

My Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Anna-Campbell-Fan-Page/464724380503?ref=ts#!/pages/Anna-Campbell-Fan-Page/464724380503?ref=ts


My HarperCollins Author Page: http://www.harpercollins.com/authors/31961/Anna_Campbell/index.aspx

The Romance Bandits blog http://romancebandits.blogspot.com




Thanks for having me as your guest, Micole. I’d love to offer one commenter to your blog a signed copy of MY RECKLESS SURRENDER, my most recent release. Good luck!



You heard her friends. She’s offering up the goodies, so make sure you are the lucky commenter. Thank you for stopping by, Micole Writes Romance. Appreciate any and all views that I get. Make sure to tell your friends.

Hugs

Micole

50 comments:

Tawny said...

YAY - two of my favorite people. HI Micole, Hi Anna!!!

Anna, I loved your description of having your hero on his knees. It conjures up so many lovely scenarios :-D All of which I know you'd write fabulously.

You are so gifted at writing clever, intriguing, yet flawed characters who pull the reader in and have us rooting for them. Which do you spend more time with - your characters or your plot?

Wishing both of you ladies a wonderful day!!

Vanessa Barneveld said...

Hi, Micole and Anna! Fabulous interview.

I'm so looking forward to watching Nicholas fall head over heels for Antonia, Anna. Great advice about staying the course despite the mind games. I looked at my stump collection recently--it's too vast to store under the bed!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Tawny, one of my favorite people waving at me! Oh, dear, this is turning into a mutual admiration society. By the way, I adored your latest - RIDING THE WAVES! Lots of people on their knees in that one, snicker! What a lovely description of the books, thank you. You know, I think the plot emerges organically from the characters. They seem to grow together. Both spend quite a bit of time stewing away at the back of my brain before I write them. I like that process - I'm doing that right now for the book I'm about to start. Looking forward to this - after doing a rake or two, I'm back to tortured hero teritory again. And you know how I loves to torture ma heroes!

Anna Campbell said...

Vanessa, lovely to see you here! I hope you love Nicholas and Antonia! They're a bit of a departure for me but I had a wonderful time writing them. And hey, so nice to have characters who get dressed up and go to parties! Laughed at your stump collection - perhaps we should compare our SC at some stage! I bet I win!

Vanessa Barneveld said...

I'm sure even your stumps are masterpieces compared to my tragic efforts! Oh, and thanks for writing characters who love to dress up (and undress, but mostly dress up). I'm a sucker for fashion too.

Annie West said...

Hi Micole and hi Anna,

Congratulations on 'My Reckless Surrender'! A fabulous, sexy historical romance. As you know I'm thilled about your next book too, having sneaked a peek at the ms I can say you're books are just getting better. Hard to believe.

Have fun with your mammoth story - all the more reading for us!

Annie West said...

Argh - can't spell! 'Your books' I meant 'your'!

Cath's Chatter said...

Hi Micole, Hi Anna

No I'm not a stalker, I just enter lots of comps and leave lots of comments...snort, but your probably sick of hearing from me by now Anna!!!!

.....but you've gotta be in it to win it :)

Great blog Micole, enjoy your upcoming Halloween celebrations :)

Regards
Cath♥

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hi Anna, you mean I have to wait until May next year for another novel-length Anna Campbell fix? Oh well, might have to do me some re-reading of your earlier books!
I'm looking forward to hearing more about MIDNIGHT'S WILD PASSION.

Anna Campbell said...

Snort, Vanessa! Not quite as much undressing in this one as usual for an AC! But still plenty, I think, snicker!

Anna Campbell said...

Annie, aren't you lovely? Thank you so much! I must say it gave me a huge thrill when you were so taken with MIDNIGHT'S WILD PASSION! Smiled for a week after you gave me your verdict!

Anna Campbell said...

Snort! Grammar police are on holidays. I didn't even notice the slip! I was too chuffed about the books getting better line! ;-)

Anna Campbell said...

Ha ha! It's the girl with the very handsome avatar photo! Cath won a copy of CAPTIVE OF SIN in a contest I held last week to celebrate the fact that COS won the Heart of Excellence Readers Choice Award. And hey, never apologise for swinging by to leave a comment! Nothing worse than being Nellie No Friends on a blog!

Anna Campbell said...

Kandy, lovely to see you here. Thanks so much for swinging by. I think you can guarantee that MIDNIGHT'S WILD PASSION is going to feature in a few of our conversations, at the very least. Snort! And congratulations to you on the wonderful HOME IS WHERE THE BARK IS! I still think you have the best titles in the business!

Christie Kelley said...

Anna, you're so right about a rake being brought to his knees. It's the best thing ever!

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Hey, Anna and Micole! Nice interview. And I totally agree with Anna's writing advice. She's a smart lady. :)

Micole Black said...

Hello everyone... Anna, thank you so much for being a guest. And to all who have visited. Thank you, thank you! You have made my Monday morning. All of you. A big wave to Tawny. How have you been?

Hugs

Micole

jo robertson said...

What a great interview, Anna! I especially love your advice about finishing the book. I know I'd done the same thing about three times and finally FORCED myself to finish the damn book. And it turned out to be my Golden Heart winning manuscript.

Also good advice in the distance thing. Really. It's like looking at the story with fresh eyes, almost like you've never seen those pages before, much less written them. That objective distance is critical, I think.

I love that you're returning to a Scottish hero in the future and Midnight's Wild Passion sounds delicious!

Anna Campbell said...

Ha ha, Christie, I thought you'd like that bit! Thanks for swinging by!

Anna Campbell said...

Thanks so much, Trish! I know a lot of the mistakes because I made so many of them myself ;-)

Anna Campbell said...

Hi Micole! I'm sure I told you at the time, but you asked some really interesting questions in the interview! Thanks so much for having me as your guest today.

Anna Campbell said...

Jo, thanks so much! I speak with such sincerity about finishing the book because NOT finishing the book is a mistake I made over and over. And I agree about distance making the heart grow LESS fond! So glad you're looking forward to Midnight! Thanks for swinging by!

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi Anna -

Lovely interview and excellent advice -- especially about finishing the books. Even once you're published there's that temptation to abandon the book (at least for me) and wonder if it's too late to talk the editor into something different - but you can't - and then magically every thing falls into place with panache.

That's what I love about writing - the magic.

But it's wise to get into the habit early to soldier on.

Can't wait for Midnight (now doesn't that sound saucy - grin).

Christine Wells said...

Hi Anna! Great to see you here. Two more wonderful books for readers to love. What a treat! And of course I know because I get to read them before they go to your editor (*gloat alert*!) Can't wait for the short story!

I think you gave such good advice about writing and particularly apposite for me as I have about four book ideas revolving in my head at the moment that I'd simply love to be writing instead of doing my revisions. :P

Hope you have a great day today!

Anna Campbell said...

Donna, thanks for checking it out! Actually one of the good things about being as slow as I am is that I HAVE to pretty much finish everything I start. Not enough time for chopping and changing! Ha ha - laughing at you waiting until midnight, you saucy wench! The way this year is going, May will be here before we know it!

Anna Campbell said...

Christine, ditto on the gloating privileges. You know I love seeing your wonderful stories before they hit anyone else's desk! Makes me feel mighty special! Yeah, that siren call of a project that promises to be easier is difficult to ignore, isn't it? My experience, though, is no project is easy. Sad but true!

MsHellion said...

Anna!!! *waves* I think I have a hybrid of the organic pantser process, like a person who is going on a roadtrip. I plan far enough ahead to know where the next reststop will be and that's about it.

And I have lots of stumps under my bed. I could make a really cool Frankenstein with all my stumps. Except the stumps are all beginnings of stuff (notice no one ever writes a whole bunch of ENDINGS with no beginnings, you know?)--so I suppose if you patched them together, you'd actually have a hydra, wouldn't you?

Happy Day! Can't wait to meet Nicholas!

Anna Campbell said...

Helly, you always make me laugh. Although I'm scared at the idea of a hydra under my bed! It might eat all the dust bunnies, snort! Actually I'm always surprised how many people I know who have stumps galore under their beds. Perhaps we need to set up a retirement home for stumps! Love the sound of your process! And I think you'll like Nicholas, wink, wink, nudge, nudge!

Okie said...

Hello, ladies:) Fabulous blog! Thanks for sharing, Anna. It's always fun to hear about an authors writing process. I especially love hearing tidbits of their current manuscript;)I can't wait to meet Nicholas Challoner!!

Anna Sugden said...

Hi Micole! Hi Anna!

Great interview. Loved your advice about ignoring those tempting ideas - going through that right now with my current book, which is the first of a three book series. Naturally the H/h of book 3 are talking to me, the buggers. I keep making lots of notes to shut them up and then return to my battle with book 1 *sigh*.

MWP sounds fab - my only complaint is why we do have to wait so long?!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Okie, weren't we just talking on Facebook? ;-) I love Nicholas - I hope you will too. He's not particularly tortured either! Thanks for swinging by!

Anna Campbell said...

I think the heroes and heroines of later books are actually contractually obligated to talk to you at this stage of the process, VA! I know it happened when I was trying to settle down to do revisions on Midnight's Wild Passion. I think they go to annoying future characters school! Thanks for saying you're looking forward to MWP!

Sarah Simas said...

HI Anna and Micole!

What a fabulous interview! I always enjoy Anna's wit and humor. :)

Loved the advice for aspirings writers, Anna. It's sure is hard to resist those little voices. LOL But not the ones demanding chocolate!

I can't wait to fall in love with Nicholas. Your books never fail to tantilize. *hugs!*

Great job, Micole! Can't wait to see you. Miss you, lady!

psst!! Hi Tawny and Christie!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Sarah, you're among friends here! ;-) Thanks so much for swinging by and for saying such nice things about my books! Actually I was an aspiring writer for so long, I feel I have plenty of advice to impart - most of the do what I say, not what I did variety, LOL!

mariska said...

Hi Anna,

enjoyed your interview :)

and yeah you know, since i haven't had this copy yet. i'm gonna chase you around the blogs *wink*

Anna Campbell said...

Hi Mariska! Lovely to see you! Look forward to seeing you around the blogs, LOL!

Sheree said...

Great interview! I also love the clothes of the Regency period. Now, if the ladies can wear boots, too...

ironss[at]gmail.com

Anna Campbell said...

Sheree, the ladies wore dinky little half boots. Actually I remember seeing some Regency dance slippers at the Castle Museum in York. They were literally slippers made out of satin. You wouldn't be able to walk on anything but a beautifully polished floor or a thick carpet. Thanks so much for swinging by.

Actually I should put up that picture of the dance slippers on Facebook or something. They were beautiful in their impractical delicacy. Ribbons too like a ballet shoe. Just gorgeous!

Sheree said...

That's what I thought; guys get useful boots and women get the useless slippers. No arch support for sure! Plus, it must have really hurt when a man stepped on a woman's toes. Yikes! She could be maimed!

ironss[at]gmail.com

Micole Black said...

I would love to see the picture of the slippers that you have Anna. I have to say this has been a great day full of comment's. You have been a wonderful guest, I hope to have you back again some day Anna. I would love to chat with you some more. I have to say Thank you again to all who have stopped by and visited with us today! It has been such a pleasure to see all of your fans following you over to my blog. I appreciate that you have brought them with you!

Good luck with your interview Anna. Smile pretty for the camera!

Hugs

Micole

Connie said...

Hi Micole and Anna,
Thanks for a great interview and wonderful advice.
Can't wait until May to get my next fix. Till then I will have to re-read :)
Hope you both are well,
Cheers
Connie

Sheri Humphreys said...

Loved this interview. Anna, I'm with you. Just the words, "men in boots" brings up a delicious image. Very powerful. :)
Thanks for sharing your advice and giving us a picture of your routine. Sheri

Anna Campbell said...

Snort, Sheree! As I said, not all women's shoes were so impractical! Just about to put the photos up on my facebook pate - you'll love the dancing shoes, silly as they are as footwear!

Anna Campbell said...

Sheree, just got the photos up. Check them out. Here's the link to the shoes one! http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=551448&id=464724380503&saved#!/photo.php?pid=15020088&id=464724380503

Anna Campbell said...

Micole, I just put the photo up on my Fan Page at Facebook. Check it out. They're like gorgeous ballet shoes. You'll love them!

Thank you for having me to visit today and thank you to everyone who swung by! Don't forget to check back to see who won the signed copy of MY RECKLESS SURRENDER.

Anna Campbell said...

Hi Connie! Thank you for popping by and saying such lovely things! May will be here before you know it ;-)

Anna Campbell said...

Hi Sheri! Thanks so much for swinging by! Great to meet another men in boots fan ;-) I was talking to the great Stephanie Laurens yesterday and we both agree that men in boots are a definite drawcard for Regency romance ;-)

Micole Black said...

Thanks again to you, Anna for such a great interview and chat session with the fans.

Hugs

Micole

Anna Campbell said...

Thanks for having me over, Micole! It's been a blast!

Micole Black said...

CONGRATULATIONS Sheri Humphries.... You are the winner of Anna's signed copy of MY RECKLESS SURRENDER.