Hi Anna, I am so excited to have you back at romantic Crush Junkies. whenever you are here we all have a blast. For people not yet familiar with you would you mind sharing a bit about yourself?
Hi Christine! Delighted to be back at Romantic Crush Junkies again! I’m an Aussie who writes historical romance set in the Regency period. I’ve had seven books published with
Avon and Grand
Central Publishing, with the 8th book A RAKE’S KISS out next year.
Do you believe that social network is a productive way of meeting potential readers? Are there pros and cons to networking with a social media?
I love social media – which I think is obvious when you see how much time I spend on it. I know as a reader that I’ve bought books I’ve seen discussed on social media so I’m sure it helps to develop a readership, but honestly, I just love talking to people from all over the world about stuff that’s interesting. The con is that I can easily lose hours on Facebook or Twitter without having written a word on my ‘real’ job. I’ve had to learn to be pretty disciplined about turning away from all the fascinating chatter.
What was some of the best advice you were given on your road to becoming a published author?
It was actually from Robyn Donald, who is a Down Under romance diva and a fantastic mentor. At the time, it didn’t strike me as quite as profound as it is – the only way of guaranteeing failure as a writer is to give up.
What advice would you give to a struggling writer in this day and age of self-publishing?
Self-publishing has created so many wonderful opportunities for writers, but I still think writers need to learn their craft. Take the time to make sure that what you’re putting up for your readers is as good as it can be. It’s always a great idea to put something away for a while before you do final edits – a bit of distance really helps when it comes to spotting problems.
Okay, I have to ask you this question. What is the worse advice anyone gave you?
Oh, dear, had to rack my brain for this. I think it was someone telling me that I’d never make it in single title romance without first having a career in category romance.
I do indeed! Amy Pierpont, my new editor at Grand Central Publishing, loved SEVEN NIGHTS IN A ROGUE’S BED so much that she wanted it to be part of a series. Which is a problem when the book’s been conceived as a stand-alone. Luckily a couple of writing friends, Christina Brooke (www.christina-brooke.com) and Denise Rossetti (www.deniserossetti.com) were due to stay at my place that weekend. One sunny morning after breakfast, we sat in my lounge room and brainstormed possibilities for a series based on Rogue’s themes. I’d already decided that the scandalous birth angle might be workable – we came up with the fine tuning that very day and SONS OF SIN was born.
I know that you put your own blood, sweat and tears into every page. So, I’m curious to know if your characters have any of your own traits. Is there one character you think is more like you than any other?
Oh, what an interesting question. I’m sure all my characters share at least a few of my traits – at the very least, we laugh at the same jokes! All my heroes have wonderful libraries so we have books in common. My characters have character traits I admire like courage and intelligence and determination and (eventually!) self-knowledge. Does that count?
Did you have all of Sidonie Forsythe and Jonas Merrick’s arc figured out when you began SEVEN NIGHTS IN A ROGUE’S BED? Did you know even before you placed pen to paper how Sidonie and Jonas’s story would turn out in the end?
As you know, Christine, SEVEN NIGHTS IN A ROGUE’S BED has a circular structure with a return to the beginning at the end (I always find that particular shape very satisfying). When I started the book, all I had was that first scene where a girl stepped out of a shabby hired carriage in the middle of a thunderstorm to face a frightening fate in a brooding, gothic castle. At that stage, I didn’t know who she was or what the fate was to be. The story grew organically from there. I’m a pantser not a plotter so I let the characters show me where they’re going as I write the first draft (this is a messy process and not to be recommended!). Because it’s a romance, I knew they were going to have a happy ending but the twists and turns that led to that joyful conclusion emerged as I wrote.
You write engaging heart-wrenching historical---Thank you, Anna!! Is there a genre you would like to try your hand at some day? Why?
Thanks, Christine! I’m glad I’ve wrung a few emotions out of you over the years (doesn’t that make me sound like a mean girl?). I’m currently on a major murder mystery reading jag and there’s a tiny seed of interest in maybe writing a historical mystery one day stirring in the back of my brain. But it’s microscopic at this stage – I love writing romance. There’s a happy ending in every book!
Anna, please tell us more about your latest release SEVEN NIGHTS IN A ROGUE’S BED? What was your premise for writing this story?
Christine, SEVEN NIGHTS IN A ROGUE’S BED grew out of a discussion I had with my crit partner Annie West (www.annie-west.com) as we were on the way to run a workshop south of Sydney. As you’ve probably gathered, my writing friends stimulate my creativity! We were talking about fairytale romance and I was saying how much I love Beauty and the Beast. Out of the blue, I got that opening scene for Rogue in my mind, which as you know is VERY gothic and dramatic. I had no idea about anything else except that I knew I’d read on if I picked up a book that started that way!
SEVEN NIGHTS IN A ROGUE’S BED turned out to be an extremely gothic take on Beauty and the Beast. Sidonie Forsythe arrives at Castle Craven to offer herself to a monster in order to save her sister’s life. But instead of a monster, she discovers in Jonas Merrick a man unlike anyone else she’s ever met. But even as their passion burgeons into reluctant love, secrets, mistrust, old tragedy and a hostile world threaten destruction. You can read the blurb and an excerpt on my website here: http://annacampbell.info/rogue.html
I would like to take a moment and thank Jonas and Sidonie for dropping by with Anna. Hi Guys, (waving above the crowd) I am so excited that you both were able to drop by today. I hope you do not mind, but I would love to ask you some need to know questions that readers are desperate to know.
Sidonie: Good afternoon, Christine. Thank you for your kind hospitality.
I am one of those readers that love to find out what people think the moment they meet the love of their lives. Sidonie, I will start with you. What was the very first thing you thought when you saw Jonas? Jonas, you are up. =) What was your first impression of Sidonie?
Sidonie: I was terrified and angry and determined to hate Jonas even before we met face to face. But I wasn’t prepared for how strangely compelling he was – in spite of his sarcastic tongue!
I know your love story started off on shaky ground when you first met. (Pulling the besotted couple into a secluded corner) What do you believe is the glue to a sound and loving relationship? Or better, what do you believe is the perfect recipe for romance?
Sidonie: We had a long and winding journey to a happy ending, didn’t we? Both of us had good reasons to be wary. It wasn’t until we learned to trust one another that we put the past behind us. I think trust lies at the heart of a sound and loving relationship.
Jonas: (Not brooding anymore. Happy!)
Sidonie, when was the moment you knew without a doubt that Jonas was the love of your heart?
Sidonie: I was in love with Jonas long before I realized it. To be fair, we met in difficult circumstances and a lot of things happened in a very short time to distract me from charting my emotional state. In fact, I probably fell in love with him the first night we met when he insisted on looking after me, in spite of his determination to be dastardly. There was a hint there that he wasn’t nearly as bad as he wanted me to think he was.
Jonas: I tried really hard to keep her out of my heart but she’s irresistible. Within a few days, I knew I’d be mad to let her disappear from my life. And while I might be bad and dangerous, I’m certainly not mad!
What is one thing you, Jonas and Sidonie, would like readers to walk away with after reading your love story?
Anna Campbell (pushing in): An uncontrollable urge to buy more Anna Campbell books?
Jonas: Begone, foul author! Our story doesn’t allow authorial intrusion! It’s enough to make a man want to brood some more.
Sidonie: NOOOOOO! No more brooding! We’ve had our happy epilogue. Brooding is banned from now on.
Now, I am curious, Anna, when you wrapped up with them and typed THE END to your SEVEN NIGHTS IN A ROGUE’S BED’S transcript, what did you do to celebrated?
Christine, this will sound really dull but I felt completely strung out when I finished this book (you’re right about the blood, sweat and tears bit!). I collapsed in a heap with a glass of wine and a favorite TV program!
When your readers read the last word of SEVEN NIGHTS IN A ROGUE’S BED what do you hope they take away from it?
I’m laughing – I kind of answered that above. OK, a serious answer? I hope they will carry away a belief in the redemptive power of true love.
When that fleeting free time comes your way what do you like to do? Are there any authors you would recommend to readers until we have the next book in the Sons of Sin series in our hands?
I’ve always been a huge reader so the first thing I do in my spare time is reach for something off the TBR pile. This year I’ve been on a mad mystery binge, especially mysteries with a historical backdrop and a strong romance arc (no surprises there!). Favorite series include C.S. Harris’s Sebastian St. Cyr books, Julia Spencer-Fleming’s Claire Ferguson and Russ Van Alstyne books, Carola Dunn’s Daisy Dalrymple books and Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs books.
Where can we connect with you on the great wide web?
One more thing before I let you skedaddle. The holiday season is upon us and I would love for you to share one of your favorite recipes. This could be one you only make once a year when the holidays come around. Or share with readers a recipe that your friends and family rave about.
I’m very fond of a drink with friends and something that’s a surefire festivity starter is a kir royale. The recipe’s a bit of a no-brainer. Put a dollop of crème de cassis in the bottom of a champagne flute (crème de cassis is a French blackcurrant liqueur) then fill to the brim with quality dry sparkling wine. Then raise your glasses and toast the festive season!
I would like to thank you one more time, Anna, for bringing readers into the fascinating world of the of Sidonie and Jonas from SEVEN NIGHTS IN A ROGUE’S BED about two strong-willed people learning to trust and find love in the most unlikely of places.
Thanks so much, Christine. They were great questions. I’m sorry Jonas was a bit dark and brooding and Byronic – that’s just him, you know? LOL! I wish you and all your readers all the best for the Holiday Season and for 2013! May you all get lost in lots of wonderful books!