Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Interview with Anna Campbell

Award-winning Australian author, Anna Campbell is a favorite here at The Romance Dish.  She introduces us to wonderful books with her Second Helping blog the 24th of every month, writes deeply emotional books of her own that keep me reading late into the night, entertains us through her humorous and insightful blogs at Romance Bandits and is one of the nicest, funniest and most genuinely kind people I've had the pleasure of meeting.  

Anna's last book, Captive of Sin, is raking in the awards and award nominations, most recently winning the Australian Romance Readers Association's (ARRA) Best Historical of 2009 award and finaling in the Greater Detroit RWA Bookseller's Best Contest.  Anna also won the ARRA Favorite Australian Romance Author of 2009.  Congratulations!  Anna's new book, My Reckless Surrender, was released May 25th (Check out Janga's review here.) and she was gracious enough to recently chat with me about the book and other scintillating topics.  Please help me welcome Anna to The Romance Dish! 
~PJ



Thank you for joining us today, Anna. Congratulations on the release of your fifth book, My Reckless Surrender! Will you tell us a bit about the story?

Thanks, PJ. I’m delighted to be here. The Romance Dish has become a bit of a second home in cyberspace for me!

I started out describing My Reckless Surrender as a dangerous seduction in Regency London. Then I thought a bit more and realized it’s a ticking bomb romance. You know, there’s so many revelations to come out – secrets the readers know about, if not the characters – and once those facts emerge, mayhem (and other stuff, snort!) will hit the fan. You’re just waiting for the other shoe to drop – I love stories like that, they keep me turning the pages!

(PJ: You certainly kept me turning the pages!)

Middle-class widow Diana Carrick has the chance to fulfill her every dream, but first she has to seduce notorious rake Tarquin Vale, Earl of Ashcroft. She imagines it’s a victimless crime – he’ll enjoy a short affair with a willing lady, then she’ll forget her fall from grace as she moves into a new life which offers scope for her ambitions and talents. That’s not how it turns out. Tarquin is much more than the careless, selfish libertine she expected and of course, Diana falls in love with him. Both of them find themselves in much deeper emotional waters than they’re ready to enter, and now disaster threatens from all directions.

You can read the blurb and an excerpt at: http://www.annacampbell.info/recklesssurrender.html

You come up with the best names for your characters: Gideon, Tarquin (my personal favorite), Verity and Charis, to name a few. How do you decide what your heroes and heroines will be called?

PJ, names are one of the really fun bits of writing. Like most people, I like a lot of names and I use those for my characters. I also jot down any interesting name I hear. Sometimes, the name has symbolic significance (for some reason, my heroines get saddled with various virtues like Verity, Charis (love), Grace. Big weight to carry, poor things!). What’s funny is that if the character doesn’t accept their name, I have to change it. Diana in My Reckless Surrender took a while to settle – she was originally Antonia (my current story features an Antonia), then she was Harriet (yeah, I know, she ain’t no Harriet!) and eventually she was Diana. And she WAS Diana. The opposite thing happened with Matthew from UNTOUCHED. He turned up straightaway as Titus but I listened to some well-meaning crit partners who hated Titus and ended up changing it to the much less unusual Matthew. In my heart, though, he’s still Titus.

I have to agree with your crit partners on that one, Anna. I love Matthew!

In My Reckless Surrender, there is a house (estate) which is pivotal to the story – to the point that it almost becomes a secondary character. Anna, would you describe for us what would be your perfect house – with money being no object, of course!


Certainly not the house in My Reckless Surrender, that’s for sure. As you know, that house isn’t exactly a benevolent influence. It was based on a mixture of Blenheim and Burghley House and is much too big and grand for me. I love old houses, partly because I come from such a young country and old architecture is pretty rare, especially pre-Victorian. The places I drool over when I drive around England are the gorgeous 18th century rectories. I love Georgian domestic architecture – it’s so clean and balanced. Diana’s dad’s house in My Reckless Surrender basically meets my requirements. With this house, I’d like an English cottage garden with an English gardener (snort!) to do all the work, a library, a writing room up in the eaves, and a view of water.

Oh, that sounds wonderful!  I'm guessing the English gardener would be as lovely to view as the garden. (grin)

Anna, so far you have confined your writing to historical stories that have been described as “Regency Noir.” You certainly excel in this category and I have no desire to see you leave it but, with your wonderful sense of humor, I was wondering if you have ever given thought to exploring other sub-genres and, if so, what they would be?

PJ, it always makes me laugh that I write these dark, dark stories (although I think of them more as journeys from darkness to light – there’s always a happy ending!). I'm not that dark in the flesh! In fact, you might even say I’m rather giggly. I’d love to write Regency romantic comedy before I’m done. It’s such an age of wit and the strict social code gives so much scope for mayhem, how can I resist?

I'm sure I'm not the only reader who would love to see you tackle a Regency romantic comedy!  

You seem to have your talented hands in many different pots: writing your books, blogging at Romance Bandits, Tote Bags ‘n’ Blogs and here at The Romance Dish…not to mention all of your offline activities. Any Time Management tips you’d like to share?

Snort! Hire an English gardener? Actually like most people I know, I usually feel like I’m juggling too many balls. I’ve learned that I can’t leave things to the last moment – because if I do, something unexpected turns up and everything turns into chaos as I try to meet deadlines. I’m lucky because I write full-time – at least I don’t have to fit everything around an outside job!

When you’re not in your cave creating new stories for our pleasure, what authors do you enjoy reading for your own personal pleasure?

Ooh, great question. As you know, I love talking about good books. That’s one of the really fun things about doing Second Helping every month at The Romance Dish. I love so many authors. I might restrict it to some favorites I’ve discovered in the last few years. Christine Wells. C.S. Harris. Liz Carlyle. Kathleen O’Reilly. Sarah Mayberry. Annie West. Too many to mention, really!

Those are all terrific authors!  I have you to thank for introducing me to Kathleen, Sarah and Annie's books and your insightful, witty Second Helping column on the 24th is a monthly highlight for me. 

Anna, you’re widely acknowledged as being a top-notch hostess. (Yes, well-satisfied house guests do talk.) If you could plan a dinner party for ten fictional friends, who would you invite? More importantly, for us foodies, what would you serve?

Am I? What a lovely compliment! I love having people here so it’s great to know my guests enjoy themselves. Ooh, fictional friends – you know, I really think I’d love to have the h/h of each of my five books. Is that why you picked 10? So that’s Verity and Kylemore, Matthew and Grace, Olivia and Erith, Gideon and Charis and now Diana and Tarquin. Gosh, the alpha pheromones would be flying! Am I cooking? If so, I’d get wonderful fresh seafood in from my local fishmonger. They have their own trawlers so the prawns, oysters and Moreton Bay bugs (a small lobster) are so fresh, they’re almost tomorrow’s! Fresh French bread and butter. Smoked salmon. Lots and lots of bubbly. Yup, that will keep all my Regency bods happy!

That would keep me pretty happy too! :)

You’ve had the opportunity to travel extensively. What is the one place you have not been that you would most like to visit?

Ha ha! How long have you got? Actually I’m knocking one place off my list this summer when I go to RomCon and see the Rockies. OK, three places off the top of my head (believe me, there are MORE!), a Rhine/Danube cruise, the Arctic, Turkey.


What are you working on now? Will you share with us what’s next from your talented imagination?

I’m having enormous fun with the latest book – in many ways, it’s a very traditional set-up. Notorious rake and virtuous chaperone. But of course, there’s twists and turns that I’m hoping will make people sit up and pay attention. The hero is my first really bad boy and it’s wonderful to see him completely at sea when he falls in love with the last woman he thought would ever appeal to him. I love to see alphas floundering with emotions they just don’t GET!

Ooh, that sounds wonderful!  I do love those bad boys!

Anna, thank you again for visiting with us today and graciously answering all of my questions.  Is there anything you would like to ask our readers?

If you could have ten people from Romancelandia as your guests for dinner, who would you choose? And how do you think the night would pan out?

Great question!  I can't wait to see what our readers have to say.  To celebrate Anna's new release, Avon Books has graciously offered a giveaway of three copies of My Reckless Surrender to random commenters on today's blog.  

92 comments:

  1. cgreat interview, cant wait to read your new book

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  2. Alphas generally are quite sure of themselves, but emotions don't fall under the domain of the ego. How tremendously do you enjoy discovering these frailties amongst your characters as they reveal themselves to you? Writing itself is such a surprise. I often find I think I know where my stories are going only to be derailed by an emotion that brings me to my knees. Thank you for years of brilliant writing, Anna!

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  3. Ooh, I'll play. So, ten people from Romancelandia...I'll choose 5 of my favorite couples:

    I would seat Derek Craven & Sarah (Dreaming of You) near Sebastian & Evie (Devil In Winter) to finally see who will win the Battle of Best Kleypas Hero EVER written. Team Craven for me! Derek! Derek!

    Then I'll make sure Kylemore & Verity (Claiming the Courtesan) met Jasper, Viscount Vale and his lovely wife, Melisande (To Seduce A Sinner.) These 2 couples are polar opposites. A serious one-woman man vs. a reformed, jokester rake. A former courtesan vs. a quiet plain jane. I can just imagine Kylemore's jealousy & protective instincts kicking in. His Verity amongst 3 reformed rakes! I think he'd be scowling alot and not find Jasper at all humorous, lol.

    Last, I would invite Eve & Roarke from Nora Roberts' In Death series. Eve would be uncomfortable as heck because she doesn't do formal sit-down dinners, there are crimes to be solved! But Roarke would lap it up, his competitive nature would demand he measure his Alpha-ness amongst all these great Alphas and see where he stands but really there isn't anything to worry about. All these men have the most important thing, the lady they love by their side and that just makes me a happy reader :)

    No need to enter me for the giveaway. Thanks.

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  4. Hey, thanks, Chilosa! Glad you enjoyed it. PJ asked some great questions. Good luck with the draw!

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  5. Mistalwynde, thank you for that lovely, lovely message! You're most welcome! Actually I love watching the alpha meeting a force greater than him, i.e. true love! That's one of the perpetual great things about writing romance. A strong man finds he's not master of all he surveys - and usually ends up stronger at the end for surrendering to love. Works for me every single time I read (or write!) it! I actually really like writing flawed characters - I like seeing them overcome their flaws to get their happy endings.

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  6. Hey, Scorpio, that would be one AMAZING dinner party. Testosterone for main course, anyone? Wow, some serious alpha action in that! It's interesting to imagine them all interacting, isn't it? Honestly my characters feel so real to me, I can certainly imagine them sitting down to have dinner with some of my other favorite characters. I think you're right about Kylemore getting all grumpy and territorial. Actually I think they ALL would! Snort!

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  7. Hey, PJ, thanks for that lovely intro by the way!

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  8. i'm gonna try this since i missed my chance to win your book on the Lair :)
    the 10 people, will be from 5 couples that i 'know' (coz i read the books *g*)

    - Millicent Armstrong and James Rutherford (sinful surrender)
    - Charis Weston and Gideon Trevithick (Captive of sin)
    - Ella Finch and Leo Roberts (wild heart)
    - Jaz Parks and Vayl (Jaz parks series)
    - and last but not least, i think i can invite, Alice Cullen and Jasper (Twilight saga)

    Jasper has ability to control emotions around him so he will make sure everybody feel happy till the dinner end. And Alice has ability to 'see' the future, so if one of the guest is unhappy, or confuse, she'll ask Jasper to bring the happiness feeling :D

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  9. Ah lovely interview. Anna, that dinner party would be fascinating! Wonder if we'd get a word in edgewise? Actually I'd probably spend my time gawping at your gorgeous heroes.

    Speaking of which, congratulations on your new release MY RECKLESS SURRENDER. You make a great rakish hero and I'm sure other readers are going to enjoy this new Anna Campbell as much as I did.

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  10. Hi Anna,
    I think I'd ask...

    Harry & Olivia - What Happens in London. Julia Quinn.

    Rafe & Hannah - A Wallflower Christmas. Lisa Kleypass.

    Felicity & Tatcher - Loveletters from a Duke. Elizabeth Boyle.

    Ian & Beth - The madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie. Jennifer Ashley.

    Ethan & Jane - The Rogue. Celeste Bradley.

    ... to come to dinner at my house.
    I have no idea how the evening will go but they are some personal favorites and I would love to talk to them.

    (If Gideon dumps Charis he can come too, it would make a nice dozen.)

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  11. What a fantastic interview Ladies everything you said about Anna is so true and it was an awesome night at the ARRA Awards when Anna's name was called out twice YAY Anna

    I can't wait to read MRS I have ordered a copy and am awaiting its arrival.
    As for 10 dinner guests

    Kylemore and Verity
    Jardine and Louisa
    Matthew and Grace
    Nick and Faith DYTTC Beth Andrews
    Keirnan and Samantha TTOVLoucinda McGary
    There are lots more I could name.

    Have Fun
    Helen

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  12. Hi Chilosa! Thanks for stopping by. Hope you enjoy Anna's new book. It's terrific!

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  13. Welcome, Mistralwynde. Love your name! You said: I often find I think I know where my stories are going only to be derailed by an emotion that brings me to my knees.

    Beautifully said! As a reader, I love stories that take me in unexpected directions and the ones that can bring me to my knees emotionally usually end up on my keeper shelves.

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  14. Scorpio said: I would seat Derek Craven & Sarah (Dreaming of You) near Sebastian & Evie (Devil In Winter) to finally see who will win the Battle of Best Kleypas Hero EVER written.

    Any extra seats at that table? *g*

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  15. Anna said: Hey, PJ, thanks for that lovely intro by the way!

    You're welcome! That one was very easy to write! :)

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  16. Mariska said: Jasper has ability to control emotions around him so he will make sure everybody feel happy till the dinner end. And Alice has ability to 'see' the future, so if one of the guest is unhappy, or confuse, she'll ask Jasper to bring the happiness feeling :D

    That's the kind of guests every good hostess would *love* to have!

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  17. Anna, that dinner party would be fascinating! Wonder if we'd get a word in edgewise? Actually I'd probably spend my time gawping at your gorgeous heroes.

    LOL! Afraid I'd be right there with you, Annie. I'd probably sit there with a silly grin on my face and not a single coherent thought in my head!

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  18. Kirsten, what an interesting dinner party that would be! I'd love to be present for that one. Oh, and I'm with you on Gideon coming solo. I'd be more than happy to help you keep him entertained. :)

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  19. Hi Helen! Another interesting guest list! I'm afraid I wouldn't be a very good conversationalist at your party either. I'd probably spend the entire evening drooling over Kiernan's accent. ::Sigh::

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  20. Hey, Anna! I'm so psyched to read this book! Ten people from Romancelandia? That's easy! All your heroes, plus several from Loretta Chase's books. But I'd have to separate them, of course. There'd be so much testosterone the roof would probably blow off!

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  21. Vanessa, that's an explosion I'd like to see! Anna's heroes and Loretta Chase's? YUM!

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  22. What a fabulous interview, PJ! Great questions! I love Anna's term "ticking bomb" to describe the romance. I've never heard that before, but it is spot on! I'm with PJ on Matthew - I don't see him as a Titus, either. Although, if you had asked if I could picture a hero named Tarquin a few months ago, I would have said no. And now I think it's a fantastic name!

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  23. Hey Anna!

    Well, I would have a big seafood buffet, I want to see those dark, tortured men ripping apart lobsters and such, shells flying everywhere.

    I would have the couple from Tempt the Devil and Captive of Sin to sit along side a few couples of the Lords of the Underworld,(Gena Showalter) how's that for mixing it up?

    Regency Noir dark and tortured VS. Underworld dark and tortured.
    All the best for your release, you deserve it! Cheers and hugs~

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  24. I'm SO there for your fabulous seafood dinner menu, Anna...*faint*

    Hmm...five couple from Romancelandia...whom to invite...?

    How about:

    Scowly Magnus Wallis and painter Annabelle Lawson from Portrait of a Lover (Julianne MacLean)

    Dangerous spy Jardine and intellectual Louisa Brooke from Sweetest Little Sin (Christine Wells)

    Stretching things slightly, earnest man-about-town John Worthing and much-put-upon Gwendolen Fairfax from The Importance of Being Earnest (Oscar Wilde)

    Cursed Professor Alexi Rychman and albino ghost-watcher Miss Percy Parker from The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker (Leanna Renee Hieber)

    Ex-soldier with few prospects Racecombe de Vere and twice-jilted Anne Peckworth from Hazard (Jo Beverley

    There ought to be lots of class-conscious jockeying, eyebrows-raising banter from the accomplished ladies and secrets revealed during this dinner.

    Fun question!

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  25. Romancelandia? As in characters and not authors, right? Because I'd so have Anna Campbell and Eloisa James and Sherrilyn Kenyon over for girl food: carbs, chocolate, and wine.

    But characterwise--

    1.) Mayne & Josie (Pleasure for Pleasure, Eloisa James)
    2.) Harry Potter, Ginny Weasley, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley: not technically "romancelandia" but they are coupled and cute
    3.) Hardy Cates (he doesn't have to bring his wife)
    4.) Kyrian & Amanda (Night Pleasures, Sherrilyn Kenyon)
    5.) Nelson (from The Little Lady Agency series)--he's so adorable. He could bring Honey if he wants, but I'd love to hover over him alone.

    I'm not sure how this would mix up. I have wizards, "vampires", contemporaries who haven't heard of the other folks, and some historical folks who would be baffled by everything I just mentioned. Plus a lot of these are hot and heavy couples, so they'd probably spend a LOT of time in my bathroom, then come out of it looking smug and rumpled.

    We'd have wine, pasta, variety of protein to keep up their strength--I like steak, but I'm sure they'd like oysters or shrimp..., and for dessert, CHOCOLATE. Not a chocolate fountain because those people would just turn it into an orgy and I'd never get the chocolate out of my carpet.

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  26. You already know I love Tarquin and My Reckless Surrender, Anna. :) And please add my name to the list of those who would love to read an Anna Campbell Regency-set romantic comedy.

    I misread the dinner party question and chose ten couples rather than ten people. But the invitations have been sent, it's too late to change my list. I chose my fictional dinner guests because I find them interesting individually and as couples. I also wanted variety, so there are some not-alpha heroes mixed in with the alphas, some reserved heroines mixed in with some extroverts, and characters from an assortment of backgrounds and periods. Here's my list (alphabetized by the heroine's name):

    Anna and Cam from Nora Roberts’s Sea Swept
    Diana and Rothgar from Jo Beverley’s Devilish
    Jessica and Dain from Loretta Chase’s Lord of Scoundrels
    Josie and Mayne from Eloisa James’s Pleasure for Pleasure
    Lillian and Avery from Connie Brockway’s My Dearest Enemy
    Olivia and Julian from Anna Campbell’s Tempt the Devil
    Penelope and Colin from Julia Quinn’s Romancing Mr. Bridgerton
    Raine and Kenzie from Mary Jo Putney’s A Spiral Path
    Tessa and Guy from Eva Ibbotson’s Magic Flutes
    Winnie and Mick from Judith Ivory’s The Proposition

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  27. Hellie, I am so NOT surprised at your #2 foursome. LOL!

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  28. Isn't it obvious? If I could invite 10 people from Romancelandia they would be: Sir Gideon and Lady Charis, Olivia and Julian, Grace Paget and Lord Sheene, Kylemore and Verity Ashton and Jemma and Elijah Beaumont along with Anna Campbell and Eloisa James... who cares it the numbers are lopsided? I couldn't have these folks without their creators!

    And YES PLEASE enter me in the free MRS contest!

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  29. Another great interview. I would love to read MRS.
    If I could have a few people over for dinner, I think I would have the girls from Jane Porter's books over with their guys.

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  30. PJ said...
    Scorpio said: I would seat Derek Craven & Sarah (Dreaming of You) near Sebastian & Evie (Devil In Winter) to finally see who will win the Battle of Best Kleypas Hero EVER written.

    Any extra seats at that table? *g*
    - - - -

    For you PJ, most definitely! ;-)

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  31. Terrific interview, PJ and Anna! Congrats to you, Anna, on your newest release! I have it and can't wait to read it!

    Well, if we're talking ten guests, I would choose:

    Anthony Bridgerton
    Michael Halboro (St. Aubyn)
    Leo Hathaway
    Lord Bramwell Johns
    Sir Harry Valentine
    Jack Travis
    Logan Jennsen
    Marcus, Lord Westcliff
    Devlin Ryland
    Jack Pallas

    And if any of them couldn't make it, my alternate guests would be:

    Jack Devlin
    Jack Audley

    Obviously I have a thing for heroes named Jack! ;-)

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  32. Hey, Mariska, great to see you!

    Actually I think Charis and Gideon would be good company - well, at least Gideon at the end of the book, maybe not so much at the beginning, snort! Love the idea of Jasper making sure the vibe is cool! Good luck!

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  33. Hey, Annie, lovely to see you! And thanks for saying lovely things about MY RECKLESS SURRENDER! So glad you enjoyed it - Tarquin was a lovely hero to write. I agree with you about gawping. And I think I'd probably be so nervous at all these arisocratic hunks, I'd end up spilling gravy over at least one of them! Not a good look!

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  34. Snort, Kirsten! I love your last line. But Gideon's a lovely man and a romance hero - he won't dump Charis, gorgeous as you are! Love the list. Sounds like the wit would be flying at that dinner party!

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  35. Helen, I'm so glad you went to the ARRA dinner. Sounds like such fun and I wish I could have been there. I'm still stoked at the double award! I love your list of guests - it's a bit of a Romance Bandits party, isn't it? And all the better for that! I loved Beth's latest DO YOU TAKE THIS COP too? Read it in one sitting. And I love that you invited V&K and M&G. I actually think M&K would get along! It's hard to narrow it down, though, isn't it?

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  36. PJ, thanks for the kind words! This is turning into one crowded dinner party! Yes, I love Mistralwynde's comment about the emotion too. I find that when I'm writing - the characters take over and go in directions I'm never expecting!

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  37. Snort, PJ! My thoughts exactly! And I want to take my camera ;-)

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  38. Yeah, PJ, I'm thinking I could have used Jasper at a few REAL dinner parties I've been to, snort!

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  39. Snort, you wild wicked women, wanting to corrupt Gideon!

    Note to self, if anyone gets to corrupt Gideon, it's MEEEEEEE! ;-)

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  40. Actually, PJ, our dinner party is pretty international, isn't it? I'm looking forward to hearing a few Scottish brogues too!

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  41. Wow, Vanessa, nothing like being spoilt for choice, is there? Snort! Oh, where would a girl look? There can be TOO much of a good thing. Hmm, maybe not! Thanks for saying you're looking forward to reading MRS! I'm so looking forward to your visit to the Bandits this month. Sounds like that will be party central!

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  42. By the way, I have dibs on Rupert! I would love to marry Rupert - he's such a darling! I'll dump Daphne in the same dungeon we're throwing Charis into!

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  43. Hey, thanks, Becke! Actually someone pointed out where I got Tarquin from. He was the last king of Rome - Tarquinius Superbus. But honestly, I'm not such a scholar that I knew that (I thought TS was an Etruscan!). My mum had a big crush on Laurence Olivier and I remember reading his autobiography years ago. His son is Tarquin. I really like the name although I suspect a real Tarquin would be beaten up in the playground ;-) The funny thing with Titus is it then took me forever to come up with an alternative. I tried Silas and Magnus and a whole stack of other names. I can live with Matthew - think it's a matter of first impressions. I stole Titus from Lindsey Davis - the stories take place in the time of the Emperor Titus and he's an interesting character.

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  44. Karyn, your post made me think of that scene in Splash where the mermaid absolutely eviscerates her seafood dinner! Made me laugh! Oh, all that dark, tortured testosterone in the room? I think we'd definitely need Jasper and his mood enhancers! Snort! Mind you, I think it would be a very picturesque evening!

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  45. Julia, I find the dinner party question endlessly fascinating. I'm still working on my ideal five people from history one! Glad you had fun with it. Ooh, the Posie Parker book sounds intriguing. I'll have to check it out! Love a romantic ghost story - one of my favorite movies is The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. I love your list - I think Jack and Gwendolyn would make a marvelous addition. And they're always happy to talk handbags! ;-)

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  46. Ooh, Hellion, can you REALLY have that dinner party and invite me? I'd LOVE to come! Wouldn't we giggle our heads off all night? Sounds fantastic!

    I love your list. I think having the Harry Potter types around would be great fun. And wouldn't it be great to hear about their adventures first hand? I'm THERE!

    And I'm so with you on avoiding the chocolate fountain! All that sex appeal in one room? I think I'd be spreading the chocolate meself!

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  47. Janga, thank you for the that lovely review. This will make you laugh - I was in the shower yesterday thinking "Tarquin is Janga's fave! How cool!" Snort - your words are immortal!

    Hey, you're hosting this shindig. You ask who you want, hon! As long as I get photographs!

    Ooh, I love your list. And you mentioned a lot of my favorites. I'd love to meet Winnie and Mick (OK, mainly Mick - can he bring his terrier? I love that dog!). Love the Eva I connection. Eloisa's characters would be fun to have around. SOOOO agree with you about the Loretta Chase selection - especially as Dain has become more sociable since his marriage.

    Those Chesapeake books are my fave Nora Roberts (told you you picked some doozies!). I loved watching Anna and Cam's marriage develop. And I think the others would fit around the table very beautifully - although personally I'd have Harry and Desdemona, they're my fave CBs! Nice mixture!

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  48. Oh, and meant to say I think Olivia and Julian would fit in a treat. I actually think they'd be lovely hosts - they're very civilized and urbane and would know how to put even the most difficult guest at ease. I'm angling for an invite to the chateau in Normandy but so far all I've had is a postcard. Sheesh! Who did all the hard work getting them together?

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  49. Hey, MariElle! Lovely to see you here! Good luck in the draw. Actually your dinner party sounds like wonderful fun! I'll let Eloisa know we're ON!

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  50. Ooh, Runner, I love Jane Porter! And she's so great in person too. Have you met her? I've been lucky enough to meet her a few times - she's still one of the best speakers I've ever heard. Remember a day she did on writing the alpha male that has stayed with me forever. She writes great alphas! Good luck in the draw!

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  51. Scorpio, can I sit on PJ's lap? Or even better, on Derek's? Snort!

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  52. Andrea, your list made me laugh. Um, I'm guessing you won't need a ladies room for that dinner party. Oh, that's right, they want one for YOU!!!! Talk about hogging all the talent, my friend. And yeah, I had kinda picked up the Jack thing, snort! Thanks for saying you're looking forward to reading MRS!

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  53. Phew, running all these dinner parties takes it out of a girl. Can I have a long cool drink? Or perhaps a long cool hero???!!!

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  54. Scorpio, can I sit on PJ's lap? Or even better, on Derek's? Snort!

    Actually, Anna, if you sit on mine you will be on Derek's! (smiles demurely)

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  55. Wonderful interview and post today, PJ and Anna. I picked up MRS this afternoon at the bookstore and can't wait to open it and read!

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  56. great interview! I'm looking forward to reading it!

    as far as people from romancelandia.... *hmm* thats tough. i think it'd be fun to sit in with the malory family from johanna lindsey's series. But a mismash....there are people from several authors books i'd enjoy having a lovely dinner with lol

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  57. Hey, PJ, that demure smile fools NOBODY!!! Just thought you'd like to know. Looks like I'll have to sit in Dain's lap instead. Oh, no, Jessica's a crack shot. Maybe I'll pick another hero. So many to choose from!

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  58. Actually I'm thinking if I'm sitting in someone's lap, maybe I should pick someone big and muscly like one of our paranormal visitors with their superhuman strength. Like that idea!

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  59. Hey, cool you found it, Deb! Happy reading! Read recklessly! Snort! Thanks for checking out the interview. I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I would say PJ asked good questions but that's before she pushed me onto the floor so she could have Derek all to herself. Ouch!

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  60. ScorpJen, I remember devouring the Mallorys in a couple of weeks some years ago. She writes a wonderful love scene, doesn't she? Yeah, I think they'll fit in fine in this dinner party - although I'm hiding the sharp knives. All this masculinity could get a bit dangerous! Thanks for saying you're looking forward to reading the book!

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  61. I would say PJ asked good questions but that's before she pushed me onto the floor so she could have Derek all to herself. Ouch!

    "Pushed" is such a harsh word, don't you think? I prefer to call it a "gentle nudge of encouragement." (still smiling demurely)

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  62. Intriguing guest list, Hellie! I'm sure Hardy's wife won't mind sharing him for the evening. ;-)

    Janga, what a fascinating mix of guests you have. I can hardly wait for the party to get started! Oh! I am invited, aren't I? I'd be willing to beg. Just sayin'...

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  63. Thanks, Deb! Hope you enjoy MRS!

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  64. Welcome, ScorpJen! So glad to have you here at The Romance Dish. I'm in total agreement with you on Lindsey's Malory clan. They, and Julia Quinn's Bridgerton's, are my favorite romance families.

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  65. What a great interview, Fo and PJ. There were even a few things I learned here about Fo that I hadn't known. For example, that she's a gourmet cook. Hm. Do I see a fab meal in my future??

    My dinner guests would be my current favorite romance authors: Ammanda McCabe, Anna Campbell, Laura Kinsale, Jo Beverley, Diane Gaston, Candice Hern, Christine Wells, Jodi Thomas, Julia Quinn, Lisa Kleypas, Eloisa James, C.S. Harris, Connie Brockway, and Jane Porter. Ah, yes, and I'd have to rent the extra-extra large dinner table for this event.

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  66. Welcome back, Keira! You've been missed!

    Love your guest list! What a fabulous dinner party that would be! I can see the laughter (much laughter) and conversation going on late into the night.

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  67. Nuh, smile still doesn't convince. And let's face it, a girl sitting on your lap sitting on Derek's lap is pretty precariously positioned anyway. You didn't exactly need dynamite to shift me (unfortunately!).

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  68. Hey, PJ, you're definitely there. You and your demure smile, snicker!

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  69. You know, I think my favorite romance family would be the VERY complicated extended family Liz Carlyle writes about. I love the way she intertwines the stories!

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  70. Keira, lovely to see you! Where you been, hon? Love the list of your London activities on your blog! Wish I could come with!

    Gourmet cook? Oh, doing it too brown, m'dear. As I do when I tend to cook. Any fool can go to the seafood shop and buy some stuff! So glad you enjoyed the interview! I had fun with it - yeah, even if PJ is determined to see me flat on my face on the carpet!

    Ooh, I love the sound of this dinner. I think that would be fabulous. Thanks so much for including me - I promise not to blow my nose on the tablecloth. Well, before dessert anyway. And yeah, I know, I hear you going EWWWWWWW!

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  71. PJ, yes, lots of laughter was key criterion for guest choice. Also the fact that I'm a slavish fan doesn't hurt.

    Fo, I've been in a health slump. Much improved now though. (More on e-mail.) And I so, so, so, so wish you could be with me. We have a long list of places to go, sights to see, things to experience. Hamaams in Turkey would be a good start. Heh.

    You shall be provided with your own personal muscular tablecloth holder for all your blowing (har!) needs.

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  72. Er, and Fo? Yep, any fool can go to the fish shop and buy the stuff. Cooking it is a whole different ball of blubber, er, wax. There's a reason why I never cook living and/or recently dead sea things from the animal kingdom.

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  73. Snort! I get my own tablecloth holder? I like the cut of your jib, Miss K! And I'm sorry to hear the health hasn't been good. Was wondering (been head down between polishing a manuscript and the blog tour which is why I've been such a neglectful friend - kick me, or better yet make me watch dancing naked tablecloth holders!).

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  74. Oh, man, just saw the joke at the end of your post. Naughty girl! Even PJ's demure smile slipped at that!

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  75. Keira, I'm not great at cooking seafood either (I do a fab roast potato, though - I can get you references!). But my local seafood shop does wonderful cold seafood. Prawns and oysters and bugs and smoked salmon and that ilk! Yes, the ilk is a little known Aussie delicacy!

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  76. Great interview, PJ and Anna! And I love the question! If I have to limit it to ten (it's like picking my favorite books--too hard. *g*):

    Eve and Roarke---I would have said just Roarke, but he would never be there without his "darling Eve."

    Claire and Jamie Fraser--I fell in love with Jamie from the moment I read Outlander. What's not to love about a big, handsome Scot with a heart of gold!

    Colin and Penelope--one of my favorite couples of JQ's.

    Matthew and Grace--Anna, I will always have a special place in my heart for Matthew!

    Maggie and Doyle--from Jo Bourne's latest masterpiece. I loved reading about their journey to love.

    Now if I was inviting some of my favorite romance authors for some wine, chocolate and other assorted delicacies--served by very sexy men, natch!--I would start with:

    You, Anna!, Christine Wells, Eloisa James, Julia Quinn, Christina Dodd, Teresa Medeiros, Lisa Kleypas, Connie Brockway, La Nora, and J.R. Ward.....okay, I'll stop with ten, but I could add MANY more. Now that would be one fun partay!!

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  77. Gannon, thanks for having me as the Dishes' guest today. I'm having a ball (a few bruises aside!). Eve and Roarke have a full dancecard, don't they? Snort. I really must read Outlander one day (yeah, I know, howls of shock!). Love your other selections. Actually Matthew and Grace have a full invitation list too which is lovely!

    Ooh, love your list of romance authors to have over. I'll definitely come to that one! Thanks for including me in such an amazing lot!

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  78. Even PJ's demure smile slipped at that!

    The smile grew into something that not even PJ could disguise as demure. *VBG*

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  79. Congrats on your new release! BTW, I love the cover of Untouched. It is awesome!
    I'd love to have dinner with authors, as opposed to any characters. It's just the "star struck" in me. :D

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  80. Oh my, perhaps a couple from some of my favorite authors, the list is growing every day so would have way more than 10 if I tried to invite them all.
    Verity and Kylemore would be a must, one of the Cynster couples oh, let's say Devil and Honoria, Sebastian and Evie, Gwendolyn and Marcus, Penelope and Colin, Constance and Duncan, Dougal and Sophia (yes, I have to have couple of Highlanders in here), Cameron and Avery, Rachel and Cory, and last but definitely not least, Christine and Wulfric.
    How woulde it end?? I shudder to think with all those Alphas running around loose. Wulfric I know would be using the quizzing glass to the utmost until Christine has enough and tosses it out the window. Sebastian would be trying to outbad Devil, Colin would be trying to smooth everyone's feathers (he is just so sweet!), Kylemore would be standing in front of Verity for the most part until she settle him down of course. The two Highlanders would be squaring off with their Claymores, and the ladies would eventually drift off to a corner and watch them all make a**es of themselves. They would then thank me for a lovely evening and tow their respective husbands home and put a bug in their ear.

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  81. YAY! Anna's in da house!!!! Sorry for my late arrival, my friend. My computer has been out of commission all weekend and just got booted up!

    Fantastic interview, PJ and Anna. I just loved it!

    Let's see . . . my guest list for a romancelandia would include 10 sexy heros all trying to gain my attention and acceptance in all things wicked ;-) What can I say? I so love the heros!

    Anna, I'm so looking forward to seeing you NEXT MONTH! Can't wait!

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  82. Buffie!! You're so right...it IS next month, isn't it?!?! Woohoo! See you next month, Anna!!!

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  83. Anna, thank you again for the wonderful interview and for partying with us all day. It's always a fun time when you visit!

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  84. PJ, just on the QT, you don't actually disguise the demure smile when you're not talking about ahem!

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  85. Hey, LilMissMolly! Lovely to see you here! Isn't this a fun site? So glad you love the cover of Untouched - Matthew and Grace are going to be busy with dinner parties for the next little while! LOL! Actually one of the nice things about dinner with the authors is that we won't be staring lovestruck into each other's eyes - although some of the guests suggested would certainly have me staring lovestruck, I must admit! ;-)

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  86. Dianna, I cracked up reading your description of this chaotic dinner party. Yanno, I think you're 100% right. I particularly loved your description of Kylemore acting like a cranky bear until V settled him down. Wouldn't that be the truth. And honestly, claymores in the dining room always end up with smashed china! It's hard picking just 10, isn't it? Perhaps we should just forget the characters and make it a romance writers and readers dinner. That sounds much more civilized and PJ won't throw me onto the floor quite so often! Thanks for swinging by and good luck in the draw!

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  87. Buffie, no apologies necessary. It's been chaos here today, chaos! And PJ has smiled demurely throughout (we like to humor her!). Oh, man, what a pain about the computer. Would you believe I had a blackout this morning (hence the long delay before I came back again)? Don't you feel powerless when you can't use your computer? Or I do! It's scary how dependent I am upon it! I'm SOOOO looking forward to Orlando! And hey, anyone coming to RomCon in Colorado in early July, make sure you come up and say hello and give me a big hug. Unless I'm on Derek's lap, of course!

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  88. By the way, Buffie, giggled at your everybody look at me decision on the dinner party! I definitely think there would be smashed china with all those heroes vying for your attention!

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  89. Andrea, now that's one party I'm REALLY looking forward to attending!!!!

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  90. PJ, I've had an absolute ball. Thank you so much to you and all the other Dishies for having me to visit. You know I love it here - it's like a second home for me!

    By the way, make sure you come by and check out my review of Karina Bliss's fabulous WHAT THE LIBRARIAN DID on the 24th! That's my next official appearance here - and there will be late fees involved if you don't show! Snort. Not really!

    And thanks to Avon for giving us some books to share. Good luck in the draw, everyone!

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  91. Hi Anna-fun post, both yours and the comments from everyone on their ideal Romancelandia guests!

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  92. Thanks for swinging by, Kandy! Interesting so many historical couples feature, isn't it?

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