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!
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!)
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!
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?
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.