Anna Campbell has been awarded Australia’s Favourite Romance Author by the Australian Romance Readers Association four years in a row, making her a definite favourite with those who like a dark historical hero. In the lead up to the release of A Rake’s Midnight Kiss we were able to chat with Anna about her career.
Hi Anna, thank you so much for talking with us today and welcome to Beauty and Lace.
Thank you for having me as your guest today!
What inspired your love of writing?
I’ve always been a keen reader and I was lucky enough to have parents who encouraged my love of books. I think if you scratch any writer, you’ll find an eager reader screaming to get out.
Is there a reason you chose Regency historicals?
I had to smile here. Does it sound shallow if I say men in boots? There’s something to be said for Mr. Darcy as the prototype Regency hero – he certainly makes a million female hearts flutter, including mine! As a more serious answer, I grew up reading Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer and I’ve always loved history, so it seemed natural to write books set against the glamour and drama of the first quarter of the 19th century.
Do you write in any other genre?
I’ve been madly in love with historical romance since I heard my first fairytale! I’ve toyed with ideas for other genres, but my heart belongs in the era of long dresses and travel by actual horsepower. There’s something magical about how a great historical sweeps you away into a larger-than-life world.
Can you tell us a little about your latest release ‘A Rake’s Midnight Kiss’?
This book is a little more lighthearted than my usual! It’s a mixture between To Catch a Thief, the old Cary Grant movie, and the Scarlet Pimpernel. I wanted to write a story about a man who becomes a hero despite himself. Sir Richard Harmsworth has good reasons for taking an alias and setting out to snatch the Harmsworth Jewel from scholarly vicar’s daughter Genevieve Barrett, but the plan goes to pieces when he falls in love with Genevieve very much against his better judgment. You can read an excerpt on my website here: http://annacampbell.info/rakeskiss.html
Where do your story ideas come from?
Oh, everywhere! There’s no shortage of ideas. There’s a shortage of time to turn them all into books!
What has been your career highlight to date?
I’m grateful and surprised and overwhelmed that for the past four years, I’ve been voted favourite Australian Romance Writer by the Australian Romance Readers Association. I treasure those lovely awards – I don’t even mind dusting them, which is saying something!
How did you get your break? Can you tell us a little about your journey to publication?
I was a VERY slow learner. I wrote my first romance, a historical which still hides under the bed, when I finished high school and it took me 27 years of writing after that to get to a point where a publisher bought my work. So I had a long apprenticeship which isn’t necessarily a bad thing – I got to experiment with a lot of stories and learn my process away from the public eye. In 2006, my agent submitted a dramatic, passionate story about a courtesan and a duke to a few New York publishers and three of them wanted to buy it, so we went to auction. Such an exciting time. At the end of a week of sleepless nights for me, Avon Books, HarperCollins’s romance arm, had bought the book that became Claiming the Courtesan. Since then I’ve written another seven historical romances and a number of novellas. Being a full-time author is a dream come true for me.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
There’s so much distraction out there at the moment (including your wonderful site!). But writers need to write. The only way you’ll publish a book is to get those words on the page.
What’s next for Anna Campbell?
I’m currently writing the third Sons of Sin book, the Duke of Sedgemoor’s story. I’m also looking forward to the North American release of A Rake’s Midnight Kiss on 27th August.
What does being a woman mean to you?
What a great question! I think to me it means not having to prove anything to anyone.
Thank you for having me as your guest today. What a fun interview!