Thursday, April 28, 2011

Author Interview and Giveaway with Anna Campbell

Today, it is my esteemed pleasure to share with you guys this great author interview I did with one of my favorite authors. I started my journey through this authors works with the book 'My Reckless Surrender', which I remarked in my review as being "beautifully written and diabolically addicting". She proves my statement can apply to more of her books with her impressive latest release. Let's find out more, shall we? Without further adieu, please welcome my special guest:
Author Bio:
"Anna Campbell, always a voracious reader, decided as a child that she wanted to be a writer. Once she discovered the wonderful world of romance novels, she knew exactly what she wanted to write. Her first historical romance for Avon was the multi-award winning CLAIMING THE COURTESAN. CLAIMING THE COURTESAN was followed by another multi-award winning Regency noir, UNTOUCHED. Her third book for Avon, TEMPT THE DEVIL, debuted in January 2009 and her fourth, CAPTIVE OF SIN, was a November 2009 release. CAPTIVE OF SIN was chosen among Publishers Weekly's Top 100 books of 2009. Her next release, in June 2010, is MY RECKLESS SURRENDER, the story of a dangerous seduction in late Regency London. Anna's books have been translated in Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Japan, Turkey, Thailand, Indonesia, Russia and Norway. When she's not writing passionate, intense stories featuring gorgeous Regency heroes and the women who are their destiny, Anna loves to travel, especially in the United Kingdom, and listen to all kinds of music. You can find out more about Anna and her books at her website:"Source

Find Anna Campbell on the web: Website | Facebook | Goodreads

Anna's Latest Release:
'Midnight's Wild Passion'
Releases April 26th, 2011

"London's most notorious seducer, Nicholas Challoner lives solely for revenge…
The dashing, licentious Marquess of Ranelaw can never forgive Godfrey Demarest for ruining his sister - now the time has come to repay the villain in the same coin. But one formidably intriguing impediment stands in the way of Nicholas's vengeance: Miss Antonia Smith, companion to his foe's unsuspecting daughter.
Having herself been deceived and disgraced by a rogue-banished by her privileged family as a result and forced to live a lie-Antonia vows to protect her charge from the same cruel fate. She recognizes Ranelaw for the shameless blackguard he is, and will devote every ounce of her intelligence and resolve to thwarting him.
Yet Antonia has always had a fatal weakness for rakes…"
My Review of 'Midnight's Wild Passion': coming soon
Read a review of the book at The Romance Dish: here

Book Trailer:                                               

Get Your Copy Today:

-Q&A Time!!!-
RJ: Hey Anna! Thanks so much for stopping by and giving me and the readers the chance to get to know you and your books a bit better. Congrats on your latest release, ‘Midnight’s Wild Passion’ (from Avon books, April 26th, 2011)! First question: When did you first start writing, and what inspired you to pick up a pen in the first place?
AC: Thanks for having me as your guest, Rita! I loved books right from when my parents read me my first story – which I suspect might have been a romance in the form of a fairy story! It seemed a natural progression to tell my own stories. I started my first novel in grade three, an Enid Blyton rip-off (she was my heroine at the time). I then fiddled with various bits of stories until I finished high school when I finished a medieval that will NEVER see the light of day.
RJ: Why don't you tell me and the readers a little bit about ‘Midnight’s Wild Passion‘?
AC: I’m so excited about this book. It was great fun to write and I love the two main characters. The hero, Nicholas Challoner, Marquess of Ranelaw, is such a delicious rake and I love it when he comes up against stubborn, smart Antonia Smith who knows exactly what tricks he’s plotting. And of course, these two wary, wounded people fall in love, much against their wishes. 
RJ: How long does it usually take you to write a book from beginning to end? And how long did it take you to write ‘Midnight’s Wild Passion’?
AC: I always take a year to write a book from first word to when I’m ready to send it to an editor. A lot of that is polishing!
RJ: Where did the inspiration for your plot, characters and setting come from?
AC: Because this story is probably as close as I’m going to come to writing a classic Regency romance, I suspect I was channeling my inner Georgette Heyer. As you know, in most of my books, people spend more time undressing than dressing up but in this story, they get to go to balls and house parties. There’s an elopement and a duel! Which doesn’t mean readers will miss out on plenty of naughty scenes and drama!
RJ: What challenges or difficulties did you face with the writing of this particular novel?
AC: Actually this story came to me like a gift from heaven. The words just flowed onto the page. That’s a really unusual situation for me.
RJ: The first 3 adjectives that come to mind when describing your Hero and Heroine, Nicholas & Antonia, are?
AC: OK, Antonia – wary, clever, repressed (she doesn’t stay that way, snicker!). Nicholas – seductive, self-aware, crafty.
RJ: I am always intrigued by a good ‘revenge that leads to romance’ plot. How does revenge play a role in ‘Midnight’s Wild Passion‘ and how did you keep the plot fresh?
AC: What a great question, Rita. The people who know Ranelaw have no idea that he harbors a secret sorrow. In his boyhood, his beloved half-sister Eloise was seduced and abandoned by Godfrey Demarest and that one event ruined her life. At last he has the chance to repay Demarest in the same coin. Demarest’s daughter is making her debut and Ranelaw sets out to ruin her. Unfortunately for him, his quarry has a very canny and determined guard dog in intriguing chaperone Antonia Smith. Even more unfortunately for Ranelaw, Antonia proves a major distraction from his quest for revenge. I think all these classic themes like revenge gone astray stay fresh when they’re individual to the characters in a particular story.
RJ: The writing process differs from author to author. Some are planners, and others just jump right in. Some consider themselves evening writers, while others need daylight and a park bench or a coffee shop (wink) to set the mood for creativity; what’s YOUR writing process and atmosphere like?
AC: I call myself an organic writer. I don’t really plan ahead although I have some idea of where the story is going and I have ideas for future scenes, some of which never appear because the winding road of telling the story takes me in another direction. These days, I feel very spoilt when it comes to a working environment. I have a big office littered with inspirational bits and pieces like postcards, pictures, books, gifts people have given me and my writing awards. It looks out on a garden alive with native birds. I can’t write with voices around me, either recorded or real, however music helps me enormously, usually classical or soundtracks. As I said, no words!
RJ: Picture this: Some major motion picture studio buys the film rights to ‘Midnight’s Wild Passion’ and want to make it into a movie. They bring you in as a consultant (you know, since you wrote the book and everything-LOL). They ask you to come up with an ‘ideal’ cast list. Which actors would make that list and for what roles?
Alison Doody
Marcus Gilbert

AC: Oh, I wish! Actually I almost always cast my stories before I write them and then use those people as physical models. Of course, the characters quickly take on a life of their own but I find having an image really helps at the outset. The people I cast for Midnight are probably a bit long in the tooth (and obscure) to make a current big Hollywood movie. But here are the photos I used. Nicholas is my first blond hero and I picked an English actor called Marcus Gilbert as his prototype. Marcus Gilbert was in a couple of the Barbara Cartland adaptations and I think he’s terrifically handsome in that English aristocrat style. Antonia is a Nordic blond and I picked Alison Doody who was a Bond girl as her model. She has a beautiful face but more than that, it’s an intelligent face. Antonia is as smart as a whip!  

"You want me to weed whack WHAT!?"
RJ: In a small paragraph, write the blurb to your life as it is-but exaggerated to how you ideally wish it were.
AC: International woman of mystery,  Anna Campbell, takes time off from championship cross-country skiing races and her life as a prima ballerina at the Bolshoi to write her passionate stories of England’s Regency period. From her library at Chatsworth in Derbyshire’s Peak District, she pens bestselling masterpieces of historical romance while her gardener Richard Armitage tends the camellias (and a few other things too!). Yeah, I wish!
RJ: What do you value in a good romance novel and what sort of characteristics do you like to find in the protagonists?
AC: I like a romance novel to be emotionally satisfying and I love it when the hero and heroine are better, wiser people at the end than they were at the beginning. I like sizzling sexual tension and luscious love scenes. I love it when the characters are smart and there’s plenty of spark and snark between the hero and the heroine. I like the hero to either be a man of honor at the start or discover through the story that he is a man of honor. I like the heroine to stand up for herself or have learned how to stand up for herself by the end. I really want to believe that the happy ending promises a long and fulfilled life together. Don’t ask for much, do I?
RJ: What’s next? What projects are you currently working on and what do the readers (and I!) have to look forward to?
AC: I’m currently hard at work on a gothic take on the Beauty and the Beast story and having a wonderful time. Really sexy hero and a gutsy heroine. Sorry, can say no more right now. I’ve got an extended short story coming out in September in the Mammoth Book of Ghost Romance. You can read an excerpt here:
RJ: Final Question: What is something shocking or interesting about you that the readers may not know?
AC: Oh, dear, I always feel like the most boring woman on the planet when people ask me these questions. How about I can read really fluently upside down? Sorry it’s not something more scandalous. I save all the scandal for my books!  
RJ: It was great having you on, Anna- although, I think author Ashley March and myself (along with a few hundred twitter peeps) might have to tag team you for the rights to have RA as our gardener. Desperate Book Loving Housewives-has a nice ring to it! Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing about your book!

AC:Thanks, Rita. Great questions as ever. I’ve been thinking about the casting question. Rita’s readers, if you were casting your favorite historical romance, who would you pick to play the hero and heroine? There’s a signed copy of MIDNIGHT’S WILD PASSION up for grabs!

~*~Giveaway Details~*~
Anna Campbell has generously offered to giveaway one (1) copy of her latest release, 'Midnight's Wild Passion' to one (1) lucky commenter! To enter this giveaway, just leave a comment with your answer to her question above. The giveaway will end on May 13th, 2011 and the winner will be announced and contacted shortly thereafter.

*For extra entries in the giveaway, you can do any/all of the following:
+2 Follow this blog on Twitter or Like it on Facebook
+4 be a GFC follower of this blog
+4 Like Anna Campbell on Facebook
+5 Spread the word: Blog about it, Tweet, Facebook-whatever (leave a link so I can verify)

(*Make sure you leave your email address and mention which extra entries you would like to claim.)

*[Edit] Giveaway is INTERNATIONAL 
Good luck to all the entrants and I hope all of you will make use of the on the web links to get to know more about this fab author and her books. Also, don't forget to pick up your copy of the book if you haven't done so already. It's a wonderful read!

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