Today in the Library we have Anna Campbell, who has dropped in to say hello and to share some insights into her life as an author.
You are very welcome, Anna, please introduce yourself:
Hi everyone! Hi Pam! Thanks for having me as your guest today. I’m an Aussie historical romance writer who lives on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland – and yes, it’s as nice as it sounds. I’ve had 10 multi award-winning books published with HarperCollins and Hachette, and I’ve done 23 more under my own steam as an indie. I’m currently in the bonny hills of the Scottish Highlands, at least in my head. I’m writing a series called The Lairds Most Likely. The Laird’s Willful Lass, The Laird’s Christmas Kiss, and The Highlander’s Lost Lady are out now, with The Highlander’s Defiant Captive releasing on 27th September (Available for pre-order now). All these are stand-alone love stories, although characters pop up across the books.
Which genre do you write in and what draws you to it?
I write historical romance, mostly although not exclusively, set in the Regency period. I’ve been in love with historical romance since my parents read me fairy tales as a kid and the addiction was confirmed by a good dose of Errol Flynn movies not long after. I love the wit and elegance of the Regency. I love that you can write a larger-than-life story in a historical romance and play with language in a way that a contemporary romance really doesn’t allow. If a Regency gentleman calls you a twittipated henwit, he can get away with it!
Are you an avid reader? Do you prefer books in your own genre or are you happy to explore others?
I’ll read the cereal packet if there’s nothing else available! I read across a wide range of genres. Recently because I’ve been writing so much, I’ve been mainly reading crime, fantasy and nonfiction. Reading romance is a little too much like a busman’s holiday.
Are you a self-published/traditional or hybrid author?
These days, my new stuff is coming out independently. I have ten books (and a novella) published with Harper Collins and Hachette.
What was the best piece of writing advice you received when starting out?
Many years ago, before I was published, New Zealand romance writing legend Robyn Donald told me, “The people who fail are the people who give up.” At the time it didn’t strike me as so profound as it does now. It took me many years to get a publishing contract and it would have been so easy along the way to give up. In fact, I did at one stage – except it drove me crazy not using what I saw around me in my writing so I went back to it.
Do you have a favourite time of day to write?
I’ve become a real devotee of writing in bed for a couple of hours, starting the minute I wake up. Because I had an injury a few years ago that meant I couldn’t use my left arm, I went back to writing first drafts longhand and I’ve realised that really suits me so I’ve kept up the practice. It’s just me, some classical music, the birds waking up, and no internet. That really lets me dive back into my story and sets up my writing for the day.
If a movie was made of one of your books, who would you like to play the lead roles?
I often play this game when I’m choosing physical models for my characters. Right now I’m working on a rumbustious, old-school Scottish romance set in 1699 – a bit of a departure from my usual Regency era. The hero of The Highlander’s Defiant Captive is big and brawny but with a laugh sparkling in his eyes. Definitely Jason Momoa. The idea of him in a kilt has kept me going quite well so far! The heroine is beautiful and smart and, well, defiant as you’ve probably gathered from the title. I know she’s no longer with us, but it would have been a perfect part for the gorgeous Maureen O’Hara.
If you could travel back in time, what era would you go to? What draws you to this particular time?
Am I allowed to come back to the present day? As a woman heading for the age where health care and dentistry really matter, I’m happy to stay just where I am! If it was just for a visit, I’d go to the Regency obviously, especially if we could arrange for me to be a rich man’s daughter and I could go to a couple of balls and to the fashionable hour in Hyde Park and perhaps a house party at some gorgeous pile out in Surrey or Kent. Hmm, I might rethink that – empire lines look awful on me…
You have been chosen as a member of the crew on the first one-way flight to Mars – you are allowed to bring 5 books with you. What would they be?
This is both a cruel and a fascinating question and I suspect I’d give a different answer if you asked me tomorrow. OK, let’s cheat and say I’d take Dorothy Dunnett’s Lymond Chronicles (six books but I’m counting them as one!); the collected poems of T.S. Eliot; the collected poems of John Donne; Persuasion by Jane Austen; The Oxford Book of Humour.
Please tell us about your latest published work
My most recent release is a dramatic and emotional story called The Highlander’s Lost Lady. It’s book 3 in the Lairds Most Likely series, but as I said above, all these stories can be read as stand-alones. Here’s the blurb:
A Highlander as brave and strong as a knight of old…
When Diarmid Mactavish, Laird of Invertavey, discovers a mysterious woman washed up on his land after a wild storm, he takes her in and tries to find her family. But even as forbidden dreams of sensual fulfillment torment him, he’s convinced that this beautiful lassie isn’t what she seems. And if there’s one thing Diarmid despises, it’s a liar.
A mother willing to do anything to save her daughter…
Widow Fiona Grant has risked everything to break free of her clan and rescue her adolescent daughter from a forced marriage. But before her quest has barely begun, disaster strikes. She escapes her brutish kinsmen, only to be shipwrecked on Mactavish territory where she falls into her enemies’ hands. For centuries, a murderous feud has raged between the Mactavishes and the Grants, so how can she trust her darkly handsome host?
Now a twisted Highland road leads to danger and passion…and irresistible love. But is love strong enough to banish the past’s long shadows and offer these wary allies all that their hearts desire?
Amazon U.S.: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07PM94FN3/
Amazon U.K.: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07PM94FN3/
Book 4: The Highlander’s Defiant Captive: Pre-order Link: Amazon
Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/annacampbell.writer