A Conversation with Author Anna Campbell

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?

Buy links:

Amazon U.S.: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07PM94FN3/

Amazon U.K.: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07PM94FN3/

Amazon Australia:  https://www.amazon.com.au/Highlanders-Lost-Lady-Lairds-Likely-ebook/dp/B07PM94FN3/

iTunes U.S.: https://books.apple.com/us/book/the-highlanders-lost-lady-the-lairds-most-likely-book-3/id1456159204

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-highlander-s-lost-lady-the-lairds-most-likely-book-3

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-highlanders-lost-lady-anna-campbell/1130916684?ean=2940156012848

Book 4: The Highlander’s Defiant Captive: Pre-order Link: Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

Social Media:

Website: http://www.annacampbell.com

Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/annacampbell.writer

Twitter @AnnaCampbellOz

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Anna-Campbell/e/B002NKV1HQ/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/296477.Anna_Campbell

 

 

 

Advertisements

A Conversation with Author Mary Ann Bernal

Today in the Library we have Mary Ann Bernal who has dropped in to say hello and to share some insights into her life as an author.

You are very welcome, Mary Ann, please introduce yourself:

Thanks for inviting me, Pam. In addition to being an incurable romantic Anglophile history buff, I am also a Science Fiction nerd, dreaming of exploring strange new worlds the minute Captain Kirk commanded the Enterprise. Yes, I am an original Trekkie.

My grandchildren also keep me on my toes, but I am one of their staunchest supporters in all of their extracurricular activities, from sitting in the bleachers for sporting events to orchestra seating for dance competitions.

I am a passionate supporter of the U.S. military, having been involved with letter-writing campaigns and other military support programs since Operation Desert Storm. All of my novels and short story collections are dedicated to fallen military heroes who gave their lives defending our freedom.

Which genre do you write in and what draws you to it?

Since I had always wanted to write a story about a Viking prince, my genre of choice was historical fiction. After having written five novels in The Briton and the Dane series, I broadened my fan base to include contemporary short stories in the Scribbler Tales collection, and more recently, I have added a Space Opera, Planetary Wars: Rise of an Empire, to the mix.

 

My writing style varies because my interests are wide-ranging. I love history but I also love science fiction, so why not pen what I enjoy? It is always good to leave one’s comfort zone to conquer new challenges. Diversity is a good thing and one should not be limited in scope. My pendulum swings from the Ninth Century to futuristic worlds.

Are you an avid reader? Do you prefer books in your own genre or are you happy to explore others?

Yes. I love to read, but I do not limit myself to one specific category. It is better to broaden one’s perspective then remain stagnant in one area. To grow, one must experience new things. What better way to discover different mindsets then to read different genres? Of course, there will always be favorites, and in many instances, it will be hard to choose the top five.

What part of the writing process do you find most difficult? How do you overcome it?

Ah, writer’s block comes to mind. Is it such a thing? Perhaps, perhaps not. But I am sure most of us have stared at a blank computer screen while our minds wander. Yes, there is the outline. Yes, you know the story, yet you’re stuck.

My solution was to not call it a day after having finished a chapter or a section within a chapter. I will write a few lines for the next section or chapter before leaving the office. The next day when I pull up the file, there are sentences to either change or expand upon. Problem solved.

What was the best piece of writing advice you received when starting out?

Write about what you love because you enjoy it, not because you have to. Some authors will write for the current trend, such as vampire stories. If you don’t love your work, neither will your readers. It does not matter if you’re out of sync. Your work will be discovered. Never settle.

If a movie was made of one of your books, who would you like to play the lead roles?

The Briton and the Dane trilogy selected cast:

Lord Richard – Jeremy Irons; David – James Franco; Stephen – Clive Owen; Erik – Chris Egan; Rollo – Ioan Gruffudd

If truth be told, I have cast the entire lead roles on a spreadsheet since I always picture my characters in my mind’s eye whilst I write.

If you could live the life of a historical figure for one day, who would you choose and what would you get up to?

Eleanor of Aquitaine – she was one feisty wealthy and powerful woman in the Twelfth Century. She was married to Louis VII of France and King Henry II of England. While married to Louis, Eleanor participated in the Second Crusade, leading her Aquitainian soldiers, not of noble birth. It was said she was dressed as an Amazon (warrior women in Greek Mythology) and that point, I would love to prove. What was Eleanor wearing as she and her ladies-in-waiting headed towards the Holy Land? How many men were shamed by her courage?

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?

Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott, The Time Machine by H. G. Wells, To Have and To Hold by Mary Johnston, The Andromeda Strain by Michael Creighton, and Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier. Can I throw in my Star Wars, Star Trek, Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis DVD collections? Tough choices.

Please tell us about your latest published work. 

My next project, in development, is a historical fiction novel set during the First Crusade.

Published works:

The Briton and the Dane collection is an action and adventure drama set in dark ages England when the Vikings terrorized the world. The Briton and the Dane: Timeline is a historical fiction fantasy time travel love story.

Planetary Wars Rise of an Empire is a science fiction/fantasy romantic adventure Space Opera.

Scribbler Tales is a compilation of short stories whose genres include the paranormal, action and adventure, mystery and thrillers, fantasy, romance, drama, and suspense. A single author contemporary fiction anthology.

If you would like to know more about Mary Ann and her work, please check our her links below:

 

Maryannbernal.com

Whisperinglegendspress.com

http://maryannbernal.blogspot.com/

https://twitter.com/BritonandDane

https://www.facebook.com/TheBritonandtheDane

https://www.instagram.com/maryannbernal/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/mary-ann-bernal-a9a05b33/

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/maryannbernal

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3386234.MaryAnn_Bernal

Amazon US  https://www.amazon.com/Mary-Ann-Bernal/e/B003D2DPZ4?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1564349781&sr=8-1

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mary-Ann-Bernal/e/B003D2DPZ4?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1567328428&sr=8-1

 

 

 

Historical Fiction Cover Competition September 2019

What draws you to a historical fiction book cover? 

Welcome to my monthly historical fiction cover competition. I hope you find some new books and authors for your ‘must read’ list. If a cover interests you, just click on the link to learn more about the book. Continue reading “Historical Fiction Cover Competition September 2019”

A Conversation with Author D.K. Marley

Today in the Library we have D. K. Marley, who has dropped in to say hello and to share some insights into her life as an author.

You are very welcome, D.K., please introduce yourself

Hi, my name is D. K. Marley and I am a historical fiction author specializing in Shakespearean themes. A literary agent called me the “Shakespearean Madeline Miller” since my Fractured Shakespeare Series is all about transforming the plays of the Bard into historical fiction adaptations. I was introduced to his works at the age of eleven by my grandmother, who was an English Literature professor, and since then his words have entranced me and influenced my own writings. I travelled to England three times over the past twenty years on research trips, attending debate lectures at the Globe Theatre, and immersing myself into the secrets behind the sonnets and hidden clues within the plays themselves. I am a blogger, and I have written articles for the Marlowe-Shakespeare Society, attended the Writer’s Retreat Workshop in 2006, and am President of a local author’s group. I live in Georgia U. S. A. with my husband, an English Lab and a Scottish Terrier named Molly McScottie.

Which genre do you write in and what draws you to it?

I write historical fiction. I must admit I am hooked on research when writing in this genre. The sheer act of delving into the past as if you are stepping through a portal in time is quite intoxicating and I have to remind myself to get back to writing.

Are you an avid reader? Do you prefer books in your own genre or are you happy to explore others?

Historical fiction is my favorite genre to read, as well, but I do love literary fiction, historical fantasy, and every once in a while, I will indulge in a dystopian.

Are you a self-published/traditional or hybrid author?

I am a self-published author with hopes to go into traditional publishing at some point in my writing career. Many people ask me why I don’t dive into the deep waters of the traditional world and my answer is always the same. I chose to go the self-publishing route five years ago when my husband and I suffered a horrific tragedy in our family – my daughter and son-in-law were killed by a drunk and drugged driver running from the police. Grief changes you in ways you cannot imagine, especially when losing children. Not only has writing been a source of therapy for me, but I feel I have taken a bit of control over my life by self-publishing my own novels. It is really hard to explain, but I truly feel a small sense of happiness in being an Indie author. I am not sure if waiting, perhaps years, to see if my manuscripts might be accepted by an agent or traditional publisher would have brought me the measure of therapeutic release I needed at this time in my life. Four and a half years have passed since they died and I have written and published four novels. To me, this is a success for now.

Who has been the biggest influence on your writing?

First and foremost, my grandmother who shared with me her love of writing. Second, my eleventh grade English teacher, Ms. Jeanne Centa. She helped me develop my love of writing and was a huge encouragement to keep pushing forward. I even went back to visit her years after graduation to share with her some of my writings. Third, the incredible staff of editors, writers, and agents of the Writer’s Retreat Workshop, especially Lorin Oberweger and Bill Luse, who have mentored me and encouraged me through the years. I still hear both of their voices in my head of things I could do to improve and to never give up on my dream of writing. Last, my husband. Without his support and love, especially with all that we have gone through over the past four years, not a single story would have made it from my mind to the page.

Has your country of origin/culture influenced your writing?

Interesting question. I have to answer an emphatic ‘NO’. I have always felt that I live in the wrong place and in the wrong generation. I live in the Southern United States, and with the exception of my one novel, “Child of Love & Water”, I truly have no interest in writing about the South. I am a true Anglophile, so I feel that the history of Great Britain has influenced my writing more than anything.

What part of the writing process do you find most difficult? How do you overcome it?

The most difficult aspect of writing for me is not having enough time to write. I would love to do this full-time. As I am working on one book, I already have at least another three to four in my head, and since I am limited in the amount of time I can write, I do find myself getting a bit frustrated and depressed at times. I have to make myself step back and focus on whatever my current WIP is, take a deep breath, and stop doing word counts at the end of the day.

What was the best piece of writing advice you received when starting out?

Never give up. A writer writes, good or bad, and sometimes it is more bad than good, but never let that get you down. Not every story will be great and you will never be able to please everyone with your writing – so write what you know, love what you write for yourself first, be flexible enough to make needed changes (Yes, even if it means scraping entire chapters), and don’t let criticism take you out of the game.

Do you have a favourite time of day to write?

Yes, I love to write at night when everyone is asleep. The house is quiet, the crickets outside are chirping, and my brain is focused on the tapping away of the keys on the keyboard of my computer.

If you weren’t an author, what would you be up to?

I love photography! For a while, before my daughter died, I was a wedding photographer, as well as a conceptual art photographer. I still take pictures from time to time now, but more as a hobby instead of a job.

If a movie was made of one of your books, who would you like to play the lead roles?

This is an easy question as I have thought of this for quite sometime about every single one of my novels.
Blood and Ink – Benedict Cumberbatch as Christopher Marlowe, Tom Hiddleston as William Shakespeare
Prince of Sorrows – Liam Hemsworth as Hamlet
The Fire of Winter – Scott Kyle as Macbeth, Saoirse Ronan as Lady Macbeth

If you could live the life of a historical figure for one day, who would you choose and what would you get up to?

I would want to live the life of Queen Elizabeth the First. I would love to know her mind, the things she thought about, her choices and decisions about love and marriage, about the state of her country, her fears and worries, as well as her passions.

If you could travel back in time, what era would you go to? What draws you to this particular time?

Even though I love the Tudor era, I think I have to choose the Regency period. Jane Austen is one of my favorite authors and I adore the idea of living in an era surrounded by simple elegance and exquisite manners.

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?

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruis Zafon; Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen; Wuthering Heights by Charlotte Bronte; The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley; and The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkein

Please tell us about your latest published work

My latest published work is The Fire of Winter. The story weaves the play by William Shakespeare with the actual history of Macbeth and his Queen in 11th-century Scotland.
“…a woman’s story at a winter’s fire…” (Macbeth, Act III, Scene IV)

She is known as Lady Macbeth. What leads her down the path of murder? What secrets fire her destiny?

Gruah, the granddaughter of King Cìnéad III of the Royal Clan Alpin, marries two men in less than six months, one she loves and one she hates; one in secret, the other arranged by the High King of Scotland. At the age of eighteen, she lays her palm upon the ancient stone of Scone and sees her destiny as Queen of Scotland, and she vows to do whatever necessary to see her true love, Macbeth macFindlaech, beside her on the throne. Amid the fiery times and heated onslaughts from Denmark and England, as the rule of Scotland hangs in the balance, Gruah seeks to win the throne and bring revenge upon the monsters of her childhood, no matter the cost or amount of blood tainting her own hands; yet, an unexpected meeting with the King called the Confessor causes her to question her bloody path and doubt her once blazing pagan faith. Will she find redemption or has the blood of her past fire-branded her soul?

“This beautifully written reworking of the Macbeth tale told from Lady Macbeth’s point-of-view flows from the page and you quickly become immersed in the politics and intrigues of feudal Scotland as she fights for her rightful place and her true love! A mesmerising read that grips from start to finish and Gruah is now one of my all-time favourite literary crushes.” – Iain Leonard, ARC Reviewer

The Fire of Winter is on a book blog tour from July 22 – August 19, 2019 – a giveaway for the chance to win one of three signed hardcovers and a special gift with each, plus reviews and spotlights from 24 different historical fiction bloggers.
Link: http://hfvirtualbooktours.com/thefireofwinterblogtour/
Amazon US Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07SGYFZT8
Amazon UK Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07SGYFZT8

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/dkmarley.author
Author Website: http://www.dkmarley.com
Author Blog: https://themingledyarnoflife.wordpress.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/theRealDKMarley
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/d-k-marley
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4091669.D_K_Marley
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/DK-Marley/e/B003MS4JPE

Book review: Pam Lecky, No Stone Unturned

Thanks to Jen Wilson for hosting me today and giving No Stone Unturned such a great review

Jennifer C. Wilson

No Stone Unturned
by Pam Lecky

Publication Date: June 28, 2019
eBook; 286 Pages

Series: The Lucy Lawrence Mysteries, Book 1
Genre: Historical Mystery

A suspicious death, stolen gems, and an unclaimed reward: who will be the victor in a deadly game of cat and mouse?

London October 1886: Trapped in a troubled marriage, Lucy Lawrence is ripe for an adventure. But when she meets the enigmatic Phineas Stone, over the body of her husband in the mortuary, her world begins to fall apart.

When her late husband’s secrets spill from the grave, and her life is threatened by the leader of London’s most notorious gang, Lucy must find the strength to rise to the challenge. But who can she trust and how is she to stay out of the murderous clutches of London’s most dangerous criminal?

Available on Amazon

Review

I was excited to read this, not having read…

View original post 539 more words

Historical Fiction Cover Competition August 2019

What draws you to a historical fiction book cover? 

Welcome to my monthly historical fiction cover competition. I hope you find some new books and authors for your ‘must read’ list. If a cover interests you, just click on the link to learn more about the book. Continue reading “Historical Fiction Cover Competition August 2019”

#Review | No Stone Unturned (The Lucy Lawrence Mysteries #1) by Pam Lecky #NoStoneUnturned #TheLucyLawrenceMysteries #HistoricalFiction #VictorianMystery @pamlecky

What a review! Thanks to Frankie who definitely got Lucy Lawrence!

Chicks,Rogues and Scandals

Hello my lovely friends! Today I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review of the amazing book with you all, I can tell you now that everyone is going to be talking about The Lucy Lawrence Mysteries….if you love the likes of Sherlock Holmes or Ripper Street, with a brilliant leading lady, then this is the book you need to read. So grab yourself a cuppa and let me introduce you to Lucy Lawrence.

A suspicious death, stolen gems and an unclaimed reward: who will be the victor in a deadly game of cat and mouse?

London October 1886: Trapped in a troubled marriage, Lucy Lawrence is ripe for an adventure. But when she meets the enigmatic Phineas Stone, over the body of her husband in the mortuary, her world begins to fall apart.

When her late husband’s secrets spill from the grave, and her life is threatened…

View original post 841 more words