Posted On April 28, 2011 by Print This Post

An Interview with Author Anna Campbell

Please give a big RU welcome to Anna Campbell!  Anna’s fifth book, MY RECKLESS SURRENDER, was voted Favorite Historical Romance for 2010 by the Australian Romance Readers Association  AND Anna was voted Australia’s Favorite Romance Author for 2010. Congratulations!

Anna, thanks so much for joining us today.

You’ve written six books since 2006 and received oodles of awards. Has your writing process changed with each successive book? Was writing your first book, CLAIMING THE COURTESAN, easier than writing your latest, MIDNIGHT’S WILD PASSION?

Hi Jen! Thanks for inviting me to Romance U today. Each book seems to require a different process. Most of the time, it’s really tough, especially writing the first draft. I wrote both Claiming the Courtesan and Untouched before I was published so at least with them I had the luxury of no deadline. The two of them together probably took me five years – I’d leapfrog them by working on different drafts of each one. For some reason that I wish I could figure out, Midnight’s Wild Passion came like a gift. Smoothest bit of writing I’ve done in years. I wish they were all like that!

 

Romance often gets a bad rap for being formulaic and full of tired clichés. Your books have unconventional heroes and heroines who find themselves in situations which aren’t the norm for most historicals. Your heroines aren’t husband-seeking misses at Almack’s but women who’ve experienced life’s harsher realities. Are your heroines (and heroes) based on historical figures you’ve researched?

As you know, I do a lot of general reading about the Regency and then once I’ve got a story in mind, I pinpoint the things I need to know more about like courtesans or the treatment of mental illness. Many of my characters do have a basis in real people. With Claiming the Courtesan, it was almost uncanny. After I’d written the first draft, I picked up Katie Hickman’s Courtesans which included the story of Elizabeth Armistead, a courtesan who married the aristocratic Charles James Fox, one of the era’s most famous politicians. Elizabeth and my Verity had so much in common, I was astonished at the links. Gideon’s background in Captive of Sin is based loosely on the British army officers Conolly and Stoddart who were captured by the Amir of Bokhara in the Victorian era and kept in a pit in the marketplace until their eventual execution. In Tempt the Devil, a lot of Olivia’s idiosyncrasies stemmed from the famous Victorian courtesan Skittles, including the way she’d have herself sewn into a riding habit to show off her fabulous figure when she rode in Hyde Park. Sorry – I can go on about this stuff for hours! I’ll stop now.

 

I love reading historicals because of the fascinating tidbits of history, and I know you’re a big history buff. Is the period in which you write one of your favorite periods of history? Can you share a couple of your favorite research sites for the period? 

Jen, I love writing Regencies. And not just because of the fashions (although the fashions are pretty cool). I love the way it’s the last hoorah of decadence before Victorian morality hit the scene. I love the elegance and the wit. I also love the contrast between glittering surface of the elegant aristocratic world and the harsh circumstances of life beyond all that luxury. When it comes to research, I mainly use books – I find a lot of internet sites can be unreliable. Favorite resources include The Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue by Francis Grose (full of wonderfully naughty phrases), my shorter Oxford English Dictionary and What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew by Daniel Pool which is great for a quick check of things like modes of address. A gorgeous book for anyone, not just Regency buffs, is Steven Parissien’s Regency Style. On the net, I love the BBC resources and the English National Trust sites are always inspirational when I’m seeking a luxurious bower where my hero and heroine can get up to mischief.

 

Your books are big on emotion. Which is easier to write, the hero or heroine’s emotional arc?  

Hey, thanks! Actually it depends on the story – whoever has the most difficult row to hoe tends to be the person who gets the most complex emotional arc. While both my hero and heroine generally have big problems, one will have BIGGER problems. So in Claiming the Courtesan, the person who had to come the longest way was the Duke of Kylemore. In Untouched, it was Matthew. In Tempt the Devil, Olivia is the one with the hardest road ahead before she gets her happy ending. With Captive of Sin, Gideon is definitely the one with the major problems. My Reckless Surrender, it’s more heroine-centric with Diana needing redemption rather than Tarquin. In Midnight’s Wild Passion, it’s back to the hero, the Marquess of Ranelaw, needing to learn some big lessons before he gets his happily ever after.

 

I’ve wanted to ask this question for a while. The BIG words. :) Reading your books has certainly improved my vocabulary. I remember reading Claiming the Courtesan and telling you I had to look up five words in the first two chapters. My CP Carrie said she had to look up words too. So, I have to ask…when you were unpubbed and active on the contest circuit, did you ever get comments from judges about using “big” words?

Ha ha! Yes, I’m fond of fruity vocabulary as you’ve noticed. I think that’s part of my voice and yes, I have had a few people yelping with horror of the idea of having to reach for a dictionary occasionally. One industrious judge even went to the trouble of rewriting the entire first chapter of Claiming the Courtesan in words of one syllable. One of the things I love about romance is that there is such a variety of styles – mine tends to veer toward the baroque. It’s all part of life’s rich tapestry, LOL!

 

One piece of advice for unpubbed authors?

There’s so many distractions out there but if you want to be a writer, you have to write.

 

Okay, enough with the serious stuff. Vanity Fair Magazine is known for their Proust Questionnaire.  Here at RU have the RU-oost Questionnaire.

 

Three writers (living or dead) you’d like to have dinner with… 

Dorothy Dunnett, Sir Walter Scott, Georgette Heyer.

 

You wish you could write like…

Susan Elizabeth Phillips.

 

The one word you tend to overuse…

Actually it’s probably ‘actually’.

 

Two places you’d love to visit or re-visit. (Please note: A tropical island resort with Richard Armitage lounging sans shirt in a hammock outside your tiki hut does not count.)

Dang! You took my answer! I’d love to go to Iceland and I’d love to go back to Cordoba in Spain one day. Can I take Richard?

 

And finally, complete the following sentence.  He silenced her with a….

Goodness me! Let me work on my fantasy life. OK, this really turns me on – he silenced her with a mouthful of Swiss chocolate.

Check out the gorgeous book trailer for Anna’s latest book Midnight’s Wild Passion.

 

     

 ***

So what do you like to see in a Regency romance? The classic elements like balls and Almack’s and the season (Midnight’s WildPassion is actually pretty much a classic Regency)? Or do you like the stories to range further afield? 

 

Tomorrow, historical author Kris Kennedy talks about “Becoming a Master Craftsman: Quality Over Quantity. 

***

Australian Anna Campbell is the author of six Regency historical romances for Avon. Her most recent release (26th April) is Midnight’s Wild Passion. Anna blogs regularly with the Romance Bandits (www.romancebandits.blogspot.com) and you can also find her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/#!/AnnaCampbellFans Please check out her website: www.annacampbell.info

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54 Responses to “An Interview with Author Anna Campbell”

  1. I just read Midnight’s Wild Passion last night and it was FABULOUS!!! I’m not a regular Regency reader, so I can’t speak to that aspect except to say that I loved reading it :-) The depth of characterization, the plot twists, and best of all, all that incredible sex :-D Anna, you rocked it!

    Posted by Tawny Weber | April 28, 2011, 3:01 am
  2. Hi Anna,

    So nice to have you at RU!

    I love Regencies that pierce boundaries. Don’t get me wrong, I read Regencies for the “Regency” experience–the fashion, the locales, the restrictions–but I love to be shocked.

    That’s how I approach my own writing–take the reader to a place she wouldn’t expect. At least, that’s the plan. LOL

    Thanks again for joining us, Anna. Can’t wait to get my hands on MIDNIGHT. Love your new website, btw. :)

    Tracey

    Posted by TraceyDevlyn | April 28, 2011, 4:31 am
    • Tracey, thanks so much for having me as your guest at RU. Jen and I are old buddies and she asked some really fun questions – love the RU-Oost questionnaire too. Made me feel like I was talking to James Lipton! ;-) Oh, I’m so glad you love the new website – I think Paula Roe did a beautiful job with the design. She was dealing with a difficult client (me) who knew what she wanted the feel to be but had no idea how to achieve it!

      Love the sound of where you’re taking your Regencies. I hope there’s a few surprises along the way with MWP but it definitely colors within the lines in a way something like Claiming the Courtesan I don’t think did, if that makes sense!

      Posted by Anna Campbell | April 28, 2011, 1:42 pm
  3. Wonderful interview. You asked some wonderful questions and Anna (as always) came off shining.

    Posted by Tegan (writing as Danielle Lisle) | April 28, 2011, 5:48 am
  4. Hi Anna,

    Your book trailer is way cool. I like the idea of translating historical people into your characters. Real life adventures are so interesting and add richness to the story.

    RU, great questionaire.

    Mary Jo

    Posted by Mary Jo Burke | April 28, 2011, 7:19 am
    • Mary Jo, thank you so much for saying you enjoyed the bit about the real life inspirations. On email, I can’t see if my listeners’ eyes are glazing. As you can probably gather, I can rave on about this stuff till the cows come home. One of the ironies of real life is that sometimes it’s too unbelievable to be fiction!

      And so glad you loved the trailer – a friend of mine, Vanessa Barneveld, put it together for me and I think she did a gorgeous job.

      Posted by Anna Campbell | April 28, 2011, 1:45 pm
  5. Anna –

    Welcome to RU!

    I love the fact that you received not-so-positive feedback on the vocabulary in your writing, but you just smiled and kept on writing the way you write! I’ve had more than one contest judge tell me I write OTT. My voice is definitely impacted by my southern roots. Why say in two words what you can say in ten? LOL

    How has writing under deadline impacted your creative process?

    Again – thanks so much for joining us!

    Kelsey

    Posted by Kelsey Browning | April 28, 2011, 7:22 am
    • Kelsey, thanks so much for hosting me today! I love the site! I love that you’ve stuck to your Southern roots with your writing – wouldn’t it be awful if we all sounded the same? I love a spare prose style but it’s just not me when it comes to telling my stories. And I’ve always loved words and writing Regencies gives you a chance to use some obscure vocabulary.

      Ooh, great question about the creative process. A deadline (like the prospect of hanging, according to Samuel Johnson) certainly focuses the mind! You have to treat writing like a job (while still respecting your own processes – the balance can be tough, I find. And I’m sure I’m not alone there). I used to do my first draft in longhand but I’ve now taught myself to write straight onto the computer – much faster. Sadly, my process is still a mess but I get a book done in about a year whereas I was writing CTC and Untouched in tandem over about five years. Mind you, it was five years when I had an outside job and also when if I didn’t feel like writing, I didn’t really have to!

      Posted by Anna Campbell | April 28, 2011, 1:57 pm
      • Anna, this might be too personal, so feel free to ignore me. :) Do you ever feel pressure from your publisher to write faster than one book a year?

        Posted by Tracey Devlyn | April 28, 2011, 6:50 pm
        • Tracey, I have spoken to Avon about my slow rate of progress – although there are quite a lot of writers who only do one book a year so I’m definitely not alone on that rate. Much more than a year on a book and you probably would run into trouble. But so far, they seem happy with that rate of productivity. I’m a slow writer – as I said, I have a mess and I go over and over it until I’m OK to send it off to my editor. I actually like that I get to spend that time with my characters – I know them pretty well by the time I hand the book in (well, I should, shouldn’t I?).

          Posted by Anna Campbell | April 28, 2011, 7:37 pm
          • Anna –

            Thanks so much for clueing us in on your process and timeframe. Helps me remember that everyone has her own way of getting to “The End!”

            Kelsey

            Posted by Kelsey Browning | April 28, 2011, 7:49 pm
          • Kelsey, I think that’s something I needed to learn – that there are many ways to write a book and really all that matters is that you end up with a polished manuscript at the end of it. Many roads to the top of that particular hill. Oh, dear, I’m starting to sound a bit like a character from Kung Fu. Must. Stop. NOW! ;-)

            Posted by Anna Campbell | April 29, 2011, 1:30 am
  6. Morning Anna!

    Yup, I’m the one with the dictionary in hand when reading your books! =) Amazing use of vocabulary, and definitely keeps me on my toes in a good way!

    I’m amazed that you wish you could write like SEP – your voices/styles are SO different! But both in a good way! =) I admit to loving to read both of your books….

    Looking forward to reading your latest – thanks for joining us today! =)

    carrie

    Posted by Carrie Spencer | April 28, 2011, 7:53 am
    • Carrie, thanks for having me as a guest here! I’m really enjoying the discussion. What do you mean – I DON’T WRITE LIKE SEP???!!! Oh, noes!!!! ;-) Seriously, I think she’s marvellous – she makes it all look so easy and there’s such humanity in her books. I laugh, I cry, I turn green with envy – you know, the gamut of reactions!

      Oops to the dictionary – I try to place the big words in context so people can guess their meaning but hey, it’s better to be sure than sorry! ;-) Actually I think in a Regency, big words can serve quite a lot of artistic purposes, not least letting the reader know that they’re not in Kansas anymore. I like people to be aware that this world isn’t their everyday one. I think the BIGGEST words were in Claiming the Courtesan (Jen, would you agree?) where Kylemore was using his vocabulary as a weapon of domination and also as a shield against his very real vulnerability.

      Posted by Anna Campbell | April 28, 2011, 2:02 pm
  7. Anna!!! I finished MIDNIGHT’S WILD PASSION last night and it went straight to my keeper shelf! I’m sooooo glad I discovered historical romances – you get both the blame and the credit for that. First I fell in love with your books, then you directed me to so many other fabulous authors. I can’t thank you enough!

    I love, love, love Nicholas and Antonia’s story. In your own mind, how are you pronouncing Antonia’s name? Back when I was a freshman in high school, we studied a book called My Antonia (with an accent mark on the A). My teacher stressed that this changed the pronunciation to AN-tonia, rather than my An-TON-ia. Even without the accent, the former pronunciation is stuck in my head. I just wondered if there was yet another way to say her name.

    Posted by Becke Martin/Davis | April 28, 2011, 8:37 am
    • Hey, Becke, fantastic you loved MIDNIGHT’S WILD PASSION. Thank you so much for letting me know!

      I did a couple of units of American lit when I was at university – always glad I did, we tend to get mainly British stuff here so I discovered authors I wouldn’t have read otherwise (or often even heard of). Willa Cather was one and I LOVED My Antonia. I was thinking of it yesterday, actually, when I saw a TV show about wolves being released back into Yellowstone. Do you remember that bit about the wolves and the bridal party – really haunting and scary. I say Antonia An-TONE-yah but I doubt it matters how you pronounce it when you read the book.

      Posted by Anna Campbell | April 28, 2011, 2:13 pm
      • You know, I do remember that scene but until you mentioned it, I’d forgotten all about it. Except maybe subconsciously, since wolves are in a couple of my stories.

        It’s funny, I never even thought of that pronunciation. I was picturing an extra syllable, like An-TON-ee-ah. I know it doesn’t really matter, but it’s fun to know how you were picturing it!

        Posted by Becke Martin/Davis | April 28, 2011, 2:18 pm
        • So far, Charis is the name which has caused the most problem (she’s the heroine who gets poor damaged Gideon in Captive of Sin). It’s actually KA (short a) -ris. But a lot of people said Chahris or Charis (‘ch’ like in ‘cheese’). One lovely variation I heard at a talk I gave was Shahris. Isn’t that pretty? Honestly, I really don’t think it matters!

          Posted by Anna Campbell | April 28, 2011, 2:26 pm
  8. I LOVED reading about the real people whose lives influenced your characters, but I hated knowing the pit really existed. How barbaric! The courtesan coincidence is wonderful, and kind of eerie, too.

    “One industrious judge even went to the trouble of rewriting the entire first chapter of Claiming the Courtesan in words of one syllable.” – You are freaking kidding me! I can’t believe someone would do that! I bet you thought of that when Claiming the Courtesan sold!

    Jen is right – the emotion in your books is so realistic, it’s probably what I like best about your writing. THANK YOU!!!!

    Posted by Becke Martin/Davis | April 28, 2011, 8:43 am
    • Becke, thanks so much for making that comment about the emotion. That’s something I had to learn to write! Yeah, the pit story was really sad – they were two wonderful men, scholars and soldiers and athletes, quite Renaissance men really. The whole thing blew up because when tConolly turned up to persuade the Amir to favor the British in the Great Game, he didn’t think their presents were good enough. Think of that next time you have a birthday party to go to. Here’s the Wikipedia article on Conolly. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Conolly I also took for Gideon the fact that he traveled around Central Asia in disguise, spying out the land. Must have taken enormous courage and also an ability to fit in with the locals. Gideon’s like an earlier version of Conolly who managed to get out of the pit (and the pit Gideon is in is even WORSE than the one Conolly was in, poor Gid!).

      Poor one syllable judge – I think we all look for different things in writing.

      Posted by Anna Campbell | April 28, 2011, 2:19 pm
      • Thanks for the Arthur Conolly link. As to your pit being worse, we all know how you love to torture your heroes!

        I hope will one day write emotion even have as realistic as your characters display. I owe you a big thanks for your blog post – from way back – on Donald Maass’ dark moments. Thanks to that, I sought him out and took an all day course of his two years ago. It helped me a LOT!

        The more I learn from these courses, though, the more I discover how much I still have to learn!

        Posted by Becke Martin/Davis | April 28, 2011, 2:25 pm
        • There’s a lot of stuff that I still use from my day with DM – the tension in every page, the make things worse (although sometimes if I do that, my people will be DEAD!). He gives great advice, Becke. So glad the workshop was so worthwhile for you.

          Posted by Anna Campbell | April 28, 2011, 2:32 pm
  9. Hi Anna! I adore your books — so intense, romantic, and with a real flavor for the times. My taste in Regencies really varies. I like a good witty dialog book someday, and somedays it’s the drama and the romance. Just depends on my mood!

    You are such a gem — I love the prospect of getting out my dictionary when I read. And I had to laugh as well at the idea that you’d like to write like SEP. I guess opposites attract! :-)

    Here’s hoping for more fabulous success for you with Midnight!

    -Inara

    Posted by Inara Scott | April 28, 2011, 9:56 am
  10. Oh, double noes! Now Inara doesn’t think I write like SEP!!!!! ;-) I’m crushed, crushed, I tell you.

    Inara, thank you for saying such nice things! I tend to like good dialogue in a Regency whatever the other flavors involved in the recipe. One of the delights of writing in the period is that it screams out for the writer to use elegant and witty language. I guess Jane Austen set the precedent there!

    Thanks for the good wishes for Midnight!!!!

    Posted by Anna Campbell | April 28, 2011, 2:23 pm
  11. Hola Anna!

    I read until I dropped off early this morning…got to the part where “a hand curled” around Antonia’s shoulder. I’m holding off on reading the reviews until I finish. The tension between Challoner and Antonia gets my five cheesecake rating!

    How many drafts do you write before your books are finished? Have the number of drafts changed with each progressive book? Also, do you use a thesaurus or do the fruity words come au naturel?

    Posted by Jennifer Tanner | April 28, 2011, 2:23 pm
    • Ooh, that’s one of my favorite scenes! Hope you like it too! Five cheesecakes, huh? Works for me, especially if I get the leftovers!

      Snort, I’m a victim of my voracious reading across pretty much every genre. The fruity words seem to be party of my make-up!

      I don’t do formal drafts so giving you a number isn’t really possible. I write a VERY long first draft and then cut that back to a bearable amount which would probably count as draft one. I then do a serious polish going through the whole manuscript (D2). I then give it to Annie West to have a look at to see if I’m on the right track and then I do a really finicky polish using her notes (D3). After that, it’s often working on specific scenes that need more work (often the love scenes). Then I’ll go through the whole thing a couple more times. A couple of those read-throughs are in hard copy. I find I pick up different stuff when I’m looking at paper pages rather than a screen.

      Posted by Anna Campbell | April 28, 2011, 2:31 pm
  12. Anna, I follow you on Goodreads and have to say voracious reading is really too weak of a phrase! How many books do you read a week, and do you read while you’re on a writing spree?

    carrie

    Posted by Carrie Spencer | April 28, 2011, 2:50 pm
    • Carrie…you and me both. Anna has more books read than anyone on my Goodreads list.

      Posted by Jennifer Tanner | April 28, 2011, 3:08 pm
      • Carrie and Jen, I love to read! I think you’ve probably gathered that! I’ll read the back of the milk carton in the absence of anything else. When I was first published, I cut down on my reading – there seemed to be so many other things I needed to do. But I realized fairly quickly that reading feeds into my own writing so now I’m back knocking back the books like wine (hic!). When I’m writing, I tend to stick to nonfiction so I’m not up till midnight finishing a great story. But I also give myself the occasional binge day where all I’ll do is lie around and read. Yum!

        Posted by Anna Campbell | April 28, 2011, 3:58 pm
  13. Hi Jen! Hi Anna! Lovely to see you two chatting together. Readers are in for such a treat with MIDNIGHT’S WILD PASSION! It’s a delicious blend of classic Regency tropes and Anna’s unique voice.

    One question–did you learn any lessons about your writing, process or craft when you wrote MWP?

    Posted by Christine Wells | April 28, 2011, 3:03 pm
    • Hi Christine!

      Thanks for dropping by! :)

      Posted by Jennifer Tanner | April 28, 2011, 3:07 pm
      • Christine, I’m about to start cooking your lunch! I’m having a writing girls weekend with the fabulous CW and Denise Rossetti! So looking forward to it!

        What an interesting question, Christine! I think I realized as I was writing Midnight that I could use a lot of those classic Regency tropes that I love so much and still be true to my own vision of a story. For some reason, MWP is the easiest book I’ve ever written – wouldn’t it be nice if they were all like that? Thanks so much for saying how much you loved the story (Christine gets to see the book towards its final polishing so I can check I haven’t gone completely off track with my revisions). Mwah!

        Posted by Anna Campbell | April 28, 2011, 4:00 pm
  14. Jennifer and Anna, great interview! Anna, I have Midnight’s Wild Passion on order, due tomorrow, and am looking forward to it.

    As to what I like in Regencies, I do like the clothes and the social bits, but I need there to be more. There has to be something at stake that I can see as important, even if it’s mainly important to the hero or heroine and not to the broader world.

    Posted by Nancy Northcott | April 28, 2011, 3:08 pm
    • Nancy, I think that high stakes stuff is important in any story. I know that’s what I respond to! But yeah, I agree the clothes and stuff in Regencies are huge fun. I love that my heroes and heroines, who are often at heart unconventional people, have to find happiness within a very rigid social structure. Always lots of room for conflict and growth in that particular theme. Thanks so much for swinging by and have fun with Midnight! x

      Posted by Anna Campbell | April 28, 2011, 4:03 pm
  15. Just swinging by to say hi to two of my favorite people — Fo and Pink! Great interview, gals. I’ve got MWP downloading onto my Kindle as we speak. I’m so excited to get this one!

    Posted by Jo Robertson | April 28, 2011, 5:20 pm
  16. Ooh, Jo, it’s nearly there? How fabulous!!!!!!!!!! Happy reading! I hope you like it! Thanks for swinging by to say hello! It’s been such fun taking the discussions I often have with Jen in private public!!!

    Posted by Anna Campbell | April 28, 2011, 5:58 pm
  17. Jen and Anna, what a great interview! I am so excited about ‘Midnight’s Wild Passion’ – and didn’t Vanessa do a fantastic job on that trailer? The Rachmaninoff was perfect!

    I adore Regencies, as you both know. I do tend to prefer off-the-beaten-path settings and situations, though, to the tried-and-true Almack’s. One rather traditional element I always found amusing were the musicales Julia Quinn made the Bridgertons suffer through. :) Really, though, I enjoy house parties in the country, but also small town settings (like Cranford!). I like unconventional characters who are still true to the period. Like Anna Campbell’s!!

    Posted by Caren Crane | April 28, 2011, 7:04 pm
  18. Caren, the trailer is gorgeous, isn’t it? I just love it! I’m off to pimp it on Facebook in case anyone missed it first time around! Thanks for saying you’re looking forward to the latest book – it’s been a really exciting week!

    Have to laugh – there’s a musicale in Midnight where Ranelaw gets up to no good. Well, frankly, there’s not many places he gets up to GOOD!!! And a house party! Hey, so far I’m with a chance with you, the divine Miss Crane! Hey, love your take. Actually I like unconventional characters too!

    Posted by Anna Campbell | April 28, 2011, 7:34 pm
  19. Anna,

    Thanks so much for spending the day with us and responding to our questions. We wish you much success with your latest release. :)

    Posted by Jennifer Tanner | April 28, 2011, 11:10 pm
  20. Thank you for your interview, Anna. It contains lots of info and advice that for many of us should prove useful. It’s already interesting.

    If I were to complete the sentence, “He silenced her with a . . . “, I’d probably say, ” . . . piece of duct tape.” Whatever.

    To answer your question at the end, I don’t know that my opinion would be worth much. I rarely read Regencies. The chemistry between me and the old Jane Austen mode just isn’t right. I prefer more robust fare.

    But I don’t go for the newer sexed-up Regencies either. They’re full of elements that obviously please lots of readers, but not this one.

    Marriages of convenience and arrogant dukes are at the top of the list. To me the first is just legalized prostitution, no matter what the setting. Nothing romantic about it to this reader. As for the second—well, the only dukes I ever cared for were the Dukes of Hazard.

    Therefore, if the subgenre branches out and embraces new or at least different themes, plots, and character archetypes, I applaud it. It might even win me over. And if it can win me, it can do the same for lots of readers.

    It sounds like you’re hard at work expanding the boundaries of the subgenre. I’ll have to check out your novels next time I’m at a bookstore.

    Just my opinion, but I think it would be really cool if some daring Regency writer were to create a romance in which both focal characters are further down than usual on the social ladder. What was love like for the middle class? For the lower class? They must have had some kind of a love life. Otherwise, a lot of us wouldn’t be here!

    Keep up the good work!

    Posted by Mary Anne Landers | April 29, 2011, 3:49 am
    • Interesting thoughts, Mary Anne. Personally I’m a huge fan of dukes and marriages of convenience/arranged marriages. And of course, historically they’re completely fitting. I think it’s wonderful that romance gives us so many places to go now to satisfy our tastes – very much a buffet for the reader! If you get a chance, there’s a wonderful novella by Courtney Milan called THIS WICKED GIFT in a Christmas collection called THE HEART OF CHRISTMAS that features middle-class characters (on their financial uppers too!). It’s beautifully done! Thanks for swinging by!

      Posted by Anna Campbell | April 29, 2011, 12:37 pm
  21. Anna – Thanks so much for hanging out with us yesterday, Anna! I meant to post this last night but I was distracted by a mouse in my computer desk. (Couldn’t see it but I could hear it moving around – eek!)

    Posted by Becke Martin/Davis | April 29, 2011, 8:10 am

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