Hiya Kylie! Thank you so much for having me as your guest today on your blog. By the way, can’t wait for your book VENGEANCE BORN to hit the shelves! (Thanks, I can't wait either!)
For those who don't know you (the remaining few :-D ), can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a fellow Aussie. I live on Queensland’s beautiful Sunshine Coast about an hour north of the state capital Brisbane. I write historical romance full-time which is a dream come true for me. I like walks in the rain and dancing at midnight and long chats by the fireside and I’m a Virgo and… Oh, sorry, forgot where I was for a moment!
OK, let's get back to the interview proper. Anna, when did you start to write and how long did it take you to be published?
I’ve always been a book addict. If you saw my TBR pile right now, you’d know that’s never changed. It seemed natural to make the transition from consumer to producer. My mother very proudly kept an essay I wrote in grade two where I said I was going to be the next Enid Blyton (the writer I obsessed about at the time – she’s had many worthy successors in my personal pantheon!).
I started my first attempt at a novel (another EB clone!) shortly afterwards. I fiddled around with various stories, not finishing anything long, until after high school, when I completed a medieval. I count my attempts to be published from that - it was 27 years after finishing that book that I was signed to Avon in New York in a three-book contract after an auction.
Are you a pantster, scener, or plotter? Is it your characters or plot that influence you most? What’s your writing process from start to finish when writing a book?
Definitely a pantser! I wish I was a plotter because I think it’s a more efficient way of writing, but I’m just not. My plot tends to arise out of the conflicts between my characters.
Generally I’ll get a germ of an idea while I’m working on something else. That sets up residence at the back of my brain and if it’s a good idea, it’s magnetic and it draws other ideas to it that start to coagulate into the seeds of a novel.
Once I finish a book, I generally don’t start the new story for a little while. I’ll write a short story or do some promo or something else to clear out the old ghosts and wait for the new people to take up residence. Then I start to write – to begin a book, I need a vivid opening scene, my hero and heroine (sometimes a villain too) and a BIG problem. The rest of the story grows organically from there.
I work on a daily page count and just keep plugging away until I get to the end. Usually at that stage, I have a sprawling, completely unreadable first draft. Then I go back and polish and polish and polish until it’s ready to go to my editor.
MIDNIGHT’S WILD PASSION (Avon Books/HarperCollins Australia) is out on 26th April in America and on 1st May in Australia and New Zealand. For local readers, you should find it at KMart, Big W, Target and wherever good books are sold (as they say in the classics)!
It’s the closest I’ve come to writing a classic Regency romance and has definite touches of Cinderella. The Marquess of Ranelaw is set on revenge but finds himself stymied by spirited, mysterious chaperone Antonia Smith. Both of these characters are smart and wary and bear wounds from their past, and both know better than to fall in love. But of course they do!
You can read an excerpt at: http://www.annacampbell.info/wildpassion.html
And for all your readers, I'm sure they're hanging out to know what’s next for you. What are you working on?
I’m having a wonderful time doing a very sexy, gothic take on the Beauty and the Beast story. There’s something so invigorating writing a cranky male who’s about to get his comeuppance!
I know you always have some great advice to share with unpubbed writers. Do you have any handy tips/craft skills you’d like to share?
Yes, ignore all the noise around you and WRITE!!!! It’s always easy to be distracted from your work but it’s even harder now – and believe me, I speak from experience, LOL! But you need to do the work, that always has to be paramount.
Thanks so much for answering my questions, Anna, it's been wonderful having you here today - and to top it all off, she has a bonus to finish with...Anna?
OK, guys, I’ve got a signed copy of MIDNIGHT’S WILD PASSION up for grabs to someone who comments today. You now know where I live. Tell me something about where you live! (Contest ends 6pm, Friday, 29th April 2011 - Aussie time). Good luck!
Anna's other books:
(including the Aust./NZ cover of MIDNIGHT'S WILD PASSION)