Interview with Anna Campbell
Anna: Nalini, thanks for asking me to be a guest on your blog. I was here for a visit back around Christmas and had a wonderful time. Congratulations on all your success! I read SLAVE TO SENSATION while I was recovering from the flu in January and it was a brilliant book. About the only thing in the universe that could have made me forget my horrible physical woes. Can't wait to read VISIONS OF HEAT but as I'm trying to write my third book, I may just have to.
1. So, who is Anna Campbell? Give us the lowdown.
Anna Campbell is an international woman of mystery who breakfasts with presidents, lunches with lords and dines with kings. What she does afterwards and who she does it with is nobody's business but hers (nudge, nudge, wink, wink, however).
Right, having got that off my chest, I'm an Aussie girl who's always wanted to see a book of hers in print. As I'm yet to discover a tall, dark, tormented duke on my doorstep, I'm single and happy to be that way. I live near the sea on the east coast of Australia, even if my heart is waltzing around a ballroom in Regency Mayfair. I'm partial to many things including Peter O'Toole in LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, email, a nice red wine and good books, especially luscious romances.
2. Your debut book releases March 27 - give us a glimpse into the state of your mind right now.
I'm bouncing around like a loon at the moment, Nalini. How did you feel? Is this emotional rollercoaster normal? At one moment, the world's my oyster, at the next, I have a real fit of the collywobbles. It's also surreal. I keep remembering how I announced to the world when I was in primary school that I was going to grow up to be a writer. Hey, it looks like it actually happened. People have been marvellous too, contacting me and wishing me luck or saying how excited they are about the book hitting the stands any day now.
3. Backcover copy of Claiming the Courtesan?
This is a stunning debut, a love story that sweeps you away and keeps you captivated until the last page is turned…4. I haven't read Claiming the Courtesan. Sell me on it.
He would marry her, and possess her in every way possible.
The Duke of Kylemore knows her as Soraya, London's most celebrated courtesan. Men fight duels to spend an hour in her company. And only he comes close to taming her. Flying in the face of society, he decides to make her his bride; then, she vanishes, seemingly into thin air.
Dire circumstances have forced Verity Ashton to barter her innocence and change her name for the sake of her family. But Kylemore destroys her plans for a respectable life when he discovers her safe haven. He kidnaps her, sweeping her away to Scotland, where he vows to bend her to his will.
There he seduces her anew. She spends night after night in his bed…and though Verity still plans her escape, she knows she can never flee the unexpected, unwelcome love for the proud, powerful lover who claims her both body and soul.
This is one of those big luscious romances that I hope will sweep you away to another world for a few hours. It's darkly sensual and dramatic and I really tried to make it an emotional journey from darkness to light for my characters and for my readers. It tells the story of London's most notorious courtesan, Soraya, and her tormented, passionate lover, the Duke of Kylemore, who swears to make her his bride. It's a compelling story of love and courage and ultimate redemption that I hope will stay in the reader's mind long after they read the last page.
5. I've heard your hero is an ultra alpha. Do you want to tell us about him?
The Duke of Kylemore is a man who's true to his time, which means he's arrogant, he thinks the world, including women, exists for his convenience and he exhibits a lordly manner (well, he is a lord, when all's said and done). But beneath his proud elegance lurks a complex, unhappy soul. He's tormented and alone, hiding devastating secrets and pain. From the moment he sees Soraya, he wants her because something in him recognizes she's his only chance at salvation. Of course, because he's unacquainted with anything resembling love, he acts out his desire in ways that end up backfiring on him.
The book charts his redemption and the growth in his self-awareness until he's a fit partner to the woman who is his other half. Yes, he's an alpha, perhaps even an ultra alpha. I'm not apologizing for that. He makes some bad decisions but he will suffer extremes of emotional pain as a consequence. And after all his suffering, he emerges from the fire a better man. When I read, I like to share a compelling inner odyssey with the characters. I hope with this story that's what I've achieved, so that even if Kylemore's actions aren't always laudable, you can understand why he's doing what he's doing. And man, is he passionate! Always an attractive quality in a hero!
6. Right, sooooo I've heard some interesting things about your next book, Untouched. Any chance of a glimpse as to what it's about?
Umm, if I told you I'd have to kill you. It comes out in December from Avon. I'm totally in love with the hero who, while strong and passionate and brave, is in many ways the absolute opposite to Kylemore. It starts with my heroine being kidnapped to become the Marquess of Sheene's sex toy so you can probably see that it has a similarly dark, sensual atmosphere to CLAIMING THE COURTESAN.
7. Ooooh....are you sure I can't bribe you with my secret stash of boy toys?
Boy toys or toy boys, Nalini? Ha. There's a couple of devilish twists to the plot I really don't want to give away at this stage. But it's a mixture of Beauty and the Beast and the Sleeping Beauty. The story has a dark fairytale quality that I hope takes the reader into a really different world when it comes to romance novels. It's a world of danger and intense sensuality where nothing is as it seems. And I absolutely love the title. UNTOUCHED works on so many different levels. I was delighted when Avon agreed with me that it really suited the book. I'm putting an excerpt and the back cover blurb on my website www.annacampbell.info in May so I hope I've intrigued you all to come and check it out.
So I'm wondering - how do you feel when you read an ultra alpha? Does the time/world in which a book is set have an influence on how you feel about these forceful, sexy heroes? Who is your favourite alpha hero? Best three answers get a signed coverflat for CLAIMING THE COURTESAN!