Monday, August 06, 2007

Great Big Blog Party 53 Anna Campbell

So, as I said, today's Guest Blogger is another friend from downunder - she's Australian author Anna Campbell.

Anna is also one of my ex 'Virgins' from the RNA Conference in Leicester in 2004 when she came over to visit then. I also met Anna again on my own trip to Australia when we were both at the RWAus Conference in Coogee Beach. That was before she was published.

Since then she has had her first historical romance title - Claiming the Courtesan - published. (No prizes for guessing where my copy is - on the TBR mountain, scaling which has had to be suspended as I concentrate on writing my own next book). Her next title Untouched is due out in December this year. In June I was able to meet up with her again in York where she was staying as part of a research trip to England. A day that Anna describes in her post. That was also the Day of The Rain - the day when the rivers rose and the floods started. I shall never forget the torrential downpour in which we travelled to York - and the even more torrential downpour in which we struggled to get home, ploughing through floods along the roads, and praying we'd get back OK.

But it was worth it. Anna was as warm and friendly as ever and the few hours we spent talking as only writers can talk about books and writing and history passed in a flash - a warm, dry, interlude in a day when the rain never let up!

Anna must have been considerably warmer and drier - here ->
where she is pictured at the Literacy Signing at this year's RWA National in Dallas.

So here's Anna Campbell :

Firstly, a huge congratulations to the fabulous Kate Walker on the release of her 50th book. That’s a huge achievement in anyone’s life (said she, from the perspective of one book published, one book in the wings and one book still being polished). You’re an inspiration, Kate!

Thank you so much to Kate for asking me to be part of the party. I’ve been travelling which explains my late appearance at the fiesta. So glad I made the celebrations! I did however manage to meet Kate and her lovely husband Steve, who is a fellow history nut, on my jaunt. We had lunch at the famous Betty’s CafĂ© in York on the day in June when half of Britain decided to go underwater. I think we all had interesting journeys that day! At one stage, I thought I might be swimming to Edinburgh, my next port of call!

What I’d like to celebrate in my blog is the worldwide community of romance writers. Something I realised on my trip is that thanks to writing romance, I now have friends all over the world. That’s an amazing thought. But it’s true. And it’s always a treat to catch up with these clever, warm, wonderful women. My only regret is that you all don’t live closer. Mind you, with the way the weather has been in the UK lately, I’m sure at least the British contingent would like to live next door to me, at least until the downpours subside! I’m sending you all a nice bit of Aussie sunshine – I hope the postman delivers it soon!

After four wonderful weeks in Britain, I went to America where I also met up with so many romance friends. I went to the huge Romance Writers of America conference in Dallas which was so exciting, especially for a girl who usually sits at home in her ratty trackpants staring at a computer. It’s wonderful to catch up with old friends, make new ones and meet in real time people who I’ve only interacted with via the Internet. How did writers survive before email? And now I’m looking forward to the Australian conference in Sydney which is only a few weeks away. Whoo-hoo!

I do however have one regret about my British visit. I didn’t get to meet Sid the Cat!!! Whaaaah! Hoping for a Sid encounter was why I sat in a flying tin can for so many hours. But he was playing hard to get when I was around, that international man of mystery. I’m hoping now that he will deign to choose a winner for the signed copy of my historical romance, CLAIMING THE COURTESAN, which I’d like to give to someone who comments on this blog.

I grew up with animals. No, not my family! Hmm, we mightn’t look too closely at that statement. I mean, I grew up with lots of pets, although these days, I tend to borrow other people’s pets because circumstances just aren’t practical for me to keep an animal. I’d love to hear about a pet or an animal that has been important in your life. A childhood pet? A current creature? Someone else’s dog or cat who took a shine to you? An animal in a story. I personally still have a great fondness for the Silver Brumby!

Sid’s favourite comment wins my debut book from Avon and a signed coverflat for my second release, UNTOUCHED, which comes out in the US in late November. Good luck!

And congratulations again, Kate! Here’s to 50 more!

Best wishes.

Anna Campbell
I’d love to hear about a pet or an animal that has been important in your life. A childhood pet? A current creature? Someone else’s dog or cat who took a shine to you? An animal in a story.
Signed copy of Claiming the Courtesan, my debut book from Avon and a signed coverflat for my second release, UNTOUCHED, which comes out in the US in late November.


Annie West said...

Hi Anna, how great to see you here, joining the fun of the party.

As you know, I loved your first book, but not as much as 'Untouched'. I'm looking forward enormously to reading it again!

Bad luck missing out on Sid the Cat. He certainly sounds like an intriguing character.

Hm, animal stories... My childhood was full of dogs as well as regular contingents of baby birds that my parents valiantly tried to foster after their parents had met various sticky ends (we won't go any further in case we offend Sid). My mother even fostered a joey (a baby kangaroo) for years. She used to have an apron with a huge pocket in it and Suzy (the kangaroo) would bound over and straight into the 'pouch'.

These days I have my pet beagle beside me as I type. In fact, she's scratching at the glass door, demanding to be let in. I'd better go or she'd been most upset!


Helen said...

Firstly congratulations Kate on the release of your 50th book well done I lot of hard work I am sure went into it.
Hi Anna as you know I love CTC and am eagerly awaiting the release of Untouched in December.
Animal Stories well I have 3 dogs one of which was my mums she had a mini fox terrier called Tootsie who worshiped Mum and Dad but whenever I walked in the door she would leave them and follow me after we lost Dad anytime that Mum went away Tootsie came and stayed at our place and Mum always said if anything happened to her she new Tootsie would be well looked after we lost Mum 5 years ago and yes Tootsie lives with me now and rules the roost wherever I am she is she sits on my lap while I read and at my feet when I am on the computer I love her just as much as she loves me we are very close.
Have Fun

Jenny Haddon said...

Hi Anna, Hi Kate

I too am a great fan of Claiming the Courtesan, as you know. It's really gripping.

When I was small my father had a mongrel - there was Jack Russell terrier in the mix but basically he was a Friday Night fry up - who was the most manipulative person in the household. When a puppy, he had run into a bike and broken his paw. So whenever he was told off (which happened often as he was a kleptomaniac with a penchant for tennis socks and digetive biscuits) he would raise the formerly injured paw and put his head on one side, looking soulful. My father used to call him Don't Forget Dunkirk and stayed immovable. But my mother swore Dunk's eyes were wet and would always gave in.

Very good luck with 'Untouched', Anna. Can't way to read it. What are you writing now?


Authorness said...

Hi, Anna and Kate!

I've had cats and dogs all my life, some of them strays. I've always wanted a horse of my own. (Had to settle for imaginary ones, though!)

I now have two wonderful kitties who 'talk' and fetch and snore just like real humans!

;) Vanessa

Anna Campbell said...

Annie, love the story about Suzy the kangaroo! Thanks for posting. Helen, Tootsie sounds almost human! Love your story too! Jenny, I always think people who say animals aren't smart have never actually lived with animals! Don't you? I'm currently working on another courtesan story - I think of it as my Regency noir Affair to Remember! Vanessa, sorry you never had a horse! It's a stage girls go through, isn't it? Thanks, everyone, for commenting and saying such lovely things about my book! And thanks, Kate, for asking me to participate in your party. I'm still in awe of 50 BOOKS!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Anna and Kate

Kate, brilliant about your 50th book! Congratulations. I heard you at the RWAus conference too - fabulous!

Anna, loved, loved, LOVED CTC. Can't wait to see UNTOUCHED in print and on the shelves. Your covers are just divine!

Mmm, important pets - so many great personalities I've been lucky enough to have had in my life but for this I'll choose my first horse, Keba. I had him when I was thirteen and he taught me the value of tenacity, of standing up for myself and of being braver than I really am! He was a fair little sod in lots of ways but in the end we learned to like and respect each other. Even won a couple of ribbons in the novice ring at a show so we came a long way in the time we knew each other!

Lovely to catch you on Kate's blog party, Anna!


Christine Wells said...

Anna, great post! It's so true about the friends you make through writing--they're priceless!

Pets. Well, I had four (neutered) rabbits as pets when I was about eight, before they had to be moved on to a better place. To this day, my mother assures me it was the local wildlife park, not a nice doctor with a needle but I don't know...

Mona said...

Hi Anna,

Great to meet you again. Congrats on Untouched, sounds way too interesting.
My only and truly love ever are pigeons I've had two pigeons before though my story is about a dove that had a nest on a tree close to our apartment and one day she was injured, my mom and I took care of it till she was able to fly.
When we tried to make her fly again she just wouldn't want to leave.During that time she would stand on no one's shoulder but me. And when I'd go to college my mom told me that she'd search the whole place for me from one room to another and one I entered from the door she'd fly to stand on my shoulder. Afterwards she got really sick,I've had two vets for her and she wouldn't be saved. Ever since then I stopped having pigeons cause I really didn't want to face that once again I even don't look at pictures she's in them.
A little bit of a sad story but that's one friend I didn't plan to have and I wouldn't forget about.

ChristyJan said...

We've had some bad luck recently with our pets. Our beloved family cat, PING-PONG died this spring, and late Saturday night someone stole my sons dog, Nancy.

Anne McAllister said...

Hi Anna
Dying to read your books. Like Kate, I've got CTC in the TBR mountain. But since I've been reading lately, it's edging closer to the top.

Animals who have touched my life? Besides Sid? Well, AJ, our 11 year old son's first dog was absolutely the best dog in the world. He used to reconstruct people in the living room if they left the house. If we were all gone, we'd come home and find piles of dirty clothes he'd carried down from upstairs. One pile for me, one for my husband, one of each of the kids. One day when we were gone, he carried down a bedspread -- I think he intended to make a tent for the clothes to live in!

As my son said not too many weeks after AJ moved in, "See, Mom, he really did improve the quality of life around here."

Amen to that. And so have all the ones who came after him.

Ai Yin said...

hi anna! congrats kate!

ah, well, the only animal that ever meant anything to me is my pet stuffed rabbit I named "Thumper" (I was a huge Bambi fan back then and the colour of my rabbit matches). I've had it since I was two, when my father gave identical-in-all-but-colour rabbits to my cousins, my brother and I. Till today it still sleeps by my side *sigh*. When I was 10, I misplaced it at the hotel I was staying during a school holiday, and (this sounds so silly now when I retell it at the age of 19) I cried almost every night until finally my father got it back from one of the hotel staff and gave it back to me on Chinese New Year (best present he has ever given me, or rather, given back to me).

Other than that, I only have a watchdog mongrel right now living with our family. Nothing special about him, except that he bit me. Twice. Literally. At least I didn't need stitches, unlike my poor brother.

CrystalG said...

My husband and I have a female German Shepherd named Gypsy. She is so sweet and does tricks that makes us laugh. She has been a blessing to us since our other German Shepherd named King was stolen.

Virginia said...

Hi Anna good to see you at the party.

I had a pet bird by the name of Tweety. She was very attached to me. When I would get home from work she would come straight to me, love to ride on my shoulder. If I was washing dishes at the sink she would climb down from her cage and come to the kitchen and stand on my foot and chirp for me to pick her up. Tweety was a very cool bird and I still miss her after all these years.

jennybrat said...

Hi Anna, don't enter me in the giveaway. Just want to say IMHO the cover for Untouched outdoes CTC!

Anonymous said...

our little dog turned in to our baby. we took him every where we
went.even the people at drive thru
windows new him.they would have him
a doggy bag made up when we went there.with doggy treat .instead of

sharon said...

When i was growing up we had a small mix dog, named Ginger. Ginger was a wonderful companion and a big part of our family. She lived until she was 18 years old. She was spoiled but had a lovely disposition and was a sweetheart.

ilona said...

I have had many, many pets in my lifetime and some have stayed in my memory - A cat called Lightning that we adopted in Germany (he had been found feral on the local golf course). His favourite thing was to hang around my shoulders like a fur wrap and scare visitors by 'suddenly coming to life' :D

I think my favourite pets though have been Lady and Lucy. Lady was a collie cross who travelled all around Britian and Northern Ireland with us whilst we were in the army. She was so good about travelling that she often suprised other passengers by coming out from under our feet when it was time to disembark from the trains and they would then realise that a dog had been on board :)
Lucy is the only surviving pup, from her only litter, before she died of liver failure at 9 yrs old.
Lucy is now 16 yrs old and still acts like a puppy most of the time. she has even learnt to tell when the kids are due home and sits watching the door for them to come in :)

Marcy said...

My dog, Mulligan, is the biggest chicken I've ever met, but I love him. He's afraid of tall grass, thunder, the kids, the cat (can't blame him for that--the cat is bigger than him. Did I mention Mulligan is a shih tzu?), but there's nothing better than snuggling up on the couch with him to warm your lap.

Anna Campbell said...

I'm loving these animal stories. Sharon, Keba sounds like he taught you heaps. I know my (one and only) horse Gypsy taught me a lot. Primarily that I wasn't designed to own a horse! Christine, your rabbit story made me think of Alice in the Vicar of Dibley and her budgie... Mona, that's an amazing story about your dove. Even if it is sad - I think that's part of loving an animal, isn't it? Oh, and Christyjan, your story was sad too. I'm so sorry.

Anna Campbell said...

Anne, thanks so much for dropping by. As you know, I'm a fan from way back! Your story about your dog reconstructing his human family is gorgeous. Really made me smile. Goodness, Ai Yin! Bitten TWICE and the dog is still in the family! I think I'd prefer the rabbit too! CrystalG, sorry to hear your dog was stolen (people are AWFUL sometimes, aren't they?). So glad your new dog has a place in your hearts, though. Virgina, Tweety sounds like a really special bird. We had a cat on the farm called Rover who was more dog than cat in her behavior - not a lap cat by any means but a real personality - and I still miss her.

Anna Campbell said...

Jennybrat, thanks for saying you love the cover. Clearly all my sacrifices to the cover gods are bearing fruit ;-) The green is just gorgeous, isn't it? Peggy, what a cute story about your dog! Sharon, how lucky you were to have Ginger for 18 years. As you say, a really special pet is part of the family. Ilona, what great stories - love the cat as fur stole one! Aren't collies the cleverest dogs? We had a Lassie dog growing up (they're called Scotch collies over here but apparently in the UK, they're Shetland sheepdogs) and he was smarter than most humans I've met. And so empathetic. I cried my eyes out when he was hit by a car (by my brother's best friend's mother which made it even worse - she was just devastated as our dog was a favorite in the whole farming community). I still miss him. Oh, dear, this seems to have turned into pets I have loved but lost. I suppose it's inevitable.

Anna Campbell said...

Marcy, Mulligan sounds like a honey! Even if he is a wimp ;-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Anna

About a year ago during a big thunderstorm I heard barking at my door. I opened it up and found the cutest terrior puppy standing there looking at me as though to say...hey let me in all ready ;-) We have no idea where he came from and put posters up looking for his owner. No one claimed him, so we kept him. But I realized that every animal we have has sort of just shown up at our door. I apparently married Dr. Doolittle. We have two dogs, three cats and a bird. The newest addition to our household is a kitten we found under the house two months ago ;-)

Samantha Storm

Sue A. said...

I didn't become a cat person until someone gave us their cat. Living day in, day out with the cat, I became attached and I finally understood the appeal of cats. It's in their personality which can be affectionate at times and aloof at others, it's in their small warm bodies with their clean soft fur and ... I won't go on because if you love cats you already know.

pearl said...

I inherited an adorable, sweet Maltese named Guido from my friend's grandmother. She had to move and I was elected to be the new owner. I love this ball of fluff. He is so cute, and quiet. Very expressive as well, that you would think he is human as he is gazes at you in his pensive and thoughtful way. I could never part with him now.

jenna said...

When my dad died suddenly this summer I felt bereft. I decided to get a dog to keep me company. I obtained a dog from a place I discovered online that rescues dogs. This dog is a small mix with a corgi type face and body but slimmer and taller. Bogie is a sweetheart who justs wants to be loved. We get along beautifully and I could never live without him now.

sabrina said...

When the neighbour would go out of town we would look after their dog, a Springer Spaniel named Fanny. An experience that we found enjoyable and interesting. Fanny had a great temperament and just wanted attention 24 hours a day. She would follow you everywhere and look at you with her baleful eyes. Fanny is now gone and I miss her. The family was brokenhearted and did not get a replacement dog but 2 cats instead, Frodo and Max.

YvonneLindsay said...

Hi Anna! Lovely to see you here. I can't wait for "Untouched" and I agree on the cover comment. It look fantastic!

Animal stories... hmmm, where to begin? I think the most impactful animal we've ever had the pleasure of being owned by was our Gizmo. She was a dark tabby with the meanest streak this side of the Tasman but she loved us to bits and particularly loved the kids--shadowing them everywhere they went in the cul-de-sac as they were growing up. Probably my dearest memory of her was when we moved out of our old house and to my parents' home for three months while our new house was built. My kids were 3 and 1 at the time and my parents suggested that since Gizzie was so attached to us that it would be cruel to put her in a cattery for that length of time so why didn't we see how well she settled down with us at their place. Well, you'd have thought she'd lived there all her life. My parents had a huge flat cobbled area at the front of their house, behind a large fence and down a long drive way and our 3 year old loved to ride her tricycle there. One day she was determined to keep riding there after dinner but it was bathtime and man oh man, did she put up a stink about having to come inside for her bath before bed. She cried and cried through her bath, a time of day she usually loved to pieces, but the silence was absolutely deafening when Gizzie (who loathed water even more than her annual trip to the vet) raced through from the garden and climbed straight into the bath with her and gave us this foul look as if to say "For goodness sake, why can't you settle this child? See how easy it is?" I still have the photo somewhere. Just thinking of it makes me smile.

brownone said...

Hello all!! far as animal stories go, we are not a big animal type of family (we are all allergic to dogs and cats). We do have a turtle by the name of Uncle Harris who is about 3 years old. There are actually times I find my husband talking to him. Heck, I actually find myself talking to him while I do the dishes as he sitting on the kitchen island...

Kimberly L said...

We had a big black cat named Smokey
and he was our baby. When I would get upset he'd crawl up around my neck and just lay there. When my son would play with his little army men he's play with him and knock'em down. It was funny watching those two. I really miss him. We lost him about 3 years ago.

Anna Campbell said...

Samantha, do you know I've never had an animal turn up at the door like that? What wonderful serendipity! Sue, you're right - you have to live with an animal really to appreciate him/her. I know people say you're either a cat or a dog person, but really, I like both! Perhaps because I had both growing up and I can see what both have to offer. Pearl, your Maltese sounds lovely. They really are human, aren't they? Oh, I miss having a pet!

Anna Campbell said...

Jenna, you're right - there's something about the unconditional love of a dog that helps to heal our wounds, doesn't it? Glad you rescued a dog! Hey, Sabrina, LOVE those names! Hi Yvonne! Loved your Gizmo story. Really put a smile on my face.

Anna Campbell said...

Brownone, don't be ashamed of talking to your turtle. I suspect he understands what you say to him! Kimberly, so sad you lost Smokey (we had a Smokey growing up too although he was a fairly nasty piece of work!).

Christina Hollis said...

Hi Anna - what a beautiful cover for 'Untouched'. I can't wait to read it.
After we lost our delightful dog we swore 'no more pets'. Then the children came along (no irony intended there) and the requests began...finally we caved in and got a cat, on the understanding that I wouldn't have anything to do with it. Being partially eaten :) by a feral farm cat as a child rather put me off them. The funny thing is, our cat is devoted to me (and I've grown pretty fond of him, awww) and practically ignores the children!

Anna Campbell said...

Christina, thanks for popping by. Too funny about the cat loving you! Something similar happened to one of our farm cats - she was with us strictly on a temporary basis and nobody (but me and I didn't live there at this stage) wanted a cat. But she became everybody's darling. That's Rover who I've mentioned before in this blog. A real sweetheart in her funny little way.

Dena said...

Hi Anna,
We have always been cat people.This past year though we took in an abused dog.She's half pomaranian and half not sure so I'll say half the friendliest dog I've ever come across. She loves everyone and that is good considering she was so abused her first 10 months of life.She plays all time and gets a long with our cats for the most part.She likes to chase one of them and our cat gets tired of it sometimes. I can't imagine not having her now and I can even stand the barking because of the love she shares with us.

Minna said...

There used to be cats when I was a kid, but unfortunately I don't have any cats anymore. But my relatives have dogs and I get to look after them every once in a while. We used to have cows, too, but after my parents retired and the cows were gone, our old cat started to visit my friends home few kilometers away, because they still had cows. Since he no longer got the warm milk with a lot fat at home, he went to my friends home to get it. Of course the pretty lady cat might have had something to do with it, too.


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