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Another Fall, another delicious Anna Campbell book, Captive of Sin! Fortunately laAnna has graciously agreed to blog with us today about her new book and about writing outside your comfort zone.... Brace yourself and pour the rum! (And aren't these pictures completely bitchin'!)
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Hey, Pirates!!!! Cool to be back again. I really look forward to my chance to talk buccaneer with you guys. By the way – and I’m sure you already know this – did you know you can change your Facebook language to Pirate? Arrrrrrrr, me hearties!
OK, let’s weigh anchor and get this ship on its way to the Spanish Main!
I have to laugh – the title of this piece makes me think of my father yelling at my teenage self to turn the music down. He definitely preferred different dynamics!
But that’s not what I want to talk about today. Dread Pirate Hellion and I were tossing around ideas for today’s blog and she reminded me that I’d just got my latest book in and that it featured, shock, horror, a non-tortured hero!
“How can this be?” I hear you ask in shock. “An Anna Campbell opus with a non-tortured hero? Sacre bleu! C’est impossible!” Hmm, a French pirate seems to have stowed away. Wait a minute while I pack him away to the galley where he can whip you up some croissants. Yeah, I know croissants be landlubber food, but if anyone objects, we’ll put some nice fish jam on top and make them REAL pirate food!
Anyway, back to the hero of MY RECKLESS SURRENDER which is scheduled for next summer. The Earl of Ashcroft has his vulnerabilities and a few things from his past that he’s not entirely easy with – like most of us. But tortured? Nah! Which meant writing the book was a completely different experience from my previous books where the past has such a powerful influence on the present for the two main characters and the story springs out of past events.
So Hellion suggested talking about things that create a different writing experience. To be honest, all my books have presented a different writing experience. Each time I sit down to write a book, it seems to fling up new challenges. I guess if it didn’t, I’d get bored!
At the moment, I’m promoting my latest release, CAPTIVE OF SIN, which came out on 27th October. It definitely features a tortured hero in Sir Gideon Trevithick. And in fact, my heroine meets the gorgeous Gideon when she’s running away from a beating administered by her greedy and violent stepbrothers. So she’s tortured too!
You can meet Gideon and Charis in an excerpt here: http://www.annacampbell.info/captivesin.html
Both Charis and Gideon are trapped in their present circumstances because of their past. Only when they work together and learn to trust each other and the love that blossoms between them will they prevail against the forces ranging to destroy them. Again, that’s not an unusual theme for me.
But there were a lot of new elements to this story too. For example, it’s my first marriage of convenience story. The MOC is a staple of the romance genre and it’s a trope I always like – hey, they’re under one roof, plenty of room for nooky (yeah, I’m shallow – watch out, your ship will go aground if this conversation continues!). I’d love to write another MOC story some time.
Charis was also my first virginal heroine. Now, to be honest, there were times when I heartily agreed with all those jaded Regency rakes who populate Romancelandia and decided that virgins were more trouble than they’re worth! But I love this heroine – she’s so brave and spirited and determined.
When Gideon, because he’s such a knight in shining armor and he’s convinced he’s completely unworthy of her (you’ll have to read the book to find out why, but he has compelling reasons), insists on a marriage in name only, she fights him all the way. She knows they both deserve better than separate, lonely lives. I really admire a gutsy heroine!
The dynamics of writing a virginal heroine compared to two courtesans and two widows (Diana Carrick in MY RECKLESS SURRENDER is a middle-class widow) made for a completely different story and changed the tone of the love scenes. I hope they’re still passionate and compelling, but at least the earlier ones have to take my heroine’s inexperience into account.
Actually while I’m on things that create a different dynamic, Charis is the youngest heroine I’ve ever written. For the purposes of the plot, she has to be just short of her 21st birthday. When I wrote TEMPT THE DEVIL, one of the different dynamics there (there’s always different dynamics!) was that Olivia was in her early 30s and Erith was in his late 30s. Life for people at that age is a completely different ball game to life for someone who’s just past 20.
So I thought it might be interesting to talk about whether you find these different dynamics operating every time you start a new manuscript. Is different good? Did you ever do something so different you shocked yourself?
One lucky commenter will win a signed copy of CAPTIVE OF SIN. Oh, and by the way, there’s a pirate in CAPTIVE OF SIN!!!! Black Jack Trevithick who is a thoroughly dashing fella! Clearly, this is a book perfect for the library on the Romance Writers’ Revenge! Ahoy, shipmates! All hands to the comment boxes! And may the best seadog win!