Monday, December 15, 2008

Guest Blogger: Anna Campbell

The Playfriends are very excited today to welcome historical author Anna Campbell. She writes deliciously sexy and innovative historical romances that won her 2 RITA nominations this year. We’ll also be seeing her in School during January, where we’re posting an interview with her fabulous insight! Please give Anna a proper welcome.

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Hi Writing Playgrounders! Thanks so much for asking me to visit today and talk about my latest release TEMPT THE DEVIL. You are obviously the cool girls in the classroom and I’m flattered you’ve asked me to hang out with you. Unless I have to go through some weird and painful initiation ceremony? Eeeek!


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I thought today I’d talk about inspiration!

Was that a groan I heard from the back row?

No, I mean GOOD inspiration! The sort we all have fun with. Bear with me!

I don’t know if you’ve ever done one of those workshops which analyzes what kind of writer you are. As far as I know, there are three kinds. Visual – you see the characters first, you’re very aware of what each scene looks like. Auditory – you hear your characters and once you’ve got their voices right, you’re set to go. Kinesthetic – you picture your characters in action, they’re doing stuff and everything else flows from there.

I’m primarily an auditory writer. Characters start talking in my head and the story flows from there. And when I tell people that, they always look at me like I’m slightly odd. Well, maybe more than slightly. But I, like most people, have a strong secondary sense and mine is visual. I fairly quickly work out what these characters look like.

Often they look like REAL people. Well, actors and musicians and such.

I have friends who then go and cut out pictures of the people involved (I’m far from the only person who bases characters’ appearances on actual people) and stick them up on their computer. I don’t go so far. I just need that first impression and frankly, by the time I finish the book, each character has become so much an individual, that immediate impression of what they look like doesn’t matter so much. My characters look like themselves by the end. But that originating spark really helps me get a fix on a character.

With CLAIMING THE COURTESAN, Kylemore looked like Daniel Day-Lewis, or he did until I was doing my final rewrites and I saw Richard Armitage. My good friend Christine Wells (who writes fantastic historical romance if you haven’t read her yet) told me she’d watched North and South and the leading man was Kylemore come to life. I scoffed, resisted, then eventually succumbed by checking out this guy. Wow! He WAS Kylemore come to life. Dark, intense good looks, deep-set dark blue eyes, that commanding blade of a nose, that long, lean body. Verity always looked like Olivia Hussey in Franco Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet. I wanted someone with that slightly Madonna quality – in spite of Verity’s profession!

With TEMPT THE DEVIL, my new Regency noir from Avon which is a January 2009 release, my hero and heroine were really strong in my mind right from the start, including what they looked like. This really is a blessing for a writer!

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The Earl of Erith is an unrepentant rake in his late 30s. I wanted someone dark and louche and dangerous with a lazy, self-confident sexuality. I immediately thought of Bryan Ferry in the early 80s – around the Let’s Stick Together stage. For anyone who’s too young to remember, here’s a youtube link:

http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=bZTsW8WKy5c

And here he is as lead singer with Roxy Music. I love this song and I think it’s a gorgeous video in that overblown, romantic 1980s style:

http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=2zJdbpzfJMs

Doesn’t this guy look like your perfect Regency bad boy? The bad boy who’s done everything and seen everything and thinks life holds no more surprises. Well, my dear earl, have I got news for you!

Olivia Raines is equally decadent and jaded. She’s in her early 30s and the most sought-after courtesan in London. She despises her clients and her life but can’t quite bring herself to break away from all the glitter and glamour. When she agrees to become the Earl of Erith’s mistress, she expects just another meaningless affair. As you’ll probably guess, she has a few surprises ahead of her too!

I didn’t want a woman who was conventionally beautiful. But I wanted a woman so striking and so redolent of sensuality that she stops men in their tracks. Someone strong and smart and witty but with a hint of depth behind the spectacular facade. I immediately thought of a young Lauren Bacall.

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So do you have real-life prototypes for your characters? Do you find yourself casting actors to play the hero and heroine in romance novels you read? If you chose people to play your favorite characters, who would you pick? My favorite answer wins a signed copy of my latest release TEMPT THE DEVIL!

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You know the drill.... comment to enter the contest to win a copy of Tempt the Devil. And check out Anna on her website at www.annacampbell.com .

Angel

53 comments:

jo robertson said...

Great article, Anna. I love when you talk about your writing process and how you come to create your characters and stories. I find that fascinating since writers are all so different in their approaches.

Richard Armitage is, without a doubt, Kylemore. Christine was spot on!

I always hear my characters speak, more specifically talk to each other in some sort of repartee or banter that has lots of double meanings and smart-ass undertones.

Their physical descriptions come much later and I'm not troubled if I don't have much more than a general driver's license idea of their form and features. Their character seems to form itself in my mind first.

TTD sounds wickedly entertaining and I can't wait until it hits the shelves!

Duh, my word verification is the German word for sh*t. Hmmmmm LOL.

Jane said...

Hi Anna,
I think Richard Armitage was the perfect inspiration for Kylemore. I love that the hero and heroine of "Tempt the Devil" are more mature. I do remember Bryan Ferry. "Slave To Love" is one of my favorite songs. I can picture Eric Bana as the inspiration for any Scottish hero, like Julie Garwood's Gabriel MacBain or Connor MacAlister. I see Christian Bale as Lisa Kleypas' Sebastian St. Vincent.

Tawny said...

Anna, what an inspiring article *g*. You know, I don't ever see my characters as 'real people'. They somehow develop in my imagination into real people though, with their own looks, personality and quirks - but sometimes it takes a few chapters before I see them.

Those are some ugly chapters, too LOL.

I can't wait to get my hands on TTD!! It sounds fabulous, in the perfect Anna Campbell style.

Tawny said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Margay said...

Anna, you always write posts that really make us think! I always "cast" characters in my head whether I'm reading them or writing them (especially writing them - I even clip pictures from magazines). Right now, one of my favorites is Alex O'Laughlin from the short-lived Moonlight series. There is something incredibly sexy and intense about that guy and I think what adds to the mystery, charm, whatever, is the fact that he's an Australian and I have a thing for Australian (and British) actors even though Johnny Depp is my all-time favorite actor.

Caren Crane said...

Anna, this is a great question. I tend NOT to have real-life people in mind as I write characters. I just make up their faces, bodies and quirks as I write them. Somehow they are more real to me that way than if I borrow from real people.

Though I will say that I sometimes borrow tics from real life - things they do or say that I've observed in real people. Real people tend to have more interesting tics than I could ever make up!

I can't wait to read this book!

Christie Kelley said...

Great blog, Anna! I'm another one who hears their characters speaking before I start writing. The unfortunate part of that is when they become too quiet. Then it's like pulling teeth to get them talking to you again. I've found though, that it's usually because I'm trying to make them do something they shouldn't do.

As far as their physical features, sometimes their appearance just comes to me like a portrait. Other times, I already know that the character looks just like some actor. I actually find it easier when they look like an actor because you can study some of their mannerisms and use it in the book.

Still haven't found TTD but I won't quit until I find it!

Problem Child said...

Hi Anna! Welcome to the Playground!

Most of the Playfriends are visual -- go to their offices and you see pictures of people cut out and stuck to walls and monitors (don't tell them I find it kinda creepy, 'kay?).

Okay, so I'm the weird one around here...

Joan said...

Mornin' Anna and Playfriends (and the occasional Bandita and BB :-)

Great discussion. I am a combination of auditory and visual with visual taking the lead. I see expressions on my character's faces and take it from there.

And they are um, real as my Roman boys were quick to point out, scoffing at my initial notion that my stories were heroine centered.

The stories are all about them :-)

Christine said...

Thank you for the blog post. I enjoyed reading about all the hot characters. I also am a visual with strong auditory influences. I tend to have a picture in my mind of the hero, based on a delicious fellow in the movies or on television. I clip photos, watch their mannerisms, and heck yeah, I love to imagine them doing wonderful things to the heroine who is usually based on the more feisty characters out there in the real world.

I have Count of Monte Cristo hero for the second book -- a rock star -- and Reese Witherspoon. I just love her and the way she acts in Sweet Home Alabama. Katherine Heigel is another fav'--she's just a classic beauty. And I don't like all my gals to be tiny, perfect petite women. They have curves and heighth.

I love Richard Gere-- the early years--and have also clipped Viggo Mortensesn (gosh he's delicious). Presently, Hugh Jackman is taped all over my computer cubby. The sexiest man alive!!

Talk about inspiration. LOL. My daughter's friends think I am quite the funny old mom with my wall of hunks.

But my favorite hunk is in a photo next to my computer. Good old dear husband back when we first were married. My original hero. He was so hot in his cowboy boots, soft blue cords, curling blond hair and to die for blue green eyes. And when he talked that Texan drawl won me over. Big time.

Trish Milburn said...

Well, you know I love North and South and Richard Armitage, so good choosing there. :)

I am constantly ripping photos out of magazines of people to inspire characters -- not just actors but people in ads too. I don't know when I'll use them, but I have a big file folder full of them. For instance, I'm beginning today to write the latest Harlequin American I sold. The hero looks like Eric Dane (McSteamy, not McDreamy, from Grey's Anatomy) and a woman I saw in a watch ad. I often do collages for my stories before I begin.

Margay, I like Alex O'Loughlin too, and I'm still mad that they canceled Moonlight. Grr.

J.K. Coi said...

Awesome blog, Anna!
When I'm writing I actually don't have a visual inspiration for the characters. It's only afterward when the book is done that I'll go and try to find a picture that would be close.

Immortals to Die For
www.jkcoi.com

Smarty Pants said...

Welcome, Anna. I'm a kinesthetic learner, primarily. I see my characters like a movie, moving around in my head. I always have to know the layout of where they are so they can move and do things in the space. I never have floating heads talking, although they sometimes have no clothes because I haven't bothered to mention what they look like.

Usually when I'm done, I try to come up with a picture that sort of fits my idea of the character. Doesn't always work quite right. I find if I pick an actor or someone famous ahead of time, I find the actor and their roles sort of taint my character in my mind.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Anna! Swinging over from the Lair to say Howdeeee-do! :>

Love the article. Like Jo, I love to hear about your process. I also love to hear about people's hero/heroine process.

I don't pick "real" humans as my people. Sometimes the people I create have similarities with stars or whatever, but I don't set out to do it. :>

I'm excited about TTD and like everyone else said...CAN'T WAIT!

jo robertson said...

Margay, I so agree with you on Alex O'Laughlin. I was furious they cancelled that show! Not only was he great in the role, but the story was just unique enough to be appealing.

Anonymous said...

Anna,
Welcome to the playground. I'm not a writer but a reader. I do visualize the characters when I am reading a book & sometimes I will think of a singer or actor who will fit into that role. I enjoyed reading how you go about bringing your books to "life" - great job.
robertsonreads

Sherry Werth said...

Hi Anna,
Great blog! Good grief, I think I fit into all three catagories. Maybe that's why I havent't finished the book. :D
I have to have a good idea of what they look like, how they sound and where the scene is taking place and what it looks like. Then they talk and move around in that particular environment.
I do cut out or print off pictures that my characters resemble. But they never look exactly like the picture. They begin to take on more of their own facial features after a while.
Tempt the Devil sounds great! I will be on the look out for it.

Donna MacMeans said...

Anna -

What fun! I'm one that sees the action first as if I'm watching a movie, The characters themselves are pretty fuzzy and take shape as I write (and rewrite and rewrite them *g*). I become very sensitive to facial expressions and body language in the movies I see during this formative time and I think I borrow bits here and there to make my characters complete and unique.

I like the idea of looking at magazines for inspiration if only for an excuse to look at pictures of to-die-for men. I'm working, honey, seriously!

Lynn Raye Harris said...

Hi, Anna! Nice to see you on the playground. I'm not sure how I write -- I think it changes with each book. Sometimes I see the characters, but have no idea what's going to happen. Other times I see them in action and they are fuzzy. And then I occasionally hear one or two voices telling me things. Perhaps this simply means I'm schizophrenic? :)

I never clip pictures, though I have from time to time dragged one into a computer file and then looked at it when I was stuck. :) Apparently, I am all over the map with process. :)

catslady said...

As a reader I never put movie stars or particular people into the characters that I'm reading about. Maybe I'm in the minority about this!

Angel said...

Welcome, Anna!

I often base my characters on real people. As PC mentioned, I'm firmly in the collage section of this group. Didn't know it creeped her out, though...

I'm careful about who I choose to represent my characters. Often, I'll search and search and search, then suddenly, I just know I've hit the right person. The character just sort of tells me. But often I don't pick actors/actresses, because they're acting characters influence what my characters are trying to do. Instead I look for models so I can simply use their looks and not mannerisms, etc, that might not fit.

I'm definitely a visual learner (hence the collages) with a smaller part auditory.

Angel

Playground Monitor said...

I definitely have a touch of all three which is probably why it took me so long to write the first book. It's also why I refused to bury it and go on to something else because those people would NOT stop talking to me.

I love that you used a young Lauren Bacall as the inspiration for your heroine. I have no clue who those men are, and I'm so out of touch with today's pop culture that I'm not familiar with most of the younger actors and actresses. For my hero I had a photo of an actor I *thought* was him, but ended up changing to another actor because he fit the character's personality more. For a secondary character, I used the woman who played Raymond's mother on "Everybody Loves Raymond" more for her personality and attitude than her looks.

I had pictures, I had a song that I played over and over to get me in the mood. I burned a special candle. I wore my NaNoWriMo mystical muse beads. I had a special bracelet I got at my first RWA conference that I wore.

I am SO all over the place with this writing stuff. So no, PC, you are not the weird one. I am.

Anna Campbell said...

Jo, I find the whole creation process fascinating to hear about too. As you say, everyone is so different in how they get going. I actually think knowing there's no one particular RIGHT way to do things is encouraging! Sounds like you're an auditory writer too. I definitely hear voices in my head - and no, I'm sure I'm not mad. Well, maybe, I'm kinda sure... Thanks for coming by, my Bandita friend! Laughed at the code word thing. Mine's nothing so dramatic!

Jane, the really odd thing is RA wasn't the inspiration for Kylemore. I had no idea RA existed when I wrote him! It was one of those serendipity things later on, thanks to Christine Wells. But seriously, RA is Kylemore brought to life, even to the dark blue eyes and the intensity and the big nose. Slave to Love is gorgeous, isn't it? I almost picked it as my example of how gorgeous BF is! ;-) He, both as solo and in Roxy Music, really did have some great songs, didn't he? Eric Bana and Christian Bale? Clearly we're on the same page, my friend! Actually one of the things I love about Eric Bana is he's so self-effacing when he's interviewed - he's so charming and his feet are planted solidly on the ground.

Anna Campbell said...

Tawny, I hope you enjoy TTD! Only two weeks to go until it's out. Yippeeeeeee! Interesting how the characters grow in our minds, isn't it? I usually have an idea of physical type which is when these real people models help. But by the end of the book, each character has so much reality for me, they're Erith or Kylemore or Olivia. They're no longer pseudo BF or pseudo Lauren Bacall.

Hiya Margay! Thanks for popping by. I don't know this guy from Moonlight. I'll have to check him out. OK, just checked him out - hasn't he got a wonderful face? Really smart and alive! Great choice for a romance hero! I must say I have a great fondness for British and Scottish actors (although Johnny Depp definitely makes the cut!). In Australia, we get quite a lot of British TV too which helps my obsession ;-)

Anna Campbell said...

Interesting, Caren. Another way of building a character. One of the things I often borrow from real life is a gesture. Because I hear my characters so clearly, in my first drafts, there's a danger of them just being talking heads with no physical reality. I deliberately watch for gestures people make so I can add that bit of concrete reality to the stories. Thanks for popping by!

Christie, thanks for coming over! It's a Bandita invasion! Another auditory writer. How interesting. Anecdotal evidence suggests that visual writers are more common but not so far on this blog! I've learnt that when my characters go quiet, I've got a problem too! For example, I wanted Matthew in Untouched to be a cranky alpha and he just wouldn't cooperate. Whenever I tried to force him into that mold, he just dug his heels in and wouldn't do a thing for me, the rotter!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Kimberley! Isn't that interesting that you're an auditory (are you?) stuck in a visual jungle! No wonder you're the problem child ;-) I was at a writers' retreat earlier this year and one of the exercises was collaging - didn't work for me at all but most of the people there found it absolutely revelatory. Thanks for the welcome and thanks for having me over to the playground today. You guys are great!

Joan, I think in a very important sense, our characters ARE real. They have to be, at least to us, or the book's dead in the water! That's my theory and I'm sticking to it. I'm primarily auditory but with a secondary visual. Because my kinetic strain is so underdeveloped, that's the one I have to work on consciously. As I said, I look for gestures and actions and the way people move and deliberately seed that into my writing because I know unless I do, it will be lacking in the final product.

Anna Campbell said...

Ooh, Christine, your husband sounds yummy! That photo definitely sounds like it deserves its place on the wall of hunkery (laughed at the kids finding that amusing - we don't die once we hit 40, you know!). Ooh, Viggo! I had such a crush on him in Lord of the Rings. He was the perfect Aragorn! Hugh is another man I find really impressive in interviews - honestly if I was that good-looking, I'd be an utter pain, and he's charming and funny and self-deprecating. Gotta love that!

Trish, clearly you're a visual person. I get an impression of someone I'm basing a character on but that's as far as it goes. But I have a lot of writer friends who do the folder of inspiration stuff or stick the pictures up all over their computer. Congratulations on the new sales to Harlequin American! Having read A FIREFIGHTER IN THE FAMILY, I'm not at all surprised they want you back for a return gig!

Anna Campbell said...

J.K., how interesting. So do you hear them first or see them in action? Glad you enjoyed the blog. I can talk about handsome men all day if I'm asked to ;-)

Hey, Kira, thanks for having me over to play today! It's such fun to talk about inspirations. Interesting that you're kinetic - our first example so far today! Perhaps we should write a book together - we'd have everything covered ;-) My characters often have no clothes on too, LOL! Oh, that's not what you meant? Sheesh!

Anna Campbell said...

Jeanne, hope you like TTD! Thanks for emerging from the lair with all its cabana boys and margaritas. Sometimes I think I'll just stay there forever. But the playground beckoned and I do love the swings! Interesting you don't have real life prototypes at all - as I said, I use them more for jumping off points but having the physical prototype certainly helps me get a grip on the character. Hmm, all this gripping is making me hot and sweaty!

Jo, another Moonlight fan? Sounds like it must have been great!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Robertsonreads, thanks for saying how much you enjoyed the blog. I think most writers were readers way before they were writers - and I'm always interested in the creative process, whether it's actors or musicians or artists or writers. It's one of those endlessly fascinating topics, isn't it? Thanks for coming by!

Actually, Sherry, much as I hate to disagree with you, I think having all three strains in balance makes you really lucky as a writer! It all comes to you together then which makes it real and natural. So you'll have to blame something else for not finishing the book ;-) I hope you enjoy TTD - only two weeks to go! Whoo-hoo!!!!!

Anna Campbell said...

Donna, when I'm in the zone, it's like I'm watching a movie. Often, though, I have to prod them a bit to get them going. Interesting how we all work differently, isn't it? Laughed at your strenuous research, snort! Thanks for coming over, my Bandita buddy!

Lynn, congratulations on your sale to Harlequin Presents! That's a hard nut to crack. I look forward to reading your book! My critique partner is Annie West so Harlequin Presents plays a major part in my life ;-) Sounds like your process is working fine - I wouldn't tamper with it too much!

Anna Campbell said...

Catslady, I don't always cast books I'm reading. I don't even always cast books I'm writing - in Untouched, the characters were very much their own individuals right from the start. So you're not THAT odd ;-) Thanks for popping by to say hello!

Hi Danniele! Thanks so much for hosting me today. Isn't this an interesting discussion? So you're definitely a visual (don't worry about creeping out Smarty Pants - she's tough, she can handle it!). Actually a lot of my visual friends say just what you do - they want people they don't have preconceptions about when they're writing and models work fine for that.

Anna Campbell said...

Hi Marilyn! Yet another thank you for the invite to visit today! As I said to Lynn, I think you're very lucky having all three strains working together! If you get a chance, see if you can get a BBC series called North and South on DVD. I swear you'll be a convert to the Richard Armitage fan club. It's just fantastic! And he's the perfect romantic hero - a little rough around the edges but so passionate and intense. Oh, be still my beating heart! Wasn't LB a stunning girl?

Nancy said...

Anna, what an interesting peek into your process! I'm intrigued by the fact that the characters in TTD are older than we often see. I can readily believe people in their late 30s are jaded.

And, just by the way and not related to anything you mentioned, that cover is to die for!

Ahem. Back to your question--

I have only vague ideas of the characters' looks when I start. My ideas start with situations, and then I look into what kinds of characters would be in the most trouble in those circumstances. I'm a plot-oriented writer.

Like Caren, I sometimes borrow habits or quirks from real people, but I've never run across a picture of someone I thought exactly pegged a character of mine.

Joan, you do know the guy who plays the Punisher in the new film was also in Rome (as a gladiator, no less!) and in King Arthur with Clive Owen? I admit, I liked the prior actor a lot, Thomas Jane. Seriously cute!

Virginia said...

Lets see who I would choose would have to be Kevin Costner for my hero in a book because he likes long, slow, deep, wet, kisses that last for three days. Yep I think this would have to be my hero!

Lynn Raye Harris said...

Thanks, Anna! I now shake at the prospect of you reading my book. Your Kylemore is the ultimate alpha hero, IMO! :)

I love Annie's books! She also does a delicious alpha hero. :) No wonder you two are critique partners! :)

Sarah Tormey said...

First, a big thank you to Anna for writing such a compelling post! I have been thinking about my answer all day while cleaning the house. (And I would have given up on the cleaning hours ago if not for you!)

Looking back, I feel my characters began as some sort of daydreams. And then, they started following me around. On my subway ride to work, in the gym during spin classes, even when I went out for drinks with friends, I heard their voices. It finally got to the point, where I felt I had a complete story in my head and all I had to do was sit down and write it. When I did, I found that my characters guided me. If I started writing a scene or dialogue that did not make sense for my characters, I would know as soon as I reread the section.

After many months of spending time with and getting to know my characters, my first book is now complete to learn more visit www.sarahtormey.com.

Anna Campbell said...

Hi Nancy, my Bandita buddy! Actually it was such a different dynamic writing people who were older. The world is a different place in your 30s compared to your 20s, I think. And it IS a gorgeous cover, isn't it? ;-)

I'm definitely a character-based writer. The plot comes from the characters in action to me. As I said, I find everyone's different processes absolutely fascinating!

Oh, Virgina, isn't that speech out of Bull Durham the sexiest thing evah???!!! I tell you - it worked for me ;-)

Lynn, I'm a bit of a Presents groupie actually! I grew up reading them and still read quite a lot of them - although these days, I know about so many great books, it's hard to keep up with them all. I'll definitely keep an eye out for yours. Annie's fantastic, isn't she? I love the sensual detail of her writing - it really places you right there with the characters. And she does the most gorgeous heroes. Hey, thanks so much for saying that about Kylemore. I keep trying to write another ultra alpha but so far the men in my life...uh, my books aren't cooperating. They've all been alphas but of a different breed to the Kylemore type!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Sarah, just checked out your website. Cool stuff! You've written another courtesan book! Can't be too many of those. Lovely shots of your puddytat too!

Actually my creative process is like yours. I'll get this vague little flutter right at the back of the brain. That sits there and ideas will migrate back and stick around the flutter. Then the voices get so loud, I actually HAVE to write the story or turn completely mad!

Minna said...

catslady, you're not the only one!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Minna, thanks for stopping by! Lovely to see you!

Beth said...

Hey, Anna! I can't wait to get a copy of TTD! I might just have to sit and stare at that gorgeous cover for a few hours before I actually start reading though ;-)

I see characters in my head first but they're never based on real people. Heck, I haven't even used a real town yet. Guess I like to have creative control *g*

Now if only my characters would realize that and just do what I say w/o arguing or changing the plot :-)

Instigator said...

Welcome to the Playground, Anna! I'm sorry I'm late...been dealing with car repairs since this morning.

I just wanted to say that I absolutely loved Claiming the Courtesan and Untouched and can't wait to get my hands on Tempt the Devil!

I'm like you, I tend to start with the idea of their appearance in my head - usually from a picture - but it always morphs. By the time I finish I no longer need that picture to see the characters in my head.

Instigator

Instigator said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anna Campbell said...

Beth, I think the fact that characters disagree with us is a sign that they're alive. So that's a good thing. Hey, hope you enjoy TTD - you're right about that cover, yum!

Hi Kira! By the way, I love the graphics you guys got put together as your avatars. Yours is sooooo cool! Hope the car is back in action again! Thanks for those kind words about CTC and Untouched. I hope you enjoy TTD too - things coming in threes, and all that! Yeah, I definitely find by the time I've finished the book, the characters have their own integrity and their own individuality. But I find outside inspiration is often great to kickstart the creative process.
Hey, thanks for having me to visit!

Sophia Nash said...

Hi Anna,
Late to the party, I'm sorry! I can't WAIT to read Tempt the Devil...the Senior reviewer for Romantic Times RAVED about your book!
OK, your notes on auditory, visual and that kinky other way you mentioned as possible ways to see/hear your story? All three are more things to scare the pants off me regarding the writing process. I have NO IDEA if I see, hear or that other thing while I'm writing. This reminds me of Goal, Motivation and Conflict, otherwise known as Confusing, Terrifying, and Paralyzing in my writing world.
I guess I'm telling you this because (a) your my friend, and (b) I have ZERO chance of winning the advance reading copy. So I am really just checking in to say that whatever you do to create your beautiful stories, KEEP DOING IT! Best, Sophia
PS- Characters in my March release are based on Grace Kelly and Tom Brady!

Sophia Nash said...

Cursed...No spell check. It's "YOU'RE" not "YOUR" in that last post...

Sophia

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Sophia, is Tom Brady one of the Brady bunch? Grace Kelly I definitely get! Can't wait for your next release! Oh, I can't work out goal, motivation and conflict to save myself! This way of going about things for me just really excuses the fact that I hear voices ;-) I've got to say I want that RT review for Tempt chiseled into my gravestone (hmm, poor stonemason!). It was the sort of review you dream about, wasn't it? Thanks for popping over! Mwah!

Sophia Nash said...

Anna,
Go google images of "Tom Brady" and then we'll talk! Yes, he's famous here on the other side of the world....

Anna Campbell said...

I just did check him out, Sophia. Man, he's easy on the eye, isn't he? Now I'm looking forward to the book more than ever!

Anna Campbell said...

Thank you so much, Playgrounders, for letting me play in your backyard today. It's been great fun! Don't forget to check back to see who won the copy of Tempt the Devil!

Caffey said...

I don't know many actors or models but they are inspiring! I do love Richard Gere in movies I have seen, mostly earlier ones. I think the gray hair is sexy :) When I'm reading, I see the characters as they are described in the book, not as any actor I know or I don't imagine them in a movie. I think its because I don't watch much TV and rarely any movies. I just remember of few of Richard Gere's earlier ones or Timothy Daly in OUTSIDER based on Penelope Williamson book by the same name. (historical romance author)

Anna Campbell said...

Hi Caffey! Thanks for popping by to say hello. I'll have to check out the Penelope Williamson. I think that last scene in An Officer and a Gentleman is romance personified! Sure works for me!