Thursday, December 06, 2007

Guest Blogger - Anna Campbell

Fairytale Romance with Anna Campbell

Firstly, Lucy, thank you so much for asking me to blog with you today. As you know I’m a great fan of your writing so I was really excited to have the opportunity to come by. Lucy and I met when she was a very popular guest at the Romance Writers of Australia conference in Melbourne in 2005. I’d just read THE REAL DEAL and been blown away by it so I got very squealy and excited when I found myself behind Lucy in a line-up for something or other. Probably something glamorous like a cup of tea!

It’s been a really busy couple of months for me, but one of the major highlights was the release of my second Avon Romantic Treasure UNTOUCHED. This book has received some nice reviews, including a Top Pick from Romantic Times which is always welcome! It’s a dark, sexy Regency historical about a supposedly mad marquess and the woman kidnapped to ‘amuse’ him in his imprisonment. To me, it’s a sensual mixture of Beauty and the Beast and The Sleeping Beauty.

Which started me thinking about fairytale themes in romance.

I love it when romance taps into those deep elements of the human experience. Myths. Legends. Fairytales. Obviously paranormals are an overt example of this. But I think many great romances have their roots in a fairytale. Let’s face it – there’s a magic in the romance genre! We tell stories about the transforming power of love and that’s the story arc of so many fairytales too.

I thought about my critique partner Annie West’s debut A MISTRESS FOR THE TAKING. It’s a wonderful mixture of The Ugly Duckling and Cinderella. I thought about one of my all-time favorite romances LORD OF SCOUNDRELS by Loretta Chase. It’s a definite Beauty and the Beast story as Jessica transforms the Marquess of Dain from a beast to a prince. BEAUTY by Judith Ivory uses The Sleeping Beauty as its basis. My first book CLAIMING THE COURTESAN is another Beauty and the Beast story as love frees the Duke of Kylemore from the curse that has blighted his life.

So here’s the challenge. Look at the romances on your bookshelves and ask yourself if they have fairytale themes. I’d love to hear your suggestions for books and fairytale matches. Some of the most interesting examples might combine two stories as their basis, like Annie West’s or UNTOUCHED. Are there any fairytales you don’t think would be suitable as the basis for a romance? I must say I can’t think of one that’s like Snow White. Too many heroes

My favorite answer will win a signed copy of UNTOUCHED so you can check whether I really have written a fairytale romance! By the way, if you want to find out more about UNTOUCHED or read an excerpt, please call by my website at Good luck! And happy reading!


Lucy Monroe said...

Welcome, Anna, you sweetheart! I love fairytale themes in romance myself and in fact give a workshop on that very topic from time to time. :) It's just totally fascinating.

Take Lora Leigh's Breed books - they're based in great part on the concept of Beauty & the Beast, but there's a touch of Little Red Riding Hood in there as well. Lynne Graham often writes Cinderella themed stories (and incredibly well too). I love writing Sleeping Beauty stories myself - the heroine that is sensually sleeping until she is kissed by her Prince Maybe-Not-So-Charming. LOL

I'm really looking forward to reading everyone's answers on this.

Thanks for being here, Anna!

Authorness said...

Hi, Lucy!

Anna, I giggled at your Snow White comment. But do you think Sleeping Beauty and Sleepy Dwarf would make a good match?

Congrats on the release of Untouched - it's a delicious read.


Annie West said...

Hi Anna, lovely post! I so enjoy playing spot the fairy tale.
And how cool that you mentioned one of my books!

Of course you stole my thunder talking about Lord of Scoundrels and Untouched. That new book of yours is one of the best Beauty and the Beast books I've read. But on the other hand there may be a bit of the Frog Prince in there as Matthew definitely isn't beastly (sigh). He's just loverly!

Actually, speaking of the Real Deal, wasn't that Lucy's fabulous book where the hero is a recluse who's into martial arts? I think there's a bit of B&theB in that one too.

I have to confess to a weakness for Cinderella stories, but then B&theB works for me too.

Off now to scan the shelves... what fun!

Thanks, Lucy, for inviting Anna along.


Christine Wells said...

Hi Anna! Congratulations on the release of Untouched! I love fairy tales, particularly *adult* fairy tales, ::wink wink:: And boy is Untouched sexy! But also dark, uplifting, sensual and beautifully told, as all Anna's stories are.

Lucy, if I were writing a novel based on Red Riding Hood, I think I'd give the girl a bit more sass! Enough to forget going to the woodman for help. Mine would tell the wolf he needed a breath mint and a shave:)

Christine Wells said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jennifer Y. said...

Waving Hello to Anna!!! You don't have to enter me, but I want to answer...LOL.

I love fairy tales and used to love the historical series of books that came out several years ago where each story was a take on a different one.

I personally am a big fan of the Beauty-and-the-beast themed stories...I have read several historicals and contemporaries that are a take on this is a theme that is timeless and genderless really. A female can take the role of the "beast" just as easily as a male...whether it is an insecure or scarred (inside or out) heroine or a reclusive hero. The role of the "beauty" could also be male or female. While most of the stories I have read have taken the male-beast/female-beauty approach, I kind of like that either would work in the story and kind of wish there were more that would take the female-beast/male-beauty approach.

As for books with the Beauty and the Beast theme, there have been several Harlequin Presents and historicals.

I also love the theme of Snow White and actually read a contemporary with this theme called Blanche's Desire by Felicia Forella. Instead of Seven Dwarves, she had seven brothers and instead of a wicked stepmother, it was a wicked ex-girlfriend. But it is not a theme you see done that often.

Sorry for rambling...but fairy tale themes are a fave of mine.

Anna Campbell said...

Lucy, I'd love to hear your fairytale workshop. I think I realized just how strong the influence of FTs (that's what we in the know call them - snort!) was on my writing when Jane Porter did a fantastic workshop on fairytales at one of the Australian conferences. We get some good people down there, don't we? ;-) I haven't read Lora Leigh but I adore Lynne Graham and you're right about the Cinderella themes in her work. There's definitely some Sleeping Beauty in Untouched - but who is sleeping? Him or her? Or both? Or anyone reading all these rhetorical questions?

Vanessa, I have to say I giggled at the idea of Sleepy and Sleeping Beauty being a match made in heaven! Thanks so much for commenting.

Anna Campbell said...

Vanessa, meant to say thanks for the comps on Untouched too. Vanessa features in the acknowledgments. In fact, now I think of it, Vanessa, Annie and Christine all feature in the acknowledgments! We can have a party, gals!

Ooh, Annie, not sure about the frog prince for Matthew! He's far too gorgeous for that ;-)

Yes, the Real Deal was the wonderful one set on that gorgeous island where he was the computer genius. Lucy, it was such an achievement writing a believable genius but I absolutely believed in this guy's brain power. And he was so gorgeous and vulnerable at the same time - sigh.

Christine, I'm laughing at the idea of LRRH telling Wolfie to go clean his teeth! You go, girl! Thank you also for those lovely compliments on Untouched!

Hello, Jennifer! Thanks so much for dropping in. Hey, interesting thoughts on B&TB. I've got to say I'm yet to write a book that doesn't have elements of that story in it. CTC was a BIG B&TB book. Untouched also but in a different way. Tempt the Devil, I think, has more of Sleeping Beauty as both my hero and heroine were put to sleep emotionally (hmm, it's more interesting than it sounds in my description) many years before they meet and they sort of wake each other up. Ugh, clearly I shouldn't write blurbs! Hmm, you've got me thinking about a female beast story. Might work you know...

Ai Yin said...

Hi Anna! Personally I think Claiming the Courtesan has just a dash of Cinderella in it, especially with regards to Soraya's background (John Norton as the evil stepfamily, Sir Eldreth as the fairy godmother... somewhat, and Justin as the Prince (he did chase her down after she quit being Soraya)). LOLz

Sharon said...

HI Anna

Yes! I can see gorgeous Matthew in Untouched as a Sleeping Beauty!

Actually, I feel like a bit of a fairytale philistine... but something I learned recently is that a lot of them have different versions, each with subtly different pressures and motives on the characters. I'm thinking that perhaps it's time I went back to re-read some for a better appreciation of their elements. Ooo, it looks like I've come away with some homework to do! LOL

Thank you and Lucy for a great blog.

Congratulations on Untouched! It's fabulous!


Kirsten said...

Hi Lucy, and big hugs Anna from a fellow Bandita! I'm a big fan of BOTH of yours, so I get double duty this morning. :-)

I also love the FT romances--but really, aren't they all fairy tales? Seems to me the essence of a fairy tale is you've got a man and a woman who must overcome terrible odds to live happily ever after. If the heroine experiences some horrible disaster, all the better. If the hero rescues her from disaster--well, we've been updating that over time, right? ;-) And if he's a prince? Well, of course. We'd expect that. The rest of the details are just variations on a theme...

Jo Lewis said...

Hi, Lucy and Anna, Jo here dropping over from the Bandita Lair.

I love this topic, but must confess that I'm also a FT philistine who needs to go back and reread books for the FT element.

However, I love the idea of Grace rescuing Matthew in UNTOUCHED. And the name -- Grace -- how symbolic is that!

Trish Milburn said...

I'm about to fly out the door to go visit my new nephew, but I wanted to swing by and check out fellow Bandita Anna's post. I love stories based on fairytales, but my brain is so fried from revisions at the moment that I can't think of any! Oh wait, my critique partner's book from a few years ago (Beth Pattillo's Princess Charming) was a retelling of the Cinderella fairytale, one of my favorites.

Lucy, I'm putting your blog on my favorites list and will pop back by when I have two seconds to rub together. :)

Anna Campbell said...

Ai Yin, that's absolutely brilliant! You're so right! And Verity's definitely raised up from very humble beginnings to (almost) a princess. Makes me wonder what else is in there that I didn't know about!

Sharon, thanks so much for those kind words about Untouched. I'm so glad you liked it - and yes, you can see the SB connection, can't you? Actually I spent a lot of my childhood (way past the age most people stop) reading fairytales and myths and legends so I think a lot of them just became second nature to me. It's so interesting to see the different versions across different cultures. The original Brothers Grimm ones can be quite horrific - but I think that's why they're so powerful. In the original BG Cinderella, for example, the ugly stepsisters actually cut off bits of their foot so they fit the slipper. Which from memory is fur. Ugh!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Kirsten, lovely to see you! Thank you for that great introduction. ;-)

You're right, of course, about all romances having a fairytale element. Perhaps that's one of the reasons romance is so popular - it tapes into that basic storyline we all hold in our unconscious. Good is rewarded. Virtue triumphs. Love wins out in the end. It's a great pattern with endless variations - no wonder people love it!

Ah, Jo! Lovely to see you too, my Bandita friend. My critique partner Annie West always laughs at my symbolic names - Verity in CTC and Grace in Untouched. And both quite true, if you think about it. I went for Olivia in my third book, Tempt the Devil, because I didn't want to be so predictable. When she finished Untouched, that wicked AW asked me if the next book was going to feature Charity - it's so cruel when people mock you, snork. But then I thought about Olivia later and realized she extends peace into my hero's life (like an olive branch), something he sorely needs. I just can't seem to escape this stuff! It's tragic when you're a victim of your subconscious!

Donna MacMeans said...

Waving to a fellow bandita!

There's quite a few Beauty and the Beast stories out there, and why not? It's such a lovely fairy tale and so close to life for many of us. One of my favorite versions is Elizabeth Hoyt's The Raven Prince. She did a great job with her beast *g*.

Anna Campbell said...

Trish, thanks for popping in! And congratulations on being an aunty! I haven't read that particular Cinderella story. I'll have to check it out!

Donna, you're so right about the Raven Prince. He was a wonderful Beast figure. Actually Elizabeth realy underlines the fairytale quality of her stories with the excerpts from the legends at the start of each chapter and even with the titles. Thanks for coming by!

Stacy~ said...

Hi Bella Anna! It's good to see you over here at Lucy's. She's one of my fave authors, and you know I enjoy your book, "Claiming the Courtesan". Don't enter me into the contest - I'll be getting your book in the mail soon :)

I love fairy tale romances, and the many variations they come in, especially if the heroine is the one to save the hero, or even if they both save each other. Vamp romances are very much beauty and the beast, and a lot of the historicals I read are Cinderella ones. I enjoy reading them a lot.

brownone said...

Hi Anna!
Well, for my two cents, I enjoy a good "Cinderella"/"Beauty and the Beast" type of story. Like Lisa Kleypas' "Devil in Winter" where Evie is treated so badly by her family and runs to the beast (Sebastian) for help (by eloping). I think most romances I've read fall under the "fairytale" heading.

Anna Campbell said...

Hiya Bella Stacy! You guys are having a great week over at Lifetime with all the 'hot' stuff! I so agree with you about the fairytale element being really prevalent at the moment with paranormals. J.R. Ward's Brotherhood is just full of 'beasts' who all find their individual beauties! And the Scribe Virgin definitely has fairy godmother qualities, doesn't she?

Hiya Brownone! Thanks for stopping by. You're so right about The Devil in Winter. I didn't even think of that one when I was making my list. But there's definitely B&TB elements there - and Sebastian is definitely a prince inside even if he is a beast on the outside. Actually there's Ugly Duckling elements in that story too. I love stories about supposedly plain women who blossom into swans, even if only in the hero's eyes. Again it's that transforming power of love story that I think all of us are suckers for! Anne Gracie's first Perfect book, The Perfect Rake, is one of the best Ugly Duckling stories I've ever read - get hold of it if you haven't read it. I guarantee you'll need a few tissues before you're done ;-)

Nathalie said...

I can think of Guilty Pleasures by Laura Lee Ghurke which is a definite Ugly Duckling turned Beauty fairy tale... I usually am not fond of them, but this one had this special touch of humor that turned things around and made me forget about that aspect of the plot :)

Lily said...

Hi Anna... I am a regular at the Banditas... and here too!

I am also a big fan of the Beauty and the Beast theme. My first book was Beauty by Robin McKinley who did a great job in writing a fairytale for adults, which did not make you feel guilty because you were reading on. In the past, fairytales were only reserved for little girls... but now, it has become such a broad market with so many innovative spins.

I think all fairy tales can be adapted... we only need imagination!!

Jane said...

Julie Anne Long's "To Love a Thief" is Cinderella fairy tale with a twist. Lily is thief and she is must pose as a lady to help Gideon net a wealthy bride. Lily transformation to a lady was great reading.

Anna Campbell said...

Nathalie, as always lovely to see you. How interesting about the LLG. I read my first one of hers this year and just adored it - AND THEN HE KISSED HER. A great read and as you say, fantastic humor. I've got SHE'S NO PRINCESS waiting for me as a Christmas treat. ATHKH had an Ugly Duckling theme too. I wonder if that's the fairytale that resonates with her the way Beauty and the Beat resonates with me.

Lily, waving madly!! Lovely to see you too. I haven't read the Robin McKinley. I'll have to check it out - as you'll have gathered I'm a sucker for these fairytale tie-ins.

Hi, Jane. Thanks for your suggestion. I read Julie-Anne's first book about the Runaway Duke and thought it was great. It had elements of the folk song the Raggle Taggle Gypsies in it - amazing what turns up in romance, isn't it? Your comment made me think of another Judith Ivory book called THE PROPOSITION that has elements of My Fair Lady. The hero is being groomed to fool society into believing that he's a gentleman. My Fair Lady is based on Pygmalion so it definitely has that mythological underpinning. Speaking of Judith Ivory, she did a wonderful B&TB version called BEAST (she never tried too hard to hide where her inspirations came from which worked a treat for me when I was looking for a fairytale romance).

pearl said...

Fairytale themes are close to my heart. They transport me to other realms and let me dream. The novel, Mirror, Mirror by Gregory McGuire incorporates the fairytale of Snow White, in Renaissance Italy which is rather unique and compelling.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Pearl, that book sounds fascinating. I'll have to see if I can get it. I loved A.S. Byatt's PASSION which incorporated fairytale themes into a story that was basically two romances (one happy and one unhappy) and she also had these wonderful, haunting folktales (that as far as I know, she made up) that she incorporated into the text. So clever!

Helen said...

So many good suggestions here I have read many of them agree with the fairy tale theme on them.
My favourite fairy tales are Cinderella and Beauty and The Beast I loved CTC and agree about the comparison to Cinderella and I should have Untouched at the begining of the week and am really looking forward to reading it can't wait.
Have Fun

Anna Sugden said...

Another Romance Bandit swinging by!

What a fabulous, thought-provoking post, Anna. And Lucy, love how you describe your Sleeping Beauty stories.

I'm a Cinderella (or Cinderfella) fan myself - and I love those stories which, like Lady and the Tramp or the Aristocats, feature love across the 'classes'.

I think a lot of my stories are based on The Ugly Duckling - about characters who have to learn that they are beautiful despite what they think. And often its the internal beauty that they discover.

Anna Campbell said...

Hi Helen! Waving madly at you too! Thanks for popping over. Wasn't Ai Yin's Cinderella analysis of CTC brilliant? I hadn't even thought of any of that but she's so right. Hope you get Untouched soon!!!

Anna, my Bandita buddy, thanks to you too for coming over to say hi. I love love across the classes too - one of the reasons I love writing historicals is that the strict social divisions give so much opportunity for conflict and drama. It really means something in 1825 if a duke marries a courtesan! You've brought up a really interesting point about fairytales - I think they're so prevalent because all of them hold this germ of amazing truth, like the beauty that really matters is inner beauty. Hmm, must think further...

diane said...

This topic is very appealing since fairytales are universal and never lose their attraction. IN Beauty and the Beast which is my favorite one ever, I can visualize the characters and their love. In Garden Spells which I loved there are an assortment of fairytales woven throughout which are lovely and make the story unique and special. A truly magical experience.

Lucy Monroe said...

Man, Anna...this discussion is wonderful! I'm enjoying it tremendously. Thanks to EVERYONE for participation. :)

Dannyfiredragon said...

Hi Anna,

I think the fairy tales that are most common ones are Beauty and the Beast as well as Cinderella. Other ones that I came across are The Ugley Duckling or Robin Hood (if you count that one as fairy tale). And there are very often the wicked stepmothers. I saw those themes not only in Historicals but also in quite a few Contemporaries

Elizabeth Hoyt did some great stories that are somehow based on fairy tales. The Raven Prince, The Serpent Prince as well as The Leopard Prince.

My personal favorites are Beauty and the Beast stories as well as Ugley Duckling ones.

Lily said...

Lily... waving back!!

Robin McKinley has adapted some famous fairy tales... she even had another one after the Beauty and the Beast theme called Rose Daughter, but it was not as good as beauty, it was more intended for teen readers. However, she wrote a lot of books based on faeries, but I considerer them more as legends.

I wonder if there is romance adaptations of The Arabian Nights or some of its stories... it really would be original!

Anna Campbell said...

Diane, thank you so much for your comment. As you say, I think it's the universal appeal that gets us every time! There's a wonderful old French movie of Beauty and the Beast (might be hard to track down but really worth it) that is just magical and I'm sure you'd enjoy it if you can find it. The Beast's shame at his beastliness just makes me cry every time I see it.

Lucy, isn't this fun? Thank you again for inviting me!

Robin Hood is a really interesting one, Danny. I hadn't thought of him - but it's a legend so, yeah, let's call it a fairytale. You're right - that maverick, brave, witty, sexy hero who stands up for what he believes. That's a staple of so many romance novels. Good choice! Another one of our commenters picked EH out. You're so right. Her stuff is textbook for this discussion, isn't it? I've only read her first book and loved it - got THE SERPENT PRINCE on the TBR pile just under the LLG! As you can probably tell, I'm REALLY looking forward to Christmas!

Anna Campbell said...

Lily, what a great idea about the Arabian Nights! I read it years ago when I was in primary school (suspect it was the expurgated version - I think there's some naughty bits in the real one!). Must get a copy and read it again. I find fairytales and legends really inspirational for my writing. I remember reading Joseph Campbell's The Hero with the Thousand Faces quite a few years ago now and he pointed out a similarity in the Arabian Nights stories and the European stories that are more common in Western culture. Really interesting stuff. I've got a vague feeling Cinderella was originally Chinese and the story ended up taking over the world! Actually a typo I just did reminded me of something I believed for years - that it was Arabian KNIGHTS not Nights. Like I always thought Nights in White Satin by the Moody Blues was Knights in White Satin. Much more romantic! ;-)

Amy said...

Hi Anna, Congrats on the release of your book.

I am like everyone else here. I love a good Cinderella or Beauty and the Beast story line. The Hero has to be a Alpha Male.

Nalini Singh's Awaken to Pleasure is a great Beauty and the Beast type of storyline. The hero Jackson has been deeply wounded by his late wife and even his family. He is a very large muscular man and he does not think he is physically attractive. He thinks women want him for his money and his status as a movie producer. His former Sectary Taylor loves him just he way he is.

Amy J. Fetzer books Taming the Beast is another excellent example. The hero Richard was once a incredibly beautiful man but was injured in a car accident saving someone else. His face on one side is scarred as well as his body. His ex wife dies (who left him because of his injuries)and he has to take custody of his daughter. He hires the heroine to look after her and will not let either one of them see him. The heroine a former beauty queen has learned that the inner person didn't alway's match their outward facade. But Richard's heart was as scarred as his features but, she slowly works her magic and he finally lets her see him. She loves him the way he is and he slowly emerges from his shell.

Lily said...

As you said... you read the small and very basic edition... I have the real illustrated one at home, that I bought in Lebanon and it is over 1500 pages (with about 250 pages of illustrations, which are beautiful).

Some of the parts are very osé, especially when Sherazade finishes her tale of Sinbad's adventures and continues to stories involving women, who are always decisive and quite deliciously evil!

Cinderella coming from China... fascinating. I remember once we studied the Contes of Perrault, and the most simple parts are in fact much more profound and subtle. For example, in the Little Red Riding Hood, the red is very important to picture the loss of innocence at the hands of strangers.

Anna Campbell said...

Amy, thanks for the congrats. It's been a really exciting week and a bit for me! I'll have to check out those stories you mention. I love a good scarred hero love story - or even one with an ugly hero. I think that's why I've always had such a soft spot for Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre. He's ugly but he's oh, so sexy! Interesting you mention Nalini - she's literally doing heroes as beasts now in her Changeling/psy series. Have you read those? The first two are amazing. And the third one? You guessed it! In the TBR pile just under LLG and EH. This is starting to turn into the House that Jack Built!

Lily, that book sounds AMAZING!!! How lucky you are to have it. Strange you mention the Contes of Perrault. My local library when I was a kid had a lovely edition of his stories (it was in the adult section not the kids' section - oooh!). I still remember his version of some of the classics like Sleeping Beauty and Beauty and the Beast. So much more powerful than some of the sanitised versions I've since seen. I'd love to find that book again! Actually I have a lovely version of English fairytales (again, not the sanitised Disney ones although I love Disney's take on fairytales too - but I think the originals often have this incredible power that the sweeter versions lack) with illustrations by Arthur Rackham. I don't know if you girls know his work - it's really fantastic and dark and gothic. Just breathtaking. That book is one of my most treasured possessions.

ellie said...

Fairytales cast their elusive spell upon every book that I read. Within each novel there is a fairytale that leaves me spellbound.In The novel, Her Secret Fantasy by Gaelen Foley, I am struck by how reminiscent this is of Snow White.

Amy said...

Anna, I have read all 3 of Nalini psy/changeling books and I loved them. I have not picked up Nate and Tamsyn’s story in An Enchanted Season yet but I plan to. It has 4 different stories by 4 different authors.

Lily said...

My Arabian Night volume has been given to me by my grand-mother and it is the first french translation ever made with illustrations, an absolute treasure :)

Thanks for mentionning Arthur Rackham, I am more familiar with french legends. I have found his fairy tales on and you say they are quite gothic :) It reminds me of Time of the Hunter's Moon by Victoria Holt, which is a twisted Cinderella story, with the heroine - a schoolmistress - being followed by the lord of the manor who has fallen in love with her from the start.

I mentionned Perrault, as I have studied his work in french. He wrote the tales with honesty and not all have happy endings - which can be quite paradoxal.

Scarred heros... my cup of tea, as my favorite romance is Moonstruck Madness by Laurie McBain, and the hero is quite ruthless and he is really disfigured!!

PS: I believe every romance is a fairytale, because it enables us to dream :)

Thank you everyone for these great suggestions!

Anna Campbell said...

Ellie, how interesting. I don't think I've seen Snow White used as the basis of a romance before. If you don't give away too much of the story, can you tell us the parallels?

Ha! Amy, another Nalini fan, I see. I'm really looking forward to Caressed by Ice!

Oh, Lily, thank you for mentioning Victoria Holt! I used to absolutely adore her stories. Haven't read them for years, though. There's another really dark fairytale one with something about Wolf in the title. The heroine's a governess in a German principality and she falls in love with the Prince and of course, everything goes pear shaped after that. Such a wonderful dark, gothic read. I actually credit VH as a major influence on my writing - my books are modern gothics in many ways. And I love Moonstruck Madness - another gothic in its way too!

Lily said...

I know the Victoria Holt you are talking about... It is called On the Night of the Seventh Moon - it shows it has been a long time ;) and she falls in love with a man not knowing he is a prince, and some of his followers, unapproving, make her believe he died in a fire... very gothic indeed and also a Cinderella fairytale!

It is interesting that you say that she was an influence on your writing... I know she is the one who hooked me into being such a romance fan - when I swore I would never read one as a teen and that I would only read melodramatic fiction... at the time I thought future med students should not indulge themselves in those guilty pleasures :)

Do you know other gothic - though still romance - writers which are interesting to read... I am trying to convert my cousin who is 14 - she is a VH fanatic, and I don't want her to read books who are to explicit... my aunt would kill me!!

Anna Campbell said...

Lily, that's it! It was FANTASTIC. Must see if I can find it again. Gothics, as you know, went completely out of fashion although I think that gothic element is such a strong thread in the history of romance. I mean, Jane Eyre, anyone? Rebecca? In modern books, I love Anne Stuart. There's always a gothic touch in her stories - you know where you're not sure if the hero will kiss or kill the heroine ;-) It's interesting because she started out long ago writing real gothics like the Phyllis Whitneys and VHs. 14 is a difficult age, isn't it? I know there are a lot of good paranormal YA authors who are writing for that age group and paranormals by definition have gothic touches. Some of the gothic-style authors who write fairly sexually explicit stuff (Anne Stuart, J.R. Ward) mightn't be suitable for a girl of your cousin's age.

Does anyone else have any suggestions? I must say at 14, apart from VH, I adored Georgette Heyer!

catslady said...

Oh, Donna Kauffman has a whole slew of books likes this - Not So Snow White (my favorite), Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella Rules, Big Bad Wolf tells all etc.

Lily said...

I am glad I have brought back memories to that great VH book :) It is quite unfortunate gothics have come out of style... they remind me of the more sinister fairytales. Now paranormals are the thing. However, older real gothic books are always nice to explore, though quite hard to find.

I will try Anne Stuart's book - I loved the part where you say that they are gothic because we don't know if the hero will kiss the heroine!!

I also loved Georgette Heyer and still read them and I have also advised my cousin to read them :) To continue on the fairy tales... they are a lot know for young teens, which is great! 14 is hard because romances are too explicit and kids books just don't make it anymore and I don't want her reading books with sororities!

Thanks for blogging Anna :) Untouched seems very original (in a super good way ;) I have never heard of such a plot before!! Thank you very much for incorporating gothic elements in your books!!
My mom said I can't buy it before my christmas vacations, because I would want to read it in a night, and it is not healthy for my studying!

Helen said...

So many interesting posts so many books to hunt for.
I am reading Nalini Singh's Slave To Sensation now and am really loving it this type of book is a first for me and I can't wait to read the rest of them.
Big wave back to you Anna.
Have Fun

Brandy said...

I have always felt that many of Amanda Quick's Jayne Ann Krentz)books are inspired by Fairytales.

Virginia said...

I love a good fairytale book. Because I like the happy endings in fairytales. I am a big historical fan because of this. Historical is the best book to buy for the happy endings. Bring on the fairtales.

Anna Campbell said...

Catslady, thanks for those recommendations. I'll see if I can find them.

Lily, hope you enjoy Untouched when you get it! Personally I think it's just the thing to curl up with over a cold Christmas. But then I would say that, wouldn't I? ;-)

Helen, really thought you'd enjoy SLAVE TO SENSATION. I remember you saying you wanted to try it after Nalini was a gueston Banditas.

Brandy, thanks for the recommendation. I love Amanda Quick's books. They're so witty and romantic.

Oh, Virginia, a woman after my own heart. Nothing beats a great historical, does it? Hope you find some great ones over the Holidays!

Dannyfiredragon said...

Anna, the books by EH are really good.

Another author who mixes legends or fairytales with romances is Alyssa Day with her Atlantis series or Lara Adrian with her Midnight Breed series (Beauty and Beast theme). Plus what are the medieval romances without a touch of Beauty and beast or Arthurian legend

Anna Campbell said...

Thanks, Danny! I'll definitely check those out. Have a great weekend!

Anna Campbell said...

Thank you so much to Lucy and to everyone who came by to comment on this blog! I've had a really great day and it's been wonderful adding to my list of fairytale romances (although I think after today, I've come to believe EVERY romance has a fairytale element - g!).

I wish you all the best for the Holidays! And lots of good books in 2008.

Oh, and don't forget to check back to see who won the signed copy of UNTOUCHED!

Laurie said...

Theresa Mederios Love her books!!

Beauty & the Beast theme "The Bride & the Beast

Snow White= "Fairest of the Fair"

Cinderella="Charming the Prince"

Loved the topic and the answers!


Anna Campbell said...

Thanks, Laurie. Hasn't it been great? Love all the suggestions. Thanks for yours! I've got enough reading to keep me going till I'm 90! ;-)

Amy said...

Thanks for your blog Anna. It has been a lot of fun and I have enjoyed every one's response.

Dee D said...

Hi Lucy, Just dropped in from Author Island.

How happy I was to see that you had Anna Campbell, one of my favorite authors on today!! Happy Holidays to you both!!

Anna, Marty and his kids with the Corvette say hi and Happy Holidays too!!! They still have the Aussie flags and souvenirs and love them. Of course all the edible goodies are gone. They were nice enough to share though!!

For those that don't know, Anna has some great contests at her site and one of my friends was lucky enough to win some great prizes from one of them over the summer, telling about his kids and the miles they put on their miniature Corvette.

Lucy, if you haven't seen it yet readers give you 5 star reviews for Deal With This and no less than 4 and 1/2 stars for any of your books!!!

All the best to you both for the Holidays and New Year!!!

Margay1122 said...

Hi, Lucy and Anna. I became aware of your contest via AuthorIsland and was surprised to see another contest offered by your guest blogger! So cool.

Anna, one of my favorite books is An Offer From a Gentleman by Julia Quinn, which is a take on the old Cinderella tale. I'm sure I have others in my bookcase, but that is the first one that came to mind.


Candy G said...


I love fairytale themes in romance. I would love to see what someone could come up with for Hansel and Gretel. Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella types are great but used often.

Happy Holidays!

Anna Campbell said...

Margay, that's my favorite JQ ever, I think, although the competition in her work is pretty stiff as I love all her books. But that one just touched my heart so deeply. Great suggestion.

Candy, what a great idea to use Hansel and Gretel! I don't know if I've seen it either. I wondered if we could do Snow White and apparently you can, so I don't see why H&G can't get a look-in!

Margay1122 said...

I wonder what other fairy tales aren't used, but could be? THe Hansel and Gretel idea is a great one!

Margay1122 said...

Anna, I love just about everything Julia Quinn writes, too, by the Bridgerton series is my favorite.