Friday, April 4, 2008

Amanda McCabe is in the Lair!

by Anna Campbell

Welcome to the fabulously talented historical romance writer Amanda McCabe. I met Amanda over the internet a couple of years ago when she judged the beginning of the book that became CLAIMING THE COURTESAN. She was the sort of judge you'd pay to have - oh, that's right, I did with the contest fee. Smart, savvy, empathetic, enthusiastic. We started a correspondence with my thank you letter to her - never underestimate the power of a thank you letter! So I'm delighted to lure her into the lair today.

Amanda, what amazing fortuitousness (is that a word? JoMama would know!) that you visit us just as the news breaks of your amazing three-book deal with Grand Central Publishing, previously Warner. Huge congratulations! It’s time for a party in the lair. Can you tell us about the trilogy, when we can expect to see the books on the shelves, and also can you share your call story? We in the lair love call stories!

I love call stories, too, but sadly mine is not very interesting. It was late on a Friday afternoon, and I was actually shopping. I had found a pretty party dress and was thinking, “Hmmm—this would look fab at RWA!” when my agent called. We had an offer, woo-hoo! And I now have a place to wear my new dress. I was so happy these stories found a good home. My family is Irish, and I’ve always wanted to do a book set in Ireland. It just took a while for the right characters to come to me. THE DAUGHTERS OF IRELAND is a trilogy about the three Blacknall sisters, and book one (titled COUNTESS OF SCANDAL, but you know how that stuff changes!) features the eldest, Eliza. She’s a young, rich widowed countess, but she has a secret—she writes seditious pamphlets for the United Irishmen, and hides fugitives in the cellars of her Dublin townhouse. She’s devoted to the idea of Irish freedom, but a serious problem pops up in the form of her childhood sweetheart, Will Denton, the son of her family’s neighbours. He left her when she was young to join the Army and go off to the West Indies. Now he’s Major William Denton, sent to Ireland to quell the growing unrest and track down the Irish rebels. One of which, of course, is Eliza!

That sounds great. Full of the wonderful meaty conflict you do so well. More news in the world of Amanda McCabe – you have a new book hitting the stands in April, the second in your RENAISSANCE TRILOGY. Can you tell us about A SINFUL ALLIANCE?

I am sooo excited about this book! (Quick note—please ignore the “Back to Disco Fever” cover. I swear no ABBA songs were involved in the making of this story!) Nicolai was the hero’s friend in my last book, A NOTORIOUS WOMAN, and I hadn’t actually intended to write a book for him. But, as so often happens with those pesky secondary characters, I really fell for him. And I found a very beautiful, but somewhat troubled and lonely heroine who needed his love—Marguerite Dumas, a French spy. Trouble was, she once tried to kill him. Bit of a rocky start. They meet up a few months later at the Court of Henry VIII at Greenwich, still on opposite sides of ever-shifting political alliances. This event was a real historical happening, a meeting in early 1527 between Henry and a French delegation seeking a marriage between Princess Mary and King Francois’s younger son. The weeks-long meeting was filled with lavish banquets, balls, jousts, and masques. The perfect setting for an illicit, dangerous affair. And some really great clothes!


I absolutely adored A NOTORIOUS WOMAN, which was set in 16th century Venice. The city is like another character in that story and I just devoured the stormy, dramatic, passionate story of Marc Antonio Velasquez and Julietta Bassano. What made you decide to write this story and what research did you do? Have you been to Venice? I have and I’ve got to say you captured the city just perfectly in your wonderful prose.

I’m very happy you liked it!I thought of this story because, 1) I also love Venice. I’ve only been there once, years ago before I even started writing romance, and I adored it. It’s mysterious, beautiful, unique, and really weird. Perfect for atmospheric romance! 2) I read a history book about a female alchemist in 16th century Venice, and started thinking “What if…” 3) I also loved the movie Dangerous Beauty with the delicious Rufus Sewell! I wish I could have gone back to Venice for research, but history books had to suffice. Maybe next year!

Is the third book in the RENAISSANCE TRILOGY about Balthazar? I live in hope! Can you tell us a little bit about the next instalment?

Tee hee! I’m actually finishing writing his story now. It’s set seven years after the action of A NOTORIOUS WOMAN, and he’s a ship’s captain in the Caribbean. He meets up with a woman from his (very complicated) past in a Santo Domingo tavern. He’s grown up quite nicely, I must say!!

I bet he has! Not only do you set wonderful books in the Renaissance and late 18th century Ireland, you also have a new series of Regency romances with Harlequin called THE MUSES OF MAYFAIR. The first book, TO CATCH A ROGUE (which is available here), was released in the UK in March. Can you tell us about this series and what else we can look forward to from the Muses?

Now that I look at all this, I’m stressing out wondering when I’ll have time to write and research it all! [ANNA: We live to serve. Bwahahahahahaha!] The Muses will be out in the probably in fall 2009, in consecutive months so you can get all their stories! Like the Irish books, these are about three sisters, Calliope, Clio, and Thalia Chase (I think I like sisters since I only have a brother!). They’re the eldest daughters of a famous scholar of (surprise!) Greek myth and art, and are also scholars in their own right, though of very different temperaments. Calliope (TO CATCH A ROGUE) is practical and serious—until she meets a free-spirited, half-Greek earl who she thinks is a thief. Clio (TO DECEIVE A DUKE) is the most intellectual and independent, and clashes with a mysterious duke in Sicily (more Italy, yay!). And Thalia (TO KISS A COUNT) is the most beautiful, and most insecure. She has to join with an Italian count to find a stolen antiquity in Bath. Scandal in the Pump Room!!!

What are the challenges and rewards of writing across different settings? Are there other settings you’d like to use but haven’t yet explored?

The challenge is to keep from getting confused! I always have to ask myself, “Is this a factoid from Tudor England? Or 18th century Dublin?" And I have to not indulge my deep love for Regency slang in a Renaissance book! But the rewards are that I don’t get bored, and I don’t ‘burn out’ on story ideas. As for other settings, I’m working in my spare time (Spare time? What is this strange concept??) on historical fiction set in 18th century France. I love this time period! And I have an idea for a romance set in 17th century Holland, which I’m not sure anyone would go for…

Amanda has very kindly offered one lucky commenter a copy of A SINFUL ALLIANCE. If you could travel through space/time, where would you go to research your dream historical romance? What period in history serves up the most dashing heroes? Hey, even more important, what period in history has the best frocks? Good luck!

75 comments:

Joan said...

Throw the GR in a boat, Jeanne and send him on down to flooding Kentucky!

p226 said...

Geeze that was quick.

The GR is lucky. I had a helluva regimen ready for him tomorrow.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, man, I was still fiddling with the blog! You guys are like vultures waiting for some poor starved gazelle to kark it! ;-) But in a very nice way, of course! Hmm...

P226, I can see the poor GR huddling in terror in JT's arms even as we speak! And JT, you stay out of that water, you hear? And congratulations on your coup! Or should that be coop?

Joan said...

Ireland? Did somebody say Ireland?

Welcome to the lair Amanda! I am so psyched to see a book set in a different time periods AND different settings.

And hooray for giving the Irish some page time! I'm leaving one week from today for the Isle and always take Irish based fiction with me. Wish I had this one...

And yeah, p226 The GR is lucky that you taught him how to float like a Navy SEAL for days....
(splash) Hey, chook! Get out of that puddle!

p226 said...

I go back and forth on this. Sometimes, I think I'd like to visit WWII era Europe. Particularly Paris. France had to be a very interesting place during the occupation.

Though, Greece probably would've been interesting in about 340BC...

Maybe Virginia or Massachusetts in 1770-1780.... Hang out with Jefferson and Madison... particularly Jefferson.

Richmond... 1862-1868...

I think the siege of Masada in roughly 60AD would be a really interesting story as well.

I mean, there's so much in history that we (or at least I) know so little about. I mean... I'd love to travel back just a few decades to the mine wars here in WV. Terrible times. But so many incredible human stories lost, and actively being lost to the passage of time.

Anna Campbell said...

Amanda, enough of this rooster nonsense, I have two reasonably sensible questions for you. Setting is so important in your books and it invokes such incredible atmosphere. Do you have any hints to other writers on how to achieve that effect? Also, as you do so much research, do you ever find yourself in a position where the research is threatening to overwhelm the story? And if so, what do you do to contain it?

Helen said...

Congrats Joan have fun with him

Great interview Amanda and Anna WOW these books sound yummy right up my alley I will be adding these to my must get list

I would love to travel to the Highlands in Scotland way back to the 17th and 18th century love that time period there. Also would love to be in England during the Regency with their country estates and grand town houses and all those servants and I love the silks and satins of that era.
When I read a book I love the fact that they take me to places all over the world in different era's and I get to "know" so many different facts and people and have such adventures.
Thanks for the interview Ladies
Have Fun
Helen

doglady said...

Congrats, Joanie, dear!

Hello, Amanda! I am SO excited about ALL of your books. Anyone who has not read Amanda's books is missing a real treat - Renaissance romance done to a T! Although Amanda and I have snickered about the cover A Sinful Alliance is a wonderful book!

Writing so many books over so many time periods how do you keep it all straight. Do you write them one at a time or do you switch back and forth? I would LOVE to know your secrets of time management. Oh! Plotter or Pantser or some combination thereof?

For me Regency England would be the place to be. Can you imagine a Regency House Party with the Banditas and their buddies? The scandal! The adventure! The intrigue! The on dits! And that's just the first day!

And p226, the story of Masada is one of my favorites. I had a rescued pit bull named Masada and he was a wonderful dog who lived up to his name.

Aunty Cindy said...

Amanda,I nearly SWOONED at your Venetian cover! Great interview and thanx for bringing us yet another WONDERFUL guest, Fo!

Amanda, I'm also interested in how you keep all those time periods straight!

As for when I'd like to go back and research, I'm with p226, there are TOO MANY TO CHOSE! I do LURVE Tudor England... but seeing Joanie's gladiators in their own time frame would be fantastic too!

And congrats on the GR, Joanie but NO, you may not take him to Ireland. If you are smuggling anyone it MUST BE ME!

AC

Christine Wells said...

Amanda, welcome to the lair! Must tell you, I am loving A Notorious Woman! You write so vividly and confidently about the period. Wonderful atmosphere and such a sexy hero!

And congratulations on your deal with Grand Central!! You must be stoked.

The Irish series sounds great. I'm thrilled to see you moving around the time periods so much. Do you think publishers are becoming more open to stories set outside the English Regency?

Minna said...

I'd like to see 19th century Finland, when the idea of indepence was born and the czars were the rulers here and especially the time when the "good czar" was in power.

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi Amanda -

Anna, another wonderful interview. I swear you know the best people to invite to the lair.

Amanda, I don't know how you find the time to do it all. Your books look absolutely delicious. Congrats on the sale to Grand Central.

I agree with those that say there are too many time periods and fabulous locations to choose one. Conflict seems universal and wonderful stories can be found in just about any location - but if it involves travel to "walk the ground" - Hey, I'm there!

Anna Campbell said...

P226, wanted to say that's a fascinating list of historical times and places you've picked. Mind you, I'd like a Tardis to take me out of them before things got too sticky, especially at Masada! I'd love to have been rich and artistic in the 1920s when Diaghelev's company was dancing in Europe. Would have loved to see Nijinsky. I love Italian Renaissance frocks so a visit to Venice about the time of A Notorious Woman (which if you haven't gathered is a fabulous read!) would suit. Or a visit to Venice for Carnevale in the 18th century. I'd love to have been rich (hmm, a theme developing here) in Russia just before World War I so I could see that luxurious, unique world that disappeared with the war and the revolution. But again, Tardis required for all of this!

Anna Campbell said...

Helen, I agree with you - a visit to the Regency (again as someone rich! It was too tough being poor back then. It's hard enough now!)to dance the waltz and flirt with men in boots and neckcloths, mmmm! Sounds like I might run into Pam in my fantasy. You can sing and I can accompany you on the pianoforte, my dear, and we'd be the hit of Regency London!

Ooh, Cindy, you're right. Imperial Rome would be fantastic to see. So wild and decadent!

Minna, pardon my ignorance, but who counts as the 'good' czar? Was it the one who freed the serfs and was assassinated? I've said to you before I'd love to see more books set in Scandinavia/the Baltic - other than in the Viking period and even they have been thin on the ground in recent years.

Donna, Amanda is great, isn't she? I've been dying to have her in the lair for ages. But you know, a girl needs to write occasionally, not just interview her friends ;-)

Minna said...

Yes, the "good czar" was the one who freed the serfs and was assassinated, Alexander the second. And he's the one whose statue is in Helsinki and that is a story of it's own.

Jane said...

I'm torn between Ancient Rome and Scotland. I would love to experience the decadent lifestyle of the upperclass Romans. Maybe I could attend a feast or orgy as an observer or catch some gladiator games at the Colosseum. I've always wanted to visit the castles in Scotland and hopefully meet a laird in a kilt.

Minna said...

And he did plenty of other good things too, for Finland, anyway.

Anna Campbell said...

Jane, this is a tour of the imagination! You can go where you like! I must admit I wouldn't mind seeing a few braw strapping Scotsmen striding around the Highlands in kilts. Or out of kilts, in fact! ;-)

Minna, if you have time, I'd love to know the story of the statue in Helsinki. You can't end a comment on a cliffhanger like that and expect to get away with it in the lair!

Eva S said...

Congrats Amanda, so many great books! Much to look forward to in the future.

I'd love to visit Regency England (of course) or some Highland Scots,

or Inca civilization, I've always wanted to visit Machu Picchu and to be there before the Spanish came...

or Egypt, there are too many places...

Anna Campbell said...

Eva, what interesting choices! Especially the Inca one. Yet again, not sure I'd want to stay permanently, but be fantastic to get a look!

Minna said...

Ok, this is what I've heard about the statue: Russians were wondering why there wasn't a statue of the the czar in Finland. Of course they meant by czar the one who was ruling at the time, but he just wasn't very popular czar. Not in Finland, anyway. But since Russians wanted a statue, the Finns made one, only it was the statue of the "good czar", the one Finns had actually liked. Russians couldn't say anything about it. After all, there was now a statue of a czar in Helsinki. It just wasn't the czar they had meant.

Anna Campbell said...

Minna, what a cool story!!! Thank you. I love it when the people get one back on the big wigs!

Kelly Krysten said...

Hi Amanda!
If I could travel through time to do historical research it would be to Georgian England. I don't actually know why.That period just fascinates me. The idea of a time wilder than the Regency is very intriguing.
I think the most dashingly dressed men would be from the Regency. Brummel seemed to really know his stuff, since he invented the suit and all. The Georgian men dressed a little too foppishly(?) for my taste.

Deb Marlowe said...

Hi Amanda! Major congrats again on your trilogy contract! There are a lot people impatiently waiting for those books, now that you've whetted our appetites.

What's your favorite part of Tudor England--aside from the fabulous clothes? And do you have a gorgeous costume planned for the Beau Monde Soiree this year?

Inquiring minds want to know! :-)

Amanda McCabe said...

Hello everyone!!! Wow, I just got up and fired up the computer, and find that you've all been chatting away. :))

I love that dress question! (I'm a sucker for fashion history--it's one of my favorite things to research). I love Italian Renaissance gowns, and Tudor fashion (more along the lines of the Henry VIII and early Elizabethan periods--high Elizabethan, with the drum farthingales and hige ruffs, gets a little overwhelming), and the mid-18th century with those beautiful silks and big hair. Oh, and 19th century Worth gowns, sigh! But I do like Regency so much--pretty AND easy to wear (high waists are my friend!).

Dina said...

Hi All,

I like space/time travel.

Have a great day. :)

Amanda McCabe said...

"I'm leaving one week from today for the Isle"

Wonderful, Joan! You can bring back photos for me, LOL.

It's been a long time since I was in Ireland, but I am WAY excited about these books! I wasn't sure anyone would take a chance on a sort-of different setting, but 2 pubs were (and one wanted to buy it if I could change the setting to London--er, no, couldn't do it. LOL). Ireland is so dramatic and romantic!

The second book in the series will take place mostly in London, though centered around the Unification process. And the third will be in a crumbly old Irish castle. Can't wait! :)

Amanda McCabe said...

"Do you have any hints to other writers on how to achieve that effect? Also, as you do so much research, do you ever find yourself in a position where the research is threatening to overwhelm the story? And if so, what do you do to contain it?"

Oh, good questions!! I just wish I had helpful answers, LOL. Research is the key to getting a good setting. I can't travel to every place I'm writing about (darn you, budget!). Some places don't even exist any more, like Greenwich Palace in "A Sinful Alliance," so I read all I can. Look at photos, watch movies and travel DVDs, talk to people who have been there (except for Greenwich, tee hee!). Every place and time period has its own "atmosphere," and it's part of the fun to me to try and capture that!

OTOH, you're right--it's so easy to get carried away by the research! I want to share it all with the readers! But it's a bad idea to stop the action in the middle of a scene to explain how 16th century firearms work. I just try to keep the focus where it belongs--on the hero and heroine, and weave the research into their lives!

Amanda McCabe said...

"What's your favorite part of Tudor England--aside from the fabulous clothes? And do you have a gorgeous costume planned for the Beau Monde Soiree this year?"

Hello Deb!!! (waving wildly)

It's hard to say what my favorite part of 16th century England is! The clothes natch. The plethora of strong women. The tumultuous changes in such a short time. The danger and luxury, and scheming. :))

And of course I have a new costume for the Soiree! I love it, and can't wait to wear it. :) (BTW, anyone know where I can find a powdered wig??)

Amanda McCabe said...

Oh, and I also love tsarist Russia! Wish I could find a publisher to take a chance on THAT setting. :)

Elena Greene said...

For me, Regency England would be the go to destination, but I'm grateful for authors like Amanda who can do that and other settings!

I love Regency clothes but also could imagine myself in some of the less fussy Georgian styles. I like low necks and fitted waists and a bit of lace never hurts. :)

Anyway, congrats to Amanda on all the contracts and also to Nicolai for his RT KISS (Knight in Shining Armor) award!

Elena Greene said...

I'd love to read the Tsarist Russia story, Amanda. Maybe it'd open up the field for my 1807 Lithuania story idea (OK, now I'm sure everyone is probably but I really do have one). :)

terrio said...

Good morning, Amanda. I can't believe I *see* you over on RV all the time (and missed you the other day dang it) and had no idea you had such a variety of settings. This is great. Not great for my TBR shelf but still...

My first choice would be the mid to late 1940s. The clothes, the Golden Age of Hollywood, the buzz in the air when everything was going gangbusters. I'd love to have been around then.

Then I'd have to jump to Regency and Victorian England. I'd be happy with attending one beautiful ball. As mentioned earlier, I'd want to be in the ton. Though if I was ever there in a past life, I have no doubt I was total peasant material. LOL!

Diane Gaston said...

Wow. What a busy blog! Special "hi" to Jeanne, Trish, Nancy, Anna, Christine....and I feel I know the rest of the banditos from seeing your photos, at least.

I'm popping over here to do Amanda a favor so someone leaves a comment...I should come more often. You guys are fun.

If you could travel through space/time, where would you go to research your dream historical romance? What period in history serves up the most dashing heroes? Hey, even more important, what period in history has the best frocks?

Oh, hands down it is the Regency for me. I'm partial to soldier heroes of the era but could go for any gentleman in a Beau Brummel-type suit. The ladies dresses are to die for and not just because they have the empire waists. The architecture, the furnishings, horses and carriages. Sigh.
thing is, I'm sure if I did go back in time I'd wind up a scullery maid.

Amanda's gift for bringing setting alive is terrific. And her facility with a variety of time periods just boggles my mind!!!

rebekah said...

Scotland! The highlands sound so rugged and beautiful.

flchen1 said...

Welcome, Amanda!! Congrats on your multi-book deal! What fantastic news for you and us! And I've always loved Ireland and things Irish (nope, not Irish, never set foot there...)--can't wait to read your stories :)

I've always been curious to visit China in the one of its past incarnations (preferably not with bound feet, please)--I'm reasonably certain the acrobatic hand-to-hand combat shown in Crouching Tiger didn't happen, but the potential for awesome clothing's still there :)

And congrats on nabbing the GR, Joan! p226, maybe tomorrow ;)

Trish Milburn said...

Amanda, welcome to the Lair! I too am excited to see some historicals set in all these different locales. I've always maintained that there were so many interesting and romantic stories to tell outside of England and Scotland -- though there are many fabulous stories set in those two countries. I love the sound of your Irish books.

Minna, your idea of seeing 19th century Finland is so fascinating. I think that's so because here in the U.S., we very seldom (as in, I never) study European countries much outside of England, France, and Spain in our history classes. I'm so woefully deficient in the history of SO many countries.

Trish Milburn said...

There are so many wonderful possibilities for going back and seeing a different time, but I'm going to be an oddball here. I'd love to have seen the American West when it was just being seen for the first time by European eyes. It's beautiful now, but I bet it was stunning then.

MsHellion said...

Oh, easy, I'd go to the Scottish Rebellions in 1297; and hang out for a while. I'd be interested for a return visit to 1314 (Battle of Bannockburn); and again in 1329 when Queen Isabelle had her husband killed.

Also, I'd pop by and check out Black Agnes (c 1312-1369): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnes_Dunbar,_4th_Countess_of_Moray

MsHellion said...

I'm also going to tag along with P226 to meet Jefferson and some of the other founding fathers.

Minna said...

Well, Trish, I suppose that is the problem pretty much everywhere. I'd love to know how much (or little) they talk about the history of Finland or other Nordic countries in France or England besides the history of the countries they conquered. And when I was in elementary and high school the second world war and the way we had to fight against Russia took lions share. And there was hardly anything about the time before Sweden and Russia started to fight over what is now known as Finland. The way I remember the history lessons, it was all about war and politics. :P

But, if you want to learn more about the History of Finland -and our common history with Sweden and Russia- just visit the pages of Virtual Finland and Lonely Planet.

Christie Kelley said...

Amanda, welcome to the lair! I love to read different settings.

And congratulations on the Grand Central deal. That's awesome.

I would have to go to Regency England. But only if I can be a lady. None of that scullery maid stuff for me. I want to wear those gorgeous dresses and the hats! Love the hats with feathers.

Trish Milburn said...

Thanks for the suggestions, Minna. I'll check out those resources.

CrystalGB said...

Hi Amanda. Great interview. I would choose regency England. I love books set in that period.

Maria Zannini said...

I love this blog! You guys have the best interviews---and excellent questions.

Art history was my minor in college, back when there wasn't as much history as there is now. (hee) But the Renaissance was a particular favorite of mine. It seemed every facet of life was affected by a resurgence of discovery. And they definitely had the best-looking clothes even if they were a tad uncomfortable by today's standards.

But if I were to research any period of time, I'd like to go back to Alexander the Great's era. There's a lot of mythos to work from and like the Renaissance, was a fountain of expansion and learning.

Amanda McCabe said...

The more I think about it, the harder it is to narrow down times/places to visit in our magical Time Machine! Everything always sounds interesting to me (which is part of why I spend so much on books and waste so much time on the Internet!) :)

I've been reading a huge amount about France just pre and during the Revolution (research for the historical fiction project, plus prep work for a trip to France this fall!) and I would love to visit there. Versailles, the Palais Royal, etc. But no guillotine close-ups, thank you! :)

jo robertson said...

Amanda, so great to have you here in the Lair. Welcome! Anna, super interview, as always.

I'm amazed that you can write such different historical pieces, Amanda. Kudos to you for keeping them straight. Your books sound enticing and I'll certainly pick one up.

jo robertson said...

Amanda, so great to have you here in the Lair. Welcome! Anna, super interview, as always.

I'm amazed that you can write such different historical pieces, Amanda. Kudos to you for keeping them straight. Your books sound enticing and I'll certainly pick one up.

catslady said...

I just love this genre and they all sound wonderful and the covers are gorgeous. Thanks for a great interview.

Janet Mullany said...

hey Amanda, another Risky here dropping by to make sure the Banditas are treating you well!
Congrats again on the contracts (contracts!!!!!!!!).
I'd like to go back to just about any period in time so long as I was rich, male, and had good teeth...
Best clothes? 1790s, when the gowns became simpler and the boots/tight pants thing for men came in.

Anna Campbell said...

Hi Kelly! Actually I find the Georgian period really sexy. I wish there were more books set then. I really find it interesting that the men dressed like fops and peacocks but were in fact walking killing machines. They all carried swords!

Deb, do you Beau Monders get dressed up? How utterly cool!

Hey, Dina, fab answer! ;-)

Morning, Miss Amanda, although it's early afternoon over with you guys! See you've all been busy while I've been snoring.

Anna Campbell said...

Amanda, great answers for my questions. I think you're a master at weaving the research together and making the setting an integral part of your story. Venice was like a major character in ANW.

Joan, wish I was coming to Ireland with you! Amanda, if you subsidise me, I promise to send you a postcard? No?

Hey, Nicolai got a KISS Award? Go, Nicolai! He's pretty sexy in ANW. Can't wait to read it.

Elena, I agree with you about the less fussy Georgian stuff - that basic shape of the fitted bodice and then the full skirt is just so romantic, isn't it?

Anna Campbell said...

Elena, I remember getting an idea for a Lithuanian story watching a doco about Napoleon's march back from Moscow. I'm not laughing at all - I wish you'd find a market for it. I actually find tsarist Russia absolutely fascinating - and I think it's an era people would buy if they had the chance. I mean, Dr. Zhivago is still one of the all-time great money makers! Amanda, maybe YOU could convince a publisher to take a chance! When I great up in the '70s, 19th century Russia was a really popular period - especially in books written in England. I can remember there were a stack by a woman called Constance Heaven. Very gothic, sort of like Victoria Holt in a troika, but great stories!

Anna Campbell said...

Terri, had to laugh at you saying you'd be a peasant. The numbers say most of us would have been, sadly! Actually the 1940s would be cool, wouldn't they?

Diane, always lovely to see you! I hope we get a chance for a chat in SF! Has Amanda been playing the pathos card? Given the emotional power of her books, I imagine she's VERY good at that ;-)

Actually, Diane, you've put your finger on one reason I LOVE the Regency. It's not just the clothes - it's the elegance of everything. That beautiful architecture, the decorative arts. All just so perfect.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Rebekah, the Highlands are still rugged and beautiful - hope you get there one day!

Fedora, the Chinese Imperial court would have been so interesting to see, wouldn't it? Just the art and the china and the clothing. But again, I'd definitely want my tardis! I'd love to see the court of Suleiman the Magnificent too - but I'd have to be a man to be allowed out to check things out!

Anna Campbell said...

Trish, can you imagine being with Lewis and Clark and seeing that country? Wow! Just blows your mind, doesn't it?

Ms Hellion, wow! This is one of the reasons I love hanging around the Banditas. I always learn something - look at Minna's statue! And now I know about Black Agnes. What a cool dame!!! And I would have loved to meet Jefferson! I would have loved to meet Mozart. Hmm, I think I have a career in time travel ahead of me! Do you think Doctor Who needs a new assistant?

Anna Campbell said...

Crystal, sounds to me if you travel back to the Regency, you'll have plenty of Bandita buddies to hang with! It's been way the most popular answer so far!

Maria, how interesting! I forgot Alexander the Great (which wouldn't please him, I know!). I love the dresses in the Italian paintings - they're just so elegant and romantic, aren't they? And such gorgeous colours.

Anna Campbell said...

Amanda, I went through a French stage when I first started writing. I found the 100 Years War absolutely fascinating - actually I wish they'd publish more good medievals. There's something really satisfying about all those men clanking around in armour! Your French trip sounds fascinating!

Jo, I think Amanda's stuff would be right up your alley. It's got that really authentic historical atmosphere that you love so much.

Catslady, thanks for dropping by! Glad you enjoyed the interview.

Janet, always lovely to see you! Isn't it sad that in most periods in history, we'd need a sex change as well as a time machine to have a really good time?

Phew, well, that's me caught up. Might go and have a cup of tea! As they do in all the best Regencies!

terrio said...

Not to turn anything to religious talk but I find it interesting no one has said they'd go back to hear Jesus talk. Or Abraham or Mohamed or any of the others. I guess those times aren't known for being very romantic.

And I can't believe I forgot Da Vinci. I would love to have a chat with that man.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, interesting, Terrio! Good point! I would have loved to meet Lorenzo the Magnificent - he could have given me all the goss on the artists!

Amanda, have you picked up any really ODD facts when you've been researching?

Elena Greene said...

Elena, I remember getting an idea for a Lithuanian story watching a doco about Napoleon's march back from Moscow. I'm not laughing at all - I wish you'd find a market for it.

Anna, it's so sweet of you to say that. I was thinking of something around the Treaty of Tilsit (Telsiai in Lithuanian--not far from where my mother's family live)but it'd be a tough sell I'm afraid!

Anna Campbell said...

Elena, I've noticed a bit of loosening in the historical market lately - although I WISH they'd buy JT's fabulous Romans. But I've seen stories set in the Georgian era and the Gilded Age and I believe The Spymaster's Lady which has had such a buzz around it is mainly set in France. And now a major publisher is taking up a trilogy set in Ireland. Maybe our (Lithuanian) day will come!

Amanda McCabe said...

"I really find it interesting that the men dressed like fops and peacocks but were in fact walking killing machines."

Oooooh, yes, I like that very much, too!

And I love the Georgian fashions--I basically have no waist, and imagine those styles would help me out there. :) I spend far too much time poring over costume pics from the "Marie Antoinette" movie!

Amanda McCabe said...

"Amanda, maybe YOU could convince a publisher to take a chance!"

LOL! I will give it a chance. :) I have an idea for a Russian ballerina heroine...

Joan said...

Awww, Anna! My Roman boys really appreciate your support...

Demetrius gets the shakes when he hears the word "chook" but still....

Amanda, I'm so glad to see your success in the "different" time periods and I agree that there seems to be more and more of them finding homes in the publishing world.

Nancy said...

Great interview, Anna and Amanda. Welcome, Amanda. I love your covers. They are beyond gorgeous! I also love the chance to read some different time periods.

I love medieval England and would jump at a chance to visit it (especially if I had a pomander or sachet to mask the, er, aroma). Rome with Joan's gladiators would be cool. Or Britain during the Iceni rebellion. And was there really a King Arthur? The possibilities boggle the mind.

Joan, I hope the GR can swim!

Anna C--"kark it?" The Tardis would be handy on so many different levels. All these wonderful periods we could visit--just think! We could solve historical mysteries--what happened to the Lost Colony? What fun!

p226, nice try. I think the rooster's tired from his recent travels, though. He might need to rest up for this "regimen."

Eva, I love all your choices. I'm with you--too many possibilities.

Dina, I like space and time travel, too.

Diane--nice to see you here! Your love of the Regency really shows in your own work.

Beth said...

Welcome to the lair, Amanda! Thanks to you and Anna for a fabulous interview. Your books sound amazing!!

I couldn't pick just one time period - too many exciting times to choose from :-) There are even times when nostalgia hits and I'd go back to the 80's! But only for a very short period and only if I could avoid having my hair shellacked with Aqua Net ;-)

Amanda McCabe said...

"I love medieval England and would jump at a chance to visit it (especially if I had a pomander or sachet to mask the, er, aroma)"

LOL! I like to imagine that if a person was used to such things, they would never notice it. :) That is one thing that struck me in researching both Greenwich and Versailles, the totally unhygenic situation. Hundreds of people packed into those rooms and corridors, with primitive toilets and lots and lots of dogs. Dogs, monkeys, and cats, who followed their people everywhere. No baths, heavy clothes, and perfumes. Fun!!

Though in reading a book about Marie Antoinette's perfumer, I found out she used to set bowls full of scented oil around her rooms and burn incense to sweeten the air. Yay her! :)

Dina said...

I forgot to say where I'd like to go back too, either Renaissance or 1800's England.

Kirsten said...

I missed most of the fun (as usual) but I had to give a shout out to my Baltic sister Elena! I would love to read your Lithuanian love story! My mom was born in Riga (that's in Latvia, for you non-Baltic natives) and came to the US when she was six.

I did a lot of Latvian dancing when I was a kid and got to go to a couple of big song festivals. This was back during the time when Lavtia, Lithuania, and Estonia were considered "Captive Nations" (ie, under Soviet rule but not formally recognized as part of the soviet union by the US govt). We had these really cool t-shirts we used to wear that said, "Nyet, Nyet Soviet" on the front with the USSR symbol in a big red circle with a line through it.

Crazy. It still makes my mom cry to hear Latvian spoken with a Russian accent.

Anyway, just had to say hello!

Kirsten said...

Amanda, your command of all these different places in the world and times in history is dizzying! I am so impressed! Congratulations on your new contract and thanks for visiting the Lair!

Caren Crane said...

Welcome, Amanda! You had me at Disco Fever, but then really nailed it with Venice. Throw in "scandal in the Pump Room" and I'm yours forever! *g*

Seriously, I ADORE the Renaissance and my first romance was a time travel set in Renaissance...England. In Cumbria, no less. Needless to say, it wasn't exactly a popular time period. But it did have an Italian artist as the mentor character. *sigh* I loved that book.

I can't wait to get my hands on yours. Like Joan, I'm fond of less-visited time periods and locales. Joan's Romans are fabulous and will hopefully be keeping your Italians and Greeks company on the shelves sometime soon!

As to anywhere/anywhen for research, I would love to visit Florence and Venice during the Italian Renaissance. I would also adore visiting Austria in the 1700s. India during the Colonial period. Okay, I would go any of those places today, happily!

We have itchy feet here in the Lair and love to travel and share travel stories. I'm soooo jealous you've been to Venice!

Hey, Joan, keep the chook dry! The downpour just started here...

Anna Campbell said...

Kirsten, another Baltic chick! I'm sure I've told you before, but my mum was Danish so I feel a yen for those places too! Caren, great selection of places to go. Actually India in the time of the Mughals would be fascinating too - although again, I'd have to be a bloke to get the benefit of the visit!

Anna Campbell said...

Amanda, you've been an amazing guest. Thanks so much for dropping in and sharing the wild world of Amanda McCabe's romances with us! And thanks to everyone who popped in to welcome Amanda and share such wonderful ideas of where you'd like to time travel to. My tardis is going to be pretty crowded, I can tell!

Don't forget to call back in over the next couple of days to find out who won the copy of Amanda's fab new romance A SINFUL ALLIANCE.

Elena Greene said...

Hi, Kirsten, or should I say "Labas!"? We may have been at some of the same events. I used to play the Lithuanian stringed instrument called kankles and I think the Latvians have something very similar. :)