Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Dream a Little Dream

By Anna Campbell

As most of our Bandita Buddies know, September is a huge month in the lair. Three Banditas have books hitting the shelves. Christine Wells follows up her sublime SCANDAL'S DAUGHTER with the sparkling and sexy THE DANGEROUS DUKE. Tawny Weber, who is an astonishingly good writer, has her third Blaze romance out, RISQUE BUSINESS. Trish Milburn sees her debut book, A FIREFIGHTER IN THE FAMILY, out from Harlequin American. Can't wait to read this - although Amazon don't seem to be hear me yelling at them to send the &&%%% thing pronto! Then next month, Aunty Cindy's THE WILD SIGHT is on sale. It's garnering some great buzz, including a starred review from Publishers Weekly.

That's an amazing achievement and I hope you'll all rush to your nearest bookstore and pick up these books! By the way, we can save you that trouble - if you click on the covers here, you go straight to Amazon. Can't get much easier, can it?

But what's even more amazing is that when all the Banditas met as finalists in the 2006 Golden Heart Award, NONE of us had sold a book. Since then eleven of us have been published! And I'd lay money (and you people know I'm not a bettin' woman unless it's a sure thing) that there will be more good news in the pipeline before we're done.

So when we all got together, one thing united us (apart from the Golden Heart contest!). We all had a dream. We all wanted to be published writers. A substantial proportion of us (more than half which is well over the odds!) have now achieved that particular dream in a little over two years. The other as-yet-unpublished Banditas are working hard and purposefully towards that goal and I know will achieve it before too long.

I'm sure if you asked the published Banditas, we'd all say that we still have dreams. To make the New York Times list. Or to win a RITA. Or to have a movie made of one of our stories. Or even, for those waiting for their first book to hit the stands, to get that first magical bit of fanmail which tells them that their characters and stories have become real to someone they've never met, who perhaps lives half a world away.

One of my dreams sounds a bit silly unless you've spent your life drooling over romance novels. I wanted a stepback! That's the cover art you get INSIDE the cover of a romance novel. And guess what? With my January release TEMPT THE DEVIL, I get a stepback. This is it here, the couple staring into each other's eyes with smoldering passion as they pose half-dressed on a rainy clifftop (as you do!).

Oh, and just to keep the heat quotient up, this is the cover for TEMPT THE DEVIL. I'm hoping this handsome young fellow will take your fancy in a bookstore near you in a couple of months. It's a gloriously brooding, sexy picture, isn't it? I adored my gothic covers with their clinches but I think this one is really going to grab readers' attention.
Anyway, congratulations to all the Banditas seeing their oeuvres in the stores this month! You're all brilliantly talented women and it's an honor to be associated with you.

And what about you? Do you have a dream? Is it a pipe dream (like Jeanne's three wishes blog this week) or is it something you can see yourself turning into reality? Have you achieved a long-held dream? What was it? How did that feel? What did you do to attain your dream? Let's talk about dreams before I start dreaming of Jeanne! Oh, and just before I forget, CONGRATULATIONS, BANDITAS WITH NEW BOOKS!


flchen1 said...

Congrats, all you Banditas living the dream!

jo robertson said...

Great post, Anna. Thanks for honoring the published Banditas and for showing confidence in those of us who are not yet published.

Flchen1, you'll be living the dream with the chook, huh? Hehehehe.

At my age most of my dreams have come true, marriage, family, and a teaching career. Now, hopefully, my final dream of becoming published one day is just around the corner.

Congrats to the three releases this month and to AC for her great reviews on The Wild Sight.

flchen1 said...

Hee! At least today, Jo! I wonder if I can get the GR to reveal his dreams...

My dream is a clean, clutter-free house--of course, that requires some work on my part... unless Jeanne's genie comes through for me ;)

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Fedora, I know your dream was to have a rooster to stay! Well, it's come true. Congratulations!

Ah, wouldn't it be lovely to be like Samantha in Bewitched and just wriggle our noses to get a clean house? I've been in the deadline cave for a few weeks and believe me, I think you'd need a nose the size of Jimmy Durante's to cope with the mess in this joint right now!

Trish Milburn said...

Those are darned impressive numbers, aren't they? Yay to all the Banditas who've sold. And I too think it's only a matter of time until we have one heck of a Bandita blowout because we've all sold.

Oh, and I think they need to rename your book based on the cover -- Tempt the SEXY Devil. :)

Anna Campbell said...

Jo, I absolutely have confidence in the unpubbed Banditas seeing their books on the shelves in the not too distant future. It's tough, I know, to wait, but hang in there. Your time will come.

When I was thinking about what I'd blog about this month, it suddenly struck me what an exceptional group of women I share the lair with. 11 out of 20 with major house publishing contracts in the last two years is pretty darned special, I think!

Anna Campbell said...

Trish, you know how excited I am for you in particular because it's your first book and you worked so hard for this moment! Congratulations again. Can you imagine the party in the lair when all of us have sold? Man, I'm practicing a headache already!

Yeah, he is pretty sexy, isn't he? As you can imagine, I'm stoked! In fact, I think the book will sell on the cover alone ;-)

Louisa Cornell said...

Nearly shorted out my keyboard drooling over La Campbell's cover and stepback! YUMMY!!! And I brought another reader into the fold at the bookstore today, La Campbell. A busy mother of two who has just started reading Regency historicals. Tammy pointed her in my direction for recommendations and the poor woman left with a large stack of book with UNTOUCHED on the top of the stack and an order for CTC on Tammy's computer as Tammy has temporarily sold out of CTC!

Fedora, congrats on the chook! A real dream come true! Or is that a nightmare. I cannot reiterate the importance of hiding the car keys!

Congrats to all of the Banditas with releases this month and to the entire Bandita Band for your incredible stats!! The Pixie Chicks can only hope to live up to your legacy.

I did achieve one life-long dream when I sang my first role at the Salzburg opera house. I had a lot of fun and a good career as an opera singer. Gave me a great feeling of accomplishment after years of American houses turning me down.

Now, I have a new dream - a publishing contract that will get me out of Wal-Mart. Doesn't have to get me out of debt or even get me out of the single-wide trailer. Just get me out of Wal-Mart!!!!

I truly want to see my name on the cover of a book before I am too old to see! My true dream is to be published while my mother is still with me. She is such a huge supporter and fan of my writing efforts. She is so proud and I really want her to be able to go to a bookstore with her little old lady friends and say "My daughter wrote that." Fortunately the women in my family are long-lived and extremely stubborn!

I have other dreams. I want my CPs to become published authors as well so we can go out to book signings together. It would be so much fun!

I want to help establish a no-kill animal shelter and a free veterinary clinic in the poor, rural county in which I live. A dear friend who worked tirelessly for the shelter we have had this dream and unfortunately cancer took her from us before she could achieve this dream. I would love to see it become a reality for her.

Oh, and finally I want to see my niece and two nephews graduate from college and have successful careers that they truly love. I'll do whatever I can to make that happen.

A small dream? To see all of the Banditas in DC next year!! Yes, even the CHOOK!

Natalie Hatch said...

Oh I have big dreams, and hopefully the tenacity to achieve them (remind me of this quote when I'm wallowing in self pity after another rejection).
Great post Anna, I must say that I think the hero and heroine look like they're about to tango in your inside cover... yes but what type of tango we ask ourselves?
Looking forward to your workshop, and the timtams.

Tawny said...

Le Sigh.... FoAnna, your cover is so droolworthy!!! Both the stepback and the yummy brooding hunk!!!

I just got Christine's book today and am anxiously watching for Trish's in the stores! I'm so proud of all of the Banditas and the incredible dreams we've manifested. And of all the dreams yet to manifest -I know they'll be coming soon.

As for me, I've had so many dreams come true already. My family, my precious girls, and now my writing career. Beth and I were talking tonight about how much we love what we do. It rocks... even on insane deadlines with filthy houses and stressed out timeframes... it rocks!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Louisa, you keep finding those readers for me! A girl has a maid service to pay for. Well, actually she doesn't, but she can dream! Thank you! You and Tammy have been so amazingly supportive, it makes my little chest swell. Unlike the chocolate I've been consuming by the kilo which makes my little (well, not THAT little) bottom swell!

Your dreams are wonderful! I hope they all come true. As you said, you've already achieved the 'impossible' by singing at Salzburg. How many people can say they did that? And I'm sure the publishing contract isn't far away at all. Hmm, another party in the lair!

Anna Campbell said...

Natalie, you KNOW what kind of tango they've got in mind. I'm surprised that rain isn't turning to steam when it hits them! I just hope they get a room - their current location doesn't look too comfy for hanky panky.

Tawny, congratulations on Risque Business. As you know, I read and loved your third book. It's so sexy and saucy, yet somehow you still layer in that wonderful heart-stopping emotion you do so well. Hey, that cover is hawt, isn't it?

Christine Wells said...

Foanna, what a lovely post. Thanks, dearest! And congratulations to our other newly released banditas *g* Tawny Trish and AC (can't wait to read those books!) And congrats also to you, Anna, on attaining your dream of having a stepback. But the stepback is more than a pretty picture, it symbolizes all your hard work and talent and shows Avon is treating you like a star, just as you deserve. Mwah! It's going to sell like hotcakes. I've read TTD (gloating, moi?) and it's a terrific book. Check out the excerpt on Anna's website if you get a chance!

As for dreams...Hey, I'm livin' the dream, baby. Now, if only I knew what day it was half the time, I'd be happy...

Congrats on the cockerel, Fedora!

Donna MacMeans said...

We ROCK! Yes, 11 published banditas and nine more call stories to come - I know those manuscripts won't be on the shelf very long.

Plus we've obviously been blessed by the cover gods. Anna, your stepback is gorgeous and much deserved. Trish - love the dog. Tawny - yours are always so sexy. Christine - Yours is my favorite cover of all.

I feel like I'm living the dream and have to pinch myself on a regular basis to make sure it's all real. I can say that because I just turned in a book and preparing to start the next. Catch me in the midst of that one, when I'm wrestling the characters and plot into something cohesive and I'll deny that I ever wanted this kind of torture *g* - but right now I'm loving it. Can't ask for anything more.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Congrats on the GR, Fedora. Don't fall for those pathetic puppy-dog looks. He's been taking lessons from a couple of experts. :-P

THANK YOU for the lovely post and the plug, Fo! And HUGE THANX to everyone who is waiting to read The Wild Sight. I really REALLY hope you enjoy it. And yes, fan mail is one of my dreams!

When we first started traveling, I told my DH there were 3 places I had always dreamed of visiting, Venice, Ireland, and The Great Wall. He took me to all 3, and even in that order!

P.S. OH MY, Fo! That step-back is the hottest thing EVAH!!! Cabana boys! Break out the fire extinguishers!

Anonymous said...

Oh I get it. Pretty soon the romance industry will be run by a secretive group of ‘sleepers’ who identify each other by a subtle ‘bandit’ grip on their challis.

Good luck to you all and more luck to those of you who already are (lucky).

Dreams: I can’t afford to dream I’m too busy being no one.

Margay said...

Many congratulations to you all for your new releases. How exciting! My dream, which I do see becoming a reality soon, is to join you among the ranks of the published.

Annie West said...


What a terrific example of successes - wonderful that they're coming to the lair thick and fast. Can't wait to get my hands on some more great books.

Congratulations on the stepback, Anna. I'd been hearing about that for so many years it was a relief to hear about you getting your dream.

As for dreams that keep us going...I think the idea of having my own book on sale was always a huge one for me. I swear I floated a foot above the ground the month my first Harlequin release came out in Australia. Another dream that kept me going (and apologies to those who've heard it before) was the vision I had of me and Anna (my dear CP) out to a long, luscious lunch somewhere on Sydney Harbour, discussing our books and making passing references to 'our editors' - ah those magic words! The fact that I could visualise us giggling over wine and good food while others slaved in offices really helped. It was something I could believe in, something that seemed possible. And you know what? We still celebrate the acceptance of a new book that way (though we're a little behind since Madam Campbell has moved to the sticks). Beware Anna, we have some catching up to do!


Dreams are so important.

Helen said...

Well done flchen enjoy your day with him

What a beautiful post Anna and that cover and stepback what can I say absolutley beautiful.

I want to congratulate all of the Bandits you all have done so well and I too agree there will be a lot more call stories very soon.
I have read all of the released books by the bandits except Tawny's Risque Business and Trish's A Firefighter In The Fanily and I will be reading them as soon as I can get them I have The Wild Sight on order from Rendezvous and am looking forward to it very much.

As for dreams I have been living mine for a while now a wonderful husband four beautiful children and their respective partners two adorable grandchildren and two more on the way wonderful friends on line as well because I class you all as my friends my biggest dream now is to retire I think I have worked long enough and I have so many books to read I need the extra time.

Have Fun

Anna Sugden said...

Isn't it wonderful how far we've all come?! Yay on our wonderful Sept authors!

I can't wait until all the Banditas have sold!

Double yay on that yummy cover - Foanna! (Watch out or Buffie will steal him away from you)

I'm so proud that you've achieved your dream of a stepback. May the rest of your dreams come true too.

Like many others, many of my dreams have come true. Marrying my romantic hero, travelling, much of my 'bucket' list.

Some, like having children, didn't come true. But, I've learned to appreciate what I get and not to dwell too much on what I didn't.

Obviously being published is my big dream. Not so much placement on lists, but things like taking part in the Literacy signing and having people come up to me and tell me how much they love my books. Seeing my book on a real shelf. And fan mail *g*.

And to be able to tell people the name of my book and where to get it, instead of saying "I'm not published yet!"

Oh and while we're dreaming - I'd love to be a film director *g*.

Tiffany Kenzie said...

Now there's a stepback I want to step into :) Hubba-hubba. He's so dreamy!

Congrats bandits, you are an extraordinary women.

Dreams: To have me very own set back like that, sometime sooner rather than later! For all my CPs to pub. And some way, some how, I will get my ARCT Diploma--and if it takes me twenty years, well... it takes me twenty years!

Tiffany Kenzie said...

that was all, not an... dang typing fingers! Sheesh.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Congrats Flchen1, hope he is a good little chook for you.

My TBR case is growing and it's all Bandita's books. Love it, I think I am going to clear a weekend and just read straight through, it won't kill my son to eat sandwiches for a weekend will it??

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Oh, and I forgot to say that I love step backs! Yours is great Anna, and those eyes on the front cover, oh my, makes you want to be real naughty.

Marisa O'Neill said...

Congratulations to all the Banditas, published and unpublished for pursuing your dreams and having the tenacity to live for joy. It's remarkable to come here every morning and read your words and visit with a group of woman who support and love each other in such a way. Your lair motivates me and gives me hope that dreams do come true.

Anonymous said...

Aw, Anna, what a sweet post! September is a huge month for the Banditas. So much good news, so many wonderful things in the Lair, and all these fabulous books to read! Even though I got my call last October for my YA, I'm still dreaming of the day I'll actually see that book on the shelf. Sometimes I wonder if it will really happen!!

My other dream is now to sell in adult romance, so I can tell myself it wasn't just a fluke, and maybe I really am a decent writer! Perpetual insecurity, thy name is author.

terrio said...

You are such an amazing group of women. I feel special just getting to hang in the Lair!

I have major dreams for the future, but right now my present is taking up too many brain cells for me to focus on them. Those wishes I posted in Jeanne's blog were pretty much my dreams.

Own a home.
See my daughter happy.
Sell a book. (though I don't think I put this one in the wishes. But I should have!)

Congrats to all with new books and I too know the remaining Banditas will hit the shelves very soon.

Anna - I LOVE that cover and congrats on the step back. You've come a long way!!! And you deserve all the success!

Christie Kelley said...

Wonderful post, Anna. I think it's amazing to see all our accomplishments and I'm sure there will be a lot more in the near future.

And as Donna and Christine said, I'm living the dream. Mostly. If I could just get rid of the day job. That's my dream.

jo robertson said...

Ah, Fedora, keep holding out for the clean house. I gave up on that a looooonnnnng time ago!

jo robertson said...

I agree, Anna. In this business, two years is a very SHORT time. Eleven out of twenty is pretty amazing. We're very lucky to have found each other and our Bandita Buddies who make the Lair so much more interesting. Hehehehehe.

jo robertson said...

Louisa, I feel the same way. I want to publish before I'm eligible to draw Social Security LOL! It's hard when you start your writing career late because you feel that "time's winged chariot" is always at your back!

Hang it there. I've decided that persistence is one of the primary keys to publication.

jo robertson said...

Louisa, I feel the same way. I want to publish before I'm eligible to draw Social Security LOL! It's hard when you start your writing career late because you feel that "time's winged chariot" is always at your back!

Hang it there. I've decided that persistence is one of the primary keys to publication.

jo robertson said...

Louisa, I feel the same way. I want to publish before I'm eligible to draw Social Security LOL! It's hard when you start your writing career late because you feel that "time's winged chariot" is always at your back!

Hang it there. I've decided that persistence is one of the primary keys to publication.

PJ said...

Lovely post, Anna. Congrats to all of the Banditas for pursuing your dreams. I have faith that one day we'll be seeing books written by *all* of you on the store shelves!

Many of my dreams have already come true. I had the love of a wonderful man for 26 years. I succeeded beyond my dreams in a challenging career that I thoroughly enjoyed. I returned to Italy after 37 years - not once, but twice.

A couple of my dreams to come: Get this house sold so I can move closer to my family of the heart. Meet in person the amazing cyberfriends (that I haven't already met) who make me smile everyday.

PJ said...

Anna, that stepback is gorgeous! You'll forgive me, I hope, if it takes me awhile to read the story. I may have to take a few days to just admire the cover. Then the stepback. *Then* I can move on to the story. (grin)

PJ said...

Trish, I'm sorry I missed your party yesterday. I'm about 40 pages into A Firefighter in the Family and loving it!

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Ciao, Anna and Banditas! What a moving blog, Anna. I say that, cause one of the things that's so cool is watching unpubbed authors journey toward publication, then to watch pubs work to have their careers flourish. And even if we've never met, I think we share a kind of sisterhood as writers and most of us share each others' triumphs, even the tiniest, as well as feel deeply each others' disappointments.

I also find the blog moving because you, Miss Anna, have got NATHAN KAMP on your cover!!! And that step-back is incredible! Am I just getting tragically old, or are stepbacks getting sexier and more appealing? I'm looking forward to your kicking off your cyber tour with us at RBTB, Miss A.

And congrats to all Banditas -- way cool, Trish! -- on your books out. :)

OK, Dream? I was just musing on this this morning: I want to be the woman who changes Oprah's mind about romance. Do you think I can do it?

Beth said...

Anna, congrats again on that gorgeous, super sexy cover and stepback! I'm so looking forward to Tempt The Devil - yes, I'm already tempted *g*

Congrats to Christine, Tawny and Trish on their releases! September is a fantastic month and I'm anxiously awaiting the release of AC's fantastic debut :-)

As for dreams, I feel like I'm living the dream. Life is crazy, hectic, and with two teenagers and one preteen, chock full of angst and drama ;-) But I wouldn't change a thing!

MsHellion said...

OMG, I *love* that stepback! Despite the secondary reaction of: who'd wear such an outfit on a rainy clifftop and mens shirts don't really open that way in that period...whatever, whatever, HOT! HOT! HOT! Seriously. I'm buying the book for the stepback!

And the cover isn't anything to overlook either...AWESOME!

My dream? Currently my dream is to have a query letter so compelling that an agent actually asks to see the first few chapters before rejecting my manuscript outright. (That would be a marked improvement at the moment.)

BUT the big goal: GET PUBLISHED. Preferably by a NY Publisher.

I'm not sure what my goal will be after the GET PUBLISHED stage--that one seems so far off, I don't need to create anymore long terms goals at the moment.

Cassondra said...

flchen said:
My dream is a clean, clutter-free house

OmGosh Flchen, Me TOO. And at this point--getting my yard mowed.

People are starting to think nobody lives in our house.

Eric said:
Dreams: I can’t afford to dream I’m too busy being no one.

Eric, I feel this way at times--been feeling that way a lot lately--so busy at the grind of life there isn't time to remember where I wanted to go when I started out.

Anna, I LOVE the stepback cover--I like the guy on the front because, as you say, we so often stand half-naked on the edge of a cliff like that (see my eyes rolling just a bit).

But mostly I love the stepback cuz it's a big slap on the back for you--they know you're worth it baby! AND because that guy on the front makes me drool.

Okay, somebody fan me. Nathan Kamp you say? Hmmmmmm.....Isn't he the hottest thing in cover models of late? Another stroke for you Anna.

All the Banditas are goin' places.

And aren't stepbacks nice cuz we get to look at his face and those eyes and THEN we get to look at..uhm...the rest of him. (grin)

Cassondra said...

Anna, meant to say....HOW DARE YOU put that cover up there like that when we can't get it yet!!!!

Mine's preordered, and I'm waiting for word from the bookstore on Trish's AFITF and Tawny's Risque Business.

Got The Dangerous Duke on the nightstand--next in line!

Susan Seyfarth said...

Oh, Ms. Anna, your step back! Hello, Hotness. :-) congrats ont he realization of a dream!

As for dreams of my own, I had one realized recently when a woman who'd judged Money Honey in the GH emailed to say she was glad to see it final because she'd judged it then spent the next several months combing through her pile of half-read books thinking it was a book she'd started & put down. The plot had grabbed her & she really wanted to finish it.

I was insanely flattered. Because that's what I want--not just to be published, but to write the kind of books that drive people to keep reading, keep turning those pages. The kind that hook people in & transport them.

I'm still waiting to see my name on the cover of a book, though. Looking forward to that a lot...


Congrats again, banditas on a fabulous September. Couldn't be prouder of you all!

Nancy said...

Anna, what a cool post! I second Jo's comments about your faith in those of us still working for that first book. I have lots of dreams, but that's the one I'd pick, getting to hold my first book (of many, I hope) in my hand.

Seeing as how I can't be a Jedi. *g*

Fedora, congrats on the bird!

Anna, that is one hot cover on your next book--both the cover and the stepback. Sherrilyn Kenyon's Lords of Avalon books have brooding guys' faces on the cover, and I think they're really eye-catching.

Louisa, thanks for recommending my fellow banditas. And for warning Fedora. That bird's trickier than he looks! I'm just glad I have dog when he's at my house. I can turn my back on him because she never turns hers.

Everyone has such cool dreams. I'm so glad y'all shared.

Eric, I used to think I'd set the world on fire--produce major social change, right wrongs, etc. As time went on, though, I realized that wasn't the path I wanted to take. There's a lot to be said for just making your corner of the world a little nicer.

I've just acquired the 3 current bandita releases. I read Trish's first since she's guesting on my blog, and I'm hereby issuing a hankie alert. This book is full of emotion, and it made me cry, which is not something that happens a lot. So go read it!

Treethyme said...

Holy crap, Anna -- did you get to meet the cover model? Was it the same model for the stepback as for the cover? This will definitely make shoppers stand up and take notice.

I've had your book preordered for awhile but now I've ordered the other Bandita's books, too.

I'm a recent convert to historical. I think what I don't like is those old-style bodice rippers. The new-style historicals are wonderful.

PJ said...

Nancy, I'm on page 136 of Trish's book and I think I've cried at least four times! She's pulling all my emotional strings.

Anna Campbell said...

Christine, did you say you were living the dream or living IN a dream? LOL! Congratulations on another fantastic book. I think you have such an individual voice. And as Donna said, that has to be the prettiest cover of all time. And thanks for the compliments about TTD. I still can't believe I wrote a book without a kidnapping ;-)

Donna, great news we've got another opus to look forward to. This business is such an emotional rollercoaster, isn't it? I'm a couple of weeks from getting the latest story in and I'm SOOOOO looking forward to that euphoria you're enjoying at the moment. I'm hoping it hits again. I also love that moment when you're planning a new book but haven't started writing it yet and there's still that possibility that it's going to be everything you want it to be. Books never quite match my vision of them somehow. Not sure they ever could!

Anna Campbell said...

AC, clearly that man is a keeper. All three? In order? Wow! Even one would have had me in fits of joy! Are you getting excited about the release of TWS? I bet you're jumping around like a bean! Yes, that stepback is pretty amazing, isn't it? He definitely has an impressive chest ;-)

Eric, I think we all need dreams! And I look forward to the day when the Banditas have a stranglehold on romance and Nora is begging to join us ;-)

Anna Campbell said...

Margay, great to see another person with the published author dream. Good luck!!!!

Annie, always great to see you here. Actually, you're another person I could have used as an example of a dream come true. And now you're a mainstay of Harlequin Presents! How cool is that? I remember that first lunch - do you remember, we'd dreamt about flirting with the good-looking waiter and we certainly did. We'd dreamt about a view of the harbour and there we were looking at the bridge and the opera house and the ferries. We'd dreamt about talking about our editors and our deadlines and our covers and all that professional stuff that seemed completely out of reach when we were unpubbed. And we did! It really was a case of a visualisation coming true right down to the details! Or perhaps the details got mixed up in all the champagne we were drinking!

Anna Campbell said...

Helen, I think you're dreaming of retirement just so you can read full-time! I know how many books this lady gets through, Banditas. She's a reading factory! And don't we just love her for it? Ilove that you always give your family their due in their posts. And isn't that a lovely cover, Helen? I hoped you'd like it ;-)Oh, and by the way, you'll love Trawny's new one! It's a beauty!

Anna, what a lovely reply. I'm so glad a lot of your dreams have come true. I actually don't think it's good for us if ALL our dreams come true. I think a bit of longing and striving is what keeps us going. I'm currently dreaming of RITAs and NYT. You never know, it might happen one day! And I think you'd be a wonderful film director! And believe me, I've got the cabana boys keeping an eye out for Buffie. I know how nefarious she can be when it comes to stealing a hunk!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Tiffany, excuse my Aussie ignorance, but what's an ARCT? Something to do with polar bears? And good luck to you about getting a stepback (why do we obsess about these things?). You're definitely going about it the right way!Thanks for the congrats - when I got it, I couldn't wait to share it with my Bandita friends!

Dianna, I think if you throw in some chocolate, sandwiches cover all the major food groups! And it's for a good cause, after all. What's amazing is that we now have enough Bandita books to fill a TBR pile. Isn't that amazing in two years? I couldn't be prouder of my Bandita sisters if they won medals at the Olympics! Mind you, I think it's HARDER to get a book published ;-) And doesn't he have a naughty glint. I know what he's thinking about and it ain't the stock market!

Oh, Marisa, thank you so much. That was lovely! Actually I was thinking about our blog in depth before I wrote this column and I thought one of the things that stands out for me is the fact that we all genuinely like and respect each other. I think it shows. And you're most welcome here any time you like, m'dear. Here, have a Sven...

Anna Campbell said...

Kirsten, perhaps the perpetual insecurity is good for us (although not too much of it - and who's to say what's too much?). I think it keeps us striving. It's like when I said I think achieving every since dream or ambition in one's life isn't a good thing either. We need something to aim for. Something to get out of bed for. Something to care passionately about. I can't wait to read your book - although I've had to, tarnation! And I'm sure an adult fiction contract is just around the corner for you. I think what's tough about all this is that we're on someone else's timetable but it will happen!

Hey, Terrio, my friend with the well-turned ankles! Thank you! It IS inspiring, isn't it? I was thinking what I could write about this month and then the fact that THREE Banditas all have books out just seemed so amazing. Keep working hard and you'll make it. Oh, and isn't that cover spectacular? Wow!

Anna Campbell said...

Christie, thanks for popping by! Isn't it amazing to think more than half of us have sold? It's hugely encouraging for the AYU Banditas too. Good luck with ditching the DDJ.

Jo, do you want me to send you my magical Jimmy Durante? ;-) It's such a privilege to be able to celebrate the Bandita achievements today. I think we're a pretty amazing bunch!

Anna Campbell said...

PJ, we're dying to meet you too! I hope you've got a piggybank for Washington. I can already imagine the squealing and the giggling when we all get together at last. Fantastic that so many of your dreams came true and good luck with the ones you're still waiting on! Especially the meeting the Banditas one! And PJ, you take your time when you get TTD. I like to think you're getting your money's worth (and an eye full!). I must say I find myself staring into those fathomless eyes and just drifting away...

Where were we again?

Jane said...

Wtg, Fedora.

Congrats on the lovely cover, Anna. I love stepback covers. Are they more expensive? Mine is more of a pipe dream? I would love to a relic hunter. I get to go to exotic places and look for artifacts. I wouldn't be doing it for personal gain. I'm looking for adventure and maybe I can have a sexy coworker/partner who looks like Eric Bana.

Anna Campbell said...

And PJ, that's cruel, talking about Trish's book! Mine still hasn't turned up! Whaaaaah!

Wow, Michelle!! Fantastic to see you! Thanks for popping by. Oh, I love your Oprah dream. I think if anyone can do it, you can!

Isn't it fantastic to see so many Bandita books hitting the shelves? I keep pinching myself and thinking a little over two years ago, none of us had a publishing contract! And this is in a supposedly slow publishing environment. Hang in there, AYUs. Your time will come.

I'd forgotten you were a NK fangirl! He has an amazing face, doesn't he? Yeah, yeah, and the rest! I'm already looking forward to my visit to RBTB. I always have a fantastic time over there. Actually speaking about the great atmosphere I always enjoy in the lair, I get that same positive buzz from you and from RNTV. I like that after I've visited you and the Bellas, I'm energized and positive and ready to tell Oprah to get real, read romance, for heaven's sake! She doesn't know what she's missing! ;-)

Anna Campbell said...

Beth, it's a fantastic moment when you see your book on a shelf somewhere, isn't it? Did you get all emotional when you saw NOT WITHOUT HER FAMILY out in the public domain? I sure did when I saw CLAIMING THE COURTESAN. As you say, it's not like life suddenly turns into nirvana when you sell, but it's still worth all the hard work and emotion that went into creating a writing career. Hey, so glad you like my cover - yeah, he is pretty tempting, isn't he?

Hiya Hellion! Hey, who's nitpicking? I agree - who would run out into a thunderstorm wearing a nightie? Especially barefoot on a rocky shore. And I hate to say it, but most of the book is set in London and there are no stormy clifftops. The current wip, set in Cornwall, now that's a different matter. Clearly that artist had a lot of imagination! But it sure works and hey, if NK were calling, maybe I would display my pjs to the world! Good luck with the dream - I'm sure it will happen for you.

Anna Campbell said...

Actually, Cassondra, much as I hate to gloat (well, I don't hate it THAT much!), I had NK as the cover model for Untouched. Clearly he's becoming Mr. Anna Campbell (and can't you hear him screaming and running for cover when I say that - and I don't mean a romance novel cover, although he's done so many, I'm sure he could hide under his complete works and we'd never find him!). Personally I think it's not a stepback unless you roll your eyes a little. And it surely works in terms of attracting attention!

Anna Campbell said...

Cassondra, what a treat you've got ahead with the Dangerous Duke. Did you know it opens with the hero dangling a poor bad guy over a balcony by the ankles? Now, how's that for a ripsnorter of an opening? Thanks for the preorder too!

Susan, let's remember the kind of September... Hope you're singing along. I'm sure we won't have to wait too long to see your name on a book and congratulations again on winning the GH this year. We screaming and shouted and stamped and clapped for you, as I'm sure you heard! Actually, I'm not sure. I was sitting near you and you look like someone had conked you on the head with a brick! And how wonderful of that judge to say that to you!

Anna Campbell said...

Nancy, I'm sure your dream will come true - and soon! So glad you like the new cover! It's a different look to the others. By the way, at Louisa's place, I think Frodo and the GR are a conspiracy of two. Clearly your dog is made of stronger stuff! Hey, you never know - you might become a jedi knight before you're done!

Hi Treethyme! Always great to see you. And thank you for your pre-order too! I'd love Amazon to sit up and pay attention to my new release! Sadly, I didn't get to meet the cover model. Perhaps that can be my dream now I've got my stepback ;-) Mind you, I think I'd go completely tonguetied and act like a loon so it's probably better if I admire from afar. Yes, it is the same guy. Amazing, huh?

How fantastic that you're a convert to historicals. There's some amazing writers out there right now - apart from the Banditas (who you know about), I love Loretta Chase and Madeline Hunter and Anne Gracie and Laura Lee Guhrke and Shana Abe. Oh, man, I could go on and on!

MsHellion said...

Yeah, I didn't mean to nitpick. He's HAWT. I'd run around in my nightie and get all wet if he was who I was meeting on the cliffs. (He'd have to promise to warm me up though; isn't the rain cold on those English cliffs? I mean, they airbrushed her if that's the case! *winks*)

It's a freaking GORGEOUS cover! Very beautiful! I can't wait to buy it!

Anna Campbell said...

PJ, Trish's book sounds amazing. Between you and Nancy, it's hard not to ring up those guys at Amazon and say, 'SEND ME THE BOOK IF YOU WANT TO SEE MY CREDIT CARD ALIVE AGAIN!"

Hmm, Jane, relic hunting with Eric Bana? No, I wouldn't like that at all (yeah, right!). I hope you get your dream and then I hope you sprain your ankle so I have to step in and take over from you ;-) Not a BAD sprain, my friend. Just a teensy weensy one so I get to see Eric under a waterfall with his shirt off...

Cover art is actually a really expensive part of the book business so giving someone TWO bits of art is a major vote of confidence. As you can imagine, I'm stoked! I just checked - the book is retailing for $6.99 which is what the other two went for.

Wow, caught up! Might go and have a cup of tea. Thanks, everyone, for coming in to celebrate my Bandita sisters. Oh, and ogle Nathan!

Anna Campbell said...

Hellion, um, who's looking at HER???!!! And I didn't think you were nitpicking at all - I'm a clinch fan from way back because when I started to read romance in my teens, those covers screamed "I'm a hot book full of emotion and passion, buy me!" I still think that's true about clinches so when I laugh at them, it's with great fondness. And as you say, it's a hawt picture, however unrealistic it is! Actually, have you seen my German cover for Tempt the Devil? It's gorgeous too. What I love is that the people on the front look like Olivia and Erith from the book and I think it's terrifically sexy.

The title translates as Forbidden Embraces which is pretty sexy too.

Beth said...

I hate to admit it but I really didn't get emotional when I first saw my book on the shelf. I was too busy trying to get in and out of Wal Mart with two of my kids (one kid was leaving the next day on vacation w/ friends and we were shopping for him) and my husband. We'd been running all day and I had writing to do at home and I was HUNGRY so all I could think about was lunch *g*

But I did get very emotional the first time I saw my cover and when I received my author copies :-) It's such a high, isn't it?

Esri Rose said...

You guys have done so well -- it's wonderful to see!

Boy, extra congrats to Aunty Cindy for her PW starred review! That's HUGE!

Congrats on the GR, Fedora!

Gillian Layne said...

A huge congratulations to all with books just released and about to be released!

I think of the money spent on books as money I don't have to spend on therapy. ;) Books and the bit of escape they provide are my "calm" in the daily storm.

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, Beth, I had to laugh when I read your first time I saw myself on the shelf story. Hunger beats having a book out, for sure (!). ;-)

Esri, the starred review is HUGE, isn't it? Can't wait to read the Wild Sight.

Gillian, I use that therapy argument to justify my full liquor cupboard! Somehow I don't need to justify buying books - although I would go insane if I didn't have something to read!

Anna Campbell said...

Ooh, meant to say in the blog that if you want to read an excerpt of TEMPT THE DEVIL, it's here:

And once you've read it, you're ready to answer an easy question and go into the draw for an advance review copy of the book:

Good luck!

MsHellion said...

AC, there's a woman on your clinch cover? Where? However did I miss her? Huh. All this time I thought I was good at "attention to detail" and turns out I'm dead wrong.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Wooohooo! Congrats to all our September Banditas, and to AC for HER upcoming release too! Wheeeee!

*gloating* I've read The Wild Sight. You all are SO in for a great book...PW had that starred review juuuuusssst right. Grins.

Anna, that stepback is deeeelish. Those eyes...yumyumyum. Really nice. I'm betting the book's good too, but the cover.... Oh, sorry. I guess I'll read the book too...heeeheee. Seriously, as soon as it comes out, MINE! Isn't preorder a wonderful thing?

In all seriousness, I have to agree with your humble assessment of being proud to be part of such a caring, supportive group such as the Banditas and Bandit Buddies. :> It's such a nice thing to visit the Lair every day and get that shot in the arm of good writing in the posts, new people, fun comments and the ever popular and mysterious GR. Ha! (BTW, Fedora, check the laundry room before the chook leaves. I hear he's been stashing cash in the washing powder.)

Michelle B said:

OK, Dream? I was just musing on this this morning: I want to be the woman who changes Oprah's mind about romance. Do you think I can do it?

I second what Anna said, if anyone can do it, YOU can! You GO Girl! :>

Gillian, I agree - books are a port in the storm. It means the world to me that I can somehow provide that port to someone with a book that I amazing and thrilling is that? Really...

I'm Living the dream, for SURE! Great hubby, fab kids, a funny dog, publishing contract, good As far as dreams coming true, I'm batting pretty good...maybe in the 400's. Grins. (for you non-baseball fans, that's REALLY good!)

For the things I haven't gotten, I keep reminding myself of what success guru Tony Robbins says: Sometimes you lose your dream, but you get your destiny.

I'm likin' what Destiny dropped off at MY house...

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Afternoon Everyone!

What great dreams! Thanx soo much for sharing.

GREAT to see you in the Lair Michelle. I agree with Fo, if ANYONE can bring Oprah into the romance camp, Lady it is YOU! You have done so much for our genre that we all owe you BIG TIME!

Esri, Big THANX for your congrats on my PW review. It was a total surprise, and I don't think my feet have touched ground since. :-)

And Jane, you KNOW if you go ANYWHERE with an Eric Bana look alike that Aunty is GOING WITH YOU!!! Back AWAY from our hunk, Fo! Jane and I DO NOT share willingly.


Anna Campbell said...

Well, Hellion, depends on WHICH detail, snork!

Jeanne, what a lovely post and I love that quote. One of my faves is by John Lennon, I think - "Life is what happens to you when you're making other plans." That's always struck me as so profound and a hint to enjoy the journey as well as the destination. And having my Bandita sisters on my journey has been a huge bonus over the last few years!

That chook is a fiend, I tell you, a fiend? In the washing powder, huh? At my place, he sucked the caramel out of a Caramello Koala and slid my credit card inside. Luckily I caught him scaling the perimeter fence!

And thanks for explaining the baseball reference. That game makes no sense to me at all! ;-)

Anna Campbell said...

AC, sounds like you and Jane have the EB sewn up. Maybe I'd better go and nab me some Richard Armitage before anyone else does!

flchen1 said...

Thanks for the reminder, Louisa! The car keys are locked away, and the GR had to march to and from school with the kids today. Fortunately for him, it's cooled off considerably from the heat wave last week! Now he's napping with the youngest, but maybe I'd better check--it's been awfully quiet in there, and who knows what mischief they could be up to... ;)

Nancy said...

Marisa, Jane Yolen wrote a wonderful book about writing called Take Joy. It's a book about the craft but also about maintaining enjoyment of it.

PJ, I didn't think it would be just me. :-)

Anna C., I notice you posted that link to that smokin' excerpt from Tempt the Devil. You'll raise the temperature in the lair a few degrees. As for my dog, she does not like intruders. And she thinks chicken is solely a food. Works out well, on the whole. *g*

Y'know, if I become a Jedi, I get a lightsaber. Just think of next year's bash. . . .

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

I want a lightsaber too. Nancy, we can have mock-duels. Grins. Can mine be green like Yoda's?

(According to my sons, only "Master Windoot" can have a purple one - and yes, I know it's supposed to be Windu, but THEY don't! Heehee)

Annie West said...

Anna, no it wasn't the bubbly influencing us. That first celebratory lunch was the stuff dreams are made of. And the others have been just as special. Makes me a firm believer if the power of dreams. Can't wait for our next one.

Hope to hear of lots more Banditas having their dreams come true soon.


Anna Campbell said...

Ooh, Fedora, watch out. When he's quiet, that's when you've got to worry!

Nancy, not sure I like to think of you and lightsabers together when it comes to a 'bash'! Hey, thanks for checking out the excerpt. Silly me! I meant to put it in the blog but I was so excited about September's releases, I forgot!

Tiffany Kenzie said...

LOL! ARCT is acknowledged around the world as a diploma of highest standing in musical performance/or teaching---a recognition of the accomplishment and time and sweat and blood it takes to get it!

Though it kinda does sound like something arctic :)

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, no, seriously I'm wearing kevlar to the next Bandita bash. Alcohol, Nancy and now JEANNE brandishing light sabers? Too scary!!!!

Annie, thanks for popping back. And it was special that lunch, wasn't it? As have been all the lunches since. Hope we get to have one when we catch up in October. As you said, they're getting ahead of us!

Pat Cochran said...

Lovely post, Ms. Anna!

Congratulations to all the Banditas
with new releases! Many wishes for
soon to-be-fulfilled publication
dreams for all those waiting for The Call!!

Dreams? They are mostly for my
children and grandchildren, that all their dreams will come true! That Honey and I will have a long life together. That Ike will be
kind to the people of the Gulf
Coast, my prayers are for the
safety of all. Evacuation of the
coastal areas just southeast of us has begun.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Tiff, cool! What do you play or are you a singer? Do you teach?

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, Pat, you batten down the hatches, you hear? You just got through Gustav and now you've got another troublesome young man on your doorstep! What lovely wishes! I hope they all come true for you! Glad you enjoyed the post. I thought this was an achievement that deserved celebrating!

Tiffany Kenzie said...

Used to play clarinet (for 15 years) was pretty dang good too... till I put it down for the babes (son used to scream when he heard it). I want my ARCT in piano but I am not so good at piano... with lessons, I'll pick it up fast. I was always quick to learn a new instrument. Know most of the theory/transposition/ear stuff, history so on and so forth---and now I sound like I'm showing off :) I want it in piano; like I said.. could take me 20 years... lol!

And people would pay me NOT to sing :)

Anna Campbell said...

Actually, Tiff, I think the two of us could have a nice little earner going on the not singing scam! People would pay me not to sing too. Good luck on piano. I did exams here but never got to my letters (that's what we call the highest thing here). Always had a sneaking desire to go back and do it but I can't see me settling down and doing hours and hours of scales any more. I hope you do get your wish! You could accompany our resident diva, Louisa, at a Bandita bash. If anyone lives through the light saber contest!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oooh, a pianist and a clarinetest. Wow, Tiffany! And wouldn't that be a kicker to get Louisa to sing? yeah! :>

Anna, I envy you the lunches and giggles with Annie. That sounds like a blast.

I promise Nancy and and I will only cut....cake. Grins.

Christine Wells said...

Anna wrote: I still can't believe I wrote a book without a kidnapping ;-)

Snork! I hadn't thought of that. I love a good kidnap! Hey, there's one in The Dangerous Duke, come to think of it. But Tempt the Devil has still got that wonderful crucible feel to it--so tense and intense. Great stuff! As you know, it's my favourite Anna Campbell!

Thanks to Beth and Tawny and Donna for the congrats and Donna, I love my TDD cover so much, I set up a cafe press store--just for me!! I know, I'm a sad case. Hey, that's an idea. Let's do a cafe press store for Foanna's TTD cover. I reckon I'd pay to get a mug with that face on it:)

flchen1 said...

LOL, Jeanne! Actually purple is one color we don't have--we've got a couple reds (including Count Dooku's), greens, blues, and one of those clear red/green color changing ones... Take your pick! Oh wait, the GR's got a couple--duck, everyone! Maybe I ought to get some Kevlar, too...

Anna Campbell said...

Jeanne, the lunches are great fun. Although since I've moved, as Annie said, we've got behind on our schedule.

Christine, a mug with that mug on it? Suits me! And I don't blame you for loving TDD's cover. It's gorgeous. I sigh every time I see it. And thanks for the lovely plug on TTD - remember how worried I was when I gave it to you because it's quite different to the other two? Mind you, Untouched and Courtesan are different from each other too.

Anna Campbell said...

Fedora, clearly we need a trip to the kevlar shop!

Joan said...

"Wow," Joanie T says with awe, sitting on the ground looking around in wonder at all the pubbed Banditas. "How did I get THIS lucky to hang with such wonderful writers?"

My dream is to blast open a whole new thread of historical romance fiction...Rome.

I'm willing to be number 13. 13 IS my lucky number :-)

Picking up the shield she'd been spinning, JT places it under her pillow and waits for the dream to come true.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Ouch, JT. That sheild dreaming could give a girl a headache. :>

Anna Campbell said...

JT, 13 sounds good ;-)

Anna Campbell said...

Thank you to everyone who's dropped by to celebrate dreams and the Banditas! You're all the best!

limecello said...

Congratulations, all you Banditas - how exciting to have new books out!
As for my dreams... :P graduating, finding a job, and never having to go back to school or take a test again. Professional school makes me feel like a professional student. More frivolously [and fun!] - would be having my own food/travel show - and/or getting paid to read books I like :D. How terrific would that be?

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Limecello, pull up a chair, grab a cabana boy! What fun to have a food and travel show! Hope your dream comes true!

Cheri2628 said...

Congrats, Banditas, on living your dreams! WooHoo! :-)

Anna, I LOVE the cover and stepback of your book. Beautiful and sexy!

Cheryl (Cheri)