Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Among Friends

by Anna Campbell

One of the nicest parts of having joined the fraternity (well, actually it's mainly a sorority!) of romance writers is the wonderful, wonderful friends I've made on the way. This industry really does have the nicest people in it.

One of my faves is my critique partner Annie West who writes the most luscious Harlequin Presents you've ever read. Seriously, grab one of her books if you haven't read them. They're passionate and emotional and really, REALLY delicious! Her latest, FORGOTTEN MISTRESS, SECRET LOVE-CHILD, recently hit the USA Today bestseller list and I'm not at all surprised!

Annie and I used to live a couple of hours train ride from one another so we'd catch up probably once every six weeks or so. These days, I live in another State and it's a plane not a train ride away so our meetings have become much more infrequent.

Last month, Annie came up to visit me. I live on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia, which sadly did NOT live up to its name although we had patches without rain. We also had whole slabs of pouring wet stuff from the sky!

Nonetheless we had a brilliant time. We talked current and future projects, we celebrated the successes of the last few months, we raved about some wonderful books we'd read in the interim, we caught up on each other's lives. We email all the time and talk on the phone quite often, but there's nothing to match a great face-to-face natter.

We have a tradition, established as something to look forward to when the two of us were unpublished, that the person who's had a book published takes the other out to lunch. It was Annie's turn to take me out to celebrate and we went to a new restaurant in my local area called La Dolce Vita. By the way, look at the wet street behind that photo of me and you'll see I'm not exaggerating about it bucketing down! Brilliant and wonderful, friendly service. With a sea view included. What more could a pair of slightly tipsy authors want? Yes, bubbly ALWAYS features!

We both had the same main course - zucchini flowers stuffed with cheese and crab meat. Yum! Here's a photo. It's a work of art, isn't it?

Annie is currently running a great Reading Treasure contest with multiple prizes, including a signed copy of my 2010 Golden Quill winner, CAPTIVE OF SIN. Check it out here:

Another wonderful person in the romance world is Brenda Novak who runs a mind-bogglingly huge auction every May to raise funds for research into a cure for juvenile diabetes.

Brenda's auction started on 1st May and runs all month and there's an amazing selection of prizes there for readers and writers - and well, just about anyone! As always, I've donated a couple of things (just click on the description and it will take you straight to the page of the auction):

Detailed critique of a partial manuscript

Signed trade paperbacks of CLAIMING THE COURTESAN and UNTOUCHED

Signed trade paperbacks of CAPTIVE OF SIN and MY RECKLESS SURRENDER


Signed copy of UNTOUCHED

I've also contributed to the Romance Bandits Book Bonanza! That's an amazing prize!

This is a great cause! So why not have a bid? Brenda wants to crack $1 million raised this year.


Helen said...

Whoo Hoo Anna and Annie love the photos never mind the rain when two friends are together talking romance books and writing the weather can be anything LOL.

Brenda's Diabetes aution is so good so many fantastic things to bid for Way To Go Brenda such a great cause

Have Fun

Serena said...

Aw two of my favourite people together - I can imagine what a great time you both had! The pic of the zucchini flowers stuffed with crabmeat look great. My mother in law does the (home grown) zucchini flowers dipped in a light batter and fried. SCRUMMY!!!!

Brenda's Diabetes Auction is a wonderful cause and the winners are both diabetes research and the people who win the auction. Thanks to people like your lovely selves, the prizes are fantastic!


Vanessa Barneveld said...

Mmm, stuffed zucchini flowers!

Looks like you and Annie had a fabulous time on the "sunny" Sunshine Coast.

Good on you for contributing to Brenda's amazing fundraiser. Your detailed crits have helped me go far, and the person who wins one in the auction ought to be very happy!

Annie West said...

Hi Anna,

Wasn't it a great weekend. I'm just home from a long tiring day out and it was lovely to discover your blog. Aren't the colours on that food wonderful? Not to mention your jacket. You've got me wishing I was up there right now, nattering and toasting successes and talking plots and looking at seabirds. Who cares if it was wet? We hardly noticed!

Already looking forward to the next visit. Can't wait! And as for books, I'm thinking of all those readers who are just about to discover your MY RECKLESS SURRENDER! Woohoo! What a treat.

PJ said...

What wonderful photos! Who cares if it was raining. The two of you make your own sunshine.

Lunch looks fabulous! It's 7am, I just finished breakfast but, after looking at that wonderful zucchini, I'm now hungry again! lol!

Speaking of fabulous, I've already read My Reckless Surrender twice and will re-visit it many more times, I'm sure. It's FABULOUS!

Brenda does an incredible job with her auction, doesn't she? My partners and I at The Romance Dish have a basket in the auction and I'm thrilled to see that the bidding has topped $100!

Beth said...

Looks like a wonderful time even with the rain. We all seem to be getting rained out, poor Nashville. I really enjoyed Annie's latest and I am waiting with baited breath for yours.

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hey Anna, looks like you and Annie had a fab time on your visit. Shame about the rain but I'm sure you didn't notice when you had so much to catch up on.
It's a lovely story that you each promised to take each other out for lunch when you had a book published.
You must be clocking up quite a few lunches between you now!
I'm looking forward to MY RECKLESS SURRENDER. It's clocking up rave reviews!

Debra McGill said...

Jeez Anna. I'm still sick as a dog, and still crawling over broken glass to find you. The only thing worth living for at this moment is reading Claiming the Courtesan. Give a girl a break. At least take me along and make me stop crawling to stalk you.

Love and kisses - Debra (who really is sick, but will follow you anywhere)

Lee Hyat said...

Anna, loved your post and that view does look so inviting. :)
Just wanted to chime in and agree with you about Annie's book. I loved it!! So, so good!

Anna Campbell said...

Helen, hoped you'd have fun with the photos! We talked for four days solid, wish we still lived close. Brenda's amazing, isn't she? Thanks for swinging by!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Serena, I'm getting a flashback to one wonderful breakfast at Brunetti's in Melbourne! Yum! And so great to have the chance for a great big long talk to you and Josie Bella. I grew up on a small-crops farm and we used to grow zucchini - I wish we'd known we could do great stuff with the flowers!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Vanessa, thanks for mentioning the crit! So glad I helped! I try ;-) The lunch was magnifico!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, thanks, Annie! So glad you enjoyed MRS! Out on the 25th May. Can hardly wait. Wasn't it a fun visit? You'll have to come back soon (well, when I've finished the current book anyway!). And congratulations again on your USA Today showing. Wow! You're a star!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, PJ, TWICE? Yay! Thank you so much! I'm really looking forward to my visit to the Romance Dish on 1st June. You asked some really interesting questions! Yeah, those zucchini flowers look absolutely luscious, don't they? Believe me, they tasted pretty darn good too!

Oh, the link for the Romance Dish basket, which looks fantastic, is:

And hey, look, there's CAPTIVE OF SIN!

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, our rain wasn't anything like what those poor people endured in Nashville, Beth. It's a seaside place so we tend to get these occasional scuddy days (actually sometimes we get more than that!). So glad you enjoyed Annie's book! And hey, not long until MY RECKLESS SURRENDER!

Anna Campbell said...

Kandy, so far the reviews have been lovely for MRS! Thanks for mentioning that. When you came to visit, do you remember how cyclonic it was? Annie's weather wasn't nearly as bad as that! Honestly, we do get sunshine - that's why it's called the Sunshine Coast! Why doesn't anyone believe me? Snort! Thanks for swinging by!

Anna Campbell said...

Snort, Debra! You make me laugh! And it's mean to laugh at a sick person, snort! So glad you're enjoying CTC. Actually there's always the comfort that no matter how sick you feel, those characters are having a WORSE time. They really worked for their HEA!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Lee, isn't Annie's Como story delicious? So glad you enjoyed it as much as I did! I'm really lucky - I get to see these books before she sends them to her editor. It's kind of like having your own secret treasure to gloat over ;-)

Lee Hyat said...

Anna, I'm completely Jealous now!! (note the capital J!!) Lucky you! :)

Anna Campbell said...

Snort, Lee! Yeah, this is one gig I wouldn't give up for chocolate!

Pat Cochran said...

Loved reading about your great
weekend, rain and all! When I
finish this note, I'll be going to
over to Brenda's auction site to
check out my bid standings. As a
Type 2 diabetic, I'm pleased to
be able to participate in this

Pat Cochran

Anonymous said...


Michelle Douglas said...

Anna, you and Annie look like you had a ball! And you know, with all that rain it just would've meant that you had to stay indoors and talk, talk, talk instead of gallivanting around the place -- very hard to take I'm thinking :-)

I loved Annie's FORGOTTEN MISTRESS, SECRET LOVE CHILD. And I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of MY RECKLESS SURRENDER (it sounds almost as yummy as those stuffed zucchini flowers!).