GUEST BLOG: Oh, What Fun! By Anna Campbell

by |July 29, 2014

Anna Campbell has been one of Australia’s favourite romance writers for a long time now, charming readers everywhere with her unforgettable characters and turn of phrase.

In this exclusive blog, Anna talks about the F word. Fun.

Recently there has been a spate of very earnest articles about how reading romance can improve your mind, your health, your fine motor skills, and your love life, not to mention help you win the lottery and give you a free mowing service for the next twenty years. I’ve even written one, “Romance Mythbusting”, which appeared in the Queensland Writers Centre newsletter and is now available on my website here.

Anna Campbell 43970006

Author Anna Campbell

While all these articles (including, I hope, mine!) make a lot of sense, I think in many ways they miss the point. Do people read romance because it makes a feminist statement or because it helps people to understand the intricacies of a Regency wardrobe? Well, partly, I’m sure. I have to say I personally love the clothes in a historical romance, but that’s by the by.

However I suspect the most honest answer to that question would be no.

I think people read romance because it’s fun! Even when it’s packed with angst, as some are.

the-wickedest-lord-aliveThere’s the delicious thrill of watching two people who are perfect for each other slowly wake up to the fact – or wake up at the start of the story and struggle past whatever barriers are keeping them apart. Any good romance involves that lovely simmer of sexual tension that frequently blazes out into a full-scale inferno. There’s watching the characters make mistakes and try and correct them, often by making bigger mistakes. There’s great dialogue! Read a Georgette Heyer or a Christina Brooke or a Susan Elizabeth Phillips, and you’ll find yourself chortling away at the way the prickly dialogue goes nowhere near hiding how deeply drawn the hero and heroine are to each other. There’s the chance to go through a profound emotional journey with these people.

And the best fun of all? The fact that if you pick up a romance, you know there’s going to be a happy ending. Whether it’s in a dramatic, emotion-racked story or a sweet romantic comedy, these people will end up together, better, wiser, happier. There’s something marvelously reassuring about that. And when you’re going through a tough time in your own life, believe me, knowing that somewhere holds a guaranteed happy ending is reward enough on its own!

Is that unrealistic? Personally I don’t think so. I don’t believe that all human effort comes to dust. I think most people have as much chance for happiness as unhappiness. Hmm, perhaps you should call me a cockeyed optimist. Or a romance reader!

what-a-duke-daresThis August, I have got a new historical romance out. What a Duke Dares, book 3 of the award-winning Sons of Sin series, was great fun to write (I hope I’m not overusing the ‘F’ word!). Partly because I love the characters – falling in love with your own creations is an occupational hazard in romance. Even if they don’t start out as people you’d want living next door, they often end up that way. Partly because I got to travel through Italy in the company of my hero and heroine and observe how hard they’re fighting against succumbing to irresistible attraction. Partly because I got to hang out with the great and the good in the London season of 1828, not to mention visit a few extravagant stately homes along the way. I must say I’m a sucker for the glamour elements! Partly because when Cam and Pen from WHAT A DUKE DARES finally get their happy ending. They have really had to battle for it. Watching two people work their way, despite everything ranged against them, toward each other is always a wonderful experience.

And I guess there in a nutshell, you have the secret of why reading romance in any setting is fun!

So why do you read romance? Do you think it’s fun? Why?

My website is:
You can read an excerpt of What a Duke Dares here.

Sons of Sin Trilogy Pack – Exclusive to Booktopia

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by Anna Campbell

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  • Carrie Hinkel-Gill

    July 29, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    I read romances for the period they’re written in or just to escape. My favorite parts are the silly but realistic banter between the characters or the feel of the tension between them, and I’m not necessarily referring to the main characters or sex scenes either. My favorite authors have the ability to make me “see” the landscape, carriages, etc; “emote” when the characters do; and “feel” like I’m in the same room/time/place with the characters. It’s a rare ability that only a few authors have that takes work to achieve. Anna Campbell is one of those authors. She puts a lot of hard work into her writing which is why I read her whenever I can. I’m just a bit behind, lol! I believe I truly have a tbr continent! 😀

    • July 30, 2014 at 4:05 pm

      Carrie, I hear you on the TBR pile although this year I’ve made a major effort to cut it back – I’m moving house at the end of the year and I want to clear as much stuff away as I can. I think that’s so true about a truly great romance giving the reader the opportunity to live through the story with the characters. It’s a wonderful experience! Thanks for saying such nice things about the books.

  • July 29, 2014 at 11:29 pm

    Great post, Anna! I read romance because I love to be swept away to another time and place where I can emerge myself in era divorced from modern life. I think it’s fun to follow the hero and heroine’s journey knowing that, whatever obstacles are thrown at them, they will ultimately reach their HEA.

    • July 30, 2014 at 4:04 pm

      Carol, there’s something marvellously appealing about knowing that there’s a happy ending in store, isn’t there? Thanks so much for swinging by.

    • Joanne Bozik

      January 18, 2018 at 10:36 am

      I love Anna’s Reads!

  • July 30, 2014 at 3:37 am

    I do read for fun. I love snappy dialogue and visiting faraway places. Good luck with the next book, Anna. Love your writing.

    • July 30, 2014 at 4:03 pm

      Thanks so much, Angelina! Yeah, there’s something really addictive about the snappy dialogue in a good romance, isn’t there?

  • July 30, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    Thanks so much for the mention, Anna–in such illustrious company too. People will say I bribed you with my chocolate hazelnut tart!

    Readers are going to have so much fun with WHAT A DUKE DARES!

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