Anna Harrington is the author of seven historical romance novels set in the Regency era and published by Forever Romance, an imprint of Grand Central Publishing. We are delighted to have Anna on Okie Dreams today to talk about writing historical romances and her newest release, When The Scoundrel Sins , the second book in her Capturing the Carlisles series (out today!). Please join me in welcoming Anna to the site and in congratulating her on her newest release.
Anna Harrington fell in love with historical romances–and all those dashing Regency heroes–while living in London, where she studied literature and theatre. She loves to travel, fly airplanes, and hike, and when she isn’t busy writing her next novel, she loves fussing over her roses in her garden.
Q & A Interview
Can you tell us a little about you and your current release?
Anna: Well…by day, I’m a college humanities professor, and by night, I write spicy Regency romances. I love to travel, hike, fly airplanes, explore news places and meet new people—I’m always on the go! Even when I’m at home, I’m constantly in motion…working in the garden, doing some kind of project, or just being out and about in the city and mountains. So it’s hard for me to force myself to sit at the computer and write. Thank goodness mankind invented portable laptops!
My current release, WHEN THE SCOUNDREL SINS, is my seventh book and the second in the Capturing the Carlisles series. Quinton Carlisle meets his match in Annabelle Greene, a old friend who is determined to keep the estate she loves, even if it means doing the unthinkable—marrying. Marriage, convenient or otherwise, is the *very* last thing Belle wants, but if she doesn’t marry by her 25th birthday, she’ll lose her inheritance of the only home she’s ever known. But as her options of saving her estate slip through her fingers, the only person who can help her save it is Quinn…the scoundrel who broke her heart and ruined her reputation six years earlier. The same scoundrel who has been tasked with finding her a husband. But Quinn is on his way to a new life in America, and the last thing he wants to do is play match-maker for a bluestocking, one who soon has him thinking about “home” in all kinds of new—and surprisingly tempting—ways. And one who has him reconsidering everything he thought he knew about love.
Have you always been drawn to historical romance and the regency time period?
Anna: I started reading Regency romances about five years ago, and I was immediately hooked on the world created inside them. I’d already known a lot about the time period, but mostly about architecture, military events, and political history. So to discover the social rules that governed so much of Regency life, regardless of social class, opened my eyes to a whole new area to explore. Who knew that the petticoat politics of society balls were just as intriguing as Parliament debates? And I dare anyone to claim that a marriage-minded miss doesn’t approach the season with the same determined skill as generals waging a military campaign.
What do you enjoy about it? What do you find difficult about writing in it?
Anna: I love being transported to another world, but unlike fantasy novels, this one actually existed. I like taking modern sensibilities and the same problems that plague people today and superimposing those onto the Regency World. People don’t change—fashion and technology change, civilizations come and go, but basic human desires remain the same. Especially when it comes to love and happiness. (I also like that transportation takes days, each bedroom has a romantic fire, candlelight warms many kisses and hearts, and NO CELL PHONES!!!)
What is difficult about writing it is that the Regency was a world in flux, and so it’s hard to get the historical details right because so much was smack in the midst of change. I also find myself resisting the urge to slip in bits of historical research or facts just because I find them interesting but which have no importance to the story. It’s easy to become bogged down in the history and start sounding like a textbook rather than a romance.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Anna: I don’t research before writing the book, but that’s because I’ve not yet written a book that wasn’t about something I already know a great deal about. But I’m certain that day will soon come when I need to! I usually research while I’m actually writing and need to know things like…What do they call that little perch where the tiger sits on the back of the carriage? How was fever treated? How much indoor plumbing would a new townhouse have? Things that aren’t really essential to the plot or setting but add enough historical realism to ground the reader in the Regency world I’m creating.
Have you ever cried while writing a scene in a book? If so, which book?
Anna: The first scene I ever cried over while writing is in WHEN THE SCOUNDREL SINS, when Belle is explaining to Quinton why Glenarvon means so much to her. The part that always chokes me up is when she says,
“What do you know about home? You—who grew up in the same house, sleeping in the same bed every night, surrounded by family who loved you…So don’t talk to me of home and what that means when you’ve always had one. Because you don’t know what you’re talking about.”
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Anna: Make time to exercise, no matter what, and watch your posture You’re going to want to spend hours and hours slumped over with your butt in the chair, cranking out those pages, but your health MUST come first. (This is something that I’m still not very good at but am working toward improving.)
Thank you so much for being here today, Anna! We loved getting to know more about you, your process, and your newest release, When The Scoundrel Sins!
Readers you can find When The Scoundrel Sins online at:
You can also read our review of When The Scoundrel Sins and enter a rafflecopter giveaway here!