Caught Up In The Fairytale
by Anna Campbell

There’s a school of thought that every writer has a single story they tell over and over again in different guises. One theme that they return to--a bit like your favorite flavor of potato chip in the pantry.

Am I giving too much information here about my eating habits? Hmm, Smith’s barbecue chips, where are you?

And, if the chips start talking back, maybe it’s time to see a doctor!

I’ve now written four books for Avon. The first was CLAIMING THE COURTESAN. A "Beauty and the Beast" story set in Regency Scotland. The second was UNTOUCHED. More "Beauty and the Beast". The third was TEMPT THE DEVIL--do I really need to say it?

My latest Regency historical CAPTIVE OF SIN is out this month. It’s an intense, dramatic marriage of convenience story featuring a national hero with PTSD, a runaway heiress, an elopement, dastardly bad guys, a magnificent house on the Cornish cliffs, and lots of derring-do. Oh, and love scenes that PUBLISHERS WEEKLY called "luscious". Thank you, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY!

I decided at last I’d broken the mold. This book was NOT a "Beauty and the Beast" tale. The world was my oyster. Perhaps, next time, I’d really go wild and, you know, do a Cinderella story instead!

My self-satisfaction didn’t last. This week, I noticed a discussion of the book which talked about CAPTIVE OF SIN as a "Beauty and the Beast" story. NOOOOOOOO!!!!!

Well, actually, now I’ve thought about it, YESSSSSSS!

Sir Gideon Trevithick returns to Cornwall after a year’s imprisonment and torture in India. He’s haunted by the ghosts of his past and his guilt that he survived when his colleagues didn’t. Convinced he’ll never lead a normal life and he’s unworthy of love or happiness, he intends to retire to his isolated estate on the coast.

So, yeah, I guess you could say we have a Beast who’s been cursed and who lives in his walled garden, shut away from the world.

Lady Charis Weston, England’s richest heiress, is running away from her greedy and violent stepbrothers. When Gideon offers her a marriage in name only to save her, she goes through with the ceremony. But Charis has every intention of fighting for her future. She loves Gideon and she refuses to accept that her love is unrequited. So, Beauty strives to lift the curse that holds the Beast captive.

Sigh, yeah, you’re right--how did I miss this?

The upside of all this is that I adore BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. It has to be my favorite fairytale. Someone who doesn’t know the story (how can this be?) once asked me why I loved it so much. I think it’s the combination of the tortured hero who by the end has become a real prince, whether he remains in his beast form or not, and the brave, unselfish heroine. Beauty is a bit more active than many women in fairytales! No snoozing through the good bits for our heroine here.

Do you have a favorite romance with a fairytale theme? CINDERELLA? THE UGLY DUCKLING? SLEEPING BEAUTY? I can think of a stack of keepers on my bookcase that fall into this category. What about you?


Anonymous Anonymous said:

I like fairytale stories. I like it when the heroine might be a little bit plump and pretty and the hero falls madly in love with her. A perfect example is Julia Quinn's ROMANCING MR. BRIDGERTON. I think a lot of us readers can relate to the heroine Penelope--at least, I do. Elizabeth Hoyt has written a couple Beauty and the Beast-type books that are really good, too. I think my fave of Anna's is UNTOUCHED, but know that COS will be just as good.
Deb H./Iowa

4:18 PM  

Anonymous Anna Campbell said:

Hey, Deb, great to see you here! Aha, a Matthew fan. I know a few people who had quite a crush on him (the writer included! LOL!). I think you might like CAPTIVE OF SIN then - Gideon is definitely another honorable, gallant, brave knight in shining armor like Matthew! Actually one of my favorite romances ever is an unashamed Beauty and the Beast tale - Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase. Yum!

6:21 PM  

Blogger Virginia C said:

To me, no other fairy tale compares to "Beauty and the Beast". I have read and collected many different versions of the story. The TV series with the incomparable and mesmerizing Ron Perlman is an all-time favorite. I also love "Lord of Scoundrels" by Loretta Chase and "The Bride and the Beast" by Theresa Medeiros. gcwhiskas at aol dot com

11:17 AM  

Blogger Anna Campbell said:

Hi Virginia! I haven't read the Teresa Medeiros you mention - I must check it out. I think one of the wonderful things about Beauty and the Beast is a point you make - it's open to so many variations. Honestly, I just love it. There's a gorgeous old French film by Jean Cocteau (seriously worth battling the subtitles to watch) that's absolutely magical too. Maybe the story of redemption that's at the heart of BATB is something that just appeals to everyone's heart. Thanks for swinging by!

2:53 PM  

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