My Fierce Highlander | Scottish Historical Romance | July 2011
Gwyneth Carswell, an English lady banished by her father to the harsh Scottish Highlands, wants nothing more than to take her young son away from the violence of two fighting clans--her own distant kin, the MacIrwins, and their enemies, the MacGraths. She risks everything to rescue the fierce MacGrath warrior from the battlefield where he's left for dead by her clan. She only knows she is inexplicably drawn to him and he wants peace as she does. When her clan learns of her betrayal, they seek vengeance. Dare she trust the enemy more than her own family?
Laird Alasdair MacGrath is driven to end two-hundred years of feuding with the MacIrwins. But by taking in and protecting Lady Gwyneth and her son, he provokes more attacks from his mortal enemy. As the danger and conflict surrounding them escalate, Alasdair and Gwyneth discover an explosive passion neither of them expected. With the arrival of a powerful man from her past, a horrible decision confronts her--give up her son or the man she loves.
What main genre do you write in?
Please tell us your latest news!
Hi, Thanks so much for allowing me to be here! I have two new releases, both Scottish historical romance novels. My Fierce Highlander and My Wild Highlander are the first two in a loosely related series. These two books feature the MacGrath brothers. The book I'm working on now features a friend of the brothers. I love writing spin off books for secondary characters who come to life and demand their own stories. Readers also seem to enjoy following characters they get to know from one book to the next.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I've been interested in stories since childhood. I loved the fantasy and imaginary worlds found in books, movies and TV shows. Once I became an adult and discovered romance novels, I was hooked. I read every romance novel I could get my hands on for almost a year. Then one day I thought why don't I create my own hot hero and watch him fall in love with a strong woman who is his equal? Once I started writing, I was addicted and couldn't stop.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
If you HAVE to write then do. If it is your dream to be published, learn your craft, practice, and keep submitting. Even if the rejections pile up, it doesn't matter. Just make sure your writing and your story are the best they can be. Right now, competition for coveted spots with NY publishers is fierce. Lots of fantastic, well-written stories are rejected every day. So don't let the nay-sayers hold you back. Make it happen.
Please describe your writing environment.
I don't write in my office very often because the chair is uncomfortable and hard on my back. I prefer writing in my living room, sitting in a recliner with a laptop perched on my lap. It is very comfortable and easy on the back. I sustained a back injury from sitting in that horrible office chair too long. To those who sit in office chairs all day, be sure to strengthen your back muscles and get up to move around fairly often. I also have music on my iPod that I enjoy listening to (usually Celtic New Age). A table nearby holds my coffee or water. I have a nice view of trees out the window.
What's been the most challenging part of writing for you?
Just getting the story started. Once I know who the characters are, what they want, why, who is going to stand in their way, etc. I'm good to go. It's fun discovering characters and getting to know them. Also the plot at times is a challenge, but brainstorming helps. I like to figure out all the possible directions I could go with it. And I love watching a story come together with a tight plot that moves.
Who has been your best supporter? How have they been there for you?
My husband is my best supporter. He always told me my books would sell and that I would do well. I didn't always believe him, especially when the rejections came in, but I have to say he was right. He has supported me in every way for many years. And we also share a love of Scotland. It is so much fun to explore Scotland with my biggest supporter and the love of my life.
Do you like to mix genres?
I have experimented with other subgenres of romance but right now I'm concentrating on historical romance. Primarily Scottish historical romance. It's my favorite type of romance to read and write. I find there's something about it that is addictive. Plus I'm in love with the Scottish Highlands. My books contain a strong focus on sensual romance but they also have a generous amount of action and suspense, along with funny moments and emotional moments.
What inspires your writing?
I love creating hot and sexy alpha heroes! It's a lot of fun getting to know them and watching them become real people (or like real people). I generally fall in love with them right along with the heroines. I also like a variety of hero types. Alasdair, from My Fierce Highlander, is fierce both on the battlefield and in the bedchamber (in a good way!) He is a very passionate, and compassionate, man who isn't afraid for people to know how he feels. He is very secure in his masculinity and a caring and natural born leader for his clan. He is incredibly loyal, responsible and noble.
His brother, Lachlan, the hero of My Wild Highlander, is very different. Lachlan is a charming, playful rogue who can seduce a lass with a wink and a smile. He is an irresponsible adventurer who thinks he will never settle down with only one woman. So he is shocked at himself when he falls for Angelique.
Not only do the heroes inspire me but so does the setting, Scotland. I confess I'm in love with the place. When I'm visiting the various sites in Scotland, there is something unique and different about each one and I want to set a story in every area I've visited.
Do you have any cool promo tricks you can share with other writers?
I wouldn't say I have any tricks that others don't have. But you do need a "platform" or a "brand." Mine relates to my stories and includes anything to do with Scotland, the Highlands, kilts, etc. I share photos of Scotland on my blogs. I share info about Scotland, either the history or culture. Not only do I take readers to Scotland in my books, but also with my blog posts and photos.
Do you have any animals? Do they influence your writing?
Yes, I have two cats, Stormy and Thistle. Thistle is named after his prickly nature (he loves to bite) and his fur is like white thistle down (a cleaning nightmare.) I wouldn't say they influence my writing, although Thistle sometimes sleeps nearby while I'm writing or tries to jump on my laptop.
My thoughts to writers is to write what you love. It will show through in your writing. I consider myself fortunate to be able to write about Scotland everyday and to get to visit from time to time. It's an incredibly inspiring place.
Thanks for interviewing me! I've enjoyed this!