Hello! Thank you for inviting me here today! First of all, I greatly enjoy reading books, all kinds of books, but especially historical romance novels. When the pressures of daily life become overwhelming it is great to sit back and be transported to another place and time. I started writing a little late in life, although I always had stories in my head. It took me time to be willing to let someone read what I wrote!
Question 2- Your historical romance, True Highland Spirit, is out now—congrats! Could you tell us about it?
Morrigan McNab learned to survive with a sword in her hand. Taking command, she is determined to protect her impoverished clan, no matter the cost. When an elusive French knight offers gold to fight against England, she joins the call to arms. Sparks fly on the battlefield as a forbidden passion smolders between Morrigan and Sir Dragonet. Yet Sir Dragonet holds a secret that will destroy the hope for a life together, and will make them rivals on a dangerous quest for a mysterious relic. As they fight beside each other against the English, and against each other to find the treasure, their love becomes a greater force than either can control
Question 3- Your characters have brilliant and unforgettable names such as Morrigan McNab and Jacques Dragonet, how do you come up with them?
Names are tough. I spend a lot of time on names, trying to get the name the connotes just the right emotion. Since it is a historical novel I need first to make sure the name was used back then. Online resources can be very helpful, including lists of names from censuses from around that time frame. For the Scots, I also need to research the clan to make sure their traditional location and clan history fits with the basic plot of the story. Finally, the name needs to fit the character's personality. Morrigan was difficult to name. She is a warrior in the book and I wanted her to have a strong name. I chose the name from Irish mythology where Morrigan is the goddess of battle, strife, and sovereignty.
Question 4- How do you balance the perfect blend of history and romance?
This is a good question and one where it helps to have beta readers and a great editor. If I venture too far into one side or the other (I have a tendency to want to give to a fabulous history lesson) I will get some feedback and try to reign in my love for history. The hardest part is recognizing not every bit of historical detail I know is going to be in the book. Little bits of history like good spices make the right balance.
Question 5- What can readers expect next?
I am very excited to be working on a new project ˗ a trilogy set in Regency England. Yes, since the first romance novelist I read was Jane Austen, I am excited to visit her time period. Of course I still plan to write more in my Highland series. Poor Gavin Patrick has been left in France, so clearly he needs to wed. And then the younger Campbell sisters all need an opportunity to find true love.
Question 6- Do you have any words of wisdom for aspiring authors?
The main advice I can give is just to keep going, one step at a time. I have been helped by joining RWA and my local chapter, which provided me valuable information, support, and opportunities to pitch my story ideas to agents and editors. One thing I find I need to remind myself is not to compare myself to others, I'm not objective enough to do the job creditably and it serves no good purpose. I need to walk the road I'm on, encourage and celebrate with others along the way, and enjoy the journey, not just the destination.
Thank you for the opportunity to join you today!
A HEATED RIVALRY...
Morrigan McNab is a Highland lady, robbed of her birthright and with no choice but to fight alongside her brothers to protect their impoverished clan. When she encounters Sir Jacques Dragonet, she discovers her fiercest opponent...
IS GETTING EVEN HOTTER...
Sir Jacques Dragonet will give his life to defend Scotland from the English. He can't stop himself from admiring the beautiful Highland lass who wields her weapons as skillfully as he does, and endangers his heart even more than his life...
Thanks to the lovely people at Sourcebooks, I have 1 copy of True Highland Spirit to giveaway.
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Winners will be selected on April 26