Thank you for inviting me here, Morgan.
How long did it take you to write your first book?
Long time. I wrote the first draft in a year. Then I joined RWA® and a local chapter and learned I didn’t know the rules. I spent the next year taking workshops, working with critique partners, and revising. I entered several RWA chapter sponsored contests and received wonderful feedback along with a couple of finals. After working with a freelance editor, I released ‘Just Beyond the Garden Gate’ in May.
Describe your first break.
Finalling in the 2013 Golden Heart®. It was thrilling to receive the call from RWA. I screamed, I cried, and well, you get the picture. I am beyond happy and honored.
Did releasing your book go as you planned? What was easier? What was harder?
Mostly went as planned. The hardest part was getting the formatting right. In the future, I’ll consider outsourcing that. Marketing is time consuming, but expected.
Who do you consider your role model writer? Why?
J R Ward. She is a skillful storyteller and savvy business woman.
Do you have a character/book crush? Who?
I must admit to having two. Jamie MacLeod from ‘A Dance Through Time’ by Lynn Kurland. And Wrath from ‘Dark Lover’ by J R Ward.
What is the best thing about being a writer?
Can make my own hours.
What is the worst thing?
Can make my own hours.
You write about hunky, muscular highlanders. What do you consider three must haves in your hot male?
Muscular arms and shoulders to provide loving hugs, eyes that draw a woman in, and a tenderness within their hard exterior.
What book will you never get tired of rereading?
‘Dark Lover’ by J R Ward
Why set your books in Scotland?
Being of Scottish descent, I’ve always been enamored with all things Scottish. Especially the dramatic history.
How did you research your book?
A lot of reading. Reading about the culture, history, settings, etc. After choosing North Carolina as the current period setting for ‘Just Beyond the Garden Gate’, I attended the Highland Games and Gathering of the Scottish Clans at Grandfather Mountain. I continue to attend local Scottish events and I’m a member of Clan Hamilton. If you have the chance, I highly recommend attending a Scottish Gathering near you.
What is the most romantic thing to ever happen to you?
Meeting my husband while hiking. I literally tripped over him on top of a mountain. Love at first sight.
Pantser or plotter?
Mostly pantser, however, I start with an outline of the story and short character sketches on index cards. I storyboard while writing.
What do you see the direction of your future writing taking? What can we expect next? Give us a little taste.
Write, write, write. I hope to add several more stories to the Highland Gardens series. ‘Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon’ is planned for a September release. ‘Sea Panther’ my Golden Heart finalling manuscript is the first in a Scottish inspired paranormal series.
Cat or Dog person ?
Dog. I love shelties.
Wine or Beer ?
Wine, preferably a rich, pinot noir.
Milk Chocolate Dark Chocolate?
Dark, the darker the better.
Jeans or Dresses?
Check out Dawn Marie's book, Beyond The Garden Gate