Hi, Jean, thanks for inviting me here today. When it comes to fiction, I write a little bit of everything. Though I started out with The Wild Rose Press writing full-length Scottish Historical Romance, I’ve since branched out into other Historical arenas such as Sherwood Forest and Viking stories, Fairy-tales, Historical Novellas, and some Contemporary Rom Com. I also created the world of Buffalo Steampunk Adventures, which now consists of seven Steampunk Romances, and is still growing. Those stories actually fit the category of Victorian Historical Romance. Before signing on with The Wild Rose Press, I wrote Mythic Celtic Historical tales.
What was your inspiration for One Enchanted Scottish Knight?
I kept seeing an image of a lass with long, dark hair, tied to a post at a crossroads. Who could save her, and why would he?
From a young age, Tansy Bellrose Gant has been getting into trouble and wanting what she should not have. Just because she can make certain things happen by wishing doesn't mean she's a witch. But when she rashly curses a neighbor, her fellow villagers tie her to a stake at the crossroads and threaten to send her to the Royal Commission for trial.
Malcolm Montgomery is a man carrying an unbearable burden of guilt and obligation. The last thing he needs is an encounter with a troublesome wee lassie who just might be a witch. But once rescued, she won't go away. In fact, she insists on involving herself in his quest to ransom his brother, and she charms her way into his bed, as well.
Has Tansy merely enchanted him, or has she claimed his heart? When she faces the ultimate danger, how will love be enough to save her?
Do you find inspiration in your own life for your writing?
I tend to find inspiration for my writing everywhere. We’re fortunate enough to live in the country, with woods and a stream close at hand. When I’m outside—usually with my dog, Lacy—I notice the magic all around us. It might be in the glint of a sharp crescent moon, a ragged weed blooming with beauty at the side of the road, or a soaring hawk. Stories are born.
Tell us about your experience with the publishing process.
I struggled for years to get my work in front of publishers. I had enough rejection notices to wallpaper a good-sized room. When I discovered The Wild Rose Press, I studied their submission guidelines and decided to write a book to fit them. I wrote my Scottish Historical, Devil Black, with that in mind, submitted it and had it published in 2012. The truly ironic thing is, I work for a library system and at that time spent afternoons logging other people’s books into our database. It was bittersweet, seeing all those titles go by, before mine was accepted. But I kept telling myself, if others could succeed, so could I. I honestly believe a positive attitude (challenging, I know) is half the battle.
Any new projects on the horizon?
I always have projects on the simmer. I just submitted the seventh Buffalo Steampunk Adventure to my editor, and I am editing my third fairy-tale. I‘ve also started working on a Fae Time Travel trilogy. I’ve never tried Time Travel before, so that should be fun.
Words of advice for fellow writers in the trenches:
Believe in your work. If you don’t, no one else will.
How about Excerpt from the book?
This man wore darkness. She saw it in his hair—a fall of straight black locks loose upon his shoulders—and in the eyes that met hers briefly before he focused on her bloody hand.
She’d sensed that darkness in him when he rode down on the crossroads, a thing of spirit as much as appearance. Some great blackness rode within him. For all that, she sensed no cruelty. And och, aye, he carried beauty also.
Had she ever seen such a countenance? Narrow and elegantly-sculpted as that of a raptor, his face tapered from sharp cheekbones to a strong jaw now well-covered by black beard. Above those eyes—black as the gaze of a raven—slanted two eyebrows like wings, fleet and mobile. Even as she watched they drew together over his bulwark of a nose and black lashes swept down.
“Forgive me. I must have cut you when I slashed those ties. Let me see—how bad is it?”
He smoothed away the blood with strong, graceful fingers—touched her blood, her being—and Tansy quivered again. For an instant she felt so dizzy she feared she might tumble from the great horse’s back but the knight’s arm anchored her.
She found her voice. “A small price to pay, Sir Knight. Would you no’ say?”
That returned his eyes to hers. They gazed at one another so intimately, so deeply, Tansy felt a connection take hold between them.
Was that just the last remnant of the spell she’d woven, vibrating? She could not tell.
Oxford comma, yes or no? Yes!
Ice cream? Pistachio.
What is your writing vice or must-haves? A spiral notebook, and a BLUE ink pen.
Where is your favorite place you've visited (or wish to visit)? Glen Etive, Scotland. Many of my books are set there.
You have a time travel machine: past of future? Where/when? The past, Iron Age Scotland.
If you could meet one famous person, living or dead, who would it be? Sir Terry Pratchett.
Morning rooster, night owl, or midday lark? Crack of dawn morning rooster.
What comes first, character or plot (or other)? A picture of a scene, in my mind.
You find a $100 bill in your purse/bag, what would you spend it on? Chocolate.
How many hours a day (or week) do you write? Not enough!