My friend and Scottish Highland Romance author, Vonda Sinclair, asked me to participate in this blog tour about my writing process.
What am I working on? I am currently working on "Chasing a Highland Moon," the third book in my Highland Moon series, which I hope to finish by the end of summer or before. The hero is Cinead (Cin) MacLeod, a secondary character in the second book in the series, "Once upon a Highland Moon." He is a close friend to the heros of my first two books, Kade and Galen, as well as Duncan, who will be the hero in my fourth book. Cin is Laird of Stagshead Castle on the Isle of Skye and chief of the MacLeod clan. His Viking descent is obvious in his pale blue eyes and long flaxen hair, as well as his tall height and muscular build. He also has quite an eye for the lasses, which becomes quite a problem when the one who catches his eye happens to be a young lady posing as a servant at his castle. You see, Cin has a strict policy of hands off when it comes to his own servants. I hope readers will enjoy finding out what happens when Cin learns the truth.
How does my work differ from others in its genre? A hard question. The best way I can think to answer this is to say that my heros are intelligent, strong, brave, loyal and handsome Highland warriors and gentlemen, who will let nothing stop them from protecting and having the woman they love, even if it could cost them their own lives. My heroines are strong, dependable, independent, intelligent, and brave young women who go against the odds to get what they want, whether it be their freedom, or the man they love.
Why do I write what I do? This is an easy one. I love Scotland, its people, history, castles and breathtaking landscapes, and let us not forget, men in kilts! Of course, all my heros wear belted plaids with lots of weapons attached. I've been to Scotland and use the sights, sounds and smells from those trips to add to the flavor of my stories. And of course, I am a romantic at heart and enjoy writing about people falling in love. I especially love writing about the Highlanders and the Highlands, which is my favorite part of Scotland. I think Robert Burns summed it all up in his poem:
My heart's in the Highlands, my heart is not here;
My heart's in the Highlands a-chasing the deer;
A-chasing the wild-deer, and following the roe;
My heart's in the Highlands wherever I go.
How does your writing process work? Basically, after brainstorming, a scene pops into my head and I put it in my story where I think it might fit. Often times, a scene will be moved around several times before I'm satisfied that it is in the right place. After writing the scenes from beginning to end in a very rough draft, I go back to the beginning and flesh out the story, adding to the relationship of the hero and heroine, bringing them closer and closer throughout the story until they realize they belong together, throwing in a few obstacles here and there. After that, I go over it a couple more times, have it critiqued, then beta read before I'm finished. I do a lot of research while writing, for I want to make certain that what I'm putting in my story is accurate, whether it be the time of year a certain berry ripens, or when the gorse is in bloom.