A hearty welcome to Colette Cameron, a fellow Regency romance author! Colette is offering a $10.00 Amazon gift card drawing to anyone that comments and also connects with her on Twitter, Facebook, or follows her blog. Just leave a comment here explaining how you connected and leave an email address so she can contact the winner.
Susana, thank you so much for hosting me today. I’m thrilled to be here!
What inspired you to start writing?
I’ve always enjoyed writing, or perhaps, I should say it came easily for me. That’s before I decided to try my hand at writing a romance novel. A notice that someday I’d write a book had floated around in the back of my mind for years. Not a romance novel of course. I couldn’t write one of those. All that dialogue! So what did I sit down and write? You guessed it. A historical romance
Once I started writing Highlander’s Hope, I was addicted. This what I was meant to do! Next to raising my three children, it’s been the most challenging and rewarding experience I’ve ever had.
How long have you been writing?
I started writing in February 2011. That nagging notion to write a book became more persistent, so one day, I plopped myself in front of my computer and starting typing away. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing—or what I was getting myself into.
What advice would you give to writers just starting out?
Critique partners are a must! I didn’t have any for Highlander’s Hope.
Learn all you can about the publishing industry and about the craft of writing. I know many people have an innate gift for writing but here are still the mechanics that must be mastered. Attend workshops and conferences, join writers groups like Romance Writers of America, and read, read, read. Read books in the genre you write in to stay abreast of what’s currently being published. Read books on the craft of writing. Read articles and blogs of other writers. You will be amazed at how much you’ll learn and how many other writers and authors are willing to help you.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
I haven’t suffered from writer’s block yet, though I had times where I’ll get stuck on a plot point. I let my mind play around with it a bit—sometimes it takes a few days—and then, all of a sudden, a solution will pop into my mind. That happened at the doctor’s office the other day. Poof, right in the middle of reading a book about life during the Regency era, I read something that triggered a whole scenario. It solved a plot problem and gave me a good three or four chapters of material.
What comes first: the plot or the characters?
I hadn’t thought about that before. For my first three books, it has been the characters. I have another nine planned, and most of those I already know who at least one of the main protagonists is. I do have notes for several story plots though, and I don’t have characters for all of them yet.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
A friend of mine calls me a linear panster. It’s an oxymoron but it works for me, because I do write from beginning to end—I just don’t know exactly where I’m going along the way. Sometimes that’s great. I’ll write something that astounds me. Other times I write something that doesn’t move the story forward, and I end up cutting it. Even those cut scenes have value though. I’ve used phrases, ideas, or parts of them for some of my other work. I like to post them on my blog for my readers to enjoy too.
All my books start with a single scene or idea, and the book develops around it. I do have ideas or plot points that I want to include in my books, but I also love seeing where my characters and the story take me. I couldn’t possibly come up with some of the things in advance that emerge as the story progresses. I often wonder, “Where did that come from?”
For my last two stories, I’ve completed Goal, Motivation and Conflict charts for my hero and heroine. I also have a questionnaire of over fifty questions I complete for each of them. By having both those items in my writer’s toolbox, I really know my characters. I don’t get stuck wondering what they’ll do or say.
Tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.
Yvette is allergic to anything alcohol. Her pets are named after Roman or Greek Gods and their names all begin with “A”.
Ewan plays the bagpipes, and has four younger siblings.
Are you working on something at present that you would like to tell us about?
I’m currently working on The Earl’s Enticement. It’s the third book in my Blue Rose Trilogy.
The story is about Adaira (Addy) Ferguson, an outspoken Scottish aristocrat who cares more for horses than she does society’s conventions. She wears breeches, swears, and mistaking him for his blackguard brother, abducts Roark (Rory) Marquardt, The Earl of Clarendon.
What are you reading now?
I’ve been doing a lot of reading on Regency history lately. Right now I’m reading “What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew.”
What is your favorite food? Least favorite? Why?
My favorite food is Chicken Alfredo or Spinach Tortellini in Alfredo sauce. I love pasta in any kind of white sauce. I loathe peas and mushrooms. Ugh! When I was little, I was forced to eat canned peas. My great grandmother told me I’d like them when I grew up. Nope. Still don’t like peas. Mushrooms remind me of slugs and they taste like dirt. Betcha wish you hadn’t asked me that question!
What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to learn about you?
I never set out to be a romance author. In fact, romance is the one kind of book I thought I’d never be able to write.
If your publisher offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming project, where would you mostly likely want to go? Why?
I’m so glad you asked. Scotland. I need to do research for my six book Regency Highlander series.
Do you write in multiple genres or just one? If just one, would you consider straying outside your genre?
I only write Regency historical right now, though with the highlanders, I suppose you could say I write Scot’s highlander historicals too. I do have a couple ideas for a historical paranormal and a contemporary too.
What is something you’d like to accomplish in your writing career next year?
I’d like to get The Earl’s Enticement completed and submitted and complete a stand-alone novel that is begging to be written.
Every writer dreams of getting “the call.” What were you doing when yours came? Who got to hear the good news first?
We had just gotten home from camping. I’d submitted a full manuscript the day before we left. When I checked my email, there was an email from Soul Mate Publishing saying they wanted to publish Highlander’s Hope. Naturally, I remained calm and oh, so casually mentioned my good fortune to the hubby and daughter.
That’s a colossal lie. I vaguely remember running outside and jumping into my husband’s arms, completely incoherent and crying. He thought someone had died.
What are your favorite pastimes?
I enjoy gardening, bird watching and amateur photography.
What is the one modern convenience you can’t do without?
Hot water and toilets.
How did you pick the names for your characters?
I did a search of Scots first names for Ewan. I wanted something a bit different but not really odd. Ewan sounds like a strong name, and as I got to know him, he name really seemed to fit him. McTavish just sounded lovely. His English title, Viscount Sethwick, I made up. I always wanted a son names Seth, but my hubby didn’t like the name.
I wanted Yvette to have a French name because her mother had been French. Ironically, it wasn’t until after I named her that I realized I’d picked yet another name that rhymes with several family names: Collette, Minette, Georgette, and Annette. No…, I’m not kidding!
Stapleton is a nice hardy English name.
What’s something unusual you found during your research?
Yvette is allergic to spirits (alcohol) which was a bit of a problem during the Regency era. Water wasn’t safe to drink, so people generally didn’t drink it. Even children drank coffee, tea, and spirits. Poor Yvette, does drink a lot of tea!
I also had to research marriage laws because her stepbrother tries to force her to marry him. Stepsiblings could legally marry, but there were a whole list of other marriages that were deemed illegal. For instance, if a man’s wife died, he couldn’t marry her sister.
And then there was the delightful Scots Canon Law I used to get Ewan and Yvette married without a ceremony. Scots church law allowed anyone to over see the exchanging of vows. In Scotland, irregular marriages included simply proclaiming your were married in from of witnesses.
What’s first thing you look for when you are choosing a romance novel to read? Why?
Okay, so you’ve picked out a book to read.
Can you tell me something that really annoys you after you’ve bought a book and started to read it…or maybe even finished it?
About Highlander’s Hope
Shipping heiress Yvette Stapleton is wary of fortune hunting men and their false declarations of love. She’d rather become a spinster than imprisoned in the bonds of marriage. At first, she doesn’t recognize the dangerously handsome man who rescues her from assailants on London’s docks. Her reaction to Lord Sethwick’s passionate kisses soon have her reconsidering her cynical views on matrimony.
He was the nobleman who vowed to make her his own.
Not a day has gone by that Ewan McTavish, Lord Sethwick and Laird of Craiglocky, hasn’t dreamed of the sensual beauty he danced with two years ago; he’s determined to win her heart. On a mission to stop a War Office traitor, he unwittingly draws Yvette into deadly international intrigue. To protect her, he exploits Scottish Canon law to declare her his lawful wife—without benefit of a ceremony. Yvette is furious upon discovering the irregular marriage is legally binding, though she never said, “I do.”
Amidst murder and betrayal, Ewan attempts to win Yvette’s forgiveness. But is it too late? Has his manipulation cost him her love?
Take a peek at several excerpts posted on my blog below.
About the Author
In February 2011, Collette decided to sit down and write a Regency suspense romance. She wrote Highlander’s Hope, the first book in her Blue Rose Trilogy. She has a BS in Liberal Studies and a Master’s in Teaching. She’s been married for 30 years, has 3 amazing adult children, and 5 dachshunds. Her puppy, Ayva, sits on her lap while she writes. Ayva also nibbles at and lies on the keyboard. Collette loves a good joke, the beach, trivia, birds, shabby chic, and Cadbury Chocolate. She just finished The Viscount’s Vow, the second book in the series. It releases from Soul Mate Publishing next year. You’ll always find dogs, birds, quirky—sometimes naughty—humor, and a dash of inspiration in her novels.