An author after my own heart (see all the mentions of Scotland), Nancy Badger joins us today to chat about her book, My Honorable Highlander. Welcome Nancy!
Did you plan to be a writer or did it just happen?
Me? A writer? How could I support a family, get health insurance, go to conferences with kids, a mortgage, etc? So, once I ‘retired’ from the State of New Hampshire 9-1-1, I continued sending my manuscripts to agents and publishers. Three years after starting out, my first contract arrived. It was for my third completed manuscript. The next sale came quickly from a different publisher, and I was off!
Is writing a full-time career for you? If not, how else do you spend your work day?
I am lucky to have a husband (married 36 years) who ‘plays’ at his job to bring in money so I can write. It helps that we do not have car loans or a mortgage. As sales of my eight titles increase, I can put more money toward house repairs and my old age. The goal is for him to retire, too.
If you had to sum it up My Honorable Highlander in 30 or less words, what would you say?
Haven is cast back in time, and meets her true love. Pledged to marry another, Kirk’s plans go awry when he falls for a woman wandering through the Scottish Highlands.
What inspired the idea behind your book?
My volunteer work at the annual gathering of the clans at the New Hampshire Highland Games.
|Photo by MK|
Will you share with us a short preview of My Honorable Highlander?
This is a book of my heart, a story that came to me while visiting several Scottish Highland Games from Nova Scotia, Canada, to Grandfather Mountain, North Carolina. The historical costumes, kilts, ethic foods and music gave me lots of ideas, and I thought “What would happen if a volunteer from the present found herself in 1598?”
While writing this book, did you connect with one character more than the others? Who and how?
I fell in love with Kirkwall Gunn the moment I pictured his Viking features, dark auburn hair, and ice blue eyes. Massive, sexy, a leader of men; a man who planned to sacrifice his future to protect his clan. My husband is a descendant of the Gunn clan and there is nothing sexier than a guy in a kilt!
What kind of research was involved for My Honorable Highlander?
I lived it. I have volunteered at Scottish Games for over 15 years, and visit others. I also have books, programs, and a husband of Scottish ancestry. I recently purchased a new ‘period dress’ so I look the part.
Do you have to be alone or have quiet to write?
Kind of: the radio is always on, and my cat sits or lies nearby. I dog-sit my sister’s Golden Retriever several days a week who sleeps at my feet. Our biggest excitement is going out to check the mailbox.
What kind of research was involved for the series? Did you find it became easier with each book?
This is my second attempt at a series. This series, HIGHLAND GAMES THROUGH TIME, includes the same villain in the entire story arc. This keeps my main and secondary characters on their toes as he continues to take revenge on the characters. In my romantic suspense books DESTINY’S MOUNTAIN and LOVE TO THE RESCUE, the town, mountains, and characters are revisited, but the stories are not linked to one outcome. All my books can be read without having to read the first story.
As a multi-genre author, how do you juggle going back and forth between the different genres? Do you have a preferred genre?
I started out writing contemporary and romantic suspense. When they did not sell, I started writing Scottish historicals with a paranormal twist (first dragons, and now time travel) All the books ‘came to me. I sat down and wrote them. MY HONORABLE HIGHLANDER has sparked the plot of two more books (at least), so I am running with the series. I have an idea for a regency historical, but I am holding off until I am a bit more established. I am waiting for one publisher to release my firefighter saga, LOVE TO THE RESCUE, in print.
Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
The next book is nearly complete. MY BANISHED HIGHLANDER will have a character from the first book come forward in time, connect with a character we met in book #1, and they both travel back to 1598 Scotland together-her to help her friend, and him for revenge.
What has been your greatest pleasure or personal success as an author?
Helping others. I am a big believer in ‘paying it forward’ as other authors have done for me-I mentor people who ask; recently completed a term of Vice President of my local Romance Writers of America chapter; have positions with two other on-line chapters; host authors on my blogs…stuff like that. I am also a voracious reader. I read as a reward for a job well done and love reading books by new authors. My Kindle is as full as my book shelves. (I love ebooks as much as print books)
What type of hero do you like best?
Manly, sexy, a leader, fallible, a wounded warrior: Kirkwall Gunn, in MY HONORABLE HIGHLANDER, has a scar on his face and is leader of his clan.
That's my kind of hero! What type of heroine do you like best?
Smart, mouthy, out of her element yet resilient, big enough to say she made a mistake, sexy enough to tempt a man to… let’s leave it at that!
|Photo by MK|
Is there any place and time in the world and in history that you would like to visit?
Scotland! Hands down, because picture books do not do it justice. Castles, heather, the food, the whiskey…why not?
I'm with you on Scotland--send me back anytime! Who or what has most influenced your writing?
Women in my local RWA chapter who were inviting and helpful from the first meeting I attended such as Virginia Kantra, Katharine Ashe, Sabrina Jeffries, Lydia Dare, Jenna Black, Emilie Rose…and dozens more talented authors. Bob Mayer recently joined our group. I have taken his ‘Warrior Writer’ on-line workshop, but have not yet met him.
Why did you choose to be an Indie writer and would you choose to self-publish again?
I sold 5 manuscripts to two small publishers. All have come out in ebooks. I have several older relatives that do not or will not read an e-book (though I recently bought my mom a Kindle touch) Self-publishing means I can also bring the book out faster, and in print. I published my first novella August 2011, my second novella February 2012, and this full-length book May 2012. Don’t get me wrong: I still pitch to agents and big publishers, but they are a hard ‘sell’.
Does where you live or have places you’ve been influenced your work?
Living, working, and volunteering in New England has influenced a majority of my books. From 9-1-1 operator, to EMT, to volunteer firefighter, to Scottish Games volunteer, to raising two boys of Scottish descent…it all has given me ideas. I now live in the south. A visit to Fort Sumter brought about SOUTHERN FRIED DRAGON, a book with a paranormal twist that occurs on the eve of Civil War.
What challenges did you face in getting your first book published?
I did not know how to write. I learned as I went (which is why it took the third book, which I rewrote many times, before it sold.) I took workshops, went to conferences and writers group meetings, and entered writing contests. Its like any other job…practice makes perfect!
What is your favorite movie based on a book, where you preferred the movie?
You will laugh, but I will have to say ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ by J. K. Rowling. I bought the book for my young son who suffered with the ability to read all his life. This series sparked his interest, and I read the book to see why it helped him. All her books are long, and the movie was a well-done synopsis of her book.
Laptop, desktop or notebook and pen for writing?
When I worked at 9-1-1, I was only allowed to use paper. I then rushed home after my 10-16 hour shift, and typed it into the desktop. I could not afford a laptop until we sold our home and moved to NC. I use the desktop when hubby is working because the screen is bigger (poor eyesight!)
Have you ever literally deleted or thrown away a book you’ve written?
Sighs…I wish I kept the book I started in junior high about a dog and a horse. Darn.
As a struggling author, with eight books to her credit, I appreciate it when readers check out my titles. Free sample pages are available at the various on-line sellers. My first self-published book, DRAGON IN THE MIST, won a 2012 readers Choice Award.
Bumbling present day herbalist, Haven MacKay, gets more than she bargains for when her love spell goes awry, is cast back in time, and meets her true love -- Laird Kirkwall Gunn.
Kirk’s plans go slightly off course when he falls in love with a woman wandering through the Scottish Highlands. After all, he has pledged to marry another, from an enemy clan, in order to end a century-old feud.
Content: This book is extra steamy and does have some graphic sexual content.
Content: This book is extra steamy and does have some graphic sexual content.
A serving girl in a very low cut dress brought two mugs to their table. Lifting the rustic wood tankard to her lips, she swallowed the cider Kirk had ordered. She appreciated the tart sweetness, while Kirk drank his ale.
“I believed I had chosen well when I left ye in the care of Balfour and Cameron.” He set the tankard down with a bang, turned, and grabbed her chin.
Forced to gaze into his eyes, she kept still.
“I chose wrong. Ye were in danger while they flirted with whores outside these very walls. I told them to watch over ye as if ye were their sister,” he said as he brought his face within inches of hers, “but I forgot their sisters be sluts.”
She gasped at his tasteless joke. It had to be a joke. Right?
He was suddenly closer, his warm breath a whisper over her cheeks. Haven’s unease after Cameron and Balfour’s tasteless suggestion, and the storekeepers, dirty hands, made her push at his chest.
“Doona fret, love. Yer unlike them.”
Was she unlike Cameron and Balfour, or their sisters? When she opened her mouth to ask, his warm lips pressed firmly against hers. She didn’t dare move even though she could barely breathe.
In his intoxicating presence, she melted into a puddle. Her agitated thoughts washed away as she breathed in his scent. Musk, leather, and something she’d come to recognize as pure Kirkwall Gunn, filled her.
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