Are you ready for this? I know you are going to love it!! Today we have, not one, but two (2) guest authors stopping by. So get comfy, while Julie from Grand Central Publishing/Forever, introduces us to Ms. Margaret Mallory and Ms. Sue-Ellen Welfonder. Welcome ladies!!!
MARGARET MALLORY SUE-ELLEN WELFONDER
Margaret Mallory abandoned a career as a lawyer to become a romance novelist. Why this surprised everyone, she doesn’t know. Who wouldn’t rather have thrilling adventures with handsome Highlanders than write briefs and memos? Margaret lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband, a goofy dog, and a crabby cat.
Sue-Ellen Welfonder is a Scotophile whose burning wish to make frequent trips to the land of her dreams led her to a twenty-year career with the airlines. Now a full-time writer, she’s quick to admit that she much prefers wielding a pen to pushing tea and coffee. She never watches television, loves haggis, and writes at a 450-year-old desk that once stood in a Bavarian castle.
Q & A with Margaret Mallory
1. Do you draw from personal experiences and/or past/current events?
I get a lot of inspiration from my historical research. Lucky for me, Scottish history is bursting with fascinating characters, murder, and mayhem. J
For this series, I was able to take a research trip to Scotland that was incredibly inspiring. Everywhere I went, I seemed to find new places I wanted to bring into the books. The faery glen on the Isle of Skye, which is the site of a couple of important scenes in THE CHIEFTAIN, is in the book because of that trip. If you are interested, I’ve put together a photo album for each of THE RETURN OF THE HIGHLANDERS books & posted them on the videos page of my website, www.MargaretMallory.com.
2. Do you start with the conclusion and plot in reverse or start from the beginning and see where the story line brings you?
I start with the characters and their conflict. Before I begin writing the book, I do character sheets, and I usually have two or three pivotal scenes in my head. I also try to have at least a sketchy outline of the plot. I have to figure out a lot of things as I go, but I write better when I know the basic direction I’m headed.
Deciding exactly where to start the story is hard—at least it is for me. A good book doesn’t start at the logical beginning, but at a high dramatic point, with one or both main characters on the cusp of change. I never have trouble in the middle, as a lot of writers do, but the first few chapters take me forever to write, in part because I’m still getting to know my characters.
What is your routine when writing? Any idiosyncrasies?
I’m not a fast writer, so I guess my routine is to work a lot! To meet my deadlines, I generally work long hours, six or seven days a week. Writing a historical every six months, is challenging, especially when there are so many other things an author has to do these days besides write books. I do get a break between series, which is good.
Q & A with Sue-Ellen Welfonder
It’s a pleasure to be here. You’ve asked insightful questions, so this is a great way to wind down the blog tour.
CR: Do you draw from personal experiences and/or past/current events?
SEW: Yes. I believe all writing has its roots deep inside the author. Every experience, our likes and dislikes, beliefs and views, flow into the work. Each written word is a piece of the writer’s psyche. My medievals are influenced by special places I’ve visited in Scotland. So are my Allie Mackay titles (Scottish-set contemporary paranormals), which also include many things that have happened to me on trips to Scotland. It all ends up in the books. If you know the writer, you’ll see her in every drop of ink on the page.
Current events might spark an idea in an Allie Mackay title. The past always inspires me and I love Scottish medieval history. The most fleeting reference can tantalize, sending my imagination on a journey that results in a new book proposal. (or a neat plot twist for a work-in-progress).
CR: Do you start with the conclusion and plot in reverse or start from the beginning and see where the story line brings you?
SEW: The beginning and through to the end. I know the whole story before I type the first word. That’s how my ideas come to me. Once I start writing and the characters come alive, they sometimes have ideas of their own. The planned route may take a slight detour. But the destination remains the same. It’s such character-inspired twists that breathe magic into a story.
CR: What is your routine when writing? Any idiosyncrasies?
SEW: I have a daily writing goal of 3,000 words. To achieve that, I write in 1,000 word spurts. Between writing sessions, I break to walk my dog, cycle and exercise, walk the beach, make lunch, do household chores, etc. Because I’m a night owl, much of these activities happen between 9 a.m. and noon. I edit in the afternoon. My best writing happens after midnight, with me going to bed about 3 a.m.
Idiosyncrasies? A big one is ‘going silent’ at deadline. I ignore email, avoid the phone, and head the other way if I spot a chatty neighbor when I’m walking my dog (letting her ‘catch me’ would trap me for an hour of ‘small talk’ when I should be writing). I listen to classical and New Age music (no words). I wear a special rune pendant for good luck. I believe every writer’s office should include a cherished pet. I dislike chapter openings but know the words flow once I have the first line or two, so I sometimes type “XXX…” and move on, going back later to add a ‘good’ opening. I must know the hero and heroine names before I begin their story. I could list more, but won’t. I believe all writers have ‘peculiarities.’
Thank you so much for inviting me today. This was a lovely end to a fabulous tour. (said with a wink and a smile at Margaret, too)
ABOUT THE BOOKS
In THE CHIEFTAIN, Connor, chieftain of the MacDonalds of Sleat, holds the fate of his people in his hands. Rival clans are plotting to take over his lands, and duty determines whom he will fight, trust . . . even marry. Beautiful Ilysa dresses plainly, speaks softly, and loves her chieftain from afar. Yet when Connor finally stokes the embers of desire that have so long burned within her, Ilysa feels bliss unlike any she’s ever known.Can she find a way to prove she is the woman he needs by his side?
In SEDUCTION OF A HIGHLAND WARRIOR, Chieftain Alasdair MacDonald has sworn to preserve the peace in the Glen of Many Legends. Though he’s handsome and fearless, his warrior’s heart belongs only to his beloved land-until the fair sister of his oldest enemy shatters his defenses. Lady Marjory Mackintosh will do anything to unite the warring clans, even seduce Alasdair MacDonald. She has loved the rugged Highlander since she first saw him and now, as temptation leads to surrender, Marjory dares to possess him, body and soul.
PUBLICATION DATE: February 26, 2013
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PUBLICATION DATE: January 29, 2013
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THANKS TO JULIE, FROM GRAND CENTRAL PUBLISHING,
TWO LUCKY WINNERS WILL RECEIVE BOTH BOOKS
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