Last month, I reviewed Anne’s new novel, Masquerade Marriage, a fun and romantic story set in the Scottish Highlands. I also asked her to tell why she chose that time and place for the setting of this book as well as how she researched the story. Welcome, Anne.
During a long visit to the Highlands and Lowlands of Scotland I became intrigued with why Highland Clans no longer occupied the Highlands. You’ll find the surprising answer in my book Masquerade Marriage. I’m of Scottish ancestry as are so many Americans, and bagpipes music makes my heart sing. I fell in love with the awesome country and the friendly, complex people. So, being a writer, of course I had to write of what I knew. I love the clear fresh air, the handsome people, the amazing openness of the country, the castles, and the Scots violent, adventurous history. In the next few years I plan to add Cailin and Fiona’s love stories to Megan’s legendary love.
When I research a book I’m compulsively thorough. I never write a book about a place I haven’t visited in person. I need to get the feel of the area, find out its history, see what its people are like, and pick up some interesting tidbits to add depth to the story. I research all my books including my contemporaries. I love research. I always glean far more
information than I can ever use in any one story. Researching a story is akin to creating a character in a movie role. I become that person in that setting at that time period. Research is one of the really fun parts of writing. As I go about my research, the characters are born and start speaking to me. Then the plot takes place. Then I just watch the movie in my head and write it down for others to enjoy. So, basically, all my stories begin with research.
I also write contemporary suspense novels. I have a sassy detective novel, a modern day cowboy suspense, and a Coast Guard mystery, all set in my home state of Texas in the works. Did you know parts of the Civil War were fought in the west? I have a novel in the pipes that is a second book of a family saga which occurred in Talaquah, Oklahoma. I also have a World War II Women Pilots love story.
EXCERPT FROM MASQUERADE MARRIAGE:
Like a determined hero, the fugitive warrior strode through the door at the far end of the tiny stone kirk.
Megan’s eyes widened. Her clenched jaw relaxed. Some of her dread dissolved.
“Impressive.” Molly, Megan’s Irish maid, whispered from where they stood together in the vestibule.
He stopped in front of the hand-carved altar and half-turned toward her. Megan pulled in an uneven breath. This Highlander, wearing formal kilts, was no scrawny lad grown older, nor was he a big, hairy Scot with a bushy beard. The tall, strapping soldier stood with legs braced as if about to do battle.
Her heart skipped. Though she’d known Brody when she wore short skirts, this blond warrior was far more than she expected. Her pulse throbbed in her temples. Doubt niggled her brain. Brody was too tall, too obviously a Highlander. How could she hope to pass him off as a Lowland Laird? He appeared to have too big a chip on his shoulder to let her command him.
Brody’s thick sandy hair swept the collar of his linen shirt. Lace-trimmed cuffs matched the white jabot at his muscular throat. A silver broach clapsed his crimson and black tartan to his wide right shoulder. His Claymore, dirk, and thick sword belt startled her.
Megan suppressed a shudder. The English outlawed kilts. With his dress, Brody spat in the face of the English and further imperiled his life. Why?
His intense sapphire stare blazed a trail across the empty wooden pews toward her. His eyes made her feel dizzy as if she just danced a fast reel with a lively partner.
Molly grinned and handed Megan the bridal flowers.
What had she gotten herself into?
Anne would love to know if you prefer historical novels to contemporary novels. She’s taking a poll and asks that you leave a comment.
What Say You? Would you rather read a contemporary novel or a historical? Which era in history do you prefer?