A Shining welcome to historical romance author B.J. Scott, who joins us today to share her thoughts on writing. She's also going to tell us about her bestselling release, Highland Legacy, an exciting romance set in medieval Scotland and just released in paperback.
B.J. will be giving an e-copy of Highland Legacy to one luck commenter, along with some promo material, so be sure to leave your contact info.
Great to have you here today, B.J. Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from?
I was born and raised in the Niagara Region of Southern Ontario. Today, I live with my husband in a small lakeside village in Southwestern Ontario. We are on Lake Erie, about three hours from the Detroit/Windsor, Niagara Falls/Niagara Falls, and Fort Erie/Buffalo borders.What sparked your interest in writing?
A true Gemini, born with the gift of gab and story telling, it comes naturally. As long as I can remember, I have loved to jot down stories and dreamed about someday becoming a writer. Somehow, real life always got in the way. When I decided it was time, I took some creative writing classes at the local college. My teacher wrote on the bottom of my first assignments "have you ever thought about writing for Harlequin?" I wondered if she meant she thought I had the making of a romance author or that she found my work too sentimental. She told me she thought I could sell to Harlequin so decided to hone that area of my writing skills.An encouraging teacher indeed. What components, in your opinion, make a great story?
A strong plot with twists and turns to keep the reader guessing. A hero and heroine the reader can relate to and cheer on. The ability of the author to reach the reader on many levels and keep them entertained from start to finish. The book if historical, should be well researched and carry the reader back in time using all their senses. A strong ending that ties up the loose ends, but leaves the reader wanting more.Good points. How would you generally categorize the books/stories you write?
While I do write some contemporary, paranormal and romantic suspense, my heart is with historical romance. Most of my books do or will fall into this category. With a passion for anything Scottish or Celtic, I set many in Scotland, but I do enjoy writing books about the American Civil War time period, War of 1812 and Native American based westerns.What inspired you to write Highland Legacy?
I have always loved this period of history. Having a Scottish, Irish and English ancestry, I am fascinated by anything Celtic based. I am also a history addict and love to research facts about specific time periods, the culture and events. The desire to write a romance novel set in this epic time in history and to share some of the rich history of the past made writing the book a pleasure.How did you come up with the title?
It just seemed to fit the book and the subject matter. While I fully expected it to be a working title only and changed by the publisher, that did not happen. She loved the title and it set the stage for the sequels that follow. So the title stuck.Was there much research involved?
As in any historical, there is always research. Lovers of historical romance are often well versed in the time period. The setting, clothing, food, events etc that you incorporate in your book need to be as accurate as possible. There is always room for literary license, but most readers enjoy a story based on actual events or historical figures.Is there a message in your story you want readers to grasp?
I believe there is a message in every story. In Highland Legacy it is about struggle and hardships suffered by the Scottish in a time of English Tyranny and their effort to rise above it and reclaim their homeland. If there is a message in this book, it would be that with perseverance and honor you can conquer any enemy. That love truly does stand the test of time and will win out in the end. This is a romance novel after all lol.When your first started writing, did anything about the writing process surprise you?
While I had no problem coming up with ideas for the books and the story was in an outline, fleshing out the book was not as easy as anticipated. Crafting a well paced story that keeps the readers interest and has the right blend of historical fact and romance is a lot harder than most would believe. As a history buff, toning down the history was a challenge. The actual mechanics of writing, keeping things in the right tense, POV and grammatically correct, is also something an author must pay close attention to. The fact that the onus to make sure the book is clean and to do the majority of promotion falls on the writer’s shoulders was probably the most surprising thing I learned. I always thought you wrote a book, and once contracted, the editor made sure it was clean and then went on to promote it. In the day of the e-book that responsibility is the author’s.Do you celebrate when you finish a story, and if so, how?
After heaving a huge sigh of relief and going over the manuscript for the one-hundredth time, I do a little happy dance and send it off to be considered. When I finished Highland Legacy, my hubby and I went out to dinner to celebrate. When we got home, we enjoyed a glass of our favorite wine. I take a day off to relax and then move on to the next book. We just happened to get a new golden retriever puppy when I got finished the book and name her Cailin after my heroine.Do you have a set writing routine?
I write when I can, where I can. In addition to my child care job, I have a small home based business that takes up a lot of my time and many weekends. Add a husband, four dogs, a cat and a century old home in constant need of cleaning and it makes it hard to have a set routine. The muse is usually strongest in the morning and late at night, which fits well into my daily schedule. I wish I could write full time, but right now that is not in the cards. Hopefully someday ;)Do you listen to music when you write?
Not usually, but work best when there is some white noise or stuff going on around me. Usually have the TV on. When it is too quiet, I find it harder to write.What do you like least about writing?
I hate having to stop to deal with real life, work or other commitments. If I had my way, I would write full time and when ever the muse hit me.What’s next for you? Can we look forward to a new story soon?
Who supports your writing activities most?I am currently completing edits on the sequel to Highland Legacy. Highland Quest picks up where the first book leaves off and the focus is on the brother of the hero in Highland Legacy and a romance that was sparked during the first book. While the sequel was not a book I planned to write immediately, the interest shown by the readers in a sequel proved too strong to ignore. This book will be released by Soul Mate Publishing in the fall of 2012. I also have a couple of other books in the works that I am excited about. These will be finished once my sequel is off to the editor.
My husband is my biggest supporter. While he has not read the book, he knows how important a writing career is to me and does his best to give me the time and space I need to write. Even if it means the house is not always tidy or meals are take out from time to time. His encouragement and support are what kept me going and his pride in my accomplishment as a writer motivates me to continue reaching for my dream.What does your family think of your writing?
They think it is fantastic. My mom is a romance novel lover and so could not wait to read my book. The support from family has been amazing.What advice would you give an aspiring author?
Write as often as you can and never give up your dream. With work and dedication anything is possible.Well said, B.J. And now, let’s take a peek at the Blurb for Highland Legacy.
Faced with an abhorrent betrothal, Cailin Macmillan flees her father’s castle and quickly learns that a woman traveling alone in Medieval Scotland is an easy target for ruthless English soldiers. When Highland patriot Connor Fraser comes to her aid, his steadfast dedication to king and country is challenged by his overwhelming desire to protect Cailin—even if he must marry her to do so.
Accused of murdering one of her attackers and determined to rely on her own resourcefulness, Cailin dresses as a lad, intent on seeking refuge at the camp of Robert the Bruce. Can she elude an enemy from her past—a vindictive English lord bent on her utter demise—or will she fall prey to his carnal intent and be executed for a crime she did not commit?
About B.J. Scott:
With a passion for historical romance, history in general, and anything Celtic, B.J. always has an exciting work in progress. Each story offers a blend of romance, adventure, suspense, and, where appropriate, a dab of comic relief. Carefully researched historical facts are woven into each manuscript, providing a backdrop from which steamy romance, gripping plots, and vivid characters—dashing alpha heroes and resourceful, beguiling heroines you can’t help but admire—spring to life. A member of RWA, World Romance Writers, Celtic Hearts Romance Writers, and Savvy Authors, B.J. also writes contemporary, paranormal, time travel, and romantic suspense.
C.S. Lewis first captivated B. J.’s imagination in the fourth grade, and her desire to write sprang from there. Following a career in nursing and child and youth work, B.J. married her knight-in-shining-armor, and he whisked her away to his castle by the sea. In reality, they share their century-old home in a small Canadian town on the shore of Lake Erie with three dogs and a cat. When she is not working at her childcare job, on her small business, or writing, you will find her reading, camping, or antique hunting.
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Highland Legacy / Available in e-book and print from