Collette, how long have you been writing?
I started writing my first romance novel, Highlander’s Hope, in February 2011.
Up to that time, I’d toyed with the idea of writing a book but never thought I’d write a romance. All that dialogue, and conflict, and trying to keep points of view straight...ugh.
Now I love it!
What inspired you to write your first book?
The timing was right.
I work part-time as a substitute teacher, my children are all grown, and I’d always had a yearning to write a book. So, when a scene popped into my mind one day, I decided to see if I could create an entire story around it.
I did. It was a monstrosity at 156,000 words. Highlander’s Hope was cut to about 84,000.
Yes, I know... it was a bit wordy. Sigh.
You know, I didn’t think, especially while in the middle of writing their stories, that I did. But I do.
I have a character I’m writing about right now that is very compassionate toward hurt or wounded people or animals, and he won’t tolerate any kind of teasing or bullying. I really get my feathers ruffled if I see or hear that kind of stuff. Hubby would say it’s a bit more than my feathers getting ruffled.
I also wrote about character whose family is very important to him. That’s true of me too.
In retrospect, there are parts of me in all my characters, and they also have traits and flaws of people I know and love.
I'm with you on that one - love my family! What book have you read too many times to count?
The Flame and the Flower by Katherine Woodiwiss.
It was one of the first romance novels I ever read. I fell in love with historical romance because of that book.
I even named my daughter, Brianna, after the heroine, Heather Brianna.
I absolutely LOVE Kathleen Woodiwiss. My very first romance was "A Rose In Winter". So Collette, who has inspired your writing?
My daughter is my biggest inspiration.
What is the best piece of writing advice you ever received?
Not everybody is going to like my writing, and there’s absolutely nothing I can do about that. Write for the people that do like and appreciate it. Give those readers the very best story I can, and don’t worry about the naysayers.
Like a writer friend said once, “They don’t get a vote.” I love that.
That's a great thing to remember! What have you found interesting while researching your stories?
Oh my gosh, there is so much!
I’ve loved looking into the etiquette and manners of the Regency period. And while digging for marriage laws, I found Scot’s Canon Law, which is how I got Ewan and Yvette wed without her realizing they were married.
Hmm, and there was a recent, rather interesting, discussion with my Regency critique group about historical terminology.
Teeheee...yes, I do remember that discussion, Collette.
Now, tell us about your story, Highlander’s Hope, and give us a sneak peek of this book. I absolutely LOVE this cover...probably because I use these models on one of my stories.
Here’s a blurb of Highlander’s Hope:
Regency propriety and Scot’s boldness clash in this historical suspense liberally dosed with humor.
She was the heiress determined to never marry.
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, but her reaction to Lord Sethwick’s 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 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.”
A sharp rap echoed at the door. Yvette breathed a sigh. Thank Goodness. Lord Sethwick wouldn’t have to answer the question after all. She raised her head and forced her gaze from the document in his hand.
He stared at her intently, then called, “Enter.”
“Lord Sethwick, please excuse the interruption,” a deep voice greeted. “‘Tis urgent I speak with you.”
Half-turning to look at the newcomer, Yvette could not contain her frightened gasp. She shot halfway out of her chair before Lord Sethwick’s hand snaked across the table and grasped hers, restraining her.
“Ewan!” In her panic, she addressed him by his given name.
“Miss Stapleton, Mrs. Pettigrove, may I introduce my associate, Trenton Carmichael?” said Ewan. “You know him as Nigel Collingsworth.”
Yvette sat down so hard her bottom smacked the chair with a stinging thud. Despite the day’s promise to be quite warm, she shivered, chilled to the bone. Searching the viscount’s face she repeated, stunned, “Your associate? I don’t understand. He was chasing me yesterday.”
Mrs. Pettigrove’s gooseberry eyes were round as the moon watching the exchange. “Mr. Collings, er, Carmichael was chasing you, Miss Stapleton?”
No one responded to her probing.
Holding Yvette’s hand, Lord Sethwick explained, “He wasn’t chasing you. Trent was trying to protect you by catching the man who was chasing you.”
“A different man was also chasing you? Whatever for?” Mrs. Pettigrove sounded envious.
Everyone ignored her.
Mr. Carmichael addressed Yvette. “I regret frightening you yesterday. It wasn’t my intent.”
Another knock sounded.
“Come in.” Lord Sethwick was less gracious this time.
Yvette managed not to gawk at the two men who entered the chamber. At least she thought she did. Faith, what handsome men. They must be friends of Lord Sethwick’s. Nobility no doubt.
“Sethwick, you rogue, keeping the arrival of your lovely bride-to-be a secret,” teased a tall gentleman dressed in black from toe to top.
Connect with Collette:http://collettecameron.com
She can be found on Goodreads, LinkedIn, and Google+ too. The links are on her webite.
Buy link for Highlander’s Hope: http://amzn.com/B00CW1TTIO/
Collette Cameron, a Pacific Northwest native, was born and raised in a small town along the northern Oregon coast, which to this day, continues to remain one of her favorite retreats. If you've ever lived near the ocean, you understand the irresistible, captivating draw of the sea! An enthusiast of times gone by, Collette currently writes Regency historical romance.A lifelong resident of small towns, she's also been known to venture to parts of Europe. Her favorite destinations? England and France of course! There she can indulge her passion for exploring opulent manors and centuries old castles, in addition to scrutinizing anything even remotely related to the Georgian, Regency or Victorian eras!
Her Victorian farmhouse and profusion of gardens—English, butterfly, rock, and water— are all testaments to her ongoing love affair with flowers, lace, songbirds, birdhouses, rocks, and of course—teacups! Having dabbled in interior decorating in her youth, Collette graduated summa cum laude from Oregon State University, has a Master's degree in teaching, and is member of RWA, Rose City Romance Writers, The Beau Monde and Love Faith and Hope, Inc.
Some of Collette's favorite things include unique blends of coffees and teas, Cadbury Milk Chocolates, inspirational quotes, and scented candles; especially lavender and vanilla. Her Christian faith, husband, three adult children, and five miniature dachshunds complete her life quite nicely!
When she's not teaching or writing, Collette enjoys amateur photography, bird watching, gardening, interior decorating, rock-hunting, or salmon fishing on the Columbia River.
She'd love to hear from you! Leave a comment on her Blue Rose Romance Blog page, or email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest too! See the links below.