Monday, January 21, 2013

Highland Quest

Our special guest today is 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.


AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR


Where does the book Highland Quest take place? Did you do research into that region or do you have firsthand knowledge of the area?

Highland Quest takes place in medieval Scotland (1307) As with any book set in another time period of area of the world research it essential to set the stage for the book to take place. A lot changes in several hundred years and you want the book setting to be as accurate as possible. While I have never been to Scotland, I do hope to visit some day.

Were there special considerations you had to make to have a book in that era?

Historical settings, customs, speech, clothing etc all need to be taken into consideration when penning a book set in the past. Readers of historical romance are often well versed in the era and expect the book to depict the time period.

How did you get the idea for the book?

I know it sounds cliché, but the ideas for my books just come to me. Never know when the muse will strike so always have pen and pad ready. I have a passion for this time period, anything Celtic or Scottish. They are my favorite books to read, so coming up with a story set during this time period was a natural choice for me. Highland Quest is the sequel to Highland Legacy. While both books were written to stand alone, Highland Quest picks up where the first book left off, so it was easier to come up with the story line once the characters were established in the first book. I was careful to pick a time where there were consecutive battles, spaced strategically apart that could carry one book into the next.

Are the main characters modeled after anyone you know? Do you have tricks or tips you use to develop your characters?

Not really. I set out my story line and my characters just kind of appear and fall into place. Nothing is set in stone until the book is done so you never know who might show up and where. I have a basic idea of what the characters are like, often look for a picture that I think resembles them physically, or at least how I envision they would look. They take on a life of their own from there.

I love the cover! Can you give us some insight into how the elements on the cover fit into the plot?

While I would love to take credit for my covers, they are both the work of Rae Monet, the cover artist hired by my editor. We submit a wish list so to speak when the book is done, telling her what we would like and how we see the characters, but the final decision is made between the editor and cover artist. I didn’t even get to see it until it was finished. We are shown the completed cover and if there is something we really don’t like can ask for changes, but that seldom happens. If you look at both my covers they have a similar theme going. We have the hero in the foreground, the Scottish landscape in the back ground and the presence of the heroine, watching over the hero through bewitching eyes. The cover is done in layers which could be considered symbolic of the layers of emotion, mystique and events that unfold in each book.


ABOUT THE BOOK


No longer content in the shadows of his older brothers and on a quest to find his destiny, Bryce Fraser's chosen path is fraught with danger, passion, and decisions. Can his unspoken love for spirited, beguiling Fallon be triumphant in a time of war and uncertainty, or will they both fall prey to the devious plans of a traitorous laird from a rival clan?


AN EXCERPT


Loch Ryan Scotland, 1307

“Wa . . . water,” Bryce mumbled, but there was no one there to listen.

 His throat was parched and he ran his tongue over dry, cracked lips, but his action offered no relief. An entire loch lay only a few feet away, but he couldn’t muster the strength to drag himself to the bank and quench his thirst.

“Cold . . . so cold.”

 Despite the sun beating down on him, he’d swear he was encased in ice. His life’s blood seeped from his wounds, soaking the ground beneath him. He tried to raise his head, but the excruciating pain radiating across his chest stole his breath away.

Was this what it felt like to die? If so, he prayed the Almighty would be merciful and take him now.

Bryce moaned, a shift in his position bringing on another nauseating wave of agony. He sucked in a short, sharp, gulp of air and stretched his arm out as far as he could, his fingers grappling in the dirt.

If only I could reach my sword.

Beads of perspiration dampened his brow. As the strength slowly drained from his body, drawing a simple breath became more difficult. The end grew near. No time to make amends for sins of the past, and he had committed his share.

Regrets? He had those, too. “Fallon.” He whispered her name then heaved a ragged sigh.


CONTACT THE AUTHOR - AND WIN A PRIZE!


The author will award gifts of swag (including a canvas tote bag, a mouse pad, a pen, book thong, bookmark, can cooler, magnet, and key chain -- US/Canada only) to randomly drawn commenters from this tour and her Virtual Book Tour, and a grand prize of one $50 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter from this tour and her Super Book Blast.

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:  http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2012/12/virtual-book-tour-highland-quest-by-b-j.html


15 comments:

B J Scott said...

Thank you for having me here today.

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting today.

p.m.terrell said...

Good morning, BJ! Thank you for joining us today. Your book sounds so interesting. I am in awe of your ability to set it in the 1300's. It must have required quite a bit of research and understanding of that period to make it authentic. You have my respect!

Ingeborg said...

Great interview and excerpt, thank you.

Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

BJ Scott said...

Hi PM thanks for stopping by. Yes a lot of research goes into writing a period book, but when you love what you are doing, the job is easier. I think the hardest part of writing a period piece is getting the reader to relate to the characters and understand that in 1300 the dynamic between men and women was very different than it is today. yet I find readers often put modern standards on the medieval couple. They often see what would be normal behavior for our Hero as being indifferent or even cruel and the woman's reactions and responsive too subservient. Writing characters that are in keeping with the time period and yet has the reader liking them an rooting for them is a real challenge

BJ Scott said...

Thanks for stopping by Ingeborg

MomJane said...

I really love historical romances, particularly about Scotland. This excerpt makes me want to help him..

bn100 said...

I enjoyed the interview.
bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

Catherine Lee said...

Hi p.m....You always bring interesting authors to your blog. Thanks for introducing B.J. to us. I agree with B.J. that getting the customs and setting are right. The speech is important, too, but I don't like to see too heavy dialect writing in the Highland historicals. Some authors use so much dialect writing that it's challenging for the reader.
catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

B J Scott said...

Awe, Momjane then my job was done well ;) I want the reader to feel for poor Bryce and his situation and to read the book to find out what happens next.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by

B J Scott said...

Thanks for stopping by today bn100, glad you enjoyed the interview.

B J Scott said...

Hi Catherine

I agree about the heavy dialect. I do actually have a FB friend who is from Scotland and must admit, his dialect is so heavy that a lot of the time, I have to read his posts more than once lol But in a book, a little for flavor is nice, a few easy to recognise words that set the scene and no more. I have read books with so thick a dialect, I could not follow the book and that is not what I want for my readers ;) If you get the chance to read Highland Quest and the first book in the series, Highland Legacy, I think you will find the dialect is easy to follow. I am currently working on book 3 and doing the same.

Mary Preston said...

I always appreciate the research that goes into a book, especially an Historical.

marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

B J Scott said...

Reasearching the period is important for a writrt. Just as understanding the time period is for the reader. Relationships in the past and what would be cosidered the norm now--acceptable behavior between the couple, is often very different. While they reach their HEA how they get there depends on the time period and events of the day.

Mary Preston said...

A great deal does change over the centuries. Another reason why I love to read Historical. It's not everyday.

marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com