SMP: B.J., welcome: Tell us all about you! What would you most like your readers to know?
B.J.: With a passion for historical romance, history in general, and anything Celtic, I always have 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. I’m a member of RWA, World Romance Writers, Celtic Hearts Romance Writers, and Savvy Authors, and I also write contemporary, paranormal, time travel, and romantic suspense.
C.S. Lewis first captivated my imagination in the fourth grade, and my desire to write sprang from there. Following a career in nursing and child and youth work, I married my knight-in-shining-armor, and he whisked me away to his castle by the sea. In reality, we share our century-old home in a small Canadian town on the shore of Lake Erie with three dogs and a cat. When I’m not working at my childcare job, on my small business, or writing, you will find me reading, camping, or antique hunting.
SMP: Are you one of those writers born with a pen in your hand and ideas flitting through your mind, or did your interest develop later?
B.J.: A true Gemini, storytelling and the gift of gab are natural traits ;) But I always loved reading and writing.
SMP: When did you become serious about seeing your name in print and begin writing your first romance novel?
B.J.: I dabbled in writing for a long time, but in 2001 joined my first online writing group and took courses in creative writing at the local college. When the teacher asked me if I had ever thought about writing for Harlequin, I was not sure if she was serious or not. She told me she thought I had the ability to get published and decided to pursue my dream. Took a break from writing in 2003 when I met my husband and real life became too demanding. Dusted off the manuscripts and started writing again in 2009.
SMP: How long did it take you to complete your first manuscript? Did it fly from your fingertips, or did the story emerge slowly?
B.J.: The manuscript itself came fairly easy. But the edits and rewrites took a lot longer. I finished it, 107,000 words in about 3 months. But while waiting for replies from editors and agents refined the book. Those who read the first versions, would not even recognize it now.
SMP: Tell us about your writing process. Soft lights and music? White noise? Child-and-pet confusion? Locked in a room alone? What sets your writing mood and pushes you forward?
B.J.: Because I work and have a very busy life, I write when and where I can. Ideally I do my best work in the morning, with a cup of herbal tea, my puppy sleeping on the chair beside me and white noise is a must. The TV or radio must be on. If too quiet, I can’t concentrate. I work better when alone since I am easily distracted when someone is in the room with me.
SMP: What are some life experiences that have infiltrated your stories?
B.J.: I am a history nut and love anything Scottish or Celtic. My ancestry is Scottish, Irish and English and has always had a fascination with researching my family roots and ethnic background. I have a background in nursing and child and youth work, but spent several years working in a historical village as a costumed interpreter and found that field very rewarding.
SMP: What shining moment in your journey stands out the most as a real turning point for you as a writer?
B.J.: While signing my contract was a very special day, I think the day my book hit the best seller list on Amazon for historical romance was a stellar moment.
SMP: Writers face many challenges. What are some of yours? What do you do to overcome them?
B.J.: Finding the time to write. My dream is that someday, I can dedicate my time to writing when and where I want, but real life dictates that I work for a living. After being published promotion is by far the most difficult thing. I must write when I can and where I can. It often means locking myself away or staying up to the wee hours of the morning.
SMP: What is the most thrilling aspect of the writing process for you?
B.J.: Seeing my story and characters come to life and knowing that what I have written might bring joy or entertainment to my readers.
SMP: How do you begin a story? Do you just sit down with an idea in mind and start writing, or are you a person who wouldn’t dream of starting without a detailed outline, character sketches, and pages of research data?
B.J.: I usually have an idea and basic idea of how I want my story to play out before I start to write it. I am a pantser so while I may start a book in a certain spot there is no guarantee it will be the same when the book is done ;)
SMP: Who or what sparks the ideas for your stories?
B.J.: Life experiences and personal genre preferences. Always have a pen and paper handy in case an idea hits me.
SMP: Tell us a little about what you’re currently working on.
B.J.: I am currently under contract for the sequel to Highland Legacy. Highland Quest picks up where Highland Legacy left off and the Fraser family saga continues with Bryce, the youngest and most charismatic of the three Fraser brothers. In Highland Legacy we meet Bryce and his love interest Fallon. In Highland Quest, fate brings them together again and Bryce must chose between duty to king and country and his love for Fallon.
Book blurb for Highland Quest:
Bryce Fraser arrives too late to warn Scottish patriots of an ambush, and instead faces the leader of a rival clan, a sworn enemy who betrayed their fellow countrymen in the past.
Wounded in the confrontation, Bryce awakens to find Fallon MacCrery, the only woman he has ever truly loved, and never thought he would see again, tending his wounds—a twist of fate that rekindles passion, and prompts him to question his destiny.
Can their unspoken love withstand the test of time, or will a battle, one that could change the course of the Scottish history and the return of their nemesis separate them forever?
In addition I have another Scottish Historical and a Civil War paranormal/time travel in the works.
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?
SMP: B.J., thanks so much for visiting with us today, and congratulations on your phenomenal debut success!
B.J.’s wonderful debut novel, HIGHLAND LEGACY, can be purchased here:
Web site: www.authorbjscott.com
Tuesday Tidbits with BJ Scott: http://shielassays.blogspot.ca/
Book trailer: http://youtu.be/Yz3IA4Lu464
B.J. will give a free ebook copy of HIGHLAND LEGACY to a lucky commenter! Please include your email address in your comment.
Since many of the commenters have either read the book or have a copy TBR, the winner also has the option of a pen, magnet, bookmark combo instead of the book ;)