DEB: Mary, tell us what you’ve been up to since you were here last?
MW: War with the dust bunnies, they’ve regrouped…oh, sorry. Well I’ve been hatching a lot of new ideas. I was between contracts there and doing submissions, which for a writer means opening up her imagination. I’ve just finished a new Highlander book which is book one in a three book saga. Look for it next year. After that, I’m going to Victorian England for a Steam Punk romance.
DEB: Tell us a little about your latest book, Highland Heat? Is this book a single title or part of a series?
MW: Highland heat is the follow up to Highland HellCat. It’s also linked to ‘To Conquer a Highlander’. Deidre Chattan is the eldest daughter who gave her heart to a man who betrayed her. Connor Lindsey was contracted to wed her but stole her sister Brina in Highland HellCat because he needed a wife who didn’t come with rumors clinging to her skirts. Deirdre went to the convent but not because she was to become a nun. Highland Heat is her story. This is a woman who’s had her heart broken but learns to love again.
DEB: Being of Scottish ancestry, I am always interested in what caused a writer to start writing about the Highlands. You have written several novels with this setting, what was your inspiration? What draws you to write about Highland men and women?
MW: Scotland is mystical. The land…the people…the music. I’ve enjoyed learning about the rich history of what shaped Scotland and it always gets me to thinking about the people who lived through it.
DEB: When you are researching for a particular book, what kinds of resources do you use and what is most helpful to you in finding out what you need to know for your novel?
MW: I begin with the internet. I also have an extensive library of costume books. I make many of the dresses from the era and wear them. The family has also been to more than one weekend camping trip with was period, meaning we used only what they had. Cooking, washing, entertainment…everything is period. I’ve learned a great deal by doing that.
DEB: A lot of my readers are writers and they are interested in how you first got started writing. What gave you the confidence to try to sell your manuscript?
MW: A kick in the tail from my husband? Well…partially true. I began writing one night, not sure why, only sure that I had to get that story out of my head. My tae kwon do master teaches us to finish what we begin, so I finished that book. Now, it wasn’t ready for publication and the art of writing is something I needed to learn a healthy respect for but I kept working on that book and submitted it. It was rejected several times over but I did get one offer and I took it. My advise, research the industry, don’t submit to an editor who doesn’t like the gene you’ve written in and don’t be above starting with a smaller press. But most important…finish the book.
DEB: Do you have advice for new writers?
MW: Write often. Finish a book and begin another one. Writing is a skill. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, after you finish a book, begin one in a different gene because you never know when you’ll get a rejection letter that asks if you have anything else.
DEB: My readers are also interested in you as a person. Name one pet peeve that you have?
MW: The parrot gets away with everything…I mean he throws food on the floor…sings as loud as he likes and still everyone tells him how cute he is.
DEB: Tell us one thing that readers may not know about you?
MW: MW: humm…I’m a second degree black belt in tae kwon do and an instructor.
DEB: If you could travel to any time period when and where would it be?
MW: So many to choose from! Hummm, love to see dinosaurs but don’t want to be eaten. Other than that, I’d love to visit but not stay in multiple time periods.
DEB: What books are you most interested in that are coming out in 2011?
MW: Highland Heat…I’ve been waiting for this one. I really enjoyed writing it, sort of needed to write it. I hope everyone enjoys it. Thanks for having me!
Sourcebooks has generously offered two copies of Highland Heat for giveaway.
There are a few simple rules:
~You must be a Google Friend Connect follower to participate.
~The giveaway is for US and Canadian addresses only, as these books will be sent out directly from the publisher.
~The deadline to enter this giveaway is, Midnight EST, March 21st.
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