Today we’re visiting with Collette Cameron, author of Highlander’s Hope, which is scheduled for release next month from Soul Mate Publishing. Collette, thank you for stopping by A Writer’s Haven.
First, I want to thank you, Steve, for hosting me!
Tell us, Collette, when did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Okay, can I be totally honest? I didn’t know I wanted to be a writer. Of course, I didn’t know I wanted to be a teacher until I was in my forties either. Maybe I’m a late bloomer…a very late bloomer.
I’ve always been able to write, or maybe I should say, writing has always come easily to me, but there was never an “aha” moment where I decided to become a writer. Now that’s not to say I hadn’t toyed with the idea of writing a book. I had—for years. But, I never thought I’d write a romance novel.
So what did I start writing when I sat in front of my computer one day in February 2011? A historical romance—Highlander’s Hope.
Well, I can certainly identify with starting a little later in life. How long did it take you to write your first novel?
Highlander’s Hope took me 6 months to write the first draft, while still teaching full-time. It was a monstrosity—156,000 words. I cut over half of it and changed the title twice, before I was finally satisfied with the manuscript. Well, as satisfied as an author ever gets.
Tell us a little about your writing style. Are you a plotter, a pantser, or something in between?
A good friend of mine calls me a linear panster. It’s an oxymoron but it works for me, because I do write from beginning to end—I just don’t know exactly where I’m going along the way. Sometimes that’s great. I’ll write something that astounds me. Other times I write something that doesn’t move the story forward, and I end up cutting it. Even those cut scenes have value though. I’ve used phrases, ideas, or parts of them for some of my other work. I like to post them on my blog for my readers to enjoy too.
All my books start with a single scene or idea, and the book develops around it. I do have ideas or plot points that I want to include in my books, but I also love seeing where my characters and the story take me. I couldn’t possibly come up with some of the things in advance that emerge as the story progresses. I often wonder, “Where did that come from?”
So tell us something about Collette Cameron the person. What do you do when you’re not writing?
I’m an elementary teacher and an editor for a small ebook publisher. I also am an avid gardener, and I dabble in interior decorating. Spending time with my 5 doxies, three adult children, and hubby of 30 years are also at the top of my list. And I love to travel. I’m scheming about how to finagle a trip to Scotland to do “research” for my 6 book Ferguson Saga. All the history, and castles, and the highlanders… Oh my!
A six book saga? That sounds like quite project, and speaking of projects, tell us what inspired you to write Highlander’s Hope?
The timing was finally right for me. My children are grown and substitute teaching left me with time on my hands. I had an idea for a cross genre novel, and it wasn’t going to write itself. For me, once I actually made the commitment to write Highlander’s Hope, there was no alternative but to plow forward until I finished it.
I’m a bit obsessive compulsive about finishing things…okay, maybe more than a bit.
Well, you’ve brought along a beautiful cover, the book blurb, and you’ve even offered to share a scene from Highlander’s Hope. So let’s get to it:
Shipping heiress 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 passionate 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 sensual 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.”
Amidst murder and betrayal, Ewan attempts to win Yvette’s forgiveness. But is it too late? Has his manipulation cost him her love?
And now, a provocative scene from Highlander’s Hope:
Yvette stepped back as Ewan pushed his way into the room, leaving the door ajar. His hair was damp, no doubt from bathing, and the stubble darkening his face earlier was gone. Feet bare, wearing only buckskin breeches and a shirt unbuttoned to the waist, he resembled a pirate—a dangerous, rakish, sinfully handsome pirate.
She sucked in her breath. He oughtn’t to be here, but he’d said he wanted to talk to her, and he had promised to behave.
Yvette’s gaze traveled the path of silky hair from his chest until it disappeared into his waistband. Her stomach flip-flopped. Sweet Lord above. She pressed her hands to her frolicking middle. Why doesn’t he say something?
A distraction, that’s what she needed.
She escaped to the lumpy bed where she’d flung her clothing before bathing. She folded, then packed the garments into her valise and set it on the floor beside her trunk. Bending to retrieve her towel, she peeked sideways at him from the corner of her eye. He hasn’t moved an inch. What’s he about?
Grabbing the towel, she glanced down and froze. The candles to her left bathed her in a stream of light. She could clearly see the outline of her legs. Her nightwear was almost translucent in the candlelight and gave him a shadowy view of— dear God—nearly everything.
No wonder he hadn’t moved, the lout.
Standing upright, she held the towel before her and faced him. “Enjoying the view, your lordship?” she snapped.
Well, I have to say I enjoyed that ‘immeasurably’ as well. The book comes out in May, and we’d love to have you back to help launch it, but before you go, tell us a little bit about what’s coming up next.
I just sold the second book in the Blue Rose Trilogy to Soul Mate Publishing. Highlander’s Hope is the first and The Viscount’s Vow is the second. I’m plugging away on the third novel, The Earl’s Enticement. I hope to have it done in May. Then I have a stand-alone novel that’s insisting I write it next. After that, I’ll either do the Ferguson Saga or a pair of stand-alone books but the characters are related. Actually, the entire Ferguson Saga and another five books I have plots for all center around secondary characters from Highlander’s Hope and other characters in my Blue Rose Trilogy.
I have an idea for a contemporary romance as well as a paranormal historical. I’d like to try my hand at writing a medieval romance and maybe something in the Georgian or Victorian era too. The Blue Rose Trilogy is set in the Regency period.
You’ve given us a lot to look forward to, Collette. Thank you once again for joining us today at A Writer’s Haven.
Collette Cameron Bio
A life-long Oregonian, Collette Cameron was born and raised in a small town along the northern Oregon coast. Today she makes her home in a rural community, 30 minutes west of Portland. Her Victorian farmhouse sits on a one-acre certified wildlife habit, interspersed with a plethora of gardens: English, rose, butterfly, rock, water, and of course, vegetable.
A voracious reader of romance since her teens, she even named her daughter after a heroine in her favorite romance novel. An enthusiast of times gone by, and anything related to romance, she writes Historical Romance, with a dash of inspiration, a pinch of humor, and a liberal portion of suspense.
Having dabbled in interior decorating in her youth, Collette returned to school, graduating summa cum laude from Oregon State University, and went on to obtain her Master’s Degree in Teaching. She is member of Romance Writers of America, Rose City Romance Writers, The Beau Monde, and Love Faith and Hope, Inc., and a whole slew of other author/writer groups.
Some of Collette’s favorite things include unique blends of coffees and teas, trivia, Cadbury Milk Chocolate, inspirational quotes, and scented candles. Her Christian faith, husband, three adult children, and five miniature dachshunds round out her life quite nicely! When she’s not teaching or writing, she is a content and copy/line editor for an Ebook publisher, enjoys amateur photography, bird watching, gardening, interior decorating, rock-hunting, boating or fishing on the Columbia River, and reading of course.
Connect with Collette Cameron:
Web site: http://collettecameron.com/
Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/collettecameronauthor
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/collette.cameron.5
Linked In: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/collette-cameron
Soul Mate Publishing Author’s Blog: http://smpauthors.wordpress.com/