Sunday, December 23, 2012

Welcome Amanda Scott and a Contest today

Welcome to Love Romances & More Reviews Amanda Scott. Comfortable? Let’s begin, shall we?

Please tell us a little about yourself and how long you've been writing. Have you always gravitated toward being an author?
A: I’ve been writing professionally since 1981, when Signet published my first Regency, The Fugitive Heiress. I can’t say that I always gravitated toward being a writer, but I’ve told stories since I first began talking. I was the oldest of four children and second oldest of a host of grandchildren (the oldest one being male), and that made me everyone’s babysitter of choice. I made up hundreds of stories in those days to entertain the younger children. We spent a lot of time on my grandparents’ ranch in northwestern California and at their cabin in the High Sierras. Neither place had a TV, so we spent most of our time outside, playing games, and I made up many of them on the fly, although the others always added their ideas and fought to play their favorite roles. The lawyers in my family are courtroom (trial) lawyers and at least one of them has acted onstage. If you stop and think about that, you’ll realize that they are all creative types, too, creating images and likely scenarios for juries. I’ve always liked to write. However, I never expected to become “a writer,” let alone “an author.”

How do you balance family life with your writing? 

A: I’ve always been pretty disciplined with my writing, and I’ve always tried to schedule it around family needs. Of course, life often intervenes when one least expects it and least needs stress or distraction, and when it does, family will always come first. But my family is also understanding, so when I need to submerge or have committed to something else that conflicts and would be difficult to change, they do what they can to make things easier.

If you could trade places with a character in one of your books, who would it be and why? 
A: Would I want to live in the 14th-19th centuries? Nope. I spend my summers in a rustic cabin in the High Sierras, with no road, no sewer, no telephone, and no Internet. That’s enough historical living for me. I like libraries, iced mochas, and driving fast cars. Living in a drafty, smoky castle with a stinky garderobe or moat might be interesting for a sennight or so, and I love good haggis. But otherwise…nae, moran taing! (No, thanks)

Anything your fans would be surprised to know about you? 
A: That I’m a one-time champion oarswoman. I rowed for Mills College and the Lake Merritt Rowing Club. It might also surprise them to know that I didn’t know I was writing Romance when I started. Didn’t even know there were categories. So imagine my surprise when my Signet editor wanted a second book just like the first one! I wrote a Scottish one first. Border Bride was eventually (like 7 years later) published by Dell, then years after that, reprinted by Kensington/Zebra and will soon be available online.

Dealing with writing deadlines can be a challenge. What do you do to cope with the stress? 
A: Strangle my husband? Nah, the truth is that he provides a great deal of stress relief at such times. He shares the household work and picks up the excess when I’m snowed under. He does the shopping, the laundry, and the vacuuming. He doesn’t cook and depends on me to be his memory. While our son still lived a home, he also did a lot to help ease the stress, and when he can, he still does. As for the things I do for myself, I try to stay organized, healthy, and disciplined, but as with most writers, those things don’t always play out. I also walk every day, and I spend my summers at our mountain cabin, away from the Internet and reliable phone service. (Also, away from modern amenities, as seen above)

Is there something special you do to celebrate when one of your books is released? 
A: When the manuscript is finished, I sleep without an alarm clock, take longer walks than usual, and read more for pleasure than for research for at least a couple of weeks. But I’ll also be plotting and outlining the next book. By the time a new book comes out, I’m deep in the next one or even the next one after that (which means I’m editing or already promoting the book in between), so I have to guard my time, which means that, while I do celebrate finishing a manuscript with dinner out or whatever strikes my fancy, or my husband’s, I don’t do anything in particular to celebrate a new release. However, I do accept invitations to speak or otherwise to promote that book.

Tell us about your latest/upcoming release. What is this gem about?
A: The first book in my Lairds of the Loch trilogy, The Laird’s Choice, just came out on December 18. Book 2, The Knight’s Temptress is finished and will be out in August 2012, and the manuscript for Book 3, The Warrior’s Bride, which I’m working on as I write this, is nearly finished. The three books all have heroes from clans on or near Loch Lomond, an area that connects the Highlands with the Lowlands. Most clans there, but not all, are considered Highland clans.
Loch Lomond’s north and west banks are Highland, its south and southeastern areas generally Lowland. But clans in the latter areas often controlled land on Highland shores too. The heroine of Book 1, Lady Andrena MacFarlan, is based on the Roman warrior-huntress Camilla who was friends with Diana, Roman goddess of the hunt, and Andrena has extraordinary skills of her own. She can “read” people’s emotions and demeanors with extraordinary accuracy—people, that is, except for the hero, Magnus Mòr Galbraith (“Mag), who is a veritable giant and a warrior with a mind of his own. Andrena’s father, Andrew Dubh MacFarlan, is trying to win back his chiefdom, usurped by a villainous cousin. Meantime, the lone estate that Andrew still holds – Tùr Meiloach, (meaning “small tower guarded by giants” – seems to be guarded by particularly fierce birds and beasts as well as aggressively treacherous landscape. Andrena and her two sisters, Lina and Muriella (heroines of Books 2 & 3) share an emotional bond so strong that each knows when one of the others is in trouble. I based all three of them loosely on the mythological Fates.
To help him win back his chiefdom, Andrew Dubh hopes to marry his three daughters to warriors from powerful clans, who will fight with him to defeat his wicked cousin. Meantime, the villains are plotting to bring down the King of Scots, who has recently returned from nineteen years of English captivity.
When The Laird’s Choice opens, Andrena realizes that intruders have trespassed onto her family’s land, so she goes into the woods beyond the tower walls to investigate, keeping herself well concealed. Meantime, the unarmed, nearly exhausted Mag is escaping from three of the villains, so…
Anything coming from you in the next few months you want to share or are working on?

A: The Knight’s Temptress, Book 2 of Lairds of the Loch will be out in August 2013. Its heroine is the lady Lachina “Lina” MacFarlan, middle sister of the three. Lina is the practical sister, and unbeknownst to her, she has inherited her mother’s ‘foresight’ or gift of prophecy. Her hero is a knight she has known since she was a ‘too-dignified eight’ years old and he was a ‘stubborn, too-reckless’ fourteen-year-old (and also rather full of himself). He hasn’t changed much since, and although she has matured and is the calm one of the three sisters, when she and a young friend fall into the hands of powerful rebels who have seized the ‘impregnable’ royal castle of Dumbarton and its nearby burgh and harbor, guess who is the only one crazy enough to try to rescue her. This book is based on a true story (well, as true as most tales as old as this one is are).

After that comes Book 3, The Warrior’s Bride, which is about Lady Muriella, the youngest MacFarlan sister. Murie has an eidetic memory and wants to become a clan seanachie or story teller. Her character is based on that of Clotho, the youngest of the three Fates, who was the spinner of life. Murie ‘spins’ in just about any way one can imagine. Her hero is the heir to a barony, and he does not believe in anything mystical. He also has a low tolerance for ‘storytelling.’

I will also have most of my backlist books available in electronic editions in March and April. Check my website periodically for upcoming details.

What is in your To Read Pile that you are dying to start or upcoming release you can’t wait for? 

A: Since I’m scrambling right now to meet a deadline, I had to look. I have Spenser Quinn’s Dog On It, Amy Chua’s Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, and Charles Todd’s A Duty to the Dead on the table. I just finished J.A. Jance’s A Betrayal of Trust (a J.P. Beaumont Mystery), which is more the sort of thing I read to get my mind out of my own work, while I’m writing.

Who is the one author that you would love to meet someday and why? 
A: I don’t have a favorite author. I read constantly, voraciously, probably four or five books a week if you count research. I read everything, from political, legal, and medical thrillers to romantic suspense, mysteries, science fiction, and more literary books, even plays and poetry, as well as Scottish history. Some of my favorite authors are Jan Westcott, Lee Child, Brad Thor, Roberta Gellis, Janet Evanovich, Tess Gerritson, Emily Dickinson, Stephen J Cannell, Alex Kava, Sir Walter Scott, Charles Dickens, James Grippando, Jane Austen, Vince Flynn, John Sandford, Lisa Scottoline, Stuart Woods, Kate Wilhelm, Thomas Perry, Steve Berry, Dana Stabenow, Harlan Coben, Robert B. Parker, Daniel Silva, Elizabeth Peters, Greg Iles, Robert Crais, Kay Hooper, Catherine Coulter, Deborah Crombie, Agatha Christie, John Nance, John Lescroart…I could go on, but these are the first ones that come to mind, so you probably get the idea. I have met a few of them. I would have loved to meet Stephen J Cannell simply because I love his sense of humor and the fact that he never seemed to be at a loss for a brilliant plot twist.

What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing? 
A: Don’t do it! I don’t need any more competition! Seriously, though, I always give the same advice: Read, read, read! Read everything and anything you can get your hands on. Don’t stick to any genre, taste them all. Then hone your skills. A writer who knows the finer points of grammar and syntax will always outperform one who doesn’t, if only because the editing for the one who does is cheaper for the publisher.

If we asked your muse to describe you in five words, what would they say about you?
A: Nature-lover, creative, affectionate, methodical, perfectionist

Anything else you want to add? Links?
A: The first chapter of The Laird’s Choice [Forever, Dec 2012] is posted on my website: If readers have questions or comments, they will also find a link there to my email, which is I love to hear from readers, have learned a great deal from them over the years, and I answer all messages…eventually (see above about summer retreat).

Leave a comment for Amanda with your email address and be entered to win a signed print copy of The Laird's Choice. Contest runs till December 26th with winner being announced on December 27th on this post. Good Luck!

The Laird's Choice
Grand Central Publishing
Historical Romance

Lairds of the Loch Series, Book 1

Buy at


Lady Andrena MacFarlan has been different since the day she was born. Possessing the power to sense others' most intimate desires, she knows her duty is to marry the man who will take the MacFarlan name as his own and help her father regain the chiefdom of their clan. But her unique gifts don't prepare her for the day when a mighty warrior suddenly enters her life. The attraction between them is undeniable -- and insatiable.


Hunted by brutal enemies, the wounded Magnus Galbraith washes up on MacFarlan land where he is rescued by a laird's lovely daughter. Andrena is like no one Magnus has ever known. She has the uncanny ability to both calm and enflame him in ways he never dreamed possible. But she has other unknown-and dangerous-powers. Now, as Magnus seeks to avenge a brother and protect a king, the young beauty could prove his greatest ally-or his ultimate undoing . . .


L.B.Shire said...

Will definitely add this to my TBR pile, sounds great! Have a Merry Christmas!

L.B.Shire said...

Will definitely add this to my TBR pile, sounds great! Have a Merry Christmas!

Dannyfiredragon said...

Hi Amanda,

great interview. I am looking forward to read your new series.

Happy Holidays

DawnsReadingNook said...

The winner of the signed print book from Amanda is LB Shire. Congrats. Her publicist will be contacting you LB in regards to your prize.