Great Scot! Bound to the Highlander is one hot read.

Author Kate Robbins

Author Kate Robbins

In case you don't know, there's more than one romance writer here in Newfoundland. My pal, and awesome author, Kate Robbins, recently released her debut novel, Bound to the Highlander. It's the first in her planned Highland Chiefs Series, and let me tell you, if you like your highland romances with a good dose of political intrigue, historical realism, and a smokin' hot hero, then Bound to the Highlander is for you. 

Bound to the Highlander, or BTTH as we like to call it, delves into the heart of James MacIntosh, head of his clan and ally with the new Scottish King. Aileana Chattan discovers she’d bound to this Laird, and it’s not a bond she’s looking forward to since she is not a fan of the new King, or of James’ politics. Still, there’s a smoldering bond between them that can’t be denied. 

Click here to go to Amazon and get your copy of Bound to the Highlander

Click here to go to Amazon and get your copy of Bound to the Highlander

James is a highland hero you won’t soon forget. And Aileana is as modern a woman as she can be for her period. When you put them together, you get a larger-than-life story that’s as big on conflict as it is on love.

Kate Robbins is on a whirl-wind blog tour and I'm so happy that she agreed to pop on to my little old blog here for a quick chat. So let's get to it. 

Tell me how you first conceived the idea of BTTH.

I was listening to two friends talk about Gerry Butler and Hilary Swank's meeting on a lovely country road in Ireland [in the movie PS I Love You] and just started writing James and Aileana's first meeting.

What five words would you use to describe James?

Arrogant. Cocky. Driven. Holyhellahot. Strategic.

Holyhellahot. I concur! What five words would you use to describe Alieana?

Headstrong. Loyal. Intelligent. Passionate. Honourable.

This novel is very much what some might call an old school Highland Romance. How do you think BTTH differs from a lot of new highland romances out there?

Hmmmm. In the sense of time frame it's different, but I think most Highlander Romances strive to weave in the political/social/religious climate which is what I've worked hard to achieve. So readers of Scottish romance might see a new century to learn about, but I hope I've delivered on all the essentials.

I write about Newfoundland because I write what I know. Does that addage "Write what you know" come into play in your work? And if so, how?

Yes, very much so. I've always been fascinated with Scotland, right from my teenage years and the first Highland Romance I read by Johanna Lindsay, A Gentle Feuding. I've acquired so much material on Scotland and have now visited twice to see the places I've set my stories in up close and personal so to speak. I'd love to spend more time there in the future.

If you had to cast someone to play James, who would it be? 

My vision for James MacIntosh is the late Andy Whitfield. He looked and sounded exactly how James is in my head. Imagine my surprise on my return flight from the UK in September when I ended up sitting beside Andy Whitfield's doppleganger! I'm certain he must has thought there was something wrong with me. And I'm certain I did not actually drool. o_O

Side note: I had no idea who Andy Whitfield was so I had to google it. When I saw him, I had to share him with you! You're welcome. :)

Andy Whitfield

Andy Whitfield

What's it like being a romance author in Newfoundland?

Well, as you know there's not too many of us here so it's been an interesting experience so far. I've had to virtually leave the province to find romance writer associations like Romance Writers of America (RWA) and the chapter closest to me, Romance Writers of Atlantic Canada (RWAC).

I'd love to meet more romance authors here and maybe expand knowledge of the genre in this province. I'm fairly certain there are others here just as there are many romance readers here. Would be wonderful to bring more Newfoundland romance authors and readers together.

When can we get our hands on the next book?  

I'm currently editing book two, Promised to the Highlander, and hoping to have it all pretty and polished to send off to my publisher by the end of October. I work full time so I am in a constant state of juggling my time. Hopefully I'll have some good news to share sooner rather than later.


So there you have it. A little insight into Kate's mind when she was writing BTTH. It's currently available as an e-book at Amazon.  

And finally, if you love that brooch on the cover of the novel, Kate is giving one away at the end of her blog tour. All you have to do to enter is comment on my post, or over on her website: Into The Highland Mist


Daily words and other things

Wow, I'm a terrible blogger. I just came back from the Romance Writers of America conference in Atlanta, and there were all kinds of handy morsels of information handed out. One of those was, if you're not blogging regularly, don't blog. Well, I don't know about that. I like to use my blog to keep me accountable. Being a deadline oriented writer and all, it's very helpful for me to have a public forum to say "Here's what I need to accomplish, and here's how I'm doing." It didn't work so well for the Regency... yet... but it worked out great for Against Her Rules.  

So here's what I'm now holding myself accountable for.  

  1. A daily word target of 5000 (this may change if I find I'm missing that target too often)
  2. Three novels ready to come into the world in October. Yes, you read that correctly. THREE! In October. All the the Heart's Ease series.  
  3. A Christmas themed novella (shorter novel) ready for a November release. 

So how am I going to do all of this? Well, I met some very inspirational self published authors at the RWA event, namely Bella Andre, Barbara Freethy, Liliana Hart, and Tina Folsom. They gave so many workshops and were willing to share their advice, followed by a "Go do what I say" warning. So I'm going to do what they say. And see if it works.  

Thanks ladies for the inspiration, and for sharing your wonderful knowledge. And thanks to those of you who read my blog, and my novels. There'll be a lot more Heart's Ease in our future.  

Let the writing begin

Now that Against Her Rules is out in the world, it's time to get back to work. I have several projects in the pot, as they say, and now just need to get cracking.  

First up, of course, is the second book in the Heart's Ease series. Daphne meets her match in this book, although I'm still trying to figure out who that might be. Aunt Ida will be front and centre again, and we'll get to see what happens when she finally takes her trip to Scotland.  

My second project is one that long-time blog followers know all about. I haven't given up on the regency romance. I'm contemplating giving it a read this week, and seeing if I'm inspired to move on. Part of me would love to have a draft of it complete before I head off to Georgia next month for the Romance Writer's of America national convention. 

And thirdly, I've recently pulled out an old manuscript that I'd submitted to Harlequin many many years ago... 2002 to be exact. I've given it a read through and think that with some modernization, it could be ready to go out pretty quickly. My big question with this one is if I should self-publish it like I did with Against Her Rules, or shop it around to some publishers. In today's market, it's hard to know what to do.  

The upside of self-publishing is that I'm in control of everything. The edits, the story, the cover, the marketing. My success or failure is all up to me. The downside of self-publishing is also that I'm in control of everything. It leaves a lot less time to just sit back and devote all my time to writing. Ah, the double-edged sword.  

Anyway, if you have any suggestions on which project you think I should be devoting the lion's share of my time to, feel free to comment. One thing I know I need to do is set myself a deadline. I accomplish nothing without a firm goal. I'd like to have book 2 in the Heart's Ease series out by October, but if one of the other two projects rises to the top, then you might see one of those instead. 

Don't you just love a vague future? I do!