Welcome to Day 10 of the #RomancingSeptember Tour
Our guest today is Lizzie Lamb with her book Scotch On The Rocks
Where is your home town?
My home town is in the middle of England, Leicester. It is very old settlement and has roots stretching back to pre-Roman times. More recently, the bones of Richard III (The King in the Carpark) were discovered, excavated and reinterred in Leicester Cathedral. A fact I am immensely proud of.
How long have you been writing romance?
It seems fanciful to say ‘since I was about 11 years old’, but its true. I have the embryonic romances I wrote (all about highwaymen and Jacobites!) in a box file to prove it. Seriously, though, I have been writing with a view to publication since about 2009, which was when I left the teaching profession to concentrate on writing. I have now written and self-published three novels.
What is your favourite sub-genre of romance?
I would have to say romantic comedy. I love the ‘screwball’ comedies of the 30’s and early 40’s. And, although I do like chick lit, I increasingly find myself drawn towards romantic suspense and something more historical (especially Scottish history).
Where is your book set?
Scotch on the Rocks is set on an imaginary island off the west coast of Scotland – Eilean na Sgairbh, where the cormorants outnumber the inhabitants 10:1. Gratifyingly, readers have told me that once they have finished the novel they really miss being on ‘my island’.
Introduce us to the main characters
The heroine is Ishabel (Issy) Stuart. The hero is Brodie, an American guest staying at her Aunt Esme’s B&B. (I can’t reveal his surname as that is part of the mystery embedded into the book. Issy has left a failed relationship behind in Edinburgh and intends spending her life on Cormorant Island establishing a craft centre for designers, much like one she’d visited on the North West coast of Scotland at Balnakeil. She’s also sworn off men and vowed to die an old maid, surrounded by cats and copies of Vogue. That all changes when her left-wing Aunt Esme goes off on a fracking demo and leaves Issy in charge of the B&B – and Brodie.
Tell us about the remote island that Ishabel escapes to.
The island is called Eilean na Sgairbh, Cormorant Island. Issy’s family have lived there since the early 19th century when they won a slice off land off a gambling laird, stopped making ‘moonshine’, went legit and stablished a whisky distillery – Twa Burns. Once, the island community was thriving and the distillery employed most of the inhabitants. However, after the distillery was bombed at the end of WWII (it was producing industrial alcohol), it has lain a ruin and all the young people have left the island to find work elsewhere. Issy loves the island and wishes she had the money to rebuild the distillery, prevent the young islanders from leaving and make Eilean na Sgairbh back a thriving community once more. The island is wild and beautiful and is cut off several times a day as the tide floods over the ancient causeway linking it to the mainland, known as The Narrows.
Why is Aunt Esme, hiding out there too?
Without giving away too much, Esme has never married and has devoted her life instead to the Peace Movement and other ‘worthy’ causes. In her youth she alienated half the island by joining the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and blockading The Narrows to prevent US servicemen based on Holy Loch from visiting the island and spending their dollars. Now in her mid-seventies, she trundles off on her converted library bus to demonstrate against fracking, using drones in Afghanistan and the practice of Female Genital Mutilation. But, wherever she goes, she always returns to Cormorant Island . . . despite the islanders holding her left-wing sentiments and bohemian lifestyle against her. WHY she returns is made clear at the end of Scotch on the Rocks.
What do you like most about writing about wild men of Scotland?
I think I like writing about them because I can weave lots of history and atmosphere into the story and it feels ‘right’. Doing that is more difficult in an urban setting. For me, the highlands of Scotland is a magical, mythical place – the ideal setting for writing the perfect romance. This sense of ‘other worldliness’ and thousands of years of history is embodied when someone tall, dark and kilted puts on plaid (natch). And of course, the thought of a kilted hero, such as Jamie Fraser in Outlander series would make the heart of any romantic novelist beat faster. In Scotch on the Rocks, Brodie the hero, wears his grandfather’s and sets off a chain reaction.
Tell us what you are working on at the moment
I have two projects on the go and I’m feeling my way into them, seeing which one grabs me the most. I rather suspect it will be the Scottish-themed one, into which I want to weave a bit of Highland mysticism and second sight. After publishing it, hopefully next summer, I may return to writing something a bit more in the romantic comedy genre, about a girl who ‘accidentally’ becomes the nanny to the children of a burned out playwright . . .
Where can readers find out more about you?
The best place is my Amazon page or my website where there is more information about me and my books.
buying links (US / UK) – universal link – viewBook.at/scotchontherocks or http://tinyurl.com/SOTR2015
- Amazon page: http://tinyurl.com/mpcv6bn
- website: www.lizzielamb.co.uk
- Linked in: uk.linkedin.com/pub/lizzie-lamb/18/194/202/
- Goodreads http://tinyurl.com/cbla48d
Find out more about Lizzie from Stephanie in just a few hours http://stephanie-hurt.com/