Day 7 on Romancing September, please join me in welcoming author Olivia Stocum as our guest author, then pop over to Georgia to catch up with her views on writing romance in today’s society with Stephanie in a few hours.
1) Where is your hometown?
My hometown is Owego, New York. It’s a historic town dating back to the Revolutionary War. I still live there. My house is 213 years old and has been in my husband’s family for three generations. I love ‘old’ things. Houses, towns, furniture…
2) How long have you been writing?
I started writing as soon as I had the ability to form sentences on paper. I couldn’t wait to learn how to read and write. I just knew books and I were a love match.
3) Have you always written romance?
Yes. It all started with Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast.
4) Before we get into the book, I must compliment you on the cover, It’s gorgeous! Who designed it?
An uber-talented woman, Stephanie White. https://www.facebook.com/StephsCoverDesign Check her out if you’re in the market for a book cover. She really cares about your vision for your book.
5) “Dawning” is a historical romance, is this your favourite style?
Yes, it is. Although, that said, I do have a paranormal series about a female werewolf in the works.
6) Set in Scotland in 1599, what made you choose this time and setting?
I wanted to create a world where the great kilt, castles, and damsels in distress all existed at the same time. Since the Great Kilt didn’t come into use until the mid fifteen hundreds, and castles fast went out of style in the sixteen hundreds, (yes, some people do still live in them, but for the most part they were no longer being built) I realized this was my best choice.
7) Do you have any family link to the MacAlastair clan that you wrote about?
Nope. I completely made up the clan out of my imagination. I did that on purpose, because I knew the last thing I wanted was hate-mail because I made someone’s great-great-great-great grandfather into a bad guy. (Or something to that extent). My grandmother was Scottish however, from the Davidson clan.
8) Clans are renown for their fierce protection of family, how do you show this in the book?
I could talk about Triona’s father, who is laird, or William, who is heir apparent, or even Triona, who is painfully devoted to the both of them. But I think it’s our hero, Ronan, who shows this the most. He has no idea who his parents are, and although he has been adopted into Triona’s clan, he isn’t able to accept it. He sees Triona alone as his legacy. And he will do anything to build his own clan around her.
9) Tell us more about the mysterious “Blackhawk” in your book, does his reputation precede him?
It does, and in ways he doesn’t come realize until the end of the book. Ronan (AKA Blackhawk) describes himself as the sort of mercenary who only sells to the highest bidder, but at closer examination, he’s left a trail of goodwill behind him. Maggie, for example, who was sold into harlotry at thirteen. Ronan pays off her debt to the man who owns her, then uses his powerful influence to find her a position as a lady’s maid, changing her life forever.
10) I was surprised when one reviewer picked you up on your lack of historical content in “Dawning” it is after all a fictional piece. Would this comment influence your future writing?
I don’t see it as influencing my writing at all. I’m very much like Jane Austen, who wrote her books during the Napoleonic Wars, yet never found it necessary to take her reader onto the battlefront. My books are ROMANCE. I write about relationships of many kinds. Friends, father and daughter, cousins, and yes, lovers. That is the essence of my writing. I don’t pretend that it’s something it’s not, either. I never once said that Rob Roy or Bonnie Prince Charley would be making an appearance in any of my books.
11) Fans are clamouring for a publishing date of your next book “Moonstone” do you have a date yet? Is it a sequel to “Dawning”?
Yes, and yes. The release date is January 2014. The book is written, and I am doing some of my own editing before it goes off to my hired editor next month. It’s about one of my most admired characters, William MacAlastair. I have yet to find a woman who doesn’t like him, and I can understand. Secretly, I’m in love with him too. (But don’t tell my husband, please.)
Thanks for having me on your blog, Rosie. I really enjoyed our interview!
Thanks for being my guest today Olivia, I loved your answers!