I’m sure y’all must get sick ‘n tired of hearing from me all the time. So have I got a treat for you!
Yes, it’s GUEST AUTHOR INTERVIEW TIME!
And the lovely Nicole North has kindly consented to be interrogated — I mean, interviewed *g*
Thanks so much for allowing me to be here, Maree, and for asking such fun questions!!
It’s totally my pleasure, Nicole.
Let’s kick off with the burning question: How did you come to write historical fiction with yummy men in kilts? What attracted you to the, er, genre? *VBG*
Oh… umm… the yummy men in kilts. LOL Just kidding (but they are hot!) For years I enjoyed reading Scottish historical romance. There’s just something about the combination of the beautiful, untamed landscape of Scotland, muscular warriors wearing unusual clothing fighting for their freedom, and passionate, intense romance that lures me in. Highlanders of hundreds of years ago have an untamed, wild and sexy aura about them that women love.
Please tell us a little about your road to publication.
It was a bumpy road filled with the potholes of rejection. I know, that’s bad. LOL! But you get the idea. The point is… persistence and determination are key. The only way to fail is to give up.
One of your recent releases is the novella SCOUNDREL IN A KILT (Secrets Volume 30 “Desires Unleashed” anthology). Can you describe it for us? Pleeeease?
Absolutely! Brodie, Chieftain of Clan MacCain is a dark, sexual scoundrel living in 1621 Scotland. He loves nothing more than being a selkie shape-shifter even if he has been cursed by a dark witch. He embraces his selkie powers and their sensual lifestyle, but his human clan disapproves.
After a high fashion photo shoot in the Scottish Highlands, modern day model Erin Schultz is trying to recuperate from one of the worst days of her life when a hot, kilted warrior invades her dreams. He inflames her desires but refuses to satisfy them. In the next instant, she finds herself stranded on an icy rock in the dark ocean. The delicious Highlander from her dream comes to her rescue, but this time he’s far more than a fantasy. He’s real and he’s naked. When he accidentally gives her a lust potion, will he appease her intense arousal or leave her in torment?
Because of a past betrayal, Brodie dares not trust another woman, especially one as beautiful, spellbinding and wanton as Erin. If he takes her as he yearns to do—as she begs him to do—will he no longer be a selkie? When Erin realizes she has time-traveled four hundred years into the past, a time of powerful witches and barbaric enemies, she’s determined to return to her normal life in present day. Though leaving Brodie will devastate her, she can’t give up her dreams, ignore her responsibilities or go back on important promises she’s made. By giving her what she wants most, will Brodie destroy himself?
And congratulations on your first novel-length release with Ellora’s Cave, BLADE OF THE WOLF – OMG, I love this cover! Tell us all about it!
Thanks!!! I definitely gave a loud squee when I first saw the cover. It was exactly what I’d asked for on the form, and even better than I’d imagined.
Ronan, immortal werewolf and Scottish Sgian Dubh Guardian, faces his most challenging, yet enticing, mission in centuries. He must protect sexy clairvoyant medium Syrena Ellis from an evil incubus intent on stealing her powerful life force. She awakens a raging arousal in Ronan, but if he gives in to temptation, he will be punished.
Dark and edgy, Ronan captivates Syrena. He is hot, hard and in control, yet his scorching glances and sinful kisses tell her he yearns for her. Even though she’s only a job, she finds a way past his iron-willed resistance. She’s determined to explore the depths of erotic passion with him. They’re unaware that their explosive sexual encounters are providing the enemy incubus with heightened energy, making him almost impossible to defeat.
Syrena’s forbidden desire and scorching lust for Ronan could destroy them both.
Do you have a favorite character from one of your books?
Wow that’s difficult to answer! I love all my characters so much, but for different reasons. Ronan from Blade of the Wolf is probably one of my most favorite at the moment. He’s so strong, tough, edgy, dark and determined. But has suffered a great loss in his past he needs to heal from. He also has a heart of gold.
I see you’re giving a workshop this month with the intriguing title “Writing Hot, Delicious Love Scenes”. So c’mon, spill! (Dying, here!)
This is a fun workshop (at least I think it is!) where we watch movies…. no, not THOSE kinds of movies (I know what you’re thinking, Maree.)…things like well-done love scenes in famous movies or TV shows where you can feel the passion. A lot of romance writers have a really difficult time writing love scenes that are, you know, hot and delicious. :) Some people fall into the trap of writing clinical love scenes akin to a college anatomy lesson. And others simply are very uncomfortable writing sex because they were brought up to believe sex is dirty. (Imagine that!) A lot of times people forget the most important thing in a love scene, the emotion. Interweaving all the elements of a good love scene (like action, emotion, thoughts, internalization, reaction, sensory details, dialogue, setting, etc) is something they’re hoping to learn. And they get to practice writing love scenes while I critique and give suggestions for improvements.
What do you believe is the biggest public misconception about erotic romance?
That it’s porn. When actually the opposite is true most of the time. I’ve read some incredibly emotional erotic romance.
What is your favorite part of the process of writing?
Second and third draft. That’s where I get to add all the yummy, juicy details and really explore each scene and get to know each character even better.
What’s your favorite movie or TV series?
My favorite TV series WAS Lost but now that it’s completed I’m looking forward to the new series coming this fall by the same writers. Fingers crossed that it’s great. I enjoy reality shows such as Dancing With the Stars and cooking shows like Chopped. Another reality show I am strangely addicted to is America’s Next Top Model. In my new release, Scoundrel in a Kilt, you will see how I put all that Top Model info to good use. The heroine is a high fashion model, used to strutting the runways of Paris, who is transported back in time to 1600s Scotland.
Do you have any advice for unpublished writers?
If you can’t NOT write, then go for it. Keep learning your craft and be persistent in following your dreams. If one thing doesn’t work, try something else.
I’m between projects right now and trying to decide what to work on next. I have some things half finished. I have ideas for new stories. And what that means is… I need to finish the sequel to LAIRD OF DARKNESS and I need to start the sequel to Blade of the Wolf. :)
(OMG, I just had another cover-love moment. Excuse me while I compose myself….)
What’s up next for the uber-talented Nicole North?
Thanks so much for the major compliment!!! But I’m not sure. LOL I have a submission out but no word yet on whether my editor thinks it has promise or not. Biting my nails here.
And finally, just because I’m incredibly nosey and all, tell us one thing about yourself that no one else knows.
No one? I doubt there is such a thing. LOL I enjoy simple things like hiking through the woods or strolling on a beach, looking for pretty shells, rocks or unusual plants. On a recent trip to Scotland my husband and I explored Smoo Cave, which wasn’t far from our B&B. I especially wanted to visit a cave because several scenes in Scoundrel in a Kilt take place in caves. We also explored the shore and beach in front of the cave and climbed a steep hillside. We had so much fun doing simple things like watching the animals and enjoying the beautiful scenery.
Thanks so much for letting me put you through the second Spanish Inquisition, Nicole — you’ve been a wonderful sport *g*
And if you’d like to find out more about Nicole, check out these links: