What am I working on now? I’m editing SOMEWHERE LIES THE MOON, the final book in the Too Deep for Tears Trilogy, which will go live on May 19. I’m also beginning a Scottish Historical Romance novella, which will be part of a collaboration with six other authors to be released in November. It’s the story of a young woman who sees the truth through her paintings, but cannot paint herself, because she fears that particular truth. Then a man comes who stirs her secrets and emotions. He knows the truth. But will he use it to help her–or destroy her?
How does my work differ from others of its genre? Like others on this tour, I don’t find comparing and contrasting very helpful. I’d rather explain what I feel compelled to include in my books–what makes them honest and true to my voice. I have a Master’s in history, which enthralls me, so time and place are always an important factor. My characters grow out of the land and culture in which they live, and Nature is always a character itself. I am a highly emotional person; thus my books are full of emotional turmoil and tenderness, tragedy and triumph. I love to explore the many kinds of human relationships that nurture the characters’ souls and keep them whole. As a lover of mysteries myself, I always include suspense and adventure. Finally, I love the sensuality of language that flows like music; I try to attain that, though I’m not always successful.
Why do I write what I do? I’ve answered some of this in the previous question. I write historical fiction because I’m fascinated by history, by different cultures, by varying ways of thinking, and by the many alluring and beautiful places through time. I was studying history, but had never thought of writing about it, until my creative writing professor told me I might be a very good writer, if only I could think of a plot. That’s when the lightbulb went on. My favorite locale is Scotland; it’s in my blood and breath. Ever since I saw a movie with a ghost piper in the mist, I knew it was the home of my heart.
How does my writing process work? I get an idea and it swirls around in my head, often for years. For example, I first thought of the idea for the novella I’m working on at least 15 years ago. I walk frequently, because that’s when I think the most clearly. Scenes take shape in my head, and plot lines, and dialogue). I keep notebooks that I write my ideas in by hand (characterizations, plot, historical research, folk tales, furniture, poetry, songs, legends, food). I make lists of these things and staple them together, leaving them beside my computer so I can refer to them whenever necessary. And yes, I often become caught up in the research and continue it for too long. The most difficult transition is always moving from my creative thought processes to actually writing the book. I’ll do almost anything to avoid actually starting a book on the computer. That’s why I think every book through the first time by hand. When I can’t find a single excuse not to start, I write my first draft quickly (for me, anyway), just spewing out the story with every bit and piece in my head and notebooks. I just let it flow. I find if I edit myself as I write, I stop the natural flow. I can always cut later; it’s harder for me to add. It’s inevitably far too long, and I’ve described many scenes instead of actually showing them through interaction. But that’s all right, because I love to edit. I especially enjoy cutting. Once I have a first draft, no matter what shape it’s in, I feel a huge relief that frees me to work more slowly and carefully. I go through the manuscript several times, and–you might not believe this–I actually enjoy doing revisions. I know I can always make it better.
Historical Romance author Lily Baldwin loves writing, Scotland, her wonderful husband and beautiful young daughter—though not necessarily in that order. She has a BA in anthropology from University of New Hampshire, and an MA in International Studies from Birmingham University in the UK. She daydreams constantly, and gets her best story ideas while running; she is even training for a half-marathon. She also finds inspiration in Nature, a quality revealed through the powerful description and drama in her books. Currently TO BEWITCH A HIGHLANDER and HIGHLAND THUNDER (Books 1 & 2 of the Isle of Mull series) are available, and Lily is at work on the third book in the series—as yet untitled—which will be out in late summer or early fall. She is also writing a novella in collaboration with six other well-known historical romance authors for a bundle that will go live in November.
She lives in New England with her cherished husband and daughter.
Facebook fan page: https://www.facebook.com/lilybaldwin
When she’s not writing swashbuckling historical romances and playing medieval matchmaker, bestselling author Glynnis Campbell is a cartoon voice, the wife of a rock star, and the mother of two young adults. She’s been a ballerina, a typographer, a film composer, a piano player, a singer in an all-girl rock band, and a voice in those violent video games you won’t let your kids play. She does her best writing on cruise ships, in Scottish castles, on her husband’s tour bus, and at home in her sunny southern California garden. Glynnis loves transporting readers to a place where the bold heroes have endearing flaws, the women are stronger than they look, the land is lush and untamed, and chivalry is far from dead!
Ria Cantrell grew up in the suburbs of Long Island. She has enjoyed some very exciting endeavors in the past including competing as a figure skater, dancing as a professional belly dancer and singing as a classically trained vocalist with auditioned chorales as well as working as a soloist. With a love for history, Ria was fascinated with Medieval and Renaissance history and found herself drawn to participate with re-enactment groups that re-created the Middle Ages. Since fostering her love of all things medieval, Ria’s stories soon became flavored with Medieval , Scottish Highlander, Celtic and Renaissance themes. Ria now lives in the sunny tropical paradise of Southwest Florida with her English rock-star husband. The two share their love for music and writing. They perform together locally and they collaborate on writing endeavors. Ria’s Celtic Storm series began with Celtic Fury, followed by the its prequel, Celtic Tempest. Celtic Spirit was released this March and Knight Storm will be released sometime in the summer of 2014.
Website: Ria Cantrell