Jen: Today we are excited to welcome Grace Burrowes to Romancing the Book. Grace, will you share a short bio with us?
GB: New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Grace Burrowes is the author of the acclaimed Windham Family Series, The MacGregor Trilogy and The Lonely Lords Series. Her debut novel, The Heir (2010), as well as The Bridegroom Wore Plaid (2012) were both included as Publishers Weekly Best Books of their respective years, in the romance category. A practicing attorney specializing in family law, Grace lives in rural Maryland, where she is working on the final book in the Windham series, Lady Jenny’s Christmas Portrait (October 2013) and third MacGregor story, The MacGregor’s Lady (February 2014), and many more books.
Jen: Please tell us about your newest release and where the idea came from.
GB: Once Upon a Tartan is the second book in my Scottish Victorian “MacGregor” trilogy, and the idea for it sprang in part from my familiarity with custody disputes—one child cannot live simultaneously in two different households—and from my love of the Scottish Highlands.
Honor or happiness—he can’t have both.
Tiberius Flynn may be every inch an English lord, but smart, headstrong beauty Hester Daniels has no use for his high-handed ways–no matter how handsome, charming, or beguiling he is. They only see eye to eye in caring about the feisty little girl who is under their protection.
Tiberius’s haughty insistence that his wealthy estate in England is a better place for the child than her beloved, rundown Scotland home sparks Hester’s fierce protectiveness, and the battle lines are drawn.
Jen: Describe your writing in 3 words.
GB: My bestest fun.
Jen: What kind of research did you do for this book?
GB: I went to Scotland, several times and hope to go back frequently. There’s no substitute for firsthand experience of a society and its surrounds, and no telling what details I can pick up that will enliven a scene or a character. Scotland is beautiful, and much of it is desolate, in part because so many Scots opted for taming the American wilderness rather than their own.
Jen: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Easiest? Most rewarding?
GB: Any creative endeavor is scary—you can wake up tomorrow, and the well—of ideas or enthusiasm—might be dry. The market changes overnight and what you love to write might go out of vogue. The laws change, piracy only grows, more and more talented authors enter the arena each season…. Two important things remain in an author’s grasp, though: First, I control how much of my resources I invest in writing, and for me the writing is top priority. I love to write, love the struggle of crafting a strong scene, buffing my prose, wrestling with a plot, all of it. Second, after the writing, my relationship with my readers comes next. There’s a lot of blather about discoverability lately, but how discoverable I am is largely in my readers’ hands. The folks out there who get my voice and my values are going to be the best advocates for my writing, and interacting with them is a sheer pleasure.
Jen: Who has influenced you as a writer?
GB: Particularly for historical romance writers, I have a sense that we stand on the shoulders of “giantesses.” Judith Ivory was my first keeper author, quickly followed by Mary Balogh, Loretta Chase, Eloisa James and (early) Julie Garwood. All of those authors combined a keen interest in history with a deft ability to use the language. I re-read them again and again, and always find something new and wonderful in their stories.
Jen: Who are some of your favorite authors? What are you reading now?
GB: Joanna Bourne is my all-time fave, auto-keeper, nobody bother her so she can write faster, author. Carolyn Jewel has a prodigious talent, writing both steamy Regencies and terrific paranormals. Julie Anne Long’s Pennyroyal Green series is sheer genius, and Tessa Dare’s Spindle Cove stories are magnificent.
Jen: What do you do in your free time?
GB: Spend time with a tall, dark, handsome fellow named Dante. He has the most gorgeous eyes, is the soul of patience, and has never let me down. (Thoroughbred/draft crosses are known for their sense and soundness.)
Jen: What’s next for you?
GB: I’m working now on a 2014 Christmas story for Lady Joan Flynn, whose brother Tiberius is the hero of Once Upon a Tartan.
Giveaway Schedule—chances to win all month long!
8/1 Book Hounds
8/2 RomFan Reviews
8/5 In the Hammock
8/6 Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell
8/7 Manga Maniac Café
8/8 What’s on the Bookshelf
8/9 The Royal Reviews
8/12 Joan Swan’s Blog
8/13 Cocktails and Books
8/14 Romancing the Book
8/15 Ramblings from this Chick
8/19 Anna’s Book Blog
8/20 The Book Girl
8/21 The Reading Café
8/22 Seductive Musings
8/23 Peeking Between the Pages
8/26 Love Romance Passion
8/27 So Many Precious Books, So Little Time
8/28 Thoughts in Progress
8/29 Debbie’s Book Bag
8/30 Linus’ Blanket
The Once Upon a Tartan eReader Extravaganza Schedule
8/5 RTBookReviews.com: Kindle Paperwhite
8/6 All About Romance: Nook HD
8/7 Delighted Reader: Kindle Paperwhite
8/8 Night Owl Reviews: Nook HD
8/9 Book Lovers Inc.: Kindle Paperwhite
8/12 Discover a New Love: Nook Color
8/13 Book Savvy Babe: Nook HD
8/14 Jaunty Quills: Kindle Paperwhite
8/15 Fresh Fiction: Nook HD
8/16 Her Grace Notes: iPad