Jen: Today we welcome Gwyn Cready to Romancing the Book. Gwyn, will you share a short bio with us?
Gwyn: Hi, there. Thanks for letting me join the fun here. I’m Gwyn Cready, RITA Award-winning author of the just-released Just in Time for a Highlander and half a dozen other time travel romances (though I have written a contemporary romance, too—A Novel Seduction, which has a lot of kilts and Scots in it.) I left the corporate life after twenty-five years six years ago to write full-time. I have two grown kids—one in college, one getting married this year—and I live in Pittsburgh, overlooking the city. You can find me on Facebook, Twitter and at cready.com.
Jen: Tell us about your new release.
Gwyn: Just in Time for a Highlander, the debut novel in the Sirens of the Scottish Borderlands series, grew out of my fascination with the idea of taking a really powerful man from the twenty-first century and sticking him in the past, where his money and job no longer help him. Without his status to fall back on, what would a smart man do to reinvent himself and earn the respect of a woman from the past? The hero in the book is Duncan MacHarg, a dashing red-haired Scot who works on Wall Street. He gets sucked into the past when a magic spell used by the heroine, a clan chieftess in 1705, goes awry. She’s looking for a strong arm. Duncan is strong and smart (not to mention handsome and built), but he knows nothing about battles or sword fighting. Worse, she discovers the only way to reverse the spell and send him home is to fulfill the spell’s promise and make him over into a strong arm. Needless to say, sparks fly.
Battle reenactor and financier Duncan MacHarg thinks he has it made—until he lands in the middle of a real Clan Kerr battle and comes face to face with their beautiful, spirited leader. Out of time and out of place, Duncan must use every skill he can muster to earn his position among the clansmen and in the heart of the devastatingly intriguing woman to whom he must pledge his oath.
Abby needs a hero and she needs him now
When Abigail Ailich Kerr sees a handsome, mysterious stranger materialize in the midst of her clan’s skirmish with the English, she’s stunned to discover he’s the strong arm she’s been praying for. Instead of a tested fighter, the fierce young chieftess has been given a man with no measurable battle skills and a damnably distracting smile. And the only way to get rid of him is to turn him into a Scots warrior herself—one demanding and intimate lesson at a time.
Jen: What are you reading now?
Gwyn: I just finished Roz Chast’s graphic memoir about caring for her elderly parents, Can We Talk About Something More Pleasant? It’s wonderful—very funny and very touching. I’ve always loved Chast. Right now I’m savoring the most recent book in the Outlander series—Written in My Heart’s Own Blood—which is, of course, wonderful. I read that in bed at night before I go to sleep and always manage to have good dreams : ) My birthday just passed, and I got two great books that are up next for me—a biography of Billy Joel (!) and Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. You know I love stories that play with time. So I’m set for a bit.
Jen: Do you have a writing routine?
Gwyn: Yes. It involves a lot of looking at Facebook and checking email. It’s essentially fighting a long series of self-diversions. I wake up, walk the dog, read the paper and drink my coffee (ancho chile latte—sooo good!), then jump into the book with coffee #2. I sit curled up on a coach with a view of downtown Pittsburgh, my silky terrier, Socks, lying beside me. I’ve never been a good desk writer. If I remember, I try to write ten minutes of every hour standing at the bar in my kitchen. The afternoon dog walk is a nice break in the day (as if the 79 Facebook checks aren’t). My husband leaves for work early and gets home early, so it’s nice to be done writing about 4 pm or so. Often, though, I’m not done with what I want to get done, so we’ll eat dinner and I’ll dive back into writing while he watches TV. We recently negotiated a set of wireless headphones for him so that I can write in quite. (He’s a good guy.) If I’m lucky, I write about five pages a day. I generally write both days on the weekends, too. I wish I wrote faster, but, hey, it is what it is. Most days I’m grateful I can five pages.
Jen: What’s up next?
Gwyn: Well, I’m hard at work on the third book in the Sirens of the Scottish Borderlands series, and I just turned in the second to my editor. After I finish the third, I’ll decide what I want to write next and write a proposal for it to give to my agent to try to sell, and then, while I wait for her to sell it, I’ll work on my “hobby” book, which is a memoir about my younger sister, who died when she was 31. We rarely saw each other after I went off to Chicago for college and she headed to New York, where she stayed after graduating, so the memoir is my attempt to get to know my sister as well as I can through the people who loved her. I’d like to finish that by the end of the summer, before I jump back into romance writing.