Welcome to my home on the web. You may have noted the mountains in the banner are the misty Blue Ridge of North Carolina. Did you know time traveling Highlanders live there? Curious about the big cat? Florida panther~from the Crimson Storm paranormal novel, Sea Panther.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Why I Write What I Do

My friend, Ashley York, author of The Bruised Thistle, asked me to participate in a blog tour about our writing processes. Perhaps you might enjoy learning a wee about why I write what I do.

What am I working on?

My current work-in-process is Just Wait For Me, the third novel in the Highland Gardens series of Scottish historical time travel romances spiced with scheming faeries, mischievous brownies, and other fae creatures. The story begins as King James IV dies during the Battle of Flodden. The hero is the ever loyal Stephen MacEwen, cousin to the MacLachlans, who we met in the first two books. He's been a bit glum and lost emotionally since Patrick (Book 1) left Scotland.

Wounded during the battle, he is whisked away by the fae before the English can kill him, for they have other plans for the blond warrior. We met the heroine, Jillian O'Donnell, at the end of the first book, Just Beyond the Garden Gate, and she played a minor, secondary role in the second book, Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon. She's suffering from unrequited love, and joins her brother on a bicycling vacation to get away from all the happy-happy between Finn and Elspeth (Book 2).

She ends up falling through time and becomes a fae target for a matchmaking scheme. After meeting Jillian, Stephen regrets making a rash decision to handfast with a lass he barely remembers before leaving to fight for his king. How can he not fall in love with Jillian—a woman from the future? I hope readers will have fun untangling the web of deceit weaved by the fae.

Blurb for Just Wait For Me:
In the chaotic aftermath of the battle of Flodden, an injured Highland warrior makes a bargain with a twenty-first century lass cast back in time by a meddling, matchmaking faerie. Stephen MacEwen promises that if the lass will help him get home, he'll find a way to send her forward to her own time. But is that a promise he'll want to keep? And after spending time with Stephen, will Jillian O'Donnell want to go?

How does my work differ from others in its genre?

My books tend to bend traditional genre lines. The Highland Gardens series combines Scottish historical, time travel and fantasy elements. Magic is weaved throughout. My new Crimson Storm paranormal series blends vampires, shifters, Scottish history, and timetravel with voodoo magic. My goal is to build a world where a reader believes anything is possible.

Why do I write what I do?

I've always had a vivid imagination. As a child I had an imaginary playmate named Michael. I can't help making up stories in my head. During the midst of a corporate career, while traveling 80% of the time, I made up stories about people in airports and hotel lobbies. It was inevitable that I would start writing novels. Since all things Scottish fascinate me, inspire me—the people, the land—my books have a heavy Scottish influence. Fantasy art has inspired me to incorporate elements of magic. The TV series Dark Shadows is probably the root of my paranormal influence. Most important, though, I'm inspired by romance. Why wouldn't I want to write about lovers overcoming all obstacles to find a happily-ever-after?

How does my writing process work?

The process for writing each story is different, but all begin with the seed of an idea—perhaps a character, a setting, or a plot thread. I might start writing and research along the way or begin with research and move on to the writing. I start with a rough outline and use a storyboard to expand on the plot as I write. After a very rough draft is written, I go back and layer in more detail. The story gets passed off to critique partners then I edit, edit, and edit, before sending the manuscript to a professional editor for two passes.

Hope you enjoyed learning about my writing process.

Sea Panther is my newest release:

After evading arrest for Jacobite activities, Scottish nobleman Robert MacLachlan turns privateer. A Caribbean Voodoo priestess curses him to an eternal existence as a vampire shifter torn between the dual natures of a Florida panther and an immortal blood-thirsting man. For centuries, he seeks to reverse the black magic whilst maintaining his honor. Cruising the twenty-first century Atlantic, he becomes shorthanded to sail his 90-foot yacht, Sea Panther. The last thing he wants is a female crewmember and the call of her blood.

Although she swore never to sail again after her father died in a sailing accident, Kimberly Scot answers the captain's crew wanted ad to escape a hit man. She's lost everything, her fiancé, her job, and most of her money, along with money belonging to her ex-clients. A taste of Kimberly's blood convinces Robert she is the one woman who can claim the panther's heart. To break the curse, they travel back in time to where it all began—Jamaica 1715.


For another fascinating glimpse into an author's writing process, visit Cate Parke and the Tuesday's Child blog. Cate is one of my fabulous critique partners and author of the Dreams of Oakhurst series set in pre-Revolutionary War, Charleston, South Carolina.



~Dawn Marie

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