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The Next Big Thing: Blog Hop

Posted by on 13 February, 2013

Okeee, welcome to my first blog hop post! It’s called ‘The Next Big Thing’ and I was tagged by one of my awesome new writing partners, Valerie Francis. She’s writing a fascinating young adult (YA) fantasy series set right here in Newfoundland. Check her out!

The point of this blog hop is to get us all chatting about our current works in progress and hopefully let you all know a little more about how our deranged minds work. 🙂

So here we go!

1) What is the working title of your next book?

Bound to the Highlander. I originally called it MacIntosh, and the whole series was just the name of the clan the book centered around. BTTH seems a little more like a real romance book title to me though, don’t you think? So MacIntosh, MacKay, and Sutherland are now Bound to the Highlander, Promised to the Highlander, and Enemy of the Highlander.

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?

Funny story. Few years back, my bestie told me about a movie she’d recently seen and the incredibly romantic moment where the hero and heroine meet on a lovely country road. Well, my mind got to working and I envisioned the scene where James and Aileana meet for the first time. Neither knows the other, but the chemistry is intense. I’m a huge fan of lust at first sight.

3) What genre does your book fall under?

Historical romance. My favourite.

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

That’s a sad question to answer. I found my perfect James MacIntosh in the actor who played the first Spartacus in the recent Starz series. Andy Whitfield. He was perfect. RIP Andy.

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

A devastating loss and a well-guarded secret turn everything Aileana Chattan thought she knew about her future on its ear – and onto the path of a man she despises.

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

At this point, I have no idea. I hope to publish Bound to the Highlander in a manner that will bring it to its appropriate audience, i.e. those who love politically driven historical romance. I wouldn’t rule out anything yet. But I sincerely hope I’m fortunate enough to work with a good editor to bring this piece of work to a mass market. I love my story and want it to be the best it can be. Who knows where that will lead me?

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

The first draft was written in six months. Keep in mind, I have a day job. The rewrites have taken much longer. I wrote a novel…then I had to learn how to write a novel. My learning curve has been huge. Every new technique I learned was applied it to an 85k ms. You could say BTTH has been my tutorial on novel writing. I wonder what my next lesson will be (eagerly rubs hands together).

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

That’s a question you need to ask those who’ve read it. It’s a historical romance set in Scotland during the high middle ages on the cusp of the renaissance with a political backdrop. I bet my beta readers would each tell you something different.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

A few years ago, I lost my parents within fourteen months of one another. My grief was intense and consuming. I was too rattled to read and so sought escape into something in which I could completely immerse myself. Once I felt the first spark of this story (see question 2 above) I think I held on for dear life. Writing became therapy for me. It gave me something to experience besides despair. Sounds dramatic, but it’s the blunt truth.

Since then, my determined nature has prevented me from giving up when I probably should have. Yet, every time I learned about something I wasn’t doing right, I was like a dog with a bone to fix it.

I’ve always had a passion for reading. Now I have a passion for writing too. 🙂

10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

Bound to the Highlander centers around a nobleman torn between tradition and progress. He must make a choice, and ultimately a sacrifice, if he is to help Scotland move forward as a unified country. James MacIntosh has no room for a young, uncourtly woman in his plans. So why does he sign a marriage contract binding her to him? Aileana Chattan has suffered a devastating loss and as a result discovers she is to wed neighbouring chieftain and baron, James MacIntosh. A man she despises. She struggles to adapt to the enormous change thrust at her and still keep some sense of herself. Sparks fly from the moment they meet and despite what logic dictates, their hearts will not be denied.

So that’s all I have to say about my stuff. Thanks for stopping by and reading about my work in progress. Did you know Atlantic Canada has some absolutely amazing romance writers? Have a look below at four phenomenal authors and fellow members of the Romance Writers of Atlantic Canada. Tune into their blogs next week to learn more about their ‘Next Big Thing’.

Shawna Romkey

Shawna grew up in around farms in the heart of Missouri but went to the University of Kansas, was raised in the US but now lives on the ocean in Nova Scotia with her husband, two sons, two rescue dogs and one overgrown puppy from hell. She’s a non-conformist who follows her heart.

She has her BA in creative writing from the University of Kansas where one of her plays was chosen by her creative writing professor to be produced locally, and two of her short stories were published in a university creative arts handbook. She earned her MA in English from Central Missouri State University where she wrote a novel as her thesis.
She’s taught English at the university and secondary levels for close to twenty years and can’t quite fathom how all of her students have grown up, yet she’s managed to stay the same. She’s a huge geek and fan of Xena, Buffy and all kick ass women, and loves to write stories that have strong female characters.

You can find Shawna at any of these sites. Fall in Love. Fall to Pieces. Fall from Grace., Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads

Michelle Helliwell

Michelle Helliwell is a professional librarian, wife, and mother of two awesome boys. She is also an aspiring historical romance author, based in Nova Scotia. She adores reading character driven novels of any genre and is a devoted fan of Jane Austen, Sherlock Holmes and lego video games. Michelle blogs weekly at Because a Ripped Bodice and you can follow her on Twitter or on Pinterest.

Tara MacDonald

Tara MacDonald has been writing since she was nine and let other things get in the way until 2007 when she joined the Romance Writers of Atlantic Canada (a chapter of Romance Writers of America). Now with a deadline for Dellarte and new manuscripts to submit to small press publishers/contests she’s taking on her health for her business. Guardian to two dogs, a Cairn Terrier named Oscar and a Westie named Skye, and a rescue cat she fills her days imagining love for all of her characters.

Look for Tara on these sites. Writer/Health Voyageur and Facebook

Julia Phillips Smith

Julia Phillips Smith has been telling stories since she figured out how to prop all of her dolls in a row, creating a wide-eyed and enraptured audience. A lifelong love of the arts has led her to wear many hats, onstage and backstage, for theatre, dance, television and film.

A confirmed balletomane, she looks forward to attending performances of the great companies of the world in their home venues. Until then, she watches Supernatural, listens to Gogol Bordello and blogs at A Piece of My Mind.

17 Responses to The Next Big Thing: Blog Hop

  1. Shawna

    Six months isn’t very long at all! Especially with a day job! That’s some serious writing!

    Sorry to learn about your parents’ deaths. 🙁

  2. Nancy

    Ohhhh Kate!

    What a touching summary of your writing journey! I knew it all, of course. Been along for the ride. But to see it inventoried here so articulately is quite moving. You’ve had such growth since those beginning, titillating emails of 2007. You’ve brought me to tears this morning!

    The place that started it all:

    May this road rise up to meet you, my dear friend!

    Bestie 🙂

    • katerobbins

      I wouldn’t have started it if it weren’t for you and your encouragement. I think you were more insatiable for James than I was in the beginning. Hahaha. I wish I still had those emails. 😀

  3. Nancy

    Oh they were delicious. 😀

  4. Julianne MacLean (@JulianneMacLean)

    Great interview! Thanks for sharing with us 🙂

  5. Nikki McIntosh

    Love the story blurb Debbie … I have a thing for Scottish men … I think it’s the accent. And Andy Whitfield was beautiful … a great choice to represent your novel.

    You’re doing great to complete your book in six months with a day job!! Keep up the good work and stay tenacious!!

    • katerobbins

      Hey, thanks! Some call it tenacious, I call it stubborn. Either way, it’s kept me going. And don’t get me started on Scottish men. LOL 🙂

  6. Georgiana Harding

    Hi Kate Robbins,

    Nice to meet you at last. I’m actually a member of RWAC, as well as CRW and living in Virginia Beach. I keep tabs on all the amazing accomplishments of the group and am a fan of historical novels. Your blog-post was deeply heart-wrenching and inspiring. Can’t wait to read your story injected with that kind of emotion!!
    I’m rooting for you…you’re almost there. Good luck , Georgiana Harding

    • katerobbins

      Well hello there! Very nice to meet you too! Thank you for your kind words. I love, love, love RWAC. Everyone’s been so supportive and I am very glad you’re all a party of my little journey. 🙂

  7. bevp

    What a great interview and congrats on your book. (I loved Andy Whitfield too.)

    • katerobbins

      Thanks, Bev! Andy Whitfield was perfect, espeically in the opening couple episodes when his hair was still long…perfection.

  8. pamelacallow

    It was wonderful to learn more about your writing, Kate. I’ve been a fan of historical romance and men in kilts since I read Outlander years ago. Best of luck with the series!

  9. Julia Phillips Smith

    “I wrote a novel…then I had to learn how to write a novel.” – LOL! That’s how it’s been for me, too.

    Really enjoyed learning more about you, although I wish you hadn’t gone through such a hard time. Can’t wait till we meet In Real Life!

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