Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Spotlight Author with Paula Quinn

I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentines Day and that the most romantic Valentine swept into the palms of your hands, from the most handsome hunk, (or for the men out there) a sassy woman. I hope your day was filled with chocolate, romance, and a lot of LOVE!!!!!

Today, I have Paula Quinn as my guest. She has been kind enough to share herself with us. Paula, can you tell us a little bit about your latest release SEDUCED BY A HIGHLANDER.

Seduced By A Highlander is book 2 in my Children of the Mist series. It’s about a man’s journey to find honor in the arms of his ladylove…even if she does hate him. After causing a skirmish ten years ago between the MacGregors and the Fergussons that left men dead on both sides, Tristan MacGregor no longer believes in quests. At least, not the kind of quests that men take to find integrity…or damsels in distress. But when he meets fair, feisty Isobel Fergusson at the king’s coronation, he embarks upon a journey into his own heart to find the man he had so wanted to become. Isobel will not be easily won by any knight in rusty armor. Especially a MacGregor. Nor will her brood of six brothers. They hate the MacGregors for killing their father and leaving them orphans a decade ago. But when Tristan follows her home, determined, relentless, and ruthlessly charming in his quest to end the feud and bring peace to their clans, her resistance begins to fail her. Does she dare lose her heart to her worst enemy, especially with the secret she has kept for the last ten years…a secret that will not end the feud, but start it up again?
How long was your road to publication?

Like any author, I had always hoped to see my books in print, but I didn’t work on it as stringently as I could have. I was raising three kids and writing was more of a hobby than a career. My husband actually found my first agent. After that, it took about six months to get published.

Often time’s writers describe writing a love scene like being an intruder in something so very personal. Do you feel this way and how do you get through the dreaded love scene?

It depends on the characters and their story, but yes, I do often feel like an intruder in something that should be sacred. I almost want to turn away and give them their privacy. But it’s more than just being a voyeur that I find difficult. I’m writing romance and there is so much more to it than the sexual aspect. The scenes must be built up slowly in order to appreciate the climax. Emotion must be involved and sometimes it’s draining. Some characters fight the initial surrender of heart, body, and mind, while others yield seamlessly. Like I said, it depends on the characters and their story. Usually though, I’d much rather write about a bloody battle. It’s easier.

Every author that I have spoken to has their own writing process. Some spend weeks working on character building charts. Some use post it notes to plot their entire book. Other’s pull pictures from magazines and make a story board of sorts. What is your writing process and how long would you say it takes you when a new idea is sparked from sketching out the details to getting to THE END?

Every book is different for me. Some stories have been in my head for months and everything is already plotted out. Usually though, they all take unexpected turns during the writing process. With some books, I start out with a picture of a character, someone I’ve seen on TV usually. Most revolve around an event in history. I begin with a character analysis to get to know my hero and heroine’s deepest inner needs and goals. I don’t use storyboards because the story is often there to begin with. Research is time consuming, but I love discovering new facts about whatever it is I need to know. I begin writing and go from there. I guess you would call me a pantser. (Writing from the seat of my pants) rather than a plotter. I like quiet time to go through the next scene before I begin typing it. I have notes all over my manuscript and reminders in notebooks of a scene that came to me to be used at a later time. The entire process of a new idea and The End takes about 6 to 9 months. I would love a year but once you’re published, time is no longer a luxury.

Give us a glimpse into your writer’s life.

It’s very uneventful. I still cook, clean, do laundry, etc. I have a busy household with a husband, kids, and lots of pets. I try to write at least five pages during the day, but it doesn’t always work out. I get most of my work done at night, when everyone is asleep and I can focus. Depending on if my muse is at her best, I’m usually awake until 3am. Other aspects of a writer’s life are social networking, promoting my work, answering emails, and doing interviews and blogs. I love connecting with my readers and hearing their thoughts about my books. Good or bad, it’s one of the more rewarding factors of writing.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Oh gosh, I don’t know. I’ll be happy wherever God leads me in five years.
If you had to pick a favorite character that you have created or one that you wish you had created who would it be and why?

With the exception of two men that I’ve written, my characters are like my children, so I love them all equally. Callum MacGregor from Laird of the Mist and William the Conqueror from Lord of Desire hold special places in my heart. I fell in love with William doing research and his character came alive for me. He made writing my Risande series easy and fun. Callum came to me over and over until his story was finally written, changing my genre to Scottish historicals. I felt a kinship with him and cried so many times while telling his story that I almost didn’t write it.

I read on your site that your least favorite part of writing a book is the beginning. How do you do you remedy this?

I don’t. I still don’t like it. It’s like writing a letter. You know what you want to say, but where to begin? There’s so much going on in my head in the first few chapters that it’s very easy to lose the pace. The characters are new and feeling their way around, meeting one another for the first time, etc. And it’s not just the characters being introduced, but we also must get a first glimpse into the plot. I usually have to go back and rewrite things a few times. It helps to really know my characters before I begin writing….and then, I just write. Editing can come later.

What is the most valuable piece of advice that you have received through out your writing career that you would like to pass along to other authors out there?

Being an author comes with its share of joys and disappointments whether you are just starting or you have been in this business for many years. All of us need advice no matter where we are on this journey. Toughen you hide. Never defend something you’ve poured your heart into. Everyone is different, some will love your work and others won’t. Enjoy every minute of the ride and always work hard to put your best out there.

What’s next in the Children of the Mist series?

My next installment in the Children of the Mist series is Tamed By A Highlander, due out in July 2011. It’s difficult being a woman in a warrior’s world, but Mairi MacGregor has learned to fit in quite nicely. Let her kin believe she’s given up her love of the sword. It’s easy enough to hide daggers in the folds of one’s skirts. Part of a secret rebel militia designed to sweep Scotland free of its Protestant enemies, Mairi has no time or desire for a husband, especially not a lecherous, serpent tongued swine who stole her heart when she was a child and then broke it to pieces. She never wanted to see Connor Grant again after he left her for England. For seven years she has struggled to keep him from her thoughts, but when they are reunited due to events beyond her control, her long battle becomes a war. Fortunately for Mairi, she knows how to fight.
Where can we find out more about you Paula?

Readers can visit me at I tweet at and have lots of fun with my readers on my author page on Facebook.!/pages/Fans-of-Paula-Quinn/336691429368

Thank you for joining me here on my blog.

Thanks so much for inviting me 

See all of you Thursday when I have Delilah Marvelle joining me.