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Historical Romance Writers Dishing the Dirt on Research

31 May 2010

Welcome, Donna Grant

Donna Grant

Forbidden Highlander

A DANGEROUS SECRET…

Fallon MacLeod has gifts any warrior would covet - fierce strength, unmatched skill, even immortality. But those gifts come at a price that puts everyone he loves at risk. Only when his brother, Quinn, is taken captive does Fallon leave the seclusion of his Highland home to seek the king's aid. And though every women at court would gladly be his for the asking, one alone causes desire to roar to life within him: beautiful, mysterious Larena Monroe.

A WILD DESIRE…

Rumors swirl around the castle about "The McLeod" but Larena knows the truth. Like Fallon, Larena is searching for a way to vanquish the evil Druid who wants to wreak havoc on earth. Drawn to Fallon in spite of her fear, she surrenders to a passion that shocks them both with its raw intensity. But Larena dares not hope for more - not when she holds a secret that could turn her fiery Highland love against her forever…

FORBIDDEN HIGHLANDER is set in Medieval Scotland. Is there a particular reason you chose that year?

I've always loved the medieval era as well as anything to do with Scotland. So it's natural for me to set my books in that time period.

How did you become interested in this time period? What you love about it?

I don't remember exactly why I became interested in it. I love

What do you like least about this period? Anything that constrained you or that you had to plot carefully around?

I never cared for how little women meant, but that happened a lot throughout history. With my heroes being immortal Highlanders with primeval gods inside them, I needed heroines who could hold their own with the heroes. I wanted strong heroines, which isn't easy to do with my setting.

Anything you flat-out altered or “fudged”? If so, why?

I twisted the reasons why Rome left Britain in order to keep to the legend I created about how the Celts asked the Druids for help in getting rid of the Romans.

Any gaffs or mea culpas you want to fess up to before readers get their hands on the book? I know I always seem to find one after the book has gone to press. *sigh*

None that I know of, but I'm sure I didn't catch everything. :)

Tell us a little about your hero. Something fun, like his favorite childhood pet, or his first kiss.

My hero is the middle of three brothers. Their father was laird of their clan. He and his brothers share a primeval god that has been unbound within them, making them immortal. Their entire clan was destroyed and their lands taken by others. He is the one who holds his brothers together. He was the brother that could charm anyone, especially the women. :)

What sparked this book? Was it a character? An historical event? A scene you just couldn’t get out of your head?

It was the brothers. I was just going to write a trilogy and base it partly on the legend of why Rome left Britain. Then all these other Warriors kept popping up, and I realized I could take this out for several books.

Did you have to do any major research for this book? Did you stumble across anything really interesting that you didn’t already know?

Most of my books are set in the medieval period, so I didn't have to do as much research as I used to. Every time I look through any of my research books I find some little interesting tidbit. :)

What/Who do you like to read?

I read only romance. For the longest time I read only historicals, but now I also include anything paranormal, including contemporary paranormals. There are so many great authors that I love to read. Lara Adrian, Shana Abe', Christina Dodd, JR Ward, and the list could go on and on. :)

Care to share a bit about your writing process? Are you a pantser or a plotter? Do you write multiple drafts or clean up as you go?

Oh, I'm a complete pantster! I write Monday - Friday while the kiddos are in school. I tend to just write my first draft, making notes along the way if I realize I need to include/change/delete something earlier in the book. I don't go back an edit as I write. I don't do that until the first draft is finished. Then, I read through it and go more in-depth with characterization and sexual tension as well as fixing everything that needs it. I put it aside for a week, then give it another read before I send it off to my editor.

What are you planning to work on next?

I'm in the middle of the sixth Dark Sword book now, then I need to finish a short story for the Mammoth Book of Scottish Romance due out next January. After that, its back to writing more Dark Sword books! :)

11 Comments:

Blogger Kim in Hawaii said...

Aloha, Donna! I adore Scotland but it is just too far to visit from Hawaii. So I'll just have to read your book on the beach!

9:29 AM  
Blogger Pam Rosenthal said...

Reading about Scotland on the beach in Hawaii... LOL at what a treat that sounds like.

And hi and congrats to Donna.

12:04 PM  
Blogger Gehayi said...

Immortal Highlanders named MacLeod...that sounds very, very familiar.

Also, the names are wrong. "Fallon" I vaguely recall being the name of the daughter on Dynasty in the 1980s and it's derived from an Irish name, not from Scottish Gaelic. So is "Quinn."

"Larena" seems to be a form of "Lorena" which is the Spanish, Portuguese and Italian forms of "Lorraine." "Lorena" and "Lorraine" both became popular around the 19th century.

12:05 PM  
Blogger Tracy Grant said...

Thanks for visiting us, Donna! Your series sounds fascinating. Did the concept for the series start with the the idea of the Druids being involved in the Romans leaving Britain? Or did you have the idea of the three immortal brothers first?

1:03 PM  
Blogger Donna Grant said...

Hi Kim - I so want to visit Hawaii someday! Hope you do pick up my book. :)

Hi Pam - thanks!

Gehayi - The beauty about writing fiction is that an author can bend the rules if she/he wants. Larena is actually Scottish and means "serves Lawrence". I took the Gaelic form of Faolan and switched it to Fallon because I liked it. Quinn is Gaelic and means "wise". All of this I got from "The Writer's Digest Character Naming Sourcebook".

As for using the name MacLeod, what can I say. I like it. I also loved the movie and TV show Highlander.

Tracy - thanks for having me! The concept began with a combination of having the Druids be involved with Roman leaving Britain, but there were also the three bothers. It all evolved over several weeks as I was writing the proposal. I do have to say, the series is completely different than how I first envisioned it, but that's what makes writing so much fun!

1:50 PM  
Blogger Louisa Cornell said...

Gotta love a Scottish hero who has a way with the ladies! And I'll be interested to see what kind of heroines you have created to deal with these men!

4:32 PM  
Blogger Donna Grant said...

Hi Lousia! My heroines are Druids, well, except for one, and they can hold their own with the Warriors. :)

7:19 PM  
Blogger librarypat said...

I like the sound of this book. There have been so many paranormal series that have come out in the past 5 years or so. The variety is wonderful. I am still in the sampling stage. I'll be looking for FORBIDDEN HIGHLANDER.

8:43 PM  
Blogger Donna Grant said...

Hi, librarypat - thank you! There are so many paranormal series, and I love that. Hope I have tempted you to pick up my book. :)

5:35 AM  
Blogger Carol L. said...

Hi Donna,
I can't wait to read "Fallon's" story. :)
I love this series.But of course I love Highlanders. Much success with the release.
Carol L.
Lucky4750@aol.com

3:00 AM  
Blogger Term Papers said...

Real success comes in small portions day by day. You need to take pleasure in life's daily little treasures. It is the most important thing in measuring success.

5:15 AM  

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