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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Interview with Author Amanda Scott and Giveaway

Today I would like to welcome author Amanda Scott to RFTC. Amanda has stopped by to answer a few questions. Please give Amanda a warm welcome.

A fourth-generation Californian of Scottish descent, Amanda Scott is the author of more than fifty romantic novels, many of which appeared on the USA Today bestseller list. Her Scottish heritage and love of history (she received undergraduate and graduate degrees in history at Mills College and California State University, San Jose, respectively) inspired her to write historical fiction. Credited by Library Journal with starting the Scottish romance subgenre, Scott has also won acclaim for her sparkling Regency romances. She is the recipient of the Romance Writers of America’s RITA Award (for Lord Abberley’s Nemesis, 1986) and the RT Book Reviews Career Achievement Award. She lives in central California with her husband.

Places to find Amanda:
| Site |

First off, can you tell us a bit about you?
I grew up in Salinas, California, and I still have family there. I graduated from high school in Salinas, got my B.A. at Mills College in Oakland, did graduate work at the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill), and got my Master’s in History at California State University (San Jose).

I am a fourth-generation Californian. I've taught first and second grade, junior college history, Red Cross water safety, and both elementary and advanced swimming. Penguin USA’s Signet published my first romance, The Fugitive Heiress and I have written 60 books so far. I love hiking, kayaking, and doing almost anything with children, dogs, or cats.

Did you always want to be a writer?
I told stories from the time I could talk but always thought of writing as a pleasure, not a profession. I was the oldest of four kids and second oldest of a host of grandchildren (the oldest of those being male), which made me everyone’s babysitter of choice. I made up hundreds of stories in those days to entertain the younger children. We spent a lot of time on my grandparents’ ranch in northern California and at their cabin in the High Sierras. Neither place had TV, so we spent most of our time outside and playing games. I made up many games on the fly, although the other children always added their ideas and fought to play their favorite roles. The lawyers in my family are all courtroom lawyers. If you stop and think about that, you’ll realize that they are all creative types, describing images and likely scenarios for juries.

I never expected to become a WRITER. But I was flinging books across the room because authors hadn’t done basic research. When I said that I could do better, my husband bought me a typewriter and a desk and challenged me to do it. So I wrote, and to my astonishment, Signet bought the book!

What kind of writer are you? Pantser or Plotter?
I think you mean ‘Pantser’, as in seat-of-the pants … but I’m definitely a Plotter. I start with elements, listing them or using file cards, a yellow pad, whatever. Then I shift elements around and play with them until I have the structure I want. Next I write a detailed outline. If I’m doing a trilogy, I outline the basic steps for each book, but I always leave myself an opening in case a secondary character in one book simply cries out to be the hero or heroine of the next. I also try always to write the big scenes or at least sketch them out in detail before I begin writing. That way I can see right away, before the characters or settings become “real” to me, if something is wrong. I usually know what the first chapter will be long before I finish the outline, and I’ll write that chapter so it can be used as a teaser chapter in whatever book I’ve just finished.

Where do your ideas come from?
Mostly from the research, but I collect characters from all sorts of places – books, poetry, settings, and people I’ve met.

Actually, my favorite answer to the question is Stephen King’s. He said his ideas came from Cleveland. The plain fact is that writers are like sponges-- they soak up everything that approaches them and eventually it all gets wrung out in their work. For The Laird’s Choice (Dec 2012, Forever), book 1 of my Lairds of the Loch trilogy, I got ideas from members of Clan MacFarlane, from the history of that clan, and from a dear friend who was born and raised in Scotland and is a historian. He came up with Tùr Meiloach, the name of the estate where my heroines live with their parents. It means ‘small tower guarded by giants.’ The idea for the book’s opening came from the Greek myth about Camilla, a huntress friend of the goddess Diana. The sequel, The Knight’s Temptress, (August 2013) is based on tales of the seizure of the royal fortress Dumbarton Castle and its recapture by Sir Ian Colquhoun. That story is supposedly the basis for Clan Colquhoun’s motto: Si je puis ("If I can," which was his response when King James I asked him to win the fortress back.) The third book in the trilogy, The Warrior’s Bride, will be out in early 2014.

A la Twitter style, can you describe your book (or series) in 140 characters or less.
Good grief, w/ or w/o spaces: TLC is abt a lass who can read emotions in anmls or pple mtg a man she can’t read. They mst wk t/g to prevent the assass of the Kng of Scots

What are some of your favorite kinds of stories to read?
I read constantly and voraciously-- probably four or five books a week if you count research. I read political and legal thrillers, romance, mysteries, science fiction, literary books, plays, poetry, and Scottish history. Some of my favorite authors are Jan Westcott, Lee Child, Brad Thor, Roberta Gellis, Janet Evanovich, Tess Gerritsen, Emily Dickinson, Stephen J. Cannell, Alex Kava, Sir Walter Scott, Charles Dickens, James Grippando, Jane Austen, Vince Flynn, John Sandford, Lisa Scottoline, Stuart Woods, Kate Wilhelm, Thomas Perry, Steve Berry, Dana Stabenow, Robert Crais, Harlan Coben, Robert B. Parker, Daniel Silva, Elizabeth Peters, Greg Iles, Kay Hooper, Catherine Coulter, Deborah Crombie, John Nance…I could go on, but you probably get the idea.

Do you have a favorite book and if so what is it?
The one-volume Oxford English Dictionary (all 26 volumes in one) with its extraordinary magnifying glass.

What are the scenes that are the hardest for you to write?
The scenes that I’ve failed to prepare properly for.

If you could have dinner with any three authors, who would you choose and why?
Sir Walter Scott, to compare notes on early Scott-family history and brainstorm a bit.

Last question, are you working on anything right now?
I just finished The Warrior’s Bride, which is the third book in my Lairds of the Loch trilogy. I’m now working on the outline for a new trilogy and a new contract. Having just written two trilogies set in the Highlands (Scottish Knights and Lairds of the Loch) and one set in Galloway (Tamed by a Laird, Seduced by a Rogue, Tempted by a Warrior), I’m ready to return to the Borders for a while and perhaps continue using Scott and Douglas history for the background. I tend to move forward chronologically with the history, so I’ll set the three books around 1426-1430 in James I’s reign.

Clans Scott and Douglas figure prominently in my own heritage, so they are natural writing choices for me. I also have ancestral connections to a number of other clans, including Jamison, Logan, and Ferguson. Once again, I plan to use real people for my two main characters, specifically the grandson of the first Sir Walter Scott in Border Wedding. The Scotts, like most other families at the time, commonly named their firstborn sons after their paternal grandfathers, so there was a Walter in nearly every other generation from the late fourteenth century on (meaning, well before the poet Sir Walter Scott), right down to my own grandfather, Russell Walter Scott, who was named for his grandfather, Walter Ferguson Scott. I am not connected to the poet, but we are likely connected to that same line, just a few hundred or so years further back.

Also, most of my titles are now available in ebook. All of my Regency romances and The Rose at Twilight will be available on May 7.

Would you like to sound off? I am always eager to learn more about readers’ thoughts and expectations. So, if you’ve yearned to read about something historically Scottish or a particular type of hero or heroine that you have yet to discover in my books or anyone else’s, just let me know. Likewise, if you have a pet peeve, say so. I’ve received many excellent suggestions from readers in the past (including the reader who discovered an unpublished 16th century manuscript which sprouted the seeds of my Galloway trilogy). You can email me at or from the email link on my website.

The first book in Amanda Scott’s acclaimed Dangerous series journeys from the battlefields of Waterloo to the ballrooms and boudoirs of London, where a deadly deception unfolds . . .

Engaged by proxy to a man she’s never met, Lady Daintry Tarrant is dismayed when the war hero returns, introducing himself as her fiancé, Lord Penthorpe. She cherishes her independence and has turned away many suitors, but this one she must marry. Penthorpe is completely captivated by Lady Daintry—but he’s not who he claims to be.

Penthorpe and Lord Gideon Deverill fought together at the battle of Waterloo, and when Penthorpe fell, Gideon assumed his identity in order to see the beautiful Lady Daintry. Gideon knows there’s bad blood between Lady Daintry’s family and his own, but he’s smitten with Daintry and determined to reunite the bitterly feuding clans. When a ghost from Gideon’s past appears, he could lose everything—including Daintry’s love.

Purchase: | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |

Set in treacherous sixteenth-century Scotland, the first volume of Amanda Scott’s Border Trilogy tells the unforgettable story of a woman sworn to defy the knight she is forced to wed—only to discover a love she’ll do anything to claim

As Mary, Queen of Scots, languishes in the Tower of London as a prisoner of her cousin, Queen Elizabeth, war tears Scotland apart. To save her beloved homeland, a proud Highland beauty named Mary Kate MacPherson must wage her own battle when she’s forced into wedlock with a knight, Sir Adam Douglas, from the barbaric borderland of Tornary.

Even as she succumbs to her seductive husband’s sensual demands, Mary Kate vows never to give him her heart. She will belong to no man. But Adam burns with something deeper than desire. Sworn to carry out a long-awaited revenge, he won’t rest until he has vanquished his enemies. Accused of treason, the last thing he expects is to lose his heart to the woman he’s determined to tame but never to love: his own wife.

Purchase: | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |

Forbidden passion has never been more dangerous—or more irresistible—in the first novel of bestselling author Amanda Scott’s spellbinding Highland series

Scotland, 1750. In the aftermath of the Jacobite rebellion, Maggie MacDrumin vows to keep fighting to liberate her people. But the intrepid Scotswoman is risking her life for a dangerous cause. When her latest mission lands her in a London courtroom on a trumped-up larceny charge, she has only one hope of survival. Enlisting the aid of Edward Carsley, the powerful fourth Earl of Rothwell, is a two-edged sword. The seductive aristocrat who awakens treacherous desire is her clan’s mortal enemy—a man she can never trust.

Edward will do whatever it takes to quell another bloody uprising. But how can he fight his passion for the rebellious Highland beauty in his safekeeping? As their lives come under siege, Maggie lays claim to the one thing Edward vowed never to surrender: his heart.

Purchase: | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |

Check out what's up for grabs.

Up For Grabs:
  • 1 lucky winner will win an eBook copy of choice from above. 

To Enter: 
  • Please answer the question: What are some of the songs in the soundtrack of your life?
  • Please fill out the Rafflecopter form.
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Good Luck! 
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  1. Hmmm...songs in the soundtrack of my life. I have several but the one screaming out for attention this morning is "House on a Hill" by Kamelot. Really enjoyed reading this post, very insightful into Amanda's writing process.

  2. Lets see... Give Me Love by Ed Sheeran, Tonight I'm Getting Over You by Carly Rae Jepsen, Remember When by Chris Wallace, Just Tonight by The Pretty Reckless, and I Won't Let You Go by James Morrison.
    Thanks for the great interview and giveaway.

  3. Hard to pick some of the sound tracks that depict my life.. but here goes. I had the Time of my life form Dirty Dancing, Because you Love Me by Celine Dion, Who Says You Can't Go Home by Bon Jovi..

  4. Wow these books look great and i would say that one of the songs in my soundtrack would be Everything by Michael Buble. Its my husband's and my song, so that definitely needs to be included!

  5. my favorite song of my life is whitnew houstons i will always love you.

  6. So many songs. I love music so will pick top favs. The reasons are cause of concerts, childhood memories, or just a song I love. The soundtrack of Footloose, anything Motley Crue, Kiss, Poison-love 80's hair bands, love coutry music-been to probly about 35 concerts in past 5 years, love Lady Antebellum, Taylor Swift-love Back to December. Some other favs are Kings of Leon-Sex on Fire. I have a wide taste in music. Music is a huge part of my life, along with reading.

  7. I love historical romances. They were the books that got me hooked to reading romance which then branched out into historical fiction, contemporary, women's fiction, chicklit, and new adult. All of the synopsis sound wonderful!

  8. I think every day has a different soundtrack based on what is going on - most of mine would include hard rock/heavy metal.

  9. Depends on what kind of day it is Florida Georgia Line "Cruise"

  10. I'll just say that I can't stand weak heroines. It makes them unrelatable to me.
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    mestith at gmail dot com

  11. Just Dance - Lady Gaga! I just wanna dance all around, all the time!

  12. Turn the Page-last dance of my senior homecoming dance with my now husband.
    Several songs from The Phantom of the Opera played at my wedding.

  13. Fast Car by Tracey Chapman. I listen to it all the time and it always puts me at ease

  14. Some of my choices would be I Finally Found the Love of a Lifetime by Firehouse, You're In My Heart by Rod Stewart and Livin' on a Prayer by Bon Jovi.

  15. oh gosh maybe still the one shania twain, I never really thought about it till now eheh