After a detour through fitness instructing and computer programming, Gayle Callen found the life she’d always dreamed of as a romance writer. This USA Today bestselling author has written more than eighteen historical romances for Avon Books, and her novels have won the Holt Medallion and the Laurel Wreath Award.
Gayle lives in Central New York with her three children, her dog, Apollo, and her husband, Jim the Romance Hero.
First off, can you tell us a bit about you?
My name is Gayle Callen, and I write historical romance. I’ve written medievals, Elizabethans, and Victorians, but right now I’m in the middle of a new love for Scotland. The second book of my “Highland Weddings” trilogy, THE GROOM WORE PLAID, was just published. I also write contemporary romance as Emma Cane: the Valentine Valley series and the upcoming Fairfield Orchard series.
For much of my youth and teenage years, I wanted to be an astronaut, who wrote on the side. Life interfered, and when I was married with babies, I realized that if I really wanted to be a writer, I needed to start trying. In between raising my kids and working part-time, it took me thirteen years and three complete manuscripts before I sold my first book.
I am such a plotter (it’s that math/engineering brain I cultivated in high school and college). Even the thought of trying to write without a fluid blueprint gives me the hives.
From everywhere, really! Sometimes an idea is sparked by research, sometimes by the tropes of romance. For instance, I remember really wanting to write a governess story, ala Jane Eyre, so my book THE DUKE IN DISGUISE was born.
Maggie is to wed Owen to end a clan feud. After a premonition that he’ll die at their wedding, she wants to call it off. He won’t let her.
I read all kinds of books. I think it keeps my creativity fresh. I like non-fiction (biographies, marketing, sociology), mysteries, YA futuristic stories, and of course romance. I love the historicals of Julia Quinn, Loretta Chase, and Laura Leigh Guhrke, and the contemporaries of Susan Elizabeth Phillips.
If you don’t mind, I have a tie for this: Loretta Chase’s Lord of Scoundrels, and Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ Nobody’s Baby But Mine. These two authors are masters of their genre, and I’ve reread both books a dozen times.
Rather than certain scenes, I find the “getting to know you” stage of a romance the hardest to write. I’m talking page 100—200, after the fun of the characters’ first meeting, but before the forbidden aspect of the romance and falling in love happens. The two characters are attracted, but don’t really know what to do about it—or maybe they don’t want it at all. Maybe it’s hard for me because I’m getting to know them as characters, too.
Ooh, a tough question. And you didn’t specify living or dead, so I’m going to hold you to that. I’d choose Jane Austen, because she practically wrote the rules for modern romance novels; J.K. Rowling, because she is a gifted story teller and creates such incredible, deep characters; and Kathleen Woodiwiss, whose novel Shanna was the first romance I ever read and helped me on the path to the career I love.
Yes! I’m just finishing up the second book in my Emma Cane Fairfield Orchard series, before I dive into the third Scottish historical in my “Highland Weddings” trilogy.
So which author would YOU like to have dinner with, and why?
Falling in love means tempting fate in this passionate new novel in USA Today bestselling author Gayle Callen's Highland Weddings series.Maggie McCallum's dreams about her new fiancé aren't the romantic sort. It's not just that she was bartered to Owen Duff like a piece of property to end a clan feud. She's also haunted by premonitions of his death on their upcoming wedding day. Yet the exasperating Highlander won't let her call it off, even though his life and his clan are both in jeopardy.Owen has wanted Maggie in his bed since he first glimpsed her years ago. If their union restores peace between their clans, so much the better. But while lusting after another chief's sister had its risks, growing to trust Maggie is far more dangerous. Owen is falling deeply in love with the one woman he cannot hope to claim . . . and survive.
Check out the Highland Wedding series:Up For Grabs:
- 5 Print copies of The Groom Wore Plaid
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