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Monday, February 29, 2016

Interview with Author Gayle Callen and Giveaway

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.

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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.

Did you always want to be a writer?
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.

What kind of writer are you? Panser or Plotter?
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.

Where do your ideas come from?
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.

A la Twitter style, can you describe your book (or series) in 140 characters or less.
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.

What are some of your favorite kinds of stories to read?
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.

Do you have a favorite book and if so what is it?
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.

What are the scenes that are the hardest for you to write? Why?
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.

If you could have dinner with any three authors, who would you choose and why?
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.

Last question, are you working on anything right now?
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.

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Check out the Highland Wedding series:

Up For Grabs:
  • 5 Print copies of The Groom Wore Plaid

To Enter:
  • So which author would YOU like to have dinner with, and why?
  • Please fill out the Rafflecopter form.

Good Luck!

Special thanks to Avon Books for sponsoring this tour-wide giveaway.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I would pick James Joyce so that he could help me read and enjoy his novel Finnegan's Wake.

    1. I'll have to put that on my reading list!

  2. I would also pick Kathleen Woodiwiss, Shanna is my all time favorite romance novel. I would also pick Lynn Kurland as my favorite author, have all of her books.

    1. Guess we're sisters of the soul! Sometimes I think Shanna changed my entire life. The power of a good book is incredible.

  3. Thanks so much for a great interview!

  4. I would love to have dinner with Karen Ranney. Some years ago, I started reading and reviewing her books and sent her little messages here and there telling her how much I have enjoyed her books. Thus, a real friendship was born and she and we email one another quite often. She is not only a wonderful author but an amazing woman. She has faced some difficult times in her life and has remained strong. To me, she is a true heroine!

  5. I think a night out with Julia Quinn would be a blast, but I'd also love love love to meet Mary Balogh.

    1. Two incredibly talented ladies, that's for sure.

  6. Suzanne Enoch. I love her novels with a damaged hero and a loving heroine who saves him.

  7. I'd pick the wonderful Georgette Heyer who set the standard for regency romances so very high! I'd love to hear about her amusing plots and memorable characters (The Grand Sophy, Frederica, The Unknown Ajax, Cotillion, etc.)

    1. I must confess, I have not read many of her books. But I've heard so much, that I know I need to read more.