Today we have Amanda Forester with us to celebrate her latest release, The Highlander’s Heart. If you’re one of those who love alphas who wear kilts, well, you should probably check out Amanda’s series!
This is her debut series, and so far the fans are loving her stories. So let’s get to know Amanda a little bit more. We have some fun in store for you today!
DUCK CHAT: Welcome to The Good, the Bad and the Unread, Amanda. We’re so glad to have you with us today. Instead of the usual tell-about-us-about-yourself question, how about giving us that one tidbit even your most die-hard fans don’t know?
AMANDA FORESTER: Thank you for inviting me to chat today! You ask a very interesting question. One random fact about me is that when I was in seminary, I joined a brew club and made homemade beer. I loved the smell brewing mash. Trouble is, I don’t actually drink beer. So I’d make tons of beer and then I’d need to give it all away. I was very popular for a while.
DC: I’ve heard writers often say their stories take them in surprising directions, or dialogue flows from some unknown place. Is it the same with you? Do your characters surprise you sometimes?
AF: One day I wrote the line, “It was entirely possible that sneaking out of the castle in an old pickle barrel was not among her wisest decisions.” I had no idea why Isabelle was in a pickle barrel, and I had to write the scene to figure out what happened. Sometimes it’s the characters who are in control!
DC: What is it that originally tempted you to write Scottish historicals?
AF: Men in kilts. Need I say more?
DC: Do you ever argue with your characters while you’re writing? Who usually wins?
AF: I tried to kill off a character once, but he refused to die. I really needed him to die for the plot, but he wouldn’t let me do it. So I hit him over the head and put him in a coma. Still he wouldn’t die. By the end of the book he had made a full recovery.
DC: What is sure to distract you from sitting down and working/writing?
AF: Anything. Everything. The hardest part of writing is simply sitting down in front of the computer. And then there’s twitter…
DC: Your debut book, The Highlander’s Sword, was a hit with readers. Would you tell our readers about that story and its hero and heroine?
AF: Swept up in the turmoil of 14th century Scotland, Lady Aila Graham is destined for the convent until her brother’s death leaves her an heiress. Soon she is caught in the conflict between the hastily arranged marriage with a Highland warrior, the Abbot’s insistence that she take her vows, and the traitor from within who betrays them all. Padyn MacLaren, a battle-hardened knight, returns home to the Highlands after years of fighting the English in France. Arriving with only a band of landless knights and war-weary soldiers, MacLaren finds not a hero’s welcome, but his land pillaged and his clan scattered. Determined to restore his clan, he sees Aila’s fortune as the answer to his problems. Yet this outwardly shy lass is nothing he expected and everything he needs.
DC: Is there a genre you haven’t tackled but would like to try?
AF: When I first sat down to write a novel, I intended to write a Regency. I studied the age of Jane Austen and felt prepared to write a Regency romance. Somehow I ended up in medieval Scotland. Not sure how that happened, but someday I’d like to visit the Regency again.
DC: Which fictional character would you like to hang out with?
AF: Mr. Darcy. And he better look like Colin Firth.
DC: What advice would you give to your younger self?
AF: Stop worrying about meeting the right guy, you will. Now go and read a good book.
DC: The Highlander’s Heart is your current book and hit the shelves November 1. Can you give us a look into Laird Campbell and Lady Isabelle’s world?
AF: The story is set in tumultuous 1355, with rising hostility between England and Scotland. England holds the king of Scots hostage, and the Hundred Year’s War is beginning in France. Lady Isabelle escapes her murderous English husband only to be abducted by a Highland warrior and held for ransom. Her determination to break free from captivity is exceeded only by the passion growing between her and the Highland Laird. David Campbell plans to hold Isabelle for ransom as an easy way to line his pockets and return her back where she belongs, but he is unprepared for a feisty English lass with a penchant for finding trouble. Caught between rival clans bent on claiming the throne of Scotland, Campbell must choose a side, and a bride. Standing on the brink of war, Isabelle may be his only hope to save his clan, and his heart.
DC: What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever learned by Googling your name?
AF: Apparently there is also an Amanda Forester who is a coach. I get her google alerts every so often and I like to cheer her on!
DC: What book would you like to read again for the first time?
AF: Pride and Prejudice. Love that book!
DC: If you were a book, what would your blurb be?
AF: She had a slow start, but it got pretty exciting in the middle. The end? Why happily ever after of course!
DC: What would your “voice’s” tagline be?
AF: Adventure romance with a spark of humor.
DC: What romance book would you recommend our readers pick up during their next bookstore run?
AF: There are so many, but I love escaping into a Georgette Heyer novel. I love that they re-released all her titles!
DC: If you had never become an author, what do you think you would be doing right now?
AF: Getting a lot more sleep.
DC: What’s on the horizon for Amanda Forester?
AF: This March will see the release of my third Highlander book, True Highland Spirit. This book continues the story through the war between England and Scotland in 1356 and has my feistiest heroine yet in Morigan McNab.
– dark or milk chocolate? – dark
– smooth or chunky peanut butter? – chunky
– heels or flats? – flats
– coffee or tea? – tea
– summer or winter? – winter
– mountains or beach? – beach
– mustard or mayonnaise? – mustard
– flowers or candy? – candy
– pockets or purse? – pockets
– Pepsi or Coke? – Coke
– ebook or print? – print
And because we still enjoy the answers we get:
1. What is your favorite word? – peace
2. What is your least favorite word? – deadline
3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? – music, a nice walk, a warm hug, a good book
4. What turns you off creatively, spiritually or emotionally? – stress
5. What sound or noise do you love? – a baby’s laugh
6. What sound or noise do you hate? – the alarm clock
7. What is your favorite curse word? – dang
8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? – chocolate tester
9. What profession would you not like to do? – anything to do with heights
10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? – “Come on in!”
DC: Thank you so much for being with us today, Amanda! It was absolutely enjoyable.