-The research you have done seems exhaustive. Are you exhausted from it and do you find enjoyment from the process?
I love doing the research! Years in graduate studies taught me how to research and follow a historical trail, and I still love doing that. I can get lost in the fun of tracking down historical facts and theories and all the details. And a good portion of what goes in the books is also cumulative knowledge, so it's not as exhausting as it may seem. I've been gathering and absorbing information about Scotland's history and culture for a long time. I also go to experts in various fields to make sure that what I'm doing is accurate.
-Your novel seems to be so well thought out and constructed, how do you decide the time period and person you are going to research and write about?
For both QUEEN HEREAFTER and LADY MACBETH, I was researching another book and came across fascinating references to these women, and was so intrigued that I knew I wanted to develop stories for them. It can be a slow and time-consuming process to work out the plot and all, but despite all that, I love doing the research and the planning--love the writing part, too.
-The cover art is very nice, how much input and influence do you have on that?
I'm so pleased with the beautiful cover on this book! I'm usually asked for my thoughts on a cover, and if the art department likes the suggestion they will play with it. Then I wait to see what they produce. In the first cover proof, the model's hair was shorter and her dress had some extra detailing on it, so I asked for longer hair and a simpler gown, and that was it. Fabulous cover art.
-What is your next project and when can we expect it?
I'm working on a couple of stories just now that I think are really exciting, though it's too soon to say much at this point!
-Going forward ,how do you see this ebook thing going and where do you see the Google vs. Amazon battle going? Does any of this weigh on your mind and impact your writing?
I write the books, and leave the debates to other people - either way, a really good story is needed for any reading format! Ebooks are so convenience for a lot of people, and I have an e-reader myself, but use it only occasionally. I will always prefer a real book, I think, for the 3D, tactile experience that only a book can offer the reader.
Do you think that you may at any point get away from the historical fiction and pen a novel in another genre?
It's always possible! I have lots of ideas in many areas, though so far have only pursued doing historical novels.
-I have to ask this question because I am usually not too good at asking questions, so here goes: what is the one question that you are surprised doesn't get asked of you and what is the answer to it?
What a great question, and not easy to answer! I get a lot of questions about the research, though not so many about the writing process itself, and I love to talk about creating good prose. I like to play with the artistic side of writing as much as I do the research and structural side. Historical fiction can have a great subject and great research, but for me, the writing has to flow and have a good, unique quality of its own for a completely successful story.
-Do you have any favorite movies this time of year? A couple of mine are Elf and Scrooged.
Being the mom of three sons, "A Christmas Story" and "Home Alone" are among my favorite holiday movies. I love "Elf" and "Scrooged" too!
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