by Anna Campbell
It is my very great pleasure to introduce Julianne MacLean, one of the STARS of historical romance, to the lair! Julianne is a three-time RITA award finalist and her books have hit the USA Today list.
When I first started reading Julianne's books, she was writing about American heiresses marrying into the British nobility but she seems to have come over all Scottish lately with her Highlander trilogy, the first of which, CAPTURED BY THE HIGHLANDER, comes out this month from St. Martin's.
Romantic Times chose CAPTURED BY THE HIGHLANDER as one of their Top Picks for March and said:
MacLean ensnares readers with her powerful writing and emotional love stories, once again crafting a book to cherish. Her richly portrayed characters and intriguing, fast-paced plot combine in a read that will leave you speechless with delight. This new novel reinforces her reputation as a premier writer of Scots-set romance.
You can find out all about Julianne and her delicious Highlanders on her website: http://juliannemaclean.com/index.php
Julianne, welcome to the Bandit lair! I can’t believe it’s taken us so long to lure you here. Clearly you need TLC. Sven, a message! Paolo, a margarita! Gladiators, a sword! Um, perhaps I should rephrase that! Congratulations on the release of your latest historical romance, CAPTURED BY THE HIGHLANDER (capture and Highlander, you’ve got me at hello!). Can you tell us about this story?
CAPTURED is the first book in my new Highlander trilogy, and it’s a classic tale about a savage beast of a Highlander (he always carries a big axe, and they call him The Butcher of the Highlands) who kidnaps his enemy’s fiancée for revenge, but OF COURSE he falls crazy in love with her in the process! There are bunch of twists and turns after that, but I have to keep most of them secret, otherwise I would be guilty of the “spoiler” offense, and we can’t have that!
I notice the fabulous CAPTURED BY THE HIGHLANDER is being followed a mere month later by CLAIMED BY THE HIGHLANDER. Can you tell us about that story too?
CLAIMED picks up not long after CAPTURED leaves off. A lot happens in the first book, and I don’t want to spoil too much by giving stuff away, but the hero’s best friend does something bad which betrays the hero, and is banished from his clan. Two years later, he returns to find that his father’s castle has been overtaken by another clan, and he brings an army to win it back. After breaking down the gates and winning the battle, he claims the daughter of the fallen enemy chief as his wife, but she’s a real spitfire, and he finds he has a few more challenges ahead of him when she defies him and tries to deny him his “husbandly rights.” You know the ones I’m talking about, right? Wink wink, nudge nudge.
What? She won't share her haggis? For shame! Snicker. So, Ms. MacLean, what IS it with you and Highlanders?
I’ve been writing about dukes and earls for too long. I needed to get out of the polite London ballrooms and get down and dirty with some seriously old school, savage heroes who aren’t afraid to sleep in a cave and swing a really big sword.
Oh, no, not with more sword jokes! Where is the decorum? What’s coming up next for Julianne MacLean?
The third and final book in the Highlander series – SEDUCED BY THE HIGHLANDER - is coming out in October, and that one was my editor’s favorite. I think I had a soft spot for that hero, because he was as tortured as they come, and I, for one, love a tortured alpha male! I’m also working on a new series set in Regency England, called The Royal Weddings Trilogy. Though I loved being in the wilds of Scotland – and will probably go back there again - I felt ready to return to the charming gentlemen of London, and the clothes. I love the clothes.
You also write contemporary romance as E.V. Mitchell. Can you tell us about your alter ego and the stories she tells?
THE COLOR OF HEAVEN is a book I started working on six years ago, and finally put the finishing touches on last summer.It’s a contemporary women’s fiction novel with romantic elements about first love, but it’s not a romance novel, which is why I felt it was necessary to adopt a pseudonym, so that my readers would know it’s something very different.It was born out of a few personal events in my own life that have changed me as a person. I had a serious car accident when I was twenty-five, and there is a scene in the book that is very similar to what I experienced, but I explore what could have happened if I wasn’t so lucky that day.I’ve always had a fascination with near-death experiences, where a person can float outside of their body and experience something strange and unusual – so I was inspired to write a story about a character who experiences such a thing. But that’s only one part of it. Mostly, it’s a story about a woman’s journey through some hard times, and how she learns to overcome those challenges, having learned something about life and love.
Do you have any advice for unpublished writers?
Step one: Write. Step two: Write some more. Step three: Polish and revise and get feedback from others who know the genre. Step four: Revise some more. Step five: Decide you’re in it for the long haul, and that giving up is not an option. Step six: When you get rejected, go back to step one, and always remember step five. Because we all get rejected. Even multi-published authors still get rejected.
That's great advice, Julianne. Thanks for hanging out with us today. The cabana boys were all agog when I told them were coming - and an agog cabana boy is a sight to see, don't you agree? Do you have a question for the Bandits and Bandita Buddies?
So here’s my question: All three heroes in my Highlander trilogy are dangerous, tortured alpha males. Tell me – who is your all-time favorite tortured alpha male hero? And name the book. Let’s spread the joy!
Just to whet your appetite for Highlanders (yeah, like that's a big job!), Julianne has very generously offered a signed copy of THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF SCOTTISH ROMANCE to one lucky commenter today. Good luck!