Monday, 17 February 2014

My Writing Process blog tour!

Hello, and a happy Monday to you! 

I've been invited today to participate in the 'My Writing Process Blog Tour' by my Crooked Cat author friend- Mark Patton 

My thanks to Mark for giving me the opportunity to answer the following questions:

1) What am I working on?
At this very moment I'm working on the final proof/edits of Book 3 of my Celtic Fervour Series -AFTER WHORL: DONNING DOUBLE CLOAKS- set in Roman Britain AD 71-84.
Like most authors, I hope not to find anything which requires to be changed, but sadly that's not the case. I'm 248 pages into the manuscript and I've found 9 tiny things which need attention! Am I shocked? Of course, because I thought it was perfect after the small round of first edits and unlike with my debut novel there have been no second, third and fourth edits!

However, my main writing includes Book 4 in my Celtic Fervour series which, as yet, is unnamed. In many ways this book will be quite daunting to write as I'm definitely now writing as a 'pantser.' I can no longer roughly follow the somewhat biased writings of Tacitus with regard to the exploits of Gnaeus Julius Agricola. There is virtually nothing written which refers to the Roman occupation of north-east Scotland after the battle with Calgacus, later dubbed as 'Mons Graupius'. It is documented that Agricola was recalled to Rome soon after this time of AD 84 but what happened to the country he had recently subdued is very undocumented. My imagination of what happened in Roman infested north east Scotland now kicks in good style - a novelist's impression of the times will definitely be on the cards - unless more archaeological information seeps out during the coming months as I pen the story of yet another Garrigill warrior. I'm open minded about this as new evidence does seem to be appearing regularly these days, with regard to the Gask Frontier Forts and to the extent of the Roman invasion of Scotland.

In between, when writer's block hits - as it has regrettably done recently - I'm also continuing my family saga set in Scotland, beginning in the1850s.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
This answer comes in two parts:
A- my historical writing
B- my contemporary writing 

A - There are authors out there who write about the Roman Britain era of the first century, but not so many of them are creating Historical Romantic Adventures.

Some authors covering the period include very light historically accurate information and lean more towards romantic historical fantasy. My intention is not to provide a historical romance where the romantic elements overshadow the historically accurate setting. 

Some authors who write about the period focus heavily on the military aspects of Roman conquering of Britannia. I include accurate information about troop movements in Britannia, but only with regard to how it affects my characters' progress in the story.

Some authors have no particular romantic involvement in their stories and tend to write only about historically documented figures like, for example, Queen Cartimandua, or maybe even Gnaeus Julius Agricola. Those who love sound historical fiction don't necessarily wish to read about 'the common man'- they want their heroes and heroines to be Kings, Queens and notable figures. I find myself writing about a level or two down in the Celtic hierarchy of leaders and only make brief mention of the documented historical figures.

My intention is to create a hybrid of historically accurate and fairly detailed setting with romantic elements -though not necessarily with an HEA (Happy Ever After) ending- coupled with a good dash of adventure. It's very difficult to please all readers, and I'm realistic enough to know that won't be possible. Those who look to read a heart stirring historical romance without the accurate trappings may not like my attention to detail- especially if it includes political or military aspects. Most of all, I want my readers to feel they are living my vision of first century life in the lands I personally have been reared in all my life - that of Scotland in particular.

B- My contemporary writing leans more to the romances which got me my first contracts to be published. I would say they do not follow the typical romances since they tend to straddle sub-genres of romance. My three published contemporary novels are all mysteries, though there are also thriller elements in two of them. For two of them I created a family-tree, the second of these for TOPAZ EYES deliberately more complex down to the third generation levels who are the protagonists in the novel.  TOPAZ EYES is a contemporary ancestral-based treasure hunt mystery thriller. Try fitting that into an Amazon category and you hit some trouble! Add to those difficulties the fabulous world locations in my contemporary novels and you then have the travel guide aspects as well!

3) Why do I write what I do?
My historical writing has been inspired by my love of learning and teaching historical periods. In particular, I loved teaching my classes about Celts and Romans, though I also loved the Victorian era and World War II. I love to research and regularly curse my poor retentive memory. I often know I've rad about some aspect in the past but fine detail eludes me so I need to be very meticulous about what I include- researching all over to ensure I'm as accurate as possible.

My contemporary mysteries have been inspired by other 'prompts' but I really enjoy including beautiful cities I've been to in them, and my contemporary homeland of Scotland, which I'm unable to do in novels set in First Century Roman Britain.
The variety in my writing is something I have found a pleasing aspect- even if it makes less book marketing sense!

4) How does my writing process work?
Sometimes it doesn't! I have no routine to speak of. Domestic duties, which include resident grandchildminding and my large garden during clement weather, take up a good chunk of my week. Much of the rest is spent doing book marketing tasks as I now have 5 published novels - a 6th due on the 25th March 2014. I seem to write a considerable number of blog articles - some for guest posting and some for my own blog and I tend to spend time every week promoting the work of other authors. The bottom line is that I really need to organise myself better and learn to block out family-reality when I'm writing. The mantra I need to chant is 'Must do better!' yet I love having my family around me!

When I am writing, my desk is in the dining room which overlooks my front garden. This can be a lovely distraction, though it is also a very pleasant working environment.   

My 'Writing Process' post is now concluded and I nominate the three authors who will pass on the task 'baton-style'. 

Happy blogging to...

KJ Montgomery 
...has always looked beyond the obvious and firmly believes there are no such things as coincidences. Since her early years, she has yearned for knowledge no matter how obscure and carefully tucked it away knowing that someday she’d find a use for it.
 She loves writing as much as she loves reading and often has three or four books, both for writing and reading, in process at any moment. Her stories are smartly written and reflect her love for the paranormal, the excitement of sexual tension, and the lure of a complex mystery.
 KJ resides in coastal New England and loves spending time in the White Mountains of New Hampshire where the night skies are painted with brilliant starlight and the heavens seem to be within reach.
 KJ is a member of the Romance Writers of America, the New England chapter of the Romance Writers of America, and the Romance Writer of America’s sub-chapter: Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal.

Lyda Cox...
Certain she was born about 175 years too late, Lynda Cox spends as much time in the past as she possibly can—either by reading historical works or writing historical romance. She grew up with four goals in life: becoming a published author, owning a horse, having collies (as Lassie was her first true love), and living in Wyoming. She’s managed three of the four.
Lynda’s blog is found at

Cathie Dunn...
writes romantic suspense & adventure set in Scotland, England and Normandy. A hobby historian, her focus is on medieval and Jacobite eras.
Her first novel, Highland Arms, a romantic Scottish adventure, is published with The Wild Rose Press. Smugglers, Jacobites, Highland rebellions - and a heroine with an insatiable curiosity. But dangers await.
Dark Deceit, the first in The Anarchy Trilogy, is published with Crooked Cat Publishing. Set in 1140s England and Normandy, Dark Deceit weaves a tale of murder, changing loyalties, betrayal and hope.
Silent Deception, a romantic spooky novella set in Victorian Cornwall, is available from Amazon. A young heiress uncovers a dark family secret.
Cathie's research often takes her to the most breathtaking landscapes which she finds immensely inspiring. She currently works on a contemporary romantic suspense set in Idaho, US, and a historical Scottish romance.
Cathie lives in Scotland.
Discover more about Cathie at!



  1. Great answers, Nancy! You make a good case for us writers of romantic historical adventure. :-)

    Good luck with your upcoming release!

    1. Thank you, Cathie! It's always a pleasure to talk with you.


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