Author Spotlight~Collette Cameron

Collette CameronFirst, I want to thank you Ashlyn for hosting me. I’m delighted to be here!

You’re welcome! I love spotlighting other authors on my blog. Tell us about your upcoming release.

“Highlander’s Hope” is a 83,000 word Regency historical set in London and Scotland. It has all the trappings of a Regency, but ventures beyond the typical time period expectations. It is the first book in my Blue Rose Trilogy.

The hero, Ewan McTavish is a Scottish Laird and a viscount.  He’s also an agent for England’s War Office. The heroine, Yvette Stapleton, is an unconventional heiress who has no use for marriage.  Imagine her reaction when she finds herself married to Ewan though she never says, “I do.” 

Both are drawn into deadly international intrigue, which has them fleeing England to Ewan’s ancestral home in Scotland.  The novel is not all danger and drama. My quirky humor is interspersed throughout.

Sounds like an intriguing read. I love the settings and title of your trilogy. What inspired you to write this story?

A single scene popped into my mind one day; the Banbury Inn scene where Ewan discovers Yvette in his bed.  It played out in my mind, much like watching a snippet of a movie. I wrote the entire story around that scene.  As I developed the plot, I added a fairly large cast of characters, and almost all of them are going to end up with their own book—eventuallyHighlander's Hope
Isn’t it great when we can “see” the action unfold? Was your journey to publication a walk in the park or a slow crawl through hot coals?

I’ve been very blessed on my writing journey. I’d toyed with the idea of writing a book for years. In February 2011, I decided to finally sit down and write a novel. I wrote the first draft of “Highlander’s Hope” and that’s when my education really began.

I entered it in several contests with mixed results. Some contest judges scored me nearly perfect, and others basically said I couldn’t write. I read a few books on writing, did some tweaking of the plot, and  submitted  the manuscript to three publishers (one was a  request.) as well as an agent who had requested it. The results were the same; they said the manuscript was better than most they received but they were going to pass on it.

So, I pulled on my big-girl panties, did a major rewrite, changed the title twice, and queried a different publisher. I had a request for a full manuscript in four days, and four days after submitting the full, I had a contract offer.

I just signed the contract for my second book, “The Viscount’s Vow,” which is the second book in the Blue Rose Trilogy.

Had you always wanted to be traditionally published?

Truthfully, I hadn’t thought about just how I was going to get published; traditional or self-published.  I was focused on getting the book done. For me, the traditional route had worked well, though I have author friends who have done very well with self-publishing.

Who are your biggest supporters?

My hubby—he hands out my business card to all of his clients. Bless his heart, he hasn’t read the manuscript, never will, but he’s so proud of me. He even has his hunting buddies friending me on Facebook. I can see the hunting camp next fall. A dozen macho men in camo sitting around the fire reading “Highlander’s Hope” while the deer and elk snicker in the forest.

My daughter, one of my aunties, and several of my teacher friends have all been fabulous. I also have a dear friend who beta reads for me. I’ve been amazed and humbled at the support I’ve received from my education community. It’s a bit nerve-wracking too, because teachers are big readers. . . and critics.

Oh, and my students. A couple of days ago, I told the little darlings I sold my second book, and they broke out into cheers; talk about humbling. I hope I can inspire them to develop a love of writing.What do you look forward to as a published author?

I can’t wait to get my hands on a print copy of “Highlander’s Hope.” It’s still surreal to me. I think my first book signing will be a milestone too. Or maybe seeing my book on a shelf in a bookstore. . . There’s so many wonderful firsts as an author.

What don’t you look forward to?

Reviews.  They terrify me. I know reading tastes differ, even within the genre of romance, but lets’ face it; some people are downright nasty. I remind myself that I haven’t been over-the-moon about many books I’ve read, and that includes nationally acclaimed bestsellers. Maybe reviews get easier after you’ve published a few books, but the anticipation with your first “baby” is excruciating.

Can you tell us what you’re currently working on?

My current work in progress is the final book in the Blue Rose Trilogy. I haven’t settled on a firm title yet. I’m toying with, “The Earl’s Enticement.” 

The story is about Adaira (Addy) Ferguson, an outspoken Scottish aristocrat who cares more for horses than she does society’s conventions. She wears breeches, swears, and mistaking him for his blackguard brother, abducts Roark (Rory) Marquardt, The Earl of Clarendon.

What advice would you give to those wanting to be a published author?

Create your best possible story. If you don’t have critique partners, get some. Educate yourself about the industry. Read books on writing craft, and attend workshops and classes. Learn the jargon. Brush up on your grammar and convention skills. Learn to glean what you can to strengthen your craft from all of the above, but don’t feel like you have to mold yourself into a cookie-cutter writer. Sure, you need to know what publishers are looking for in your genre (Do some reading!) but keep your voice your own.
Great advice! What one thing about you would surprise your fans?

Something surprising, hmm.  I don’t watch TV. I can’t tell you the last time I watched a TV program. I do watch movies occasionally, and I’ll listen to the news when the hubby has it on, but I don’t ever sit and watch TV program.  Hey, when I have a few minutes, I’d rather be writing. Was that too boring? How about I’ve never had a traffic ticket?  Still not exciting?  I sleep with five dachshunds.  Too much info?  I adore trivia?  Okay, how’s this?  Collette is my middle name.  

Lol, now I see the quirky humor coming out. And five daschunds? They’re so cute. Lucky you to have five of them. Thank you again for stopping by. Good luck and happy many sales to you! If you want to stalk or know more about Collette and Highlander’s Hope, click on the links below.


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Highlander’s Hope Blurb:

Not a day has gone by that Ewan McTavish, the Viscount Sethwick, hasn’t dreamed of the beauty he danced with two years ago. He’s determined to win her heart and make her his own. Heiress, Yvette Stapleton, is certain of one thing; marriage is risky and, therefore, to be avoided. At first, she doesn’t recognize the dangerously handsome man who rescues her from assailants on London’s docks, but Lord Sethwick’s passionate kisses soon have her reconsidering her cynical views on matrimony. On a mission to stop a War Office traitor, Ewan draws Yvette into deadly international intrigue. To protect her, he exploits Scottish law, declaring her his lawful wife—without benefit of a ceremony. Yvette is furious upon discovering the irregular marriage is legally binding, though she never said, “I do.” Will Ewan’s manipulation cost him her newfound love?