Heerrrrreezzzzzzz,Monica!

February 3, 2009 | Karin's Blog | 19 comments

Welcome, Monica!!! 

 

A huge thank you to Karin for inviting me here today to tell you all about my latest release HIGHLAND WARRIOR, which hit stores last Tuesday. 

 

HIGHLAND WARRIOR is the first book in my second back-to-back trilogy for Ballantine, featuring the “bad boys” of the Highlands, Clan Campbell.  Back-to-back means you won’t have to wait long for the rest of the trilogy: HIGHLAND OUTLAW will be out at the end of this month and HIGHLAND SCOUNDREL at the end of March.

 

HIGHLAND WARRIOR is the story of Jamie Campbell the ruthless enforcer of Scotland’s most powerful clan who vows to use any means necessary to vanquish lawlessness and unrest in the Highlands.  Driven by a fierce sense of law and order, Jamie never questions the righteousness of his cause until he meets Caitrina Lamont, the doted upon daughter of a rival chief who challenges him—and arouses him—like no other woman.

 

Like my first trilogy featuring the Clan MacLeod, you’ll find plenty of “ripped from the headlines” history, bringing to life actual people and events with a sensual fictional twist.  Basically I employ the Law and Order concept of taking actual “headline” events and spinning them into a fictional story.  My headlines just happen to be from a few hundred years ago!

 

I didn’t start out to write about real people, but while researching my first novel (what would become HIGHLANDER UNTAMED), I came across this amazing story about a war started by a one-eyed woman.  The one-eyed woman was the sister of one of the most revered chiefs of Clan MacLeod of all time—Rory Mor (the great).  The more I learned about him, the more I knew I had to write about him—he didn’t simply have the makings of a great hero he was a great hero.  And low and behold he just happened to have a brother who also had quite a few intriguing “headlines” written about him. Then I pulled out the genealogy chart and discovered he had a half-sister who was also the half-sister of a rival chief.  Talk about built in conflict.  I swear I will never be at a loss for a story as long as I have a genealogy chart and a few clan history books.

 

But writing about actual historical figures can be a challenge—and even more of one when you want to have them all in the same family.  With the MacLeods I was lucky because I was able to find stories to spin off of in one family. For the Campbells it wasn’t quite so pat.  The Campbells are a huge clan, with plenty of rich fodder to mine for great stories—but I wasn’t able to get them all in one family.  So in this series the lead characters are mostly compilations of actual historical figures.  For example, Jamie is based on the Earl of Argyll’s “real” enforcer, Donald Campbell, on James Campbell of Lawyers, known as a ruthless hunter of MacGregors, and Sir Dugald Campbell of Auchinbreck.

 

Because much of what I write about is “real,” it’s enabled me to do some fun stuff on my website to enhance the reading experience.  I have “picture books” with photos of some of the places in the stories along with references to the text in the novel.  One of the fringe benefits is that it’s a great excuse to travel!  Last September, after finishing HIGHLAND SCOUNDREL, I traveled with another Scottish Romance author, Veronica Wolff, around Argyll, visiting many of the places I’ve written about in the Campbell trilogy.  You’ll be able to see many of these pictures (and even slideshows) on my website and flickr gallery in the coming months.  One day (preferably when the dollar improves against the pound!) I hope to be able to visit them all.

 

I keep telling Karin she needs to cross the “pond” to England.  It’s a truly moving experience to see places that you’ve written about.

 

If you could go any place and write about it, where would you go?  Me, I’d love to visit Iceland and Norway. Maybe someday I’ll do a Viking story just so I can justify it, LOL.

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19 Comments

  1. Jenn!

    Wow, Monica. How intriguing. I know it much be tons of fun researching and writing about these people. I’m looking forward to diving into your triology!

    As for me, I’d love to travel to Italy. I’ve had an idea about a historical romance set during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. But the whole country fascinates me.

    One day….

  2. Edie

    Wow! I have to read this! What an amazing background for your book.

    I really want to visit Scotland, Ireland, Wales, England. Someday …

  3. HollyD

    Welcome! I’m adding your books to my to be read list.

    I would love to travel to Ireland, Italy, Africa, Egypt, Australia, France, & England.

  4. Monica McCarty

    Hi Jenn,
    It is so much fun researching–that’s one of my favorite parts of this “job.” (Hard to call it a job when I love it so much :)). Ooooh…I love the idea of Italy. There as a great History Channel (?) show on Mount Vesuvius not that long ago–maybe Digging for the Truth? Very cool it you haven’t seen it. I’d love to visit Italy some day, too. Definitely one of the top places on my list.

    Hi Edie,
    Thanks! I hope you get a chance to check out the book! What a great list of places to visit. I love all of them–but you can probably guess my favorite. 🙂

  5. Monica McCarty

    Hi Holly,
    Thank you for checking out the books–I hope you enjoy them! I love your list. I would LOVE to visit Egypt (my daughter is absolutely fascinated), I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about it. I have this dream of one day going on a dig there–some companies run archeological dig “vacations.”

  6. Raine

    I came across this amazing story about a war started by a one-eyed woman. The one-eyed woman was the sister of one of the most revered chiefs of Clan MacLeod of all time””Rory Mor (the great).

    That sounds fabulous–a one-eyed woman? Oh yeah. 🙂

    Places…you can sign me up for Egypt too, lol. And I’ve always had the desire to travel to Rome and write a hot historical, or Ireland to explore a little of that magical countryside (and SUCH good-looking men, sigh…)

  7. Cristina Machado

    Dear Monica,

    Wow! A viking romance, perhaps with background in Scotland, is a marvelous idea. I hope soon to read a your tale with this powerful nordic warriors. May be a viking serie (My God!!!)??

  8. Jane

    Hi Monica,
    Congrats on the new release. I would love to visit Egypt and discover all the archaeological sites and learn about their ancient rituals and beliefs.

  9. Amanda Murphy

    I would love to go to Ireland some day. When I write I listen to Celtic music on my IPod and I’m there. It is such stirring music. I would love to travel somewhere exotic just for research, that would be the best part of being a writer.

  10. Monica McCarty

    Hi Raine,
    Yes, it’s a pretty fantastical story–Margaret (the one-eyed woman) is a secondary character in UNTAMED. I will definitely sign you up for Egypt! Wouldn’t it be fantastic? Sigh. And since my husband is Irish, I’m going to have to agree with you on that one, LOL.

    Hi Cristina,
    I would love to do a Norse/Scottish romance–wouldn’t that be awesome? I just might have something up my sleeve with that…
    Did you ever read any of Josie Litton’s Viking Romances? I LOVED her, wish she was still writing ’em.

    Hi Jane,
    Thanks for the congrats! I’m still very new at this and it’s such a thrill to see the books on the shelves. I think we’re going to need a bigger bus with all the people who want to go to Egypt!

    Hi Amanda,
    I love Celtic music, too. My daughter does Irish Dancing so I hear it almost every day. I’ve been fortunate to travel to Scotland a few times since I started writing and it is SO inspirational.

  11. Cristina Machado

    I have the three books of Litton’s viking serie. I loved all the books, especially Dream of me, the tale of Wolf and Cymbra. I think that Ms.Litton is a great writer. I am reading the Heart’s trilogy of Anita Gordon, a viking serie published on early 1990’s. The background is the Normandy on tenth century (very rare place for a romance novel). The three books are marvelous. I also readed the Catherine Coulter’s viking serie (these serie in Portuguese, my native language). Now, I hope can read your future viking romances. I also want to read your MacLeod trilogy in Spanish.

  12. Kendra

    Hi Monica. I was shopping this morning at Target for my 11 year old’s birthday when I spotted your book and picked it up. …obviously I wasn’t looking at books for my daughter. 🙂 Can’t wait. Loved the other three.

  13. Karin Tabke

    I’m such a bad hostess! I have been uber busy today. Monica, I will get to the UK. I want to send a month.

  14. Monica McCarty

    Cristina,
    I loved all three books, too (and still have them on my keeper shelf as well!). I just actually re-read one of CC’s Viking books and plan on re-reading the rest. I’ll have to check out Anita Gordon’s books. The first two MacLeod books are already printed in Spanish with the third on the way soon, so hopefully you’ll be able to find them soon.

    Hey Kendra
    Thanks so much for picking up the book! (And happy birthday to your 11 year old–my son just turned 12!). I hope you enjoy it!

    Hey Karin,
    No worries, everyone has been taking great care of me.

  15. Leigh Faver

    Hi Monica,
    Thanks for giving us the inside track on your latest novel. It sounds like a must read. I’ll have to find the first two in the series, especially now that I know the historical basis. Other than Hawaii and Mexico, I’ve never been anywhere, so I get a real thrill out of books that transport me to an exotic locale. I would love to visit Ireland and Scotland, for starters.

  16. Robin

    Congratulations, Monica! I look forward to reading the book! There are so many places I’d like to visit…I’ve never been to Europe. Would love to travel to Costa Rica. And even though I’ve been once, it was a long time ago, so I’d love to go back to Australia.

  17. Monica McCarty

    Hi Leigh,
    I didn’t travel much until a few years ago, so I know exactly what you mean about reading transporting you somewhere else. I’m sure the fact that I love Scotland and England so much as to do with how much historical fiction I read when I was a teenager. 🙂 Hope you get a chance to check out the books!

    Hi Robin,
    Thanks for the congrats, it’s been a busy week! I’ve never been to Australia and I would definitely love to visit there. My husband and I just watched a miniseries called the Diplomat (with Dougray Scott) that was filmed there. Costa Rica is a good one, too.

    Thanks again to Miss Karin for having me today–you guys were awesome!

  18. J. Carson Black

    The trilogy sounds great, Monica!

    One of the great things about writing historicals is spending all those hours in a different time and place. And before you know it, you’re an expert on, well, in your case, the Campbells.

  19. Karin Tabke

    Monica, thank you so much for stopiing by! I can’t wait to get this book!

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