Can I be Honest?

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Want to know a secret?

Well, I guess it’s not really so much a secret as a confession.  I never aspired to be an author.  And, I never, ever dreamed I’d write romance novels.

What?

I didn’t scribble notes and fabricate prose fro

640px-Jane_Austen_coloured_versionm the time I could string two or three words together? I didn’t dream of being the next Jane Austen, Louisa May Alcott, or Emily Bronte?

Nope.

Almost sounds blasphemous, doesn’t it?

I did write some rather heinous poetry in high school, but there was never the slightest inkling to someday become a published author.  Really.  I’m telling the truth.

So, what happened, you ask?  Okay, maybe you didn’t ask, but I’ll tell you anyway. Lucky you.

I started rDame_Barbara_Cartland_Allan_Warreneading—more like voraciously inhaling—sweet romances when I was thirteen.  A girlfriend gave me a Barbara Cartland Regency to read, and I was hooked! Over the next several years . . . er . . . decades, I read thousands of romances, mostly historicals because to me, those are the ultimate romance. (BTW, I graduated from sweet, just a wee bit.)

Still, it never crossed my mind to write a novel, let alone a romance. All that dialogue and . . . well, you know, the sex.  I couldn’t ever write a love scene. Ever.  What would people say? What would my family say?

“I can’t go there. Read what my mom thinks romantically.” Envision a dramatic shudder.

That’s an actual quote from my 22-year-old son just last week.

Other people ask all the time if I write them from my personal experiences. Seriously?

Wave your hand authors if that’s ever happened to you, and readers you wave too if you’ve ever had that thought cross your mind.

Aha! I see all those hands waving!

But I digress. Back to how I became a historical romance author. I know, the suspense is killing you.

A couple things happened that starting the old creative juices flowing. I went back to school and got a bachelor’s of Science in Liberal Studies and a Master’s in Teaching (In three and a half years-Do. Not. Do. That! It nearly killed me.) Naturally, there were all sorts of torturous essays I had to write, but professor after professor told me I had a knack for writing.

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One of them, my Children’s Literature professor, turned to me one day after I’d shared a children’s book I’d written for an assignment, and said, “You’re going to be a great teacher, but writing is your true gift.”

Yeah, right. The story was a ridiculous thing about split pea soup and a frog swimming around the bowl. Still, the insidious seed of, “What if?” had been planted.

Within a year, my last child left home for college, and there I was with a brand new teaching certificate, no kids at home (hubby doesn’t count) and I was only substituting part-time.

So, what did I do?

In February 2011, I parked myself in front of my computer, and as an experiment, decided to see if the scene that had popped into my head a few weeks before could be made into an entire novel.

Seems it could.

Princess_Elizabeth_(1770-1840)Highlander’s Hope, the first book in the Castle Bride’s Series was born. My, but that was a long labor!  Today, I’m celebrating the The Earl’s Enticement’s release, the third and last book in the series.  Another six book series, The Highland Heather Romancing a Scot Series, is in the works, as well as two novellas Bride of Falcon and The Highlander’s Viking Bride and two short stories, A Kiss for Miss Kingsley and Heart of a Highlander.

All the books are spin-offs from the first series. Gads. See what one little scene started?

Now, I’m thoroughly addicted and cannot imagine why I waited so long to begin writing. Hubby would say I’m obsessed, but that would mean I’m preoccupied and a bit fanatical about writing. . . . All the time. Every waking moment.

Darn. He’s right.

I think the most important thing is, once the niggling seed to become an author took hold, a dream I didn’t even realize I harbored, blossomed. And look where I’ve ended up?

What are your impossible dreams?  What can you do to make them come true?

I thought it would be fun to let you read the scene from Highlander’s Hope that started my journey into romance writing. 

In this scene, Ewan has discovered Yvette asleep in his bed at Banbury Inn. Her room adjoins his, and she thought the chamber was vacant for the night.

~ ~ ~

Ewan jolted awake.

He had fallen asleep with Yvette in his arms. Shooting a worried glance towards the window, he recognized the first golden blush of daybreak sweeping across the hazy sky.

“Merde.”

Sucking in a strangled breath, he grasped the inexperienced hand fondling him.

“Yvette,” he whispered in her ear as she showered kisses across his bare chest and neck. Grasping her roaming hands, he pulled her into his tight embrace, and raised his voice. “Yvette. Wake up.”

He gave her a gentle shake. Dark lashes trembled, rising to reveal drowsy eyes. A smile lithighlandershope2_850 2 (2) her face when her gaze met his. She lifted her hand, caressing his face, her fingers lingering on his scar before she raised herself up and kissed the mark.

Caught up in the powerful spell, he almost forgot himself. He fought the urge to throw reason to the wind and kiss her with all the desire he was holding in check.

“Evvy, amour. . .” His voice was a throaty groan.

Ewan knew the moment she fully awoke. He felt her stiffen in his arms and heard her small cry of shocked dismay. She pushed at his chest with both hands. He released her and watched her scramble across the bed. She stopped in the middle, facing him. Her hair swirled around her, settling in shimmering waves about her hips.

Dawn’s glow lit the room. He could see her expressions. Shock—followed by confusion, and then complete horror as she realized the full scope of her situation.

By-the-way, Highlander’s Hope will be on sale September 9-14th. 

Okay, your trivia question today can be found here:

In The Viscount’s Vow’s excerpt, what color are Vangie’s (Miss Caruthers’s) eyes?

 

 

 

Follow Collette Cameron:

Author

USA Today Bestselling Author, COLLETTE CAMERON pens Scottish and Regency historicals featuring rogues, rapscallions, rakes, and the intelligent, intrepid damsels who reform them.

Blessed with three spectacular children, fantastic fans, and a compulsive, over-active, and witty Muse who won’t stop whispering new romantic romps in her ear, she still lives in Oregon with her husband and five mini-dachshunds, though she dreams of living in Scotland part-time.

Admitting to a quirky sense of humor, Collette enjoys inspiring quotes, adores castles and anything cobalt blue, and is a self-confessed Cadbury chocoholic. You’ll always find dogs, birds, occasionally naughty humor, and a dash of inspiration in her sweet-to-spicy timeless romances.

16 Responses

  1. Sandra Owens

    Life is full of surprises, isn’t it Collette? Glad you decided to try to write that first scene…look where it took you.

  2. Maggi Andersen

    Lovely excerpt, Collette. I never planned to be a romance writer either, but I read Georgette Heyer as a girl and loved all her books.

    • Collette Cameron

      I did, Jessica. I still get raised eyebrows or the occasional snarky remark, but so what. Those aren’t the people I’m writing for.