Today I’m happy to welcome Cathy MacRae, contributor to the Ghost of Culloden Moor series and author of the Highlander’s Bride series and the novel Highland Escape. Cathy’s here to share with us her thoughts on writing and her writing process. Welcome, Cathy!
First things first. When did you know for sure that you were a writer? I’ve been a story-teller pretty much all my life. I grew up on a small farm in the country where I spent a good bit of time inventing friends and their stories. But it wasn’t until I was in high school that I wrote my first ‘real’ story, co-authored by my best friend—and it got us an ‘A’ in English. I returned to writing as an adult and decided I would write a novel by myself. As you can expect, it won’t show up on Amazon any time soon, lol, but I was hooked and decided to pursue a career as an author.
What made you choose your genre, or genres? I actually wrote a few romantic suspense stories—one of which I think is pretty funny and would love to edit and see how it does. But after a number of rejections, I took a year off from serious writing to spend time with my daughter during her last year of high school. Later, a writer friend of mine helped get me started again by challenging me to write ‘outside my box’. So, with a love of Scotland and no idea how intense historical research could be, I wrote my first historical romance. I’ve been there ever since.
Describe your writing process. How do you get to know your characters? Flesh out your ideas? Create your villains? I pretty much write by the seat of my pants. I start with an idea and charge off on a story line and see where it goes. In two of my books, the villain turned out to be a character I’d not intended to be ‘bad’. Other times, I know ahead of time what the black moment will be and what sort of villain it will take to get us there.
What do you enjoy most about writing? The unpredictableness. I like seeing where the story goes. And I like talking about my stories, whether with my critique group or with readers.
What do you dislike most about writing? The times when the characters are not speaking to me. I feel as though I should be writing and the characters wave me off. Usually I’ve written them into an uncharacteristic place for them, and doing a bit of a re-write gets us back on track.
Tell us a bit about your most recent project. I have two projects going on at the moment. I am one of 5 authors writing stories for The Ghosts of Culloden Moor series. These are tales of 79 restless ghosts from the Battle of Culloden who are being given their chance to do a heroic deed and rest in peace. I’ve released 2 stories so far, and have more on the way. The books are being released every week or two. There will be 80 books once the series is complete. My next one is due out in May. I also hope to have another full-length Scottish romance out in a few months.
What are your interests outside of writing? I love the outdoors, particularly gardening. It’s difficult for me to sit inside on a pretty day, and we’ve had too many of those this winter, lol! I’ve got lots of plans for the veggie garden this year, and put out some roses just a few weeks ago that are looking lovely. But I have 4 dogs that love to be outside, too, so I spend a lot of time with them. I also play the piano and am taking fiddle lessons. And I love to cook.
Quick Ten List
Unfortunately, my answers seem to change pretty regularly, but here’s the current list:
- What’s your favorite color? Blue
- Favorite song? Hallelujah; I’m learning it on the fiddle.
- Favorite food/drink? Sushi, Mexican food, the list is fairly exhaustive, lol!
- Favorite movie? Forrest Gump
- Favorite TV show? NCIS
- Favorite book? Goodnight, Moon
- Favorite place? I love to travel, but I’m particularly glad to be visiting Scotland this summer
- Favorite way to spend a free hour? Reading
- Favorite animal? I love my dogs, but my cat is pretty darn cute.
- Favorite quote about writing? Write drunk, edit sober.
‘Tis more than pride and injustice that keeps Culloden’s ghosts tethered to the moor. And it will take something very compelling to set each of them free.
Malcolm: A Highlander Romance
Malcolm Sinclair believes himself to be the only Jacobite soldier in the Earl of Cromartie’s regiment who escaped the devastating defeat at the hands of the Sutherlands at Little Ferry on 15 April, 1746. Approaching Inverness, alone and nearly frozen, he joined with a group of Frasers, only to face the Government forces—and his death—on Culloden Moor, 16 April, 1746.
Restless and haunted by the terrible tragedies that encompassed the last 36 hours of his life, Malcolm jumps at the chance to do a heroic deed and escape the moors—and hopefully the demons that lurk in his mind—forever.
But he didn’t realize the damsel-in-distress would be a despised Sutherland . . .
Please read The Gathering by LL Muir first to avoid confusion.