Willa Blair, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book, Highland Healer.
Genre: Scottish Historical Paranormal
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Cover artist: Tina Lynn Stout
Heat rating: Spicy
Tagline: Scottish Historical Romance with a Paranormal Twist
He needs her for his clan. He wants her for himself. Can he have both?
Toran Lathan never expected to become Laird, and never expected to meet a woman like Aileana Shaw. Her healing ability is just what his people need, but Toran cannot re-sist her beauty. Yet will loving him destroy her ability to heal?
Aileana Shaw has a healing touch – and a special talent she must keep secret. Stolen from her home by a marauding army, she’s kidnapped again by the Highland Laird she heals. Is she a prize of war, or the prize of his heart?
While Toran battles the invading lowland army, he also battles his desire for Aileana. And Aileana must decide if she can trust her secrets to this fierce warrior who needs her talent, but wants her love.
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Toran Lathan, Laird of Clan Lathan
Aileana Shaw, Healer
Gar Colbridge, leads the lowlander army
Despite his threats a few moments before, she had sensed no real animosity in him. She’d been treated well since arriving at the Aerie. Her dream of a home, with people who cared about her, perhaps a family of her own, rose unbidden to her mind, and with it came a familiar lump in her throat. She was tired, she thought, to let that longing overwhelm her now. She folded her arms under her breasts and kept her eyes on the flames. She heard Toran move from the door to stand behind her. She tensed as his hands came to rest on her shoulders. He turned her gently, but irresistibly, to face him.
“What should I do with so beautiful, so valuable, a prize?” he murmured, almost to himself.
His deep blue gaze ensnared Aileana as completely as his hands. She knew she should be outraged at being called a prize. He’d done it before, on the way here. Did he truly see her that way? She refused to be chattel any longer, she told herself, and would not allow him to treat her so. But she found she could not summon her ire. One of his hands left her shoulder and he lightly touched her cheek, then slowly slid his fingers down her throat to her collarbone. There, he hesitated, and Aileana held her breath until he moved the hand back to her shoulder.
His simple touch sent shivers dancing and nearly undid her.
What is the most important thing you do for your career now, as compared to when you first started writing?
When I started, learning about the craft of writing and actually writing were the most important things for me to do. Now that I’m published, and now that my book has won an award and is a best-seller on Kindle, networking and promotion/publicity activities such as writing blog posts are important. And writing the next book, of course!
What do you enjoy most about writing?
Giving my imagination free reign to explore times, places and situations that would never occur in my everyday life.
If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
Finish the damn book! Like a lot of writers, I spent years starting several books and pol-ishing the first few chapters over and over again. It took a decade for me to settle on one and finish it. Typing “the end” was a revelation. A rite of passage. Proof that I could really do it.
After that, writing a book is not as daunting a task. Yes, it’s daunting. Just not as daunt-ing. I finished the second book in under a year and I’m working on the third in the series now. When I want a change of pace, I work on the outlines of two different contempo-rary novels and a science fiction romance series I’m developing.
What is your work ethic when it comes to writing?
I am most emphatically not a morning person. Afternoons and evenings are the most productive times for writing. When I’m really deep into the book, I can spend hours at the keyboard. But when I’m still working on the outline or synopsis, I’m easily distracted. Social media is a blessing and a curse. And don’t get me started on the lure of Ama-zon’s rankings, especially for a debut author!
How do you cope with stress as an author?
The same way most of us do - with chocolate! Or a glass of wine. Sometimes both.
Which of your books would you recommend to someone who doesn't normally read your genre, and why?
I’d recommend Highland Healer to anyone who enjoys a good story. It has action, ad-venture, suspense, and romance. One reviewer even said that men would like the book because of the details of the invading army, the siege, etc. Another mentioned the pace and the page-turning action, along with the romance.
What kind of books do you read when taking a break from your own writing?
I grew up reading science fiction and some fantasy, so I still go there when I want a change from what I’m writing, but I also enjoy contemporary romance, romantic sus-pense and science fiction romance.
What do you think is the future of traditional publishing?
That’s a great question. I don’t claim to have a crystal ball, but I think the fact that au-thors have so many options right now will force some changes. I think the Big Six, or Five, or Four, or however they end up, will slowly adjust to the new realities. Authors can make more money as independents or with smaller presses. They can choose any combination of publishing methods, including the (potentially) lower pay but greater prestige of traditional publishers. I think the big houses will have to woo authors with better royalties and more benefits. I know multi-published authors who are self-publishing new material at the same time they’re fulfilling contracts with NY editors for new books at the same time they’re reclaiming rights to their backlist and e-publishing those books. Options are good.
Imagine you get to go on a dream vacation, but you have only one hour to pack and leave, and it starts as soon as you finish this interview. What will you take with you and where will you go?
I’ll pack layers, comfy walking shoes, a bathing suit and sunblock and head for New Zealand to visit friends there and for a grand tour, then hop over to Australia and revisit places I’ve been as well as adding some new stops.
What is your favorite holiday and why?
Hallowe’en. All that candy! Did I mention I’m addicted to sugar? My favorite is Brach’s Indian Corn - the candy corn with the chocolate tops.
Then there are the adorable little kids in princess and pirate costumes - SO cute!
What good book have you read recently?
Ghost Planet by Sharon Lynn Fisher. Not your usual romance, but it will hook you in the first few paragraphs.
If you were a color, what color would you be?
Orange - all shades from light and bright to deep and burnt.
Please underline which statement is more like you:
"I am a vacation spa because I am laid back and relaxed."
"I am a ten-countries in ten-days tour vacation, because I do things as fast as possible."
Please complete the sentences
I love pizza with pepperoni and onions.
I'm always ready for lunch or dinner out.
When I'm alone, I read, write or nap.
You'd never be able to tell, but I enjoy city life, at least in small doses.
If I had a halo it would be crooked.
If I could be consistent I'd be dangerous!
I can never work in an animal shelter because I’d adopt and adopt and become the crazy cat lady.
Books Coming Soon
Highland Healer - release date 4 January 2013 from The Wild Rose Press, Amazon and Barnes and Noble in print and e-book formats
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