Above painting: Louis Jean Francois - Mars and Venus an Allegory of Peace


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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Interview with Acclaimed Scottish Romance Author: Victoria Roberts (Giveaway!)

Welcome to History Undressed, good friend and fellow Scottish romance author, Victoria Roberts! I'm excited to introduce you to Victoria and her debut novel, TEMPTATION IN A KILT, the first in her Bad Boys of the Highlands series. Leave a comment for a chance to win a print copy! Enjoy!

Eliza, thank you so much for having me today. I’ve been a huge fan of History Undressed for some time, and I’m thrilled to be a guest!

~What was the deciding factor for you in writing a Scottish romance?

I don’t think there was ever any question of the genre. When I was introduced to romance novels several years ago, I fell in love with Scotland. I think the first Scottish historical I read was one of Hannah Howell’s and I couldn’t get enough. Between the clan conflicts, the lovely Scottish brogue, the bonny Scottish Highlands, gigantic steeds, brawny Highlanders in kilts wielding broadswords, I wanted to bring my love of Scotland to life in the pages of a romance novel.

~Your books are very well researched and true to life, but not in a way that readers feel you're trying to teach them a history lesson. Readers get a good taste for history and the real-life settings and only adds to the flavor of the book. You’ve captured the essence of the Scottish culture in your characters, their language, their clothes, their morals, actions. What is your research process like? How do you decide what stays and what goes?

Thank you for the compliment! I think you’ll all agree with me. Life is hard enough. I honestly don’t want to teach anyone a lesson. I want to give readers an escape from the everyday burdens of day jobs, raising a family, etc. Who wouldn’t like to put the kids to bed and take a little adventure in the Scottish Highlands with a handsome laird?

As far as the research, I determine the year and the setting and then find out everything I can about that area in that timeframe. Whether it’s via the internet, books, clans, maps, Scottish folklore, etc., I try my best to stay true to historical accuracy. But I do write fiction. I also have a large support group via Celtic Hearts Romance Writers who have many experts in historical research and the Gaelic language.

My editor once told me, “A little Scottish flare goes a long way.” I definitely agree with that. My CP (critique partner) has an amazing ability to keep me on track. 

~What is your favorite bit of history you learned while researching Temptation in a Kilt?

The history of King James VI of Scotland/King James I of England, the only son of Mary, Queen of Scots is very interesting. He was very vocal and active in witch hunts and personally supervised the torture of woman being accused of witchcraft. But this played more of a part in my second book. For Temptation in a Kilt, I think the most intriguing part was the history between the MacGregors and the Campbells. Both clans have a long history, but I focused on their life and struggles at Glenorchy.   

~Which scene is your favorite in the book and why?

I actually have several, but this is one of my favorites. In this scene, Ciaran and Rosalia are speaking about Ciaran’s leman.

Ciaran broke the silence and spoke quietly. “She means naught to me.”
A tear fell down her cheek and she wiped it away. “It doesnae matter—truly,” she whispered.
He reached out and gently brushed her arms. When she closed her eyes to avoid his probing gaze, he raised her chin with his finger. He did not speak until she opened her eyes. “It matters to me,” he said solemnly. He wiped her tears with his thumb. “I told her we were done when I returned to Glenorchy. She wasnae pleased. I didnae know she was there, Rosalia. She saw ye and Aisling and threw her body upon me.”
She could not help but smirk. “Her verra bare body, my laird.”
He paused for a moment, a spark of some indefinable emotion in his eyes. “I didnae notice, Rosalia. All I saw was ye,” he whispered, slowly bending his head toward her.

I don’t know what it is, but I love a strong Highlander who is able to lower his defenses and show his love who he truly is. I still sigh every time I read Ciaran’s last line.

~What was the hardest scene to write? Why?

Without giving away any spoilers, the hardest scene for me to write was when the women were taken. The original draft was very dark. I really tortured and demeaned my characters. You’ve heard of actors “getting into their role?” I placed myself emotionally into those scenes as a wife, mother, etc. I’d ask myself, “What would I do if…” My editor did not want to cut the scene, but I had to lighten it up—a lot. As a result, I had to write and reread several times before I was comfortable and satisfied with the scene.
~What piece of advice would you offer to writers in the historical romance genre?

Write. Write. Write. Practice makes perfect. I would give that advice to any aspiring author.

~What is your writing schedule like?

I try to write Monday through Friday, 1000 words/day or I shoot for 5000/week. I really strive to meet my daily goals and give myself the weekends off. Of course sometimes life intervenes and it doesn’t happen the way I would like, but I think setting reasonable goals is important.

~What writer was most inspiring to you on your career path to becoming an author?

I don’t have just one. I would have to say it’s a mix of Lynn Kurland, Karen Marie Moning, Hannah Howell, Brenda Joyce and Sabrina Jeffries.

~What’s next for you?

X Marks the Scot is the second book in the Bad Boys of the Highlands series and is scheduled for release in February 2013. I am currently working on Book 3 in the series.

~Is there anything you'd like to share with readers? A question you want to pose to them?

Books are a means of escape. Where is your favorite escape/setting and why?

Eliza, thank you so much for having me. This has been great fun and I’m honored to be here with you and your readers today. As a thank you, Sourcebooks will give away copies of Temptation in a Kilt to two lucky commenters (US and Canada, only please.)

Happy Reading!


She’s on her way to safety
It’s a sign of Lady Rosalia Armstrong’s desperation that
she’s seeking refuge in a place as rugged and challenging
as the Scottish Highlands. She doesn’t care about
hardship and discomfort, if only she can become master
of her own life. Laird Ciaran MacGregor, however, is
completely beyond her control…

He redefines dangerous…
Ciaran MacGregor knows it’s perilous to get
embroiled with a fiery Lowland lass, especially one as
headstrong as Rosalia. Having made a rash promise
to escort her all the way to Glengarry, now he’s stuck
with her, even though she challenges his legendary
prowess at every opportunity. When temptation
reaches its peak, he’ll be ready to show her who he
really is…on and off the battlefield.

Praise for Temptation in a Kilt:

“Roberts’s debut features appealing
characters and an interesting background
of ancient clan feuds and spurned lovers.”
Publishers Weekly

“Well written, full of intrigue and a sensual,
believable romance, this book captivates
the reader immediately”
RT Book Reviews/4 stars


Victoria Roberts writes sexy, Scottish historical romances about kilted heroes and warriors from the past.
An avid lover of all things Scotland—simply, she writes what she loves to read. Prior to ever picking up a single romance novel, she penned her first young-adult novella (never published) at sixteen years old. Who knew her leather studded motorcycle hero would trade in his ride and emerge as a kilt donning Highlander wielding a broadsword?

Victoria lives in western Pennsylvania with her husband of nineteen years and their two beautiful children—not to mention one spoiled dog. When she is not plotting her next Scottish romp, she enjoys reading, nature and antiques.


Victoria Roberts said...

Thanks again, Eliza. I'll be lingering around for most of the day in case anyone has questions or comments.

Cynthia Owens said...

Hi Victoria, SO looking forward to reading Temptation! As for my favorite escape, well, it has to be Ireland, whether reading, writing, or travelling! Best of luck to you!

Sheridan Jeane said...

Congratulations on your book! I was wondering which time period in history you prefer? I know quite a lot of research goes into writing an accurate historical novel, and I was wondering if you would write in any other time period.

sheila said...

Can't wait, I love Highlanders in kilts and their big, um, broadswords...

Victoria Roberts said...

Thank you, Cynthia. *cyber wave* I hope you enjoy it. Thanks for stopping by.

Victoria Roberts said...

Videkov, thank you so much! For me, this is the time period I choose to write for Scottish historical romance. I really didn't want to go for a medieval theme and didn't want anything too modern.

And you're right. I strive for historical accuracy, but writing fiction gives me a little bit of leeway. There's a lot to explore during this time period. Perhaps when I've had my fill...

Victoria Roberts said...

Hi Sheila! Ciaran's is verra big, um, his broadsword. ;-)

Gerri Bowen said...

Nice post, Victoria. I'm adding this to me wish list. :) If I can't travel, I read to escape.

Unknown said...

I don't need to be entered into the giveaway, thanks to Victoria and another contest, I already have my copy. This was my first Historical Romance (usually suspense, thriller, horror and an occasional paranormal romance) I have to say I fell in love with it and Victoria's characters from page one! The story flowed and I could picture everything in my mind. Thanks Victoria for opening my eyes to a new genre.

Victoria Roberts said...

Thank so much, Gerri! You know how much we love our Highlanders ;-)

Victoria Roberts said...

Awww... Carole, you are so sweet! I love new recruits, and I'm so glad that I opened your eyes to another genre. There are a lot of wonderful authors out there.

Jennifer (JC Page) said...

I've got to invest in new bookshelves soon! Thank-you for the boost of inspiration, Victoria. Looking forward to your new release in February.

Victoria Roberts said...

Thanks, Jennifer.

Diane D - Florida said...

My favorite means of escape is to read a book. I read every night in bed for at least 4 hours. Without my books, I would be one lost soul.

I adore Historical Romance, and Scottish Highlanders are great favorites of mine. I have a very active imagination, as I picture them in their kilts brandishing their claymores or swords riding off to battle. I cheer them on in their battles and I always love ending up in their beds. (figuratively speaking) LOL

Thank you for this chance to win a book. You're a new Author to me, and I follow you on Facebook.

dpd333 (at) aol dot com

Victoria Roberts said...

Thanks, Diane. I love to read and be swept away to another time or place where little people aren't calling me "Mommy!"

Eliza Knight said...

Thank you all so much for stopping by and thank you to Victoria for visiting!!

The winners of her new book are...

Videkov AND Sheila

Please contact me via email so we can get your books shipped out!