by Anna Sugden
I’m delighted to welcome my good friend, two-time RITA nominee Terri Brisbin – and her Highlanders – to the Lair!
Terri has been writing romance fiction since 1995 and has had 16 historical and time-travel romances published by Berkley-Jove and Harlequin Historicals. When not living the glamorous life of a romance author in the southern NJ suburbs, Terri spends her time being a wife to one, mom to three boys as well as a dental hygienist to hundreds. Active in several RWA local chapters, Terri currently serves on the Board of Directors of Romance Writers of America.
And, on a personal note, I’d like to add that Terri is a great champion and supporter of her fellow romance writers – she keeps us motivated through the best and worst of times!
To find out more about Terri or her fabulous books, please visit her website: http://www.terribrisbin.com/
Anna, thanks for that warm welcome and the invitation to visit with the Romance Bandits and readers.
I know we have a number of visitors to the blog who LOVE Scotsmen … a few Banditas too *grin*. Would you introduce us to your Highlanders?
This trilogy of stories (and there may a fourth at some point) is all about the wonderful MacLerie men – Connor, the laird, had the first book (TAMING THE HIGHLANDER), now Rurik, his loyal friend and cousin is featured in this new book, SURRENDER TO THE HIGHLANDER, and the clan tanist and negotiator, Duncan, will be featured in an August release (POSSESSED BY THE HIGHLANDER). They are all very interesting and have their flaws and strengths – Connor has a terrible reputation as a wife-killer and does not like to be questioned, Rurik is half-Scots/half-Norse and is a true prodigal son who wants more, and Duncan places honor and his clan above everything else in his life. Don’t they sound like men in need of a good woman?
Tough heroes need strong heroines. How did you choose the heroines for these three tough men?
Well! A long time ago, a wonderful author (Delia Parr) suggested during a workshop that in order to create strong conflict you should give the hero the absolutely worst kind of woman for him. So Connor, who still carries the terrible secrets of his first wife’s death, is forced to marry someone who is protecting her own secrets. Rurik, who loves women and who loves to do two things in life (both start with “F” and one is fight!) has a heroine who is a nun! (Well, he thinks she is a nun!) Duncan, who lives by his honor, is forced to marry a woman who has none…or so he thinks!
It must be fun researching these books. I know you love to travel. Have you got some interesting tales of your quest for things Scottish?
I have had the chance to travel to Scotland twice and have visited many of the places I write about. On my first trip there in 2002, Sue-Ellen Welfonder took me to Dunstaffnage Castle and I had the chance to stand on the battlements and look out over the Firth of Lorne. This turned into a scene I wrote for THE MAID OF LORNE. Also, eerily, it was also there that I found what looked to be the archway through time I described in my very first romance, A LOVE THROUGH TIME. The strange thing is that I’d never seen pictures of this castle until my visit but it all felt familiar…..
I am going back to Scotland in the spring and can’t wait to visit some places I haven’t seen yet – Stirling Castle, more of Edinburgh, and a side trip to the Highlands.
Unfortunately, my other Scottish quest – to meet Gerard Butler – has not been successful…but I’m still trying!
As lovely as your Highlanders are, you write about Englishmen too (YAY!). And a fascinating time period. Can you tell us a bit about some of the other books you’ve written?
Sigh….. I also love medieval England. I’ve written 4 novels and 2 novellas that are all set in the late 1190’s and early 1200’s and involve the Plantagenet dynasty – Henry II and his wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and their sons Richard and John. And talk about different, non-traditional heroines! those stories feature women who were very different from most noble-women of their time—one is the king’s mistress, one is pregnant with another man’s child, one has been held hostage and pretends to not remember all that happened, one is the village harlot, one almost died and has amnesia, and one is on the run after refusing her parents’ choice of a husband.
Next up will be a trilogy set during the Norman invasion in 1066 and I can’t wait to write those! I plan on visiting some of those sites on my spring trip, too.
If you were to travel back in time to one of your favourite time periods, which would it be and what would you miss most about life in 2008?
I think I would love to visit Elizabethan England and see her up close. Elizabeth defied all the odds countless times and became one of England’s strongest rulers. She took a nearly-bankrupted, religiously-divided, politically-threatened kingdom and brought it back from the brink of disaster to make it a world superpower. You gotta’ like a woman who can do that!
Toilet paper! Email! Telephones! On a more mundane and practical level – I would miss medicines and hot water and a good bed and so many other things. I am definitely getting old and crotchety and need my comforts!
Over to the rest of you. Terri would love to answer any questions you have about her books and research trips. And we’d both like to know which time period you’d travel back to, as well as what you would miss most.
Terri will be giving away prizes to two lucky visitors. She’ll pick up something special on her upcoming trip to Scotland for two winners and they’ll get their choice of any of her available backlist books.