Name Vonda Sinclair
Where are you from? First, thank you so much for inviting me to your blog for an interview! I live in the picturesque mountains of North Carolina in the US.
A little about your self `ie your education, family life, etc. I’ve been married to my wonderful husband for twenty-five years. I have a bachelor’s degree in psychology, but have always enjoyed writing more.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I’m working on the sixth book in my Highland Adventure series of Scottish historical romances. The title of this one is My Rebel Highlander and it’s about Rebbie, an entertaining Scottish earl who has appeared in the last four books. My latest release was My Notorious Highlander in October.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing in elementary school when we were given an assignment to write a short story. Mine turned into a long story. LOL
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Probably around twenty years ago.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Reading books I loved. I wanted to give it a try. I especially loved the idea of creating unique, real and memorable characters.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I feel I have a voice that works well for historical romance. I love creating imagery and visuals using words.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The title of each book describes the hero of that book. I have been using “My” and “Highlander” and then I put a descriptive word in the middle that will hopefully capture the reader’s imagination. My Fierce Highlander, My Wild Highlander, My Brave Highlander, My Daring Highlander, My Notorious Highlander, etc. Each book stands alone as a complete romance story, but the stories are connected through family and friend relationships.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Love conquers all. And love is the most powerful force in the universe. I like to show this through the developing relationships of my characters.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes, I write full time.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I generally try to keep most of my work in progress under wraps until it’s almost ready to go. 🙂 But I can share some of my last book, My Notorious Highlander.
Loch Shin, Scotland, June, 1619
Torrin MacLeod awoke to the sounds of his men talking outside the tent. Dawn had arrived but, being close to midsummer, ’twas still early, around four in the morning.
“Chief,” Struan, his sword-bearer, said just outside.
“Aye?” Torrin sat up, his eyes scratchy from lack of sleep.
Having slept fully clothed in his belted plaid, shirt and doublet, Torrin pushed through the flaps of the tent and joined his clansmen. “How many?”
“Six or eight.” His brawny sword-bearer narrowed his eyes and squinted into the distance.
Indeed, those approaching through the mist from the south rode along the trail by Loch Shin at a quick pace. “They’re in a hurry.”
The other six MacLeods in his own party stood at the ready, though they appeared deceptively relaxed. He didn’t have to tell them to prepare for an attack. They all well knew anyone could quickly turn into an enemy. He always took his best-trained guards with him whenever he traveled. They’d just left Lairg the day before. After his business there was completed, they’d headed north toward Durness. His good friend and foster brother, Iain Stewart, had wanted to accompany him, but Torrin had left while the man slept off a bad bout of drunkenness from the night before. He didn’t need Iain’s help on this mission.
None of his men, except Struan, had guessed his purpose in going to Durness. Of course, Struan could read him easily, and he knew Torrin held a keen interest in Lady Jessie MacKay. An interest that had only increased over the last several months since he’d first met her, even though he hadn’t seen her again.
She haunted him. Her flaming red hair and her bright blue eyes wouldn’t leave his mind or his dreams. Never had he seen such a beautiful lady. She had the presence of a Norse goddess, tall, lithe, and statuesque… almost as tall as Torrin.
Not only were the clan elders hounding him about marrying, but he was ready for a wife. At twenty-eight, he knew ’twas past time for him to marry and sire an heir. His younger brother was already married and had a wee bairn, a lass. He felt left behind. He’d arranged to marry Isobel MacKenzie, but Chief Dirk MacKay, Jessie’s brother, had snatched Isobel from beneath his nose. He didn’t hold it against Dirk. Torrin had been uncertain of the match anyway. But Jessie… she was a woman he didn’t wish to let slip through his fingers.
The riders, swathed in belted plaids, slowed as they approached and eyed Torrin and his men cautiously.
Here’s what the book is about:
My Notorious Highlander – Chief Torrin MacLeod vows to possess and wed the spirited lady who stole his heart the previous winter. But Lady Jessie MacKay wants naught to do with the dangerous warrior, no matter how devilishly handsome and charming he is. When Torrin arrives unexpectedly at Jessie’s home, along with Gregor MacBain, a man Jessie was formerly handfasted to, she is thrown off-kilter. She never wanted to see either man again, but now they are vying for her hand. Torrin promises to protect her from the devious MacBain, but how can she trust Torrin when she has witnessed how lethal he is?
The more time Torrin spends with the strong and independent Jessie, the more determined he is to win her heart. Once she allows him a kiss, he feels her passion flame as hot as his own. After she knows Torrin better, Jessie finds herself falling for the fearsome Highlander. But the odds are stacked against them. The sinister MacBain is bent on kidnapping Jessie, making her his bride and killing Torrin, while Jessie’s conniving younger brother, Haldane, is determined to use Jessie to take over the castle in his older brother’s absence. Jessie fears she can never be with the man she loves, while Torrin will do everything in his power to ensure they are together forever. In his heart, she is the only lady for him.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Not really. It’s just a process that takes time. So maybe patience is the biggest challenge. I need to feel the characters’ emotions as I’m writing them. I enjoy writing action scenes and fight scenes. I also love writing romantic scenes. It’s a lot of fun for me.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Laura Kinsale. She turns historical romance into an art form. The way she puts words together is so beautiful and hypnotizing.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I have made a few research trips to Scotland, which I LOVE. I find great joy in visiting all the castles and investigating the history. My latest book is set in Durness, so it was wonderful seeing and feeling what it was like there in summer, when my book is set there. I love describing the beautiful Scottish settings. I want to make the readers feel they are there.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Believe in yourself and your work. Keep honing your craft. Keep improving.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you for reading my books! It gives me a great thrill to know people are reading my books and enjoying them.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Thumbelina and The Bear in the Boat were two of them. 🙂
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
Yes, I enjoy taking photos. If I’m not writing, I’m happiest taking pics in Scotland. 🙂
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I enjoy Castle, The Bachelor, Chopped, House Hunters, Monarch of the Glen, shows about history and archeology, some comedies, Jeopardy, etc. A little of this, and a little of that.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
My Notorious Highlander buy links
Here’s the link to my latest book (My Notorious Highlander) at Amazon UK.
The first book in the series (My Fierce Highlander) is available at a lower price. For a brief time around Feb 21 it will be on sale for .99 cents US, and less than that in the UK.
Bio: Vonda Sinclair’s favorite indulgent pastime is exploring Scotland, from Edinburgh to the untamed and windblown north coast. She also enjoys creating hot Highland heroes and spirited lasses to drive them mad. Her historical romances have won an EPIC Award and a National Readers’ Choice Award. She lives with her amazing and supportive husband in the mountains of North Carolina where she is no doubt creating another Scottish story.