Q&A with Monica McCarty…

Today I am delighted to welcome author Monica McCarty, who has had several releases hitting the stores recently as her second Highlander trilogy hit shelves.

The most recent was Highland Scoundrel, which debuted on both the New York Times and USA Today Bestseller lists!!!

Here’s a blurb…
highland-scoundrelDuncan Campbell is a natural born leader, possessing all the attributes for a Highland chieftain except for one: legitimacy. Forced from the Highlands for a crime he didn’t commit, Duncan has earned a reputation as the fiercest, most skilled mercenary on the continent. Vowing to restore his name and clear the cloud of treason hanging over his head, Duncan returns to the Highlands to find the one person who might hold the key to his freedom: the woman he’d once loved who’d betrayed him. But when he surprises her swimming in a loch, he finds himself facing the bad end of a pistol.

Told she was impulsive her whole life like her mother who’d destroyed their family when she’d run off with an Englishman over twenty years ago, Jeannie Grant had never believed it—until she met Duncan Campbell. The bastard born son of a chieftain was not a suitable husband for the daughter of a powerful Highland chief, but Duncan made Jeannie willing to risk everything. She gave him her innocence and he failed her, forcing Jeannie to learn the hard way what happens when you follow your heart. Now Jeannie is shocked to find that the brigand she’s shot is the same man who broke her heart all those years ago. But the hard, ruthless man is nothing like the charming young scoundrel she remembers. When their attempt to prove Duncan’s innocence uncovers a deadly secret, not only their lost love, but their lives hang in the balance.

Monica was kind enough to answer some questions for us and here are her responses…

Welcome.  Can you please tell us a little about your most recent release?
Thank you for having me here!  I actually have three recent releases.  My second Highlander trilogy—the Campbell Trilogy—was just released in back-to-back months by Ballantine. The third book, HIGHLAND SCOUNDREL, hit stores last month.  HIGHLAND SCOUNDREL is the story of Duncan Campbell, the bastard brother of Jamie and Lizzie (see below), who was framed for treason and forced into exile ten years ago.  He returns to the Highlands not only to prove his innocence, but also to confront the woman he once loved who betrayed him.

What inspired the story?
I’m usually inspired by some kind of historical tidbit that I come across in my research.  I call it the Law & Order “ripped from the headlines” method.  Of course, my “headlines” are from 17th Century Scotland!  HIGHLAND SCOUNDREL is no exception; it was inspired by the Battle of Glenlivet between the Campbells and the Gordons.  The Campbells lost after allegedly being betrayed by one of their own and a Grant chief.  I knew I wanted to do a “first love” story, and the treachery at Glenlivet had all the makings of the perfect set up for love and betrayal.

Can you tell us about the series?
The Campbell trilogy takes off from where my first trilogy about Clan MacLeod ended (HIGHLANDER UNTAMED, HIGHLANDER UNMASKED, HIGHLANDER UNCHAINED).  A note to new readers: You do not need to read any of the books in order; I really tried to make sure that each book stands on its own.

warrior_180The first two books in the Campbell trilogy were inspired by one of the most famous feuds in Scottish history: the Campbells v. the MacGregors.  In romance, as in history, it’s usually a pretty one-sided affair.  The Campbells are the “bad guys” and the MacGregors are the loveable outlaws—i.e. Robin Hood.  I guess I’ve always been a sucker for a bad boy 🙂 .  HIGHLAND WARRIOR is the story of Jamie outlaw_180Campbell, the ruthless enforcer of Scotland’s most powerful clan and one of the most feared men in the Highlands.  Driven by a fierce sense of law and order, Jamie never questions the righteousness of his cause—until he meets Caitrina Lamont.  HIGHLAND OUTLAW belongs to his sister Elizabeth, a young woman who’s endured three broken engagements for her clan, but when the “perfect” man rides into her life, finds herself caught between duty and desire.

What is your favorite thing about being a writer?  Least favorite?
My favorite thing is the freedom.  Not just in the artistic sense, but also in being able to set my own schedule and work at home.  It can also be a downside, but I’m getting better at establishing boundaries and enforcing a schedule. 

My least favorite part: revisions.  I revise heavily as I work, so by time I’ve sent it to my editor, I’ve probably read parts of it (beginning) fifty times.  When I’m done, “I’m done.”  In theory.  Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case, LOL.

Describe yourself in three words.
In alphabetical order: mom, wife, writer (the actual order depends on whether I’m under deadline or not, LOL)

If you had a time capsule to be opened 50 years in the future, what would you put in it?
Hmm.  This is a tough one.  First off, I hope to be around to open it!  But I would definitely put in family pictures and a couple of different newspapers to show the day’s headlines (strange to think there probably won’t be newspapers in 50 years). Maybe a menu from my favorite restaurant (local Taqueria) to laugh at the “cheap” prices, a copy of my ipod playlist and TIVO queue, a DVD of A&E’s Pride and Prejudice (because it’s timeless), a copy of US Magazine to see who ends up being relevant (and in case I’m dying to read more about Lindsay and Brittney, LOL).  And last but not least, a picture of Gerard Butler, Eric Bana and Viggo so I can die happy.

What’s next for you?
I have three more Scottish Historicals coming out in 2010.  Right now the first is scheduled for the end of March.  I’m really excited about this series and will be announcing more about it in a couple months on my website (www.monicamccarty.com). 

Anything you’d like to ask my blog readers?
I always love to hear about what people are reading right now or any new authors they’ve discovered.

 Thanks so much Monica!
Readers, be sure to check out Monica’s great books and to visit her website: 

 So, as Monica asked…what is everyone reading?  Discover any great new authors lately?

 Do you have any questions or comments for Monica?


10 Responses to Q&A with Monica McCarty…

  1. Liza says:

    Welcome Monica. Your books sound wonderful. I’ve just gotten back into reading historical romances, and I know I’m adding yours to my list.

    I’m currently reading Lover Avenged by JR Ward. I’ve found a few new-to-me authors over the past several months(most thanks to Jennifer). A few that I’ve read recently were Maggie Sefton, Kerrelyn Sparks, and Lisa Kleypas(only read her historicals so far).

  2. Hi Liza,
    Thanks for the welcome, it’s great to be here. Glad the books sound interesting, hope you’ll check them out next time you’re at the bookstore/grocery store. Welcome back to historicals. 🙂 It’s funny, I go through similar things myself. Right now I’m in a bit of a reading rut myself so I appreciate hearing about what others are reading and enjoying right now.
    I LOVE Lisa Kleypas. I’m a serious fangirl. Have you read her latest historical series yet? So good. One of my cp’s is really into JR Ward and been trying to get me to read the books, but it seems so daunting, LOL.

  3. cheryl c. says:

    Monica, I love your Highlander books! I am glad to hear that you have plans for more. 🙂
    I love visiting your website because of the picture books that you have for each of your books. As a reader, I appreciate having the visuals as I read the stories.

  4. JOYE says:

    I really liked the first book in the Highlander series and plan to buy the next two.
    My question for Monica is
    Would you consider writing a children’s book about the Highlanders?

  5. Fedora says:

    Hi, Monica!! So glad I popped by your blog and saw you’d be here! I loved your first trilogy and have your second on top of my TBR (now that all three are out ;)) Is your next year’s three books also a trilogy? And will you be releasing them in consecutive months again? Any relation/connection to the existing books? 😀

    BTW, I just bid on your books in Brenda’s auction but was already outbid! Yay for you!

  6. Cheryl, Yeah!! I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed the books. I think you are really going to like this next series, too. I’m deep into the first book and really excited about how it’s coming together. And thanks for the comments about the website. I really appreciate hearing that. It takes a TON of time to put it all together, so I’m glad to know readers are finding it fun and useful.

    Hi Joye,
    Thanks! I’m so glad you enjoyed book #1! I have never thought of writing a children’s book about Highlanders, but it’s a really fun idea. My 9 year old daughter I’m sure would love it. Hmm…you got me thinking!

    Hi Fedora,
    Nice to “see” you, it’s been a while. Thanks for the great words about the books, I hope you enjoy the second series as much. And no (thank goodness!) my next series is on a slightly less frantic a few months apart schedule. There will be connection with the new series in that I’ll be revisiting many of the clans I’ve written about (MacLeods, Campbells, MacDonalds, MacLeans, Lamonts, MacGregors) although a few hundred years earlier–I’m going back to Robert the Bruce and Braveheart. You’ll get to see the guys that started it all, so to speak. 🙂

    Very cool about the books on Brenda’s auction. Thank you for bidding. Such a great cause!

  7. Caffey says:

    I so need to get this and the first book in this new trilogy! Was so thrilled to discover your books Monica!! Absolutely brings me so much joy reading them, I’m smiling through reading the post up there and writing to you! Monica, how does it work for you writing these books to get them out 3 in a row each?

  8. Hey Caffey,
    I’m so glad you discovered the books, too! Thank you for your nice words, I really appreciate it. What a great way to end the week!

    What I did with the last series (Campbell trilogy) was to start writing basically right after I turned in my last MacLeod book (which is about 5 months before publication). That way I was a little ahead.” It takes me 5-6 months to write a book. I turn them in and my publisher holds the first ones until they are all done. It gets kind of crazy the last few months when I’m writing the last book and trying to do copy edits and galleys for the first two. But it’s really cool to see them all out together.

  9. Carol L. says:

    Hi Monica,
    I am so thrilled you are here. I absolutely love Highlanders. 🙂 I have loved every one of your books so far and will continue to do so. Your heroes and heroines are some of my favorites. Keep writing and I’m going to be reading them. I tell everyone about your books. 🙂
    I’m a few years later then everyone else but just finished the entire 6 books so far in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. I love Jamie. lol

    Have a great day.
    Carol L.

  10. Carol,
    Thank you so much for your lovely comments, I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed the books! And thank you so much for “spreading the word.” Word of mouth is hugely important to a new author. I’m a big DG fan as well. Jamie is one of my favorite all time heroes in romance (although I don’t know that she considers her books romances). Have a great rest of the weekend!

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