The author hot seat specials are designed to help readers get to know both popular, and up and coming authors, a little better. The questions are broken into sections - About your writing, about you, fun stuff and finally. Some of the questions are easy, others may need a little more thought and some may cause our author friends to hesitate before answering—still, they all answer.
Today I have Aleigha Siron, author of Finding My Highlander sitting in the hot seat. Welcome, Aleigha, we can't wait to hear what you have to tell us.
Aleigha - Hi everyone. Another stop on my blog tour, and I want to thank Jan for hosting this interview.
Hot Seat Interview:
Tell us about your latest book. What was your inspiration for writing it, is it part of an ongoing series, the characters, the genre etc?
I enjoy historical romance novels, and Scottish romances in particular. This will sound ridiculous, but about three years ago, I had a dream about these characters. We won’t go into Jungian dream analysis on the story, but that is when I penned the first lines and developed the character sheets.
I did not start the story as an ongoing series even though that’s usually what you find in this genre. However, as the story developed the possibility for sequels emerged. By the end, I knew there would be a prequel. Now, many months later, I’m developing characters and plot direction for a sequel as well. So far, I only have location, and the primary characters. I have not completed the plot points.
About your writing:
How many books have you written during your career so far and which is your favorite?
This is my first published fiction novel. I’ve written and published in a number of non-fiction arenas.
Have any of your books received negative reviews and how did you handle the situation?
Not yet. I think it is inevitable to get a few negative reviews. Not every one likes the same things in their reading material. Everyone’s entitled to his or her opinion. If the review is well intended, then perhaps I’ll learn something. However, if it’s just spiteful, I’ll ignore it. That type of negativity serves no one, not even the reviewer.
Do you believe in writer’s block and if so, how do you overcome it?
Writer’s block and I are well acquainted. I’ve found the best way to handle it is to step away from the work. Write something else for a while, poetry, journaling, even letters (yes, I still write old-fashioned letters - occasionally on paper,) anything that keeps you writing but not stuck in the current story. If I’m still stuck when I go back, and I can’t find a new direction, then I move on. Sometimes you just have to abandon the work. That’s why every writer has a drawer full of might-have-been stories.
What is the one genre you would never write and why?
Due to a close, personal experience with a murder, I don’t think I could ever write graphic murder mysteries. That doesn’t mean I exclude murder from my writing, as you’ll see in Finding My Highlander. But as a genre, it isn’t a topic about which I could spend months researching and writing.
Have you ever written a book that you’ve regretted publishing and why?
Not yet. Even stories I’ve written that will never see a publisher or an audience were not a waste of time. If you’re writing, you’re honing your skills.
If a reader said they wanted to write a book, what advice would you give them?
Be realistic. It is a lonely, time-consuming endeavor. It may never be extremely lucrative, but if you love to write, then go for it with gusto. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s impossible. It’s not, and you can start at any age. First though, you must read, read, read!
Tell us what a typical day in your life is like?
Coffee first. Morning mayhem! Dog walk. Mornings are usually hectic. I’m not even sure why, but I always have more on my daily plate than I can manage. As the day progresses I push the non-urgent things to the side. Right now, afternoon or early evening are my favored writing times. Next week or next month, that may change.
What sort of things put you in a bad mood?
Technology. I have a love/hate relationship with technology. There’s a staggering amount to learn, and it’s constantly changing. Unlike younger writers, I didn’t cut my teeth or learn my ABC’s using a computer.
Do you have a bucket list and what’s one thing you still want to do that you haven’t done?
I’m laughing here! My bucket list is immense! I could not do all of it if I lived for two hundred years, perhaps another reason I’m so fascinated with time-travel. One thing definitely on the list is a trip to
What makes you laugh?
My husband and my best friend, and thank God for that because I have a rather serious outlook even though I consider laughter a must have quality to survival.
What is the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever done?
Oh dear, that’s another rather long list. One event that sticks out occurred when I addressed an audience of sixty-five professionals (CPA’s and Financial Planners,) and discovered I’d picked up the wrong bag at the airport and someone else had all my instructional materials.
Do you like to read and what are you reading at the moment?
I read constantly and a wide variety of material. I’m always reading more than one book, however, only one fiction novel at a time. In fiction, I just started Suzan Tisdale’s The King’s Courtesan. In non-fiction I’m reading Sacred Stories, A celebration of the Power of Stories to Transform and Heal (a collection of essays,) and In the Palm of Your Hand, the poet’s portable workshop, by Steve Kowit.
If you couldn’t write anymore, what would you do instead?
That’s very hard to answer. The day will come, but I hope not until my mind is gone. If I go blind before that event, I’ll listen to books on tape and drive everyone around me bonkers.
If you could go out with one famous person who would it be and why?
Do I have to pick only one? Okay, if restricted to one I’d pick the Dalai Lama. I’m intrigued with the Buddhist philosophy on life and death.
Do you have a habit that drives your partner/friends/family nuts and what is it?
Blabbering on about the newest topic that has snagged my interest—generally something no one else gives a rat’s arse about.
In your opinion, what makes a person attractive?
Intelligence, humor, loyalty, and honesty.
What is the strangest food you’ve ever eaten?
I’m pretty basic with my food choices and avoid strange foods. But I have eaten Haggis, and it wasn’t bad. A rather shocking acknowledgment since I never eat organ meat.
Would you rather have a classic 1969 convertible Mustang or have the use of a beach side condo any time you want?
I’ll take that beach side condo right now, please.
Would you rather survive an apocalyptic event (yes, even a zombie apocalypse) or die instantly without knowing what happened to your family and friends?
That question made me fall off my chair laughing. My husband insists I should be writing in the apocalyptic genre. I will readily discuss the next ten possible apocalyptic disasters the world faces. Do I want to survive; it might depend on the disaster. I’ve long moved beyond the realm of “survival of the fittest,” so it’s not likely I’d pick survival. On the other hand, I’m kick-ass feisty and have a lot of fight left, so maybe I’d hang around just to see how much trouble I could stir up.
Thanks for sitting in the hot set Aleigha, it's been fun having you here today and I wish you many sales for Finding My Highlander.
Aleigha has a giveaway happening as part of her blog tour so after reading the info about her book check out the giveaway info ant the bottom of this post.
On a windswept cliff above
in 2013, 27 year-old Andra Cameron, the last member of her family, prepares to
scatter her family's ashes to the wind. An earthquake catapults her to the
Scottish Highlands in 1705. She wakes, aching and bloody, to the sound of
horses thundering through the trees. Terrified and with no other options, Andra
accompanies these rugged warriors. She can't deny the undeniable attraction
that ignites between herself and the handsome but gruff Kendrick. Will she
trust him to provide protection in the harsh reality of 18th century San Francisco Bay
and with her secret, or will she find a way to return home to the 21st century? Scotland
Laird Kendrick MacLean and his men, escaping a recent skirmish with their worst nemeses, clan Cameron and their Sassenach allies, are shocked to find an injured, unprotected female in their path. How could she not know her kin and how had she landed in the middle of the wilderness alone? His men suspect she's a spy or a witch. Still, Kendrick will not abandon an injured woman, even if she speaks unusually accented English, and her name is Cameron. Will he ransom her to others or will their closed hearts open to each other? Although he questions her every utterance, this feisty, outspoken woman inflames his desire like no other.
Excerpt: from Chapter Eight
The old, familiar burn of a good run seared her legs. Something wild and frightening coiled in her gut, but she could not escape the urgent need to run faster and faster. Eventually plumes of dark smoke billowed over the hill ahead. Keeping the upper part of the ridge to her left, she skirted around trees, and through brambles and tangled underbrush that scratched at her limbs.
When Kendrick had departed last night, she was certain he went in the opposite direction, so she didn’t think he would be at the end of her mad rush. Something beyond reason drove her on.
Alert to every sound—the pounding of her feet on the soft earth, the late or early movement of wildlife scattering in the undergrowth away from the fire, the sudden cessation of birdsong—all penetrated her awareness with a cloying dread. Then the sound of people struggling and the anguished cries of fear assaulted her. She worked her way through thick brush to the top of the hill and peered down on an unholy horror. Covering her mouth, she choked back the scream that almost escaped her throat.
Flames engulfed several small crofts and the surrounding fields. The dying shrieks from inside the walls of the burning cottages tore the air and mingled with the moans from those fallen outside. Everywhere she looked lay mangled bodies. A company of English militia and a few men wearing dark, Scottish plaids were viciously murdering the people who struggled to crawl away. A couple of men dragged the limp form of a woman tearing away her clothes.
Andra’s knees buckled as she ducked down and slunk behind a tree. Bile rose in her throat. The metallic taste of blood flowed over her tongue from biting hard on knuckles jammed in her mouth to prevent a terrified scream from escaping
Author Bio and Media Links
After more than twenty years writing and delivering management and other training programs for modest-sized to Fortune Five Hundred companies, and ten years developing community crisis-intervention training programs, Aleigha turned her writing efforts to her first loves, fiction, and poetry. Her poetry has appeared in numerous anthologies and university presses over the past few decades. Following a difficult period in her life, she discovered solace in romance novels that inspired her to write in this genre. As she says, "who doesn't desire a guaranteed happy-ever-after scenario?" Always interested in the concept of time-travel, she knew her first few stories would follow that theme.
When not writing, her trusty four-legged companion/helper, Strider, accompanies her on sunset walks along the shore. During these quiet walks under an expansive sky, with the whoosh of waves across the sand and her gaze drifting over the rolling sea, her best glimmers of inspiration come to mind. Following the recent discovery of distant Scottish ancestors, she embarked on a trip to the
Highlands. Although she had already developed the
characters for Finding My Highlander,
her trip to the Highlands enriched the
characters and enhanced the story direction. This is her first full-length
romance novel. Aleigha is working on a prequel to Finding My Highlander, and another time-travel novel set in a later
WWW (Aleigha’s WebPage)
Aleigha Siron’s Book page at Tirgearr Publishing
Tirgearr Publishing Home Page
Make sure to follow the whole tour—the more posts you visit throughout, the more chances you’ll get to enter the giveaway. The tour dates are here: http://www.writermarketing.co.uk/prpromotion/blog-tours/currently-on-tour/aleigha-siron/