For the final day of our Scottish Romance party, I'm thrilled to welcome as our guest of honour Julianne MacLean - bestselling author of passionate historical romance!
Julianne MacLean - Why an Author Might Change Settings and Time Periods
Hello everyone – and thank you to Marie for inviting me to your Scottish party!
If any of you have read my books before, you’ll know that in the past, I’ve written about English dukes and earls in the late-Victorian period, so I’ve done my share of London ballroom scenes. I wrote nine British historicals for Avon, and you’re probably wondering why I decided to change time periods and venture north into the Scottish Highlands.
It’s always been important to me to keep every story fresh, not to write the same thing over and over again, and to be honest, I just needed a change. I was getting tired of describing gloved footmen delivering letters on silver salvers, or dukes ringing for their valets. And all those rules of etiquette to follow…
I love the research that goes into writing a historical novel, and I knew that a different setting would allow me to immerse myself in a very different world, and would bring something new and exciting into my whole writing life.
So I proposed a Highlander trilogy to my editor and wound up moving from Avon to St. Martins in the process. The first two books will come out back-to-back in March and April, with the third will hit stores in March.
Let me tell you, writing these books was a big, fat, wonderful breath of heaven! Not only was the setting different – oh, the bliss of describing a green Highland glen or a fast, rushing river with no liveried footmen in sight! - but the plots took on a more adventurous element, and it was easy for me to gallop at a break-neck speed through every scene and chapter.
And the characters… I shall let out a dreamy sigh here. What a joy it was to describe a rugged, muscular, sword-wielding warrior who fights for freedom and honor. And he’s not just at war with England (this trilogy is set during the aftermath of the Jacobite Rebellion of 1715). He’s also at war with the heroine, who is his political and personal enemy on so many levels. The conflicts were deep and broad, both internal and external, and I can honestly say that this trilogy was the most challenging and rewarding writing experience of my career so far.