Interview with Amy Quick Parrish, Author of Highlands New Year

12 Dec 2023

What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write Highlands New Year?

I was inspired to write the first book, Highlands Christmas, because we had visited relatives in Scotland who grew up in the Inverness area and it seemed like the ideal escapist setting for a Christmas book. This second book sprang up from the idea “what happens after happily ever after?” Of course, in writing a “wishes come true” escapist Christmas book I had left out a lot of loose ends – the kinds of things that we face in the real world. But I don’t like the real world, in fact that’s why I write! Who wants to read all the mundane details of legalities regarding immigration, divorce proceedings, or gaining legal residency? I sure don’t! I want to inherit a gorgeous home in Scotland and fix it up and start a new life!

But in writing a second book about Melissa’s friend who thinks she’s gone off the deep end for upending her life without any consideration to these things I could have a new character get ensnared by the allure of the Scottish highlands, cozy inns, and men in kilts and Melissa’s story could become a subplot. We’ve always attended the Hogmanay celebration in our local Scottish restaurant and I thought the traditions were perfect for a second book. Add in a ruggedly handsome musician named Angus, get them snowed in, and it sounded like another place I’d like to visit.

If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of Highlands New Year, what would they be?

For Angus, it would be anything that sounds good acoustic. I think he’d like a lot of Proclaimers songs – “Jean,” for example, is one he plays at the inn. He’d also like their song “Over and Done With.” But really he’s an old school grunge kind of guy, so he likes “Plush,” “Hunger Strike” and “Learning to Fly.”

Caitlin’s theme song could be “Here Comes Your Man” by the Pixies. But ultimately, since it’s a new year’s book, their song will be “Auld Lang Syne.”

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

I’ve been reading a lot of books set in Scotland and Ireland lately – magical romance books, sometimes with pirates! It’s a lot of fun. I like escapism.

What books are on your TBR pile right now?

I have a lot of books to read! Right now, there’s a new book by Tricia Levenseller I want to read and a lot of Tricia O’Malley books I haven’t gotten to yet. But there are so many others!

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

I loved writing the snowy walk where Angus and Caitlin first kiss.

Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)

I like to have a candle that sets the mood/tone for what I’m writing. For these Highlands Christmas Romance books I’ve been using Thymes Frasier Fir candles. I also try to eat or drink things that the characters would eat or drink. For these books it’s been oat cakes, shortbread and haggis. When I was writing Into Dust and Into the Storm I ate a lot of brisket and tacos. And my cat always helps out by walking around the keyboard, peering into my coffee cup or snoozing in my in-out box on my desk.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

There’s a Scots phrase, “whits fur ye’ll no go by ye.” It means if it’s meant to be, it’ll happen.

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

Travel! During the early Covid lockdowns I thought an awful lot about those “YOLO” people – they were right! You either have time or money. If you find yourself with the time, just go – enjoy, explore the world! If you have money, find a way to make the time.


Amy Quick Parrish is the author of the new book Highlands New Year – A stand-alone Highlands Christmas Romance

Connect with Amy Quick Parrish

Author Site


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