Interview with Keira Montclair, author of Highland Fortitude
07 Jan 2019
What can you tell us about your new release, Highland Fortitude?
Daniel, the hero, is a misfit because he lost a hand in a childhood accident. Although he’s known for his quick wit and ability to get behind enemy lines undetected, he believes his disability makes him less of a man. When he joins his cousins in their mission to rid the Highlands of an underground network of kidnappers and smugglers, he meets and falls in love with Constance. She loves him, too, but she’s running from a past she fears will catch up to her.
Each of my novels can stand alone, but Highland Fortitude is also the fifth book in The Band of Cousins series, set in medieval Scotland. Each book focuses on one of the cousins.
What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?
My favorite book of all time is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. My top five for my favorite genre, historical romance, are:
- The Pride of Lions and The Blood of Roses by Marsha Canham (technically two, but it’s so hard to choose!)
- Into the Wilderness by Sara Donati (and the whole series)
- Secrets by Julie Garwood (and any other of her medieval historicals)
- Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught
- And, of course, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
What’s your favorite thing about writing?
I love being my own boss. Because I self-publish, I set my own schedule, but I make sure to keep my deadlines with my editor, Angela Polidoro, because I’d be lost without her. Everything else falls into place after that.
What is a typical day like for you?
I usually spend the first hour working on business issues: checking email, checking sales, scheduling a few Facebook posts. After that, I write. I try to write 3000 words a day. When I’m satisfied with my day’s word count, I move on to the rest of my agenda—advertising, editing, covers, correspondence, or social media. There are a multitude of tasks for self-published authors!
What scene in Highland Fortitude was your favorite to write?
Suspenseful scenes are usually the most fun for me. That’s why I consider my true genre to be historical romantic suspense.
I also love to write emotionally raw scenes, where characters’ flaws are exposed. In this book, the hero goes undercover and becomes a fighter in an underground network. He changes his personality and looks to fit in and begins to like the transformation a little too much. When I wrote the scene where Constance finally tells Daniel exactly how she feels about him, including all his changes, the words flew across the page. The criticism came first, then the love. Sometimes the worst situations bring out the best in people.
Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?
For work: Focus on the writing.
For life: Believe in yourself and be your own best advocate.
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