Monday, July 26, 2010

Wrapping The Reader In The Moment

Jagged purple peaks, a hint of gold and rose on the horizon, the fresh breeze off a blue gray lake ruffling the hair against our cheeks. The rich scents of cinnamon buns fresh out of the oven, the first sip of fresh brewed coffee as we listen to birds sing up the sun. We’re wrapped up in the moment, all our senses engaged.

My guest, romance author Mary Wine, talks about the importance of immersing our readers in the moment.

Hummm….my thoughts tend to turn to making coffee cake when I smell a good cup of java. The aroma is just so rich, you want to close your eyes and immerse yourself in it.

I think a good book should hit a reader the same way. You should be able to feel the frost on your nose if it’s winter time or smell the flowers if it’s spring. That’s a challenge for an author but one that I think completes the story. Sure, we all read for the story but the setting is important too. Just tossing in a few ‘ye’’s and ‘yer’’s doesn’t transform the inside of that book.

Although, getting a grip on the Scottish brogue is interesting work. I had a wonderful opportunity two years ago when I turned around in of all places, Alaska and discovered myself sitting next to a gentleman from the Highlands. I actually asked him where he was from because I didn’t want to put my foot into my mouth by saying he was from Scotland in case he wasn’t. He laughed at me and asked, “Cannae ye tell woman?”

It was the beginning of a wonderful conversation. It turned out he was in fact a Highlander and traveling on the same ship we were. Now, it’s the honest truth I met him in a bar, that was also once an infamous whore house. Over the next few days, I was privileged to spend a fair amount of time with him and it was enthralling to listen to his brogue. It was also very interesting to learn about Scotland from someone who called it home.

Yes, ladies, he did in fact bring his kilt. On formal night, my husband and I love to dress in our Victorian finery. Hey, they said formal but they neglected to give a year. Well, our new highland friend was very happy to join us in his kilt and he looked smashing in it.

When I returned home and began to work on To Conquer a Highlander, I think I heard his voice in my head as I was writing the dialog. It really brought Torin to life, just a little bit more for me. Not that I have trouble seeing my heroes, in fact, there has been more than one instant when I’ve had to demand they take a break so I can sleep! By the way, Scottish Highlanders like Torin don’t like to be told what to do...but no book was ever written in a single day…I keep trying to tell my heroes this fact and they just glare at me and interrupt my sleep. LOL.

Yes, I’m that into my writing. I do wake up at night, with the perfect scene in my head and I debate whether or not to get up and write it. I hope you all enjoy the book enough to feel it’s worth it!
  • What about you? How important is it to your reading pleasure to have your senses engaged?

A big thanks for having me by to blog and enjoy some coffee today!

Two commenters will have the chance to win a copy of To Conquer A Highlander. PLEASE leave me a way to contact you if you are one of the winners. If you don't want to leave your email on the blog, then please contact me via: with an email address. Thank you.


A fierce Highland laird ready to kill for king and country…

When Torin McLeren discovers his neighbor’s plot against his king, he takes their daughter as his prisoner, thereby stopping her father’s plot from going forward. But that leaves him with a woman under his roof whom he can’t ignore, and not just because she’s his enemy’s daughter…

A woman who’s as much trouble as she is temptation…

Shannon McBoyd decides to use her captor to experience passion for the first time, and then to destroy him. But her plan goes awry because once she has lured Torin into her bed, she no longer wants to hurt the one man who seems to value and understand her…

Even if her father will kill him—and her—when he discovers what they’ve done...
This first in a trilogy of sexy Scottish Highland romance.
BUY:Amazon, •Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million

Acclaimed author Mary Wine has written nearly twenty works of erotic fantasy, romantic suspense, and historical romance. An avid history-buff and historical costumer, she and her family enjoy participating in historical reenactments. Mary lives with her husband and two sons in Yorba Linda, California.

For more information, please visit


~Sia McKye~ said...

Welcome to Over Coffee, Mary!

It just so happens, I have freshly brewed coffee AND both coffee cake and cinna buns! Indulge.

BTW, I enjoyed looking at your website and checking out all your books and series. Quite a list you have there! :-)

Houston A.W. Knight said...

Mary I LOVE your dress and I will be buying your sound awesome!

Sia, as always...a wonderful interview! Now pass the coffee pot and the buns!

Big hugs

~Sia McKye~ said...

Hawk, me darlin' are you by chance out visiting your sis? Otherwise you either go up very early or were going to bed very late, lol!

Thanks, I have plenty of hot yeasty cinna buns. In fact I made a big batch (made from fresh scratch--once I moved the chickens, lol!)for my son and family friend who are on their way to San Angelo, Texas, as I write this, to help a few who had some storm/wind/something damage to their homes.

Loved your blog award for Cecile, gorgeous.

Mason Canyon said...

Sia, enjoyed your interview as always.

Mary, love this book. I keep hearing Adrian Paul's voice in my head when Torin spoke.

Thoughts in Progress

~Sia McKye~ said...

Oh purrrr. Love Adrain Paul, Mason!

~Sia McKye~ said...

So many today are heading to Orlando for the RWA Nationals. Safe journey to all! Widh I was going, too.

Stephen Tremp said...

What is it with women and men in kilts? Never mind. I don't want to know LOL. Have a great week.

Stephen Tremp

Stephen Tremp said...

Oh, I get it. You love a man with a great set of bag pipes.

Stephen Tremp

~Sia McKye~ said...

Why yes I do, Stephen. :-)

Actually, I do like the sound of the Grand Highland pipes.

To me, there's nothing like the sound of a piper calling up the sunrise.

BTW, while I've seen many a handsome man in a kilt, I've not seen many like the one above left.

Helen Ginger said...

That's when I know my characters are alive and real - when they won't quit talking to me.

~Sia McKye~ said...

And that's the truth Helen. Nice to see your smiling face here.

Alyson Reuben said...

Wow, first, I have to say that the dress is magnificent! Second, I'll definitely pick up a copy of To Conquer a Highlander!

How important is it to me to have my senses engaged during reading? VERY important. I love to be drawn into the story by subtle details that make the scene come alive for me. Naturally, I want to write like that also, so I'm a big believer in using my five senses. In fact, I even blogged on the subject a couple months ago.

Kat Sheridan said...

ADORE the author photo! And how lovely to meet up with a true Highland gent! It sounds intriguing! I love books that engage my senses, especially scent and touch. So many writers forget scent, and yet it's the sense that is the most powerful memory trigger. Best wishes with the book!