Friday, January 30, 2015

IT STARTED WITH TEARS



My guest is, historical romance author, Gwyn Cready. She has a fabulous Scottish tale of love, laughter, and tears--that's just the book. How she began writing seriously is yet another tale of tears, but I'll let her tell you about that.

Sia says to share the laughter and the tears, so I’m going to share the story about how I became a writer. It’s something I get asked whenever I do a talk, and I understand why. I’m always fascinated about how people ended up in whatever profession they’re in. 

I have a friend who went into advertising because he wanted to be like Cary Grant in North by Northwest. When I went to graduate school in business, I wasn’t sure what I’d concentrate in until I went to a talk given by a brand manager from Frito-Lay. The brand manager was talking about the launch of a new ridged potato chip called O’Grady’s, and the company has launched with a plain version and a Cheddar version. One of the students in the audience raised their hand and asked why the first flavor after plain was Cheddar. The brand manager looked around, a bit surprised anyone would even have to ask this, I guess. “Oh, honey,” she said, “the cheese-flavored segment is the fastest growing segment in the salty snack market.” And that’s the moment I knew I had to become a brand manager.

So I did. And life was good until, my younger sister, Claire, died without warning. She was 31, and my only sister. I was devastated.

I wanted to do something to honor her memory. My sister was a photographer and a poet—a hippie punk rocker with floppy hats, gypsy skirts, and patchouli perfume. We couldn’t have been more different. In a perfect world, or perhaps a different world, I would have named a child after her. And if my husband and I had had no children or even just one child at the time of Claire’s death, that’s what we would have done. But we’d already had our two and didn’t want a third, even to honor my sister. So I thought about what the next best thing to do to honor her memory might be, and the answer was obvious. The next best thing would be to try to create a piece of art and dedicate it to her. And since the only talent I had that even approached something like art was writing. I couldn’t paint, draw, sculpt, dance, act, design or build. But I thought I could maybe try to write a book.

 I had recently read a book given to me by a friend, a book that affected me more than any other book I’d ever read. It was a sweeping love story with the bravest, most honorable man I’d ever encountered in a story. And he fell in love with a woman named Claire. The book was Outlander. I’d never read a romance before, and I didn’t even know I was reading one until I had to hunt down the sequel in the bookstore and couldn’t find it under “Fiction.” In one of the last conversations I had with my sister, I joked with her about Outlander because the man in the story was named Jamie, and my sister had dated a Jamie for many years. Jamie and Claire. Claire and Jamie. I told my sister I’d lend her my copy. I never got a chance.

Within a month of my sister’s death, I started to write a romance novel, and if I was ever lucky enough to get it published, I would dedicate it to my sister.

That was 1997. For six years, I wrote when I could in the evenings and on the weekends. My kids and my job required a lot of my time. When I finished the book in 2003, I sent it out and found an agent. She tried to sell it for a year and a half to no avail. She encouraged me to write a second one.

The first book had been a historical romance requiring a lot of research. I decided I could leverage the research I’d done but still write faster if I tried my hand at time travel romance instead. I also found that a heroine from the present day allowed me to write in my own voice, which turned out to be a rather funny one. I finished the second book in “only” two years. My agent loved it, and it sold it in a two-book deal. That was 2006. In January, 2008, Tumbling Through Time came out, ten and a half years from the time I started writing. The dedication read, “For Claire, who would have laughed.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

From RITA winner Gwyn Cready comes a Scottish borderlands time travel romance perfect for fans of Outlander

For Duncan MacHarg, things just got real…


Battle reenactor and financier Duncan MacHarg thinks he has it made—until he lands in the middle of a real Clan Kerr battle and comes face to face with their beautiful, spirited leader. Out of time and out of place, Duncan must use every skill he can muster to earn his position among the clansmen and in the heart of the devastatingly intriguing woman to whom he must pledge his oath.

Abby needs a hero and she needs him now


When Abigail Ailich Kerr sees a handsome, mysterious stranger materialize in the midst of her clan’s skirmish with the English, she’s stunned to discover he’s the strong arm she’s been praying for. Instead of a tested fighter, the fierce young chieftess has been given a man with no measurable battle skills and a damnably distracting smile. And the only way to get rid of him is to turn him into a Scots warrior herself—one demanding and intimate lesson at a time.


 
Rafflecoptor: Sign up to win a copy

                                                                                                                                                                


Gwyn Cready is the RITA-winning author of sexy, funny romance novels. Her newest book, Just in Time for a Highlander, is the first in the Sirens of the Scottish Borderlands series. In the book, a young but determined clan chieftess seeks a strong arm to help her command her clan, but when a fortune teller's spell goes awry, she finds herself with a dashing man from the twenty-first century instead. Find out more at cready.com
 







6 comments:

~Sia McKye~ said...

Gwyn, welcome to Over Coffee! I have plenty of coffee, tea, homemade scones, coffee cakes, and other goodies. Do help yourself. There's a nice comfy chair to use while you chat with us.

I loved hearing your tale of how you started writing. Your dedication to your sister was cool and I bet she be so proud of you.

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

From the 21st century. That's funny.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Aww this is such a sweet story. What a great way to honor your sister--to live your best life and write.

Kat Sheridan said...

Gwyn, I'm sorry for the loss of your sister. I'm so glad she inspired you to be bold and write and to create something fun and smart, just like she was. I'm shure she's smiling, and that your readers will, too! Glad you found your voice!

Optimistic Existentialist said...

It is so good to meet you Gwynn! I am so deeply sorry for the loss of your sister...

Liza said...

Such an honor to your sister. I have to think, with every book you write, Claire is there with you, and what a wonderful way to keep her alive.