Today Heather McCollum, author of sweeping, magical Scottish historical romances, is visiting the blog. The answers to her “Five Questions” are fantastic! Welcome, Heather…
1) Since romance authors always write about falling in love, when and how did you discover you were in love? I was a Virginian girl and he (Braden) was an Army kid, his father stationed in Hawaii. We met at college in Maine. I had already kissed too many frogs to count and was pretty disillusioned by the whole concept of falling in love. But…
One night after we had been dating a couple weeks, Braden stopped by my dorm room. I had terrible menstrual cramps (TMI, but it’s what happened : ). I couldn’t move, just stayed balled up on my dorm bed. It was late and someone pulled the fire alarm in my building, meaning we all had to exit. There was three feet of snow on the ground and I wasn’t budging.
Braden picked me up, wrapped me in his coat, and trudged with me through the snow to his dorm room. He then woke up every guy in the dorm trying to find me Ibuprofen. Once the fire department proclaimed it safe, he carried me back to my bed and stayed all night to make sure I was comfortable.
Yeah, I knew then that he was a “for better or worse” kind of guy.
2) What is the very first romance novel that you read? When I was fifteen, my step-grandmother gave me a copy of The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss. I fell in love with the book and the historical romance genre. Amazingly the hero and heroine in that book are Brandon and Heather. Pretty darn close!
3) What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done? Umm… I wrote a book. Not only did I write it, I let others read it. For those of you who write, you know what I mean. It takes A LOT of guts to put your art out there. Christina Dodd once said at a conference (paraphrasing here), “Submitting your book to someone is like standing on stage, taking off your clothes and asking for comments.” Yeah – that painful.
I also got my belly button pierced when I was 30 years old. I’m still working up to a tattoo.
4) Where is the most beautiful/romantic place you’ve ever been? That’s kind of two different questions. Most romantic – I’m going to say El Dorado Casitas all-inclusive, adults-only resort in Mexico with my hubby for our 20-year anniversary last November. Five days of paradise (without our three spirited kids) to just focus on each other while lying on the sand with our beach butler bringing us Mud Slides and Pina Coladas. Heaven! We even saw a shooting star together that last night. Sigh…
Most beautiful – There is nothing quite like the Highlands of Scotland to make me tear up at the raw, glorious splendor of the landscape. We (including the three spirited kids) stayed in a house on a loch for a week two summers ago. Around us the green mountains soared up, dotted by white sheep, cows and an occasional herd of red deer. Granite boulders pushed through the grass like a giant’s knobby knees under a blue sky. I can easily understand why the Scots were willing to die to keep their land.
5) If you could be a superhero, what power would you choose and why? The ability to heal. Oh, I know there would be problems with being able to magically heal people, and I wouldn’t want to be in God’s position of deciding who lives and who dies. But… being an ovarian cancer survivor, I would REALLY like to be able to keep myself and family healthy.
My wished-for superpower found its way into my writing (even before my diagnosis). My Highland Hearts series revolves around a 16th century family where the women can heal through magic. In Captured Heart I dive into herbal lore with each chapter starting as an entry in a medicine journal. The heroine learns that she has a powerful gift, and with it comes a great responsibility. Just like a sword can be used for good or for evil, so can power.
Thank you again for having me on your blog today! The third full-length book in the Highland Hearts series came out this past year. Each book can be read separately but most prefer to read them in order: Highland Heart (very short prequel), Captured Heart, Tangled Hearts, Untamed Hearts (novella) and Crimson Heart.