Friday, February 27, 2015

INTERVIEW with Author Dawn Marie Hamilton

Welcome Author Dawn Marie Hamilton…..
I have read all of your books and am excited to share your writing with the world. So pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee, tea or wine and join us.

How did you come up with the idea for Just Beyond the Garden Gate, A Highland Gardens Series?
During my corporate career, I often traveled alone and spent evenings reading romances. One of my preferred genres was historical time travel. While visiting Brussels on a business trip, I spotted a billboard with a hunky, kilted Highlander advertising whisky. I thought it would be fun to write a story about a burned out business consultant traveling back in time and meeting her dream Highlander. The idea floated around in the back of my mind for many years before I decided to seriously attempt to write the novel. It required a lot of research and was a ton of fun to write.

This series involves Scotland have you ever been there?

I’m of Scottish descent so I’ve always been fascinated by everything Scottish. I visited Scotland during college and fell in love with the place. That was a long time ago and I’m hoping to go back soon. In the meantime, I get my Scottish fix by attending Highland Games and festivals. I have especially enjoyed the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games and Gathering of the Scottish Clans in North Carolina. And, I will be in the Celtic author’s tent, signing books, at the 2015 Frederick Celtic festival in Maryland in May.

What draws you to using time travel in your books?

The idea of traveling back in time fascinates me. I’ve always been intrigued by history and would love the opportunity to see how the peoples of different times and places really lived. One of my favorite movies is Somewhere in Time with Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. I also really enjoyed Kate & Leopold with the very sexy Hugh Jackman and Meg Ryan. Both time travel movies.

Did you always know you wanted to write?

Yes and no. I jotted ramblings in a journal as a pre-teen and wrote short stories in high school. I contemplated majoring in journalism in college, but my math scores were much higher than my English. Parental pressure directed me toward computer science instead. Turns out, I ended up writing computer manuals and courseware during one point of my corporate career.

When did you start writing?

I started researching for Just Beyond the Garden Gate, my debut novel, about twelve years ago. It wasn’t until the first draft was complete that I learned there were rules involved in writing a romance novel. I joined RWA (Romance Writers of America) and a local chapter and started taking on-line workshops. I joined a critique group and rewrote the story about three times before it was ready to share with my editor.

What is your favorite part of the writing process?

Let me first say that the hardest part in the writing process for me is getting the beginning the way I want it. I usually rework the beginning multiple times before passing a story on to my critique partners. Most of my stories are not written sequentially. I often get ideas for scenes and then need to figure out how to fit them together. Sometimes, I write the beginning and the end, and then the middle. My favorite part of the writing process is editing—working on getting the words right.

Do you have a writing schedule?

Here is another yes and no answer. I try to only write weekdays and spend weekends spending quality time with my husband, but sometimes the words are flowing and I need to get them out of my head before I forget them. I set daily goals, but sometimes the process of publishing and marketing gets in the way and throws my word-count productivity out the window. I strive for balance, but I haven’t quite mastered it yet.

What's the best thing about writing?

I think some famous author once said this, but can’t remember who. Anyhow, the best part of writing is having written. It feels fabulous to write ‘the end’ on a new novel and then go back and read the story as if I didn’t write it.

What's the worst thing about writing?

The dreaded writer’s block. It doesn’t happen to me often. When it does, I go into total procrastination mode and need to rein myself in.

How much time is spent researching in comparison to actually writing?

It really depends on the series/novels. A substantial amount of Scottish historical research was done for the first book in the Highland Gardens series, Just Beyond the Garden Gate. Probably about 50% of the overall development and writing time. Fortunately, much of that research carries through to the rest of the books with only a minor amount of fact-finding required at each writing. On the other end of the spectrum, Sea Panther, the first book in the Crimson Storm series, also took a considerable amount of research. Again, probably about 50% of the overall development and writing time. Florida panthers, Voodoo/Hoodoo, the Bermuda Triangle, the Jacobite rising of 1715, Jamaica history, and pirates were some of the topics researched. Each book in the series will be very different and will each require a considerable amount of research. Therefore each book will take longer than average to develop, write, and reach market.

How do you keep your characters separate when you write more than one series?

Each character has a different personality and they each have a dedicated index card containing their physical attributes and idiosyncrasies, which are used during writing. However, sometimes it is difficult not to use the wrong name when working on two books at the same time. I accidently used Robert instead of Patrick in Just Beyond the Garden Gate. Luckily, we caught the mistake in second round edits.

What do you like to read?

Romance. My favorite genres are historical time travel, regency, and paranormal.

Who are some of your favorite authors?

R Ward, J T Geissinger, Jessica Andersen, Eloise James, Lynn Kurland, Terry Spear—just to name a few. I could go on and on.

What are your favorite things to do?

I have more hobbies than time. When not writing or doing writing related things, I like to camp, hike, bicycle, and canoe with my husband. I love to garden and was a master gardener in a previous life. Enjoy cooking and baking. And, of course, love to read.

Any advice for someone who wants to write a novel?

Join writers groups. Find critique partners. Dare to dream.

Thank you Dawn Marie for spending some of your valuable writing time with us. I look forward to your next book "Just Wait for Me (Coming Summer  2015)".

~ About The Author ~ Dawn Marie Hamilton

Dawn Marie Hamilton dares you to dream. She is a 2013 RWA® Golden Heart® Finalist who pens Scottish-inspired fantasy and paranormal romance. Some of her tales are rife with mischief-making faeries, brownies, and other fae creatures. More tormented souls-shape shifters, vampires, and maybe a zombie or two-stalk across the pages of other stories. She is a member of The Golden Network, Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal, Celtic Hearts, and From the Heart chapters of RWA. When not writing, she's cooking, gardening, or paddling local creeks with her husband.

Enamored with everything Scottish, it's no surprise Scotland is the setting—along with the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina—for Highland Gardens, a Scottish historical time-travel fantasy romance series.

As a member of Clan Hamilton Society, Dawn Marie enjoys attending the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games and Gathering of the Scottish Clans, which take place near Highland Gardens's fictitious town of Anderson Creek, North Carolina.

A Jersey girl at heart, Dawn Marie lives in Southern Maryland with her husband.

~ Find The Author At ~

~ Her Books By Series ~

Highland Gardens series:

The Scottish Highlands—a place where faeries and brownies and other fae creatures dance through time. On occasion, so do mere mortals. This is the setting for HIGHLAND GARDENS, a time-travel romance series spiced with scheming faeries and one incredibly mischievous brownie. Journey from the lush gardens of the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina to the Scottish Highlands of the early sixteenth century.

Book 1: Just Beyond the Garden Gate

Determined to regain her royal status, a banished faerie princess accepts a challenge from the High-Queen of the Fae to unite an unlikely couple while the clan brownie attempts to thwart her.

Passion ignites when a faerie-shove propels burned-out business consultant Laurie Bernard through the garden gate, back through time, and into the embrace of Patrick MacLachlan. The arrogant clan chief doesn’t know what to make of the lass in his arms, especially when he recognizes the brooch she wears as the one his stepmother wore when she and his father disappeared.

With the fae interfering at every opportunity, the couple must learn to trust one another while they battle an enemy clan, expose a traitor within their midst and discover the true fate of the missing parents. Can they learn the most important truth—love transcends time?

** Read my review of Dawn Marie Hamilton's Just Beyond the Garden Gate at my blog 

Book 2: Just Once in a Very Blue Moon

What happens when a twenty-first century business executive is expected to fulfill a prophecy given at the birth of a sixteenth-century seer? Of course, he must raise his sword in her defense.

Believing women only want him for his wealth, Finn MacIntyre doesn't trust any woman to love him. When, during Scottish Highland games, faerie magic sends him back in time to avenge the brutal abduction of his time-traveling cousin, he learns he's the subject of a fae prophecy.

Elspeth MacLachlan, the beloved clan seer, is betrothed to a man she dislikes and dreams of the man prophesized at her birth, only to find him in the most unexpected place—facedown in the mud.

With the help of fae allies, they must overcome the treachery set to destroy them to claim a love that transcends time.

** Read my review of Dawn Marie Hamilton's Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon at my blog

Book 2.5: Just in Time for a Highland Christmas (novella)

Can a determined brownie craft a perfect match in time for Christmas?

When the Chief of Clan MacLachlan travels to the stronghold of his feuding neighbors to fetch his betrothed, she is gone. A year later, she is still missing. Making life more vexing, a band of reivers are stealing clan cattle, leaving behind destruction. Archibald MacLachlan determines to capture them and administer harsh punishment.

Though once in love with the man, Isobell Lamont refuses to wed her clan's enemy. After running away, she joins the band of reivers set on revenge.

Can Archibald forgive the raven-haired beauty? Will a journey through time bring them together for a Highland Christmas?

** Read my review of Dawn Marie Hamilton's Just in Time for a Highland Christmas at my blog

Book 3: Just Wait for Me (Coming Summer  2015)

In the chaotic aftermath of the battle of Flodden, an injured Highland warrior makes a bargain with a twenty-first century lass cast back in time by a meddling, matchmaking faerie. Stephen MacEwen promises that if the lass will help him get home, he'll find a way to send her forward to her own time. But is that a promise he'll want to keep after finding love in Jillian O'Donnell's arms? And after saving Stephen's life, will Jillian want to go?

Crimson Storm series:

Book 1: Sea Panther

After evading arrest for Jacobite activities, Scottish nobleman Robert MacLachlan turns privateer. A Caribbean Voodoo priestess curses him to an eternal existence as a vampire shifter torn between the dual natures of a Florida panther and an immortal blood-thirsting man. For centuries, he seeks to reverse the black magic whilst maintaining his honor. Cruising the twenty-first century Atlantic, he becomes shorthanded to sail his 90-foot yacht, Sea Panther. The last thing he wants is a female crewmember and the call of her blood.

Although she swore never to sail again after her father died in a sailing accident, Kimberly Scot answers the captain's crew wanted ad to escape a hit man. She's lost everything, her fiancĂ©, her job, and most of her money, along with money belonging to her ex-clients. A taste of Kimberly's blood convinces Robert she is the one woman who can claim the panther's heart. To break the curse, they travel back in time to where it all began—Jamaica 1715.

** Read my review of Dawn Marie Hamilton's Sea Panther at my blog 

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  1. Thanks for featuring me and my books, Teri! :)

    1. Dawn Marie I look forward to reading your new book when it comes out.