Archive for the ‘Writers’ Category

Many years ago, tired of the oppression upon his country, a man rose up from the shadows, one without a well-known name, seemingly from nowhere, and led his country in the Scottish Wars for Independence. That man, is now a household name: Sir William Wallace, aka Braveheart.

There is not much known of Wallace and his earlier days. It is thought that he grew up in a family of means—they were landholders. Wallace would have been exposed to the sort of education that a lower gentry family would have. He’d have trained with a sword as well, which also explains why he was so great with wielding one—comes with practice.

No one is sure of his parentage, other than his father was either Alan or Malcolm Wallace and his birthdate is unknown; however it is believed he was in his twenties when he died.

Through William’s early childhood years, Scotland was ruled by King Alexander III, and was relatively peaceful. However, with the King’s death in 1286, Scotland was thrown into turmoil. King Alexander’s heir was a young girl who passed on her way to Scotland to sit upon her throne. In stepped King Edward of England, better known as Longshanks. Brutality was about to begin as the English king sought to take control of the country and weed the Scots from their own lands.

It is my guess that William was between the ages of 6 and 10 at this time, old enough to witness the new brutality and to remember a time when Scotland was ruled by its own people.

At some point, Wallace joined up with Andrew Moray, another leader in the war, declaring his intentions to help lead the country to freedom. There is some speculation about his reason behind joining the revolt, and a legend that whispers from one shore to the next of a wife or love of his that was murdered by the English. There is no proof of this, but I like to believe it because it’s romantic and softens the brutality of war, heightens our beliefs in the violence that must be unleashed.

What is more likely, is that William Wallace was devoted to his country. He remembered growing up in peace and wished for any children he might have to live the same way. He wanted the English king out. He wanted a Scots king in.

His first act against the English was in May 1297 when he executed the High Sheriff of Lanark.  My novel, The Highlander’s Reward (Stolen Bride Series) begins in September 1297 on the eve of the Battle at Stirling Bridge. Wallace would have been between 17 and 22 at the time. I’m leaning more toward the latter, which puts him at 29 at his death. My reasoning behind this is that he would have been a more seasoned warrior, more capable at age 22 rather than 17 to take on a leading role. (*Of note: most portrait depictions of Wallace put him much older, which is misleading—the portraits were also done years after his death.) Wallace is described by contemporary accounts as being a rather giant of a man—perhaps 6’5 or 6’6 and well-muscled.

It is probable that prior to the Scottish Wars for Independence that he had some military experience, but none are recorded. He and Moray were victorious, however Moray died sometime later of the wounds he sustained. My hero, Magnus Sutherland, was instrumental in helping the Scots to win this battle, and it’s the first time he meets Wallace, but not the last. In fact, Wallace will play a part in each book in the Stolen Bride series.

Prior to Moray’s death, he and Wallace were named the Guardians of Scotland. By the end of 1297 early 1298, William Wallace was knighted by one of the leading Scottish earls, Lennox, Carrick or Strathearn. In 1298, Wallace lost the Battle of Falkirk against the English, but did not allow that to deter him. He gave over his guardianship of Scotland to Robert the Bruce, putting his full support behind the Bruce, but continued to play a part in the war for freedom.

Unfortunately, Wallace would not live to see his dream of freedom realized. He was caught and subsequently executed by the English in 1305—his charge, treason against the crown. While he did not live to see it, the dream lived on and freedom reigned in 1328…until the next war.

THE HIGHLANDER’S REWARD

She belonged to another… But was destined to be his…

Lady Arbella de Mowbray abhors the idea of marrying an English noble occupying Scotland. When she arrives in Stirling, she is thrown into the midst of a full battle between the Scots and the English. Besieged by rebels, she is whisked from her horse by a Highland warrior who promises her safety. But when he kisses her she fears she’s more in danger of losing herself.

The last thing Magnus Sutherland wants is to marry the beautiful English lass he saved. As the laird of his clan, he has a responsibility to his clan and allies. But when Arbella is attacked by one of his own men, he determines the only way to keep her safe is to make her his. A decision that promises to be extremely satisfying.

Magnus brings Arbella to his home of Dunrobin Castle in the Highlands. And that’s where the trouble begins… Their countries are at war and they should be each other’s enemy. Neither one considered their mock marriage would grow into a deeply passionate love. What’s more, they were both unhappily betrothed and those who’ve been scorned are out for revenge. Can their new found love keep them together or will their enemies tear them apart?

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Eliza Knight is the multi-published author of sizzling historical romance and erotic romance. While not reading, writing or researching for her latest book, she chases after her three children. In her spare time (if there is such a thing…) she likes daydreaming, wine-tasting, traveling, hiking, staring at the stars, watching movies, shopping and visiting with family and friends. She lives atop a small mountain, and enjoys cold winter nights when she can curl up in front of a roaring fire with her own knight in shining armor. Visit Eliza at www.elizaknight.com or her historical blog History Undressed: www.historyundressed.com Twitter: @ElizaKnight and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/elizaknightauthor

Please welcome today Dennis Higgins, author of the time travel and paranormal novels, Parallel Road and Time Pilgrims.

 

When  did you start writing? What was it you first wrote?

I  always wrote stories as a child and even did some light journaling.  The stories that were to become my first  two novels, Parallel Road (Lost on Route 66) and Katya and Cyrus (Time Pilgrims)  started out from playing online with the woman who was to become my wife.  We would write paragraphs in a never-ending story type format.  They weren’t very good and because we  were newly in love, would be sometimes become saturated with an almost Harlequin  Romance type of rhetoric. This is not my style of writing, although the best  time travel stories always have a touch of romance.

 

What period do you write about and  why?

That’s  the fun part with my stories, especially Katya and Cyrus.  They are time travelers and can visit  any time period.  I have purposely  put a hundred year limit on their ability, which they only have started to learn  to break near the end of the novel.  That they are called time pilgrims is due to the fact that they are still learning to test the waters of time travel.

 

I  personally love the period between the 1860s and the 1960s.  So many great adventures can take place  in that hundred year era.  It can  start with the American Civil War, the great Chicago Fire, the San Francisco  earthquake, the sinking of the Titanic, all other catastrophic wars,  assassinations and other such calamities such as the Hindenburg and the Edsel (for goodness sakes).

 

What is your theory or belief on how  historically accurate you need to be? How does that affect your story? For  alternative history writers: how did you decide to change history? How do you  reconcile it with “real” history?

 

I  believe accuracies in historical writing are imperative, even when history  changes around my time traveling characters.  I try very hard to connect with what would have occurred because of a  particular change.  One incident  that has been written about by many an author is the JFK assassination.  How would the world have changed if this  was prevented in some way?  I’m  proud of my own take in Katya and Cyrus. Even though my chapter on this is not  long, I had studied it long and hard and even wrote in minute details as to  where the presidential motorcade was heading for lunch on that particular day in  Dallas.

 

It’s  the same with Parallel Roads.  The  history of Route 66 and the accuracies in both the present day and my choice  period of 1946 are of extreme importance to me.  Search engines like Bing.com and that  huge googolplex one can help but I needed to actually travel the historic  decommissioned road to really get the feel of the ethos and  landscape.

 

Tell me  about your main character, real or fictional and why?

 

For  this answer I will stick with Parallel Roads.  I don’t have just one main character,  but for the purpose of this interview I will narrow it down to two.  My main character from 1946 is Katherine  Callahan.  She is a devout Irish  Catholic, strong willed woman who follows her own mind at every step of the  way.  I guess you could say that she  is strong and a bit stubborn.  She  believes she had lost the first love of her life in the Great War but gets torn  in two when he makes his return, only after she has moved on with her life and  marries American born, John.  Soon  after their baby is born, she jumps in their old 36 Buick and heads west down  Route 66 to visit her sister and clear her head, only she never returns.

 

This  brings me to my second main character, Kevin Callahan, grandson of Katherine and  John.  He and his best friend,  Cheryl had become obsessed with what may have happened to his Grandma Kate all  those years ago.  Kevin is a modern  guy who relies heavily on Cheryl and her detective skills but sometimes finds  himself clueless about what makes a woman tick. (Aren’t we all?) But he also has  an almost paranormal connection to his grandmother so he and Cheryl embark upon  the now decommissioned Route 66 to try and retrace her steps.

 

What is the most surprising thing in the  period you write about? Do you run into common misperceptions?  How do you deal  with them in your fiction?

 

I  guess the thing that has surprised me is the fact that deep down inside, people  are people; they are all the same no matter what time period they are from.  There are outward differences and these  are what I love to contrast to the modern world with.  Also surprising is that as I get into a  time period through my writing, I feel as if I had really lived it and been  there.  I read once that Jane Austin  could write in such detail about things she could not have possibly known with  complete accuracies.  I believe when we write, we draw from some place within ourselves and I don’t know where that  place is exactly.  I myself had  experienced this while writing Parallel Roads.  One example is when Katherine needs to  stop for gas, she calls it a filling station.  I only later discovered that this is  what folks called them back in the 1940s.  I also wrote in a character from Oklahoma.  I had never heard anyone from this state  speak before.  When I actually  travelled the Mother Road though the Sooner state, I discovered that I had  imagined the accent perfectly.

 

Who would you most like to meet from one of  your novels? Tell us about them.

 

I  would like to meet Katherine because she is beautiful and a little always have around  women like her.   But  I would also love to sit and talk with Katya from Time Pilgrims because she is  mysterious.  Blonde, petite, plain,  Katya has no idea from what time period she is from because she suffers from a  condition known as temporal amnesia.  She is the most powerful time pilgrim that has ever been employed by the Callahan family for their time research centers.  They build their centers on the sites of  old watch factories(Waltham, Ma…Elgin, Il).  Unlike Cyrus Callahan who grew up as the  all-business boss’s son, Katya sometimes time travels just for the sheer fun of  it and teaches Cyrus to do the same. She’s fun and full of life and time travels  much the same way I do…ah, I mean, would.

 

What is  your next project?

 

I  started writing a book about true mythical creatures in Malaysian folk lore  called the Orang Bunian but have shelved it for the time being.  With the publication of the series,  Katya and Cyrus (Time Pilgrims) happening sometime in the coming year, I had  better get started on book two.

 

Where can readers find your books?

 

At Amazon in paperback or kindle versions.

 

Find out more about Dennis at his website: www.timepilgrims.com