Archive for January 9th, 2012

The year is 1746. A young woman from South Carolina and a Scottish Highlander share an intimacy and devotion beyond their understanding.

They’ve known each other their entire lives.

They live a half-world apart.

And they have never met…

Maggie Johnson has been gifted with “the Sight” ever since she was a child. Her dreams bring her visions of the future and of a presence she knows is not a figment of her imagination. She calls him Wolf, having watched him grow from a careless young boy into a fearsome warrior, and she trusts him with her life and her heart.

Andrew MacDonnell is fascinated by the woman who has visited him in his dreams for as long as he can remember, entranced by her beauty, knowing deep in his soul that she is as real as he. Although he doesn’t know who she is, Andrew believes that destiny will bring them together.

When tragedy and war strike their homelands, both Maggie and Andrew suffer indescribable losses. Separated across an ocean, the bond they share nevertheless grows as they sense each other’s pain, lend each other strength, and embark on a journey of the spirit to find and love one another at long last…


NT: Hi Genevieve! Thank you for being my guest today.

Thanks for having me!

NT: When did you know you wanted to be a writer? How long did it take for you to make your first sale?

You’re probably going to laugh, but I had no idea I wanted to be a writer. Not until I sat down and started my first novel, UNDER THE SAME SKY. That was after I turned 40. Before that I only considered myself to be a reader. It took about eight months to write the novel, and it was twice as long then as it is now. Over the next five years, through following (some) online advice and reading books like Stephen King’s “On Writing”, I actually learned how to “write”. I have always loved editing, so doing that was like working on my own puzzle. I had sent out probably fifty queries initially. After I edited I got about sixty more query rejections. Ah, the tortured life of a querying author. Then I was referred to an agent through a wonderful author, Gemini Sasson, and the amazing Jacques de Spoelberch decided to take me on. He and I worked on the book for a couple of months before he set it on Wendy McCurdy’s desk at Berkley. They bought it—and a companion novel—within the first 48 hours.

NT: You have a debut release this month, UNDER THE SAME SKY. Can you tell us about it?

UNDER THE SAME SKY is what I call a historical “adventure” more than historical romance, though the theme is tremendously romantic. It’s not what you would expect—especially if you base your expectations on the cover art. There’s no holding back in this book. It’s gritty and rough. The 1700’s were not a kind time for anyone, especially women. The twist is that Andrew MacDonnell (in Scotland) and Maggie Johnson (in America) have dreamed of each other since childhood, communicating, and even sharing energy so they can rescue each other when their lives are in danger. Maggie also has “the Sight”. So it’s historic adventure with a taste of “fantasy”.

NT: Do you have a writing routine? What is your average writing day like?

I don’t have a routine, though I keep telling myself I should try to set one up. I’m at my computer full time because I also have my own busy editing business. When I’m writing, I sink entirely into my own story, so I can lose myself at the computer for eight to ten hours nonstop. At that point I remember I actually have a life and a family. In the middle of the night I’ll wake up and jot down whatever has woken me, using the “light up” pen my sleep-deprived husband gave me. In the morning I return to my keyboard, chomping at the bit to get it all going again.

NT: Is there anyone you use as a sounding board when you’re stuck on a scene?

My husband. He’s awesome at it. We have summit meetings whenever I hit a roadblock.

NT: What was the most interesting thing you had to research and what was the hardest thing to research?

I found tons of things interesting, because for the book I dug into Scottish history, which I loved. My ancestry is all Scottish, though I’m third generation Canadian, and my blood got all stirred up learning how they must have lived. I also got to learn about the Cherokee, and I found them fascinating. The Cherokee and the Highlanders had a lot in common, which was interesting.

I think the hardest thing for me wasn’t the research, but remembering it all. I have the memory of a sieve, so if I didn’t have a pen and paper or keyboard handy, well … *poof* It was gone.

NT: When not busy writing, what do you like to do in your spare time? (If there is such a thing *G*)

Sounds pretty sad, but when I’m not writing, I’m either editing or reading. I love to lose myself in words. Or I’m busy with my family, enjoying whatever the kids are up to, playing with the dog, watching movies with my hubby … Lucky me. I have a wonderful life.

NT: What are the latest additions to your TBR? What are you most eager to read?

I’m just finished “The Help” and am almost done “My Lord & Spymaster” by Joanna Bourne. My next is “The Scottish Prisoner” by Diana Gabaldon, and I have “The Black Hawk” (another by Joanna Bourne) under that on the stack. Somewhere in there I plan on reading “Hunger Games” because my daughter won’t stop talking about it, and my husband’s now enjoying it.

NT: Any advice to aspiring authors? What craft books helped you that you would recommend to aspiring writers?

I mentioned Stephen King’s “On Writing” earlier, and I’ll always recommend that one. He’s so down to earth. His methods can be simplistic, yet cover amazing detail. The first book I read on writing was “No Plot? No Problem,” which I enjoyed. I love books that talk about writing as more fun than work. I mean really, what are we doing? We’re creating something from nothing. If you take it too seriously, in my humble opinion, you can create something for people’s heads, but not their hearts.

My advice is always to write from the heart. Make your characters real. Let them live through you. Words on a paper are one-dimensional, but the story has to be three-dimensional, and vividly so.

NT: What can your fans look forward to from you in the near future? What are you working on now?

The companion novel, “Sound of the Heart” will be in stores May 1. The third novel, “Out of the Shadows” is waiting in line, and it’s my husband’s favourite so far. A fourth in the series just popped into my head this week, so that’ll be next. I’m also working on a book about a Nova Scotia fisherman who heads off to WWI. I really like that one. And I have the rough draft of a chick lit, and a YA, and a … Yeah. I kind of have a problem with having too many things going at once!

NT: How can readers contact you?

I invite everyone to visit my website, www.GenevieveGraham.com. There’s a contact form on there and also a newsletter signup. I have a Fan page on Facebook: Genevieve Graham, Author, and while I do have a twitter handle (GenGrahamAuthor), I admit I’m lousy at tweeting. I either don’t do any or I’m sucked into that vortex for hours.

And in case you’re interested in coming with me to visit a few of the best book blogs around, I invite you to take a look at my schedule and follow along.

NT: Thanks for being our guest today!


For a chance to win a copy of Under the Same Sky, just leave a comment below. The winner will be drawn on Sunday. Good luck!


*Giveaway sponsored by the author

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