Having just finished Between I am very curious as to where the idea came from as it covers a variety of themes. Were you inspired by anything in particular?
I wanted to write a good versus evil story, but I thought angels and demons were overdone. So I started mulling over other ways to bring heaven into the equation without making the character an angel. The Transporter idea allowed me the flexibility to create a whole realm between heaven and earth where I could make up the rules.
I’m also a sucker for a good love story, so anything I write has to be heavy on the romance. I’d been reading Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series and fell in love with Scotland, so that’s why the hero is Aiden MacRae, a Scot from the 18th century!
As well as being a truly amazing love story, Between also focuses on life and death and what happens after. Was the afterlife you created based on your own beliefs in any way?
I am a Christian and I believe in heaven, but the afterlife I created in Between is purely my own imagination run amok. I’d love to be greeted by a hunky Highlander when I die, but I truly have no idea what to expect when that day comes. No one really does, which is why the afterlife is such a rich playground for world building.
This is something I always wonder with all authors: did you base any of your characters on people you know?
I put all the people I’ve ever known into a personality blender and created new characters out of them so there is no one person in the book who is based on someone in real life. However, Lindsey is very much like me. I intentionally gave her traits I don’t have (like the fact that she can cook and I could burn water). Still, the way she thinks and reacts is often how I would, under the circumstances.
In relation to the previous question, which of these characters is your favourite and why?
Aiden, hands down. I think any romance writer falls in love (at least a little bit) with the hero while writing and I am no exception. I loved writing his character, researching 18th century Scotland, and speaking the dialogue in my horrible attempt at a Scottish accent! I still love reading the scenes with Aiden because—I’ll admit it—he makes me swoon. J
The chemistry between Lindsey and Aiden is amazing and I love a good romance. Would you describe yourself as a romantic at heart?
Absolutely! My husband is very romantic (lucky me!) and often buys little presents to show that he’s thinking of me. It’s also a way for him to express that he gets me, he knows what I like, and that we share a bond. Romance and falling in love is ultimately about making a connection with someone else like two puzzle pieces lining up. Putting the other person first is the way to make the connection last.
Without giving too much away, what plans to do you have for Lindsey and Aiden in the next book in the series?
The sequel is called Hell Transporter. Aiden’s job is to transport souls from earth to heaven, and the second book has to do with his counterpart. I’ve got a cover in mind that is similar to Between’s, but with a red flame instead of blue smoke. I think it’s going to complement the first book beautifully.
I am about one-third of the way through the first draft of Hell Transporter. Once Between is launched, I will turn my attention to getting it finished. But let me just say, the ending… oh, you’ll like that!
I have started and stopped writing a handful of others, so I’m not really sure where my writing will take me after the sequel is finished. No matter what, there will be a love story in there somewhere though!
When writing Between did you have any particular writing process that you followed?
It takes me a bit to get “in the zone” when I’m writing, since I can only do it during my free time on evenings and weekends. I’d usually settle in on the couch with my laptop and read back over the last few pages that I’d written, to get back in that creative space and remind myself where I’d left off. Brian Crain’s classical piano music was usually playing in the background, which helped prepare me for writing as well.
You have said yourself that you love Scotland and all things Scottish, if you could visit anywhere in Scotland where would it be and why?
My husband and I were fortunate enough to go to Scotland last May. While there, we saw Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle, the Clava Cairns (an ancient burial site), Culloden Field (where the massacre of 1746 took place), toured the Dalwhinnie whisky distillery and stayed at Dalhousie Castle (which is haunted!).
The highlight of the trip was visiting Eilean Donan Castle, Aiden’s childhood home in my story. They didn’t allow photographs inside the castle, but I must have taken a thousand of the outside. Being inside the castle after spending so much time writing about it and imagining it was a dream come true.
We’re planning a trip to London next year and may sneak up to Scotland for some more sightseeing. I’m a big castle buff, so I’d like to see Culzean Castle and Balmoral sometime.
Finally, have you ever eaten haggis or would you consider trying it in the future? J
Yes, I have! On our Scotland trip, I wanted to be fully immersed so I tried haggis prepared two different ways. I preferred the deep fried version (because anything’s better deep fried). Still, it’s not a dish I’ll be running out to have again! I much prefer the fish & chips. J