Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Welcome Beth Trissel!

Our guest this week is Historical/Paranormal and award winning author, Beth Trissel. Beth is sharing insight into her writing and herself. I think you'll enjoy what she has to say as well as the beautiful pictures she shared.

Welcome Beth and thank you for taking the time to be with us today.

SOMEWHERE MY LASS was an intriguing tale to weave. I did my usual obsessive research, but I love gleaning more about the past, so that’s all good. The hero and heroine, Neil and Mora, were vivid in my mind and a lot of fun to write. The romance between them is one of the best I’ve ever written. The chemistry just took off.

Interestingly enough, that’s not always the case. Sometimes my H&H dislike each other intensely, or one resents the other. Either I write my way through it until I uncover the live coals simmering beneath the ashes of their contempt, or seek out a different heroine. Usually, I’m pretty set on the hero. In the story I’m working on now, he was dead set against the heroine until I dug a little deeper and realized she wasn’t who she seemed to be.

Maybe this inner dialogue writers have with their characters contributes to the reputation of our being rather eccentric, or shall we say crazy. Those of you not given to this particular madness may assume I simply create my characters and have control over them. No way. I discover them, and get to know their likes and dislikes, what they would and wouldn’t do, all those quirks and foibles that make us unique human beings. I offer direction and reason with them as to why the story needs to go a certain way, but have learned that the flow is much better, certainly more natural, if I listen well to what they’re telling me. And so, I talk amongst ‘myselves,’ which worries my mother a trifle. But it’s an essential part of the creative process. At least, for me.

Regarding my settings, up until SOMEWHERE MY LASS I’ve set all my stories in America, past and present. This departure to Scotland was a challenge, but I drew deeply on my English Scots-Irish roots, which I’ve been doing all along. Apart from the prominent Native American heroes and characters in my work, (Through the Fire, Red Bird’s Song, Daughter of the Wind) the others are all of English/Scots-Irish backgrounds, with a smidgen of French. My ancestors, too, have a smidgen of French in the meld. Being a history buff I’ve read up on and watched numerous programs set in the British Isles, a favorite of mine. I’m a British junkie, an anglophile, while equally preoccupied with early America. But then America and Great Britain are both tied together, and were especially linked in the colonial time period.

A little more about the inspiration behind SOMEWHERE MY LASS:

As is often the case, the opening of light paranormal romance SOMEWHERE MY LASS was inspired by a dream, one that grabbed my attention and made me wonder where in the world do I go from here? Inquiring minds like mine want to know the rest of the story and so I delved & plotted, lay awake nights trying to recapture that dream. Ultimately, this suspenseful time travel evolved from years of research into my distant Scottish roots and a long held fascination with the idea of actually being transported to the past, with a proviso that I can return to the present whenever the thrill wears off. Say, by teatime. My characters are far more adventurous than I.

Certainly, I was influenced by my beloved C S Lewis in his Chronicles of Narnia that I grew up reading. I’m still looking for Narnia. Isn’t everyone? Not to mention, movies like Back to the Future and Timeline, but I like to think, and my editor assures me, that I’ve achieved an original take on the oft visited time travel theme. And no, I’ve not read author Diane Gabledon or other Scottish time travels so cannot be accused of those influences. I read little romance, investing much of my time in research and non-fiction. Whether right or wrong, it’s how I am.
Of course, my love for old castles and the Scottish highlands also lent inspiration. Many of the early Scots-Irish settlers to the Shenandoah Valley, my ancestors among them, chose to live here because of the resemblance the valley and mountains bore to Scotland & Ireland, as near to home as they were likely to find in the New World.

The concept behind my SOMEWHERE series is that the story opens in modern day, so far my home state of Virginia and I don’t see that changing, and then transports the reader SOMEWHERE else--either back to an earlier time in the same house, as in SOMEWHERE MY LOVE, or another place altogether, as in SOMEWHERE MY LASS. Sounds simple enough, right? But writing these stories isn’t. I thought I’d never make it through ‘Lass’ but am thrilled that I did. I hope you will be too.

“The Joshua Wilton House…is a superb small inn and restaurant,” ~The Sunday New York Times

Blurb: Neil MacKenzie’s well ordered life turns to chaos when Mora Campbell shows up claiming he’s her fiancĂ© from 1602 Scotland. Her avowal that she was chased to the future by clan chieftain, Red MacDonald, is utter nonsense, and Neil must convince her that she is just addled from a blow to her head–or so he believes until the MacDonald himself shows up wanting blood. Mora knows the Neil of the future is truly her beloved Niall who disappeared from the past. Although her kinsmen believe he’s dead, and she is now destined to marry Niall’s brother, she’s convinced that if she and Neil return to the past, all will be right. The only problem is how to get back to 1602 before it’s too late. The balance of the present and future are in peril if she marries another, and the Neil of the present will cease to exist. An ancient relic and a few good friends in the future help pave the way back to the past, but will Mora and Neil be too late to save a love that began centuries before?

*Pic of The door to nowhere (or so Neil MacKenzie thought).

*Pass at Glencoe in the Scottish Highlands


Beth Trissel said...

Thanks for having me here today Lizzie. :)

P.L. Parker said...

Good Morning Ladies - Loved the post Beth. Good luck on sales.

Sherry Gloag said...

Beth, I am fascinated when authors manage to make settings they've never visited (or am I wrong in this assumption?) so convincing.
You are writing of my homeland and I feel I am back there just reading your interview.
Great pics, by the way :-)
Thanks for sharing.

Susan Macatee said...

I visited Scotland many years ago and still have photos and memories of that beautiful countryside! I love time travels and yours sounds intriguing.

And having written a few myself, I agree that they are very hard to write and make believable for the reader. I almost gave up on my first for that very reason.

Best of luck with your newest release, Beth!!

Beth Trissel said...

Thanks guys. Especially Sherry. You are right I have never physically been to Scotland, though many in my family have. It was a challenge to set a story there, but I've read, heard, and seen many descriptions and maybe it's in my inherited memory from my distant roots. I'm heartened that you felt I had it right. The Shenandoah Valley of Virginia where my family has lived for several hundred years resembles the hills, mountains, and valleys of Scotland/Ireland that drew so many Scots/Irish to settle here.

Lizzie said...

Thank you for being here, Beth. Love your books.

Scotland is the place if I had all the money I don't have, I'd invest in a little cottage close to the sea. Honey and I were married their 7 years ago and I'll never forget the beauty of the country side or the warmness of the people.

Beth Trissel said...

How Kewl is that, Lizzie. Great way to be there. :)

Joanne Stewart said...

Somewhere My Lass is in my TBR pile. Loved Somewhere my love. AFter reading some of your comments about the setting, I'm thinking it should be moved up. hehe I had to laugh at your description of your characters. Mine are real to me like that, people who argue in my head, keep me up all night long talking to me. loved the blog, Beth!

Beth Trissel said...

Thanks Joanne. It takes a crazy writer to understand a kindred spirit. :)

Sarah Hoss said...

It was great to see you here. I loved reading all you had to say and the pictures were great! Thanks for sharing! Hope the book does well!

Beth Trissel said...

Thanks Sarah. Very kind of you. I think as more people acquire e-readers it will help authors like me who are writing primarily for the digital market. My other books are available in both print and digital download, but Somewhere My Lass is a shorter novel than the Wild Rose Press prints and is available exclusively as an ebook from The Wild Rose Press, Amazon, and other online booksellers.

Liz Flaherty said...

Beautiful pictures and nice post. I haven't been to Scotland, but was in Ireland last year and it was sooo lovely. I'd love to go to Scotland next.