Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Heather McCollum | Title Challenge: HIGHLAND CONQUEST
Author Guest / May 1, 2020

Hello everyone! I am Heather McCollum, Scottish Historical Romance writer, and I’m thrilled to be here at Fresh Fiction today. When I’m not writing marvelous brawny, broody Highlanders, I am usually answering calls of “Mom.” I have three full-of-drama kids, one rescued golden retriever, and one Highland husband of my own. I am also a 9-year survivor of ovarian cancer, lover of hot chai tea lattes, and exuberant baker of all the goodies I should not be eating. My newest release is the first book in a new series, Sons of Sinclair, which is set in 16th-century Scotland, way up in the north. The four books in the series focus on four brothers who were raised by their warlord (some say insane) father as the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. Cain Sinclair takes over the chieftainship when his father is killed in battle and decides that to conquer his father’s greatest enemy, he will wed the new woman chieftain of the Sutherland clan. Unfortunately, Ella Sutherland is stubborn on top of being beautiful and brave, and she does not surrender to Cain’s strategically laid plans. Here are some words to give you a flavor of this jaunt through the Highlands….

Heather McCollum | The Highland Outlaw
Author Guest / November 6, 2019

Thank you so much for having me here on Fresh Fiction today! I’m Heather McCollum, mother of three overly dramatic kids, wife of one Highland hero, ovarian cancer slayer, lover of chai lattes and dragonflies, and author of Scottish historical romances. My twenty-first book, THE HIGHLAND OUTLAW, was just released on October 21st (I love coincidences!). I’m often asked where I get my ideas. I feel like ideas are just floating around out in the world everywhere, and I have fun picking them out of the tangle of must-dos and everyday occurrences. It means that I’m sometimes hyperaware of my surroundings. The worlds around us are our own personal settings, just like settings for characters in books. Just like I need to recognize the sights, smells, and sounds in my books, I try to take those all in while living my life. Then I let my mind wander and expound upon those details. For example, I walk my dog each morning through my suburban neighborhood. Being the conscientious dog owner, I pick up her poop and drop the biodegradable baggie in the neighborhood dog waste cans set along the streets. Almost every time I lift that lid to toss it…

Heather McCollum | 17th Century Dressing & THE WICKED VISCOUNT
Author Guest / June 5, 2019

Hi everybody! I’m Heather McCollum, author of Scottish romances. I’m excited to be here on Fresh Fiction to celebrate the release of my new novel, THE WICKED VISCOUNT, which takes place in 17th c London. Have you ever wondered what it feels like to wear the huge ensembles of silk and embroidery that the ladies in the English court used to don? My current Scottish historical romance series, The Campbells, takes place in 1684 and 1685. In THE WICKED VISCOUNT, the heroine, a feisty Scottish lass, must venture to the royal court in London. For the first time in her life, she wears the rich garments of the elite to fit in at Whitehall Palace. I wanted to experience what my heroine was feeling in the strictures of the costume, so I commissioned the talented Victoria Vane to create an ensemble for me. Even though my heroine grows up during the time when these dresses were worn, she is poor and has never worn the full costumes before. After two weeks of looking at fabrics with Victoria, we finally decided on a gorgeous magenta and lavender combination of silks. Imported from India, the fabrics are rich and beautifully embroidered with…

Heather McCollum | Empowering 17th Century Women
Author Guest / November 30, 2018

I’m very excited to be here on Fresh Fiction today to celebrate the release of A PROTECTOR IN THE HIGHLANDS! This book is the second in my Highland Roses School series about two sisters who journey into Scotland to start a school for ladies in the 1690s. The theme around the series centers on empowering women at a time when they were often treated as inferior. Women were left out of inheritances, business dealings, education, and decision making. Their purpose in life was to bear children and manage the home. And if a woman found herself in a domestic abuse situation or attacked, she was often blamed with no way out. When researching for my series, I read a wonderful book about two sisters living in the mid-1600s in England (A Court Lady and A Country Wife by Lita-Rose Betcherman). One sister birthed several children and managed her home mostly in the country while the other one became an influential woman at court. Both ladies were considered a success in their circles, although they had many limitations placed upon them because of their sex. Even though the court lady was a friend to the queen of England, she still had…

Heather McCollum | Giving Birth to Characters
Author Guest / June 28, 2014

I’m thrilled to be here today on Fresh Fiction in honor of my newly released historical, paranormal romance, CRIMSON HEART! CRIMSON HEART is my ninth completed full-length novel and the third in the Highland Hearts series (which also contains two novellas). The circle of family and friends in the magical world of the Macbains and Munros continues to grow. Every time I turn around a hero and heroine from an earlier book have created another baby (those virile Highland warriors tend to do that) and wa la – I have new characters to raise. It’s extremely important that all of these characters (both people and animals) are fully colored in with untold (or eventually told) past baggage, oddities, and personal preferences. Otherwise they fall flat as cardboard cut-outs or stereotypes (yawn – close book). So just as our infinitely diverse gene pool stirs up new human beings, we writers must shape our unique characters. Where do all these little persona details come from? My characters are mosaics, built from personality shards of every creature I have encountered mixed with a generous portion of my own vivid imagination and past experiences. Characters are everywhere. I used to have weekly coffee with a…