Thursday, September 2, 2010

Better Guard Your Heart From Monica McCarty's Heroes!!

Hey, Hey, Hey!! The weekend is here!

If you're looking for something to steal your breath away, how about a hunky Highlander?!

Please join me in welcoming the utterly fabulous MONICA McCARTY to the TLN Hot Seat!

Monica's much loved HIGHLAND GUARD series added another wonderful warrior to the collection with this week's release of THE HAWK. Ever wonder if Robert The Bruce had his own team of elite soldiers? Well, ponder no more, my friend! Simply grab a copy of THE CHIEF or THE HAWK to fall in love with a Highland hero of your very own. THE RANGER is book three in the series and is set to hit the stands in December. Talk about a great gift idea!

Hope you're ready to be dazzled!! Better grab a sweet treat and take a load off, because it's time to take a breather. We're sipping off the top shelf today!!

1)If you were a book, what would your blurb be?

Former lawyer turned romance novelist Monica McCarty was living an otherwise unremarkable suburban life as the wife of a former baseball player and mother of two “tween” age children, until one day she discovered that she was really the long lost love child of a Scottish nobleman and a poor serving girl whose secret marriage was just uncovered—making Monica the sole heir to a vast fortune and a handful of gorgeous castles across Scotland and the Isles. Now, when they aren’t holding court at one of her fabulous homes, Monica and her family live a glamorous and exciting life, traveling the world whenever they get a chance in their private plane (of course!) with personal assistants, their own chef, and endless shoe and handbag budget, and nannies galore.

Sounds good doesn’t it? Too bad I write fiction.

2)Using three words, describe your voice.

Hmm…this is a hard one. It’s hard for me to have any kind of perspective on my own writing. How about if I let Teresa Medeiros do it for me? She was kind enough to blurb my first book and here are the three words she used: “Rich, Romantic, and Ravishing.” Works for me!

3)Novice writer to multi-published author: What have you learned
about the industry? Any preconceived notions bunked or confirmed?

I have learned a ton about the industry since I started, but I feel like I’m still constantly learning. Each stage of the career is different and comes with a new set of challenges and/or new information that becomes important. As we all know the industry is currently in flux. The kindle and the ipad are changing the way we read and buy books. It’s both exciting and a little scary with all the uncertainty to be a part of it. It will be interesting to see how the current business model adjusts to the demands of the new market.

I’ve been fortunate to meet some wonderful women in this business who have taken me and my two cp’s Jami Alden and Bella Andre under their very generous wings. Barbara Freethy, Carol Culver and Candice Hern were a font of information and wisdom early in my career. Sometimes I felt like they held my hand the whole way through my first contract! Longevity and making a career in this business are tough, and they taught me early on to look at the big picture and try not to worry about the little bumps in the road, which are inevitable.

Along those lines eight years in the business and seeing all kinds of “bumps” has confirmed what I’d always heard: “The only thing you can control is writing the book.” Things happen all the time that are out of our control. For example, Barbara had books come out on both 9/11 and a UPS strike. The second book of my Campbell trilogy came out the month a big distributor went out of business. My book, as well as the others coming out that month, were printed, ordered, and left to sit on a truck or warehouse. I think they were eventually stripped, but of course that goes against my sell through.

4)Tell us a little about your writing style? Outline fiend or do you wing it? Has your style changed since you began writing?

I call myself a “tweener.” Not a seat of the pants writer but not an outliner either. I like to have a good general flight plan to know where I’m going. Right now that’s a synopsis (which I have to do anyway for my publisher) and a plotting timeline (my own creation—it’s basically a timeline with the major turning points marked so I can keep an eye on story and character arc).

My process has definitely changed since I began writing. Actually it’s always changing. With each book I try new things, trying to find that magic solution that will make it “easy.” The first book I wrote (what became HIGHLANDER UNTAMED) I wrote completely seat of the pants. I’d been thinking about that story for so long it was etched on my subconscious, LOL. But I did write myself into a few corners on early drafts. I’m a slow writer and it is very painful to throw out large portions of text. Realizing that, I decided to do more planning before I started my second book (what became HIGHLANDER UNMASKED). I wrote a short synopsis and discovered that I really liked that. When I sold, the synopsis became even more important—it’s one of the things that triggers a paycheck! With each book I’ve finessed the pre-writing stage, but I still try new things. With my last book I decided to put corkboard strips up in my office and put up index cards with key plot points. It helped with organizing the story, but I found that I didn’t look at them after I used them to write the synopsis. So with this book, I won’t bother hanging them up, I’ll just used them to early to help organize my thoughts (they’re easy to move around) then put them aside.

5)What does the rest of 2010 look like for you? Any news you'd like to dish out?

2010 has been a very exciting and busy year so far with much more to come! THE CHIEF, the first book in my new Highland Guard series came out in March, and I was thrilled to learn that it hit #24 on the NY Times Bestseller list. The second book in my Highland Guard series, THE HAWK, just hit stores on Tuesday. The third book, THE RANGER, will be out at the end of December.

Here’s the blurb for THE HAWK:
The legend of the Highland Guard continues...
Handpicked by Robert the Bruce to help him in his quest to free Scotland from English rule, the Highland Guard is an elite fighting force unlike any the world has ever seen. They are the best of the best, chosen for their superior skills in each discipline of warfare. But when Bruce is forced to flee to the Western Isles, his bid for freedom rests on the shoulders of one extraordinary warrior.

Erik MacSorley is unrivaled on the seas, a brilliant seafarer who has never encountered a wind he could not harness nor a woman he could not win—until he drags a wet, half-naked “nursemaid” out of the waters off the Irish coast. Ellie’s ordinary appearance belies the truth: she is in fact Lady Elyne de Burgh, the spirited daughter of the most powerful noble in Ireland, and a close ally of the English king. Worse, this confounding, fascinating, irresistible woman is determined to prove herself immune to his charms—a challenge he cannot resist.

Her captor may look every inch a powerful, rugged warrior, but Ellie vows it will take more than a twinkle in his blue eyes and a wickedly suggestive caress to impress her. Erik is as wild and untamed as the wind, sweeping away her resistance with a desire that resonates deep within her heart. Still, he is a man driven by loyalty, and she is a woman with secrets that could threaten his mission and jeopardize Bruce’s chance to reclaim his throne. As the battle for king and country sounds across the shores, will Ellie’s love be enough to finally tame the legend known as the Hawk?

You can read an excerpt from THE HAWK and learn more about the series at

What a hook!! Every gal needs a kilt-wearing hero to pine over! *wink wink* I'd like to thank Monica for taking time out of her busy schedule to hang out with us. She's definitely one of my favorite authors and a very lovely lady ta' boot!

THANK YOU, TLN'ers!! I'm thinking it's a Feel Good Friday . . . so let's ROCK IT! Here's some
FINE YOUNG CANNIBALS and SHE DRIVES ME CRAZY! Ah, does this bring back memories. *sigh* Gotta love the 80's!! Have a great holiday weekend!!


Kathleen O said...

Great interview Sarah and Monica. I just love this Highlanders and cannot wait to get my hands on The Hawk..
If it is as good as The Cheif I know I am in good for great hours of reading pleasure.

Rebecca Rose said...

Great interview and loved the blurb!
I'll be reading this these. :)

have a sparkling day!
Rebecca Rose

Monica McCarty said...

Hey Kathleen,
So glad you enjoyed the interview--Sarah always asks some fun questions. I'm THRILLED that you enjoyed THE CHIEF and are looking forward to THE HAWK. I've been getting wonderful feedback from readers, so hopefully that bodes well. :)

Hi Rebecca,
Glad you liked the blurb, LOL. I had fun with that one. I was originally just going to do a version of the author blurb that is on my book, but then I thought...heck why not give myself a more interesting life, LOL. Hope you get a chance to check out the books and thanks for stopping by!

HighlandHussy said...

Morning Monica! What a fun blurb about yourself :) too bad you write fiction? lmao!
happy friday everyone

Kim in Hawaii said...

OMG, this was a fabulous post! Why can't I think of great questions like Sarah's? I might have to "borrow" the blurb question.

And Monica, can I be in your real life book - the long lost cousin?

I know your off to Scotland soon so I look forward to reading about your adventures on your website.

And Sarah, how's your home adventure coming along?

Life is full of adventure in Hawaii with 'tweens (inside and outside the house) ...

Kaily Hart said...

Great interview. I really enjoyed it. I've learned myself that there are many things outside the writers control. Best of luck with book and the series, Monica!

Sarah Simas said...

Hi Kathleen and Rebecca!

Thanks for stopping by. :) I have to agree with Kathleen: I can't wait to read THE HAWK!

Rebecca and Highland Hussy. Monica's blurb was too funny! Wouldn't it be great if her ficton were reality? LOL The world would be full of kilt-wearing heroes looking for a damsel to save. Sweet!

Sarah Simas said...

Aloha, Kim!!

How wonderful to see you here! I'm doing great. The heat is about to wear only last nerve, but that's what I get for being preggers during the summer. LOL Hpe your tweens aren't making you long for umbrellas drinks. *wink wink* I know I'll be dealing with tweens soon enough. ;)

Mahalo, my friend! Earlier this afternoon I told hubs I wished I was on Waikiki time. ((hugs!))

Sarah Simas said...


I have to add that nothing in a MAMA writer's world is EVER in control. LOL

Great to see you, lady! ((hugs!))

Carol L. said...

Hi Sarah and Monica,
First I'd like to say Congrats Monica on the release of The Hawk. I have loved the books you write and when I read about the Elite group of Soldiers during Highland times I was amazed. I'd never thought about anything like that. But it worked and beautifully. After reading The Chief I knew I was hooked again on your newest series. I finished The Hawk a day ago and I can tell you that I will have these in my reread pile. Love my Highlanders and their kilts. :)
Carol L.

Monica McCarty said...

Good morning everyone! Hope you all had a nice long weekend.

Hey Laurie, thanks so much for stopping by. Glad you liked the blurb, LOL. Would be nice, wouldn't it?

Hi Kim,
How's it going in paradise? I don't need to ask you whether you had a nice long weekend--how could you not, LOL! You can definitely be my long lost cousin. I might be able to find a small castle for you to stay in. I'll have my solicitor look into it. :)

Hi Kaily,
Thanks so much! So far so good, but I"m always crossing my fingers in this business. I guess that's something else I've learned, LOL.

Carol! Thank you, thank you! I"m so glad you've enjoyed THE HAWK (and THE CHIEF). And thanks so much for the great comments about the series idea--I'm a huge fan of SEAL/military books and (of course) historicals, so I was trying to think of a way to bring them together. When I started reading about Robert the Bruce, I knew I'd found my historical foundation. :)