Where are you from? Did you have a happy childhood? I hail from near Eaglesham, Scotland. My childhood – uh, no. My mother’s dead. My father, well, he’s the one who had her killed. And he’s a -. Yeah. I’d rather not talk about it. Next question?
Where do you live now and what do you do for a living? Is there something you'd rather be doing? I prefer to not disclose where I live right now. Keeping a low profile, traveling as a trader, you see. Secretly, I fight for the Cause to restore the rightful heir upon the Scottish throne while a ruthless English King slays all the Contenders. I’ve got a vile baron hunting me, too.
What's going on in your life right now? I’m making my way to the isles to relay pivotal information for the Cause. [coughs] I mean, uh, I’m traveling to the Isle of Uist for trade – salt and fish. Yes, yes. That’s right. And my name – could you scratch that above? It’s actually Sir Aleck Stirrat. Hey, don’t look at me that way. It’s complicated, aye?
Is there someone special in your life? Well, on my way to the isles, I encountered an enchanting lass, Deirdre, near the village of Dornie. There’s a fire about her from which I can’t pull myself.
How did you meet? What's his/her family like? She’s mysterious, breathtaking. But, her cook and confidante told me that Deirdre’s cursed – she needs to be wooed by a hundred kisses or something like that. Her father, the Laird of Eilean Donan, seems pretty eager to see his daughter married. Something fishy going on there. But like I said, she’s a captivating lass. Lots of spunk. Not your typical lady.
What's keeping you two apart? A few too many secrets. I sense that she has a few of her own.
What one thing could you do that would make you feel like the relationship will work out? Well, I need to tell her about my haunted past. And, by cravens, I lied to her about my identity. For the Cause’s sake, I’ve needed to travel under a guise, and well, she doesn’t know who I truly am. I surely messed it up, didn’t I?
Any last comments? Look, are we done? I need to get going to Uist. My friends are waiting for me there.
The Wild Rose Press Ebook: http://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/5014-a-hundred-kisses.html
Interview with Jean M. Grant, Author of A Hundred Kisses.
What made you decide to be an author? My love of words and the fictional worlds that I can get lost in. Diana Gabaldon and JK Rowling are my inspirations. I could also be called a daydream believer.
What do you like best about being a writer? What do you like the least? Being able to write anything I want and using paper as an emotional outlet. It’s cheaper than therapy. What I like least? The long road of querying and rejection. But it all pays off in the end and I become a better writer for it.
How do you think your life experiences have prepared you for writing? I’ve been fortunate to travel to some amazing places, meet interesting people. I love to use them in my stories. I also have been working on a novel that uses my science background and family experiences.
Have you ever felt as if you were being dictated to while you wrote a book--as if the words came of their own accord? If yes, which book did that happen with? I think all books (and characters) speak to us. We’re not sure where our characters are going sometimes, but it’s a remarkable ride!
You’ve written 3 unpublished, and 1 published novel and are working on a 5th (querying that one; mainstream women’s fiction) and 6th novel (prequel to A Hundred Kisses). What’s your favorite time management tip? Nooks and crannies. Write when you can. I love early mornings. No need to write every day, but do be intentional with your writing time. You have to make the time for it.
Are you a plotter or a pantser, i.e., do you outline your books ahead of time or are you an “organic” writer? I am a plotter first, but sometimes I go pants-ing, typically in the middle of my book. Sometimes scenes will pop into my mind, so I write them and find a home for them later. I do love a good outline and GMC chart. I tend to plot heavily first, then fill in the character development.
If you had one take away piece of advice for authors, what would it be? The three P’s: Patience, Perseverance, and Putting in the time. Don’t give up on your dream, no matter how long it takes.
Did music help you find your muse with this book? If yes, which song did you find yourself going back to over and over again as you wrote? I love Enya, and movie scores
Tell me more about A Hundred Kisses.
Two wedding nights. Two dead husbands.
Deirdre MacCoinneach wishes to understand her unusual ability to sense others’ lifeblood energies…and vows to discover if her gift killed the men she married. Her father’s search for a new and unsuspecting suitor for Deirdre becomes complicated when rumors of witchcraft abound.
Under the façade of a trader, Alasdair Montgomerie travels to Uist with pivotal information for a Claimant seeking the Scottish throne. A ruthless baron hunts him and a dark past haunts him, leaving little room for alliances with a Highland laird or his tempting daughter.
Awestruck when she realizes that her unlikely travel companion is the man from her visions, a man whose thickly veiled emotions are buried beneath his burning lifeblood, Deirdre wonders if he, too, will die in her bed if she follows her father’s orders. Amidst magic, superstition, and ghosts of the past, Alasdair and Deirdre find themselves falling together in a web of secrets and the curse of a hundred kisses…
How about an excerpt from A Hundred Kisses?
She sensed no colors in the murky, lifeless water, and it was freeing. All breath escaped her. Muted visions passed before her eyes—her mother, her father, Gordon, and Cortland. Just a moment longer, she thought…Jean Grant is a scientist, part-time education director, and a mom. She currently resides in Massachusetts and draws from her interests in history, science, the outdoors, and her family for inspiration. She enjoys writing non-fiction articles for family-oriented and travel magazines, and aspires to write children’s books while continuing to write novels. In 2008, she visited the land of her daydreams, Scotland, and it was nothing short of breathtaking. Jean enjoys tending to her flower gardens, tackling the biggest mountains in New England with her husband, and playing with her sons, while daydreaming about the next hero to write about...
Suddenly, a burst of warm light invaded her thoughts as air filled her lungs. Red-hot hands burned her shoulders and ripped her from her icy grave. She breathed life into her body. She coughed, gagging on the change.
Muffled words yelled at her.
Oh, God, so hot. His fingers were like hot pokers. Her head pounded as she slowly returned to the present. Heat radiated from her rescuer. Somebody had pulled her from the water.
“Hush, lass. You nearly drowned.”
His voice was as soothing as a warm cup of goat’s milk on a winter’s day. A red-hot glow emanated from his body. Never before had she felt such a strong lifeblood, and it nearly burned her. She struggled in his arms to get free. She blinked, only seeing a blurry form before her. “Release me!”
She splashed and wriggled, and he did as told. She clambered to the shoreline. Numb and shaken, she began to dress. It wasn’t easy as she fumbled with slick fingers to put dry clothes over wet skin. She instantly regretted her naked swim. She pulled on her long-sleeved white chemise first.
She faced the forest, away from her rescuer. He quietly splashed to shore. His lifeblood burned into her back. He wasn’t far behind, but he stopped. She refused to look at him until she was fully clothed, not out of embarrassment of her nudity, but for what had just happened. He released a groan and mumbled under his breath about wet boots. His voice was not one of her father’s soldiers.
When she put the last garment on, her brown wool work kirtle, she squeezed out her sopping hair and swept her hands through the knotty mess. She fastened her belt and tied the lacings up the front of the kirtle. Blood returned to her fingertips, and she regained her composure. Belated awareness struck her, and she leaned down and searched through her bag for her dagger. She spun around.
She gasped as she saw the man sitting on the stone-covered shoreline, his wet boots off. Confusion and the hint of a scowl filled his strong-featured face. She staggered back, caught her heel on a stone, and fell, dropping the dagger. Dirt and pebbles stuck to her wet hands and feet, and she instinctively scrambled away from him.
His glower, iridescent dark blue eyes, and disheveled black hair were not unfamiliar. Staring at her was the man she had seen in her dream—it was the man from the wood.
Jean, thank you so much for being with us here today. I know my readers will enjoy your work and your interviews.