Blue Bells of Scotland: Better Than The Outlander Series!
Today I welcome a Laura Vosika, author of the Blue Bells Triology. If you are interested in historical tales, that too set in the magical Scotland, and time travel then you are in for a treat! This book has caught readers unawares. Some readers have found this book better than the Outlander series! If you want to see more of what readers think about this book, click here. I am honored to have her with us today. So, here we go with our questions!
Blue Bells of Scotland is a story of mistaken identity, time travel, and medieval adventures. It's the story of two men, polar opposites but for their looks and love of music, who switch places in time. Shawn, a self-centered musical phenomenon of the twenty-first century, finds the fate of medieval Scotland on his irresponsible, womanizing shoulders, while the devout medieval Highland warrior, Niall, finds himself caught in the roiled waters of Shawn's life--amorous fans, angry mistresses, pregnant girlfriend, and a furious conductor who orders him to play a sell-out concert on pain of being fired--a terrifying prospect to modern ears.
It is the story of Niall's attempts to get back to save his people, and Shawn facing himself and making the choices that change his life forever. It is a story of change and redemption set against the backdrop of Scotland's Wars of Independence in 1314.
How did you get the idea of historical adventure set in Scotland?
The story was actually born from two sources. One was a children's novel about four siblings who go into a Scottish keep and come out in medieval Scotland. The other is a piece of trombone music, Blue Bells of Scotland, which is a theme and variations on the old folk song of the same name.
With both the book and the song being about Scotland, I started researching Scottish history for times that would involve streaming banners and noble deeds, as per the lyrics of the song, and settled on the battle of Bannockburn, the amazing victory of Robert Bruce and his Scottish troops over a much more powerful nation.
How was the experience? How difficult or easy was it for you to create this unique world?
In some ways, it's very easy. Stories and characters often come alive and write themselves in a sense. But in another, it's a lot of work. I did hundreds of hours of research, not only online and through books, magazines, and DVDs, but I traveled to Scotland to visit all the locations in the book. I like historical accuracy, and there were times when I would go to double check what I had written and find I needed to make adjustments to fit history. It can be very difficult researching as far back as teh 1300's, due to sources being lost altogether, or corrupted, to finding conflicting sources and having to decide which one is more accurate or which one to use. Just keeping all the notes organized so I can find them again is a challenge. So yes, it's a lot of work, but on the other hand, for me, it's very enjoyable work.
Publishing jitters? What was the difficult part?
I didn't really feel nervous about publishing. I had gone through the book with my writers' group, getting feedback, did the re-writing and getting feedback. I felt ready to put it out there. The most difficult part is possibly knowing that you finally need to stop editing, realizing that you can edit a book forever, and if you read it 5,000 times, you will still find things that you realize could be better, could be worded more clearly, could be more descriptive, and so on. It's hard to finally let go of that.
and the fun part?
It's a wonderful feeling to hold a finished product in your hand after all the work that goes into it. Book signings and giving talks are fun, especially when my writers' group, Night Writers, does group events, which we typically do several times a year. It's fun to create worlds and lives, and bring them to life on paper and for other people.
You have a wonderful book trailer for book 1. How effective do you think book trailers are?
In talking with others, I think marketing is a bit of a mystery, and we're never sure what one thing has the real impact. I think all the little bits add up, but as we're a very visual society, I think any author should have a book trailer. It's just one part, though, and of course, the more you put it out there, the more effective it is.
What is your favourite part of the whole writing journey?
I think what I've really enjoyed the most is all the connections I've made as a result of writing, from the wonderful people in my writers' group, Night Writers, to many authors I've met online, several of whom I've become friends with, to readers who have contacted me. Just today, I had a wonderful lunch with a reader/ most likely distant cousin, who contacted me because she saw my name in the paper and figured we must be related. We poured over some genealogy together, had delicious seafood, and enjoyed a good talk. It was a real delight.
Last but not the least, your favorite quote in the whole book!
I think it's possible my 'favorite' quote could change depending what day I answer the question, but the one that sprang to mind today was, "I'm Shawn Kleiner, I can do anything I want!"
Not that I think arrogance is a good character trait! But the whole series is, on one level, about why people are who they are, and about change and redemption. Shawn does have some redeeming qualities even to begin with, and he learns and grows throughout the series, but there's a certain fun in writing someone so thoroughly obnoxious. Perhaps especially knowing his world is about to be rocked from that point onward.
Haha. I totally agree. Being bad is the new fad anyway!
Thank you so much Laura for agreeing to do this interview.
If you would like to connect with Laura, here are her links:
blogspot.com/site: www.bluebellstrilogy.comfacebook: www.facebook.com/laura.vosika. authortwitter: www.twitter.com/lauravosika
If you want to READ the BLUE BELLS TRILOGY: Click HERE.