Give us a little bit about your background and when you first started publishing.
I’d just completed my Master’s Degree in Teaching and was substituting. My youngest had gone off to college, and I had a bad case of Empty Nest Syndrome. I’d toyed with the idea of writing a book for years, but never considered romance. Too much dialogue!
But a scene popped into my head and wouldn’t go away. I decided I had the time and if I was ever going to write a book, I might as well start. I began writing my first book, Highlander’s Hope, in February of 2011. It was published in May 2013 and I’ve written 36 books since.
Historical Setting Related:
Have you visited the places you’ve written about or just read about them?
I have visited Scotland and England. I want to go back to both. In fact, I’m tentatively planning a trip to the UK in 2021 and want to include Wales and Ireland this time.
What interesting settings have you used (homes, battlefields, events in history, etc)?
I’ve used specific locations for my Regencies such as White’s and Boodle’s gentlemen’s clubs. Also Almack’s, Mayfair, Hyde Park, St. James Park, Green Park, and many others of that nature.
I’ve also included names of attractions, such as The Drury Lane Theater and Bullock’s Museum. In Scotland, I’ve kept my settings more generic. I’ve mentioned several cities and events, such as Hogmanay and Guy Fawkes bonfire.
Why did you choose the particular period you write in? What is it about that era that speaks to you?
Most of my books are set in the late 1700s or early 1800s, with the exception of my Heart of a Scot Series, which is set in the early 1700s. I can relate to the people of those time periods.
I think I chose those eras because they are what I know best and what I read most often. I pretty much enjoy any sort of historical romance, though.
What inspires you to create a certain character (give example)? Have you ever changed the character arc because it didn’t work with the storyline?
My character development is a process. When I first introduce a character in a series, I have to get to know them. I usually complete a 50+ questionnaire for the hero and the heroine so I know what makes them tick. I don’t always stick to it, but it gives me a place to start.
Since I use secondary characters that I’ve introduced in previous books for additional books in my series, I keep notes about them. Those characters develop more and more as I write more books. Sometimes, though, I want to create a really unique character. I did that recently with Ansley, Earl of Scarborough. I vaguely introduced him in another book and hinted he had some unusual quirks, but I didn’t develop them in that story.
When I wrote his tale. I created an earl with OCD and tendencies toward Asperger’s Syndrome. Naturally, I couldn’t name those conditions in a Regency, but there had to have been people exhibiting those behaviors during that time period. My readers have loved his flaws.
So far, I haven’t had to change my heroes character arcs because they didn’t work with the storyline, but I have had to change a couple of my heroines.
Do you have a certain quirk in your writing process? Do the stars have to be aligned or do you have to have your favorite tea? Where do you do your best writing?
I have to have silence. No music. No TV. I can’t concentrate if it’s noisy. I usually have my chiweenie, Ayva, asleep in her bed beneath my desk. Oh, and I inevitably sit down with a full cup of coffee or tea and forget about it. Hours later, I’ll look over and there it is. Stone cold.
From all your books, who is your favorite hero and why?
Good grief. If I put that on paper, does that give my other heroes grounds to come after me? LOL. I waver between Flynn, Earl of Luxmoore in Triumph and Treasure and Ansley, Earl of Scarborough in Earl of Scarborough.
Outside of your own genre, what’s your favorite genre?
Medieval, Georgian, Viking, and Victorian.
We hope you enjoyed getting to know a little more about Collette. Her newest and second book in the “Heart of a Scot” series with Dragonblade Publishing has just released and is now live on Amazon!