Thursday, December 06, 2007

A Fire Within by Kathleen Morgan - Review/Interview

A Fire Within (These Highland Hills, Book 3) by Kathleen Morgan
Paperback, 2007, Revell
320 pages
ISBN: 0800759656

Immersed deep in the Scottish highlands, Kathleen Morgan takes us on her third and final journey into the Campbell clan. Surrounded by the rugged and beautiful Scottish country we are taken back to a time of castles and highland honor, a time of romance and danger.

Caitlin Campbell listens to her heart more then her head and in the past it has caused her pain. Extending the highland code of hospitality, she invites two men to stay at the home of her brother, Niall, chief of the Clan Campbell. Struggling to let God control her life, Caitlin’s world spins out of control when she is abducted.

Darach MacNaghten and his cousin travel under assumed names deep into Clan Campbell in an attempt to rescue his brother. Although he has been banished from his own outlawed clan he fights to save the Clan MacNaghten and resort honor to its name. When Darach realizes his rescue attempt is impossible he makes one last desperate effort and takes Caitlin as a hostage.

Will Caitlin finally let God control her life? Can Darach put his trust in God and realize His plans are much larger then his own? Can these two make it through the Scottish highlands will fighting their attraction for each other?

Kathleen Morgan once again captures our minds and hearts in this delightful tale of Highland romance.

Questions & Answers with Kathleen Morgan

Gail: What is your favorite part of Caitlin and Darach’s story?
Kathleen: The way they grew personally for the better as they met and overcame each new challenge, and began to fall in love.

Gail: I love your website! The Scottish look is perfect. Anything that has to do with castles and Scotland has me intrigued. In fact one of the many pacts my twin sister and I have made is to one day get to Scotland and see the castles. This brings me to my next question. Have you ever been to Scotland?
Kathleen: Nope, never been to Scotland, but like you and your sister, I want to go someday. In the meanwhile, I use my extensive library of Scottish related book, along with some good Scottish music that I listen to on my computer, to stimulate my imagination.

Gail: What got you interested in writing books that take place in Scotland?
Kathleen: Scottish history is so full of drama, pathos, a wild, romantic land, and a people who stir the heart and imagination. Plus, I’ve got Gaelic blood in me and och, when the bagpipes play!

Gail: On your website we can read that you play the Celtic harp. What got you interested in that particular instrument and however did you find a teacher?
Kathleen: A lot of Gaelic music includes the Celtic harp. Plus, I love string instruments, and a harp has lots of strings J. Plus, I’ve never been known to do anything by half measures, and so, when it came to learning to play an instrument, I picked one of the hardest ones to learn to play. As far as teachers go, I was lucky to live in a large enough town to possess several harp teachers.

Gail: A Fire Within is the 3rd in your series, These Highland Hills. Is this the last book in this series or do you see more coming?
Kathleen: At present, A Fire Within is the final book in the series. From the start, I’d only planned on doing three books—Anne, Iain, and Caitlin’s story. Of course, I’ve also learned never to say never.

Gail: I just finished a fantasy series not too long ago. I see that you have a series started called Guardians of Gadiel and plans to start the next two in the series in 2008. Can you tell us more about it?
Kathleen: I love fantasy for its potential to depict a lot of today’s problems and issues in another time and place and, in the doing, hopefully make some point in a less threatening and preachy, but even more powerful, way. I also love the freedom fantasy gives me to create new lands, peoples, history, and conflicts without the usual historical constraints.

Even before I began writing Giver of Roses, the first book in the series, I plotted out the entire three book series. It just came to me so clearly. Though I knew it would have a love story (or even several J) in it, I also wanted not to so easily conclude that primary love story right away, like I usually do in my historical romances. I sought a new challenge—to develop the characters of Vartan and Danae (well, especially them anyway) over the space of three books, as they struggle not only with their love for each other, but also with their own, unique, God-inspired callings in addition to the bigger challenge of saving a realm—Gadiel—from the clutches of evil.

Gail: To you, what are the worst and best aspects of writing?
Kathleen: Best aspects: the excitement of a story that you just have to tell and can’t wait to get onto the page. Also, the often surprising revelations of plot and character as they evolve in the writing process, and the spiritual truths and insights that I personally gain in the writing of these stories.
Worst aspects: Writer’s block. Writing in the vacuum that all authors cannot help but experience, the not knowing if even the slightest vision of the story will find a place on the written pages, or if even one reader will understand that vision, much less like the finished book. Also, the need to keep yourself motivated through all the doubts and fears and sometimes actual drudgery of the writing process.

Gail: Is there any advice you have for budding authors?
Kathleen: Fiction is a lot harder than non-fiction, and requires patience, perseverance, and the willingness to put in the work necessary to hone a craft. And you’d also better love writing and storytelling, because it’s frequently the only positive experience you’ll have, especially while trying to get published. There are lots of talented writers out there—most of them still unpublished. Unfortunately—or fortunately—it takes more than just talent to succeed, much less survive, in this business.

Gail: Now for some fun questions, I love romance, so can you tell us how you met your husband?
Kathleen: I met my husband while on active duty in the Army as a nurse. My sister was trying to set me up with another guy for a blind date for New Year’s Eve. My future husband came along because the other guy (we all met at the Officer’s Club) asked him to as a possible out for him if he didn’t like me. Though that guy eventually gave my husband the signal that it was safe for him to leave (imagine that!), by then I was so taken with my husband that I didn’t want him to go. Luckily, I met my husband (the other guy didn’t win any points with me, I’m afraid) a few more times at the Officer’s Club in the ensuing weeks, and we ended up going out on our first date on New Year’s Eve. Though I didn’t realize it at the time, looking back now, I realize it was the closest thing to love at first site that I’d ever experienced. And all because he was so friendly, and kind, and laughed a lot. He just came across as a great, sincere guy.

Gail: Caramel vs. Chocolate. Which would you pick in a crisis?
Kathleen: Most definitely chocolate, either dark chocolate or a very rich, creamy milk chocolate. Caramel is too sweet for my tastes. Makes my teeth hurt just thinking of it. J Oh yes, and I don’t need a crisis to eat chocolate. I don’t have a strong sweet tooth, so a little bit goes a long way with me.

Thanks so much for the wonderful interview Kathleen, we look forward to reading more of you!

1 comment:

jennannej said...

Set in Scotland? I'm in!