Author Interview with Janice Preston.


If you read my book review on Monday, you will know how excited I am about The Lochmore Legacy series. A unique new series, written by four incredible authors. It's most certainly not going to be one to miss and today I have the scoop on how it all came about from the lady who kicked it all of with book number one! Enjoy!

1. Firstly, I just have to say that your new book His Convenient Highland Wedding left me speechless. It was so hard to write a review, because I felt I couldn't quite convey just how much I loved it. You did a wonderful job. How did this idea and the characters come about?

Thank you, Kelly – I’m so happy you enjoyed it! His Convenient Highland Wedding is book 1 of a 4 book series called The Lochmore Legacy. The overarching idea of the series - a mystery based around a Scottish castle that will be solved as we go back through time – came from the historical editorial team at Mills & Boon. However, they actually got the initial idea from Captive at Cragdale Hall, the story written a couple of years ago for your blog by myself and the 8 other M&B historical authors who run the Unlaced Historical Romance group on Facebook! 

2. This book is part of The Lochmore Legacy series, but unlike other series, each of these four books are written by a different author. How did that work for you? Did you all plan each book together or was it very much a separate process?

I mentioned in my previous answer that Mills & Boon came up with the idea, and they approached myself, Lara Temple, Elisabeth Hobbes and Nicole Locke to ask if we were interested in being involved. The four of us were already friends through the Unlaced FB group, so we jumped at the chance. We each had one romance to write (me – Victorian, Lara – Regency, Elisabeth – Tudor and Nicole – Medieval) and we wrote those separately, although we did help one another out if someone hit a story snag. But we did collaborate very closely in planning the common setting, the evolution of the castle, the clans (the Lochmores and the McCrieffs) and, of course, the details and clues about the mystery. It involved very many emails and FB messages!

Some wonderful books from The Unlaced book club ladies. 

3. When you write do you just write as you go or do you have a lot of notebooks and planning to do first? I imagine you have to research a lot as far as the historical elements go, but do you write down family trees, character profiles etc?

I’m more of what we writers call a pantster than a plotter! I tend to start writing and I enjoy the journey far more when I’m not sure exactly how my characters will end up at their happy ever after. The down side is that I sometimes end up in a blind alley, and have to rewrite.
I do research the historical elements, and more so than usual in this book as it was in a less familiar time than my usual Regency-set books. I read about what had happened in the decades leading up to 1848, when my story was set, and also in the few years afterwards, to give me an overview of Scottish society and industry, and the direction it was heading. This gave me a realistic backdrop to my story and showed me what factors might have influenced my characters in the past to make them the people they were at the start of my story.
I do create family trees for my Regency stories, as many of those are set in the same Regency world with book-hopping characters, and I use 19th century calendars to help me keep the stories and timelines straight, but I don’t do character profiles as such. I like to get to know my characters as I write, although sometimes that can mean going back and tweaking certain aspects of the character after the book is written.

4. I absolutely fell in love with Lachlan in this book. Where do you find your inspiration for the men in your stories? Do you dream them up or do you pick traits from different people? 

Aww, thank you, Kelly! My heroes generally start out with a rough idea, and it really helps me if I can find an actor who looks how I imagine my hero to look – it helps me see and hear him as the action unfolds in my imagination as I write. I can’t always find the perfect role model, but in Lachlan’s case I had no doubt at all: Richard Armitage, as John Thornton in North and South. He had the exact brusqueness and seriousness I wanted, and also a bit of a chip on his shoulder. I just had to imagine him speaking in a Scottish accent! I might not do character profiles for my characters, but I do spend a lot of time thinking about their back stories – which goes back to my point about historical research. If I don’t have a grasp of the times a character has lived through (as well as what has happened to them in a personal sense in their past) how can I authentically portray their reactions to events and to other people, and how can I keep them consistent? And poor Lachlan had been through more than most in his childhood and youth – no wonder he was reluctant to tell Flora the truth of who and what he was!


5. You predominately write Historical/Regency romance, but do you ever think about writing for other genres?

I do want to! I’ve had two ideas bubbling around for a long time now. One is a crime novel that is written but needs a lot of work/research, and the other is a fantasy novel, the beginning of which won a prize. Finding the time to work on such speculative books is hard though – after all, I have bills to pay. Or maybe I’m just not brave enough to carve out the time to bring those books into being! 

6. How long does it take you to write your stories? Do you ever have more than one idea going at once?

It’s hard to say how long they take because they do vary, and writing a book doesn’t happen smoothly. One week I might write 10000 words. Another, I might write 500. But my 12th book will be published in July, which will be close to my 5th anniversary as a published writer, so I guess I’m writing a little more than 2 a year. That’s a lot slower than many Mills & Boon authors! I only write one book at a time – I find it hard to even edit one and write a different one, if I’m honest, although I know many people who write 2 or more books at once. I have no idea how they do that!

7. After reading your brilliant start to The Lochmore Legacy series, I cannot wait for the others. However, what is next for you? Can you tell us a bit about your next book?

I can’t wait to read the others either, even though I know roughly what happens!
As for what’s next for me, I’m returning to the Regency, to finish off the last two of my Beauchamp series. Dominic’s story (Daring to Love the Duke’s Heir) will be out in July and Alexander’s (as yet untitled) will, I hope, be out at the end of the year. But I must finish writing it first!

Hope you all enjoyed this interview as much as me! Be sure to keep your eyes open for all of the books in The Lochmore Legacy series

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Happy Wednesday! 

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