Today Madeline Hill is here for a visit to share her story, “Highland Hope“, a part of the Wild Thistle Trilogy. Welcome, Madelyn.
Madelyn, in a few words, can you tell us what your story is about?
Madelyn: Sure can. Highland Hope is a Scottish Historical and book 1 of the Wild Thistle Trilogy. The Trilogy features 3 sisters, Hope, Faith and Honor. When their father dies, he says, “Through Hope, Faith and Honor, ye can rule.” This single statement affects each character in a different way.
Tag Line: Her clan was her everything, until he walked into her castle.
Personally, I think my blurb sums it up really well—
“Remember, lasses. Through Hope, Faith and Honor, ye can rule,” were the last words Lady Hope MacAlister’s father spoke before dying. Those very words direct her every action and thought. Sword fighting and leading the men of her clan was second nature to Hope and she has little time for herself or any thoughts of love. Until Aidan MacKerry is captured spying on the clan.
She is beautiful, strong, and quick to pull a sword. But when he kisses her, all thoughts of the lairdship Aidan MacKerry seeks flee his mind. When the enemy continues to undermine Hope, Aidan is determined to aid her—only he didn’t think he’d lose his heart to the Laird of Wild Thistle Keep. When the enemy reveals Aidan’s secret, he must fight for his right to be laird and prove, despite their differences, he loves Hope.
The enemy refuses to back down and continues to threaten not only Hope, but the security of the entire clan. Only together will they be able to save the clan and save their love.
Why did you write it?
The line the father spoke came to me (in the shower, no less) and I just started writing the trilogy. I think the father’s statement really led to the growth of each character in a different way.
How long did it take?
I started the story several years ago and was working on many other projects. I finally focused and finished book 1 and 2 and I’m steadily making my way through book 3.
Any special inspiration?
I love Scotland and strong heroines, however the father’s dying words really inspired the book(s).
Where do you write?
During the winter, I write in my small office and when weather allows, I’m on my deck, blaring my iTunes playlist and writing away.
Any special reason why you chose the character names and location that you did? The father’s dying words inspired the names of the characters.
Describe the path to publication?
This is my fourth book with Soul Mate Publishing. I have been actively writing for years and submitting to big houses with no luck. After some prodding from my critique partner, I sent Wolf’s Castle (the first book published by Soul Mate, the fourth full manuscript I’ve written) and the rest is history!
Are you working on anything else right now?
I’m working on Highland Honor – Book 3 of the Wild Thistle Trilogy and gathering research for my next series – Highland Rogues. Highland Rogues will be about 5 books long and feature a group of Highlanders who are like modern day gym rats. The series will be influenced by Shakespearian themes. The first book is Much Ado About A Highlander.
Hardest part about writing?
Keeping focused and not letting the internet snag my attention. I’ve been known to set a timer and when it dings, I’m allowed to look at Facebook and Twitter.
Biggest surprise about being a published author?
That people actually buy, read and review my books!
Do you write in other genres?
I’m dabbling with Young Adult. I have one book done and I’m working on others.
How do you beat procrastination?
I know my personality and I have to keep to a schedule, so I write every day.
How do you beat writer’s block?
If I’m stuck, I’ll pick a future scene to write and that can help with inspiration. Or, I’ll do some research. If that doesn’t work, I’ll start at the beginning of the book and start editing. When I get to the point I was stuck, I’m usually okay to continue. I also add notes at the end of the spot I just stopped writing so I know what direction I was moving toward. For example, Hero will make one last pledge while heroine is doing . .
Awesome, Madelyn. I get surprise inspiration in the shower or car too. And I keep a notebook and pen in a basket just outside the shower for those times. I love how one character’s final line can bring so much flesh and blood to cover three volumes. That’s great. Now, about about some ice-breaking questions, to really get to know you (beyond the writer)…
The most recent movie you’ve seen?
We are huge movie fans! The last movie I saw at the theater was Marvels: Civil War. We watch a lot of movies at home and I love old movies.
Your favorite town/ city in the world? Why?
I love Venice. Such an amazing city with energy, history, can baroque architecture. My husband and I went on a gondola ride and ate pizza. The pigeons flocked around us in the Piazza San Marco. It was magical!
How did you meet your spouse/ significant other?
I met my husband in my hometown, Rochester Michigan. He was from Rochester New York! It was destiny!
If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do? Would you keep your day job (if you have one?)
I would pay off my kid’s student loans. Then travel to every city I’ve ever dreamed of visiting. And yes – I’d quit my day job. I love it, but as a teacher, I wouldn’t be able to travel as much as I’d like.
What is your favorite past time?
Cooking and baking, watching cooking shows, holding events so I can cook and bake!
Would you rather have the ability to be invisible or have x-ray vision?
I think invisibility would be a great ability so I can do research and not be detected.
If you had to give up one of your five senses, what would it be? (common sense does not count here)
Wow, this is a tough one! Maybe touch? I’d hate to lose my sense of taste, sight and hearing.
What ‘s a typical day like?
Driving my son to school, servicing the school districts I work with and then home to cook dinner, attend sporting events and spend the evening with my family. Then as we watch TV at night, I write.
How do you like to spend a rainy day?
Reading or watching movies.
Do you play any musical instruments?
Do you know any foreign languages?
I understand Spanish, speak it horribly. I also understand a bit of French and Italian and sometimes I mix them all together!
Which person do you admire most in life? Why?
Wow, I’d say persons. My husband is such a hard worker and dedicated person. He always puts others before himself and he makes me laugh.
Also, my mother who valiantly fought stage 4 breast cancer and she lived fighting, living, and giving to others during her 7 year fight.
What one item would you grab if the house was on fire? (assume no living beings are inside)
Photo albums. All of my books are backed up online, so I’d be fine without my computer.
If you could invite four people (living or dead) to dinner, who would they be?
Not including family, John Wayne, Lucille Ball, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt.
Describe one moment in time when you took a huge leap of faith. How did it turn out?
I moved from Michigan to New York on my own.
What’s one favorite thing you do by yourself?
Hmmm. I love to be around people. I guess reading or watching the shows no one else likes.
Growing up, what did you want to be?
A writer then an engineer.
Favorite food to cook?
Favorite sport or physical activity?
Favorite place to visit?
Spring, Fall is a close second.
Which do you prefer for a second home? Mountain cabin, beach house or big city condo?
What dessert do you order most often?
What kind of car do you drive? Color?
What is your favorite type of art?
Impressionism – Mary Cassatt is my favorite artist.
Favorite vacation spot?
What three items would you take if you knew you were going to be stranded on a tropical island for a year? (enough suntan lotion is a freebie)
I’m assuming family is a given, so books, coffee, and pot to cook with.
One quote you love, that keeps you going in life?
“Love is the irresistible desire to be desired irresistibly.”
One thing few people know about you?
I show my horses and rabbits in 4-H
Do you believe in love at first sight?
Two things you wish people would ask you about your book?
About the writing process and how characters speak to me.
Anything special you would like to share with readers?
Each book holds a part of the writer. It may be a character, a conflict, or the setting, but as we write the book, there is the indelible mark of ourselves on every page.
Madelyn, thank you for your candid responses. Tell us a bit about yourself professionally, please.
Madelyn Hill has always loved the written word. From the time she could read and all through her school years, she’d sneak books into her textbooks during school. And she devoured books daily. At the age of 10 she proclaimed she wanted to be a writer. After being a “closet” writer for several years, she sent her manuscripts out there and is now published with Soul Mate Publishing. And she couldn’t be happier! A resident of Western New York, she moved from one Rochester to another Rochester to be with the love of her life. They now have 3 children and keep busy cooking, watching their children’s sporting events, and of course reading!