Sunday, November 20, 2011
A Love By Any Measure
Today I have a interview with Killian McRae author of A Love By Any Measure. This is the second book by Killian, the first was 12.21.12. Which I absolutely loved. In this one she switches gears from Sci-fi to historical romance, and the results are spectacular. I had a great interview with Killian where she talks about writing, historical romances, and balancing writing and family life. Something I think we can all relate to.
Lord August Grayson is a self-admitted English bastard. Or so he would like to have the beautiful Maeve OConnor believe. Secretly, August has dreamt of the girl living on his familys tenancy since childhoods spent together in Killarney. He knows, however, that a poor Irish Catholic girl would never be accepted in his world of propriety and pomp, but isn't about to let a chance to have her, even if only in his bed, pass him by.
Maeve OConnor owns nothing in this world or the next but her good name, which proves just enough to net a proposal for a marriage of convenience to a good, Irish lad. Though she dreams of home and hearth with a man she truly loves, poverty and her father's care limit her options. When Maeve seeks clemency on her family's rent until she weds, August seizes the opportunity to present her with an alternative way to settle her debts. Allowing twice as long on each succeeding visit, she must permit him to do whatever he wishes in pursuit of his pleasure. Starting with a mere five seconds, pulses soon outrace the ticking clock, as Augusts pleasure and passion become Maeve's own.
Working to bridge that which divides them, tempting fate with each stolen kiss and torn between desire and obligation, Maeve and August strive to overcome all and find a love by any measure..
In 12.21.12 you took us on a journey through the rain forests and time. How easy was it to switch gears to a historical romance?
Killian: Actually, the locale wasn’t the hard change, it was the world. In 12.21.12, there are supernatural elements, so I could play around a bit with the rules of reality. In ALBAM, the rules of the reality in 1860’s Ireland must be strictly enforced. If Maeve had been able to read minds like Victoria Kent, it would have avoided a lot of heartbreak in the book.
Which genre was easier to write?
Killian: Speculative/syfy (which is the best way I can describe 12.21.12) is definitely easier. Like I said, it’s just simpler to follow through with the rules I create the way I see fit rather than have to adhere to cursed truth.
I am a big fan of historical romance, but I have never tried writing it. How extensively do you research before you begin writing?
Killian: It’s a great question. Personally, I’m certain that even with all my research, there are one or two inaccuracies in ALBAM. Mind you, there are a few I made on purpose, i.e. the true cause of the Great Boston Fire of 1872, but small things will slip you by. Do enough research that you don’t have to stop every two pages to double check your facts, but remember you’re writing a story, not a research paper. The reader will be interested in what the relationship between the characters is. A few inaccuracies of era will be forgiven if you portray properly the realities of timeless individuals.
I both love and hate the character of Lord August Grayson. How hard was he to write?
Killian: Thanks for saying that, actually. I wanted the reader to have that reaction to both August and Maeve; there’s equal reason to love and hate them. (How’s that for a romance? ;) Given that, they were both a challenge to write. I had to find a balance in both their characters, traits and actions that would, depending on the moment, lead you to be utterly sympathetic or abjectly horrified and disgusting with them. No doubt about it, A Love by Any Measure is not your average historical romance in which the dashing Lord is smooth as silk but has a few ruffles, ruffles easily ironed out by just the right damsel. I wanted to make it very realistic. In my opinion, when a love can grow despite the challenges and realities aligned against it, that’s the most rewarding story of all.
You have some very sensual scenes in the book. In my writing that is something I struggle with. Do you find it hard to write love scenes and get them just right?
Killian: Yes, indeed. By nature, I’m very prudish. In writing, I always get nervous at including certain words that some other more erotic writers seem to be able to use every third sentence. Even when things turn physical in a story, I try to keep my frame of reference on the emotions that run in parallel to the actions. Whenever I do feel uncomfortable, I remind myself that the people reading this book aren’t May Daisies (I hope). They’ve been there, done that. All I’m doing is walking them through the story.
I love the setting of Ireland. Have you been there?
Killian: Sadly, no, though I’d love to go. I have traveled a bit, but Europe remains mainly unexplored in my world, outside a few days in Germany. However, and perhaps you’ve heard this before, when immigrants immigrate en masse to a new country, they tend to settle, whenever possible, in regions that are physically akin to their native land. The part of the country I’m from was heavily populated by Northern Europeans: Swedes, Norsk, Germany, Duth, and many, many Irish. So in terms of geography of Ireland, I had a small kinship with it based on the region of the Midwest I grew up in: very green, lots of sheep.
On a more personal note, do you find it hard to balance writing and family and do you have any advice for other writers who have young families?
Killian: I’m lucky the last few years that my children have reached ages that allows me some measure of flexibility. I wish I did have advice to those with very small children, but I couldn’t do it. I gave up writing shortly after my first daughter was born, and didn’t take it up again for more than ten years. Now what works for me is using the few hours after they go to bed to focus on writing and related tasks. I sometimes sneak in a little during my lunch break (yes, I have a day job too, and no, I haven’t quit it) and usually squander a few extra hours on weekends.
Really this is an amazing book. I have always been drawn to Ireland, and the dynamic between August and Maeve is a refreshing change from one you usually find in this type of romance. As always Killian was great to interview. (I can really relate to what she says on sneaking in writing time whenever you can. My best writing time is after 10PM)
You can find more info on Killian McRae and her books at her web site www.killianmcrae.com. You can find her books on Amazon.com, Barnes & Nobel.com and the iBookstore.