**AUTHOR PEEK** Interview with Author, WILLA BLAIR
Before we get started talking about your writing, tell us a little about yourself, where you’re from, what you do for a living (if you’re not a fulltime writer) what hobbies you have, etc. Whatever you’d like to share.
I’m a recent transplant to TX from the mid-Atlantic. My husband always wanted to retire to San Antonio, where he spent several tours in the Army, so here we are.
I have more hobbies than I have time for, especially since I can’t call writing a hobby any more, and writing is keeping me very busy. We’ve been here 18 months and my art supplies are still not completely unpacked. And we live in the TX hill country on a limestone ridge, so between the heat, the wind, and the water shortages, gardening is pretty much out of the question.
Setting up and decorating our new house was fun, but I learned from staging our previous house for sale just how good it feels to declutter. Of course, drawers and closets help to hide a lot of chaos. But I truly do not miss all of the dust-collecting knickknacks. Or the four seasons of clothes. I shudder to think how many pieces of clothing I’ve gotten rid of since I retired. Here we have hot, hotter, warm, cold snap, and back to warm. I live in denim – shorts, jeans, skirts – easily ninety percent of the time.
1. How did you get started writing?
I think it must have been when I learned how to print the alphabet. As a child, I experimented with writing stories, poetry, and even little novels. In the seventh grade, I was my state’s winner in a national essay contest. Later, I wrote for high school publications. But that all died down under college and career workloads. It took years before I had the time and creative energy to do more than revise, revise, revise the same beginning chapters of several manuscripts.
2. What genre(s) do you write in and why?
I’m published in Scottish historical/paranormal. But I also write contemporary paranormal. I’m playing with something I started at a retreat that will probably be romantic suspense, and I’m plotting out a science fiction romance (SFR) series.
3. What is your favorite part of writing?
Exploring times, places, people and situations that I would never encounter in real life – and probably wouldn’t want to. But it’s fun to face the danger, have the adventure, and develop the happy ever after on paper.
4. What is your least favorite part of writing?
Sitting, sitting, and more sitting. I don’t have a treadmill or I might be tempted to try one of those treadmill desks.
5. Where do you get the ideas for your stories?
Usually from a glimpse of an opening scene that appears in my head when I’m falling asleep or focused on doing something else. My imagination is always busy in the background. I work out details in an outline. Then my critique group helps me iron out issues with the plot.
But Highland Troth, the third book in my Highland Talents series, came about a bit differently. On vacation, a friend of mine and I had dropped our husbands off at a golf course on Bodega Bay and were headed for a day of sightseeing in Sonoma, CA. On the way there and later, on the way back to the golf course to retrieve our husbands, we kicked around ideas until we had a concept that I thought would work well.
6. What is it that makes your writing different from all the others in your genre?
A lot of Scottish historicals are set in a paranormal realm via fairies, banshees, and lately, even highlander vampires. I like to base my stories in a historical context that a reader of highland romances can recognize, and to use extrasensory talents that are associated in Celtic folklore with humans, such as healers, seers, and soothsayers.
7. Are you an avid reader? When you do read someone else’s writing, what is your favorite genre?
I’ve always been a bookworm. I grew up reading by flashlight under the covers until w-a-a-a-y after bedtime, usually science fiction and some fantasy, both of which influence my writing today. If a book dealt with telepathy or teleportation or some other psi talent, chances are, it’s still in my library, along with a lot of mainstream SFF, various genres of Romance, and a little of other odds and ends.
8. Tell us about your next book & when is it being published?
My next book, which I’m calling Highland Seer, is the second in the Highland Talents series. It’s with my editor. I’m hoping for a release date later this year. Watch my links for updates!
Links to Willa’s website, blog, books, etc.
Amazon Kindle Buy Link: http://ning.it/PbhhUB
TWRP Buy Link: www.thewildrosepress.com (Print and ebook)
Barnes & Noble NOOK buy link: http://ning.it/UZMNb9
BE SURE TO COME BACK to read more about Willa and her Scottish historical/paranormal, HIGHLAND HEALER, on Wednesday’s Karen’s Killer Book Bench!