Today, I have the pleasure of introducing one of Red Sage Publishing’s new authors, Nicole North.
SS: Nicole, could you tell everyone a little about yourself?
NN: Sure here is my official bio....
Nicole North writes sensual and erotic romance novels, novellas and short stories. She has seen several of her short stories published in national magazines and has recently sold her first novella, “Devil in a Kilt,” to Red Sage Publishing for inclusion in a Secrets anthology. Her works have finaled in over a dozen writing competitions and won several awards. She is a member of Romance Writers of America. Her writing articles have been published in several newsletters. Her favorite hobbies are reading, watching movies or TV, listening to music, and jewelry making. She and her husband live in the Southeast.
SS: The official bio is very informative, now could you give us something a little more personal?
NN: To add to this... I love all things Scottish. Surely the Highlands of Scotland is the most beautiful and haunting place on earth. And nothing is sexier than a hot man in a kilt! ;)
SS: I definitely agree with you on both points. Would you share with us what your book is about?
NN: A trip to the Highland Games turns into a trip to the past when modern day psychology professor Shauna MacRae touches Gavin MacTavish’s four-hundred-year-old claymore. What she finds is a Devil In a Kilt she’s had erotic fantasies about for months. Can Shauna break the evil curse imprisoning this shape-shifting laird and his clan before an evil witch sends Shauna back to her time?
SS: How would you describe the story in one sentence.
NN: It’s basically Sex and the City meets Braveheart.
SS: Great analogy. Since we agree that nothing is sexier than a hot man in a kilt, can you tell me something about the “Devil” character?
NN: Some people probably assume Gavin's a demon of some sort. Not true. He's a 17th century Highland chief who has been cursed by a witch of the dark arts. He shape-shifts into a hawk at dawn and back into a man at dusk. He is also a fierce warrior who kens well how to wield a sword. His eyes have a wicked look about them (light blue with a darker ring around the outside of the iris) and he has a tendency to give an intimidating "evil eye" look to anyone who displeases him. The clan also believes he turned a woman to stone. That's why the clan members nicknamed him MacDeevil, call him the devil's son, or believe he's possessed. They all feared him so much they ran away and left the castle and village. Only about 4 clan members remain. He very badly wants the curse to be broken so his clan will return and he will do anything to assure this. Protecting and caring for them is his first priority. Since no women will come near him, fearing he'll turn them to stone, he has been celibate for eight months. When the heroine, Shauna, shows up, he's more than ready to seduce her.
SS: Ok now I’m sure your readers are dying to know, is he based on someone you know, or just someone you’d wish to know? :-)
NN: He is based on someone I WISH I knew. ;) No matter the personality of the hero I create, which can vary, I give them the ability to feel compassion. That's important to me. I love writing alpha males but not jerky alpha males. They must have depth and a need to care, though they usually hide this vulnerable side and only reveal it to the heroine once they trust her.
SS: Your heros are the dream all us women would want in our lives. But I’m curious, what was the stimuli that sparked the idea for Devil in a Kilt?
NN: This story started out as a time-travel short story targeted at a now defunct magazine. Once that market was no longer an option, I decided to add to the story and flesh out the plot to include a shape-shifting hero, a curse and lots of sizzling sex. The first idea that came to me was to write a story that started at a Highland Games. I love Highland Games and attend them every chance I get. Often I see authentic swords displayed in clan tents. I used that for one of the early scenes in this story. The modern day heroine has been having dreams about the hero. He's taken over her imagination and her life. (She thinks of little else.) She wants her life back, but when she touches Gavin's sword (urged by a mischievous man who is a ghost) she travels back in time. One thing I had to do during the rewrite was to transform the heroine. I changed her name and her personality. Basically she is someone different from the woman I started with. Shauna has a snarky attitude and a dry sense of humor, but she is lovable too. She's a young, hip chick, though she doesn't care much about shoes. She lends a lot of unexpected humor to the story, and I feel she is part of the magic that makes the story work so well. She is light to Gavin's dark so they complement each other.
SS: Do you have other stories for Red Sage in the ready?
NN: I'm working on one now. It's a sequel to DIAK. Gavin had two friends, Torr and Brodie, who were with him and cursed at the same time, but now they live in different parts of the Highlands. Their curses took different forms and they don't shift into hawks, but other creatures. Hopefully all three will be able to break their curses and find love with the help of a good woman!
SS: Thank you so much for giving us an insight into Nicole North. I’m sure everyone will be on the watch for Devil in a Kilt. You’ll have to keep us posted when to dash out and get our copies.
On a personal note, I’m thrilled to be sharing this blog with you.