Veronica Wolff presents Sword of the Highlands

I'm so pleased we have Veronica Wolff as a guest to tell us about her latest Scottish time travel, just released. Welcome Veronica! Please tell us about Sword of the Highlands.

Veronica: It’s based on the life of the famous Scottish military hero, James Graham, the Marquis of Montrose. Art curator Magda Deacon is enthralled by a portrait of James…until the painting transports her to seventeenth-century Scotland. It’s a tumultuous time: Parliament threatens the Stuart monarchy in England, and it’s Covenanter versus Royalist in Scotland. The War of the Three Kingdoms is raging, and hanging over Magda’s head all the while is the knowledge that this legendary hero is fated to meet his death on the gallows.

Vonda: Sounds fascinating! (You got another gorgeous cover!) What inspired you to write this story?

Veronica: I saw a portrait of Graham and thought he was too handsome to ignore! Honestly, he’s one of the most extraordinary real-life heroes I’ve ever encountered. The man was appealing to start with: charismatic, charitable, smart, and gifted with sword and bow. But when I read how he transformed himself from a nobleman into one of the greatest leaders in Scottish history, his story swept me away. I literally wept when I reached the tragic end of his biography. I knew then that I needed to send a woman back in time to change his fate.

Vonda: What a wonderful idea! He does sound like an amazing hero. What do you enjoy most about writing historicals set in Scotland?

Veronica: Ooh, that’s a tough one. My gut response was first to answer the gorgeous and evocative landscape, but I think it comes down to the history itself. How the stakes were so high, and people risked everything to fight for what they loved.

Vonda: I agree! What element of story creation is your favorite?

Veronica: Characters! Honestly, this used to be my biggest weakness, and so I’ve been really focusing on it. Reminding myself over and over what a particular character’s goals are—what they want, what they fear. It’s become one of my favorite processes.

Vonda: What element of this story was the hardest for you?

Veronica: I love writing about real heroes, but truly, the hardest part is how depressing it can get. All these wonderful men—heroic, brave, noble—cut short in their prime. The hero in my third book (Warrior of the Highlands, February 2009) is another one who died young. It’s heartbreaking, immersing myself in their stories, feeling the surge of their momentary triumphs, while knowing the grim outcome.

Vonda: I've felt the same way before while immersing myself in Scottish history or traditional stories. Lots of sad endings. Would you like to ask blog readers a question?

Veronica: I’m running a poll on my site,, asking what kind of books are readers’ favorites when they’re not reading things like Scottish time travel. And NOBODY has voted for contemporaries! It’s so interesting to me, and therein lies my question: What type of book do you most enjoy when not reading your favorite genre?

By the way, please do stop by my site and introduce yourself! I’m running a contest all month, giving away a book each week to a person at random who has posted on my new Forums!

Vonda: Your forums are wonderful, Veronica! Thanks so much for being her to tell us about your latest book! I look forward to reading it!


Marlene said...

Hi Veronica,

Your story sounds wonderful. I, too, love Scotland especially after spending time there last Fall. Those Highland heros are my favorite and I could vision them in my mind driving through that gorgeous countryside. Your story sounds wonderful. Good luck with it.

Veronica Wolff said...

Thanks, Marlene! I know exactly what you mean. I'm going to Scotland myself, this Fall. My last trip there was eight years ago and I can't wait! Thanks for stopping by and saying hi. :)

Chicks of Characterization said...

Hi ladies, wonderful interview! To answer your question when I'm not reading a Scottish Historical I like to read Romantic Suspense or a gritty thriller! Veronica, you have indeed been blessed by the cover God's- I would buy your books based on the covers alone!! I am waiting for both of them to show up in my walmart. :O)

Thanks for sharing.

Andrea :O)

Pat McDermott said...

Wonderful interview, Vonda. Veronica, I enjoyed reading about your evolution as a writer. As for your question, I enjoy almost every genre if the writing is good. When I'm not reading for fun, I love reading non-fiction for research. I get lots of great story ideas and feel so intelligent! Thanks for sharing your experience, Veronica.

Veronica Wolff said...

Hi Andrea--and thank you! Thanks to you too, Pat! LOL. I'm with you -- some of the most inspiring stuff is non-fiction.

Tess Mallory said...


veronica Wolff said...

Thanks, Tess! Though you also get the hot cover award!!

Shannon said...

Wonderful interview ladies!! I just got my copy of Veronica's Master of the Highlands and am on Chapter 6 now. Let me say to all those readers out there - if you want an adventure into the beautiful wilderness of Scotland, this is the book for her. Veronica's descriptions are amazing! I can't wait to pick up Sword of the Highlands!

Eliza Knight said...

Congrats on the release! I found the interview everyone's been talking about :)

When I'm not reading romance I either read history books OR suspense :)


veronica Wolff said...

Thanks, Shannon! I'm so happy you're enjoying it! And thanks for stopping by, Eliza! :)

Melissa Mayhue said...

Great interview, ladies! I'm heading into town this weekend to get my copy. Well, assuming my edits are finished. sigh ... If not, I'll be browsing the bookstore next week. :-)

~ Melissa