Nancy Lee Badger loves chocolate-chip shortbread, wool plaids wrapped around the trim waist of a Scottish Highlander, the clang of dirks and broadswords, and the sound of bagpipes in the air. After growing up in Huntington, New York, and raising two handsome sons in New Hampshire, Nancy moved to North Carolina where she writes full-time. Nancy is a member of Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Fantasy-Futuristic & Paranormal Romance Writers, and the Celtic Heart Romance Writers and also writes as Nancy Lennea.
Q: Welcome, Nancy! Please tell us about your latest release.
A: My latest release is My Banished Highlander (Sept. 1, 2012) and is Book #2 in the Highland Games Through Time series. Kilts, castles, Highlanders, time travel, and romance.
Q: What is the story behind the story?
A: My family and I have volunteered for many years at the New Hampshire Highland Games. In fact, we recently returned from this year’s festival with photos, ideas, and great memories that I will use in upcoming books in the series.
Q: I love Highland Games! How did your story’s setting impact your plot or characters?
A: In this book and its predecessor, My Honorable Highlander, I set the present-day portions at the fictitious New England Games. I use ideas I have picked up from visiting several games from Maine to Georgia, and added portions of each into my story line. I chose the time period around 1600 in ancient Scotland for my stories as many things threatened the Highland clans around that time. Politics are a b*tch no matter where or when you live, I guess.
Q: How do you choose names for your characters?
A: Most of the time, names pop into my head. I make sure to search their origins on internet ‘names’ sites, and I also have a book on baby names. Attending Scottish Games means that I have met thousands of people with interesting Scottish first names as well as their clan names. My first and second books dwell mainly on the Gunn, Mackenzie, and Keith clans. My husband is a descendant of the Gunn Clan, who once fought the other two clans. Research has given me great ideas.
Q: Did you choose the title of your book and if so how did you do it?
A: The first book changed names four times. I knew I wanted ‘Highlander’ as part of the name. I feel this gives a reader an instant idea of the book’s setting. My first book’s hero was an honorable man who planned to give up his freedom by marrying the niece of an enemy in the name of peace. When he met my heroine, his honorable thoughts were tested again and again! The hero in Book #2 is less than honorable. Cameron is accused of treason, kidnapping, and causing the death of a clansman. Forced to make his way in a future world, Iona literally stumbles into his arms.
Q: Which element of this story was the hardest for you?
A: The hardest part was knowing my hero was destined to feel pain…physical and emotional. Sorry, but it was the only way to get through to Cameron that he was lusting over the wrong woman. Too bad he almost died in the process. Thankfully, my heroine, Iona, knows how to use a spell book.
Q: Please tell us about your other books.
A: I started out selling two very different books to different publishers who released them at the same time! Secret Love Match (Red Rose Publishing June 2010) is a contemporary romance set in New York City and Baltimore. Dragon’s Curse (Whispers Publishing June 2010) is a Scottish historical paranormal set mainly on an island off the west coast of Scotland. Each was fun to write and were written simply because an idea popped into my head, and off I went. Since then, I have released 9 books, 4 of which I have self-published.
Q: Please describe your journey to publication.
A: Exciting, scary, hopeful, stressful-but a good stress, more like “Am I doing everything I can to release the best book possible?” As an older woman, whose children have left the nest, I was able to plan my ‘retirement’ from the workforce and write full time. It has not been easy, but my family is very supportive. It is much easier to keep reaching for your goal with cheerleaders on the sidelines!
Q: What do you wish you’d known before becoming published?
A I soon realized that the money does not fall into your lap. Time is the culprit. Editors, covers, promotions all take time. Time is a reoccurring theme when it comes to royalties and, after 4 years of striving to be a published author (and two years since that first book showed up on a publisher’s website) I am seeing some money trickle in. Luckily, I have a wonderful husband who agreed I should quit my stressful job as a 911 Dispatcher to do what I love.
Q: What’s next for you?
A: Funny you should ask. I recently volunteered at the huge New Hampshire Highland Games and attended the Georgia RWA Moonlight & Magnolias Writers Conference in Atlanta. Next week I am heading to the Stone Mountain Highland Games in Georgia. Using research, photos, and ideas from the games and from spending time with other authors, I am well on my way to writing my next book in the series, My Reluctant Highlander.
Q: Would you like to ask readers a question?
A: Yes, and I would like to offer a prize to a reader who leaves a comment with an answer to this question: “What Scottish first name do you recommend for a hero who is of Scottish descent, lives in present day New England, is very wealthy in the business world, but spends weekends competing as an athlete at Highland Games?”
The winner will have a choice of an e-book of either My Honorable Highlander or My Banished Highlander. (Please remember to leave your email address so we can contact you if you win.) One of the names may show up in the next book!
Cameron smiled, and everyone clapped. He and Iona walked hand in hand to the grand table on the dais. Food and drink appeared as if by magic and a bagpiper played a gay tune. Haven and Kirk disappeared up the stairs, while Fia sat on Marcus’ lap. Her color was still too pale until Marcus dropped a gentle kiss on her lips. Her cheeks pinked, and she looked one-hundred percent better.
Iona inhaled the scent of tallow candles, roast venison, and the sweetness of cider. Her stomach was in knots, so she nibbled off their shared trencher while Cameron spoke to old Dorcas. Skye sat alone in the corner and Iona thought she probably missed sparring with Jake.
A feeling of dread hovered, a feeling she wanted to ignore. Cameron picked at his food, then rubbed his abdomen. Was he revisiting the horror when the sorcerer stabbed him? Perspiration beaded on his forehead, and his skin paled.
“Cammie, are you sick?”
“Aye, something is not right and…” His voice trailed away, and he slumped over the table. His tankard went flying and Iona jumped to her feet.
Wow what a cliffhanger, Nancy! Great excerpt!
Everyone, please visit Nancy online at her
You will find My Banished Highlander at:
Thanks so much, Nancy, for being our guest today!