Monday, March 8, 2010

Interview/Giveaway with Amanda Forester

Today I'm happy to welcome debut author Amanda Forester. Her novel The Highlander's Sword just hit the selves last week.

Hi Amanda, Welcome to Anna's Book Blog! I'm glad to have here. To start off can you tell the readers a little about yourself?

Hi Anna, thanks for inviting me to come chat today! I’m someone who always had stories floating around in my head, but never thought to write them down until a few years ago. I joined a writers group and found the inspiration I needed to actually write that first manuscript. I’m thrilled to be publishing my first book. This is a direction I never pictured in my life, but it’s really fun!

The Highlander Sword is your first release, can you tells us a little about it?

I love the history of Scotland and the iconic image of the rugged Highland warrior. My story begins with one of these kilt-wearing warriors, Padyn MacLaren, who has been scarred both emotionally and physically by betrayal, and pairs him in an arranged marriage with the quiet Lady Aila Graham who had always planned on becoming a nun. Their relationship is not a smooth one, and is hindered by a traitor who wants to claim Aila for himself, but in the end love triumphs.

What is your writing day like?

My day generally begins with one of my children waking me up, usually to tell me that the toilet has overflowed or the cat puked on the carpet or something like that. I’m usually late so I need to hustle to get the kids dressed, fed, and off to school. Then it’s off to my day job, and a mad dash through my busy day until I put the kids to bed. Then if I’m a very good girl and all my chores are done I can get to writing. I try to write about 1,000 words per night, but that’s not always possible. I generally get my second wind at night and type away into the wee hours, which means I sleep in the next morning only to be awoken by my kids with the next day’s disaster.

When you’re not writing what kind of books do you like to read?

I love historical novels, especially ones that are more light-hearted. Currently I am enjoying reading Georgette Heyer, especially her regencies, though I also really enjoyed Simon the Coldheart which is a medieval of hers (not light-hearted but an interesting perspective on the era).

What was it like learning you were getting your book published? What has been your favorite part of the process?

When I first got the call that my book was being published I was probably more surprised than anyone. I had always heard how difficult that was, so I had not expected it. One of the best moments was when the book finally arrived and I was able to hold my paperback baby in my arms. Even better was being able to give a copy to those whose support and encouragement made it possible and give them my thanks!

What type of research did you do for the book?

Doing the research is really fun for me. There is so much now available on the web that it sometimes the hardest part is sifting through all the information. I started with a basic premise of the plot in my head, but then I needed to find the right historical setting for it. When I learned of the battle of Neville’s Cross and how the Graham clan was devastated in it, I knew I had found the right time. I also read a variety of writings from people who lived during the medieval period to get a feel for the mindset of the 14th century.

Do you have a favorite Highlander or Scotsman? If so, who?

I am inspired by the Scots persistence in fighting for their freedom from England, which was a dominant military power. The heroes of William Wallace or Robert the Bruce impress me with their willingness to put their life on the line to fight for that freedom. But my all time favorite Scot has got to be my husband!

What are 3 things that are "must haves" for you when you sit down to write a book?

I must have my computer, a glass of water (and preferably a snack), and silence. I know lots of writers write with a soundtrack, but I need to be able to hear my own music.

What is up next? Will The Highlander's Sword lead into a series?

I hope so! I have two more Scottish medievals set in the same time frame that are in the various processes of plotting, writing, and edits. We’ll see what happens!

Are there any real life people that have inspired the characters in your series?

My characters seem to come straight from my imagination, rather than based on a particular person. Although, each of my characters probably reveals an aspect of myself, either in reality or who I would like to be!


A quiet, flame-haired beauty with secrets of her own...
Lady Aila Graham is destined for the convent, until her brother's death leaves her an heiress. Soon she is caught between hastily arranged marriage with a Highland warrior, the Abbot's insistence that she take her vows, the Scottish Laird who kidnaps her, and the traitor from within who betrays them all.

She's nothing he expected and everything he really needs...
Padyn MacLaren, a battled-hardened knight, returns home to the Highlands after years of fighting the English in France. MacLaren bears the physical scars of battle, but it is the deeper wounds of betrayal that have rocked his faith. Arriving with only a band of war-weary knights, MacLaren finds his land pillaged and his clan scattered. Determined to restore his clan, he sees Aila's fortune as the answer to his problems...but maybe it's the woman herself.

Amanda Forester holds a PhD in psychology and worked for many years in academia before discovering that writing historical romance novels was way more fun. She lives in the Pacific Northwest outside Tacoma, Washington with her husband, two energetic children, and one lazy dog. You can visit her at

Thanks to Sourcebooks I have two copies of The Highlander's Sword to giveaway. To enter leave a comment along with your email address. Open to U.S. and Canada. Winners will be announced on March 14th.


  1. Your interview is great! I like that your questions are thorough but not as typical as normal.

    I noticed your reading the Lincoln Vampire book - is it good? I keep picking it up at the store but I havent committed to purchasing.

  2. Thanks for the interview Ladies - I have heard only good things about this book...


    Did any of the character make a definate impact on you..

    Cover art - how much imput did you have and are you gonig with more of thesame for future books..

    I will by looking up this one ...


  3. Hi, Amanda! Congratulations on your first book release! You have put your own delightful spin on this Hunky Highlander tale, and I'd love to win!

    follower & subscriber

    gcwhiskas at aol dot com

  4. Hi amanda congrats on thebook! i loved the interview this book sounds awesome

    my question is since highlanders are a common theme for alot of people what is one of ur favorite folk lores if any about highlanders ?

  5. Sounds like a good book~ I'm eager to read it.

    patronus89013 at yahoo dot com

  6. Your new book looks great. :)


  7. Congrats on your first release!!! Sounds like a fantastic book. Great interview...Please count me in!!

    ktulanko AT aol DOT com

  8. Congrats on the book release.

    deborah150 at

  9. Awesome, count me in!


  10. Great interview!
    Please count me in.

    marieimy (at) gmail (dot) com

  11. Great interview, the book was fun :)
    And nice to hear that you have more hidden away. Good luck

  12. I'm always looking for new authors to read, sounds good!

  13. Awesome interview and the book sounds like a fabulous read!

    lilazncutie1215 @

  14. Great interview!

    I have to agree with Amanda a writer's day is a very long day.

    Thanks for the interesting post!


  15. Congrats on your debut release, Amanda! What a wonderfully exciting time for you! You need to keep a scrapbook of printed-out interviews and comments from your blog tour.

    I noticed that you have your doctorate in psychology. Do you think that this training helped you flesh out the characters' emotions and motivations?

    castings at mindspring dot com

  16. Your book sounds great. Congratulations on your debut release.

  17. Congrats on the new release and thanks for stopping by. The book sounds amazing. The concept of an arrange marriage with a woman who wants to be a nun sounds intriguing. I am curious how they work things out. I would love to win a copy.


  18. Hi Stacy,

    I'm about 100 pages into Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter and surprisingly I'm enjoying it. I wasn't sure I was gonna like it.

  19. Great interview and the book sounds awsome!

  20. Thanks for the chance!

    simplystacieblog at gmail dot com

  21. This book sounds great! I really want to find out more about this heroine who wanted to be a nun.

    kissinoak at verizon dot net

  22. sounds like a good read. count me in


  23. this looks great thanks for the giveaway minsthins at optonline dot net

  24. Amazing interview!! This book looks great!! Thanks for the contest!!

    inthehammockblog (at) gmail (dot) com

  25. Congrats on your first release, Amanda. Great Interview. The book sounds great.


  26. I enjoyed the interview and getting to know Amanda!

    Congrats to Amanda on her debut release which sounds like a good read!

  27. Hello all!
    I come from work and find all these nice comments - thank you!!

    E.H. - I think I learn something from each of my characters. The one that surprised me the most was Chaumont, a wise-cracking, flirtatious Frenchman. I have no idea where he came from - but he does make me laugh!

    I didn't have much say on the cover, so it's a good thing I like it!


  28. Nice Interview! The book sounds wonderful.

    journey through books @ gmail dot com

  29. Amanda - Congrats on your first book release!

    Julie S

    julstew at gmail dot com

  30. SiNn - what's my favorite folk lore about Highlanders? I enjoy the modern mythology of the Highlander - rough, rugged, fiercely independent and willing to fight to protect his clan and his freedom -- all while wearing a sexy kilt!

    Cheryl - I don't purposely think "psychology" when I write, but I'm sure my training and my experience inform my writing. Both psychology and writing are similar in that they focus on the human condition, and who we truly are as individuals and in relationships.

    Thanks everyone for your supportive comments!


  31. Great interview. Please enter me. I would love to win this.

    lizzi0915 at aol dot com

  32. Great interview. I love Highlander books. Please enter me in the giveaway.

    forwhlz at gmail dot comimi

  33. Great interview and I think I would read this one just for the cover alone -- yummy!
    contestmom AT hotmail DOT com

  34. Great interview. Amanda's book sounds good. I love Highlanders.


  35. I would love to read this book.


  36. Great interview! I would love to read this book
    throuthehaze at gmail dot com


    Please enter me in the giveaway.

    Great interview, this one sounds really good.

  38. Love the cover for this book. Talk about sexy! Great post!

    I'm a follower.

    dawnpnr at aol dot com

  39. I love learning about new authors. I always enjoy a great highlander story, so I'm looking forward to picking this one up.

  40. Sounds like a really good book. I'd love to read this one. Please enter me. Thanks!


  41. Great interview! I would love to read this book.

  42. I enjoyed the interview & the book looks fantastic, please count me in!
    Luvdaylilies at bellsouth dot net

  43. Thanks for the chance to read!
    mannasweeps (at) gmail DOT com

  44. 1,000 words a day is definitely a lot better than I can pull off, and I'm not even remotely as busy as you!


  45. my mom would love this.

    Thanks for the giveaway >^..^<

    bloggyig at gmail dot com



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