Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Outcast Highlander by R.L. Syme with Interview


1)      First, tell us about yourself – where  you live, your family, and those sorts of details.

I live in Montana and work at a children’s theater, where I teach singing and music, and where I’m the music director for our five annual musicals. It’s so much fun.

2)      How long have  you been writing?

I majored in literature as an undergrad and then went for my MFA in creative writing, so I’ve known that I wanted to be a writer for quite awhile. But I don’t think I was really serious about it until I joined RWA in 2009 and started really completing books. You can write all you want, but if you don’t complete books, you’re still just a hobbyist, no matter how good you are.

3)      Do you have a favorite place to write?

This is a hard one for me because I have an office that I used to love to write in, but honestly, I got one of those treadmill desks, and now I see my office as a workout place, which doesn’t thrill me. I do have to be careful about how much I sit down during the day, and the treadmill desk was a great investment in my health, but I have to be honest in that it’s not super fun anymore. So it’s hard for me to find other places to write.

4)      Why did you decide to write The Outcast Highlander?

I had done some historical research and really fell in love with the character of Andrew de Moray. Because of his placement in history, I knew I couldn’t write a romance novel about him, so I started to re-imagine how I might find a love story among his friends. That created this series.

5)      Who is your favorite character in your book and why?

Definitely Broccin, which sort of made me sad, because I only get to write him really in one book. But wouldn’t you know it, I found a way to write him a major part in book two as well.

6)      How about your least favorite character?  What makes them less appealing to you?

Least favorite is hard for me because I love them all, even the antagonists. In this book, Elizabeth is one of the antagonists and she is a HO-BAG. But I love her.

7)      Do you proofread/edit your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?

I edit my own book first, because I fast-draft. But then I have two different processes that I use. I have beta readers who read the book when it’s finished and give me reader-based feedback, but I also use a freelance editor. Then, of course, when you sell to a publisher, they have editors who work with you, as well, which has always been a good experience for me.

8)      What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I am obsessed with BBC mysteries right now. And, come to think of it, CTV mysteries and mysteries from the USA as well. So I love to watch mysteries and while I’m doing that, I am either doing promo for one of my releases, or working on edits, or I’m crocheting or knitting.

9)      Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?

I try to read at least a book a week. This year, I’ve done two books in three weeks, but I’m almost caught up. I love to read books outside my genre, just to get inspired. So I try to read as much as I can.

10)   What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book, but nobody has? Write it out here, then answer it.

Honestly, people have all asked great questions. I can’t think of anything specifically. But that is also a great question to ask.

The Outcast Highlander
(The Highland Renegades)
by R.L. Syme

Scottish Historical Medieval 
Sweet Romance
254 pages, self-published

He's lost his family, his title, and his honor, but he can't lose her...

Kensey MacLeod returns home after a failed marriage alliance in France to find her world in turmoil: her best friend married to an English sympathizer, her mother at death's door, and her father imprisoned and thought dead. As an English lord descends to claim her father's lands, Kensey escapes north with her mother and brother, and runs straight into the arms of the outcast Highlander.

Driven from home and family by a crazed father, Broccin Sinclair refuses to stand aside while the English invade his beloved Scotland. But who should he champion? The freedom fighter who saved his life, the family who has forgotten him, or the woman who captured his childhood heart?

Buy Links:


“If it wouldn’t be too much trouble, may I ask why your horse grazes yonder when there are men who chase you?”
“Oh, stop, you impertinent fool.” Kensey shook his hand away and searched the area around her for something. “I was knocked off my horse.”
“What are you looking for?”
She sighed. “I would like to get up and resume my travels.”
So she looked for something to pull herself up with, yet ignored his help. How like her. He must be beneath her notice. Or her care.
“Let me help you.” He stood and offered both hands. She considered him for a moment and finally touched him again. He couldn’t deny a tiny thrill at having won the fight, or at having her hands in his. But her frustration continued.
She furrowed her brow and released his hands. First one step, then another. But on the third step, she began to sway and Broc had to follow quickly to catch her.
“You’re in no state to be walking.” He swept her into his arms, despite her protest, and stilled her grasping hands by hooking both of her wrists together in one grip. “Nor riding.”
He deposited her atop his horse and jumped up before she could make any more fuss. The Ross men obviously hadn’t followed them, but they would have to proceed carefully from here, knowing they may come back upon them at any time.
Broc urged his horse forward into a slow cantor, searching for the least dense path forward. In his lap, Kensey pulled on the dirty folds of her dress, dislodging bits of the forest floor that still clung to the delicate fabric.
“What are you doing here?” she demanded.
“Let’s get you out of here first, lass.” He glanced back into the thick canopy of stillness for a moment. “Ross’s men may be quick on our heels.”
Sitting against him as she was now, she felt tiny and vulnerable. His cloak had opened as he’d climbed onto Gaidel’s back and she was now sitting in the midst of it, against his nearly bare chest. She seemed to suck up all the warmth in his body as she curled against him. Her eyelashes blinked furiously, as though she tried to keep herself awake when sleep called. He reached down and wrapped the warmth of the cloak around her.
“You can sleep. It appears we’ve lost our pursuers and it will be slow progress back to the trail, if we even dare to follow it.”
“I’m not tired.” She yawned and her weight pressed even more against him. She would no doubt be asleep soon. His body tensed against the desire that tried to consume him. This was his brother’s intended.
He was merely delivering her back to him.
Not enjoying having her in his arms. Not at all.

Author bio:
R.L. Syme works at a youth theatre, teaching kids performing arts and musical performance classes/camps when she's not writing. Otherwise, she's putting her Seminary degree to good use writing romance novels. Let not all those systematic theology classes go to waste...


Giveaway:     2 great prizes !!    Grand Prize:  R.L. is giving away a Kindle Paperwhite.    As a secondary prize, she would like to give away a set of Scottish Historical romances from some of her favorite authors.

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