Friday, August 24, 2012

CHRW Meet The Member

Vonda Sinclair

How long have you been a member of Celtic Hearts?
I joined the year after the chapter formed. So I think I’ve been a member for about 6 or 7 years. I was vice president for two terms and education coordinator for two terms. Celtic Hearts is one of my favorite chapters.

What prompted you to join this chapter?
I love all things Celtic, especially Scottish things. I’d always wanted to write Scottish historicals. At first, the research intimidated me since my degree is in psychology, not history. But once I got into it, I discovered I enjoyed hunting down those specific details that bring a story to life. The workshops and knowledgeable members of Celtic Hearts have helped me in many ways over the years.

What are some of the benefits you favor most about being a member of RWA and/or CHRW?
I love how the members of CHRW are friendly, supportive and encouraging. I truly feel I’m among friends. We all have a love of Celtic things and that means we have a lot in common. We understand and sympathize with each other. There are other great benefits the chapter has to offer too, such as the workshops, the contest, a great website and blog and fun meetings at the national conference.

You’ve recently signed with a publisher. Tell us about your writing journey before and after this point in your life, and the details about your upcoming releases.
I didn’t sign with a publisher, despite years of trying to get my foot in the door, but my publishing dreams have come true anyway. I indie published my two Scottish romances, My Fierce Highlander and My Wild Highlander, and they’ve done well, especially at Amazon where I’ve sold around twenty-five thousand copies of the two books combined. My newest release in this series is My Brave Highlander. I call this series the Highland Adventure series because not only does it have strong romances but also action, suspense and adventure. The first two books are about brothers, Alasdair and Lachlan MacGrath, and the third is about their friend, Dirk MacKay and an interesting woman he meets during his journey home.

Have you ever been to Ireland, Scotland, Wales etc? Tell us about this trip and what you came away with afterwards.
I’ve been to Scotland three times and each visit has given me major inspiration, research information, life experience, happiness, and far more than I can explain. I’m in love with Scotland because it is such an amazing, beautiful and interesting place. When I convinced my husband to come along on that last trip, he instantly fell in love with the country too. We both enjoy the cooler temperatures, the friendliness of the Scottish people, the spectacular scenery, the castles, the Neolithic sites, and the wildlife. We love exploring the towns, villages, windy beaches, hiking up the hills, or slogging through ankle deep water to discover castle ruins. The more I see, the more I want to see. This year we plan to see some new places, such as Glamis Castle and Duart Castle, and revisit some favorites, such as Dunnottar Castle and Kilmartin Glen’s Neolithic monuments. We also want to hike in Glencoe and visit islands we’ve never been to, such as Iona.

If you could be transported back in time for a day, when and where would you want to go?
The Scottish Highlands of the early 1600s. What a fantastic research trip that would be! 

Bio: Vonda Sinclair’s favorite indulgent pastime is exploring Scotland, from Edinburgh to the untamed and windblown north coast. She also enjoys creating hot, Highland heroes and spirited lasses to drive them mad. She is a past Golden Heart finalist and Laurie award winner. She lives with her amazing and supportive husband in the mountains of North Carolina where she is no doubt creating another Scottish story.


Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

WOOHOO I get to comment first. I didn't know you finaled in the Golden Heart. I am so impressed. No wonder you are one of the best teachers I have ever had.

I cannot wait to see your next batch of photos from your trip to Scotland in September. Remember I need to poke my head out of your pocket every now and then to peek around and get dusted off. ;)

Best of luck with all of your writing and sales of books. I know I have loved every one of the stories you've written so far.

Renee Vincent / Gracie Lee Rose said...

Hey Vonda, you know I loved My Fierce Highlander and was so excited when I found out who the hero for My Wild Highlander was. I just need to catch up! I will have so much reading to do when I finish this WIP.

Best of luck with you on My Brave Highlander!

Eliza Knight said...

Great interview! I loved all three of these books! You are an amazing author! Best wishes for more successes!

Vonda Sinclair said...

Thanks so much, ladies! I like to surprise you with things like that, Paisley. LOL I'll look for some good million dollar bars this time, but so far none have measured up to the ones at Eilean Donan.

Thanks for interviewing me, Renee, and thanks for liking My Fierce Highlander! I hope you will enjoy Lachlan's story too!

Aww thanks, Eliza! I'm so glad you liked the stories!

Alexa said...

Great to get to know more about you, Vonda! I've got 1 of your books in my TBR pile and I can't wait to get to it!

BBTaylor said...

Thanks for the informative interview, Vonda. You were such a great help when my husband and I were planning the trip to Scotland in June. I appreciate all the information and your willingness to share. You are right, Scotland is a magical place with ghosts of the past lingering to fill our imaginations. Your Scottish books are great and the research is impeccable. Keep writing those great Scottish romances.

Vonda Sinclair said...

Alexa, thanks so much for putting my book on your TBR pile! :) I have one of your books in my TBR pile too (on my Kindle.) heehee Our chapter has a large number of very talented authors and it's hard for me to find time to read all their books, but I want to! I buy the books, hoping to find time to read them one day.

Thanks BB! I'm glad I was able to help give you some info about Scotland and travel. I wish I knew all there was to know about Scotland, but I suppose that would be impossible. LOL I do love giving people the travel tips I know about though. Scotland is amazing and I wish everyone who is enamored with the country would get to visit at least once. They'd love it even more. I'm thrilled you liked my books! Thank you!

Lizzie Walker said...

I have ALL of Vonda's books and they are truly fabulous from beginning to that last page. One of the things I noticed about the books is that I was transported to a magical place. I've never been to Scotland and I desperately want to go. Through these books, I can walk through the glen and feel that I've come home.

I can attest to everything Vonda said about Celtic Hearts. It's a fabulous place where new and experience writers can connect and share information. I truly feel they are a family.

Vonda Sinclair said...

Wow what a huge compliment! Thanks, Lizzie! You have me smiling! :) I love being able to transport readers to a magical place like Scotland. The atmosphere of Scotland is very different from here in the US (at least to me)and it is a blast trying to bring those enchanting feelings to life.

derekd said...

I echo what Lizzie says. I could tell some of the places Vonda has been because the detail was so rich.

Having read all three of these excellent books in the series, I'm excited about the next round of stories.

I wish you continued success with your writing and sales!

Vonda Sinclair said...

Thanks, Derek! I'm glad you took special note of the setting detail. That's one of the elements that's so important to me. I always hope to take the reader to Scotland. :) I appreciate the good wishes!

Miriam Newman said...

Great interview, ladies. Vonda, you just keep on visiting Scotland and writing your great stories! We'll be waiting.

Vonda Sinclair said...

Thanks, Miriam! I've found that visiting Scotland is one of my absolute favorite things to do! That and writing! LOL

Pat McDermott said...

It's easy to see how dedicated you are to your craft, Vonda. Here's to continued success with both your writing and your travels!

Vonda Sinclair said...

Thanks so much, Pat! And same to you! :) I know you enjoy traveling to Ireland just as much as I enjoy Scotland.

Jennifer (JC Page) said...

You are an inspiration! Love your work and enthusiasm!! Waiting on more great reading to come~~

Vonda Sinclair said...

Oh thanks so much, Jennifer!! That means a lot to me!!