Welcome to Laura Vosika, one of my lovely friends from Indie Writers Unite, talking about her journey towards becoming a writer. Welcome Laura!
Can you tell us a little bit about your book?
Blue Bells of Scotland is a story of time travel, switching places, mistaken identity, and medieval adventure. It’s a story of why we are who we are, of change and redemption. Shawn Kleiner is a self-centered, womanizing modern musical phenomenon who proudly lives for himself and his own pleasures.
He has everything–fame, wealth, his beautiful girlfriend Amy, and all the women he wants, until Amy has enough and leaves him stranded in a mysterious castle on a misty night.He wakes up to find himself mistaken for Niall Campbell, devout, medieval Highland warrior, and sent shimmying down a windswept castle wall, on a dangerous journey with Niall’s betrothed to raise men against England. The fate of Scotland rests on his self-centered shoulders.
Niall is no happier to find himself in the mess that is Shawn’s life, fighting amorous fans, angry mistresses, a pregnant girlfriend and an outraged conductor who orders him to play a sell-out concert on pain of being fired–a terrifying prospect to medieval ears–all while trying to find a way back to save his people.
The story takes places in Scotland, both in the modern day and in the days leading up to the medieval Battle of Bannockburn.
What about this story made you have to write it?
Bits and pieces, vague impressions, had been in my head for awhile when I first sat down to write it. The more I wrote, the more Shawn and Niall took on lives of their own, and at a certain point, it’s as if those people just demand to be let out, demand to be allowed to live and breathe on paper.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned during the creation of this book?
I don’t know if it’s surprising, per se, but I loved learning the history of Scotland’s Wars of Independence, and the great story of a small country standing up to a much larger and more powerful nation, of the courage of men like William Wallace, Robert Bruce, and James Douglas.
What was the hardest part to write?
I’ve always found one character in particular hardest to write. Ironically, it’s not the drunken, gambling, self-centered womanizer who is presumably–hopefully–the least like me of all of them!
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I love playing music. I play about a dozen instruments at varying levels of proficiency. Right now, most of my effort goes into guitar and my alto flute. When I have a harp performance coming up, I spend a lot of time on that. And I can happily play the piano for hours on end. I also like learning new languages, skiing, and spending time with my kids.
Can you share a little of what you are working on now?
I’m in the last stages of The Minstrel Boy, Book 2 of the Trilogy. When I finish that, I will be back to editing Book 3, as of yet untitled. When I finish the trilogy, I’ll edit another novel I’ve already written about an American widow with a houseful of boys who buys a castle in Scotland–which turns out to have a few unexpected secrets. I also have two non-fiction books waiting their turn–one about raising a large family and the other about the world of the Blue Bells Trilogy, ie, medieval Scotland.
What advice would you give a new writer?
Find a critique group. This is hands-down the best thing I did. Not only do they give me invaluable feedback, it’s great to have a group of people who share that passion for writing, who understand what it is to have to write, to get completely absorbed in the world you’ve created.