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How Gwyn Cready Researched for Just in Time for a Highlander


How Gwyn Cready Researched for Just in Time for a HighlanderJust in Time for a Highlander by Gwyn Cready
Series: Sirens of the Scottish Borderlands #1
Published by Sourcebooks, Inc. on February 3rd 2015
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 384
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From RITA winner Gwyn Cready comes a Scottish borderlands time travel romance perfect for fans of Outlander

For Duncan MacHarg, things just got real…

Battle reenactor and financier Duncan MacHarg thinks he has it made—until he lands in the middle of a real Clan Kerr battle and comes face to face with their beautiful, spirited leader. Out of time and out of place, Duncan must use every skill he can muster to earn his position among the clansmen and in the heart of the devastatingly intriguing woman to whom he must pledge his oath.

Abby needs a hero and she needs him now

When Abigail Ailich Kerr sees a handsome, mysterious stranger materialize in the midst of her clan’s skirmish with the English, she’s stunned to discover he’s the strong arm she’s been praying for. Instead of a tested fighter, the fierce young chieftess has been given a man with no measurable battle skills and a damnably distracting smile. And the only way to get rid of him is to turn him into a Scots warrior herself—one demanding and intimate lesson at a time.




What kind of research did you do for this book?


I’m always entertained to tell people my husband has to take a couple of days off of work toward the end of each book so that we can be sure all the different positions work. I’m lying, but it’s an entertaining thing to say it nonetheless. My books tend to take place around the very beginning of the eighteenth century. I like the time period as it’s right before the Act of Union in 1707, which merged Scotland into the newly formed entity of Great Britain, which for all practical purposes put Scotland under England’s control. The tense political situation is good canvas on which to paint a love story, especially if the hero and heroine happen to be on opposite sides of the question.


I know a lot about this time period—the weapons, the leaders, the fighting methods, the clothing, the food, the roads, the vehicles, the social mores—which means the research I do is more about a specific issue relating to the plot. In JUST IN TIME FOR A HIGHLANDER, I had to find out about battle reenactments in general, and the Battle of Fort Duquesne in particular. I had to find out if clans were ever run by women (they were) and how people may have cared for parents with dementia (it wasn’t pretty.)


A writer tends to do a lot more research than shows up in the book, which is a good thing, since readers don’t want to wade through paragraph after paragraph of how the flintlock pistol is primed. However, if you’re a good writer, doing the research means you can write confidently about a scene, even if you don’t bring in every detail you have you in your head. In fact, if you’re a very good writer, one or two details are enough to bring a scene to life for a reader, who can build an entire museum-worthy artifact using only “acrid powder” and “gleaming pan” even if they’ve never seen nor heard of a flintlock pistol beforehand. The beauty of imagination.


One of my favorite authors—I will politely decline to name her—rants away about her readers having an image of her hero in their heads that doesn’t comply with her image. To me she seems to be missing the very important point that writers work in partnership with readers. And I don’t mean we write, they buy, and we cash the checks. I mean we write maybe ten percent of the details in any story, and the reader fills it out with the remaining ninety percent. So she may think the characteristics of the hero belong solely to her, but, in fact, her hero’s ongoing success with readers has depended quite a lot on the characteristics they’ve endowed him with. To deny their right to “know” what he looks like is to diminish their contribution to the story’s ability to connect with people.





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About Gwyn Cready


Gwyn Cready

Gwyn Cready is the recipient of the 2009 RITA Award for Best Paranormal Romance and the author of Tumbling Through Time, Seducing Mr. Darcy, Flirting with Forever, Aching for Always and A Novel Seduction. She has been called “the master of time travel romance.” A Novel Seduction is her first foray into contemporary romance as well as men in kilts, and she found both eminently satisfying. She lives in Pittsburgh with her family.