Writing a Scottish-set Regency series has been great fun. It’s allowed me to mix romance, danger, adventure, pirates and whisky smugglers with wonderful settings, feisty heroines and gorgeous heroes. I’ve been able to draw on my many trips to the Highlands and to do lots of research into everything from bagpipes to shipwrecks. I’ve flown to Fair Isle and walked the walls of ruined castles. I love my job!
Particularly lovely has been the reader feedback; I’ve already been asked if there will be any more Scottish Brides books and because I always enjoy revisiting a series, I’d never say never. There are some characters who are already asking for a sequel… One reader told me that they wanted to join the Highland Ladies Bluestocking Society, the club that two of my heroines belong to. I'd like to be a member too!
The idea for the Bluestocking Society arose from my reading about the Scottish enlightenment and the discussions and intellectual meetings that took place mainly in Edinburgh. The Poker Club, the Select Society and the Oyster Club were examples of real Scottish clubs where scientists, writers and thinkers met to discuss ideas and eat delicacies such as salt haddock. These were male-dominated (as in the picture) but it struck me that well-to-do, independent minded women could also form their own society. The members of the Highland Ladies Bluestocking Society discuss books and reading but they also have an improper side and an interest in activities as various as life drawing and belly dancing!