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30 days of Highlanders: Day 14: Interview with Author Sue-Ellen Welfonder + Giveaway

May 9, 2011

Sue-Ellen Welfonder
USA Today bestselling author, Sue-Ellen Welfonder is most defined by her passion for Scotland. She also loves medieval history and the paranormal. She puts her pen where her heart is, writing Scottish medievals that always have a touch of Highland magic. A former flight attendant, she’s proud of her Scottish ancestry, spent fifteen years in Europe, and now just tries to live quietly. She’s devoted to her Jack Russell Terrier, is an absolute night owl, and shares her writing desk with her alter-ego, Allie Mackay.

Hi JoJo and Everyone! Thanks so much for inviting me to participate in your Highlander Month. I’m delighted to be here.

-Did you get to travel to Scotland or Ireland for any research?
SE – Yes. I’ve been visiting Scotland regularly all my life. I’ve also been to Ireland, though it’s Scotland I visit most often. Both places are incredibly magical, but my heart belongs to Scotland.

-Which of your Highlanders was hardest to write?
SE – I love them all. They come to life for me, so writing them is a pleasure. The hero I most worried about wasn’t a Highlander. He was Sir Marmaduke, aka “Sir M,” an English knight who was the hero’s best friend in my first book, Devil In A Kilt.

Sir M had a scarred face and wasn’t your typical dashingly handsome hero. I worried readers wouldn’t find him compelling as a hero in his own right. Boy, did they surprise me. Sir M’s book, Bride of the Beast, was very well received. Sir M went on to become a beloved recurring character in my MacKenzie series. I still hear from readers who love him, even after all these years.

Glamis Castle
-Do you have any secret obsessions while writing you can‘t live without?
SE – *Absolute quiet and no disruptions. My writing time is sacred and I guard it fiercely, locking myself in my turret-like office, the world closed away.

*I listen to classical or Celtic music when editing, but for creative writing, I need total silence.

-Can you share with us any highlanders your currently working on?
SE – I’m superstitious about books not yet in print. I will say I’m currently writing Seduction of a Highland Warrior, book three in my new Highland Warriors trilogy for GCP. Seduction’s hero is Alasdair MacDonald who has a strong supporting role in the first two Highland Warrior titles, Sins of a Highland Devil, Jan. 2011, and Temptation of a Highland Scoundrel, Aug. 2011. Of all Highlanders, the MacDonalds are my favorite, so I really love Alasdair.

-What got you started in writing about Highlanders?
SE – I’m of Scottish (Hebridean) descent, so I’ve been in love with Scotland since birth. My passion for the Highlands and Highlanders, especially, has always been there, a part of my life. I can’t imagine ‘not’ writing Highlanders. In fact, I wouldn’t. Nothing else interests me. The words would be just ink on the page if I attempted another genre.

-Can you describe to us your dream highlander?
SE – I love Highlanders for their incredible honor, their fierce love of land and tradition, their bravery and valor, which is unparalleled. I’m drawn to their poetic souls. There’s a storyteller inside them all, a sentimental side that turns the simplest words into a thing of beauty. I love their big, earthy and brawny outer selves and the softness of heart that makes them misty-eyed at the wonder of a Highland sunset. They also have a wonderful sense of humor. When they smile, eyes twinkling, what female wouldn’t melt? And then there’s the kilt and the oh-so-sexy burr, a skirl of pipes…

Croft house on Skye
-Who is your darkest Highlander / Who is your mildest Highlander?
SE – Darkest would probably be Duncan MacKenzie, hero of my first book, Devil In a Kilt, who went on to appear in all the titles of my MacKenzie series. He’s a classic tortured Alpha hero.

Mildest hero would have to be Sir M (see above). Not a Highlander, but he’s close enough as his heart firmly makes him one. He’s my most caring and sage hero, an all-around good man, very kind.

-Can you tell us about your Highlanders twitter style? (140 characters or less)
SE – Proud men of honor whose fierce love of the land is only matched by their devotion to their heroines.

-How do your highlanders differ from others?
SE – I don’t read in my own genre, so can’t answer this. My only exception is Scottish romance by my good friend, Karen Ranney. There are so many authors writing Highlanders these days, yet I’m sure we each write our Highlanders as we see or know them in our hearts.

-Are your highlanders paranormal or just historical, and why did you choose that path?
SE – My Highlanders are medieval. I chose Scotland of the 14th C for my books because that’s the era that most fascinates me. My main interest focuses on the Viking Age through the early 1400s. I believe writers should write what they know and what they love, so my characters hail from this time range.

My heroes are not paranormal, though there are always paranormal threads in my books. Celtic legend and lore, Highland magic, belief in curses, second sight, mythical creatures and such, were all an integral part of life in medieval Scotland and so I enjoy weaving in these elements.

-What would the colors of your Tartan be?
SE – My family’s tartan is a variation of the red MacDonald tartan. For personal taste, I prefer the blue-green tartans. But if I wished to be accurate, according to blood, it’s red.

-Where can readers find you? twitter,facebook,etc
SE – website:
Twitter:!/SE_Welfonder or @SE_Welfonder

-Do you have a link to your book list?
SE – Printable Booklist:
Book Info (blurbs, excerpts, extra content):

-Do you have a newsletter?
SE – Yes, I do monthly newsletters:

**Would you like to stop by and chat with the commenter's in the comment section?**
SE – Yes, I’ll look in and say hello to everyone who stops by.

 *~* GIVEAWAY *~*

I’ll give away a signed copy of Sins of a Highland Devil

*~* I’ll ship anywhere.
International readers welcome *~*

To Enter you MUST:
~ Answer the Question from Sue-Ellen
     ~Yes. Scotland is a land of beautiful castles and cozy cottages. I’d love readers to tell me which they’d choose: castle or cottage? And to make it more interesting, I’d love them to also guess my choice, which I’ll reveal on the night of my visit.

~Comment on Tigris Blog with Guest Spaz! -

Don't miss out on the Team Tigris and Team JoJo Giveaway!
Besure that you have in fact choosen a side! (Vote on right sidebar) Giveaway will be a copy of Either The Highlander or The Pathfinder two great movies! Be sure to comment on both posts and be sure to vote! Participation is KEY!

Don't forget to join in the fun with the
Highlander Cover Design Contest!
( remember, as long as you have atleast the paint program, you can do it! )

~ Don't forget to follow the linky below for ALL the giveaways, and posts! Remember, every comment counts towards the giveaways! Participation is the key!

24 Hottie Follwers Thoughts:

Trish May 9, 2011 at 7:31 AM  

It's a castle for me. It just speaks romance & history! And I would say castle for you too.

trishbrittingham at gmail dot com

Sue-Ellen Welfonder May 9, 2011 at 8:22 AM  

Morning, Trish! Thanks for commenting. Castles are amazing to visit and Scotland has so many. Intact and furnished, or in ruins, there are plenty to enjoy.

Good luck in the drawing. :)

Dana Alma May 9, 2011 at 8:43 AM  

Hey Sue-Ellen,
Thank goodness for authors that write about all the things we book lovers dream about and drool over! Wonderful interview! As always JoJo great things going on here in your neck of the woods. Have a great week, girls!
See ya,
Readaholics Anonymous

holls May 9, 2011 at 9:49 AM  

I would love a big romantic castle to play hide n seek in. and I think Sue-Ellen would choose a cottage. Thanks!!

Hollybwright at comcast dot net

Victoria May 9, 2011 at 10:20 AM  

As much as I'd love a castle I really like the homey comfort of a cottage and with my yummy Highlander how could I go wrong!


Naj May 9, 2011 at 11:33 AM  

I'd say Cottage and for you the same and if I was a writer I would totally spend my writing time in a small cozy cottage with a fireplace rather than a huge drafty castle which would probably be mostly empty. -.-


Sue-Ellen Welfonder May 9, 2011 at 2:45 PM  

Hi again, Ladies!

Dana - Thanks so much for your good words. I'll always be writing Highlanders. I'm so glad you love Scottish-set books.

Yes, Jo-Jo has really created a fun and fabulous month of Highlanders for all of you. Wonderful event. :)

Hi Holls - Thanks for looking in. Something tells me you're one of my readers. ;)

Hi Victoria - Love that you included a hunky Heilander in your cottage. Excellent idea. :)

Hi Naj - Thanks for chiming in on castle or cottage? I'm seeing a trend here. ;)

Keep having fun, ladies. I'll look in again later today. And I'll share my own choice late tonight.

Danielle Gorman May 9, 2011 at 4:51 PM  

Castle all the way. There is just something so romantic and gothic about the castles in Scotland. I also think you would pick castles too.

Sue-Ellen Welfonder May 9, 2011 at 8:29 PM  

Hi Danielle! Thanks so much for looking in. You're so right, Scottish castles are wonderfully atmospheric. I'll post my choice, given my druthers, close to midnight.

June M. May 9, 2011 at 10:40 PM  

I would love to visit Scotland and see the historical castles. But if I were going to live in one or the other, I would perfer a cottage. Less to clean and everything easier to get to. I would think that most people would love the idea of living in a castle, especially if you had the servents to run it. So, I will guess that you would choose a castle.

Sue-Ellen Welfonder May 9, 2011 at 10:44 PM  

Evening, Ladies!

Thank you so much for looking in today. Especially for sharing which you'd prefer, castle or cottage, and why.

As promised, I'll reveal my own preference now: it's cottage.

Castles are wonderful to visit and I do love them. But I'm a quiet-living sort and would much prefer the coziness of a small cottage and a quiet peat fire, a chill wind whistling round the eaves, and - of course - my little dog curled in my lap. That's my idea of bliss.

Giveaway winner... Hols (Holly B. Wright) it's you. I loved all the comments. But you sounded as if you're familiar with my work and therefore know my heart.

Please email me your mailing address: welfonder(at)msn(dot)com

Jo-Jo, thanks for having me. It's been fun. Everyone else, thanks again for being here. Enjoy the rest of Highlander Month!

Sue-Ellen Welfonder May 9, 2011 at 10:48 PM  

Hi June! I just saw you look in. Thanks so much for commenting. I hope you do get to Scotland. It truly is wonderful and oh-so-magical. I smiled to see that you'd also choose a cottage. :)

meggerfly May 10, 2011 at 1:47 AM  

Hello Sue-Ellen. I think I would like a castle. My house is really small so I'm not interested in a small cottage. I'd love the room! I think that you may be a cottage person though.

Great interview!

rootml1 AT hotmail DOT com

buddyt May 10, 2011 at 2:54 AM  

Castle or cottage ?

Well I suppose that although I am a romanticist in my reading, I just have to much common sense to choose a castle unless I were a multi-millionaire !

Think ancient and draughty, very difficult to heat and the staff needed to keep it in order beside the horrendous cost of maintaining the building.

Sorry a cozy cottage for me with hubby and animals, preferably with a view of the sea and the fields.

Think that would probably be your choice as well.

Thanks for the giveaway.

Carol T

buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

Chelsea B.,  May 10, 2011 at 3:28 PM  

Castle, castle, castle! Yes, please! :-)
And I'm going to say your pick is.... castle! Haha ;-)
Love your books!


Camille May 10, 2011 at 7:45 PM  

Castles can get drafty so I'll go for the humble but easy to clean and keep warm cottage thanks Sue-Ellen ;)

I would love to live in Scotland at some point in my life but rain doesn't agree with me LOL

midnite dot fantasy at gmail dot com

JessS May 11, 2011 at 3:15 AM  

Hmmm, I'd probably choose cottage because it's nearly winter where I'm at and the thought of a cold stone castle isn't much fun. A cottage would be nice and I'd like that it's small.
Since I chose cottage I'll guess you chose castle, plus castles are pretty awesome.

p.s thanks for making it international!

BLHmistress May 11, 2011 at 12:46 PM  

as much as I think cottages are so cozy, I think I would choose a castle they are so romantic.


mbreakfield May 11, 2011 at 10:37 PM  

I've always wanted to live in a castle, so castle for me. I think you would pick a cottage.

Bakin_Goddess May 12, 2011 at 9:47 AM  

I love castles but a quaint cottage is what I would chose. I'm thinking SueEllen might feel the same way. Castles are awesome but I just think cozy and cottagy is it for me!

Love the interview!

blazesandbubbles AT gmail DOT com

Kasumi May 14, 2011 at 7:41 PM  

Will I have to clean it? If it's "yes", I choose the cottages. If it's "no", I'll pick the castle. I'm easy of please! :D

And I think SEW will say the same ;D

Thanks for the international chance!


Kasumi May 14, 2011 at 7:52 PM  

I just see the giveaway ends!

Bakin_Goddess May 15, 2011 at 12:58 AM  

I would say a cozy little cottage. Castles are great and beautiful but I don't want to clean it. LOL. Cottages (bigger cottages) you can invite your family and be in different rooms but still feel like a part of the activity.

I love castles but I think I have to say a Cottage

blazesandbubbles AT gmail DOT com

Maria (pronounced Mariah) I blame my mother... May 17, 2011 at 8:43 AM  

I too would choose a cottage like Sue-Ellen. I prefer to be in something small an cozy than so big I would loose my way!

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