This week I'm joined by another Scandalous Victorian, the lovely Paisley Kirkpatrick. Adopted mother, loving aunt, gracious cheerleader--that's the role Paisley plays for everyone she meets. Her writing journey is an inspirational one, and I'm delighted to have her here today as a Friday Friend. The fact that she's a fellow Western fan and writer just makes me love her more. *G* Oh, and I'll let Paisley tell you why I chose a pic of Gerry Butler to post here today.
How long have you been writing?
I started writing in 1989, but didn’t join RWA and learn the proper way to construct a story until Fall of 1999. I’d been reading a lot of the ancient Harlequins and had no idea what POV was or any of the craft rules we live by. In fact, when someone read my first story, she gave it back to me after reading only a few pages. Told me to learn what POV is. My claim to fame is: In one paragraph with five sentences I had four different points of view and one of them belonged to the rock.
Where do you get your ideas?
I have often wondered where my ideas come from. I really don’t know. Plots just appear in my head and the characters start telling me their stories. I don’t know how many stories there are, but if I don’t write them as the characters want, they stop talking to me.
Describe your typical writing day.
I use the morning hours to edit what I have written the night before. For some reason I like writing late afternoon and into the night. Early morning I feel stiff mentally and need to experience part of the day until the writing juices start to flow. Since I now have a laptop along with my main computer, I can write as late as I like. The length of time depends on my hands as I have carpel tunnel syndrome that slows me down if I push too hard.
What was your "Aha!" moment—when you knew you had to be a writer?
My dream was to write a book. I’d always told my children to dream big if you are going to dream and never stop until you achieve that dream. I’ve finished three stories and am into my fourth. So, actually, my dream has already come true even though I am not yet published. I’ve loved the journey, the learning, the friends, the thrill of putting together plots and having feedback from people who’ve read my chapters.
If you weren't a writer, what would you be?
A secretary – which is what I did for years in the accounting business and in property management.
Tell me your best cure for writer's block?
People always raise their eyebrows at me when I confess my cure – I listened to the music to Phantom of the Opera or watch the movie with Gerard Butler as the Phantom. The music, or maybe the Scot, always seem to break through the muse that is blocked and ideas flow like crazy. So far, this method has never failed to work for me.
Tell us a little bit about your current WIP.
Prey of the Huntress is my current WIP. It takes place in 1853 in the mountain community of Paradise Pines, located in the
A tremor shook the shack a good ten seconds. Her hands flailed. He grabbed her arms and held tight when she lost her balance. They rolled down the side of the roof and over the edge, landing with her on top of him.
“Are you all right?” she cried, running her hands over him.
Stunned, he couldn’t move, couldn’t catch his breath.
She laid her ear against his chest. “Your heart’s still beating.”
He moaned, opening one eye a crack and then the other. “You’re dangerous, lady. What kind of power do you have to knock me breathless every time we meet?”
“You’re a monster for scaring me like that.” She got to her feet and brushed off her skirt.
He rolled onto his side enjoying every moment of her scolding. God, but she was even more beautiful than he remembered.
“What happened? Did the cabin move or was it my imagination?”
“The cabin definitely moved. We’ve experience several earthquakes over the past few days.” He got to his feet, wincing and rubbing his aching backbone. “I need to talk to
“I’m Garland Boone’s granddaughter and new owner of this grand place. My name’s Rebecca Ryder.”
“But,” he stopped, shaking his head at the discovery, “
She snickered. “I’m not a bit surprised. Grandpa always referred to me as his little rebel. Guess he forgot I grew up.”
He limped to an overturned crate. Sitting, he rested his head in his hands. Good God! What an impossible position. He glanced at his huntress and saw more trouble than he wanted to deal with. His brothers wanted Miss Ryder gone but he couldn’t - wouldn’t - let her go.
“Are you sure you’re all right?”
“No, I’m not all right. Your grandfather promised me rights to the passageway through the Black Gate. He reneged and my brothers are ready to skin you alive.”
She stepped away from him. “Are those your sentiments as well?”
He glanced up. “No. I’d like to think I’m the mature MacGregor.”
“You have a strange way of showing your maturity, Mr. MacGregor.”
“What’s that supposed to mean. You don’t know me well enough to make a judgment like that.”
“No? Let me see. Does ‘that harebrained female is not keeping us from running our livestock through the Black Gate,’ sound familiar? Or, my favorite, ‘A woman’s place is in front of a stove or warming a man’s bed.’”
Good Lord, she heard the twins’ outburst in the lawyer’s office? He jumped to his feet. His head started spinning. He reached out and she wrapped her arms around him.
“You’re not all right.” She led him to the cabin’s front door. “Come inside and rest before you collapse. What were you thinking dragging me off the roof with you?”
He dropped his arm over her shoulder and let her help him along the narrow space to
He sank onto the chair with a deep moan. “
“You shouldn’t have alcohol, Mr. MacGregor. You might have a concussion.”
“I didn’t hit my head. I landed on my back with you on top of me, remember?”
“Aren’t you the grumpy one?”
He glanced at her tapping toe. “I’m sorry. I’m miffed at my brothers for speaking out of turn at your expense. I should have cuffed them when they poke ill at your expense. They’ve been a handful since our parents died and my other two brothers and I’ve taken on raising them. I’ll see they apologize appropriately to you.”
“Thank you, but it’s not necessary.”
He nodded at the cabinet again.
She grunted and knelt before the opened cupboard. “There’s only a couple bottles of Scotch in here. Will that do?”
“It’s only the finest whisky made.” Jesus did he need some of the drink.
A huge rat bolted from between the bottles plowing against her chest, knocking Rebecca on her buttocks. Her frantic glance up at him came with a loud shriek. In a quick moment she moved onto his lap, pulled her feet high off the floor and buried her face against his chest. “Is that horrid thing gone?”
This was more than he could ever have hoped for. She was right where he wanted her, in his arms.
Anything else in the works you can share with us?
I have a trilogy of three sisters who travel west, each traveling in a different way and they all end up in Paradise Pines. Have started sending the stories to contests.
Thanks, Paisley, for stopping by and visiting with us today! Be sure to stop by and visit her gorgeous website!