Tasty Q&A with Gayle Callen
If you had to title your own life what would it be and why?
“Lucky in Love.” I met my husband a year before we started dating, but once we dated, we married within six months. And I knew that first month that I was in love with him. So any time someone uses love at first sight in a romance novel, I think it could be true, because it happened to me. And we’ve been married 35 years, so it can work!
What is your favorite place to visit?
It may sound cliché for a historical romance author, but I love England. I’ve visited three times now, and every time I see a different part of the country, I fall in love all over again. Last time, I visited my daughter who was studying for her semester abroad in London. The two of us rented a car and drove north—on the left side of the road!—all the way to Yorkshire. The countryside changes so much, from thatched roofs and abundant gardens, to bleak moors that roll to the horizon. Incredible!
Favorite writing place.
Even though I’ve written most of my books from a small office on the lower level of my house, my favorite place to write is on my patio. I spent all last summer working outside 4-6 hours every day. My yard is mostly trees, but I have an umbrella to sit beneath when the sun is overhead. I planted begonias and impatiens, which do well in the shade. I put up my feet up, my laptop on a lap desk, and I write, listening to the sound of the bees, the birds, and distant lawn mowers. My neighbor has several bird feeders that spill seeds onto the ground, so sometimes birds, squirrels, bunnies, and chipmunks are all cavorting in the grass together, like my own private show. It’s so peaceful!
What are 5 things you must have with you when you write?
Ooh, interesting question. I don’t think I’m superstitious about anything in particular, but there are some constants when I’m writing a book. A laptop is number one—a desktop computer can’t easily be moved, so I’ve used a laptop for years so I can set it aside to research, spread out my index cards, etc. And I want to be able to take it with me, too! Next, I always have ice water in a big insulated mug. I have index cards, because that’s how I keep track of all my scenes. I use a purple pen to write on them. And lastly, markers, because I highlight a corner of each index card to keep track of all my plotlines when I lay the cards out: purple for the heroine’s emotional growth, blue for the hero, pink for the romance plot, then green/orange/red for the various plotlines in the book. Yes, I love to organize and plot things out.
Can you tell us a little about your book?
I was so excited to write LOVE WITH A SCOTTISH OUTLAW, mainly because I finally found a story to fit a plot I’d always wanted to write: amnesia. I opened the book with the heroine, Catriona, waking up in the Scottish Highlands, her head bleeding, not knowing who she is. It was such fun to write! The hero Duncan is the chief of an outlawed clan—and he knows exactly who she is, the daughter of his enemy. While Catriona thinks he is being kind enough to house her while she discovers who she is, Duncan is really holding her captive. And of course, the sparks fly!