Saturday, 13 June 2015

Magical Weddings with Aileen Harkwood

Hey, it's the weekend, and I have Aileen Harkwood on my blog today talking writing, romance and magical weddings... 

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Almost from the moment I understood books existed. Okay, maybe a little after that, since my first book was Green Eggs and Ham. I remember going to the school library in first and second grade and picking out books about the Salem witch trials. I was fascinated by them. Today, I’m writing fantasy romances with witches!

Did you manage to get the first book you wrote published, or is it tucked in a drawer somewhere?

Oh, Lord, I cringe at the idea of reading that thing. I mean, when I was seven I wrote my first “book,” but I’d call it more of an illustrated coffee table type thing (i.e. lots of drawings in crayon). My first attempt at a novel was in high school, written entirely in longhand. Some really, really bad science fiction.

My Twitter style question: Describe your hero in 140 characters.

Compassionate, charmingly brutish warlock with a heart that never gives up on love, and a power that will surprise everyone. Aragorn eyes.

My Twitter style question: Describe your heroine in 140 characters.

Repressed and introverted, yet ready to break out of her shell and find love. A witch with an old soul, brown hair and red eyelashes.

Why do you like writing romance?

Because it’s an emotionally lush genre. I like, no, I love getting swept away by a story.

Which of your characters is your favourite, and why?

Whichever character I happen to be writing at the time. They’re your babies. You have to love them all. Ideally, you should love them all equally.

What do you read while you write, or don’t you?

Yes, but never fiction. When I’m writing, I’m deep into a world of my own making, and need to stay that way. As soon as I finish with a story, I typically binge read for several days to a week.

Do you have a favourite author?

Cliché as it might be, my favorite will always be Jane Austen. I think of her as the mother of the romance novel.

What do you do with a paperback once you’ve read it?

Except for Austen’s books, plus Richard Bach’s Illusions, all paperbacks get donated to Goodwill when I’m done with them. Sad fact is, however, I almost never read “dead tree” books any more. Everything is on my Kindle Fire.

What advice would you give to new writers?

It’s the same advice I hear a lot of writers give, read. I would add to this, however, don’t just read within the genre. Don’t live solely on a steady diet of romance. Read other things, too, other genres, literature, poetry, the classics. Narrative nonfiction is especially helpful in teaching how stories happen in the real world. They aren’t always as neat and tidy as we like them to be in our HEA romance world. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying a romance novel should sound like Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, or should end with the boat sinking and everyone dying as happened in Sebastian Junger’s The Perfect Storm. Rather, by reading things completely outside your own writer’s wheelhouse, you can bring back elements to inspire your own fiction, for instance, the cunning way an author wrote a humorous confrontation between two characters, or the way another writer was able to infuse emotion into an action sequence.

What things inspire you to write? Location, music, film or even in a book?

A lot of the time it’s setting inspiring me. Judging by comments I’ve heard at conferences, romance editors tend to believe setting is an extraneous luxury authors can’t afford, but I like to make sure my stories are well-set. Even if most of the description never makes it to the page, if I know where I am, I’ll know what the characters are looking at, and the physical sensations they experience.. It grounds the story for me, makes it more real.

What is next on your agenda after publishing your (first) book?

My contribution to the Magical Weddings box set, The Last Wedding at Drayhome, is a standalone novella, but also functions as a prequel to the Breens Mist Witches series. Spell Touched, is the first of five books in Breens Mist Witches, which follows the same hero and heroine throughout all five novels. Wedding Spell, which releases this September, is the first of a four book series, Breens Mist Weddings, each a standalone novel. I introduced most of the heroines who appear in this second series in Drayhome.

Thank you for having me on your blog, Teresa. Enjoyed these questions!

Thank you, Aileen for taking the time to answer my questions! Good luck with the Magical Weddings box set. 


Never underestimate the power of a witch and warlock in love who have nothing left to lose...

Every witch and warlock in Breens Mist, Oregon has one main talent that guides their destiny. Colleen McColly’s gift is to be caretaker and voice for Drayhome, a magical estate with a mind of its own. Sent under the guise of helping to prepare for a wedding, warlock Terry “Ax” Paxton has orders to evict Colleen, and end Drayhome’s century-plus-reign as the heart and soul of Breens Mist. It’s a duty against which Ax rebels, not just because it’s wrong, but because he and Colleen have a connection of their own, raw, passionate and too many years denied.

About Aileen: 

Aileen Harkwood is a Readers’ Crown finalist who lives in the Southern Rockies. The Last Wedding at Drayhome is the prequel to two concurrent series of fantasy romances, Spell Touched: Breens Mist Witches, Book 1, and Wedding Spell, first in the Breens Mist Weddings series, due out in September 2015. She’s passionate about green chile and the mysteries hiding in antique photographs.

Twitter: @AileenHarkwood
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MAGICAL WEDDINGS: 15 Enchanting Romances


If you love ghosts, witches, time travel--anything paranormal--military romance, historical romance, or romantic comedy, don't miss this engaging boxed set!

--All stand-alone stories (no cliffhangers)
--Includes 14 New Releases written expressly for this set!

Whether real or only in the hearts of the bride and groom, the magic of weddings is undeniable. And irresistible! As these 15 enchanting happily-ever-afters by bestselling and award-winning authors prove.

From sweet to spicy, the romances bundled into this set cross time and unite hearts, cast spells of laughter, battle wedding jitters and fight back tears, while weaving love’s hopeful magic throughout 1400 pages.

Her Wedding Wager by Leigh Michaels, National bestselling and Award-winning author of over 100 novels. Celia's doomed to an arranged marriage—unless she can win the most important bet of her life!

The Last Wedding at Drayhome (Breens Mist Witches) by Aileen Harkwood. Never underestimate the power of a witch and warlock in love who have nothing left to lose.

The Dress by Eve Devon. Two couples, 400 years apart. From a masquerade ball in Venice 1615 to a wedding in England 2015, can a dress laced with magic weave its spell through the fabric of time?

Second Chance Bride by Raine English, USA Today bestselling and Award-winning author. She thinks she's marrying the man of her dreams, until a telepathic rescue dog leads her to someone else... Will this bride-to-be say "I do" to the wrong man?

Two Hearts Surrendered by Tamara Ferguson, Bestselling and Award-winning author. Will two warring hearts be strong enough to survive the ultimate battle?

Something Borrowed, Something Blue by Lynda Haviland. She has a wedding to crash—until love gets in the way!

Heart of the Secret (Witches of Lane County) by Jody A. Kessler, Bestselling and Award-winning author. A 500 year-old curse, a witch who will do anything to marry her one true love, and the heart of a secret that will either divide them or bring them together…forever.

The Jealous Love of a Scoundrel by Jane Lark, National bestselling author. How do you fight a calling that comes from your soul?

A Wedding Across the Winds of Time by Bess McBride, National bestselling author. Darius and Molly found each other Across the Winds of Time. Now, it's time for their wedding!

Kiss This by L.L. Muir, National bestselling and Award-winning author. You never expect the florist to catch the bouquet…

Caution is a Virtue by Jennifer Gilby Roberts. How much is too much to risk for love?

Loving Lindy by Jan Romes. In order to become the bank's new Vice President, Gunther Justin has to be "settled." With Lindy McPherson posing as his fiancĂ© everything is set to go off without a hitch—until real feelings get in the way.

With this Kiss by Heather Thurmeier. Does a simple kiss have enough magic to reunite lovers?

Real Magic by Elsa Winckler. She's the bridesmaid, he's a best man. Will the magical evening stay just that or will it turn out to be real after all?

The Wedding Guests (A Tassamara Short Story) by Sarah Wynde. When unexpected guests attend Akira and Zane's wedding, lives will change forever. But for better or for worse?

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