Twelve(ish) Days of Authors – Day 2, Ceci Giltenan

17 Dec

CeciChristmastree

Next up on this Author-Celebration is up-and-coming Highland Romance author, Ceci Giltenan

Ceci started her professional life as an oncology nurse at a leading research hospital. In 1991 she married a young Irish carpenter who she met at the wedding of a co-worker who is now her sister-in-law. They raised their family in central New Jersey and Ceci became a successful medical writer. Now with their youngest off to college, she is breaking away from “primary efficacy endpoints” and writing a few “happily ever after’s.” Her first book, Highland Solution is scheduled for release in September 2013.

Tell us about Highland Solution and who you think would like it.

Niall MacIan, a Highland laird, desperately needs funds to save his impoverished clan. The rumors in Edinburgh suggest that Lady Katherine Ruthven, a lowland heiress, is “unmarriageable.” Her uncle hopes to gain her title and lands if he can convince the king to send her to a convent. King David II anxious to strengthen his alliances sees a solution that will give Ruthven the title he wants, and MacIan the money he needs. Laird MacIan will receive Lady Katherine’s hand along with her substantial dowry and her uncle will receive her lands and title.

Lady Katherine must forfeit everything in exchange for a husband who does not want to be married and believes all women to be self-centered and deceitful. Niall learns that the lovely, gentle Katherine is not at all what he expected.

I think Katherine is bright, honest, compassionate, and funny. If a reader finds this kind of heroine appealing, I believe that will enjoy the book.

Where did you get the idea for Highland Solution?

I have always loved romance. From the fairy tales of childhood to the historical romances I first read as a teenager, I am a sucker for “happily ever after’s.” Through the years I have read many romance novels that I love but I think that the plots for my novels have arisen from books that were unsatisfying or that I really didn’t like. Those are the books that caused me to think about how I would tell a story or develop a character differently.

Talk to me a little bit about your writing process. Are you a plotter, a pantser; do you get your ideas from research or public affairs or…?

I get an idea and worry it around for a long time, sometimes years. I play it out in different ways, imagine conversations and work out the details of each character’s background. I do all of this in my head while I am doing other things like commuting, waiting in a doctor’s office, listening to a boring presentation, or lying in bed at night before I fall asleep. Then, suddenly it all comes together and I sit down and write. Highland Solution brewed for more than twenty years, but when I was ready to write, it only took several weeks to generate a first draft.

 

Tell us a bit about your writing style – is there anything you find really easy or, really hard?

I work as a medical writer and my biggest challenge is shifting from the formal data presentation mode of my daily professional life to the storytelling mode of a romance author.

In Highland Solution, do you have a favorite character? How about least favorite?

I love my hero and heroine, Niall and Katherine but that is to be expected. There are two supporting character that I really admire as well, but I may give something away if I reveal who they are right now. So I will say that hands down the character that I have no respect for at all is Niall’s step-mother Eithne. Early on she reveals herself as a self-centered, mean-spirited witch who helped form Niall’s low opinion of women.

 

Who is the better villain: Voldemorte or Darth Vader?

If by better, you mean worse, then Voldemorte without a doubt. In the end Darth Vader redeemed himself.

If I asked you how to crochet, could you teach me how? If not, could you teach me to play croquet?

In fact, I could teach you how to do both.

I warned these authors I would be asking silly questions!

 

How are you planning on spending Christmas?

Our children will be home from college, so it will be the first time we have all been together since September. The Christmas celebration begins with Mass on Christmas Eve. The elves always seem to visit while we are at Mass and leave brand new pajamas for everyone. On Christmas morning we open presents and have a family breakfast (probably the only one of the year). In the afternoon we go to our very best friends’ home for Christmas dinner where we eat, drink, sing, and generally make merry with those we love the most.

What’s your favorite Christmas Special?

I have always loved “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” My favorite part is when, in his frustration to learn the true meaning of Christmas, Charlie brown yells, “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?” Linus answers, “Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about” and reads the Christmas story from the gospel of Luke.

CBChristmas01

Do you have any other projects in the works that we should know about?

I am working on an as yet untitled Highland romance that continues the story of a character that appears in Highland Solution. I also am writing a time-travel romance called The Minstrel’s Portal, in which the heroine, Grace, travels through time when she plays a very modern melody on an antique instrument. Perhaps the project that I am enjoying the most at present is the novel, How to Catch a Human, in which an irrepressible and undisciplined fairy tries to fit into the human world.

In the spirit of sharing, tell us about a book by another author you adore, and who you think would like it.

Hmm, in the spirit of the Christmas season I would recommend The Shepherd, the Angel and Walter the Christmas Wonder Dog, by Dave Barry. It is a quick, funny read for anyone who ever loved a dog, was in a Christmas pageant in the sixties, or can see the potential humor in frozen bat poop. Currently I am enjoying Highland Promise (medieval Highland romance, my favorite genre) by Mary McCall.

Care to leave us with an inspiring quote?

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.”

Mary Anne Radmacher

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