Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Writer's Wednesday - Georgina Devon



Be transported this Writer's Wednesday to the Scottish Highlands with Historicals author Georgina Devon!


Living in Tucson, Arizona, and writing about England makes imagination everything. The pictures of the two dogs both have tales. Rosebud, the dashing miniature pincher in the red coat trimmed with black becomes an English officer when I add gold epaulets, gold button, white breeches and black boots. (Forget she’s female as she wouldn’t have been allowed to serve then ) She’s the type of officer who might have hunted the hero in my latest release, Her Rebel Lord. Fifi, the rhinestone Chihuahua makes me think how cold my heroine, Jenna, would have been during the winter in her stone castle. Fifi is cold at 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

Her Rebel Lord takes place near Carlisle and the Scottish borderlands in 1746, shortly after the battle of Culloden. It’s winter with sleeting rain and barren trees. No central heat and long dark nights. I wrote the book during the winter, but in Tucson winter has 70 degree days and my roses are in bloom. A long stretch for my imagination.

But I was intrigued by the time period and the historical situation. Many of the Scottish clans fought for Bonnie Prince Charlie, the Stuart heir to the British throne. Sometimes clan leaders fought for the Stuart prince while their heir stayed home. That way, if the Stuart cause failed, the heir had a good chance of retaining the title and lands while his father or younger brothers gave their lives.

In Her Rebel Lord, Duncan McNabb fights at Culloden under an assumed name. When he survives, he takes up his English title, passed through his mother’s line. Duncan’s one goal now is to smuggle surviving Jacobites out of Britain to France.

Jenna de Warre is the daughter of a British soldier who gained his title by fighting the Scottish. But Jenna’s mother was Scottish and when her first cousin, Gavin, arrives on her door step nearly dead and being pursued by English soldiers because he fought at Culloden, she knows she must help him. No matter what the risk. And the only way to help him is to get him to The Ferguson who is waiting to smuggle Gavin to France and safety.

Jenna soon learns that The Ferguson is Duncan McNabb, Lord Byrne, the dandy who’s recently moved into the area. The knowledge is enough to get her killed. But she must help the wounded men who fought for a cause they believed in and are now trying to escape with their lives. In the process, she falls in love with Duncan.

Duncan wants Jenna and knows the only way to have her is to marry her. But while he can risk his life every day by smuggling out Jacobites can he endanger her life as well – and the child she carries?

This was a difficult time in British history. The 1745 uprising was the last time the Scottish clans fought for the Stuarts. They were totally defeated and the wearing of the tartan was outlawed until George IV, enamored of Sir Walter Scot’s novels, made tartans legal again.

I’ve been to Glencoe, where English soldiers killed many in a Scottish village because the clan leader was late in swearing his devotion to George II. Glencoe is beautiful, yet even with its new information center there is a sense of isolation and desolation to it. Or there was for me.

Then there’s Culloden. Grass grows high and the winds sough through it. Stone markers show where each clan fought and fell. In reading about the battle, I knew about the stone hut many injured and dying Scots fled to hoping for safety. I thought it was a considerable distance away. It’s not. Just a 5-10 minute walk from where the actual fighting took place. I’ve never forgotten the sense of history and defeat I felt walking the area. A different ending and the Stuarts would rule Britain today.

Still, for all the history I’ve put into this article, the bottom line is that my characters are people just like you and me. They fought for and loved what they felt was important enough to die for.

Please visit my website at http://www.georginadevon.com/ and/or the Harlequin Historical Author’s blog site. Not to be forgotten, http://www.eharlequin.com/ and the Mills and Boon web site.

Best,
Georgina Devon


You can browse the first chapter of Georgina's latest release, Her Rebel Lord, by clicking on this widget! Thanks for being with us, Georgina!



2 comments:

  1. Georgina,
    What a hoot. I, of course, love the dogs, but every great story needs a wizard. Someday, I'm going to England with you. By boat, of course.

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  2. LOLOL Pam, you sure aren't flying. And you've met my girls. Thanks for stoping by.

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