Author's Notes Surrender


Having tasted the French and Indian War in Ride the Fire, I just couldn't leave it alone. I wanted to go back to the harshest days of early frontier life, when the Appalachians were considered the Wild West. But I wanted to do it differently this time. 

While researching Ride the Fire, I'd come across references to "Rogers' Rangers" and the Colonial American Ranger and was fascinated by what I'd read. I decided to take some raw, braw Hielan' lads and transplant them to the frontier, where they could grow up among the Mahicans. I loved the idea of a cultural fusion between Celtic Scots and American Indians. And so Iain MacKinnon and his brother's were born. 

I remember thinking as I started this book that no hero could ever compete with Nicholas Kenleigh from Ride the Fire. However, Iain surprised me. Soon, I was in love with him. Surrender became a reader favorite and went on to be a RITA finalist. But I'm getting ahead of myself. 

What I remember most about this book is how much I enjoyed the Scottish culture and the camaraderie of the Rangers themselves - not just the three brothers, but also their men - Cam, Dougie, Killy, McHugh, Forbes, Brandon and many more. I also enjoyed writing Lord William Wentworth, the anti-hero of the story. Every time I wrote a scene that included him, I enjoyed it so much. 

At the same time, I was really challenging myself to be a better writer, and this led to many very frustrated hours of feeling that I knew what I wanted the story to achieve, but I couldn't seem to achieve it. This resulted in what can only be described as some incidents of primal scream therapy. 

Every romance author seems to have a different way of writing what is often referred to as Scottish brogue. When I set out to write this series, I wanted to denote the accent in as authentic a way as possible, and who best to show me how to do it than the Scots themselves. I turned to old Scottish folk songs, some of them dating back to the medieval period, to see how they wrote it, and I stole not only the brogue, but also much authentic vocabulary directly from these old folk songs. I did have to tone it down a bit because it can become almost unintelligible to those who are unfamiliar with it. 

It took me a full week to write the last paragraph of the epilogue. The words had to be just right. Also I didn't want to say goodbye to Iain and Annie. But then that's why I write trilogies. It permits me to stay with a group of characters for much longer.

Surrender was re-released in October 2008 with a sexy, new cover.



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