Interview with Angeline Fortin

What are your five favorite books, and why?
There have been so many fantastic books written obviously. Old, new and genres by the dozens. I read constantly and in many different genres but the ones that have really resonated with me are:
1. A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux - It might have been the soul reason I decided to begin writing romance. It is, simply put, a perfect love story & I still read it periodically for the pure enjoyment of it.
2. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell - I loved it to my core, that confluence of romance and history. It inspired my love of history and the Civil War period. Even with the most unhappy-ending...
3. (tie) Between Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton. These are two of my most worn and dogeared books, I've read them so many times. Of course I love the romance in them, but there is also the heartbreak and that lesson that the roles women were once confined to in life weren't always comfortable ones. Also, Age of Innocence was what has inspired me to set my novels in the opulent, late-Victorian era.
4. DaVinci Code & most recently Inferno by Dan Brown - It is awe inspiring to work your way through a book on such a complicated path of history and mystery. Brown's level of research to come up with such incredible plot twists and ability to restructure history as it has never before been imagined is incredible.
5. Any Harry Potter by JK Rowling - It started as a need to read (& be informed) about what my kids were reading & ended up with me calling dibs on the next release before they got it. For much the same reasons as my love of Brown, I find Rowling's creation of an entire wizarding-world to be a marvelous and enviable achievement.
When did you first start writing?
I first began writing in high school on what would eventually become the first novel in my Questions for a Highlander series... though honestly the only things that have remained the same over time was Francis' name and the way he and Eve met for the first time. With age, of course, came maturity and the acknowledgement that some scenarios were maybe a little too far flung.
During college, I continued to write on my stories for my own pleasure and injected (what I was told was) perhaps a little too much fictional hyperbole into my academic essays to make my teachers happy... though I did get what I consider to be one of the grandest compliments of my life during that time when my world religions professor told me that he had never seen anyone work their way so entirely around a question so impressively without ever answering it. I got an A, by the way.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Minnesota for the most part, but my family moved around a lot. Combined with marrying a military man, this resulted in having lived from north to south and from east to west across the US. This has been beneficial because in the contemporary portions of my books, I try to write about places I've lived or visited extensively because I believe that you can't write accurately about something you don't know. You can't just make something up either because someone, somewhere will call you on it.
In my first time travel novel A Laird for all Time, I wrote about a woman from Baltimore and received one particular review from a woman who said I was all wrong about the location of a certain restaurant in the city and that obviously I had never been to Baltimore. And that was after I had lived there for three years!
Luckily it works in the other direction as well. I've had emails from people filled with an amazement that I could describe their area like I lived there. in Seattle wondering how I could describe Bainbridge Island so well for A Time & Place for Every Laird and others who agree that Kate in Nothing But Time does talk just like a Minnesotan.
What is your writing process?
I've read about the methods of some of my favorite authors - some outline every detail, some wing it through the entire story. I suppose I fall into the middle ground between the two extremes.
My process is sort of like a college road trip. I know what I want to happen from beginning to end... that is I know exactly where I want to begin and exactly where I want to end. Along the way, I have a few milestones to hit along the way but other than that there is a vast gray area where anything can happen. And like a road trip, there are often surprises that pop up along the way. Writing freely, I've often been completely surprised where my characters have taken me, disappointed when they ended up doing something I didn't like or maddened when they do something fantastic that just won't work in the end and I have to take it out. But I that lack of a road map often leads to what i consider some of my best scenes even if my destination winds up altered in the end.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I had been writing for years between work and family but over the course of about 15 fifteen years of marriage at the time, I believe that my husband had taken about all he could of my wistful sighs about how I wished I could just right all the time.
After reading an article about an indie author who had made a million dollars selling 99 cent digital books online, my husband told me it was time to either put up or shut up. (Yes, he actually said that). No more excuses about not having an agent or a publisher. There was finally a place for authors like me to go it alone and throw our hard work out there for readers to either love or hate.
Fortunately, readers seem to really like my first published effort, A Laird for All Time. Although there were some initial criticisms about editing, formatting, etc., I learned as I went and was eventually able to put my Question of Love novel (my baby since high school) out there as well.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Just doing it.
Being able to do it every day. I finally get to let all the stories that have been wrestling in my mind for years have a voice and I love the release and joy that comes from seeing it all come together. Sometimes, it's hard to fight the compulsion to put every idea I have into one story but knowing that each scene will have its day, some day, provides a tantalizing glimpse into my future.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Reading, mostly. Stephen King said, “If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” I think he's right. Not only is it a pleasure to read, but it's also something like market research as well. It inspires, teaches and motivates.
When I'm not reading, I love to go to the movies so my husband and I go almost every weekend. Usually we go as a family to something we all want to see. I also have a weakness for interior decorating. There is always some project in my house tempting me away from the keyboard. Currently, it is my master bedroom closet. We're in the middle of an expansion/complete makeover.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
There was a time I swore I'd never forsake paper, glorious paper for the convenience of an eReader. I was a purist to my soul and I would never, ever give that up for a machine. My husband had other ideas for me (this in the year before I began to publish digitally). He bought me a Kindle for my birthday. This was that first generation Kindle with the buttons on the bottom. I was incredibly reluctant to give it a try but in the end I loved it, much to my surprise. Ahh, the convenience of taking a dozen books on vacation without actually taking a DOZEN books on vacation!
I still do occasionally buy a hardback book for nostalgic reasons but these days I live and breath my e-reader. These days it's a iPad mini on which I have software for a half dozen different reading formats... kindle, nook, itunes, kobo, etc.
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything! I love you and fear you all because you have the ability to either make my day or break my heart. The hardest thing about publishing that first book was waiting for the feedback from readers. Will they love it? Will they hate it? My husband says it shouldn't matter but it does because while I write for me, I also write for you. A success on my side means that I've made my readers happy.
And I love getting emails from readers as well. I love knowing that I touched something in them, that I made them laugh or cry. That they are demanding to know when that next book will come out, what will happen to Fiona or Harry or James.
What the fans provide for me is both motivation and reward.
And so what will your next book be about?
I have been flip-flopping for a couple months about where to go next but I will definitely be returning to my MacKintosh clan series Questions for a Highlander next. My only troubles have been in deciding which sibling to feature next. As I have storylines for four of them already, it is just a matter of seeing who fits best in the timeline and also which one my readers want to be features.
So far, it has been a toss up between Fiona or her brother James. I guess I'll just have to see which of them inspires me the most.
Published 2013-11-20.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Love in the Time of a Highland Laird
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 77,840. Language: English. Published: October 21, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Time travel, Fiction » Romance » Historical
They say accidents happen for a reason... When she was accidentally pushed into a wormhole, Allorah ‘Al’ Maines never imagined she’d be thrown back in time, land at the feet of a gorgeous Highlander… and be taken as his prisoner.
Taken: A Laird for All Time Novel
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 102,020. Language: English. Published: November 13, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Time travel, Fiction » Romance » Historical
Second chances are only helpful if you recognize them for what they are.
A Question for Harry
Series: Questions for a Highlander, Book 5. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 103,630. Language: English. Published: May 9, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical, Fiction » Romance » Regency
There was just something about Harry. Step into the tale of how Harry met Fiona… And broke her heart.
A Time & Place for Every Laird
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 109,360. Language: English. Published: May 7, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Time travel, Fiction » Romance » General
Surely, she’d gone completely mad. Claire Manning can’t imagine what she was thinking when she decided to help the escapee from her company’s lab but after seeing him caged like an animal, her humanitarian compulsion cannot be overridden – even by the arrogant, scowling eighteenth-century Highlander Hugh Urquhart turns out to be.
The Perfect Question: A Prequel to the Questions for a Highlander Series
Series: Questions for a Highlander, Book 4. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 73,320. Language: English. Published: September 2, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical, Fiction » Romance » Regency
Angeline Fortin explores the world of the MacKintosh clan, in this much-requested prequel to her Questions for a Highlander series.
Nothing But Time
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 111,870. Language: English. Published: January 27, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Time travel, Fiction » Romance » Historical
What is a girl to do when an awkward first date leads to a trip back in time? Love takes a journey across time when modern day biochemist meets the man of her dreams, Brandon Ryder, Earl of Harrowby, only to be challenged by risks, regrets and denial. When they are finally able to set those all aside, will Brand and Kate find the right time for happiness and a life together?
A Laird for All Time
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 101,420. Language: English. Published: November 16, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Time travel, Fiction » Romance » Historical
American doctor, Emmy MacKenzie, gets more than she bargained for when her 10 day UK vacation turns into a journey over a hundred years in the past. She finds herself face-to-face with a very angry Scot who is convinced that she is his long-lost wife. Emmy challenges Connor MacLean with the truth of his past and, when long hidden secrets are revealed, faces with future with him.
A Question of Lust
Series: Questions for a Highlander, Book 3. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 104,010. Language: English. Published: November 14, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical, Fiction » Romance » Regency
Vin MacKintosh returns to Scotland years after being presumed dead only to find the world a very different place. But amid the chaos and confusion he finds the younger sister of his old friend, Moira MacKenzie, there offering him her support friendship and love to see him through those difficult days. Vin fights his desire for Moira but discovers that more than lust is at stake.
A Question of Trust
Series: Questions for a Highlander, Book 2. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 111,690. Language: English. Published: November 14, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical, Fiction » Romance » Regency
Jack Merrill, the newly conferred Earl of Haddington, has inherited not only an old and distinguished title, but more debt than an honorable man can bear. Desperate for a solution, Jack seeks to marry the wealthy American, Kitty Hayes, as soon as her divorce is final. But can the pair overcome their reservations and learn to trust each other enough to reveal their heart's true desires?
A Question of Love
Series: Questions for a Highlander, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 105,750. Language: English. Published: November 6, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical, Fiction » Romance » Regency
Years after meeting for the first time, Evelyn Ashley-Cooper, Countess of Shaftesbury, and Francis MacKintosh, Earl of Glenrothes meet once more. But time has changed them both, neither is the young, carefree person they once were. Now they must overcome their pasts and the new obstacles before them before they can rediscover the love they were meant to have.