Blue Bells of Scotland: An Interview with Historical Fiction Author Laura Vosika

Laura Vosika grew up in the military, visiting castles in England, pig fests in Germany, and the historic sites of America’s east coast.

She earned a degree in music, and worked for many years as a freelance musician, music teacher, band director, and instructor in private music lessons on harp, piano, winds, and brass.

Laura is the mother of 7 boys and 2 girls, and lives in Minnesota.

Her latest book is Blue Bells of Scotland: The Trilogy.

You can visit her website at www.bluebellstrilogy.com.

Welcome to The Writers Life, Laura. Can you tell us how long you've been writing professionally and how your journey led to writing your latest book, Blue Bells of Scotland?

Blue Bells of Scotland
is my debut novel, so I would have to say I've been writing professionally for a year. I've been writing, however, since I was 8, and finished my first novel when I was 24.


I love the title...can you tell us why you chose it?

Blue Bells of Scotland is an old folk song, which was later arranged as a theme and variations to show off what trombones are capable of. Shawn, one of the main characters in Blue Bells of Scotland, is a professional trombonist, and the novel reflects some of the themes in the folk song, the idea of young men leaving for war, of noble deeds, and streaming banners.


Why did you believe your book should be published?

It was getting a lot of good feedback, other writers were encouraging me that it should be out there, people were asking for copies, and I felt it had a good story people would enjoy, along with a good message.


Can you tell us the story behind your book cover? Did you choose it or did your publisher, Gabriel's Horn, have full control? Were you happy with the decision or did you have something else in mind?

I designed the cover myself, so it's everything I had in mind! I used a picture I took of Castle Urquhart, one of the models for Niall's Castle Glenmirril, during my research trip to Scotland.


How have you approached marketing your book? Do you have someone doing it for you or have you had to do most of the marketing yourself?

Until joining Pump Up Your Book, I've done all the marketing myself. I primarily use the internet, because, with 9 children and teaching music lessons 5 days a week, I don't currently have a great deal of flexibility for travel
.

What book on the market can it compare to? How is it different? What makes your book special?

Almost infallibly, people ask if it's like Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. Yes and no. Blue Bells of Scotland involves time travel, adventure, battles, romance, and historic Scotland. Blue Bells of Scotland, however, focuses more on the lives of Shawn and Niall, whereas The Outlander Series focuses on the relationship between Jamie and Claire. My trilogy is about Shawn's and Niall's attempts to overcome the obstacles in one another's lives to get back to their own time, and, later, about the personal challenges and changes each goes through as a result of the switch. It has deeper themes of forgiveness and redemption running beneath the adventures.


Open to a random page in your book. Can you tell us what is happening?

On p 182, Shawn, the womanizing musician, has been hiking through the hills with his beautiful guide, Allene, still with no clue he's switched times. He has just tried kissing her—and more. She didn't appreciate it the way his amorous groupies usually do, and stabbed him in the hand. In a rage, but with nowhere else to go in the middle of the night, he continues stomping through the dark Scottish Highlands, following her and blaming everyone but himself for his troubles.


Do you plan subsequent books?

Absolutely! Blue Bells of Scotland is the first of a trilogy. I'm editing book 2 right now (The Minstrel Boy), and have written half of book 3 (The Castle of Dromore.) Besides finishing The Blue Bells Trilogy, I have several other novels in various stages from planning to completely written. I have about 100 pages of a non-fiction on large families waiting to be finished, and I've been compiling my research for Blue Bells to write a non-fiction on the history behind the story, which is full of incredible people and stories.


Thank you for your interview, Laura. Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

Thank you so much for having me! Blue Bells of Scotland is available on amazon at http://tinyurl.com/3y27u87

Signed copies can be ordered from my site:www.bluebellstrilogy.com

I blog on writing, medieval history, Scotland and other medieval fiction at www.bluebellstrilogy.com/blog

I am on twitter at www.twitter.com/lauravosika. I give writers' updates at http://www.facebook.com/NightWritersBooks


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