Eilean Donan Castle by DRW Photography

Monday, February 20, 2017

My Lord Raven by Jan Scarbrough

My interview with the wonderful Jan Scarbrough

Tell us about yourself

I’ve been writing since a life-threatening illness inspired me to make my dreams come true. Before that I went to college to become an English teacher because I loved reading and writing. Five years in the classroom sent me on another path where I applied what I’d learned as a technical writer. Currently, I work for an insurance company managing policies and standards.
For fun other than writing romance, I take a horseback riding lesson once a week at an American Saddlebred show horse barn. It’s takes my mind off my day job and it’s a big thrill. I also take Zumba classes on weekends. My husband and I have two Pembroke Welsh corgis and between us ten grandchildren.

Tell us about your new book?

I started My Lord Raven a long time ago. I learned I could write medieval romance by writing flashback scenes in Tangled Memories. I’d always loved reading medieval romance since the days of the Wolf and the Dove by Kathleen Woodiwiss. It was a natural for me to want to try my hand at it. Over time, and with many starts and stops, I wrote My Lord Raven.

When you write, does your real life spill over into your book at any time?

In My Lord Raven, my love of horses comes through in a few scenes on horseback. My contemporary books are more like my real life. I have a couple of series set in Kentucky, where I live. And of course, I always put one of my pets into what I write. Over the years several of my treasured dogs and cats have made appearances.

Do you think about a book of yours, being made into a movie, or not when writing?

No. I never think about it being a movie. I recently saw A Dog’s Purpose, the movie. Everyone said it would be sad and many people wouldn’t see it. I then read the ebook and found myself tearing up several times, something I didn’t do in the movie. I think you can get deeper into the characters by reading a novel.

When naming your characters, do you give any thought to the actual meaning?

Yes. Bran means Raven or Crow in Welsh. And Catrin is a Welsh name for Catherine. It’s amazing what you can find on the Internet.

What made you want to write and also what made you want to write the genre you are writing?

I loved reading and writing, and like I said earlier, when I almost died, I knew I had to try to fulfill my goal. Reading romance, I naturally wanted to write it.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Maddie James and I have had parallel careers. She encouraged me to submit a finished manuscript, and so I made my first sale. After she’d been away from writing for a few years, I helped her get back into it.

Do you have to travel much concerning your books?

I have been to England twice. I think the authors living there have a big advantage, being near the history and actual places. This summer my husband and I went to a dude ranch in Montana and saw the places I’d set a series of books—and of course, I’d found that information on the Internet.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Research, getting the time period as correct as you can make it.

When you start writing your book, do your H/H ever talk to you?

Yes. I can picture what they are doing and what they are saying in my head.

Do you ever experience writer’s block?

You’d think so, given the many years it took me to finish this book.

Do you have any tips for our readers that might dream of writing?

Finish the book. Find a good editor and don’t be afraid of criticism. Your words can always be improved.


England, the Welsh Border Lands, 1283

To protect what little family she has left, Lady Catrin Fitzalan switches places with her cousin when King Edward orders the pious girl to wed his royal champion, a vicious knight called the King’s Raven. Rumors abound that this savage is responsible for the deaths of Lady Catrin’s father and brother. How can she allow her sweet cousin to wed a murderer?

Bran ap Madog, bastard son of a Welsh prince, has devoted his life to serving the English king. His badge is the raven, a creature that feeds off rotting spoils, just as Bran feeds off the spoils of war. Now he wants a reward for his service: a wealthy wife, and the land and power she can bring him.

But there’s another side to the rapacious black birds Bran has chosen for his badge. Social and family-oriented, ravens mate for life. Which gives them something Bran never had—a family, a sense of belonging, and a rightful place in the world. Bran has fought for everything he’s ever had. But his last battle, with his new wife, may cost him the one thing he isn’t prepared to lose: his heart.

Available $1.99 — Release Date 2/25/2017
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