Monday, May 21, 2012

BLOG TOUR: Author interview with Genevieve Graham, author of Sound Of The Heart + GIVEAWAY

I'm delighted and honoured to be joined today by Genevieve Graham, author of Under The Same Sky and Sound Of The Heart, two of my favourite historical adventures! Genevieve is here with us today to talk about her recently released sweeping adventure romance, Sound Of The Heart, as well as share some priceless insights into the writing process. Enjoy the interview and don't forget to check out my review of Under The Same Sky, as well as Sound Of The Heart (the last one has a prize pack giveaway going on, you might want to check it out - it's awesome!)

1. Welcome to Bookish, Genevieve! Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk to us today! I had a wonderful time reading your fabulous adventure romance, Sound of the Heart! Would you mind telling us what/who inspired you to write it? 

Thanks, Evie. It’s great to be back here with you. Who inspired me to write “Sound of the Heart”? That’d be my editor. And it wasn’t so much an inspiration as a request! I was absolutely thrilled and jumping all over the place when Berkley Sensation/ Penguin contracted my debut, “Under the Same Sky”, but I had to sit down when I heard the second part of the contract. They wanted a companion novel. 

Of course I said, “Yes! Absolutely! Coming right up!” Then I considered the problem for a bit, chin in my hands. “Companion”? From what I understood, that meant they didn’t want a sequel, but something related to the first story. “Under the Same Sky” was the first thing I’d ever written, and I hadn’t considered writing anything else. To be honest, I was a little concerned. 

Fortunately, Dougal, the brother of the hero in my first book, is a friendly fellow who loves not only attention, but telling a good tale. I’d been so caught up in Andrew’s story in “Under the Same Sky” that I’d been unaware that Dougal had such an adventure himself! And he was more than willing to tell me all about it. 

2. Sound of the Heart has some fascinating historical facts worked through it. First, a Highlander regiment fighting on behalf of the English? Secondly, white slavery? You definitely hit on some big points. Did you learn a lot while you were researching? 

A ton. And I really enjoyed learning about it. The 77th and 78th Highlander regiments really did exist, and really were a part of the English army. During the French Indian War (1754-1763), the English just kept losing. The French had made far too many allies among the native people. So the English called upon the defeated Highlanders. Being in the 77th or 78th was the only way the Scots were permitted to wear tartan, play bagpipes, or do anything typically “Scottish”. It also saved them from death or imprisonment. 

White slavery was something I’d read a bit about in the first book, and its prevalence shouldn’t have surprised me. After all, slavery still exists in horrifying numbers across the globe. Hundreds of thousands of Scots were shipped to the colonies and sold as slaves, and this goes all the way back to 1630. Actually, early ancestors of the Scots, the Alba and Pics, were enslaved as early as the first century BC. Yes, many of the Scots who were shipped across the sea were indentured servants, but many, many were slaves, treated the same or worse than black slaves. In most cases black slaves were worth more, because they were more physically able to stand up to the incredible heat on the southern plantations where many of them worked, so the masters treated them with more care. White slavery isn’t something taught in schools, which is a little upsetting, I think. Now that I know about it, I think it’s something people should know. 

3. How has it been, experiencing the success of your debut, “Under the Same Sky”, and how does this launch feel different? 

It’s been surreal. On the day my book came out, I learned Penguin had printed an extra 1,000 copies, which was an absolute thrill for me. Since then I’ve been hearing from reviewers and readers, and every single message has been amazing to read. I just never imagined any of this before. It’s wonderful. This launch feels different because the book came about in such a different way. “Under the Same Sky” came from out of nowhere and “Sound of the Heart” was on request. And promotions for the second novel came out immediately after I’d finished promoting the first one, so I’m a bit frazzled! I plan on a nice, relaxing summer vacation soon ... 

4. How do you approach writing a new novel? Are you a plotter or a pantser? 

I’m a pantser. I have no real idea of what’s going on until it happens; however, lately I’ve realized it’s necessary to at least have a synopsis before I get going too far. I always run into the problem of having loose ends at the end which need to be tied up, and since I’m terribly disorganized in just about everything I do, that’s a challenge! 

5. What’s next in line for you? Are you working on a new book now? 

I’ve written the third book, “Out of the Shadows”, which features Maggie’s sister, Adelaide. I really, really love the hero in this one (ahh, Jesse). Penguin hasn’t had a chance to look at it yet. I just started writing a fourth in the same series last week, focusing on Janet MacLeod. I’ve also been working on a Historical Fiction based in WW1 time and focusing on a lobster fisherman from the small town where I now live. 

6. Where is your favorite place for writing? Do you have any special writing rituals? 

We have a little den in our house and last year my husband made it into my office. I love it in there. Private and comfortable, but with a window onto the road so I don’t miss out on everything. I usually light candles (except in the summer, when I sometimes get to work outside) and sip on tea. Doesn’t that sound dreamy? 

7. Do you even experience writer’s block? If so, how do you deal with it? 

I sure do. If it’s really bad I’ll just walk away, take the day off. Do something totally distracting like read another person’s book or watch a movie or something. But if it’s not too bad I start working on a different scene. Maybe I skip a section or maybe I go back to the beginning or something. If it doesn’t completely work into what I’m doing I can always adjust it later. 

8. Which three of your favorite books would you recommend everybody to read? 

“Outlander” is my all-time recommendation. “Into the Wilderness” by Sara Donati. “The Outsiders” by Penelope Williamson. But oh, there are so many! I listed a few of my very favourites on my site at

Random Questions:
- white or dark chocolate? = dark
- coffee or tea? = tea ... unless the coffee has baileys in it. :)
- favorite fictional character? = Jamie Fraser
- favorite movie? = Pride & Prejudice with Kiera Knightly
- favorite song? = too many to name.
- favorite TV show? = House - ebook

About the author: 

Genevieve Graham graduated from the University of Toronto in 1986 with a Bachelor of Music in Performance (playing the oboe). While on a ski vacation in Alberta, she met her future husband in a chairlift lineup and subsequently moved to Calgary to be with him. They have recently settled in a small, peaceful town in Nova Scotia with their two beautiful daughters. Writing became an essential part of Genevieve’s life a few years ago, when she began to write her debut novel, Under the Same Sky. The companion novel, Sound of the Heart, will be in stores May 1, 2012.


Check out: for more tour stops!

❤ ❤ ❤GIVEAWAY❤ ❤ ❤ 

Genevieve Graham has generously offered to give away one signed copy of Sound Of The Heart! To sweeten the deal I'm also adding a hand-made book thong (made by me to celebrate the release of this wicked cool read!). The book will be sent by the author and the book thong will come from me, so one lucky winner will get two packages! Excited?! :)

Enter through Rafflecopter below!
Open to: US/Canada
Ends: May 31th
(ENTER AFTER THE PAGE BRAKE -> click:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
About the Author
Evie is the Blogger behind Bookish. She enjoys reading many different genres, especially YA, Paranormal, Contemporary Fiction and Fantasy.
She loves talking to authors and is always happy to welcome them for interviews, and guest posts. She also likes spreading the love for awesome books and  chatting with fellow book-worms.
You can find Evie here: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Shelfari | The Library Thing


Bethie said...

This looks so good and the book thong is awesome. I am crossing my fingers on this one.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

Shauna Buck said...

Always a sucker for a man in a kilt!! Sounds like a fun read!

Tore said...

Sounds like a really good book. I would love to read it. Thanks for the giveaway. Please enter me.

PuttPutt1198Eve said...

How very interesting to find out that Scots were shipped to the colonies as slaves! I had no idea that any whites were here as slaves. Perhaps that's naive on my part but I just didn't know. I think it's important that we know facts like this. Thanks for bringing this information to my attention!

Julie Witt said...

Thanks for the great interview, ladies! I have to agree that you can't go wrong by recommending Outlander to anyone who loves historical romances, and if this book is even half as good as Outlander, then I know I'm going to love it! Thanks for the giveaway and the chance to win a copy of this awesome sounding book for myself:)

Elizabeth said...

historical romances are such a good read makes you think of the days before technology

Megan said...

Sounds like a really interesting book. I learned a little of Scottish history when I traveled there, but I would love to learn more!

Gale Nelson said...

what a great review and interview. Sounds like a great read.

Holly said...

Great review and interview! I'm looking forward to reading the book about WWI when it comes out!

lady reader said...


Thanks for the heads up on the giveaway. You rock. I truly melt when it comes to Scotsman. Maybe it has something to do with that super sexy dialect? Ahhhhhhh!

Oh yes. Back to reality. Loved the interview--thanks also for taking the time to get some background from Genevieve and a great big THANK YOU to her for sharing that information with all of us.

I obviously have not read the novel, (or I wouldn't be entering the giveaway!) so, I won't be reading and leaving a comment on your review until after I do so. I apologize but I don't read reviews until after I've read the book.

Thanks again. This is truly awesome!

Lady Reader's Bookstuff

Jen said...

Awesome interview:) love the necklace:)

Christina Fiorelli said...

Christina K. in the rafflecopter

Great interview! I love learning more about authors:)

Thanks so much:)

Hwa Sun Kang said...

LOL pantser. Nice choice of words :)
Nice interview.

Kelly said...

I loved Scotland when we went there. There is so much more than just the countryside to look at. The culture is rich and I fell in love with it. I read the Outlander series too, can't wait for the next one!
OK,I do have a question though - what is a pantser??

Genevieve Graham said...

You guys are awesome! Thanks for leaving comments!

1) Bethie - Isn't Evie a cutie, making that thong? She has me all motivated, too. I'm going to start making some of those cute book beads.

2) PuttPutt - I know! I was shocked when I unearthed that, and had to doublecheck all over the place to make sure it was real. Why have we never been taught this? And it's not just Scots, but all different white populations from across the sea - Germans, Irish, etc

3) Julie - Outlander rocked my world ... changed it, really. Diana is a genius, and I just about died when one reader approached me at a signing and said that only Diana had ever held her attention the same way as my book had (she'd just finished reading my first book). And TWO reviewers have compared my Dougal to Jamie Fraser, which just about made me burst into happy tears. Ah, Jamie ...

4) Elizabeth - Have you read "The Rose Garden" by Susanna Kearsley? It's a time travel, and I loved the way she could compare life then and now. Really nice book.

5) Holly - I really love the WW1 book. It's particularly close to me because I wrote it based on some of the people who live nearby ... well, their ancestors, really. But in some ways the Eastern Shore of NS hasn't changed much, so I feel really close to the story. I hope it'll be out soon!

6) Amy - ah, the Scottish brogue. I'm working on a chicklit right now and my hero is a Scottish movie star ... any idea who it's based on? Yep. Madly in love with Gerard Butler. Anyway, I really respect your policy on not reading reviews until you've read the book, but at least you are taking recommendations! I hope you enjoy Sound of the Heart - and let me know your thoughts!

7) Jen - it's a NECKLACE? I thought it was a bookmark! At least I knew it wasn't really a "thong" ... *note to self: ask Evie*

8) Hwa & Kelly - "Pantser" = I write from the seat of my pants. I'm a terrible planner, though I force myself to at least write a synopsis before I set my characters free to run the story as they see fit. Authors seem to be divided almost evenly between the Pantser and the Planner teams.

Thank you all SO MUCH for coming on here to say hi! Evie's a terrific reviewer and an awesome girl. AND she's Canadian, which makes her even better, in my humble opinion ...

I look forward to hearing what you all think of the book someday! Please join me on Facebook for updates.

Romance Reader Enthusiast said...

Thank you for the interview. These interviews are the way I find out about new authors and learn something about authors I already follow.


Anonymous said...

This looks like a good read. Thanks!

tjmetz said...

I'm such a sucker for historical romance books, especially those surrounding Scotland. Thanks for a great interview!

deasuluna said...

Love Historical Romances set during WWI or WWII, what can I say love men in uniform! :) And I am sucker for Scottish accent. Great interview can't wait for this book to come out.

Darlene said...

I've finally had a chance to read Outlander this year, and now I know what all the fuss is about! I agree that it is a wonderful book.

Congrats on your second book being published!

Cheryl said...

Looks like a great book! Thanks for the giveaway!

~Enamored Soul~ said...

I love it when an author meticulously researches a book, and that their research reflects in their narrative/writing. Also, this is the first time that I've heard of the term "pantser" :P How am I so clueless about such things? Hahaha.

Thank you for this amazing review, and that book thing, Evie, is absolutely're quite the crafty one! :D

Name: Hira Hasnain
Email: Enamoredsoul(at)gmail(dot)com

Anonymous said...

I will be reading this book just cos Genevieve Graham loves Jamie Fraser **swoon**

Anonymous said...

I will be reading this book just cos Genevieve Graham loves Jamie Fraser **swoon**

Anonymous said...

This was a amazing review and interview. I hope I win I know that i would love this book. and the book mark is amazing

Jaime Lester said...

The book sounds great and Genevieve Graham seems like such a genuine, honest, very humble person. It is one of the most humbling experiences for me to see an author or an actor or anyone who accomplishes something major but it doesn't change them or their values. They stay generous and honest. That is an amazing trait that everyone should aspire to. And I also happen to like a little Bailey's in my coffee!

Jennifer Haile said...

Anything Scottish, i'm there! Love the bookmark too!

Genevieve Graham said...

Sorry to do it this way, but this site doesn't let me reply individually ...

I'm so excited that all you guys came on here to comment! Okay ... let's see ...

1) Lynn - me too. It still amazes me how the authors can be so different from their books, too. Like maybe they wrote a horror thing ... the author might be the sweetest, happiest little thing! My husband tells people, "Sure, my wife kills people in her book. But think of it this way: Stephen King isn't a murderer ..."

2) Deasuluna - what is it about wars and stuff that makes it so .... what's the word? I guess it's because so many things were going on, and those stories help us step back in time and experience the horror and the exhilaration of those years. Oh ... and of course there's the uniforms ... heh heh

3) Darlene - Outlander is the bomb!! (wait - is that still a good expression?) It sets the bar for everyone else. Gabaldon is a true genius, imho. And thanks again - I'm looking forward to hearing what you think of them. And someday ... I hope to be able to introduce you all to Jesse in book #3 ... YUM!

4) Hira - I felt the same way about "pantser" when I first heard it. And then I was AWFULLY relieved because it meant I wasn't the only one who wrote this way!

5) Tiens - I know, right? JAMIE! ahhhh I have had TWO reviewers compare my Dougal to Jamie, which had me just about bawling with happiness.

6) Jaime - aww. Thanks, Jaime. And a fellow Baileys enamorata has a special place in my humble heart ... :) You know what? I'm in an incredibly fortunate position. I still can't believe my books are published and that people are really enjoying them. It's a completely wonderful, surreal experience. But it doesn't replace the best parts of my life: my daughters and my hubby. They're the ones that made it all possible.

Hey Evie - this is the only blog on my tour with such enthusiastic commenters! Means you're bringing in some terrific, energized fans. Yay Evie! (and please don't give up book blogging just so you can make more beautiful thongs) x

crystaley73 said...

Great Interview And sounds like a great book Thanks for the giveaway.

Tobi said...

SO, now I know what a books companion is! LOL Book looks great! Thanks for doing the giveaway and interview! PS I LOVE Highlanders! <3

Emily @ Falling For YA said...

This isn't the usual genre I read but it looks like a good book! Thanks for the great interview =)

Sophia Rose said...

I love historical fiction and this plot with the immigration of the highlanders sounds great.

Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

Wolfswan1 said...

I have two weaknesses concerning books, first is PNR and second is anything Scottish / Irish. This sounds like a great read. Thanks for the great review.

Wolfswan1 said...

I have two weaknesses concerning books, first is PNR and second is anything Scottish / Irish. This sounds like a great read. Thanks for the great review.

Sarah Elizabeth said...

That is so pretty! Shame i live in the uk! never mind :)

Jessie said...

It sounds like a good book. Of course I'm a sucker for historical romances.

Lisa Richards/alterlisa said...

Wow! New book and author for me. Thanks for the interview, excuse me while I dash off to add to my wishlist.

Lisa Richards/alterlisa said...

I tried to like the post but got an error message saying your url was blocked

Lisa Richards/alterlisa said...

have added both this book and the author to my wishlist

AshleyS said...

Looks like a great read. I loved the interview makes me want to check out this book and the first one that she made this one a "companion" to! :)

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