Saturday, January 26, 2013

Frances draws on Scottish heritage for medieval

Hi Frances and welcome. Tell us a something  about your adventure

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When I held a copy of my first book with Silhouette Intimate Moments in my hands. The Man for Maggie had won the Clendon Award and that was exciting because it led to publication, but holding that first baby in my hands was like a confirmation that I had made it

How many books have you written, and which is your favourite

My seventh book is just about to be released by Escape Publishing and up until now I would have said my favourite book was LOVE UNDER FIRE The hero – Rowan – appeared in almost all my Jellic Family books and even now I feel I could write him into another book without missing a beat, I know his character so well. But with THE CHIEFTAIN’S CURSE I began a new adventure. My first Scottish medieval romance. This is the book that took me home. The book that reminded me of who I was. Much of the history I used in the ‘Chieftain’ I learned at my grandfather’s knee, so to speak. He was very keen on local history and took me to visit many historic places, some of which I’ve used in my book.

In which genre you prefer to write and why?

Now this is a tough one. Around the time the SIM imprint changed my DH experienced a health crisis and my writing took a back seat. Once it was over I started stretching my wings, trying out new genre styles. An idea would pop into my head and I would go with it. What I didn’t take into account was that publishers have certain programs and if what you have written doesn’t fit, no matter if they like it, too bad. It’s a lesson I need to take to heart – someday. There is always that urge to follow that story idea and see where it leads. That’s what is good about Escape Publishing, they are simply looking for a damn good story. So at the moment I’m working on book two of my Scottish Medieval trilogy and I hope they like it when it’s done.

Can you give us some details about your upcoming release.

THE CHIEFTAIN’S CURSE is set in eleventh century Scotland, two or three decades after the Normans conquered England and during the reign of Malcolm Canmore, the Scottish king who followed Macbeth – and in an aside, I have to say Shakespeare really gave Macbeth a bad name. It was a time of turmoil in Scottish history, but I guess you can say that’s not unheard of. Euan McArthur is clan chieftain and has been cursed by a witch never to have a wife give him the heir he needs to secure his clan’s safety. As the book opens his third wife and son have just died in childbirth and he has decided never to marry again until the curse can be broken. I must admit this is not your usual opening to a romance. Yet in the Chieftain’s Curse it works. The plot is full of intriguing layers, that come from characters who pull you into the heart of the story with a desire to know more.  Not the least of them is Morag Farquhar, my heroine. She is the solution and the problem of the story. I’ll be putting the prologue to the book up on my website for anyone who would like to check it out at

Have you ever travelled to a place and come a way with a story unexpectedly?

I went on a tour of the South Island with my husband and while I was in Queenstown I read in the newspaper of an exhibition of greenstone at a gallery in Greymouth. I’d actually had this story floating around my mind for a while, part of the reason for my South Island visit. I can only say the greenstone on display was magnificent and the ancient greenstone Mere had an aura about them that was unmistakable. While I was in the gallery I found his small book, really small, about two-an-a-half inches by four inches, a history of greenstone. But in that small book I found the main thrust of my story. HEARTBREAK HERO.

Who are your favourite authors?

I have to say all my New Zealand writer friends. There is something about reading of settings that are familiar that adds and extra piquancy to a story. Linda Howard stands out as one of my all time favourites in romantic suspense, Rachel Gibson and Susan Elizabeth Phillips for romantic comedy. Anna Campbell and Stephanie Laurens, not forgetting Victoria Alexander for regencies. Nalini Singh for paranormal and anything else she cares to write. My ambition is always to write well enough to join their league and like our heroines, it's a goal that moves my personal story forward.

Frances Housden THE CHIEFTAIN’S CURSE available from on February 1st.       


  1. Sounds like a book I'll enjoy, Frances.

  2. Love Scottish romance and this sounds like a great read. Yummy cover!
    I hope the publisher loves your trilogy. Fingers crossed for you!

  3. I agree with Sandy. That book cover is "hot!"

  4. Hi Jean and Frances,
    I'm so excited to see you've got some more books coming out, Frances! I remember reading an Intimate Moments book by you with a rock-climbing heroine named Ngaire. Like you, I was thrilled to read a story set in my country - and it inspired me to set my own stories here in New Zealand. I'm so glad to have had both of you ladies to pave the way and show us all it could be done!
    I'm looking forward to reading this one, Frances!