Book Description: From Genevieve Graham, author of Under the Same Sky, comes a sweeping romantic historical novel of one man’s strange gift and dangerous battles…
Dougal MacDonnell, a fierce warrior from the Highlands of Scotland, is able to hear the thoughts of other men and dream how the future will unfold. Devastated by the loss of his family during the Battle of Culloden in 1746, he fosters a deep hatred for the English. But when Glenna, the love of his life and a Scottish outlaw, is captured and shipped overseas, Dougal is forced to join an English army made of vanquished Scots. Now fighting on the side of his sworn enemies, he embarks on a journey that will take him across the seas to the colonies. There he will risk everything for the chance to find his true love.
Guest Post from Genevieve
Pictures In My Head
When I’m not writing, I’m running my editing business, working with other authors on their novels. I find it fascinating how every author has such a different perspective on the world in their books. Personally, I love to write in colourful detail, getting in to descriptions that some people say border on prose. For me, the way I describe something or someone lets the reader (and me!) not only see an image, but sense it in every way possible: smell, sound, even touch.
I am very aware of my characters and what makes them tick. I know them inside and out, and I know the same about every other person in the story. Most authors say they do as well — or at least they say they have that kind of relationship with their main character at least. Recently I’ve edited a few books in which the characters are vivid in personality and abilities, but I had no idea about their personal sides. I had no image in my mind of details like hair colour, height, weight, the way they stand, that kind of thing. When I asked the authors about that, they usually said it had been done purposefully because they wanted the reader to come up with their own pictures. I didn’t argue with them, because that is the perspective they wanted. Neither approach is incorrect.
But to me, the magic is in the detail. And physical details are so important. They tell so much about a character. If the character is a skinny, undersized boy going out for the high school football team, that will say something about the character’s personality. If a woman has terrible teeth, she will probably be shy about speaking out loud. That kind of thing.
When I first started writing “Sound of the Heart”, I had a specific image of the hero, Dougal, in my mind. He was tall and braw, of course, with long dark hair and bright blue eyes that carried a twinkle. He was a bit of a troublemaker who would much rather be fighting or hunting than sitting still. I fell madly in love with him … of course, I’d also fallen madly in love with his brother, Andrew, in “Under the Same Sky”. Good genes. Through the adventure, I saw Dougal at his best and at his worst, and he looked entirely familiar to me by the end. Like if he walked down the street today, I’d recognize him right away.
I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but when a major publisher puts out a book, the author has little to no say on the cover art. We trust the marketing folks to choose something that represents the book and will attract the right audience. They certainly did a beautiful job with the “Under the Same Sky” cover, but I was nervous about “Sound of the Heart”. I’ve seen far too many Fabio types, and I couldn’t stand to think of Dougal that way. The only thing I asked my editor was that she please make sure he had a shirt on.
I often base character descriptions on pictures and videos I see online, helping develop details. I combine different features of actors and models, looking for just the right mix, but I usually pick one mail actor to play the main role. This is the actor I’d imagined as I wrote Dougal’s story. His name’s Josh Holloway, and he was in the TV series, “Lost”.
Now look at this. With absolutely no interference from me (other than the shirt request!), this is the man and the look they chose for the “Sound of the Heart” cover.
Pretty darn close, right? I was amazed when I compared the two! I’ve laughed when some people asked if the picture on the front of “Under the Same Sky” was me (I can’t believe they thought that!!!!), but this time they got it bang on. Very cool. Psychic? Maybe …
When you’re reading a book, do you associate the characters with someone else you’ve seen on the media? Do you have a favourite actor or actress who plays these roles in your head?
********************My apologies to Genevieve ~ the original pictures that she sent me with the guest post didn't transfer from the document to this post. I took a liberty and searched for another picture of Josh Holloway. I couldn't find the exact picture she sent to me. (My 17 year old son isn't here to help me make it work, or figure it out.)
About Genevieve: Genevieve Graham graduated from the University of Toronto in 1986 with a Bachelor of Music in Performance (playing oboe). While on a ski vacation in Alberta she met a really cute guy in the chairlift line-up and they skied together for two days. After the second day she decided she had to have him ... permanently. The couple (now husband & wife) subsequently moved to Calgary and brought two beautiful and talented daughters into the world. They have recently settled in a small, peaceful town in Nova Scotia and are loving their quiet life.
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". Her second book, "Sound of the Heart" was released on May 1, 2012.
Learn more about Genevieve at: http://www.genevievegraham.com.
My thoughts of the book: Dougal is a man of honor.At the beginning of the book he is caught in a battle that is lost. He looses more than the battle, he looses those that he loves. Forced to march from Scotland to England he is forced to endure hardship and abuse. Throughout all of it, he thinks of others. It lays a foundation for his character.
I love Genevieve's writing style. She immediately caught my attention. Historical Romance is one of my favorite genre's to read and this is a good one. For me one true test on a book is if I go to bed tired and try to get a little bit of reading done before I fall asleep. Sleep won't come because I glued to the pages. That is a test that this book passed.
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