Whisky production is a big thing in the area I live. There are two distilleries quite close to me and even more the further north you travel. I read an article about a family run distillery in the highlands and how they’d been forced to diversify and adapt to keep up with larger companies.
It sparked the idea but I didn’t initially see it as a story in itself. The first book in the Glenbriar series Stolen Kisses at the Loch View Hotel is where I first used the idea for the whisky business.
As that story developed, the idea for Highland Fling on the Whisky Trail developed too. The main characters have both appeared as side characters in previous books and they fitted perfectly into this story.
What’s your typical writing day like? Do you have any rituals and from idea to final draft, how long does it take you to write a book?
My writing days are on Monday and Tuesday. I pretty much have to stick to that as I have another job the rest of the week. Once I get writing and get in the zone, I can become immersed for hours! I don’t have any rituals but I do follow a plan for each book.
Usually the better planned they are, the quicker I can write them. The fastest first draft I ever wrote was seventy thousand words in 6 days! But normally it’s nowhere near as quick. That was a very happy fluke. My first drafts usually take about two months to write and then I spend at least that again, sometimes more, on editing.
What research do you usually undertake and how do you know when you’ve done enough?
I love research and how much I do depends on the subject. This book needed a lot of research as I had no idea about running a whisky business! I spent a lot of time reading articles and watching videos, so I could learn what I needed to know.
Which fictional character would you like to meet and why?
I love Emma from the Jane Austen book. I think we could have a good chat and put the world to rights!
What are the challenges you found when writing your novel?
When Tuesday evening comes and I know I’m not going to write much until the following week, I always find it challenging having to stop. Sometimes I panic I won’t remember everything I wanted to write, but I usually manage!
In your opinion, what are the most common mistakes aspiring authors make?
I think learning about story structure is really important for aspiring authors. For me before I was published, I used to write rambling stories with no purpose. Once I actively learned about story structure and began properly plotting my books they quickly improved.
Do you have any advice on overcoming writers block?
I’m lucky in that I don’t really get writers’ block but I guess it’s important to be kind to yourself. Sometimes I suffer from burn out and if that happens then I know to set my writing aside for a bit and take time to do something else. Usually the creativity and energy returns after a break.
Are you able to tell us about what you’re currently working on?
I’m working on a further two books for the Glenbriar series and another project that’s still in its early stages so I can’t say too much yet.
Any other advice for aspiring writers?
Get feedback! I can’t say it enough. It can be tough but it’s the best way to learn and it gets you into the way of thinking that other people are going to read your writing. A lot of first time writers get scared off at the thought of others reading their work but once you’re over that first hurdle, it gets easier.
Finally, would you rather –
Have an endless summer or winter?
Eeek… That’s too tricky!! No way can I choose.
Neither. I don’t like them!!
Movie or book?
Morning person or night owl?
Paperback or eBook?
eBook for novel, paperback for nonfiction
About Margaret Amatt –
Margaret is a Scottish author and chocolate lover who has been writing stories for over twenty years (possibly more if you count her primary school efforts). Her early works will never see the light of day and are locked in dusty vaults on some old floppy disks.
But after all those years of practise, Margaret released her first novel A Winter Haven in 2021. This is the first of a ten-book series set on the gorgeous Scottish Isle of Mull. Margaret has also written five books in The Glenbriar Series with more planned for 2023.
The stories are unashamedly romantic but with lots of drama and an eclectic mix of characters. Each book can be read as a standalone but followers of the series will enjoy catching up with the characters.
About Highland Fling on the Whisky Trail –
When sunny and efficient Felicity Swan lands her dream job as PA to the new CEO of the Glenbriar Whisky Co., the dream soon turns into a nightmare. Gavin Sinclair isn’t what she expects.
Gavin’s only qualification for the job is that he’s the owner’s son. He knows he’s out of his depth but he doesn’t need his PA criticising the changes he wants to make.
Questioning his business decisions isn’t the only way Felicity makes Gavin hot under the collar. He can’t get her out of his mind. But dating an employee is strictly off-limits, especially one ten years younger than him.
While touring the Glenbriar distilleries together, Gavin and Felicity discover each other’s company is more intoxicating than the whisky. But when the trip’s over, they have a tough decision to make if they’re to ensure their highland fling isn’t simply a brief tryst at the illicit still.
Highland Fling on the Whisky Trail is book 5 in the Glenbriar Series. Click here to buy.
Novel Kicks is a blog for story tellers and book lovers.