Finding The Write Words with Darlene Fredette

Finding The Write Words with Darlene Fredette
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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

At the Cottage with Laura Strickland

Welcome to the cottage, Laura! 

There's a chance of showers today, so please take a seat on one of the comfy chairs in the sitting room by the fire.

What can I get you to drink?
Darlene, I’d love a cup of tea—Lady Grey, if you have it with just a splash of cream, no sugar. Thank you for inviting me today. It’s so cozy and comfortable here at the cottage! 

Tell us a little about yourself.
I was born and raised in Western New York, and caught my desire to write from my love of reading, fostered by my older sister who always took me our local library. I’ve had lifelong interests in lore, legend, magic and music, all of which show up in my writing. I’m also interested in animal welfare and have a cherished senior rescue dog. We’re fortunate to live in a little house, a bit like the cottage, in the beautiful countryside not too far from Lake Ontario. 

Let’s talk about writing and books. 

How do you research an element for a story?
Since I write a lot of historical fiction, research is pretty important to me. But I like to weave my facts into the story, often using dialogue rather than narrative so it doesn’t seem like a history lesson. The best way I’ve found to do research on a specific era or historical event is to read up on it extensively until I get a real feel for it. That way I build a frame of reference and don’t wind up just spewing facts at my readers. I read whatever I can get my hands on concerning the time period that interests me—from reference books and historical accounts to articles on the internet. 

What do you like to do after finishing a manuscript to reward yourself?
I’ve never felt the need to reward myself after finishing a manuscript—the sheer joy of getting the story onto the page is reward enough. Besides, I always have the next story beating on the back door of my mind, anxious for its turn. The characters begin telling me their tales before I’m done with the last lot, shouting through the door for attention. They’re an impatient lot. So I guess the real reward is that sigh of relief, knowing I can begin to write down the story they want so badly to tell! 

What can we expect from you next? Are you working on anything new?
I’m almost always working on something new! Those insistent characters just will not leave me alone. And for me that’s the sheer joy of writing. I write in several genres including Historical Romance, Steampunk Romance and Contemporary Romance and I like to mix it up so that my writing doesn’t become stale. I also take advantage of submission calls for specific series put out by my publisher, The Wild Rose Press. Right now I’m working on the first book of a new series set in ancient, Pictish Scotland. It contains plenty of magic, romance and a secret I simply can’t reveal! 

Now, let’s get personal! 

What is one thing people might be surprised to know about you?
I love to memorize poems, and when I can’t sleep I recite them over and over in my head. Some of them are very long and the trick works pretty well—I usually drop off in mid-stanza. 

What is one obsession you possess?
Does chocolate count? Honestly, if I know there’s chocolate in the house, it nibbles away at my brain like a pesky rodent and I can’t rest till I have some. Yes, I guess that qualifies as obsession! 

Are you married and/or have any children?
I’ve been married a long, long time … not sure I want to say how long but we have an important anniversary coming up next year. We have one daughter of whom we are both very proud. I always tell her, we stopped after receiving one perfect child because I don’t like pressing my luck! 

Where is your favourite vacation destination?
Oh, this is a hard question. I actually have two favorite destinations: Scotland and St. John’s, Newfoundland in Maritime Canada, where my mother was born. I feel equally comfortable and peaceful in both places so I must be a northern girl at heart. 

Your Favourites!

Favourite Colour: Hunter green
Favourite Season: Autumn 
Favourite Movie: Lord of the Rings
Favourite Actor: Viggo Mortensen
Favourite Song: Skating Away On the Thin Ice of a New Day by Jethro Tull
Favourite Pleasure Food: Virtually any kind of seafood 
Favourite Place to Read: In bed
Favourite article of clothing: My snuggly robe
Favourite candy your sweet-tooth craves: Cadbury Fruit & Nut Bar 

Describe yourself in three words.
Kind, persistent, empathetic. 

Thank you for visiting, Laura! It’s been great getting to know you. Please stop by the cottage again soon!

Where can we keep in touch with you?

Here's a peek at Laura's new release, 
Honor Bound: a Highland Adventure
Following the disastrous defeat of the clans at Culloden, Scottish Chief’s son Diarmad Ramsay makes his dying father a promise. Diarmad will play the part of Bonny Prince Charlie in an effort to help the true Prince escape the Highlands. With only the fiery Mara MacIvor for guide and with danger on his heels, he must risk all for a Cause in which he no longer believes. 

Mara MacIvor considers Ramsay a poor substitute for her beloved Prince. Ramsay may be one of the bonniest men she’s ever met and a braw sight with a sword in his hand, but his disillusionment makes a wide gulf between them. Pursued through the Highlands by Sassenachs and ruthless Highland renegades bent on claiming the price on Prince Charlie’s head, their physical attraction soon becomes a conflagration. But will they ever be bound by more than Diarmad’s vow of honor? 



  1. It’s been a pleasure having you as my quest today, Laura. We have so much in common, it’s almost scary. I like that you are interested in animal welfare. It’s hard to escape those ‘voices’ in our head, and they always have something to say while we’re in the middle of a different story, lol. Memorizing poems is quite a talent! My husband and I have one child too, a daughter, and we thought the same – why chance luck a second time when the first one is perfect, lol. Be sure to visit Nova Scotia on your way to St. John’s! Loved Viggo in Lord of the Rings. Please visit again soon!

  2. Darlene, Thanks so much for inviting me to the cottage! I enjoyed our interview. I would LOVE to drop by Nova Scotia on my next trip to St. John's. It's on my list of places to see.Trouble is, if I drop by, I won't want to leave!

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  4. Enjoyed your interview, Laura. Honor Bound sounds interesting since I've just starting reading about Highland warriors. Interesting group. Good Luck!

  5. Tena, Thanks for dropping by to visit with us!

  6. We have a love for books, chocolate and Highlanders in common. Good luck with Honor Bound. It sounds fantastic.

  7. Another interesting interview. It is so fun learning about other authors. I like J. Tull too. Yes, Honor Bound looks yummy and sounds great.

  8. Lovely interview, ladies! Sharing and tweeting!

  9. Hi Laura. I enjoyed learning more about you in this terrific interview. I have the same problem with chocolate! Love your new cover and the book sounds great. Best of luck with it.

  10. Wonderful interview! Autumn is my favorite season and green is my favorite color, too. Best of luck with "Honor Bound."

  11. It's nice to get to know you, Laura! I hope great sales for you on your new book.

  12. Loved getting to know you more, Laura! Wow! How interesting that you recite poems to help you fall asleep. :) Wishing you all the best with your book and series!

  13. It was great to get to know you. I love that you recite poems in your head at night. Your new books sounds great.