Interview with Frances Housden, Author of Chieftain by Command

[Magna Maniac Café] Good morning, Frances!  Describe yourself in five words or less.

[Frances Housden] Persistent.

[Magna Maniac Café] Can you tell us a little about Chieftain by Command?

[Frances Housden] After the death of the Comlyn Clan Chieftain, Gavyn Farquhar is commanded by King Malcolm Canmore to take his place, but first he must wed Kathryn Comlyn. An unwilling bride, Kathryn feels perfectly capable of leading the clan in her father’s stead and she leaves her new husband in no doubt of her feelings. The truth is that her disinclination suits Gavyn. His survey of the Comlyn fortress, Dun Bhuird has revealed that the defenses require expensive structural work. To earn the wealth necessary to keep the fortress and the way south safe from the Norsemen of Caithness, as the King expects, Gavyn intends that he and his men will spend time in France as mercenaries, even if it means leaving his young unbedded wife in the care of trusted retainers. His only words to Kathryn as he departs are that on his return he had better find her as he left her—intact.

[Magna Maniac Café] Can you describe your favorite scene?

[Frances Housden] To describe the scene that brought me to tears would act as a spoiler, but another favorite is when Gavyn and his men return from France without warning his wife. Kathryn awaits him bow in hand, fortunately for Gavyn she misses and later claims it was done deliberately, the readers will have to make up their own minds about that.

[Magna Maniac Café] What did you most enjoy about writing this book?

[Frances Housden] Having just written my RITA nominated book—The Chieftain’s Curse— my first in the Chieftain trilogy, I loved revisiting a lot of my original characters, Rob, Nhaimeth and Jamie—who are all somewhat older in this book—as well as Gavyn and Kathryn who played smaller parts the first time around. To be able to make your characters grow as you sit at the keyboard is very satisfying, also the ability to explore a new setting is exciting as this time the story has moved to the Cairngorms and northwest to Caithness where the Norsemen rule.

[Magna Maniac Café] What’s one thing you won’t leave home without?

[Frances Housden] A book, or my Kindle, loaded up with books. I’ve always felt that sitting down anywhere without a book in my hands is a waste of good reading time.

[Magna Maniac Café] Name three things on your desk right now.

[Frances Housden] Bluetooth keyboard and touchpad, as well as a pile of history books that I frequently use for research.

[Magna Maniac Café] What’s your favorite snack when you’re working on a deadline?

[Frances Housden] Coffee is always on the go, but a cup-a-soup and crackers help fill me up.

[Magna Maniac Café] If you could trade places with anyone just for one day, who would you be?

[Frances Housden] I think my friend, Nalini Singh, her writing appears to come with an ease I feel I lack, and when she’s not at home writing she’s traveling. I love to travel.

[Magna Maniac Café] You have been granted a superpower for one week. Which power would you choose and what would you do with it.

[Frances Housden] The power of healing would come in handy. My husband has Parkinson’s disease and I’d love to relieve him of that burden, also my mother had dementia before she passed away. I think that is a terrible way to end what has been a good and productive life. That is something I would love to help cure.

[Magna Maniac Café] What are some books that you enjoyed recently?

[Frances Housden] Before I went to RWA 2014 I loaded some early Eloisa James onto my reader, her Pleasures trilogy. Now, Eloisa has a great way with fairytales I have never tried to emulate, not unless you are into the darker Brothers Grimm tales, but I do believe a writer has to stay true to the era they’re writing about and I always picture Cinderella in the beautiful Georgian dresses Eloisa describes.

[Magna Maniac Café] How can readers connect with you?

[Frances Housden] Readers can get in touch with me on Facebook, or on Twitter @HousdenFwriter, as well as my website www.franceshousden.com

Title: Chieftain by Command

Author: Frances Housden

Genre: Historical Scottish Medieval

Release Date: September 2014

Format: eBook

Pagination: 142

Blurb:

From the bestselling, RITA-nominated author Frances Housden comes the gripping, sensual, suspenseful follow-up to The Chieftain’s Curse…

Gavyn Farquhar’s marriage is forged with a double-edged blade. Along with the Comlyn clan’s lands, a reward from the King, he is blessed with an unwilling bride, Kathryn Comlyn, and an ancient fort with few defences that desperately needs to be fortified before it can act as a sufficient buffer between Scotland and the Norsemen on its northern borders.

Gavyn needs wealth to meet his king’s demands, and he knows of only one way to get it — with his sword. Leaving his prickly bride behind in the hands of trusted advisors, he makes his way to the battlegrounds of France and the money that can be made there.

Two years married and Kathryn is still a virgin. A resentful virgin, certain that, like her father before her, she is perfectly capable of leading the Comlyn clan. In her usurper husband’s absence, she meets the clan’s needs, advising and ruling as well as any man.

But she is an intelligent woman, and she knows the only respect and power she will ever hold will be through her husband. And to wield it, she needs to make him love her. An easy task to set, but impossible to complete, when said husband has been gone for two years, and there is no word of his return. But Kathryn is undeterred. After all, a faint heart never won a Chieftain.

About the Author:

Frances Housden has only recently discovered the delights of writing Mediaeval Scottish stories—part fantasy and part memories of her early life in Scotland. Now living in New Zealand, she happily writes at home and lives vicarious adventures with her heroes and heroines. Frances is married to the man she travelled to the ends of the earth for, and together they have two sons and four grandchildren who make sure life is never dull.