Tamara Morgan kicks off her Games of Love series with Love is a Battlefield, a recent release from Samhain Publishing. Tamara dropped by the virtual offices to chat about her new book.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
[Tamara Morgan] Contemporary romance author with a love of heroes who wear costumes. Video game geek. Wine lover. Zombie apocalypse prepared.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Love is a Battlefield?
[Tamara Morgan] Love is a Battlefield is a modern take on two of my favorite romance tropes: Regency England and Highlanders.
Kate Simmons is a Jane Austen re-enactor with a love of history and romance. Julian Wallace is a professional Highland Games athlete who adheres to the time-honored traditions of Scotland. Sparks between them fly until they realize they both want the same plot of land for their annual conventions.
Basically, it’s a land feud between re-enactment groups with a Renaissance fair, a wood-fired hot tub, and a rich Duke with his own agenda thrown into the mix.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
[Tamara Morgan] This book has been such a long process it’s hard to pinpoint exactly where everything came from. But I’m a total sucker for historical costumes, and my family goes every year to our city’s Highland Games event, Renaissance Fair, and Civil War re-enactment. I couldn’t think of anything better than to find a way to bring these types of characters to life, especially since it gave me an excuse to write modern-day men in kilts.
Since I decided to play with romance tropes and timelines, I needed characters who would be just at home in a historical novel as a contemporary one. Kate is your typical feisty bluestocking, and Julian is the fierce Highland warrior out to protect his clan.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What was the most challenging aspect of writing the book?
[Tamara Morgan] Walking that fine line between comedy and farce is something I’m continually working on improving. Humor is such a subjective thing, and I know my approach to romantic comedy isn’t for everyone. I did my best to create a fun, entertaining story that gets a few laughs but also tugs a few heartstrings.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Kate?
[Tamara Morgan] Feminine, Romantic, Determined
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are three things Julian would never hide under his kilt?
[Tamara Morgan] Defeat, Fear, Support Hose
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?
[Tamara Morgan] My husband definitely gets kudos for his sense of humor. Whether I’m borrowing
stealing his jokes for my characters or relying on him to pull me out of a writerly funk, he can always be counted on to make me laugh. That’s probably why my characters are always laughing with each other—I consider it the foundation of any good, long-term relationship.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?
[Tamara Morgan] COFFEE, my little pink netbook, Twitter
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?
[Tamara Morgan] Attachments by Rainbow Rowell. She’s got a good handle for humor, and I fell in love with her hero, Lincoln, almost immediately. It’s also a total geek book (Dungeons & Dragons! Information Technology!), which should never be underestimated.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?
[Tamara Morgan] You’d have to ask my aunt. Every year for Christmas, she would give me books specially designed to cultivate my tastes and turn me into a romance reader. Every year, she nailed my interests and tastes. The first one I remember (but not the first one I got) was Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman.
Predictably, it features a thirteenth-century love story aimed at kids. I’ve always loved historicals!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
[Tamara Morgan] Read! People are always asking me what my hobbies are outside of reading and writing, but the truth is that I don’t have many. If I don’t have my computer in hand, I have my Kindle—and I rarely travel anywhere without them both.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?
[Tamara Morgan] I’m most active on Twitter, so if you want to be sure and find me, follow me there at @Tamara_Morgan. I’m also on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AuthorTamaraMorgan.
Every few years I try to blog, but I get very lazy at updating, so for now I have a plain old ordinary website at www.tamaramorgan.com. And if you want to spend more time with Julian, he’s in the (sort of) flesh and waiting for you to pick out his kilt.
Love is a Battlefield is available now! You can order a copy from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the widget below:
About Love is a Battlefield
It takes a real man to wear a kilt. And a real woman to charm him out of it.
It might be modern times, but Kate Simmons isn’t willing to live a life without at least the illusion of the perfect English romance. A proud member of the Jane Austen Regency Re-Enactment Society, Kate fulfills her passion for courtliness and high-waisted gowns in the company of a few women who share her love of all things heaving.
Then she encounters Julian Wallace, a professional Highland Games athlete who could have stepped right off the covers of her favorite novels. He’s everything brooding, masculine, and, well, heaving. The perfect example of a man who knows just how to wear his high sense of honor—and his kilt.
Confronted with a beautiful woman with a tongue as sharp as his sgian dubh, Julian and his band of merry men aren’t about to simply step aside and let Kate and her gaggle of tea-sippers use his land for their annual convention. Never mind that “his land” is a state park—Julian was here first, and he never backs down from a challenge.
Unless that challenge is a woman unafraid to fight for what she wants…and whose wants are suddenly the only thing he can think about.
About Tamara Morgan
Tamara Morgan is a romance writer and unabashed lover of historical reenactments—the more elaborate and geeky the costume requirements, the better. In her quest for modern-day history and intrigue, she has taken fencing classes, forced her child into Highland dancing, and, of course, journeyed annually to the local Renaissance Fair. These feats are matched by a universal love of men in tights, of both the superhero and codpiece variety.