Can you tell us about your most recent release?
The Thunder on the Moor series is about a twentieth century college student, who travels back to the sixteenth century Anglo-Scottish Borders after discovering her father is himself one of those infamous Scottish Border Reivers. Though enchanted at first, she soon learns that blood feuds and border raids are a very real part of Border life, and the mere mention of being attracted to an Englishman can set off a deadly raid, while marrying one can be a hanging offense.
How did you get the idea for the book?
I was doing some research into my husband’s genealogy and a friend gave me a book entitled, The Steel Bonnets, which indicated that the Foster was a well known Border Reiver surname. (Andrea Matthews is my pen name) Of course, I wanted to learn more, and while doing the research, began to weave the story of time travel and forbidden love that became the Thunder on the Moor series.
Of all your characters, which one is your favorite? Why?
Probably Betty Foster, because though she lives in a time ruled by men, both her husband and sons won’t dare cross her. She’s spunky, with a big heart, and knows how to let her menfolk feel like they’re in control. Obviously, there are some decisions she has to concede on, but she’s a realist who knows what battles are within her power to win and fights them with just as much gusto as her menfolk when they ride to the frey. Graham may be the surname’s heidsman, but Betty is its heart.
What was the most challenging aspect of writing your book?
The research because not all the material was easily located. When I started writing the series, back in the early 1990s, not many people had heard of the Border Reivers. The one book I had, the one that apprised me of the fact that the Fosters were Border Reivers was The Steel Bonnets. I became my go-to book from that moment on. Gradually, I began to send to Scotland in an effort to locate material, and as the Internet grew, documents became more easily accessible. As I wanted to be as historically accurate as possible, I gathered everything I could find. More authors began to write about the reivers, records became accessible, and gradually a picture appeared. Of course, it is a romance, so although historically accurate, there is a bit of a romantic slant. Hey, if Sir Walter Scott could get away with it, why not?
What projects are you currently working on?
I just finished book 3 in the Thunder on the Moor series, entitled Shake Loose the Border, last November. The third book in my Cross of Ciaran series, which is a paranormal romance, is due out on May 25. It’s entitled the Cave of Rúin Ársa. And I hope to release a historical romance, Murder on Oak Street, at the end of August.
What advice would you offer to new or aspiring fiction authors?
In the words of Winston Churchill . . . “Never, never, never give in” or something to that effect. If you love to write, if you’ve a story to tell, then do it. And don’t let the naysayers discourage you.