My love of writing crystallized into a career when I worked as Pulitzer Prize-winner David Halberstam's assistant at Harper's Magazine. At TIME magazine I was involved with the magazine's Watergate coverage. I took a break when my twin son and daughter were born and after a move to Maine, I discovered the joy of reporting on government at its most basic at a Maine newspaper. I'm proud that my work received an award from the New England Press Association.
I decided to see if I could write fiction and found that I loved it! Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series kindled my interest in Scottish history and inspired "Legacy of the Highlands," my debut contemporary romantic suspense novel. The story ties a murder in 21st century Boston to an event in 13th century Scotland.
What does a vow made 700 years ago in Scotland have to do with a murder in twenty-first century Boston?
When Will Cameron’s body is discovered in a Boston alley, the only clue to the thirty-four-year-old’s murder is a pristine Scottish sgian dubh dagger left beside it. His devastated widow, Alexandra, flees Boston to find refuge in the Miami villa of Will’s best friend, Diego Navarro, who has the means, power and temperament to solve the puzzle and to avenge the senseless killing.
Diego, a handsome and wealthy Argentine, is equally determined to win the grieving widow’s heart. They find it increasingly difficult to resist a growing attraction to each other as they follow leads that take them from Miami to Buenos Aires and Scotland unraveling the Cameron family’s secrets and the Legacy of the Highlands.
Harriet, I would like to congratulate on your latest release. Is there a behind the book story Legacy of the Highlands?
I’ve worked as a journalist for most of my adult life, but when magazines I wrote for began to go out of business I decided to see if I could write fiction. Luckily, many respected agents praised my work, although, much to my disappointment, none of them chose to represent me.
Do you plot your stories or let your characters lead you?
The characters definitely take the lead. I’m as surprised at some of the directions they take as the reader is! The story unfolds in my mind like a movie and I just write what I see.
How long have you been writing and what was your call story?
I’ve been writing for what seems like forever.
What are you currently working on?
I’m about 60 pages into my next book, which can work as a sequel to Legacy of the Highlands or as a stand alone novel. It’s tentatively titled A Dangerous Dance, but that may change as the story progresses.
Of all of your characters, do you have a favorite you identify with and why?
Diego! I’m in love with him in the same way I hope readers will be too although I can’t say that I identify with him. Alex has some of my personality, especially a love of chocolate, shopping and frustration with hair that frizzes in humidity.
What is the best thing about your job as an author? What is the hardest thing?
The best thing is the joy of watching the story unfold. Procrastination is a challenge and I love Nora Roberts’ advice to writers – “ass in chair.” Since publishing, the hardest thing is making readers aware of the book, which is why I’m grateful to have this interview!
What kind of daily schedule do you have?
What types of things interrupt your writing?
The Internet! Since I’m in book promotion mode for now, I find I spend a ridiculous amount of time online.
Describe a day in the life of Harriet Schultz.
I don’t really have a routine, so it’s hard to say.
How would you describe your life in only 8 words?
Surprising! There, I did it in one.
What is your motto?
Very trite, but “don’t worry, be happy.”
How would you describe perfect happiness?
Having good health and the love of my family.
What’s your greatest fear?
Illness, a fear I suspect many share.
If a movie was made about your life, who would you like to see play the lead role as you?
Now we’re in fantasy land! Meryl Streep? Tina Fay?
What is something you definitely want readers to know about you?
I love to interact with people who have read my book, and hope they will want to contact me.
When the time comes for you to retire from writing, what would you like your readers to remember the most about you and your writing?
I’d like them to still have my books on their shelves and to be swept away into the world of my characters each time they re-read them.
What are you currently reading?
I’m re-reading Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. Jamie Fraser is delicious!
Anything by the Beatles.
Sometimes blue, other times black or burgundy. It’s hard to stick with just one.
Before I let you go though, is there anything I forgot to ask that you want the readers and fans to know?
I’m grateful for each and every one of them and so, so happy that people (and reviewers) say they don’t want Legacy of the Highlands to end because they enjoy the read.
Harriet, thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview with me!
Where readers can find you: I have an author page (with links to reviews) on GoodReads
Legacy on FB
Harriett has kindly offered one person to comment on her interview and like her on Facebook a copy of her EBook. Don't Forget to leave your email address. She will chooe the winner. Contestwill end February 15th