Your adult contemporary romance series On Dublin Street is now on it's fifth novel. Did you ever think you would be releasing book 5?
I never even thought I’d be releasing a book 2! When I wrote On Dublin Street it was my first adult contemporary romance so I had no idea how readers would respond to me in this genre. I wrote it thinking it was a standalone, and I’d wait for reader reaction to see if I would try the genre again. The reaction was so phenomenal and I was getting so much demand from readers to write more, I considered how to turn ODS into a series. But no way did I ever think there would be a book 5. The ODS world has been a wonderful world to live in these last two years.
Echoes of Scotland Street is all about Shannon MacLeod and Cole Walker. Shannon is the first MC who we don't already know from an earlier book. Did you ever consider writing from Cole's POV?
I don’t write in first person male POV. It’s a skill thing! Some female writers can do it, but I think it’s difficult to make a male character sound authentic in first person. The entire series is written in first person narrative, and also from the heroine’s perspective. From a stylistic perspective it would have knocked the heck out of series continuity. From a much more important narrative perspective, Cole’s POV would never have worked for the story. The story is built around how special Cole is—how his strength and kindness is even more appealing than his sexiness. I honestly feel readers wouldn’t have felt how special he was if he was telling the story because they’d lose out on really understanding what it is about him that saves Shannon, and how he helps her find herself again. Seeing him through her eyes is the absolute core of the story.
This is the second book, after Fall From India Place, that follows the younger members of the On Dublin Street tribe. Did it feel natural to be writing about them next with everyone else having grown up and started families?
Yes, definitely. I thought about introducing new characters into the tribe along the way that I could turn into main characters in future books, but I really felt that readers already had such a connection to the younger generation that it would be a shame to waste the series on new characters they’d have to grow to love, when there were two characters they already cared so much about. There was the bonus that by jumping ahead a few years it would give readers something they usually only get in a hastily put together epilogue; they’d get to enjoy the relationships and growing families of the previous characters and see that their old favourites were still as happy as ever so many years down the line.
I love that family plays such a big part in the series. Is that something that's important to you to get across to your readers?
Next to the romantic relationships, the On Dublin Street series’ strongest theme is family. It’s so important because as much as romantic love is exciting and thrilling, the love that characters find in family (whether of blood or one they’ve created out of friendship) is heartwarming. It’s the good stuff that makes a reader feel content when reading it. If you were snuggled up warm on a winter’s day drinking hot cocoa and reading those familial scenes it would be the most perfect feeling in the world. As much as romantic love plays a part in shaping and saving characters that are dealing with deep emotional issues, the love they find in their friendships and family is equally as important and realistically have just as big an impact. I think the element is important to make the story authentic and well-rounded.
This book is a definite contender for my favourite of the series, I loved meeting, and falling for, grown up Cole and I loved just how good looking and just how good a guy he felt all round. What do you think makes the perfect book boyfriend?
Thank you! I adore Cole. I think he might be my favourite hero yet and what I’d consider a perfect book boyfriend. He’s that great mix of sexy and confident (with more than a hint of cocky — but look at the guys who have raised him! Braden Carmichael, Cam MacCabe, Nate Sawyer…) and sweet consideration. Cole’s been wounded and seen the tougher side of love from a young age. This gives him a maturity that I think a great book boyfriend needs. BUT he’s not ruled by his wounds, and in fact it’s his wounds that help heal the wounds of his heroine because he understands. He gets it. He’s the guy that listens, offers comfort, safety, laughter, support, belief, and on top of that awesome sex. What’s not to love?
How would you sum up the series in one sentence?
A sexy, emotional series with hot, cocky Scottish heroes and strong, sassy heroines.
Who would you cast as Cole?
Well Fifty Shades has stolen him LOL, but I think Jamie Dornan would make a great Cole.
What's next for you?
I’m working on an adult contemporary romance… more to be said about that soon!
Thank you so much to Samantha for indulging me with more questions! I absolutely love chatting about the On Dublin Street series and it features 5 of my favourite book boyfriends! I love these books and can absolutely recommend them. Echoes of Scotland Street was out yesterday so make sure you check it out!