Friday, September 23, 2016

Interview with Elspeth Margaret MacKay after Chapter Four

As a writing exercise, I interviewed my main character in the second novel, “THEIR HIGHLAND HOPE”.

This story is the life of Margaret MacKay…up until her tragic death, that is. Events in the story – The Battle of Culloden, The Appin Murders, the theft of the fortune from the ship The Bonnie Prince Charlie, as well as the family and birth and death of our heroine Maggie MacKay are real. The connection of these events to all my Cameron and MacKay kin are also real.

These are our family stories.

My fictional romance starts with Maggie’s death in 1762 and how she “drops” into Lord Brodie Cameron’s life. These two become soulmates who work together at something most of us do not get…a second chance in life.


I am sitting with Maggie, watching her fidget. She picks at her nails and then twirls her hair around and through her fingers.

What is on your mind, Maggie?

I’m stressed. So very stressed. (She sighs, then pauses so long in thought that I think she forgets that I’m sitting directly across from her. I drop my pen to capture her attention again.)

My family took a strong position in my country’s civil war. Father was the chieftain, leading his clan to many battles. Even my cousin was an infamous general. Now, I come to find that everything they believed in and lived for may be a ruse. His last wish was for me to protect the things he believed were important. I do not want father’s life allegiance to be in vain, but I am conflicted.

So, what can you do about that now?

I need to regroup…you know…glean all of the facts myself to decide what is the correct path for me.

What if that should go against your father’s last wishes?
I must have a better understanding why he felt as he did.

It seems that you are hesitant. Are you holding back at all?

Somewhat. I met Brodie Cameron, and he is putting a kink in everything.

How so?

Brodie makes me question what I thought I knew; however, his views are strictly one sided. It is this way or the highway – uncompromising, you see? His entire family is like this. It is not that I am blind to the reasons that he says and does things, but I am sure he does not have all of the answers either. He sees things only through his eyes, as do I.

Do you see your relationship with Brodie as a war?

Not as a war, but perhaps a battle. I know I can be annoying to him – even doing some things on purpose. But, he is exasperating - so danged hard-headed. I know that it is a little childish, but it gives me pleasure to frustrate him. (She stiffles a slight giggle here)

Why does it give you pleasure?

I don’t know, really. If I say anything, he will say the opposite. If I want to go left, he says to go right. If I like a certain food, he will say it is bad for me. If I say the moon is yellow, it is orange. When I support a cause, he says I am misguided.

Is that bad?

Like I said…he doesn’t have all the answers either. I’m sure of it. He was not there. I was.

Do you like this Brodie Cameron?

Ummm…I am not sure yet. He seems nice, and runs a small local business, so that is a plus. However, I do not know him well enough to trust all of his intentions. (I notice her moving her foot in a half circle around her chair.) One thing for certain, between us women? He is incredibly handsome and I find myself becoming giddy around him.

Are you afraid that your own life will be in vain if your beliefs are wrong?

Yes! My family history has been recorded for hundreds, if not thousands of years. My life was short and unaccounted for. I am already in vain. Being in control of my own life will allow me to make any needed changes. I do not know why, but I have been given a second chance at life…I do not want to mess it up.

Do you have any secrets…something that you would like me to know about you that you haven’t shared with anyone?

I have been alone for so long – mentally and physically. As a consequence, I have had to fend for myself and see to my own safety. But secretly, it would be nice to have somebody to lean on when I am not strong…somebody that I can depend on to see life as I do and act on my behalf.

On a much smaller note, I am slightly envious of the way his entire family gets along. I spent much of my youth alone, so having a family like his both scares me and thrills me. Families can be very influential. Again…father’s undoing.

Secretly, I want to be loved for who I am (she smiles here) ...once I figure that one out.
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