Crimson Heart Banner

Welcome, Heather!

How to Get Your Creative Juices Flowing

Thanks so much for having me here today on My Book Addiction and More!

<What an honor to have you with us and our readers today>


I’m thrilled to announce the release of CRIMSON HEART, my third full-length novel in the Highland Hearts series. The entire series takes place in 16th century Tudor Britain, from Highland castles to Henry VIII’s court and then on to the Scottish court in Edinburgh. There are sexy Highland warriors, raucous yet honorable pirates, fascinating royals, and magical healers – oh my!

So how does a mom of three, living in an east-coast-US suburb create page after page of authentic 16th century characters, dialogue, and plot turns? What gets my creative juices flowing when the 21st century completely envelops me? Years of training : ) Here are a few tricks I’ve learned.
1. Sight – I’m a very visual writer. I like to see my characters (basic features & strong emotions) and settings (authentic historical details). So I create collages for my books. I take a day toward the beginning of each new project to cut out pictures of landscapes, people and objects that mean something to my story. I paste them on an open manila folder, poster board or even in a blank book to give me something to glance at while writing.

I also surround my desk with objects that are meaningful to the book. I have a wolf calendar to remind me of Cheò, my hero’s wolf. I have a Scottish long sword mounted over the door to my office and lots of dragonflies (there’s always a dragonfly somewhere in each book).

Collage for Crimson Heart (2)2. Sound – I create a sound track for my stories and wear ear buds on days when my kids are home or when I must write while sitting through hockey or soccer practice.

3. Taste – My muse likes chai lattes with extra cinnamon (hot, not iced). A cup of tea literally get my creative juices flowing. I find it very hard to start writing without the taste on my tongue. Yes, I am like Pavlov’s slobbering dog : )

4. Smell – If I’m struggling with a scene, I’ll light a candle to block the 21st century odors around me. My muse must ignore guinea pig smells (Mr. Squiggles shares my writing room), stink from hockey pads that my son forgets to hang outside, dinner cooking, my daughter’s One Direction perfume, etc. Plus a flickering flame reminds me of magic.

5. Touch – When I’m writing a love scene, I get naked and roll around on the faux fur cover on my bed. ; ) LOL! Now wouldn’t the kids be horrified! No, I don’t do that, well not yet, but maybe I should try that when the kids start school again. My fabulous Highland husband happens to work at home too (wink, wink, say no more).Heather & her Highland Husband (2)

I have been known to sit on my faux fur blanket while writing at my desk (fully clothed). I also have a replica Scottish dirk to hold for inspiration.

The rest of my creativity comes from within. I daydream a lot, and most of the scenarios filling my head are much more interesting than real life around me. So it’s fairly easy for me to block out the 21st century for a while. In fact, when I’m sick or stressed, I like to write because it pulls me away from my pains into a world of adventure, romance and beauty. My tension leaves me and I revel with my characters. I’m never bored and my work usually makes me sigh with contentment. I love being a writer!

Thanks so much for having me here today!

Thank you, Heather, for stopping by today and for your fascinating creative juices!!


For more information about me, CRIMSON HEART, and the rest of the Highland Hearts series, please check out my web site at I can also be found here:



Crimson-Heart-500Book Title: CRIMSON HEART

Author: Heather McCollum

Book Synopsis: Elena has spent her entire life hiding her family name while walking the thin line between lady and servant in a Protestant household. She has kept the secret of her lineage for years, but with a new, fiercely Catholic queen on the throne, Elena’s Protestant caretaker is being targeted. And when Bloody Mary discovers Elena’s true identity, she must flee to Scotland to save her life.

Highland warrior, Searc Munro, has secrets of his own. In a family of healers, his dark, killing magic must never be known. When his father’s life is threatened, Searc unleashes his lethal power to save him. With his clan’s suspicious glances and whispers plaguing him, he sets off alone, only to find another use for his magic in saving a beautiful lass being attacked in the forest.

Teaming up as exiles, Elena and Searc head toward Edinburg to find refuge. Yet, with a series of ritual killings haunting the city and a traitor attempting to assassinate Scotland’s regent, suspicion turns to Searc. As word of another British heir reaches the country, the two must learn to trust each other before it’s too late.

Goodreads Amazon Barnes & Noble Entangled



Author Bio:gCmS3RD0

Heather McCollum is an award winning, historical paranormal and YA romance writer. She earned her B.A. in Biology, much to her English professor’s dismay. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood of 2009 Golden Heart finalists.


The ancient magic and lush beauty of Great Britain entrances Ms. McCollum’s heart and imagination every time she visits. The country’s history and landscape have been a backdrop for her writing ever since her first journey across the pond.


When she is not creating vibrant characters & magical adventures on the page, she is roaring her own battle cry in the war against ovarian cancer. Ms. McCollum recently slayed the cancer beast and resides with her very own Highland hero, rescued golden retriever & 3 kids in the wilds of suburbia on the mid-Atlantic coast.

For more information about Ms. McCollum, please WebsiteBlog Twitter Facebook Goodreads Newsletter



For My Thoughts on this title, please visit:







Comments are closed.