Monday 6 June 2011

My Guest, Janice Horton

It's another hot day here on the island, so I'll just wind up the parasol as my lovely guests makes herself comfortable. Janice Horton, now relaxed and sipping champagne is going to talk about her humorous  new book, Bagpipes & Bullshot and life in Scotland. Take it away Janice...

Thank you Pauline, for inviting me to the beautiful island of Lanzarote this week to be your guest. I’m absolutely delighted to accept. Only, what did you mean about me not actually needing to get a flight over there...?

Hello everyone. I’m Janice Horton and I’m the author of Bagpipes & Bullshot, an entertaining and humorous novel which, for the most part, is inspired by the romantic beauty of the heather-filled glens around my Scottish country cottage.

I must admit that after the last particularly harsh winter here in Scotland, with freezing temperatures and deep snow, the recent photos of Pauline’s beachside home on Lanzarote have made me feel rather envious of her year-round sun-kissed lifestyle, and I have wondered why it is that I choose to live on a Scottish hillside?

Twenty three years ago, when I first came to live in Scotland, I was in awe of its raw wild beauty which was bathed in a strangely diffused northern light. I marvelled at the traffic free roads, the deer ambling past my unlocked door, the rare birds flying overhead. I was captured by the romantic castles swathed in mist and the ancient traditions that mark the seasons, bringing together people in remote communities.

It is a place that has inspired me to write, although I first got the idea for Bagpipes & Bullshot while visiting America, standing on a Gulf Coast beach at sunset, thinking of how the warm breezes, blue waters, and southern lifestyle, were a world away from my life in Scotland. Now, you may think a contemporary novel with a cowgirl and a laird is a little far removed from what it is to be American or Scottish today, and you would be right. However, the premise of the story is about opposites attracting and the emotional, cultural, and geographical differences between two people who come from opposite sides of an ocean.
In Bagpipes & Bullshot the heroine of the story, Orley, arrives from Texas to experience not only the beauty of Scotland but also the harsh realities. The story is, of course, intentionally larger than life and that’s what hopefully makes it entertaining and fun. I’m told there are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments in Bagpipes & Bullshot!

It’s June and summertime here at last. It’s raining of course, warm(ish) rain, but thankfully the midge season isn’t biting yet. The trees in the forest on the opposite side of the glen are clad in their finest greenery and the hawthorn outside my cottage window is dressed in bridal white. The swallows have arrived back in the garden and during these longest days of the year it doesn’t ever really get dark here. Its dusk at midnight and the sun rises again as early as three am.
So now I’ve conceded all over again that Scotland is a paradise of its own making.
And perhaps if it was always warm, dry, and conveniently midge free, everyone would want to live here - the wild beauty would be gone - and with it perhaps my creativity, my inspiration, my romantic notions, and my heather clad settings?

So I’ll stay after all. But I think I’ll mention to my dear husband how it might be nice to take a holiday, somewhere sunny, dry and warm, like the Canary Islands...?

Bagpipes & Bullshot is available to download from Amazon Kindle and Smashwords

Follow her on Twitter: @JaniceHorton

Janice is a author


Anonymous said...

Fasinating interview and insight and so nice to meet Janice. I do hope her book does well. Thank you both too for letting me drop in to say hello.
Cheers, girls.

Suzy, The Grey Brunette said...

Hi Janice & Pauline! A fab post, as usual. Your book sounds wonderful. I'm going to have to go and buy it, for sure! I've always wanted to visit Scotland... in fact we very nearly went there for our honeymoon but ended up in the Lake District instead. It's still up there in my places to go before I die list though!
Suzy xx

Anonymous said...

as an exiled Scot I'm feeling all homesick now! Woul love to know just where your cottage is. Best of luck with the book. I've heard of 'Tartan noir' - this sounds more like Tartan sunny!.

Janice said...

Hi Pauline - thanks so much for the warm welcome and chilled champagne and thanks for the lovely comments ladies.

AliB - you asked about the whereabouts of our cottage, well I did a 'cottage blog' a year or so ago called 'a year in a country cottage', which was shortlisted and Highly Commended in Candis Magazine blog competition. It's still on line if you'd like to take a look:

love, Janice xx

Unknown said...

A lovely interview, both, and I love the cover for Bagpipes & Bullshot. I lived in Orkney for 12 years and still get a little 'homesick' for all things Scottish. :)

Anonymous said...

Oooh, you had me at cowgirl! Actually, you had me from the book's title, which is fantastic by the way. I'm adding to my TBR. Nice to meet you, Janice!

Pauline Barclay said...

Thanks ladies for stopping by and saying hello to Janice, a lovely lady and great writer...we are still enjoying the bubbly... so keep coming along to say hi... giggle!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Hi from one of your Scottish pals! Lovely post, Janice. And Bagpipes and Bullshots is still one of the most amusing books I've read for a long time!

Rosalind Adam said...

I've only been to Scotland twice but both times I was blown away (no pun on weather intended!) by its beauty. The book sounds great and so does Janice's home... although I agree that the occasional holiday somewhere warm (like Lanzarote) never goes amiss.

M Pax said...

All success to Janice. Sounds like a wonderful read.

Janice said...

Thank you everyone for your kind comments and if you have bought Bagpipes & Bullshot - I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it! xx

Pauline Barclay said...

Thank you for taking time out to say hello to my lovely guest, Janice Horton, an amamzing lady and a great writer.

Melanie said...

Great post! Loved your descriptions of Scotland.
My Dad was a Scottish national who emigrated to Canada as a home child so I feel a kinship almost as close as if I grew up there myself.
Can't wait until my next trip abroad.
You've made me pine yet again for Bonnie Scotland.

K. Rosenberg said...

Wow, you do make Scotland sound awfully nice. It is definitely on my list of places to visit someday!

Tracy said...

Hah, saw your comment on Talli's site; okay, I'm looking at yours :) if you look at mine!
I went to the one site; Waggy tails and of course fell in love; I'm a sucker for dogs and cats which is why you'll like my book and the funny story from Angel-Kitty who gets her brother in trouble all the time; truly...Okay, now you also have me hooked on your books; so glad I found you...are your books a series? I need to look at them closer and see which one to order first. I belong to a book club and in Nov. I am choosing the book so I'll read it first and decide.
thanks so much!

Janice said...

Ah, thank you Pauline for your lovely comment.

Melanie - hey nice to see you here in Lanzarote!

Kenneth, you really should hop over to Scotland sometime - it would be great to meet you.

Tracy - I just popped over to your super blog and became a friend. I'll look forward to getting to know you better. Do note (link on my blog) I'm looking for readers for an exciting interactive website launching on 29th June called