One frequent comment that I receive is how much readers love Fingal MacIan. Although my next book, Highland Courage, which is due for release this April is not about Fingal, I am in the process of writing Highland Intrigue, which will feature his story. Until then, I thought perhaps my readers might enjoy learning a bit more about him so he has kindly consented to participate in an interview.
Ceci: Thank you for agreeing to do an interview for me. You have become quite a favorite with readers, what do you think of that?
Fingal: I have never been one to shun the attention of bonny lasses. (He winks at me, the rogue)
Ceci: Why do you think you have become so popular with them?
Fingal: I am absolutely adorable, don’t ye think?
Ceci: You are adorable, but I am serious, what do you think they see in you aside from your handsome face?
Fingal: Frankly, I’m not sure. My life wasn’t always easy. I learned early that I needed friends and the best way to win them was to be light-hearted, funny and considerate. If I had to tell someone to go to hell, I tried to make them look forward to the trip.
Ceci: Yes, I can see you doing that. Lady Chisholm said that you are one of the few men who can best a foe and yet leave his ego intact. Your jovial nature may have something to do with your popularity, but I think it goes deeper. You are steadfastly loyal even in the face of Niall’s suspicious nature.
Fingal: Loyalty is important to me. I won’t lie, my brother’s mistrust hurt deeply. He is a good man and a strong leader but the fact is he didn’t know me very well. He had no real way of knowing how much I admired him and how loyal I really was. On top of that, Tadhg Matheson and I became good friends while we both trained with Chisholm so when the raids started it was hard for Niall to believe I was not involved. I realize now he probably made me one of his guardsmen because he wanted me to keep a close eye on me.
Ceci: Why is that? It was obvious to his commander and captains not to mention Lady Katherine.
Fingal: He didn’t really know me that well. I am eight years younger than he is and he was sent to train under Laird MacClennan when I was just six years old. I was away training with Laird Chisholm when he returned to Duncurra. His opinion of me was probably colored by his experiences with my mother. Furthermore, I don’t think anyone really understands Niall completely. If my life was hard, his was worse. He had a loving mother who he lost at the age of seven. My mother was terribly cruel to him, to both of us really.
Ceci: Fingal, if she was cruel to both of you, why are you not as bitter as he is?
Fingal: I suspect it might have been worse for Niall. She was a vile presence in his life for about six years, from the time his father married her until Niall went to train with Laird MacLennan. I probably had things easier because I was little more than a bairn most of that time. She didn’t begin spending time at court in Edinburgh until after Niall went to train with Laird MacLennan. She was much less of a presence in my life than she was in his.
Ceci: Still he did experience a mother’s love for a few years and you never had that.
Fingal: That’s not true. Lady Ina Chisholm was a solid loving presence in my life for over ten years. Laird and Lady Chisholm had three daughters and a son and I felt very much a part of that family.
Ceci: Three daughters? (I waggle my eyebrows) Any chance for a love-match there?
Fingal: Sadly no. They are all married. I had a wee crush on his youngest daughter, Rhona, for a while, but she only had eyes for Peadar MacKenzie. He is a fine man from a very powerful family. They were just recently married and I couldn’t be happier for them.
Ceci: Hmm. I think people like you because you really do seem to see the best in others. I suspect my readers will agree that your wife will be a very lucky lass.
Fingal: (Laughs) I don’t know about that. Do ye see a wife in my future?
Ceci: I am the one asking the questions here young man. However, yes I do see a wife in your future.
Fingal: Care to share?
Ceci: Not just yet. My readers love you, I have to make sure she is worthy of you. But trust me, you will be the first to know. Before I close this interview, many people have commented on how kind and loving you are toward Tomas. Can you tell us anything about him?
Fingal: (Smiles) I do love Tomas. Who wouldn’t? He is the personification of potential. Like myself and Niall, he has had a very rough start in life yet in spite of that he still sees life as an adventure. Fortune has smiled on him and given him two strong, loving parents. It will be interesting to see what kind of man Tomas grows into.
Ceci: Yes, I think it will be. That gives me an idea…