Interview & Giveaway: Shame the Devil by Donna Scott

Today on the blog I am super excited to share my interview with Donna Scott! She is currently touring the blogosphere for Shame the Devil, which I absolutely loved! You can read my review here. And we have 3 copies up for grabs so be sure to enter the giveaway!

Hello Donna and welcome to Passages to the Past! Thanks so much for stopping by today to talk about Shame the Devil!

To begin, can you please tell us a little about yourself and your writing?

Thank you so much for having me! I’m a former professor and English teacher who always loved teaching within an historical context. I’ve also always been an avid reader and historical fiction enthusiast. My novels entertain themes of family, love, revenge, and regret, and usually contain strong deviant villains.

What inspired you to write Shame the Devil?

It’s actually the second novel I ever wrote. The first one still sits on my desktop and has a special place in my heart but will likely never see the light of day. I wrote Shame the Devil partly due to my love for Scotland and England, both of which are prominent settings in the book. First and foremost, I wanted a Scottish hero. Placing him in a setting rife with religious, political, and social turmoil—the English Civil War—provided me with built-in conflict. I gave him a love interest who is English and the daughter of the viscount he serves, just to create more problems.

What research did you undertake when writing Shame the Devil?

The research started before I began putting a single word on the page and continued throughout my writing. I had wonderful experts helping me along the way and was also able to visit several of the sites in my novel in both England and Scotland.

What would you like readers to take away from reading Shame the Devil?

Honestly, I want them to feel immersed in the time and place and understand the hypocrisy of the times. As Americans, many of us know very little about the English Civil War, so hopefully Shame the Devil will at least give the readers a taste of what the times were like. I also want them to connect to the characters—good and bad.

What was your favorite scene to write?

I think more than writing a favorite scene, I like writing certain characters’ chapters over others. The book is told in multiple POVs, one of which is the villain’s. His chapters are always the most fun to write, especially in this novel because he’s not just a predator but he’s a sexual deviant. I also loved writing Alston’s chapters. My heart is with him.

What was the most difficult scene to write?

This is a tough question. Historically, the battle scenes were hard because I wanted to stay as true to history as I could. Emotionally, there’s a scene very near the end that broke my heart to write, but it had to happen. No spoilers there.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Becoming a writer was an accident. I had a dream that kept me awake all night about two people arguing in a wood-planked stateroom on a square-rigged ship. As a history buff, I recognized their clothing as late 18th century. In the morning, I sat down at my computer and wrote the scene. That started my first foray into writing fiction.

What does your daily writing routine look like?

I don’t really have a daily writing routine. If I do write, I need huge blocks of time to do it because of the amount of research necessary. Sometimes I’ll spend three hours looking into something that will only result in me writing a single sentence.

What has been your greatest challenge as a writer? Have you been able to overcome it?

The actual practice of writing is the easy part. The process of getting an agent and then an editor to convince a publisher to buy the book is the greatest challenge. I’ve had two agents over the years from two different agencies, and those experiences have been both rewarding and frustrating.
Who are your writing inspirations?

I have so many—Noah Gordon, Ken Follett, Diana Gabaldon, Michelle Moran, Kate Quinn, Jennifer Donnelly, Philippa Gregory, and the list goes on and on.

What was the first historical novel you read?

Holy moly! I have no idea! I’ve been reading my whole life and I’m no spring chicken, so I don’t remember.

What is the last historical novel you read?

The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes.

What are three things people may not know about you?

That 1) I used to be a flight attendant (while I was in college), 2) I was in the marching band in high school, and 3) I’m all about dessert. 😊

What appeals to you most about your chosen genre?

Learning history and getting lost in time and place.

What historical time period do you gravitate towards the most with your personal reading?

I like anything, for the most part, but I typically gravitate towards 14th-18th century Western European history.

What do you like to do when you aren't writing?

I’m a creative person, so I like to paint. Since my sons are both away in college right now, I am free to spend time with my husband and friends more often, and I really enjoy that. 

Lastly, what are you working on next?

Good question! I am in the final editing stages of my second book, The London Monster. It’s about a pugilist and a cross-dressing journalist who hunt for the elusive man—the London Monster—that terrorized the streets of London one hundred years before Jack the Ripper. Just in case you were wondering, his chapters are the most fun to write too. I have a thing for villains. 

I do too and I cannot wait for this! Thank you for being here today!

Shame the Devil by Donna Scott

Publication Date: May 11, 2020
Paperback & eBook; 420 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

England, 1643. The Civil War has created a great divide between those who support King Charles and those who would rather see his head on the block. Young Scot Colin Blackburne finds himself caught in the middle when he witnesses Parliamentarians murder his mother because of his father’s allegiance to the king. As further punishment, the family is sent to Yorkshire as indentured servants.

Mistreated by his master and tormented by a Parliamentarian soldier, Colin vows to take up arms for the king and seek vengeance against the men who killed his mother. The only bright spot in his life is his unexpected, and forbidden, friendship with his master’s daughter, Emma Hardcastle.

With her father constantly away on campaign and her mother plagued by madness, Emma is drawn to Colin and his brother, Roddy. She introduces them to her troubled neighbor Alston Egerton, who has a clandestine relationship with Stephen Kitts, the soldier out for Colin’s blood.

As they all become entangled in a twisted web of love, jealousy, desire, and betrayal, the war rages on around them. Resentful at being forced into servitude and forbidden from being with the woman he loves, Colin puts his plan for vengeance into motion, though it will have disastrous consequences for all of them.

Secrets are revealed and relationships are torn apart. With the country teetering on the brink of ruin, Emma fights to survive, Alston is forced to confront his demons, and Colin must decide whether his burning desire to fight for justice is worth sacrificing a future with the woman he loves.

Available on Amazon

Praise for Shame the Devil

"Scott's writing is magnificent...The intricately woven secrets and lies against the backdrop of an unprecedented dethroning of the monarchy make Shame the Devil a page-turning experience. Historical fiction and romance fans should not miss out on this book. Highly recommended." -Chanticleer International Book Reviews

"The references to the situation happening in England during the time of the Civil War are interesting to read about...The struggle between the Parliamentarians and Royalists is fascinating to follow and thought-provoking...and you will follow some lovely characters throughout the book." -Reedsy Reviews

“Scott’s...gentle manipulation of the material [is] appealing and easy to follow, even for those unfamiliar with the details of the English Civil War...I appreciate how Scott used the history to frame the dramatic events of her story...I enjoyed Colin, Roddy, and Emma well-enough, but I was genuinely attached to Alston...I was captivated by his arc and thought his story the most dynamically compelling. Stephen, repugnant though he is, also deserves a shout out as a fabulously layered antagonist.” –Historical Fiction Reader

About the Author

Donna Scott is an award-winning author of 17th and 18th century historical fiction. Before embarking on a writing career, she spent her time in the world of academia. She earned her BA in English from the University of Miami and her MS and EdD (ABD) from Florida International University. She has two sons and lives in sunny South Florida with her husband. Her first novel, Shame the Devil, received the first place Chaucer Award for historical fiction and a Best Book designation from Chanticleer International Book Reviews. Her newest novel, The London Monster, will be released in January 2021.

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Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, September 14
Review at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, September 15
Interview at Novels Alive
Review at Rajiv's Reviews
Review at Gwendalyn's Books

Wednesday, September 16
Guest Post at Book Bustle

Thursday, September 17
Excerpt at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Friday, September 18
Guest Post at Coffee and Ink

Monday, September 21
Review at Books and Zebras
Excerpt at A Darn Good Read

Tuesday, September 22
Interview at Passages to the Past


During the Blog Tour, we are giving away 3 paperback copies of Shame the Devil by Donna Scott! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on September 22nd. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Shame the Devil

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