Unkilted: New work underway

I have long been in thrall to bonnie Scotland: her language, music, history, people, mythos, traditions. And I found recently that I’m descended from Clan MacGregor, a family that had its shares of ups and downs. (I refer you to a recent article I published on another blog site, Celtic Fire, called “Children of the Mist”: https://bit.ly/2OS4kzH).

So, what could be more natural than a novel about a MacGregor?

Here’s a tentative blurb and a fanciful cover, which I shall *not use:

unkilted border

One man is stripped of his name, his tartan, and his weapon. Another is torn from his very homeland, forced to live in danger and deceit. What happens when an unkilted Scot meets a runaway Colonial Quaker?

Can Grier and David, born enemies, live together? Fight together? Can they combine the best of themselves and set aside the grief of their past? The future of bonnie Scotland and a fledgling America may hang in the balance.

I’ll be writing the novel (or maybe pair of novellas) in this year’s annual Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month). Right now, I’m trying to research a very complex subject so that I can distill it into a readable story.

In the front matter of the work, I intend to publish a short glossary. That will no doubt turn off some potential readers. But how can I do justice to my character if he sounds like a bloody Englishman? 😀

Aye…Yes. (As an adverb, pronounced differently , it means “always.”)

Baws…Balls, bollocks

Bod…Penis, Cock

Burn…(Also modern) A small brook or stream

Braw…Brave. Also, fine, elegant, beautiful, excellent

Cathairean…Highland cateran or warrior (also rustler or outlaw!)

Dirk…Short dagger worn by Highland warriors. More than a personal sidearm, it was the symbol of a man’s honor.



Nae…No. Fixed to the end of a verb, the meaning changes to the negative, as in dinnae, “do not.”

Piob mhor…Great highland bagpipe

Reekie…Smoky, misty, transitory. Note that the MacGregor clan came to be called “Children of the Mist.”’ The nickname for Edinburgh for centuries was “Auld Reekie”; and the waterfall central to this story was (and is) Linn Reekie, Misty Falls.


Sgian-dubh …Small concealed knife (in modern times, it’s tucked into the top of a highland stocking)


Walloper…Fucker (literally, a galloper)


Thus a radge walloper is a crazy fucker…and there are plenty of those in my story!

Stay tuned to this blog, where I’ll jot my ideas and scribbles about the new work and probably pre-publish a few chapters.

*I do not have permission to use these handsome men on a cover; and the tartan shown is not that of a MacGregor, but a Balfour.

dirk for blog

This is an actual MacGregor tartan, and a stylized dirk used as a kilt pin in the modern age.



The dirk…a Highlander’s personal sidearm…was a symbol of his honor. To have it broken or destroyed was a way of breaking his heart and his soul—and his manhood.


About erinsromance

Erin O'Quinn is a writer who has published all 35 of her books through her own company, New Dawn Press. She earned a BA (English) and MA (Comp. Lit.) from the Univ. of Southern California but says her best education has come from the badlands and the good people who inhabit them. From the outskirts of a small town in central Texas, Erin conjures up visions of ancient and jazz-age Ireland; Old World Wales and Britannia; and the Scotland of people from Picts to contemporary. The badlands of Nevada are in the mix, but far removed from these Gaelic shores. Most of O'Quinn's writing is here: Kindle US http://amzn.to/1w8PVgI Kindle UK http://amzn.to/24BcIcj Queer Romance Ink http://bit.ly/2mnG1hL( links, reviews, etc.) Sea to Sky http://bit.ly/2lJ72bd (epub or pdf links, excerpts) Smashwords http://bit.ly/1s3cf1q (epub)
This entry was posted in Scotland setting and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Unkilted: New work underway

  1. erinsromance says:

    Reblogged this on The Man in Romance and commented:

    A sneak peek at radge walloper (aka crazy fucker) Erin O’Quinn’s new work in progress.

    Liked by 1 person

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