Day 9: Trish Milburn on Sticking With Love

Sticking With Love

Since I began writing fiction, I’ve been asked on occasion why I chose to write in the romance genre. The answer is simple – I’ve always been in love with falling in love. You see, I think mankind needs more than the basics of life such as water and air to survive. We have a deeply held desire to be loved and to be able to share the love within us with someone else. We often physically ache when we don’t have these things, and when we find them we glory in the euphoria. Having the Cowboy's Baby

That said, chances are most of us will actually fall in love with someone only a few times, perhaps only once, in our lifetime. But luckily for us, there are other ways to feel that excitement and joy of falling in love again and again. That’s why I’m drawn to romantic movies, why I “ship” certain couples in TV shows, and why romance novels are near and dear to my heart. We get to bear witness to that thrilling, often beautiful, sometimes stressful process of falling in love and then living happily ever after. And it reminds me that I’m lucky that I found my own hero more than 20 years ago when we were still ready-to-take-on-the-world college students.

All these fictional couples also inspire me to keep writing stories that will hopefully touch the people who read them. It doesn’t matter if I’m writing contemporary rodeo cowboys, urban vampires in a post-pandemic world or even young adult fiction, I can’t seem to not include some level of romance. It’s just part of who I am, and I’m guessing there are lots of other authors who are the same. No matter the setting, that story of finding true love comes through. Every romance author probably has stories of readers who have written to them to say that their books, their fictional tales of falling in love, have gotten them through a dark time. There is no better feeling than knowing the words you’ve written have given someone comfort, joy, or the strength to go on and face another day.

Like most things, the romance genre has evolved. While you might still find damsels in distress, they are just as likely to save themselves as be saved by some knight in shining armor. But even though the heroines have become stronger and more self-reliant, that doesn’t mean they don’t want love in their lives. And despite those critics out there who like to denigrate the romance genre, I firmly believe that love is a basic human need that begs to be fed. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. We can be strong and independent and still share our lives with someone who loves us as much as we love them.

Honestly, in a world where the news is filled with one horrible thing after another, I think positive stories of falling in love and making a commitment to another person is just what we all need. Some light to counter all the encroaching darkness, something to remind us that the world isn’t all bad, that there is still reason to hope. I was reminded of this when I passed a sign recently that bore a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

I, too, will stick with love.


MJ Fredrick – MJ writes a spectrum of genres and settings. They’re all great. I highly recommend them.


Questions for Trish:

What is the craziest or ugliest object in your house, and why do you keep it?

I can’t really think of anything crazy or ugly, unless you count my hair when I get up in the morning. 🙂 But I have a couple of things that are older and sentimental. One is my little pink pair of baby shoes. I brought these home when my dad passed away a couple of years ago. They have little jingle bells on them so that Mom and Dad would always know where I was. The other is a rocking chair that is probably about 100 years old. It was my great-grandmother’s, and I brought it home this past spring when my mom passed. Since I don’t have kids, I’ll eventually pass it on to one of my nieces.


If there was a movie made about your life, what would it be called? (And just for fun, who would play you?)

Out of the Holler. 🙂 Yes, I grew up in a Kentucky “holler.” Sounds like a country song, doesn’t it? I’d love for Jennifer Lawrence to play a younger me because I admire her both as an actress and as a person, and she’s a Kentucky gal, too, so she’d be able to get the accent right.


What is the best non-monetary gift you ever received?

There are lots of things I can name, but one that is simple and special is what my husband gave me one Valentine’s Day. I walked out to my car to go to work, and sitting in my driver’s seat was a little stuffed puppy holding a Three Musketeers bar. I love puppies and Three Musketeers bars, so it was really sweet.

If you had to pick one romantic scene or couple to recommend to a first-time reader of YOUR books, which would it be? (Any picks for romance novels in general?)

I love all my characters, but the hero and heroine in Cowboy to the Rescue were special because they were these two people with deep emotional wounds who not only found love but were able to help each other heal.


*Trish will give something away, but she is dealing with some family matters and I did not want to bother her with the details. Please leave a comment if you’re interested in reading one of her books (find other details at the contest page), and we’ll announce what the prizes are later. If there is an international option, you’ll be previously entered from another post.


Trish Milburn was born and grew up in Kentucky.  She wrote her first  romance as a class project way back in the sixth grade.  It was the beginning of her writing career, even if until the early 1990s that writing consisted mainly of research papers and essay test questions and then newspaper articles.  The love of reading and writing has brought her joy and some of the most wonderful friends a girl could have, including the members of the Wet Noodle Posse, the Romance Bandits, and Music City Romance Writers.  During her journey to publication, she finaled in RWA’s  Golden Heart eight times and won twice – in 2004 in Romantic Suspense and in 2007 for Young Adult. In, June 2007, she finally got “The Call” and sold her first two books, young adult titles, to Razorbill, a part of Penguin Young Readers Group. In Oct 2007,  she was thrilled to sell two romances to Harlequin American.

Buy Trish’s and other books at Amazon.


Have you seen these other great essays?

Beth Kendrick       Sarah Morgan      Barbara Delinsky 


  • QuenKne M

    It’s funny but I made a comment on an earlier author’s post about how I feel we need more positive, loving stories in the media to counter all the horrible stories. As well, I also commented that I’m was not going to waste my time on the hate, but concentrate on the love. 🙂

    • TrishM2013

      I think it makes for a happier, less-stressful life to do so. If we worried about everything that’s on the news and concentrated on the negative all the time, that would be one depressing life.

  • Jen C

    What a great piece! I think there should be a special award for best blog of RARM. You’d definitely be a contender with this one!

    • TrishM2013

      Jen, thanks so much! I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

  • Britney Adams

    I am sticking with love too!

    • TrishM2013

      I think this is a good policy. 🙂

  • Melanie Backus

    Love and falling in love is the best!

    • TrishM2013

      I agree. 🙂

  • May

    Love your books. 🙂
    Yes… I just read another one by Mary Janice Davidson the other day… 🙂

    • TrishM2013

      Thanks, May. I’m happy to hear that.

  • Nicole Fortuna

    I agree that romance novels are necessary to counter all the dark and depressing stories that are always on the news. Who needs a stressful, depressing life? Thank you for writing romance!

    • TrishM2013

      Thank you for reading it, Nicole.

  • rebecca moe

    Love the quote, and the sentiment. Very nice post–and very true.

    I haven’t read anything by you yet, but you’re definitely on my list–hope everything is going well back home.

    • TrishM2013

      Thanks, Rebecca.

  • tonda hargett

    Please keep including romance in your novels, we love it! I grew up in a holler in Kentucky, too, now I live on a hill in Kentucky!

    • TrishM2013

      What part of Kentucky, Tonda? I’m originally from the western part of the state, and my husband is from the northern part.

      • tonda hargett

        I’m from northern Kentucky, I grew up in Bracken County, live in Mason Country now. Close to the Ohio River!

  • brhill2010

    Love the Martin Luther King, Jr. quote. I agree there is too much hate in this world and that is the only thing the news is filled with. SO as like you and Mr. King, I will stick with love; its a much happier place!!

    • TrishM2013

      Thanks. I think we all need infusions of positivity to get by from day to day.

  • Sandi in OH

    My grandmother always said that the hate was too strong of a word that only makes you sick, not the person you hate. I rarely, if ever, use that word.

    • TrishM2013

      I agree with your grandmother. It’s such a dark, negative word.

  • Kim Cornwell

    Thanks for stoping by. Love meeting new authors! How whatever is going on in your life gets better!

    • TrishM2013

      Thanks, Kim.

  • Bette Hansen

    Very nice post. Thank you.

    • TrishM2013

      Thanks, Bette. I appreciate it.

  • Dawn

    What an inspiring post! Thank you! I, too, will stick with love.

    • TrishM2013

      Thank you, Dawn.

  • Amy McKechney Lang

    Thank you for your post! Love discovering new authors!

    • TrishM2013

      I do too, Amy. 🙂 So many great books out there to read.

  • Meredith Richardson

    Lovely essay, thanks so much for sharing that with us 🙂

    • TrishM2013

      Thanks, Meredith.

  • Marcy Shuler

    I hope whatever is going on in your life gets resolved with minimal hardship for you and yours. Thank you for taking the time to write such a touching essay.

    • TrishM2013

      Thanks, Marcy.

  • Pamby50

    I have decided to stick with love. Great line and that is why I read romance. Looking forward to reading one of your books.

    • TrishM2013

      Thank you, Pam. I hope you enjoy it.

  • Kim

    I love that quote by Martin Luther King, Jr.

    • TrishM2013

      Thanks, Kim. So much can be said in so few words. It shows that words indeed have power.

  • Ann

    “I’ve always been in love with falling in love.” – A truly wonderful reason to both read and write romance!

    • TrishM2013

      Thanks, Ann. There’s nothing quite as happy-making.

  • TrishJ

    I have a friend who works in the neonatal unit. She says babies that are held and given love have a greater survival rate. We all need love!

    • TrishM2013

      Trish, I’ve seen stories about that. I’ve seen it in reference to babies in orphanages in other countries that aren’t held. They don’t thrive and sometimes have developmental problems. So sad.

  • Marcia Berbeza

    I think the best scenes a romance author can write, are the realistic ones. The ones where you realize that people in love aren’t mushy all of the time and relationships can occasionally come off as antagonistic. So many young people think that if a man isn’t constantly charming, it means he doesn’t love you. My husband loves to spar verbally. We fight constantly, and at the end of the day, we curl up in the same bed, as close as we can get. This has been going on for 35 years. I know he loves me. He’s the first person I call if I get into trouble. He will always be there for me. And yes, I fight with him constantly!!

    • TrishM2013

      Marcia, I think a nice mixture of realism and fantasy is a great experience for readers. It takes them away but isn’t so unrealistic that it takes them out of the story.

      • Marcia Berbeza

        Yes. We all need a little fantasy in our lives, but I had a friend once who got freaked out the first time she heard my husband and I talk. She thought it meant we were going to get divorced. At the time we had been married about 27 years and I was scolding him about drinking from the milk jug. He grinned at me and gave me the same old crap about being pretty when I’m mad, which totally sets me off. When she said something, I laughed and said that’s the way we’ve always communicated. She was over 40 at the time and had been unable to sustain a long lasting relationship. I felt it was due to unrealistic expectations. She thought that if you were in love, you never disagreed.

  • BookLady

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful post. It is always very interesting to learn about an author’s inspiration.

    • TrishM2013

      Thanks so much, BookLady. I appreciate it.

  • Peni Anne

    I haven’t read you before but they look good. Do you suggest starting with the Teagues of TX or Blue Falls, TX series?

    • TrishM2013

      Hi, Peni Anne. You can do either, but the Teagues of Texas came first and is set in the same town — Blue Falls. Characters from those books make brief appearances in the Blue Falls books.

      • Peni Anne

        Good to know. Thank you Trish M

  • Ann Mettert

    I am always interested in what writers have to say about their process and why they write. 🙂

    • TrishM2013

      Thanks, Ann. You know, I love hearing about other writers’ processes.

  • Sue G.

    I love love too. That is why I read romance. I want my happy ending love story.

    • TrishM2013

      I’m a great fan of the happy ending as well. It’s what drew me to romance before I even knew there was a genre called romance.

  • leah g

    Love makes the world go round. All books seem to have some hint of love it is too big of a driving factor to ignore.

    • TrishM2013

      You’re right, Leah. All sorts of genres, even the dark thrillers and such, sometimes have elements of love or romance in them. It’s just part of the normal human existence.

  • TrishM2013

    Thanks for all the comments today. Sorry it took me so long to get to answering most of them. My husband’s grandmother passed away this week, and today was the funeral.

  • Ketta Peters

    What a great Valentine’s Day gift — one that says “I love you” and “I know you” so well. Thanks for a great article.

    • TrishM2013

      Thanks, Ketta. Yeah, it’s so often the little things more than grand, expensive gestures that mean the most.

    • Ruth

      Yes! You hit the nail on the head Ketta – a gift that not only says, I love you, but also I KNOW you.

  • Ruth

    I have never heard that quote from Dr. King. Outstanding. I choose love, too!

  • Melanie Backus

    Keeping my fingers crossed for a win!

  • I love that you write in so many different genres!

  • Flora Segura-Buchler

    Hi Trisha, I always love your posts and I follow your guest blogs for TRD. THANKS for participating in this wonderful program this month.

  • Linnea Bassin

    I love that quote from Dr. Martin Luther King!!! I think my students would have appreciated it. I did say similar things to them though about it is easier to love than carry hate around. I would never allow anyone control me that much by me having hate for them. 🙂

  • Amy Ryan

    Thanks for the post I always love finding new authors and seeing their inspirations and backgrounds 🙂