Miranda Neville – The Joy of the Bittersweet Journey

It’s Read-A-Romance Month.


Visit every day in August to see what 93+ of your favorite authors have to say about The Joy of Romance. Do you love Romance? Let’s celebrate. xo

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The Moments that Lead to Joy

Writing is not a joy. It’s hard and frustrating work. But there are moments of joy: a DDDphrase I love that seems to pop out of nowhere; the solution to a plot problem dredged from the subconscious; the satisfaction of being DONE DONE DONE with a manuscript. There is also sadness along the way. The best moments are when I make myself cry at the misery felt by the characters as they wend their way to their happy ending. And the happy ending is so sweet. Writing the last chapter is pure happiness. Everything is resolved and a couple finds joy in love and the prospect of the future beyond the page.

This parallels my experience as a romance reader. I know it’s going to end well but I suffer along the way. I also smile at a witty conversation, and feel my heart turn over at one of those moments. Every romance reader knows them and they usually combine recognition of and yearning for the loved one. I grind my teeth, wishing I’d written that sentence. And at the end I sigh with a great happy grin and read my favorite bits again.

Miranda recommends:

Carolyn Jewel’s ( carolynjewel.com ) historicals are outstanding if you like sexual tension DITDAand heroes who yearn—and let’s face it, who doesn’t? She also writes paranormal romance which I haven’t read but I bet they are good if that’s your catnip.

I’ve adored Jennifer Crusie’s  ( jennycrusie.com ) contemporaries for years—smart and witty. If you’re new to the genre and haven’t tried her, you can hardly go wrong.

Questions for the Author:

Tell us about a moment in your life when you experienced sheer joy. 

It’s an odd thing, but it’s been on my mind. My father died this year. After the funeral we went to dinner and ended up in his house with my brother, sisters, and sundry nephews and nieces, cracked open a bottle or two, and talked about how wonderful he was and all the happiness he’d brought us. Joy in the midst of sadness is poignant and piercing.

Tell us about a place that brings you joy, or is attached to a memory of joy.

When I was thirteen I went on a school trip to Italy. I got off the vaporetto at St. Mark’s Square and burst into tears. The place was so beautiful it hurt and I remember thinking that I would never experience such happiness again. (Okay, thirteen-year-olds deal in drama.) I’ve been to Italy several times since but never Venice. I wonder if I would affect me so much now.

Tell us about a sound that brings you joy.

Last week I was listening to the news in the car, enraged by the state of the world. I flipped the dial and found the classical music station playing the last movement of Beethoven’s Emperor piano concerto. How bad can the human race be when it produced such a sublime work?  And speaking of Beethoven, he was not a happy man but he also wrote the Ode to Joy at the end of the Ninth Symphony. If you don’t know it, listen to 10,000 Japanese singers on YouTube. I guarantee it will fix the blues. 

What recent book have you read that brought you joy. (Or a book you read in your life that brought you so much joy you’ve never forgotten it.) Why?

When I’m in need of a pick-me-up Loretta Chase (RARM 8/25) never fails me. If I have 51BiWU6eg4L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_to pick one of her books, it would be Lord Perfect.

Chase’s writing is as witty, sexy, and just plain romantic as it comes. One of my favorite exchanges from Lord Perfect comes after Benedict and Bathsheba have almost (but not quite) succumbed to desire:

While he tied her petticoats, she swallowed and said, “I daresay proper ladies do not unbutton gentlemen’s trousers.”

“They do not do that,” he said as he tugged her frock straight, “nearly so often as one could wish.”

Every conversation between them is wonderful. The journey from instant attraction to profound love is charted through peerless dialogue with never a dull moment or a false note. Excuse me. I have to go and reread it immediately.

And for fun, the joy of choice ~

Pick your Chris! Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pine, Chris Pratt, Chris Rock, Chris Evans or Christopher Plummer (circ. 1964 aka Capt. Von Trapp?) – trying for a little diversity! ;o)

Have admit I had to google half these guys (not Captain VonTrapp who never did much for me.)  Thank you very much. I’ll take them all.

Miranda is generously giving away a choice of any of her books to two winners, either print – depending on availability – or ebook.  (US only, apologies to international friends).


NevilleColorSmallerMiranda Neville grew up in England and studied history at Oxford University. After graduation she spent several years writing catalogues of rare books and original letters and manuscripts for Sotheby’s auction house in both London and New York, experience she drew on in her Burgundy Club series featuring Regency book collectors. She has also been a journalist and business owner and now writes historical romance for Avon. She lives in Vermont with her daughter and a cat of genius.

Find her online:

mirandaneville.com   |   Facebook   |   Twitter

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