Welcome to Read-A-Romance Month 2016!
If you’re a new visitor to RARM, I hope you’ll come back every day in August to read all the wonderful pro-romance posts this year. Check out the full calendar here. You can also find links to the last three years’ posts from the boxes in the sidebar, and if you’d like, you can follow RARM on Facebook. Enjoy August!
Exploring the Human Heart and Mind
I might be described by some as the Accidental Romance Novelist.
Many, many moons ago, when the publication of my first book was still a distant goal, rimmed in the golden light of my imagination, I was (and remain) a great reader. I devoured the epic tomes of Taylor Caldwell—The Captains and the Kings, Testimony of Two Men, etc. I also loved Phyllis A. Whitney, Velda Johnston, Victoria Holt, and Janice Holt Giles, to name just a (very) few.
I wrote my first novel, Fletcher’s Woman, as a romance, simply because the romance market was growing by the proverbial leaps and bounds at the time (the early 1980s), and I wanted to break in somewhere—anywhere. I have often quipped that, had westerns been the biggest game in town, you might be talking to Luke Mantee, rather than Linda Lael Miller.
Alas, in order to learn the craft, I bought stacks of romances, mostly historical, and studied them carefully; I would read a chapter, then scrawl a few lines to recap the main events. In this way, and with much effort, I began to see the “bones” of a satisfying story.
In the process, I fell in love with romance, and the “marriage” has been a lasting one—totaling 33 years as of this August and showing no signs of cooling, although I am writing an ambitious trilogy set during and after the American Civil War. The stories are big, the characters are many and varied, and the drama, as you can imagine, is wide-screen stuff.
The books definitely have elements of romance, both in the grand, literary sense of spectacle and color and the necessary cast of thousands, and in the more specific man/woman sense of the term. All the stories I’ve loved so long and so well are about relationships, after all, about love and hatred and the myriad emotions in between.
A gloriously tangled web indeed.
Therefore, I am still writing mass market romance, and still loving it.
Why? Because of my great fascination with people and the mysteries of love, the greatest force on earth, if not in the entire universe.
Captain Kirk of the Starship Enterprise might have considered outer space the final frontier, but I explore inner space in my stories, as do my many talented colleagues, boldly venturing into the equally vast land-and-skyscapes of the human mind and heart.
It is there, I believe, that the most precious treasures are found.
Linda Lael Miller recommends:
Questions for the Author:
Tell us about a moment in your life when you felt romance surrounding you.
I think the most romantic city I’ve ever visited is Venice, with its singing gondoliers and ornate architecture. This is romance on a grand scale—with or without a partner, one falls madly in love with the mystery of the place.
Tell us about someone special in your life (other than your partner) with whom you share romance.
My dear friend, Debbie Macomber, is a world-class expert on romance. We love to get together and talk about our stories, work out plot problems, and simply brainstorm—not to mention shopping, eating and seeing the sights. 🙂 Debbie’s long-term marriage is a celebration of the kind of love that lasts.
Do you have a place in the world or a sound that you equate with romance?
Besides Venice, I find the American West to be a romantic place, wide open, with trees and mountains, lakes and streams.
Who is your (or a) favorite romantic couple?
That’s a hard one, but I think I have to say my favorites are Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. I’ve whiled away many a rainy afternoon watching their classic movies. Talk about chemistry!
Tell us about your dream date.
My dream date is dancing to a country ballad, in a ranch house kitchen, with a sexy cowboy holding me in his strong arms.
Linda Lael Miller is generously giving away five copies of ONCE A RANCHER to US & Canadian readers, apologies to (other) international friends.
To enter the giveaway, leave a comment below or on the *Facebook post you’ll find here (or both – Share the Love!) ;o) by 11:59 pm PST August 26, 2016. Good luck!
(*You don’t have to like the FB page, but we do recommend it. It’s easier to contact you if you win. Also consider joining the Read-A-Romance Book Club page, where we discuss romance of all kinds and will have drawings and events throughout the year.)
The daughter of a town marshal, Linda Lael Miller is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than 100 historical and contemporary novels, most of which reflect her love of the West. The “First Lady of the West” lives outside Spokane, Washington, where her rescued horses, dogs and cats live the high life.
Published since 1983, Linda was awarded the prestigious Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007 by the Romance Writers of America. She was recently inducted into the Wild West Heritage Foundation’s Walk of Fame for her dedication to preserving the heritage of the Wild West.
Hallmark Channel is developing a series based on Miller’s Big Sky Country novels published by HQN Books. In addition to writing more contemporary cowboy romances, she is working furiously on a big book Civil War series for Harlequin. When not writing, Linda loves to focus her creativity on a wide variety of art projects. Her original art appears on the labeling of her Shining Sol Candles line. A dollar from the sale of each of these candles goes to Linda’s favorite animal charity.
Linda’s next new novel is ALWAYS A COWBOY, Book 2 in her Carsons of Mustang Creek series for HQN Books.
Buy Linda’s books:
*Please note that the Amazon button, most cover images and many text links connect to a Read-A-Romance Month affiliate portal. Thanks so much for your help & support!