Interview with… Linda Lael Miller

Follow @LindaLaelMiller on Twitter, visit her website and find her on Facebook! Linda’s brilliant new book The Marriage Charm, part of the Brides of Bliss County is out now!

1. What book first got you hooked on Harlequin?
It would be difficult to name a specific book; to me, Harlequin literally IS romance.  My mother read them, and still does, at age 86.  My late cousin, Kathy, subscribed to the Presents line way back, and devoured the volumes as soon as they arrived in the mail.

2.How did you celebrate selling your first manuscript?
That happened on Valentine’s Day, 1983.  I was pretty broke back then, so unless you count jumping up and down, pumping both fists in the air and generally behaving like Rocky Balboa after the victory bell sounded, the celebration had to wait for the check to arrive.  (At which time I probably paid the electricity bill.)  🙂

3.Which of the many books you’ve written has stayed with you the most and why?
You never forget the first one—“Fletcher’s Woman” was the title, and it appeared in print only a few months later (that August) as part of Pocket Books’ Tapestry line.

4.What’s top of your TBR pile?
OMG, I read everything.  I also listen to a lot of audiobooks.  The top of the pile, however, is occupied by a wonderful book my wonderful editor, Paula Eykelhof, sent over the holidays.  The title escapes me at the moment, but it’s a big, meaty tome about the American Civil War.

5.What book do you wish you’d written and why?
I guess the answer to this one would have to be Larry McMurtrey’s fabulous LONESOME DOVE.  It was, in my opinion, the perfect book.

6.What’s harder – first or last lines?
For me, first lines are harder because beginning is harder.  By the time I write the last line, I’m rolling!

7.How do you choose your characters names?
I use baby name books and websites, but mainly I depend on my first cousin, Mary Ann, who is absolutely excellent at coming up with great names.

8.How do you push through writer’s block?
That’s a tough one.  Sometimes, I simply have to endure it, figuring those fallow periods are part of the creative process, rather like tulip bulbs under winter ground—nothing visible is happening, but the magic is there.

9.What’s the best career advice you’ve ever had?
That would be something my father taught me, and it applies to all of life, not just writing.  “You’re not beaten until you give up.”

10.Your preferred writing snack?
Coffee!  I don’t eat when I’m writing, but I sure do consume the java.

11.Who is your favourite fictional couple?
Hands down, without a doubt, Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara.  Talk about chemistry.

12.If you could rewrite your life, what would you change?
I would be kinder to myself.

13.What would your readers be surprised to know about you?
That I’m a pretty good Tarot card reader.

14.What is your most overused word?
Some form of ‘wax’, as in, “he waxed pensive”.  My cousin and first reader is always on me about that.  🙂

15.If I wasn’t a romance author, I would have liked to be…
Either Annie Oakley or a Jedi knight.

16.When was the last time you said ‘I love you’?
Yesterday.  I believe in telling people how I feel about them when I can.

17.What does love feel like?
To me, love feels like alignment, being in step with life and God.

18.What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
Playing slot machines.

19.What’s your most romantic song?
The Natalie/Nat King Cole duet, “Unforgettable”

20.Every hero needs a…
Smart, strong woman!

Hope you all enjoyed these insights into the wonderful world of Linda Lael Miller… whose guilty pleasure is the playing the slot machines! Take a gamble and let us know what yours is below! (Promise we won’t tell!)