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Friday, October 5, 2012

Welcome, Lynn Michaels!

Years ago, when I was an eager newbie I was lucky enough to be befriended by a wonderful author who introduced me to Romance Writers of America and the fascinating, sometimes daunting world of the professional author. Always ready with a friendly word of advice and willing to share her knowledge and experience, please welcome my very good friend, Lynn Michaels.

Now, before I get nostalgic, which sometimes isn’t pretty, why don’t you tell everyone a little bit about yourself?

My first book, “Like A Lover”, came out in 1984, about a week after the last dinosaur went extinct. I wrote 2 more category length romantic suspense novels for Avon; 1 paranormal romantic suspense for Dell, 2 Regencies for Fawcett, 6 Harlequin Temptations, 4 single title contemporaries for Ballantine, a western historical novella for St. Martins and a Christmas novella about Wiki the cat that I epublished myself.

I’ve won 2 Romantic Times magazine awards, for Best New Romantic Suspense Author for “Like A Lover”. BTW, suspense is spelled s-u-s-p-e-n-c-e. You gotta love a misspelled writing award, lol! My second RT award was Best Contemporary Romance of 2002, “Mother of the Bride”. Two short contemporary romances, “Remembrance” and “Aftershock” and one paranormal romance, “Nightwing” were finalists in the RWA RITA contest.

At the moment I’m working on 5 books. I’m trying to decide which one of them I want to finish first. I’m a Libra so I may have to spin a bottle. I live in Missouri with my husband Michael and Bub the cat. Michael and I have 2 grown sons and 2 grandsons.

Do you think perceptions about romance have changed since you began your career?

Oh, absolutely! In 1984 romance was the Rodney Dangerfield of pub-lishing. Books and authors received zero respect, even though romance novels accounted for something like 60% of all paperbacks sold. Long, lusty historicals were called bodice rippers, and romance as a genre drew all the sneers and jeers that pejorative implies. Who changed all that? Authors that pushed the envelope; that fought editors to include the male point of view and plots with greater depth and complexity.

What would you say is the biggest change in the industry?

The advent of epublishing. This saved the careers of tons of terrific mid list authors who were kicked to the curb when big publishers bought up smaller ones. Lines and imprints readers adored vanished in a puff of smoke. That was a dark time.

What element do you think has stayed pretty much the same?

The happily ever after ending, thank God! I’m not a fan of feeling like I want to jump off a bridge when I finish reading a book.

What advice would you give to a new writer?

Be yourself. You have a unique voice and a unique view of the world. Don’t be afraid to express it. Be brave! 

I can remember reading “The Patriot” may years ago and being impressed by the action and adventure, not to mention the wonderful romance of an Alpha hero and feisty heroine. I wish I’d been able to find some of your old books and thanks to Samhain’s new Retro Romance line I’m finally getting my wish.

I’ve enjoyed reading your September release from Samhain, “Like A Lover”. Can we expect more Lynn Michaels’ title in the new Retro Romance line, soon?

Yes! I’m excited to tell you that my two remaining Velvet Glove titles, “Tainted Gold”, will be available November 20, 2012 and “A Lover’s Gift” on January 15, 2013. I’m delighted to be a part of Retro Romance. Samhain does such wonderful covers. “Like A Lover” is gorgeous! My thanks to Valerie Tibbs, the very talented artist that created it. “Tainted Gold” is set in the foothills of the Colorado Rockies. Wait till you see that cover!

I can’t wait! Speaking of covers, I love the new one for “Like A Lover”. Would you mind leaving us a blurb and buy link?

Love and money, the perfect design for murder…
After a suspicious house fire and nearly being struck by a hit and run driver, fashion designer Jay-Jay Lightbody acquiesces to her grandmother’s demand of letting handsome, private investigator Gerald Kilroy find out why someone is trying to kill her.
Jay-Jay can’t imagine why anyone would want to kill her but when she receives a threatening letter at work, she can’t ignore what Kilroy has been trying to tell her. Love and money are the two most common motives for murder.
Inheriting a quarter of the family fashion design business from her father has apparently made her a target but of who? The angry ex-suitor who still sends her a rose every week or her jealous half-sister who feels slighted because she didn’t inherit?
As the attempts on Jay-Jay’s life escalate, Kilroy races to save the woman he’s falling in love with but will he be in time to stop someone with a perfect design for murder?

Warning: This book contains a feisty heroine, a protective grandmother, money-hungry relatives, a possessive ex-suitor and a handsome private investigator that’s becoming more protective by the minute.
You can find an excerpt here:

Are your books available anywhere else?

The rest of my backlist, with the exception of “The Dreaming Pool” the paranormal romantic suspense I wrote for Dell in 1987 as Paula Christopher, are available as ebooks on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Here are the links:

And anyone who would like to be included in the drawing for an electronic copy of Lynn’s, Retro Romance published by Samhain, “Like A Lover”, please leave an email address with your comment! I will announce the winner here and on the Romance Books 4 Us yahoo group.

Have a safe and happy October!

Happy Reading!


msspencerauthor said...

Thanks for the interview Lynn--it's so interesting to hear how things have changed in the romance industry.I tell people that the only thing that hasn't changed is the HEA (thank God). When I was deciding what to do with my 1st book I went with epublishing--I had a feeling it would take off & it has. And boy does it diminish that submission anxiety!Meredith

Adele Dubois said...

Lynn--Welcome! I, too, am thankful for RWA and the mentors who have helped with my career. Best of luck for your continued success!


Sandy said...

Lynn, I remember meeting you at MARA the first time I went to a chapter meeting. You were giving the program, and I was so impressed I joined MARA that day, and RWA the next day.

I'm so glad you're still writing.

Fran Lee said...

Great interview! Nice to meet you Lynn!

Fran Lee said...

Great interview! Nice to meet you Lynn!

Lynn Michaels said...

Hi M.S.,

Sorry to be so tardy replying. Our youngest son is getting married Sunday & it was a little hectic today. The HEA is what makes a romance a romance. An example: Avon (think) experimented with a line called Finding Mr. Right that featured the heroine choosing between 2 heroes. It bombed almost instantly.


Lynn Michaels said...

Hi Adele,

My apologies to you, too. I've also learned a lot through RWA. It's a great organization. Nobody understands a writer like another writer!


Lynn Michaels said...

Hi Fran,

Thank you! It's nice to meet you, too. Romance writers stick together. :)


P.S. I'm getting a lot of ideas from all this wedding preparation.

Lynn Michaels said...

Sandy, hi!

It's great to see you here. MARA (Mid-America Romance Authors) is a great chapter. Still going strong! And so are we. :)


Elf2060 said...

Congrats to your son (and take a deep breath now that all of the preparation has been done). Thank you for sharing your experiences, I enjoyed reading the interview. Good luck with finishing all of those books...sounds like you are an incredibly busy lady.

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