#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller
Winners and More Rambling

This week, our winners are: Donna Morrow and Eugenia Riddick.  Each of you will receive an autographed book.  As usual, there is a new contest underway right now–to enter, you simply need to comment, and you’re in.  Two winners will be selected at random, notified, and announced on the blog.

I’m putting some finishing touches on the book I call “North of Eden”–and expect to finish the first draft tomorrow.  My publisher informs me that the title will change, but don’t worry.  I’ll post it here as soon as it’s definite.

Recently, several of you asked why a book takes so long to come out, once it’s written.  This book, for instance, is currently scheduled for May of 2018.  What’s the deal?  Well, there is a great deal to be done, in order to get  book out there in the marketplace.  After the writing, there are revisions–my editor and I will discuss loose ends, things that ought to be added or deleted, etc., and I will make the changes.  Then my editor will read it again, to be sure we’ve got all our ducks in a row.  Then, there will be many, many meetings within the publishing house, a sales plan will be hammered out, and the publicity people will do their thing, arranging tours and interviews and such, and the art department will design several potential covers.  Meanwhile, a copy editor will proof read the manuscript, and I will make more changes, though sometimes we don’t catch everything, and wind up with a character drinking coffee on one page and tea on the next, etc.  Embarrassing, but true.  :)  Once the copy edits have been addressed, the book will be set in type, and copies will be sent out to reviewers and other writers, so that there will be quotes to put on the cover.  Finally, the book will be printed, packed and shipped and, hopefully, purchased.

Phew.  I got tired just writing all that!

It’s late now, for me, anyway, so I’m off to read or listen to a book, snuggle up with two dogs and one kitty, and get some shut-eye.   And I’ll be thinking up more stories to tell you about my occasionally eventful but mainly ordinary life.  :)  Be well, be happy, and be kind.  We’re all in this together.

Here I Go Again

Well, my friends, I’m back to the blog.  I haven’t been ill, just very busy with the book and my attempts to keep a bad cold at bay.  There were days when I seemed to be winning, and days when the cold was topping the scoreboard.  Today, I’d have to say it’s a draw.  :)

Winners who should have been announced but weren’t are: Carol Luciano and Marilou Frary.  Congratulations, and I apologize for the late post.  A new contest is underway now, and the rules are the same: two winners will be chosen at random, notified, and then posted–at some point–on this blog.  All you have to do to enter is comment.  I read your comments and I appreciate them very much–so, if you have questions, ask away, and I will answer as many as I can either directly or here on the site.  One of you asked if there would be more Mojo books; I get this question a lot, (also about my vampire books and two medieval romances) and the answer is going to seem pretty convoluted because, basically, I don’t know.  I would love to write more about Mojo, but the fact is, the sales of those books were considerably lower than those of my westerns and, from the publisher’s standpoint, that’s a problem, one I well understand.  Publishing is, after all, a business and, well, it makes sense to bet on the horse with the best chance of winning.  Lots of these decisions are not made by the author, but by the people who oversee the company’s bottomline, and I don’t say that as a criticism, because my team at Harlequin/Mira/Harper Collins has been wonderful to me.  They have a much better grasp on the market place than I do, and that’s fine with me–my job is to write the books, although it must be said that succeeding in today’s version of publishing requires a lot of participation on the part of the authors.  I love that part, because it allows me to interact with my readers, as I do on this blog, on Facebook, etc.  

On this winter day, we are enjoying the most glorious sunshine.  This is the Spokane of my youth–snow on the ground, and the sun on the ‘high’ setting.  Mowgli and Tule, my beloved little former street-dogs, are at the groomer today, getting handsome.  Even such a short parting is difficult for me–I miss my bad boys!  I will try to get photos posted here, but there will be some on Facebook for sure.

I had a nice time yesterday, FaceTiming with Wendy and Jeremy and, of course, my grand-dogs, Margie and Lily.  I also have a grand-cat, Cooper, but she was not receiving.  :)  It was so much fun being able to show the dogs to each other–my boys were so curious.  Here was Sissy’s face, and Sissy’s voice, but where, Tule and Mowg wanted to know, was Sissy herself?  Naturally, I miss them all, but FaceTime is a marvelous invention, in my opinion, because it’s so nice to be able to see faces.  I can show off my bullet journals, etc., but the best part is feeling closer to my loved ones.  It’s almost as good as having them right here at the house.

I have very nearly completed “North of Eden”, and I am so amazed and happy.  The word count is over 130,000 words, so it ought to make for a nice long visit with the characters.  I have always loved thick, meaty novels–in the old days, I devoured stacks of Taylor Caldwell, Dorothy Dunnett, and Mary Stewart books, to name just a few.  These days, everything seems to move at such a fast clip that one never has enough time to settle in for a lengthy read, and I miss that.  If it weren’t for audiobooks, I would miss so much, simply because my eyes are tired by the end of a writing day.  Now, I can listen to fat biographies, a favorite genre.  I’ve covered Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant in recent months, and they are only the latest in a long line.  I loved all of David McCullough’s books, especially “Truman” and “1776”, and I just finished one about Wallis Simpson, aptly titled “That Woman”, by Anne Sebba.  Some of you will remember the story, though even I wasn’t born when it happened.  :)  The Duke of Windsor had an American mistress, you see, and he was next in line for the English throne when his father, the current king, passed away.  He insisted upon marrying her, which was all very romantic, except that Mrs. Simpson had already had two husbands, and in the 1930s, the idea of a king marrying a twice divorced commoner was not going to fly.  The Duke fought fiercely–pardon me, but the man seemed badly in need of medications other than alcohol–but the British would not give in.  Therefore, the Duke abdicated his throne before he could be crowned, and his brother, Bertie, father of the present Queen, Elisabeth II, became king.  It was a sad, fascinating story.  Ah, the Royals.  They are an intriguing bunch, especially to Americans, I think, because we have no royalty of our own.  (Thank God.)  

Which reminds me.  While I’m rambling all over the place, I must tell you of the time I saw Princess Diana, live and in the flesh, when I was living in London.  I had a flat directly behind Harrod’s, at 19 Hans Place, and one fine day I was walking to the post office.  I was passing Harrod’s and I spotted a line of official looking people in front of a swanky custom-made lingerie shop, very British, darling, and one of them was holding a huge bouquet of flowers.  There was a uniformed guard at the door, no less.  I had no idea what was going on, but it was clear that something was, so I stopped on the other side of the street and watched.  I was soon rewarded; a little navy blue BMW whipped up to the curb, the greeters were all smiles, and the Princess herself popped out from behind the wheel.  No escorts, no guards, no chauffeurs.  She was on her own, wearing a London Fog raincoat the same color as her car.  She was presented with the flowers and warmly welcomed–I remember the shop’s name now, it was Rigby & Peller.  She went into the store, evidently to be fitted for new skivvies, and let me tell you, she was every inch a princess!  Forget all that wild-eyed neurotic stuff you might have read–she was tall and impossibly beautiful and I swear the woman glowed, even when she was standing at the very back of the small shop.  I forgot all about the post office, hurried to the nearest Boots, the ubiquitous English drug store, and bought a disposable camera.  (This was long before iPhone cameras).  She was still inside when I returned–phew!–and I got a nice photo of Diana as she was getting back into her Beamer.  :)  Later, I learned that she lived at Kensington Palace, which was quite close to Knightsbridge, where I was staying.  Several taxi drivers told me they were always extra careful in the area of Kensington, because the Princess was liable to come zipping out of one of the gates at any given moment, at top speed.  To this day, I miss her.

So that’s today’s Linda-ramble.  :)  Now that the book is nearly finished, I will be blogging more often.  Thanks for hanging in there.

The term “keep your ear to the ground” comes from literally putting an ear to the ground to listen for hoof beats.

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