#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller

On the Home Stretch

In approximately one week, I will have finished the initial draft of “North of Eden”.  It was been a long pull–the word count is 120,000 words–difficult at times, thrilling at other times.  As you know from recent blogs, I fell in love with the characters–they are all real to me, and of course I hope they will be real to you, and memorable.  According to my recent conversation with my amazing editor, Kathy Sagan, at Mira Books, the novel will go on sale in May of 2018, which means it will be released on the last Tuesday in April.  Finishing a book is always a wonderful feeling, but, as you may imagine, it is also bittersweet.  It means saying good-bye to characters I  have come to cherish as friends–Caroline, Bridger, Rogan, Enoch, Jubie, a little dog called Sweet Girl–and that is hard, even though several will appear in the next book in the trilogy, “South of Glory”.  Of course, I always feel this way when I finish any book–for me, it’s rather like raising children and then seeing them go off to college.  I will suffer from Empty Nest Syndrome for a while, but, fortunately, a new book awaits–“The Wager”, a contemporary Western romance.  That one will be released in paperback; “North of Eden” is a hardcover.  My lovely publishers, Harlequin/HQN and Mira, agree with me that alternating between the two kinds of books will be a way to (hopefully) please my readers, and it’s excellent from a creative standpoint.  I know, as a card-carrying Gemini, that I will enjoy switching back and forth between modern and historical stories.  

Because I love to learn, and to be reminded of what I’ve already learned, but maybe forgotten, I just re-listened to Stephen King’s marvelous book, “On Writing”.  I have never actually met Mr. King, though I had the good fortune to catch a glimpse of him from a distance once, at a Book Expo America, in New York.  He is well known in the industry for his generous attitudes toward less successful writers (and, let’s face it, that adds up to just about everybody), and while most of his books are too gritty for me, I have tremendous respect for him.   His novel, “Cujo”, was hard (okay, impossible) to put down, and even though the end made me cry, I have never forgotten that book, even though I read it years ago.  My brother ranks King’s “The Stand” as the best book he’s ever read, which is saying something, since he’s a big reader, like I am.  After “On Writing”, however, I might try more of his stories–though I will still avoid “Misery”, because, frankly, that book is every writer’s worst nightmare.  :)

To continue my rambles, I had my hair cut yesterday, but–brace yourself–not colored.  I’m going to go gray, partly because I hate messing with bleaches and dyes and partly (mainly) because I think it’s more authentic.  I’m finally brave enough to be myself, I guess.  Since Jeremy used to do my hair, right here on the Triple L, I was a little spoiled, but now that he and Wendy have moved to San Diego, where they are very happy, by the way, and I’ve been doing little else besides writing “North of Eden”, my roots got away from me.  From now on, my cousin Danny’s wife, Misty, will be doing the doing the honors.  And guess what?  Turns out I got the silver-hair gene, like my Aunt Donna.  So, I’m going to be kind of streaky for a while, but soon enough, since my hair grows so fast you can practically hear it, like corn in August, I will be through the two-tone phase.  Stay tuned.

And now, back to work.  You see, I have a book to finish.


48 comments to “On the Home Stretch”

  1. pat Dennis
      · February 17th, 2017 at 2:01 pm · Link

    I wish I had the gray gene. I am dishwasher blond at 72.

  2. Sherry Wallace
      · February 17th, 2017 at 2:05 pm · Link

    You never said why your daughter moved? Why does it take so long after finishing writing a book to get it on the market? That’s over a year away!

  3. Joanne Bitts
      · February 17th, 2017 at 2:07 pm · Link

    Linda, you will love the grey. About two years ago I decided to stop the color process. Besides being hard on your hair, why not be natural, plus I have gotten many complements on my grey hair. My natural brunette is still there and sometimes it appears frosted and it’s natural looking. Enjoy your natural beauty.

    Have a great day looking forward to the new books.


  4. DONNA
      · February 17th, 2017 at 2:08 pm · Link

    I can’t wait for your new book – I also wondered why it takes so long. I guess with some thing I need to have patience,

  5. Theresa
      · February 17th, 2017 at 2:25 pm · Link

    Can’t wait for ur new book!! Stay warm & cozy

  6. Patricia Pelkey
      · February 17th, 2017 at 2:38 pm · Link

    Linda, I can’t wait for your new books. I have loved every book that I have read so far! I too have a lot of grey coming in, but as luck has it, it’s silver grey like my father’s was! Stay warm, hopefully spring will soon be here!

  7. Lois Rotella
      · February 17th, 2017 at 2:48 pm · Link

    A couple of years ago I stopped coloring my hair. I thought I would show more grey then I have. I kinda like the salt and pepper look. My mother had that silver look to her grey hair. Wow about your hard cover book. Sounds fantastic. Do you plan on releasing any new books between the one in March and April 1018?

  8. JoAnn Baker
      · February 17th, 2017 at 3:06 pm · Link

    We all fall in love with the our book friends. Loved all the McKettricks. Big Sky books,Marriage Pact. Lol e them all!

  9. Melaine
      · February 17th, 2017 at 3:08 pm · Link

    Another western book, yahoo! I love your western books, both historical and modern.

  10. Roberta Giordano
      · February 17th, 2017 at 3:16 pm · Link

    Can’t wait for the new book! I too wonder why so long to get a book out there after you finished it. I wish I could embrace my gray but I just can’t.

  11. Pamela Devereux
      · February 17th, 2017 at 3:21 pm · Link

    I have to agree with your brother. The Stand was by far the best Stephen King book I’ve ever read. I have the feeling I should re-read it since it was almost 39 yrs ago since the first time. That is how good it was. The characters stayed with me.

    No hair dying for me. I told my stylist that I earned every one of those gray hairs and I am keeping them.

  12. Diana E.
      · February 17th, 2017 at 3:22 pm · Link

    I always find your blog so interesting, Linda. Glad to hear about your “going grey”. I recently had to renew my drivers license and had put hair color down as grey and the lady at the counter said “Your’re not grey, your silver!” That made me feel good.

  13. Donna Brant
      · February 17th, 2017 at 3:23 pm · Link

    I so enjoy your books. After reading books like yours, I continue to think about certain parts and characters until I pick up the next one. This trilogy sounds as those they will be keepers to read over and over. I am amazed at authors who keep writing such interesting books with characters who seem to jump out at us as we read. Thank you!

  14. Kathryn Riley
      · February 17th, 2017 at 3:29 pm · Link

    Congratulations on deciding to let your hair go natural. Mine started graying when I was forty. I had watched my mother fight the color battle for most of my life, and decided I wanted no parts of that. Over the years I’ve gotten many compliments on my hair. It was one of the best decisions I’ve made. I’m sure you will love the freedom of going natural.

    I can’t wait to read North of Eden. I always know I’ll love your books, and this one sounds like it’ll be exceptionable.

    I started reading your Black Rose Chronicles and was hooked on your writing. Thanks for never disappointing your readers!!

  15. Sharon Sovereign
      · February 17th, 2017 at 4:17 pm · Link

    Can’t wait to see a picture of the new you.

  16. Edna Dutra
      · February 17th, 2017 at 4:18 pm · Link

    You’ll probably look just great with silver grey hair. It really does a good job of making one look younger.
    I’m 88 and I have platinum silver hair. Everyone thinks I’m a lot younger than I am. Great for the ego!!!
    Enjoy it and not having to go through all the dying, tinting and whatever.

  17. Lynn Hill
      · February 17th, 2017 at 4:18 pm · Link

    Oh Linda I am so excited to read your new book! If you need ARC readers please put my name on the list. As for deciding to let your hair go silver is so awesome! I think white and silver hair is so beautiful. I am doing the same with mine. I can’t wait for it to be completely silver!!

  18. Evelyn Day
      · February 17th, 2017 at 4:27 pm · Link

    Linda, you will love your gray hair, I’m 61 now and let mine go about 8 years ago, its so much easier! I get many complements, for going gray and for being brave enough to do it! Love you and your books!!!!

  19. Leanna
      · February 17th, 2017 at 4:37 pm · Link

    Sounds like you have been busy. Looking forward to reading your next book out next month.

  20. Diane Sallans
      · February 17th, 2017 at 4:42 pm · Link

    I’m getting to the point where I’m thinking about just going gray, but the transition time is apparently tricky. Why can’t we just dye it gray & then let the natural grow out?!

  21. Virginia Horton
      · February 17th, 2017 at 4:50 pm · Link

    I can’t wait for you new book to come out and since it is coming in April of 2018 it will be a wonderful birthday give for little old me. As far as grey hair I think most people should really go that way unless they are very young. I am in my sixties and still don’t have much grey hair, I will never color it. Now my husband just hit 60 and he has been grey forever. My father was in his 70’s when he passed and he didn’t have much grey hair at the time. Now my younger sister is in her early 50’s and she is covered in grey and has been for years, must have taken after my mom. Take care and keep writing.

  22. Joann Quijada
      · February 17th, 2017 at 4:59 pm · Link

    HI Linda! I CANNOT wait to read “North of Eden” I wish it was coming out tomorrow. I love your new releases. It is funny how as we r getting older (I am 46) we want to stay away from the gray but I am now looking at it a little different……our so called (gray) I like to believe is my little silver lining … gift from God. For every one I have there is a trial I had to endure to get it & in that became stronger so I am starting to embrace mine a little bit lol. Bless the beauty of women, for each one of us is special!

  23. Fran F.
      · February 17th, 2017 at 5:23 pm · Link

    So glad you are almost finished with your book. Congratulations. Can’t wait to read it. I also like the idea of going gray. It took me a while to get used to it, but my hairdresser won’t even let me think about putting any color on it since she says it is such a pretty gray.

    Enjoy a little “me” time before you really delve into your next book, even if it only means a cup or tea or coffee in a quiet place.

  24. Joy Stephens
      · February 17th, 2017 at 5:26 pm · Link

    I know how you must feel when you finish writing, I feel the same when I finish reading your books! I miss the characters and story. My hair has natural curl and started to turn grey when I was 30 after the loss of my husband. I have learned to accept it and that was so freeing. I actually love my hair now. I am sure you will too. Thanks for the update on North of Eden, can’t wait to read it.

  25. Linda
      · February 17th, 2017 at 5:37 pm · Link

    Can’t wait for your new book. Everybody thought I was going to have white hair at 50 like my mom, but my hair was still light brown, but now that I am 56 it’s blonde with grey still have some of the brown. I have never dyed my hair plus It gets long enough that I donate it to Locks of Love.

    Hope Wendy and her husband are doing okay with all that rain they are suppose to be getting.

    Are you getting more snow with the weather system going through. It was 67 here today in Itasca, IL


  26. Janet Hurt
      · February 17th, 2017 at 6:26 pm · Link

    So enjoy your “ramblings” as you call it. I can hardly wait to get my hands on North of Eden…but seems it is a year off?? Ouch!
    I am still too scared to go el-natural…so I have a standing monthly appointment to get mine tresses colored. Alas…hold on to what is YOURS!!! Gotta love this OLD age!

  27. Ruby Norwood
      · February 17th, 2017 at 7:12 pm · Link

    So glad you are about finished with North Of Eden, Can’t wait to read it. I have your new western book on my wish list already on Amazon and we don’t have long to wait on it. Enjoyed your blog today. Hope you have a great weekend.

  28. Nadine spradlin
      · February 17th, 2017 at 7:25 pm · Link

    Haven’t read one of your books that I didn’t like .I think that I have all your series books . as for gray hair , all of mine is earned & its gonna shine ……….. Have a GREAT week-end .

  29. Ann Bartholomew
      · February 17th, 2017 at 8:52 pm · Link

    Glad you are nearing the end on Eden. I have two questions about your books. After submitting the draft, how many revisions do you usually make? How many pages does 120,000 make? Hero is just a month away.

  30. Jo Ann Holcomb
      · February 17th, 2017 at 9:17 pm · Link

    “North of Eden” does sound interesting. sounds like a lot of pages, but then once you start, you really don’t pay attention to that. since i’m in public & dealing with public i still dye. my grows slow but that’s how it goes. never have read any of Stephen King but so many other Authors. best, Jo Ann

    • Ann Bartholomew
        · February 18th, 2017 at 11:46 am · Link

      Are you associated with Hannibal-LaGrange College? I went there when it was still a junior college. Your name sounds familiar from alumni publications. Ann Bartholomew

  31. Gloria Herring
      · February 17th, 2017 at 10:54 pm · Link

    That is funny about your hair growing so fast you can hear it. Mine doesn’t, but has done better since I started taking Biotin. Years ago, my blond hair started turning gray, and now, who knows what color it is. One time, it looks blond, one time, gray, one time, mixed. It is just weird, but not as gray as it was 15 years ago. If I had to put my color on a form, I’d have to put…Whatever. I’m glad you’re going natural. You’ll love it.

    Have a good and Godly weekend!!

  32. Caryn Horn
      · February 18th, 2017 at 2:58 am · Link

    You will love the silver!

  33. Hope
      · February 18th, 2017 at 11:31 am · Link

    I did not see my natural from the age of 30, when I looked in the mirror and saw an old person, and somewhere around 50, when I finally let it grow out. To my amazement, I got the silver gene too!

    My sister Gladys was more salt and pepper, not that anyone ever saw her natural hair. Ruth is a strawberry blonde, finally just a bit gray in her 70’s. I love my hair, even though I do think it makes me look a bit older. Frankly, I do not care about that!

    Good luck, and isn’t it wonderful that hair changes aren’t permanent?

  34. Hope
      · February 18th, 2017 at 11:32 am · Link

    I did not see my natural hair from the age of 30, when I looked in the mirror and saw an old person, and somewhere around 50, when I finally let it grow out. To my amazement, I got the silver gene too!

    My sister Gladys was more salt and pepper, not that anyone ever saw her natural hair. Ruth is a strawberry blonde, finally just a bit gray in her 70’s. I love my hair, even though I do think it makes me look a bit older. Frankly, I do not care about that!

    Good luck, and isn’t it wonderful that hair changes aren’t permanent?

  35. Linn Carlile
      · February 18th, 2017 at 2:28 pm · Link

    I look forward to hearing what you are doing and check my e-mail
    first after breakfast. That’s when I have me time. Enjoy hearing about your writings and life in Washington. I am originally from Washington, over the other side. Had a farm in foothills off Hwy 18. Been in Wyoming since 2003 and like it very much. May you have a good weekend and blessed days ahead too.

  36. Nancy Moore
      · February 18th, 2017 at 5:47 pm · Link

    My hair is also turning silver, but I figure I’m just going back to when I was little. My next older sister (19 months) & I were both platinum blonds & look a lot alike. We used to hate walking down the street with Mom & have all these ladies gush & ask if we were twins. Although we both thought it would be great to have a twin (Bobbsey Twins & the stories of Swedish triplets were much loved), just not each other!

    In the late 70s, I had just been promoted from DJ to producing & sometimes hosting our 30 minute talk show on the local radio. The boss gave me The Stand to read & wanted me to get this new author on the program. I read it& was just as entranced & bothered by it. Since the author blurb didn’t say where Mr. King lived, I had to track him down through his publisher. Easier said than done as there was no phone number given. So, I called NYC information operator & had a devil of a time understanding her very thick accent (Bronx?). It’s amazing how hard it can be to just understand numbers! Through a series of calls I finally got his representative who had him call us. Sadly, if we taped it, it wasn’t around ears later when I tried to put wat we had on CD.

    About 8 years later, my son, in 5th grade, discovered him & as loved reading ever since. Sadly, a small town school in the 70s &80s didn’t have a lot of teachers who realized a kid didn’t have to follow the curriculum if the were advanced.

    Whew, I was just going to make a brief comment & turned it into a sort story!

    • Nancy Moore
        · February 18th, 2017 at 5:49 pm · Link

      Just caught a couple of typos, but I think it’s understandable.

  37. Linda Blenkiron
      · February 19th, 2017 at 2:14 pm · Link

    Yay for going grey!!! I did it a few years back because I was sick of colouring it. It turned out to ge a lovely salt and pepper which suits me very well. I’ve even had people ask me how I did!!! Go figure… I inform them that it’s au naturale.

  38. Carol Luciano
      · February 19th, 2017 at 8:11 pm · Link

    I got so tired of bleaches and dyes with my hair that I let it go natural about 7 years ago. So far I’m silver just on the sides and front. Can’t wait to read North of Eden.
    Carol L

  39. Teresa Fordice
      · February 20th, 2017 at 10:01 am · Link

    I colored my hair from 30-40 then let it go – love not having to sit to have that goop put on there!!

  40. Lorelei Sawtelle
      · February 20th, 2017 at 6:05 pm · Link

    When I don’t dye my hair–and sometimes when I do–I have white streaks from my temples back. Once I let my students auction it off. They raised $253 to get to shave my head. The money went to cancer research. One more check mark on the bucket list.

    I have sworn off coloring, then catch myself doing it again. So I grow it out and cut it off and Poof. I color it again.

    At Christmas, we bleached my husband’s hair and beard out white. Man! Did he look like Santa! People stopped him everywhere to take selfies with Santa.

    Thank you for sharing your life with us. It is good to see that no matter how popular someone is, they have the same issues as the rest of us.


  41. Peggy Casey
      · February 21st, 2017 at 5:53 pm · Link

    So excited for your new offerings!

  42. Marilou Frary
      · February 21st, 2017 at 10:31 pm · Link

    Linda, I bought a shirt with a saying I love.
    “These aren’t grey hairs, they’re wisdom highlights. I’m just very smart”

  43. Jane
      · February 22nd, 2017 at 9:49 am · Link

    Hi, Linda. I agree with your brother – The Stand is probably the best book I have ever read. The battle between good and evil was epic. Great book. (Maybe I should re-read it. Thanks for reminding me…)
    Re: going grey. I decided to do the same thing about 10 years ago. My roots started showing (dramatically, I might say) after a week and I just got sooooo tired of touching them up. I went to a high end salon and had my hair frosted with blonde and gray so that the demarcation between the dye and natural color wasn’t so obvious. I loved it! My hair grew in completely white/grey. Looked great and was so much easier to take care of. Looking forward to your transformation!

  44. Elaine Key
      · February 24th, 2017 at 2:01 am · Link

    My grandfather and mother didn’t gray until they were in their 70’s. I have discovered a few gray hairs on my head but not many at the age of 62. In my younger years I went blonde but for the past few years I have had my hair dyed brunette with blonde highlights. I’m trying to decide on staying with that or go natural. What I like best about dying my hair is that it feels thicker.

  45. MicheleJ
      · February 27th, 2017 at 8:59 am · Link


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