May Showers not only bring May Flowers, but also some very interesting interviews from some of your favorite authors. Welcome! We are happy to have Ms. Rose Middleton with us, and she will be talking a little about herself, and her book ONE FOOT FORWARD. Coffee Time Romance wants to extend a warm welcome to Ms. Middleton.
Thank you for letting us interview you, Ms. Middleton. Why don't you start by telling us a little bit about yourself.
Hi Lori, and thanks to Coffee Time Romance for having me this month. I’ve loved writing since I was a little tacker and I always knew that when I grew up, one of my jobs would involve writing of some kind. There was a period of about eight years when I didn’t write fiction, as I needed to concentrate on my day job as a teacher. But once I had that under control, I came back to fiction writing, and in particular, romance writing.
Finding the balance between writing, full time teaching and family is a challenge and I think some weeks I get it all wrong. Most of the time I find that equilibrium though more often than not, it’s the writing that takes over. *g*
Where did you get the inspiration for your book, ONE FOOT FORWARD"?
About ten years ago, I wrote a short story about a woman like Molly. It took place at her wedding, and was written in first person from the point of view of her older brother. The concept of the story stayed with me for a long time, and in particular, I was intrigued by the way she recovered from her injuries and reached the day of her wedding. I kept wondering about how the romance between the bride and groom had developed, the kind of man he was, the kind of woman she was. I knew it would be a difficult story to write, and it took quite some because I wanted to get it right. I didn’t want to gloss over the recovery phase she went through, and I had to stay true to her character – she has a quiet strength, an inner battle that needed to play itself out. The same can be said for Mick.
Tell us a bit about your book. Did you plot it out before you began writing, or did it just come to you?
When I began writing One Foot Forward, the story unfolded as I wrote it. There was no plotting as, at that time in my career, I didn’t believe in plotting. I started this book in 2003 but put it away about halfway through because I got lost with it. I fell into the trap of trying to spice up a story unnecessarily, and when it came to helping these two characters over the hurdles in their lives, I actually felt it was too hard for me to write. I had no experience in dealing with an injury like Molly’s, so I needed to put the story away. I’m the kind of writer who lets a story “brew” in my subconscious. I try not to think about it and let it come naturally, and it wasn’t until early 2005 that I figured out the solution to Mick and Molly’s dilemma.
I really enjoyed writing this book, and the thing I’m most proud of is the emotional depth of it. I didn’t want to skim over the hard parts, or resort to plot devices to reach the end. I had to show that the relationship between Mick and Molly had more than a physical grounding. They both had unresolved personal issues that needed attention, and as I each scene unfolded, I found that both characters found some of the answers to their battles in the other.
One Foot Forward acted as a turning point for me as a romance writer. I learned a great deal about writing emotions and emotional conflict, and how to navigate through that turmoil with as much realism as possible. Molly’s story can be quite confronting, and it goes against the idea of romance novels acting as ‘escape hatches’ from everyday life, but letting it go unwritten wasn’t an option for me.
What is your favorite genre to write? What genre have you always wanted to try and haven't yet?
I really love writing contemporary romance, exploring the issues that face modern women and men. I feel so lucky to live in a time where I can write women who speak their minds, who are independent and who push the boundaries. I also enjoy writing romantic suspense, though at the moment, I’m not published in that genre. I have one submission with Kensington right now and have my fingers and toes crossed.
I’ve recently tried my hand at paranormal romance, and have a novel coming out in July from Linden Bay Romance, titled The Devil’s Veil. It was a blast to write and exploring the world of the supernatural is rather addictive.
As for a genre I haven’t tried yet, I hope to eventually broaden my horizons beyond romance. But that’s a long way down the road for me, as I have a list of To Be Written romances (contemporary, romantic suspense and paranormal) as long as my arm!
I saw on your website that you're from Australia. I have always wanted to visit there! Do you draw any of your strength/ imagination from your surroundings, or do you try to use different settings for your stories?
I definitely use my home as inspiration. That old saying of ‘write what you know’ is part of it and I’m proud to be an Aussie, so naturally I want to share my country with the rest of the world. The great thing about Australia is that it combines a range of settings that can be used; everything from the dusty outback to the rugged mountains to the big cities. So far, all but one of my novel length books (both published and not) are set in Australia. That one book is set mostly in LA, and if it wasn’t for my critique partner who lives in the US, I’m sure I’d have half of the details incorrect! That local knowledge is gold when writing about a place I’ve never been to. Overall, I try to use different settings within Australia to keep life interesting.
Where do you do most of your writing? Do you have a special spot in your home that is just for you?
Most of my writing takes place in my home office. Sounds boring, doesn’t it? It probably is a boring space, at least to look at, but without distractions, I can lose myself in the scenes I’m writing and hopefully convey that in my writing. I’ve been known to lug my laptop on a bushwalk and sit atop a mountain, or write by a waterfall, but that’s the exception to the rule, really.
What is the most romantic thing you have ever done for someone? What is the most romantic thing someone has ever done for you?
A few years ago, my boyfriend (at the time) arranged for a private dinner on the grounds of the Royal Melbourne Zoo. He’d even organised a string quartet, and it truly was a spectacular evening, especially considering he wasn’t really that romantic by nature!
As for the most romantic thing I’ve done for someone, well, this might sound dorky out of context but...when I was at university, my boyfriend (at the time) had just gone through a really tough time with his family. With the added pressure of exams and study, he needed some time away, so I booked a hotel room for us where we stayed up late watching movies and eating popcorn. We just forgot about life for the night and hung out with each other. Although we’re not together anymore, we are still friends, and every now and again he’ll bring it up and thank me.
What do you like the most about being a writer? What is the least?
Most favourite thing? You mean I have to pick just one favourite thing? *g* I love the fact that I can step out of my life and into the world of my characters. Sometimes, my life is rather stressful – I’m sure teaching 16-17 year olds will eventually turn my hair grey! – so having that release is a real life saver. I enjoy the challenge of creating characters that readers will laugh and cry with.
Least favourite? The waiting. Oh dear, the waiting when it comes to submissions is a killer. I’m a patient woman by nature, but the waiting drives me a little crazy.
Tell us about your next project(s)
I have a new book about to be released from Liquid Silver Books, called “Can You Keep A Secret?” It’s a light, fun, flirty office romance. It was such a delightful book to write, and working with Liquid Silver Books has been really great. You can see more at www.liquidsilverbooks.com
My next book from Linden Bay Romance is the paranormal romance, “The Devil’s Veil”. It’s due out July 15, and is a collection of five short stories with a common theme. It has everything from a brooding werewolf to a white witch to a fallen angel turned vampire to a time wizard, and more. I think there’s something for everyone in this book. If you head on over to www.lindenbayromance.com and click on the coming soon page, you can read an excerpt for each of the five shorts.
I should also mention that One Foot Forward is now available in print, something I am completely over the moon about. It can be ordered through Booksurge (www.booksurge.com).
As for projects, I’m currently finishing off a series of three short paranormal romances, and will then begin work on my next romantic suspense. I’m waiting to hear back on a couple of submissions and hope I’ll know more about those before the year is out.
Can you give the readers your website? And where can they contact you?
My official website is www.lrmiddleton.com where you can see what I’m up to, catch up on the latest publication news and catch a sneak peek of my works in progress. I keep the site updated at least once a month, though it’s been so busy lately that I’ve updated weekly!
There’s also my blog, www.lrmiddleton.com/blog/ where I post weekly on everything from the latest goings on in my writing, to general stuff about everyday happenings.
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave comments on my blog. I’ll be doing a chat at the Love Romances Café on June 20, 7pm til late, EST (June 21, 9am for Aussies) with a bunch of excerpts from One Foot Forward and Tantaliser (my first book through Linden Bay Romance), and some sneak peeks of The Devil’s Veil.
Thank you so much for having me. J
On behalf of Coffee Time Romance we thank Ms. Middleton for taking time to speak with us and get to know more about her and her work. Thanks Ms. Middleton.