Monday, April 18, 2011

Today's Special - - Trish Milburn

I'm happy to welcome Trish Milburn to The Romance Dish today to celebrate her newest book, a women's fiction novel titled Living in Color.  Trish is a familiar face around here.  She's been an avid supporter of this blog since we first conceived the idea during a weekend conference in Atlanta and joins us on the tenth of every month to bring readers the latest news in the world of Young Adult fiction.  Check out her April "Teen Menu" here

Trish writes contemporary romance for Harlequin American and YA single-titles under the name of Tricia Mills.  She's always been involved with writing; from the first romance she wrote in sixth grade to the journalism positions she held following college.  She now works full-time from home, writing the wonderful books we love to read.  For more information about Trish, visit her website, like her at Facebook and follow her at Twitter

Welcome, Trish!  It's great to have you here today to celebrate the release of Living in Color! This is a new kind of book for you.  What can readers expect from this story?

Thanks, PJ. It’s my first women’s fiction story, and it’s a mother-daughter road trip book. Here’s a blurb:

After the death of her father, Sabrina Bishop feels a sense of relief that he's gone. No longer will he be able to abuse her mother mentally or physically, and just maybe her mother might grow to see what he'd done to her was wrong. But with the death of Jim Bishop, Sabrina is now responsible for her mother's well being since Ruby can't read or write and has lived a sheltered life. But Ruby has a very small comfort zone in rural West Tennessee, and that means she can't come live with Sabrina in Atlanta. Besides, Sabrina's job as an award-winning news photographer keeps her traveling around the globe most of the time. As she tries to make suitable plans for her mother's future, Sabrina offers to take Ruby on a road trip to expose her to a world she's never seen. As they travel to sites such as Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone National Park and the Gulf Coast of Florida, the trip becomes a journey of unexpected healing and self-discovery not only for Ruby, but for Sabrina as well.

With Mother's Day coming up next month (in the U.S.), this sounds like a wonderful story that readers can buy to share with their mothers (or daughters).   Do you plan to write more stories of this type?

I’ve written one other, so that one might see the light of day soon.  Now that I’ve started down this path as well, I’m sure more women’s fiction story ideas will come to me.

What do you want readers to know about Sabrina and Ruby?
They love each other, but they are such intensely different people that it’s hard for them to even have a conversation sometimes. But as the novel progresses, they both slowly realize that they have more similarities than they ever imagined and that things are not always as they seem.

How does Living in Color differ from the other books you’ve published? (Harlequin Americans as Trish Milburn and YA as Tricia Mills)

I’d say the main difference is just the focus of the story. This time it’s the mother-daughter relationship and healing from a difficult past. When I think about it though, that healing from the past storyline is something that crops up in my work a lot. I’m a fan of stories that have second chances, and that’s evident in this book too. But for fans of my romance books, there is a touch of romance in Living in Color, though it’s not the focal point of the novel. I just can’t seem to write anything that doesn’t have at least a little romance in it. 

You’ve chosen to self-publish Living in Color as an e-book through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords. How does this type of publication differ from the traditional publishing company route for the author? For the reader?

The main difference for the author is you are in total control (and you get a bigger slice of the pie). You don’t depend on anyone else to do the marketing, the business stuff. But it’s exciting to try, especially for someone who has control tendencies (Trish raises hand).  For the reader, I don’t think there’s much difference, especially if you’re used to reading on a Kindle, Nook, Sony eReader, your phone, even your desktop computer. It’s important for the author to do all the same pre-work on the book -- writing the best book she can, editing, revising -- so that you put out a quality product. Just because it’s self-publishing doesn’t mean you toss up any ol’ thing that’s hibernating in the depths of your computer. That’s not a good strategy in the long run because you want everything with your name on it to be of good quality.

As the Living in Color blurb states, Sabrina takes her mother on a road trip across the United States. Have you ever taken a similar journey? If you had unlimited time and money and could take a road trip across any country in the world, which one would you most like to see?

I’ve taken lots of road trips because I don’t like to fly. Once, when my sister was living in the Seattle area, I drove from Nashville to Seattle. I’ve also driven to Yellowstone a couple of times. I love being able to go at my own pace, stopping to stretch my legs when necessary, even stopping to see the World’s Largest Ball of Twine if the urge strikes.  My most recent road trip was to Texas last month. I had to be in Austin for the RWA Board meeting, so I extended the trip to visit my good friend M.J. Fredrick in San Antonio and to do some research in the Hill Country since the trilogy I’m currently writing for Harlequin American is set there.

If I had unlimited time and money, I would take a ginormous road trip through the United States, visiting every unit of the National Park Service, and Canada. Overseas, I’d love to visit England, Ireland and Scotland, tracing my roots. You know, I pretty much like visiting anywhere I’ve never been.

Trish, you have to be one of the busiest people I know. You blog at several sites (including your monthly Teen Menu here at The Romance Dish), write books under two names, serve on the Romance Writers of America (RWA) Board of Directors, are active on Facebook and Twitter, not to mention your homefront responsibilities, and I don’t remember ever seeing you without a smile on your face. What’s your secret for keeping your life balanced and not burning out?

Well, I always preface this by saying I don’t have children. I know lots of writers who have kids and still manage to do all those things, and that makes me want to take a really long nap. I’m amazed at the moms who also write and manage all the other aspects of their lives. I’m also fortunate that my lovely hubby has a good job and that allows me to work from home. I still do freelance writing and copy editing to keep my toes in the journalism world, but mostly I work on books. I’m also a big believer in exercise. It makes me feel better, helps me sleep better, prevents me from getting ginormous as I sit in front of the computer, and helps my mood (especially over the winter when it’s dreadful outside). In fact, I’m on my treadmill as I write this. Aforementioned lovely hubby built me a desk for my treadmill so I can exercise and work at the same time. Even if I’m not walking, standing here burns more calories than sitting. Also, from the time I started first grade, I’m been a big list maker and goal setter. That’s just my personality. I also make time for things I enjoy. I love movies and TV, so I bought myself a TiVo when I sold my first book. That way I’m not tied to a viewing schedule, can skip commercials and don’t miss anything while I’m on deadlines. If I had to give up the things I enjoy to be a writer, I’m not sure how happy I’d be. You’re right -- it’s all about balance.

What are you working on now?

I’m in the midst of revising the first two books in my upcoming Teagues of Texas trilogy for Harlequin American and writing the third. I don’t have release dates yet, but I believe they’ll be out in 2012. Honestly, if I showed you my to-do list, you might run screaming. 

LOL!  I have a feeling that's exactly the reaction I'd have to your to-do list!  Thanks for visiting with us today, Trish. We’re all thrilled to help you launch your newest baby into the reader universe. So, with launch party thoughts in mind, here’s a Quick Six to wrap things up.

Favorite drink?

I would have said Coca-Cola a few months ago, but I gave up soda pop at the end of December. I mainly drink water now, but I do have the occasional Minute Maid Cranberry-Grape juice.

Favorite dessert?

Chocolate cake, and chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.

Favorite type of music?

Depends on my mood, but I like hard rock/metal, including several European bands with whom Americans are less familiar, ones that are sometimes classified as symphonic rock. I also love Celtic music. And dance music for when I’m working out.

Book you’re most looking forward to reading?

Oh, this is a hard question. I have J.R. Ward’s newest that I plan to read after finishing a library book I have checked out. I’m looking forward to the next in James Dashner’s Maze Runner series and the sequel to Beth Revis’s Across the Universe. Wow, there are just too many to narrow it down to one.

Movie you’re most looking forward to seeing?

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part 2. Also, the first part of Breaking Dawn. And Thor. I love superhero movies. And Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (though I’m going to miss Will -- wah!). See, I can’t answer these questions with just one thing.

I may create chaos in the Romance Bandit Lair with this one but...

Favorite Cabana Boy?

I’m not even going to attempt to name just one.  Though Sven from the Bandit Lair might be offended if I don’t pick him.

Sven, the massage master?  We definitely don't want to offend him! 

Thank you for graciously answering all of my questions today, Trish.   Do you have a question for our readers?

Here’s my question to the blog readers today -- have you ever taken a big road trip? Where to? What was the coolest, oddest or scariest thing you saw along the way?

And thanks to the Dishers for letting me have a party here today. You all are fab!

Okay, readers, let's hear about your road trips!  Or, if you've never taken a big road trip, tell us where you'd like to go.  One lucky winner will receive a road map of the United States from Trish (in case you feel the urge to take your own road trip) and a $10 gift card from Starbucks (because if you're driving across country, we want you to stay awake!)


Living in Color can be purchased for $2.99 at the following locations:

Amazon (Kindle)
Barnes & Noble (NOOKbook)


  1. Trish

    Congrats on the release I have bought it and am looking forward to reading it.

    As for a great road trip Hubby and I took our 4 kids and my Mum and one of my sisters on a trip up to visit another sister many years
    ago in Brisbane it took us about
    18 hours to get there we did stop often so the kids could stretch their legs but is was very tiring but so much fun

    Have Fun

  2. Thanks so much, Helen! I hope you enjoy it.

    And 18 hours is one heck of a trip. Once upon a time, I drove that far in one day and it about did me in. It was a necessity, not by choice. It was from North Sioux City, South Dakota to Nashville, Tennessee in one day. Brutal.

  3. Hi Trish!
    Congratulations on the new release! This book sounds wonderful! :)
    I've been on a couple of vacations out West with my family and we spent most of the time driving from place to place. A few of the places we visited were Yosemite, Sequoia, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, and Jackson Hole. Great memories were made on these trips and beautiful pictures were taken. :)

  4. Congrats on the new release, Trish. A mini road trip took us to the Grand Canyon and my friend and I drove from Detroit to Traverse City and Mackinac Island.

  5. Hey, PJ and Trish! Great to see you both together here. Trish, congratulations on your new venture with LIVING IN COLOR. I think it sounds fabulous and I hope you sell a million of 'em. With Mother's Day coming up, it's great timing! Love the interview - it's amazing, I always find something new out about people in these.

  6. Morning,Trish! Wonderful to have you here today! I've downloaded Living in Color and will be reading it at the beach this week. Yes, we're embarking on a (small) road trip today: a four-hour drive followed by a week at the beach (one I haven't visited before) with six teenage girls. Should be interesting! lol!

  7. Helen, glad to hear your trip was fun. Road trips like that can make you or break you! lol!

  8. Trisha, when I was 12, my family (parents, two brothers and me) took a month-long road trip from our home in Michigan to Washington State, then down the Pacific Coast and back home. My brothers and I still talk about all the wonderful memories from that trip.

  9. Jane, one of my favorite places is Mackinac Island! My family went to a convention there when I was 14 and stayed at the Grand Hotel. What a fabulous place!

  10. Hi Anna! You said, Love the interview - it's amazing, I always find something new out about people in these.

    That's one of the reasons I enjoy interviews so much too!

  11. I love the sound of this book, Trish! It sounds like the perfect Mother's Day present, too. Will it be available on Createspace in print?

    You amaze me with how much you do--and you do it all so well!

  12. Trisha, I've been to Yellowstone, Grand Tetons and Jackson Hole and love it out there. They all play into this story. I haven't been to Sequoia yet, but I did get to visit Muir Woods north of San Francisco when I was out there for the RWA conference. That was a bit of a road trip from San Fran to Muir Woods, Muir Beach and Napa Valley with my good friend Terry McLaughlin, who writes for Superromance. Beautiful country.

  13. Jane, when I've been talking about road trips a lot lately, I've seen so many people mention Mackinac Island that I'm itching to go there. Have wanted to for a long time, but it's never worked out. It looks lovely.

  14. Thanks, Anna. I hope I sell a million too. You talk about party then! :)

    Oh, PJ, I'm jealous of the trip to the beach. We skipped a beach trip last year to get a new driveway instead. So I'm itching for the sound of the waves. Have a good time, and thanks for hosting me today.

  15. Aww, Deb, you're so sweet. I don't have the book up on CreateSpace yet. Waiting to see how it does, plus I'm in the midst of deadlines right now. I may investigate it later though. That will take a bit more research since I'm not sure how all that works. But if I decide to go that route, I'll definitely announce it.

  16. Congratulations! This book sounds wonderful. I enjoy road trips since they are fascinating and give us time to see so many special places. Driving out west through the Rockies was memorable.

  17. Congrats on the release. Road trips are nostalgic and bring back fond memories. Exploring old mining towns and historic areas was extremely interesting and unforgettable.

  18. I'm afraid our road trips here in Germany can't compare with yours in the US. lol I do have fond memories of going to the Baltic Sea wih my parents and my brother. It was like 9 hours in the car but our mom always made up some games to keep us entertained.
    Good luck with your new book!

  19. traveler, the Rockies are awe-inspiring. I'd like to explore a lot more of them. Parts I've only been through on the train, so I'd like to take a car trip to those areas so I can explore.

    petite, I've done a couple of mining-related tours -- one in Kentucky and one in Butte, Montana, including the Berkley Pit, a former open-pit copper mine that is now a Superfund site.

  20. Guten Tag, ClaudiGC. (I have to use what little high school German I remember.) Yeah, traveling between countries in Europe would be like traveling between states here, but it sounds so exotic to me to be able to visit so many different countries relatively easily.

  21. Congrats on your new release. I can't say I have ever been on any big road trips, but would love to some day before I get to old. Would just love to travel anywhere.


  22. I would love to take a road trip out west to Grand Canyon.

  23. @Trish
    Sehr gut! (Very good!) ;)
    Yeah, it's hard for me to imagine not traveling by car to another country. We do that all the time to the Czech Republic or Austria or France and so on. You can also go by plane, of course, but then you can't see all the beautiful countryside and diversity of it!

  24. Hey, Trish! I can't wait to read Living In Color---sounds wonderful!

    Of the many road trips I've been on, both as a child and as an adult, I can't think of a really bad one. There have been times in the past when the kids wouldn't be quiet, when we decided whoever could be silent the longest would get some $$. My oldest son always won---just popped in his earbuds, turned on his iPod and closed his eyes. Never fails! LOL

  25. WOOHOOO, party in da house!!!! Congrats to you Trish!! I must say the book sound fabulous and I love the cover Kim did!!

    My father will never, ever set a foot in an airplane. He is scared to death of them ... or rather falling out of the sky. So as a child we always drove on our vacations.

    One particular trip I remember was when I was about 9 and we lived in south Florida. Both of my parents families lived in Indiana and Ohio. It was summertime and my parents wanted to head back home to see everyone. So we packed up the Pacer (yes, one of those egg shaped AMC cars!) and headed north. My mom and I made up a whole bunch of sandwiches and bagged up snacks for the trip. We drove straight through, which was about a 24-hour drive. The thing I remember most is stopping at a Waffle House in Atlanta around 2 or 3 in the morning. Man, there are some interesting people out at that time. When the waitress brought our food, I stared at the white glob on my plate and asked "What IS this?" She replied "Honey, that's grits". After one taste I knew I would never, ever put them in my mouth again - LOL! :-)

  26. Trish, I'm eager to read Living in Color. I'm always looking for more quality women's fiction, and I love the journey motif--literal and metaphoric.

    The worst trip I ever made was the one I made commuting for twenty-two years. It wasn't long--only two hours round trip--but I grew to dread it, and the fact that I changed time zones twice a day could be confusing.

  27. Virginia, yeah, you need to hop in the car and take at least one big road trip. I bet you'll have a blast.

    runner10, me too. Hubby and I might do that either this fall or next year for our 20th anniversary.

    ClaudiGC, that's one of the main reasons I love car trips -- seeing the scenery. There's a lot of what we call flyover country here in the U.S., but those states have some wonderful scenery and historic sites, two of my favorite things.

  28. Gannon, funny about your sun always winning because he was listening to music. Smart kid.

    Buffie, I'm right there with your dad. It's not the flying part, it's the plane falling out of the sky part. I figure if my car or a train stops running, no biggie. A plane? Big biggie.

    Had to laugh at your road trip in a Pacer and encounter with grits story. I hate grits too. I know, a sin for a southern gal. Shh, don't tell anyone, but I don't like sweet tea either.

  29. Janga, ugh on the changing time zones when you commuted. That sounds awful. My mother-in-law did that during her last few years of teaching.

    Hope you enjoy the book.

  30. Trish, this book sounds AMAZING!! And one that I would absolutely love. Congratulations!!!

    I love road trips! I'll have to echo Trisha's comment since I was with her during that trip. It's one I'll never forget--7 National Parks and several smaller NPS sites. I hope to be able to do something similar soon now that my kids are older. We will be going to D.C. this summer and we are super excited! I'm betting the drive will be beautiful. :)

  31. Trish said: Shh, don't tell anyone, but I don't like sweet tea either.

    What???? O_O


  32. Thanks, Andrea. I hope you have a great trip to D.C. There's so much to see and do there.

  33. We take road trips all the time. I really hate to fly, because getting there and back is a big part of the trip.
    We have circled the Southwest in an RV with a grouchy aunt, a hyperactive 1 1/2 year old, an 11 year old nephew and our twi daughters 93rd and 5th grades. We hit Mesa Verde, the Dand Dunes in Colorado, The AF Academy, Garden of The Gods, White Sands, the Sonora Desert, Carlsbad Caverns, Los Vegas, the Grand Canyon, The Painted Desert, the Petrified Forest, Dinosaur National Park and much more. We were on the road two week I think (it was in 1984).
    We attended the World's Fair in Vancouver, BCin 1986 (?). Drove up the coast from Sacramento where we were living at the time , visited Olynpic National Park, Mt. Rainier, Astoria, Seattle and other places along the way.
    Our best trip was in Sept of 2001. We drove from TN where we currently live, along the coast of Maine, crossed into Canada, spent about a week on Prince Edward Island visiting everything (Green Gables, the lighthouses, and other points of interest), took the ferry to Nova Scotia, drove around Cape Breton Island back to the main island. We had to cancel going to Halifax and vicinity because planes were diverted there on 9/11. We drove 6,000 miles in 2 +weeks.
    A few years ago we took 3 weeks and flew to Denver and rented a car. Drove to South Dakota and hit the Badlands, Deadwood, Mt. Rushmore (a big disappointment), the Crazy Horse Monument (wonderful), a pow wow on Rose Bud Reservation, Wind Cave, Cody National Park, the mammoth park, Yellowstone, The Tetons, Ft. Bridger Mountainman nondeous, Rocky MT. Ntional Park among others.

    Those are a few. We have done many more and hope to do more in the future.