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.
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?
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.
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.
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:
Barnes & Noble (NOOKbook)