Hello everyone, I have just sold to the Harlequin American Romance line and this group of terrific authors. I'm very happy to be here. My first book for HAR comes out in Nov. 2009, THE FIREMAN'S CHRISTMAS, also a 'Men in America' flag. I want to speak about setting regarding this novel, but also will refer to a few of my other novels since setting played a big role in my Silhouettes as Lynn Miller and My Harlequin Temptations and Duets as Meg Lacey.
THE FIREMAN'S CHRISTMAS takes place in Warenton, PA, a town I made up. It is actually based in some part on the beautiful area around the Delaware Watergap. I wanted a town that was within 2-3 hours driving time to Philadelphia and New York City, so I made up my own. I also wanted a smaller town/city interaction for my heroine who was from a big city. The setting is essential to this story as it provides the impetus for my heroine, Tessa and her 2 children's relocation to the area to start a new life with her own landscaping business after her divorce from a high-powered corporate executive. The small city atmosphere is friendly, appealing and soothing to Tessa and offers other opportunities, not the least of which is her involvement with Danny, a widowed fireman with 4 children of his own. Danny is very invested in his community and his family has lived there for a generation; so the more Tessa is involved with Danny the more she is drawn into the life of the community and its people, plus the people at the firehouse. The majority of the setting proves positive, except for one thing--people in smaller communities are not as quick to adopt new business operations as rapidly as Tessa expected. She receives tons of encouragement but when it comes to sales many fall back on the people they have dealt with most of their lives. How Tessa deals with this issue and with falling in love with Danny even though she doesn't want to and the chaos of 6 kids helps create a story that hopefully will make you laugh and if I'm very lucky will touch your heart and create a reason for us to revisit Warenton in the future.
I'd also like to touch on 2 other novels where the setting was essential to the story development, my first book as Lynn Miller, IS THERE A HUSBAND IN THE HOUSE? and my first Temptation as Meg Lacey, SEXY AS SIN.
HUSBAND was set in Maysville, Ky, a small town where I shot a series of commercials as the art director for a Japanese film company who decided to do a series of commercials based on 'Huck Finn.' Yeah, you heard me right and trust me you haven't seen anything until you see a Japanese version of Huck Finn. The experience stuck in my mind because I spoke no Japanese and they spoke no English and our translator had been delayed. We did a lot of sign language and pantomime to communicate. I also discovered that my sense of humor and that of the Japanese director who thought it beneath him to work with a woman in an executive position was not compatible.
But, Maysville, Ky was a delight from the riverfront mural on the floodwall to the charming historic downtown and the friendliness of the people. I used the town for Husband because despite the friendliness there was also a moral conservative environment that was perfect for my unwed mother who happens to be a bank mid-level executive. When a wandering handyman shows up and they pretend to be engaged and end up in a whirlwind marriage--the community is further scandalized to realize that their golden girl is not as conservative as she'd pretended.
SEXY AS SIN is set at a Renaissance Fair in Ohio. I'd read an article that the Ren. Fair had built a chapel and was now doing wedding ceremonies and my imagination took off. I attended a few of their weddings which were a blast since lords and ladies were seated next to criminals with chains around their neck and the hangman hovering over their shoulders, who were also seated next to the friars and the jesters who were performing antics to amuse the crowd before and after the ceremony. I decided right then and there I had to write a book using this environment. I almost had more than fun than the hero, Sin, and the heroine, Chastity, had in that world, throw in a lot of great sex and it made for a memorable experience.
Well, enough from me today... I'd like to say I'm talked out, but that probably doesn't happen so I'll just say goodbye until the next time. Meanwhile, please feel free to get in touch with me if you have any questions or comments. I'd love to hear from you.