In honor of the 4th of July (Independence Day here in the US!), I am welcoming not 1 but 2 awesome authors to the Friday Fast 5 to celebrate some of the best things about America. It may be hard to believe from my work in the Spy Series (set in Europe during the Napoleonic Wars), but my college degree is definitely in US history. So I’m so excited to do something special on the blog today.
First, it is my absolute pleasure to welcome Western historical romance writer Lauren Linwood to the Friday Fast 5 to celebrate one of my favorite parts of US history, the Wild West!
Who do you credit with being your biggest influence as a writer?
I know this might be hard to believe (coming from a romance writer), but Stephen King has had the most impact on my writing. He creates believable, ordinary characters, and then he places them in extraordinary circumstances. They are flawed, but they rise to the occasion. That’s what the hero and heroine do in a romance novel, so I try to do the same thing in my stories.
Do you cast people to play the characters in your stories?
I choose not to do that. I think a preconceived notion is somewhat limiting. When I select my character’s name, right away I start creating a physical someone. I let my mind build a picture that I can see, and then I sprinkle in bits of character and personality traits, along with a back story. By the time I finish, I don’t see Hugh Jackman or Drew Barrymore—I see my hero or heroine!
What was the best movie you saw in the past year and why?
I’m a huge movie fan, so it’s tough to narrow it down to one film. It’s almost like when people ask me, “What’s your favorite book that you’ve written?” I want to scream at them, “That’s like asking who is my favorite child?!?!” But if I have to narrow it down, I believe I’ll go with Captain Phillips. I think Tom Hanks is the best actor of his generation. He can be funny, charming, goofy, romantic, serious, and seriously flawed. He brought a quiet intensity to this role, and as a former history teacher, I’m always interested in movies based on true events. Captain Phillips was entertaining, but it also spotlighted a huge problem that many Americans were unaware existed.
How do you overcome writer’s block?
I’ve learned to take author Anna Quindlen’s advice. She said, “Some days I fear writing dreadfully, but I do it anyway. I’ve discovered that sometimes writing badly can eventually lead to something better. Not writing at all leads to nothing.” She’s absolutely right. Getting something down can be edited. A blank page gets you nowhere.
If they were to make a movie about you, who would play you and why?
I’d want Emma Stone to play me. She’s much younger than I am, but she’s smart, funny, and feisty. I’d like to think that describes me, too. Besides, we’re both extremely pale!
Don’t Miss Written in the Cards
Civil War veteran Ben Morgan marries his childhood sweetheart and takes her to homestead on the Great Plains. Losing her in an Indian attack, Ben becomes a gambler. When he kills a cheating opponent in self-defense, the man’s gunslinger brother swears revenge.
Ben hides on a cattle drive and brings in a herd to Abilene, where a waiting Maggie interviews him for her next story. Sparks fly as they wind up living in the same household, running a general store east of Abilene. But with Black Tex Lonnegan on his trail, will Ben run from his growing attraction to Maggie and the gunfighter’s promise of death–or will he make a stand for his life–and love?
Where to Find Written in the Cards
A Bit More About Lauren Linwood
Lauren Linwood became a teacher who wrote on the side to maintain her sanity in a sea of teenage hormones. Her romances use history as a backdrop to place her characters in extraordinary circumstances, where their intense desire and yearning for one another grow into the deep, tender, treasured gift of love.
Lauren, a native Texan, lives in a Dallas suburb with her family. An avid reader, moviegoer, and sports fan, she manages stress by alternating yoga with five mile walks. She is thinking about starting a support group for Pinterest and House Hunters addicts.