Today I welcome fellow historical romance writer Lauren Linwood to the Friday Fast 5!
PB&J or fluffernutter?
I will believe to my dying day that PB&J holds magical, mystical properties. It is like nectar from the gods. I will always, always be a fan. It’s comfort food and downright tasty!
What is on the top of your to be read pile?
I’m looking forward to reading Angelica Huston’s Watch Me, which picks up when she’s twenty-two. It chronicles her acting career (including the scoop on her Academy Award-winning portrayal of Maerose Prizzi); her longtime relationship with actor Jack Nicholson; the death of her father, director John Huston; and her work with famous directors such as Mike Nichols and Wes Anderson. I really enjoy reading biographies, and her first memoir of her childhood and teen years was fascinating. She’s a terrific storyteller!
What was the best movie you saw in the past year and why?
I loved all the blockbuster movies, but a little gem that really caught my attention was Chef. It was a small movie about a divorced father’s relationship with his son and the food truck they started with a friend. I enjoy watching The Food Network and shows such as MasterChef and MasterChef Junior, and I’m a huge fan of food truck food. This movie combined an interesting story that incorporated food and relationships in an unusual way. The cast had great chemistry, and the acting was spot on.
What is your favorite part of writing?
My favorite part of writing is being surprised by my characters. I do have a very brief outline as I write, a broad roadmap to get my characters from A to Z—but sometimes these characters that I’ve created do things that I’d never planned! They say things and go places and create all kinds of havoc that I didn’t know about. They’re much more creative in telling their stories than I ever could be. I simply follow their lead at times and let them excite me and surprise me. Eventually, they let me corral them and get them back on track, but what a wonderful ride it is!
What advice would you give new authors?
Part of my advice sounds trite—read as much as you can and write as often as you can. Where I might surprise some new authors is telling them to read outside their chosen genre. I write romance—but I love to read thrillers, suspense, mysteries, and women’s fiction. I think that by reading outside the genre I write in, I’m exposed to new ways to tell a story. It helps generate different ideas and gives me more ways to try to tell my own tales.
Don’t Miss A Bit of Heaven on Earth
When Gavin of Ashgrove and his closest friend are captured in a fierce battle during the Hundred Years’ War, their captors demand a hefty ransom from their fathers for their return. Robert is quickly set free, but Gavin’s father refuses to pay for his son’s release, leaving him to rot in a squalid French prison. Aided by a sympathetic priest, he escapes and returns home to England, only to find he has been proclaimed a bastard and disinherited.
With nowhere to turn Gavin journeys to Kentwood, where he fostered as a boy, hoping Lord Aldred will take him on as a knight in his guard. The old warrior is close to death, but he soon realizes Gavin is his son. Aldred plots to have Gavin inherit Kentwood and marry his much younger wife, Elizabeth, a famed and opinionated beauty who remains a virgin after a decade of marriage.
Will the king recognize Lord Aldred’s first request of a marriage between Elizabeth and Robert, uniting Robert’s estate with Kentwood—or will the temperamental Edward reward Aldred’s years of service and honor a dying man’s final request?
Where to Find A Bit of Heaven on Earth
More About Lauren
As a child, Lauren Linwood gathered her neighborhood friends together and made up stories for them to act out, her first venture into creating memorable characters. Following her passion for history and love of learning, she became a teacher who began writing on the side to maintain her sanity in a sea of teenage hormones.
Lauren’s novels focus on two of her favorite eras—medieval times and the American Old West. History is the backdrop that places her characters in extraordinary circumstances, where their intense desire and yearning for one another grows 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.