Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Spotlight Author with Trish Milburn

Last week we had two great authors here on my blog, Anna Campbell on Monday and Sharon Lathan on Thursday. Sending out big thank you’s to both of you!. ;-) If you missed the interviews scroll back and take a peek, but not before you spend a few minutes with my newest guest, Trish Milburn.

Tell us a little bit about your latest release…

Elly: Cowgirl Bride is the fifth book in a six-book, multi-author continuity series from Harlequin American called The Codys: First Family of Rodeo. Ellen “Elly” Cody has had the goal of making and winning the National Finals Rodeo in barrel racing for as long as she can remember. And this year, it’s finally within her grasp. All she has to do is stay focused and practice, practice, practice. But in the weeks leading up to the final competition that will determine if she makes the NFR, she didn’t expect to be dealing with the revelation of secrets that could tear her close-knit family apart. Or the return of Will Jackson to Markton, Wyoming — a Will Jackson who is no longer the geeky, allergy-ridden kid she remembers. Far from it.

You write for two very different genres… how do you divide your time between the two? And how do you keep everything straight? (Like agents, editors, publishing houses, stories?) 

Based on when the deadlines are.  Seriously, I typically just go back and forth. Work on a Harlequin to completion, then switch to a YA. But it really does just depend on when the deadlines fall. Whatever is due first, that’s what I work on. I have one, wonderful agent who handles all my work. I’ve worked with three different editors, but it hasn’t been difficult keeping everything straight.

How long does it take you to write a manuscript?

I’m a fast writer, so it’s possible for me to crank out a first, rough draft in a month, though because of other responsibilities it ends up being more like two. Of course, then I have to go back and do a good amount of revising and polishing before I submit the book.

Does writing ever get any easier?

There are days when it flows easily and days when it’s like pulling teeth. Depending on the part of the book I’m writing, I can get 10 pages written in a morning or it can take me from the time I get up until I go to bed.

If you had to choose one of your books which one would be your favorite? Why?

Oh, that’s a hard question. I like them all for different reasons. I love Heartbreak River, my first young adult novel (written as Tricia Mills), because it was the first book I sold after 11 years of trying. I love A Firefighter in the Family, my debut release from Harlequin American, because it was the first book that actually came out. There’s nothing like seeing your book on a store shelf for the first time.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I hope to still be writing and publishing books and have achieved a level of success that allows me to replace the income I gave up when I left my full-time job as a magazine journalist. I’d really love to have established a popular book series by then.

Give us a glimpse into your writer’s life.

Well, I’m not an early riser, so I crawl out of bed around 8 a.m. when my husband goes to work. My days differ depending on approaching deadlines, travel, and any freelance jobs I might have to do. I craft my day around writing/editing, getting some exercise, online time, house or yard work, errands and whatever else ends up on that day’s to-do list. I don’t write on my desktop computer. I use a laptop, and I end up writing in different places – sitting in a comfy chair in my office, alternating writing pages with watching programs on the TiVo; at my dining room table; sitting at a picnic table at a nearby park that overlooks a lake; Panera Bread – wherever sounds good for that day. I like to mix it up so I don’t get bored.

Do you have any advice on writing, getting published, or finding an agent?

Perseverance. After you’ve spent years improving your craft and studying the market, there comes a time when it comes down to just sticking it out, waiting for one of your projects to hit the right editor at the right time. And even after you get published, I think it’s important to continually be looking for ways to improve our writing and to keep abreast of what is happening in the industry without making ourselves crazy about not being able to control it. As for finding an agent, start at the top. Do a lot of research into which agents represent the types of books and authors you feel fit well with you and your work. Create your list of top agents with whom you’d love to work and query them. Each time a rejection comes in, get another query out there to the next person on your list. And when you have the chance to go to agent panels and meet agents in person, take those opportunities. You might not only find agents with whom you’d like to work but also gain valuable information about the market and even strike agents off your list.

Where can we find out more about you and your books?

I have a Books page on my site at

Trish, thank you very much for taking time out of your busy schedule to be with us here at Micole Writes Romance.

Thank you for having me. I really appreciate the opportunity.

Thanks for stopping by friends. See you next time.




Nancy said...

Trish and Micole, great interview! Trish, I've enjoyed all your books, but I especially loved A Firefighter in the Family. I'm looking forward to this one, too.

Christie Kelley said...

Great interview, ladies! Trish, I love your answer to the does it get any easier question :-)

And I have to agree with Nancy, the really loved A Firefighter in the Family.

Can't wait to pick this one up!

leslie said...

Great interview - I wish I could write that fast! It's amazing how you juggle so many different projects at once. I didn't realize you were a FT magazine journalist previously!

- Leslie

Kate Carlisle said...

Thanks for the great interview, Trish and Micole! Trish, I think you wrote the book on perseverence and it's always inspiring to read your advice on the topic. Thanks for sharing it here. Can't wait to read ELLY! I'm a big fan of continuities and this one is a good one! :-)

Donna MacMeans said...

Elly sounds like great fun! Can't wait to read it.

Anna Sugden said...

I agree with Kate, Trish - you could write the book on perseverance - well, you and Anna Campbell. You Banditas are my inspiration!

Can't wait to read Elly - LOVE your HA's.

Annie Solomon said...

Great interview! And my favorite Trish Milburn is The Family Man! Congrats on the new release, Trish.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Trish! Hi Micole! Wonderful interview. I'm looking forward to Elly. I too am a fan of continutity series, so that will make this even more fun. :>

Congrats on the release and know that you're my hero when it comes to scheduling and perseverance. Grins.

Micole Black said...

Good morning everyone. It's good to see so many of your supporters Trish. Thank you for being a guest here. And thank you all for stopping by.



Anna Campbell said...

Hiya Trish! Hiya Micole! Hey, this is becoming the Romance Bandits' home away from home! Trish, congratulations on the release of Elly. I love the Annie Oakley style cover. How cool is that? What's coming up next for you?

Tawny said...

Waving hi to Trish and Micole

Hey there, Trish :-) What a great interview! I'm so loving your current cover. Elly looks like such a great story. Which do you love writing more? Continuity series books or stand alone stories? I'm curious :-D

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Thanks, Nancy. So glad you liked Firefighter.

Christie, thanks for coming by. I had to go back and see how I'd answered that question. Yes, I am somewhat like Pooh -- she of little brain. :)

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Hey, Leslie. Good to see you here. Yeah, I worked at the magazine for seven years before quitting the full-time gig.

Thanks, Kate. I am a bigger preacher in the gospel of perseverance. :)

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Hey, Donna. Thanks for popping by and joining the party.

Anna, you're so sweet. And I'm loving this Bandita invasion. :)

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Annie! Thanks so much. Glad you liked The Family Man. Mr. Yummy on the cover doesn't hurt either. :)

And, everyone, Annie has a wonderful new, gritty romantic suspense out this month -- Two Lethal Lies!

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Thanks, Anna C. I have been very fortunate in my covers so far. Hope that trend continues. :)

Right now, I'm working on the first in a new trilogy for Harlequin American, about three cowboy brothers in the Texas Hill Country. The Teagues of Texas trilogy should be out in 2012.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Jeanne, I've always been a fan of connected stories too, be they continuities, trilogies, whatever. I like getting to go back to a favorite setting and getting to see what everyone is up to.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Thank you, Micole, for having me.

Tawny, I like different aspects of writing both kinds of stories. If I'm really into a setting and interesting secondary characters pop up, I do like to be able to tell their stories.

Micole Black said...

Trish, I just got a look at my computer and saw how hard it was to read your comments because of the color I used. Sorry about that. I went in and fixed it.

Esri Rose said...

Love the idea of a rodeo family. Great premise!

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Thanks so much, Micole. That is easier on the aging eyeballs. :)

Thanks, Esri. The editors at Harlequin came up with it, and the six of us authors ran with it.

Carolyn Rosewood said...

Oh hooray! A new book of yours to read! I just love them all, Trish!

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Hey Trish/Trisha and Micole! Great interview. I'm so looking forward to reading Elly's story. You know Barrel Racing is a state sport down here in Texas. I have a friend whose daughter is an award winning rider! I'll have to make sure they know to get a copy.

Cassondra said...

Hi Trish!

*waves madly*

I knew you were a fast writer, but I had no idea you could crank out a draft in a month. Thinking about that makes me feel sort of woozy. (Slow writer here). I'm a huge fan of continuities, so I've been waiting for this one.

Did you do anything special as research for this rodeo story?

Micole, love the cowboy motif and thanks for such a lovely interview with Trish!

Micole Black said...


Thanks so much for stopping by. I looked long and hard for a cowboy background that I liked and I'm very pleased.

Micole Black said...


Thanks so much for stopping by. I looked long and hard for a cowboy background that I liked and I'm very pleased.

Micole Black said...


Thank you for being a guest here on Micole Writes Romance.