Friday, March 09, 2012

Interview with Jill Limber, author of historical romance 'Montana Morning'

A multi-published author and former RWA President, Jill Limber’s latest books are Montana Morning, A Heart That Dares and The Right Track. As a child, some of Jill’s tales got her in trouble, but now she gets paid for them. Residing in San Diego with her husband and a trio of dogs and one very ancient cat, Jill’s favorite pastime is to gather friends and family for good food, conversation and plenty of laughter.

You can visit her website at www.JillLimber.com.

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About Montana Morning

In the Montana Territory town of Dennison, the law allows a woman to save a man from hanging if she agrees to marry him. Battered and nearly unconscious with a noose around his neck, Katherine Holman decides Wes Merrick is perfect husband material. Under the terms of her father’s will, due to a youthful indiscretion, she must be married to inherit. She expects her ‘husband’ to leave as soon as the deed is in her name. She wasn’t prepared for the fact that the man she has chosen turns out to be an honorable sort who decides to stick around and hold up his end of the bargain.

Welcome to The Writer's Life, Jill. Can you tell us how long you’ve been writing and how your journey led to writing your latest book, Montana Morning?

I’ve been a writer for over twenty years. I have always loved reading historical romance, and so the genre had great appeal for me. Montana Morning is a story of a marriage of convenience, with a bit of a twist. I think this type of story is best told in a historical setting.

How did you choose your title and was it your first choice?

My first choice of titles when I start a book is always a working title to name a file, and it usually is the heroine’s first name. Somewhere along the line a suitable title usually presents itself. There is a scene in the book actually brought up the title, Montana Morning.

We all know that publishers can’t do all of the publicity and that some lies on the author. What has your publisher done so far to publicize the book and what have you done?

I’m doing a blog tour and using social media. I’m just about to start a class on using social media to publicize Montana Morning. It is a whole new world for me, and I look forward to gaining some expertise.

Open to a random page in your book. Can you tell us what is happening?

Wes and Katherine are driving into town for the first time since she claimed him off the gallows and married him. He was only semi-conscious at the time, and he doesn’t remember what happened, only what she’s told him. He draws the horses to a stop on a rise above the town and sees the scaffold where he was nearly hung and realizes how much courage she had to do what she did, and how much he owes her.

Do you plan subsequent books?

I am nearing the end of my next book, also a historical romance, entitled The Ungovernable Governess.

What is the one thing you learned about your book AFTER it was published?

How hard it was to sell the next one!

What is your most favorite time of the day or night to write?

I’m definitely a morning person. I pretty much run out of ‘creative steam’ by noontime, so I’m an early riser. I do my fiction writing first, then in the afternoon I work on publicity and the business of writing.

What is usually better – the book or the movie?

The book. The imagination you use while reading is always better than the presentation on the screen. With a book you feel like you are right in the story with the characters, with a movie you are simply a watcher.

You’re about to write your next book. What did you learn from your previous book to help you write your next book?

To write faster, and do a rough draft start to finish before tweaking the plot. I have found too much fiddling with the story until the full book is written messes with the pacing of the book. I find that I get to know the characters as I go along, and generally the first few chapters need to be changed by the time I go in for a rewrite, so it is a waste of time to polish the beginning when it will most probably change or not even be used.

Finally, what’s your best tip you can give to writers who want to be published?

When an idea hits you, play with it. Let it simmer until it takes on some form and substance. Then sit yourself down and get the book written. Then rewrite, several times, until you have the best story you can craft. Then polish it until it shines. You have to put your heart and soul into it.

Thank you for your interview, Jill. Do you have any final words?

Lots of people say they want to write, or that they have ideas for books. The hard part is setting yourself down and committing to finish the book. It takes a great deal of discipline and drive to write an entire manuscript and I admire anyone who can do it.

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