I’m delighted to welcome my fellow Wild Rose Press author, Linda Carroll Bradd, to my blog today as she introduces her new contemporary romance, On With the Show, coming from The Wild Rose Press on 11/21/12.
Tell us a little about On With The Show
I love reunion stories and came up with this story idea while still living in Texas and traveling through the central part of the state. I had an idea about a woman who was born and raised in a small town, has been pursuing her dream in a big city for a decade but still has the wish to move home. Of course, during her visit, situations make her aware of the differences between these realities plus she meets up with the guy she left behind. That’s when the sparks fly.
Blurb: Every Thanksgiving, Franzi Mueller returns to her hometown, Freedom Valley, to help with the musical show at the veteran’s hospital. After a decade of living in Houston, Franzi is feeling nostalgic for the sense of community in her small Texas town. Moving home wouldn’t be a problem if she could stop her matchmaking mother’s plans to reunite her with her ex-high school beau, Dietz Reinhardt.
Hardware store owner Dietz can see Franzi needs a break from her big city clothing designer job and plans to do whatever he can to help her relax. He figures a little help from her mama is a good thing.
Circumstances throw them together at every turn, each glance and touch igniting old sparks. Can Franzi find what her creative spirit needs in Freedom Valley or is time running out on this second chance for Dietz to win over her heart?
What are you working on now? Do you have any releases scheduled for this year?
I am part of an anthology titled Christmas Magic to be released December 4, 2012 from Still Moments Publishing. My story is titled Wishes Come True.
What are your writing goals for this year?
Right now, I’m working on a NaNoWriMo challenge issued by my youngest daughter. I’ve attempted NaNo on three previous years but life always got in the way. My story is a historical set in 1872 Wyoming Territory and builds on the world I created in my upcoming release Dreams of Gold from The Wild Rose Press.
How do you come up with ideas?
Lately, I’ve been searching out and submitting to publisher calls for submissions. These calls always provide a word count (usually <15K), a theme, and a deadline. Since relocating from Texas to California in May of this year, a move which allows me to write full-time, I enjoyed signing contracts for five projects.
Can you share with us “the call” story?
My call story is different than that for a lot of authors. My first fiction sale was a confession story to True Love magazine. At the time (2001) I participated in a 3-member critique group and another member had just made a sale. I thought “if she can, then so can I.” I tried the confessional format (told in first person, about an occurrence which could have happened to me or someone I know) and was pleased that my first effort sold. Of course, I danced around the room and called my husband at work.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
I love to discover the many ways characters reveal themselves under stress. Sure, I’ve created them—provided a physical appearance, supplied them with nervous habits and favorite foods, gave them a goal for the story and why that is hard to attain. Over the years, I’ve come to trust each one will surprise me with a reaction or response that I hadn’t written into their character charts but makes total sense when that individual is faced with a dilemma.
Where do you start when writing? Research, plotting, character, or…?
Almost always start with research on the location. Weird, but I can’t “people” my stories until I know where they will be walking and talking. The location can be as sparse as “Kansas prairie” or as specific as “a mansion on the Upper West Side near Central Park in 1871.” I have actually started plots from a historical fact found in a travel handbook published by the Automobile Club of America.
Do you have a favorite time of day for writing?
I used to only have evenings and weekends to write because I worked a day job outside of the home. Now, I’m more focused on writing in the mornings. I take a quick look at email and then by 9:30 or so I’m in my fictional world, which I may or may not interrupt for lunch. But if I’m working on a deadline, writing is first and may take over the entire day. Emails and the needed promotion come second.
Do you have a favorite hero and/or heroine in your books and why?
My favorites are usually from the most current story. I have to be right behind the heroine, nudging her onward, and falling in love with the hero alongside her. If I didn’t, then my writing wouldn’t be as believable.
What do you like to read?
I love contemporaries set in small towns, and historicals (mostly set in US.) I need to read the genre opposite of my current story in progress. Ever since reading Larsson’s “The Girl” series, I also have a love of suspense books written by Swedish authors. They are grittier and I like learning about other places in the world.
These are few of my favorite things:
1. Celtic music
2. watching dog agility matches
3. the color purple
Two minutes later, she struggled to open the heavy wooden door and roll her suitcases inside the store. Overhead, a bell tinkled.
“Closing in five minutes.”
That deep voice she remembered so well. A quick glance told her not much had changed in the store’s decor. A little bit of everything and not much of anything. She forced a smile and strode to the wooden counter on the platform that stood half a foot higher than the floor. The man who’d spoken had his back to the door, a broad back that stretched the black t-shirt imprinted with Reinhardt’s Hardware, family owned since 1854. A fact the Reinhardt family was immensely proud of, but the crux of the reason she and Dietz had gone their separate ways. “Hello, Dietz.”
“Franziska Mueller…to what do I owe this pleasure?”
The smile on his lips didn’t reach his blue eyes. A fact she knew was totally her fault. “I just came in on the westbound train for my Thanksgiving visit and nobody was there to meet me. Erich Bruno happened by and he was driving me out to the ranch when he had to respond to a call.” Again, she sounded pathetic. Inside her coat pockets, both hands drew into fists. God, facing him one-on-one was harder than she’d thought it would be. “Can I use your phone?”
“Pay phone’s outside the door.”
Her body tightened. “What is with this town and pay phones?” She paced a couple steps and back. “Normally, I’d use my cell but the battery needs charging. I don’t have coins for a call.” Could she sound any more unprepared for life?
“So, you’re askin’ for a favor?” A black eyebrow arched over crystal blue eyes and he leaned an elbow on the counter. “Is that what I’m hearing?”
Connecting with that oh-so-familiar expression brought back too many memories. As much as she hated doing so, she pasted on her friendliest smile. “Yes, Dietz, I’m asking to…pretty please”—she added a fluttering of eyelashes—“use the store’s phone to call the ranch.”
“No need.” He straightened to his full six-foot-two inch height. “Adelyte called half an hour ago and asked me to drive you on out. My assistant Jay took sick so I had to close the store. Right after that, I was on my way to the station.”
“Really.” Her whole body went rigid and her gaze narrowed to a slit. Was this some type of long-overdue retribution? “You let me go through that…that whole explanation and you already knew you were giving me a ride.”
“Couldn’t resist. Gotta say the eye flutter was a nice touch.” After settling a black Stetson on his head, he stepped off the platform and waved a hand up the main store aisle. “You coming?”
Franzi stomped to the front door and shoved it open, clattering the bell against the wood planking that held fishing poles and nets. Oh, Mama, you better not be matchmaking again.
Bio: As a child, Linda was often found lying on her bed reading about characters having exciting adventures in places far away. Upon reaching a landmark birthday, she decided to write one of those romances she loved so much. Easier said than done. Perseverance paid out and twelve years later, she received her first call from a publisher and a confession story was published. Now Linda writes heartwarming contemporary and historical stories with a touch of humor, and many have a tie to her previous home of Texas.
Linda currently lives in the southern California mountains with her husband of 34 years and their two spoiled dogs, Shiba Inu Keiko and terrier mix Phoenix.
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/lindacarroll-bradd
On With the Show (available 11-21-12) (ISBN: 978-1-61217-746-5) at The Wild Rose Press
Giveaway: Do you have a favorite reunion memory? Are you participating in National Novel Writing Month? Two lucky commenters will each win a 2013 Wild Rose Press Calendar.