Q: Hello, Miralee, we are so glad to hear from you today. As you look at your beautiful mountains in the Northwest, can you tell us why you like to write Christian fiction for women?
A: Hi Juanita, from the time I started writing I had one major goal and that was to minister to the hearts and lives of hurting women while (hopefully) also offering a measure of entertainment to the rest of my reading audience. I’ve been involved in praying with and counseling women for years, and I feel that my writing is an extension of that ministry.
Q: I notice you write historical romance, western romance, and women’s contemporary books. Do you have a favorite among these genres? What was the first book you had published?
A: The first book, The Other Daughter, is women’s contemporary, as was the sequel, Finding Jeena—the only two I’ve written in that genre. I enjoy writing it, but I truly found my ‘voice’ when I started writing historical Western romance. I have three in that genre, all in the Love Finds You line. I’ve also written three historical romance that are set in the West, Even though they don’t have the high action and adventure of a Western, they still have a degree of ‘Western’ feel. In fact, there will be two more coming, as my current release, Blowing on Dandelions, is the first in a set of three located in Baker City, Oregon, in 1881.
Q: If you could choose one book for us to read, what would it be?
A: Definitely Blowing on Dandelions, the first book in the Love Blossoms in Oregon series. God spoke to my heart about writing that one, and I believe it will minister to many hurting women who’ve experienced a less-than-happy relationship with a mother or grown daughter, as well as bringing enjoyment to romance readers. That book was birthed as a result of an encounter with an emotionally damaged woman who’d been hurt many, many times by her mother over the years. I decided to place it in a historical setting and bring a romance element into play, but the underlying theme of ‘relationship’ is clear through the entire story.
Q: I read that book and I can agree. The relationship between the protagonist and her mother are so like the relationships between mothers and daughters. What is the most God-breathed thing that has happened to you in your quest to become a published author?
A: I’d have to say it’s the way the Lord has orchestrated my entire writing career. He spoke to me through a pastor who prayed with me and told me he believed God was calling me to write—not just to write, but to be published. That was in Feb. of 2005. By late fall of that year I’d had three magazine articles published and finished the first draft of The Other Daughter, my debut novel. I had NO experience in writing fiction, nor had I ever had a desire to write it. The Other Daughter was picked up the following fall, one year from when I started, and released a year later. Doors have opened (like obtaining an agent) and other contracts have followed, that have shown me God’s involvement over and over again. It still amazes me that I’m published, but I’m to the point where I can’t imagine doing anything else. I truly love it and am so thankful He put my feet on this path.
A: You’re correct, I love working in snippets of information or episodes from my own life or those of my ancestors. I’ve owned horses for years and enjoy sprinkling them through several of my books. I’ve also included true events from history and from my own ancestors, which you can read about in my author notes. My old Arabian mare went on to horse heaven this summer so I’m without a horse for the first time in 40 years, but I’m still riding regularly as my daughter and her husband live close by, and I use one of their horses when we ride together. My husband and I also have two cats, and two dogs, an Australian Shepherd/Blue Heeler cross named Sophie, and a little 6 ½ lb, long-haired Chihuahua named Lacey. She’s my constant companion when I’m home and often sits on my lap as I’m writing.
Q: Tell us a little about Blowing on Dandelions and its journey to publication.
A: When my agent started ‘shopping’ this series, I was also writing another series that is more of a true ‘Western’ romance, with all of the action and adventure that implies. I was enjoying writing it and hoped it would sell first, but in my spirit I knew that Blowing on Dandelions was the book God wanted released. Sure enough, it was picked up by my current publisher, David C Cook, and the other house looking at my alternate series stepped back. God knew exactly what He was doing. Not only was the book supposed to come first, but I LOVE working for this Cook.
Q: I know this book is a series and I can't wait for the next installment. When can we expect the next book to be ready for us to read?
A: Yes, it’s the first of three books. Each one can stand alone, but they are all set in Baker City, Oregon, with many of the same characters. The second book, Wishing on Buttercups, is located in the same boardinghouse as the first, and the opening chapter is printed at the end of book one. Wishing on Buttercups releases Feb 1, 2014, and Dreaming on Daisies on Oct. 1, 2014.
Q: Thank you, Miralee. I'll have to mark my calendar and be watching for these. We’ll be looking forward to more books from you in the future.
Now, blog readers, it’s your turn. Leave a comment for a chance to win an autographed copy of Blowing on Dandelions, which debuted on June 1. Miralee will be checking in once in a while to leave a comment, too. Don't forget to leave your email address, and would you tell me which state you live in when you comment, please? Sorry, only US residents are eligible to be in the drawing.
You'll love this book!
You'll love this book!