Saturday, November 24, 2007

Spotlight on Trish Milburn!

Today the spotlight is on Trish Milburn, fellow Bandita, American Title IV finalist, talented multi-genre author, and all-around great gal! This is the final weekend for voting in the second round of the American Title contest, so please click on the side button and visit the Romantic Times site to see if Trish can earn your vote!

In the meantime, here’s a little more about Trish:

KJ: Congrats on making it to the top eight in the ATIV contest. As the runner-up in the ATIII contest, I have some idea of how much effort goes into encouraging voting. It's not easy to approach strangers asking for votes (think politicians!) and sharing information about the contest and your novel. Do you have any heart-warming/funny/frustrating tales to share from your travels thus far?

TM: A story ran in the weekly newspaper in the town where I grew up. When I was up there the next week, I kept running into people who mentioned seeing the article. I haven't lived there in eighteen years, so it was a little surreal and sweet at the same time. A classmate from high school who I haven't seen since then e-mailed me, and another friend that I haven't seen since college reconnected. It's certainly given me a taste of what self-promotion will be like when I have books come out.

KJ: You have recently sold YA novels as well as contemporary romances to Harlequin American. OUT OF SIGHT is a paranormal story and you've also been a finalist in the Romantic Suspense category of the Golden Heart. Diverse doesn't begin to cover your writing scope. Is there a particular genre that's your favorite? Do you write more than one book at a time? Please tell us about your writing process and how you manage to juggle all these genres.

TM: I'm lucky in that I write quickly. In the many years that led up to my selling, I tried several different sub-genres to see what was the best fit and because I just happened to have ideas that fell within those sub-genres. I like to mix it up a little so that I never get bored. I can honestly say I like lots of different types of stories. I'm really enjoying the resurgence of the YA market, and I've read some excellent YA in the past couple of years. I've always loved paranormal stories, whether in books, movies or TV shows—everything from Stephenie Meyer's paranormal YA stories to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And who can resist just a sweet romance where a guy and gal find true love and live happily ever after? I know the reading public often poo-poos romance, but who out there doesn't hope to find that special someone to love and be loved by?

I typically don't write more than one book at once, but I'm often working on various stages of different books at the same time -- writing one, brainstorming another, editing another. For instance, I'm currently writing a YA novel, but I just finished revisions on my first Harlequin American, and I'm beginning to work with my YA editor on ideas for a second YA. I don't really keep track of how many hours I put in a day, but it's quite a few. I typically work about three hours in the morning, then take an hour break to do e-mail, errands, terribly exciting things like cleaning the house, then go back and work two to three more hours before another break to do e-mail, cook dinner, talk to the hubby when he comes home from work. I often work another hour or two at night.Sometimes it's less, sometimes it's more—depends on what deadlines I'm trying to meet.

KJ: OUT OF SIGHT. Great title. How did it come into being? Do you usually title your novels before you start them or do they come to you during the course of the novel?

TM: Actually, when this story came to me, it was supposed to be the first of at least two novels with the same characters, and I'd planned to have them all have titles that start with "Out of...". OUT OF SIGHT ties in to the fact that the heroine can make herself invisible. Sometimes titles come to me as I'm brainstorming a story. For some reason, those are often the easiest to write. It's like the title gives birth to the story. I sometimes think up titles for which I don't even have a story yet. I just write them on a slip of paper and put them in my story-ideas folder in hopes a story will form someday to match the title.

KJ: I admire how much time and effort you give to RWA. Can you tell us about your various volunteering positions and discuss why these commitments are so important to you?

TM: Right now, I'm the Region 3 director for RWA. Last term, I served as the PRO Liaison to the board. Prior to this national service, I held every position in my chapter except vice president at some point. I've gotten a lot from RWA and my chapter, so I've always felt I should give back in any way I could. Organizations are only as good as the members make them.

KJ: You wrote for many years before becoming published. What one piece of advice would you give unpubbed writers to keep them at their keyboards?

TM: Every day you stick with it, you're one day closer to realizing your dream. It sounds incredibly cheesy, but it's the honest truth. The longer I worked at it, the more I had invested (time, effort, money). So the longer I was at it, the more I wanted to stick with it (even on the days it was incredibly tempting to chuck it all). I will forever preach the perseverance gospel to fellow writers.

KJ: If you could cast OUT OF SIGHT with Hollywood actors, who would star in the film?

TM: Eric Bana and Michelle Ryan (who plays the new BionicWoman).

KJ: Thanks for joining us today, Trish! We wish you all the best and hope to see OUT OF SIGHT make the next round. For more information about Trish and her writing, please visit


RLD said...


I've read the entries and thought yours was the best. Count my vote as yours!


doglady said...

Ditto what rid said! I loved your entry and it has definitely received my vote every round. I think it is just amazing that you write in so many genres. And I never really thought about all the time and money I have spent as an investment, but I see that it is. Next time I want to chuck it in I am going to think about that! Thanks!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Great interview KJ and Trish! And congrats to Trish for the many sales, as well as making the second round of the ATIV contest.

It's always the ones who stick out the race who eventually finish. Writers are sort of like marathon racers in that one foot in front of the other, or one word at a time, we achieve our own goals. Finish the chapter, finish the manuscript. Final in a contest, win a contest. Get a request for a full submission, get "the call".

Only those who quit are the true losers in the race.

Keeping my fingers crossed for you, Trish and am off to vote!

Joan said...

Gah! I feel like such a slacker LOL.

Trish I think you are one amazing lady and am so proud and happy at your successes.

OUT OF SIGHT is...well...out of sight! The snippets we've gotten so far are indeed that favorite publishing buzz word "fresh" and interensting. You made me fall in love with it.

Good luck in the AT and every endeavor.

Oh, also THANKS for your contributions to RWA especiall PRO when you were our fearless leader.

Kim Howe said...


I'd like to echo what Joan said about your efforts with RWA. Your energy amazes me! All we need to do now is clone you....

Margie Lawson said...

Trish --

You got my vote! Love your talent, love your positive energy, love your commitment to RWA.

I'm so excited for you about all your success. :-)))


Kirsten said...

Our readers may not know, but in the Bandita Lair, we think Trish is so amazing, we're starting a campaign to have her put on a stamp! I can't wait to see her take over the publishing world, genre by genre.

Hugs to you and all your hard-earned success, Trish. You are an inspiration to all of us.

Nancy said...

Trish, you're a walking definition of perseverance. Any success you achieve is well deserved!

You're kind of like (and I mean this in the best possible way) the Little Engine That Could. :-)

heidi ruby miller said...

Congratulations, Trish!

I just voted for you.

Good luck,

Anna Campbell said...


Come on, guys, all you need to do is click on the button on the Banditas Wanted column. How easy is that? Sure much easier than learning to tap dance!


Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Margie, lovely to see you here! Hope you're getting excited about your trip to Oz!

KJ, you do the BEST interviews. This one is classic and I still remember the wonderful one you did on your website with the fabulous Christine Wells. Perceptive, funny, intelligent.

Trish, as you know I want you on a stamp, you're so wonderful! Congratulations on all your success. And I so admire that you worked so hard towards your career while still volunteering and keeping your life in balance. You really are an example to all of us. And I really want you to win ATIV as I think your entry is brilliant. Good luck, my Philatelic Phriend.

Helen said...

You have my vote Trish you deserve to win with all the hard work you put in good luck

Have Fun

Beth said...

Great interview, Trish and KJ!

Trish, you are amazing and deserve every bit of success that comes your way! Fingers crossed for you in the contest *g* You have my vote!!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Yeah! Vote for Trish... Heehee. I too am so pleased to call you my Bandita Sister and I know your perserverance is an inspiration to us all. I've voted w/ every IP address I can muster and have urged others to do the same. :>

My fingers are crossed...

Susan Seyfarth said...

Trish -- Your entry was without a doubt the most intriguing. You have my vote! You deserve all the success in the world, & you do us proud!


Kate Carlisle said...

Trish, your talent and your generosity are such an inspiration and you are so very deserving of great success! VOTE FOR TRISH!!!

KJ, your interviews are always so insightful and fun. You really bring the best out in everyone. One of these days we're going to have to interview YOU!

Jane said...

Eric Bana is a good choice.

Christine Wells said...

Kim, thanks for bringing us such a great interview with Trish. I was so interested to hear about your writing process, Trish, because I rarely step out of the historical genre myself.

I've loved what I've seen of OUT OF SIGHT so far. I would have voted for you anyway, but I'm glad I can do it with a clear conscience.*g* Each round, your entry has been the hands-down winner. Yay, Trish! We're so proud of you!

Trish Milburn said...

Thanks SO much to all of you -- for the votes and for the wonderful comments that are making me blush. You all continue to crack me up with the stamp discussion. :)

Sorry I'm so late in commenting today. I've been in catch-up mode after being away from home for a week and a half. Had to go to the RWA board meeting, and being a non-flyer I took Amtrak. Takes a wee bit longer, but the benefit is that I got a lot of writing done on the train. :) As a side note to any of you going to the RWA National Conference next summer -- the location is fabulous! There are tons of restaurants very close by, and there is a humongous mall directly across the street. It even has a grocery store inside and a fabulous food court. I can't wait to go back when I actually have some time to do touristy things. I didn't this time, unfortunately. The only time I got out of the hotel was to go eat meals.

Keira Soleore said...

I know the voting is supposed to super-secret and everything, so all I can reveal is that my fav contestant got all my votes. She's a pirate who loves long, thin pasta.

Margie, great to see you here! You've collected a huge following in the writing blogosphere.

jo robertson said...

Great interview, Kim! I love to hear about the Banditas and their writing styles, schedules and the like.

Trish, you're amazing, having no many irons in the fire. I'm reading Stephanie Meyer's second book in the Edward/Bella vampire series and I love it. Can't wait for your YA to come out.

You've always had my vote in the AT and I'd love to see you sweep all the way to the end.

Trish Milburn said...

LOL, Keira. Love the code. :)

Jo, isn't that series fabulous? Every time I finish one, I'm so upset I have to wait at least a year for the next one.

DownUnderGirl said...

Wow Trish - you sound like an expert juggler. I'm on the RWAust exec and I know how much it can demand of your precious writing time. And we only have 600 members.

Good luck with the contest. Have clicked already.

Loved what you said about the title givng birth to the story. I find it really hard to start writing a story unless I have a title. I DO start but I never feel like I'm in the groove until its properly titled.
I also often have a title come to me and write it down for later hoping a plot will form around it.

Eric Bana - hmmm, very good choice. I can't believe he's this big Hollywood sex god/star now. For so many years on Oz TV he was this ocker Aussie comedian. But ooh la la.

Thanks so much for the info on the nationals hotel. It's made me even more excited to go especially knowing the kids are going to be blown away by the venue(as mummy will be paying them NO attention for 4 days!!)


Wylie Kinson said...

Terrific interview Kim and Trish.
Good luck in this years AT!
I think your attitude and efforts within the RWA is wonderful. I volunteer with my local chapter and it's been one of the most fulfilling aspects of being a 'writer' I've come across. Time consuming - yes, hard word - absolutely, but what a ride :D