Sunday, August 15, 2010

It's Party Time!

I'm thrilled to host a launch party today for my newest young adult book, Winter Longing, written as Tricia Mills. I love this story, and I've been very, very happy to be getting good reviews for it from everyone from teen book bloggers to Publishers Weekly. Here's a bit about the story:

Winter Craig finally gets up the nerve and tells her long-time friend Spencer that she likes him as more than a friend. The best part? Spencer likes her as more than a friend too. With the perfect boy to love and be loved by, she begins her senior year at her small Alaska school and indulges in the dream of becoming a costume designer for the movie industry. Life is perfect — until tragedy strikes. Winter’s perfect life turns upside down as she deals with an unbearable loss, doubts about her future, a best friend whose home life is getting worse by the day, and unexpected feelings for an unexpected boy.

Typically, I write about places I've been, but an Alaska setting called to me for this story. I didn't have the moolah to plunk down for a trip to Alaska, so I did copious amounts of research. I picked the brain of a friend who once lived there. I read books, perused blogs of Alaska residents, utilized Google Earth and maps to get the lay of the land. I filled my TiVo with everything Alaska-related I could find -- everything from nature programs about the flora and fauna to Deadliest Catch, Discovery's show about crab fishermen on the Bering Sea. I tried to pepper in bits and pieces of this information to give the story an authentic feel.

I have long been fascinated with Alaska. I'm not sure when it started, but it's possible it was during the years of Northern Exposure. Though the show was actually filmed in Washington state, its setting was rural Alaska. I loved the interesting characters, the gorgeous vistas, the sense of community that came from living in one of the harshest places on earth. It takes a certain type of person to live in Alaska, whether they're a native or someone who moves in from "Outside" (what Alaskans call the Lower 48).

My fascination grew as I began to read Dana Stabenow's Kate Shugak mystery series. Her depictions of Alaska and its residents are so vivid that I'd swear I'd been there. I aspire to that as a writer. The series is currently in the works for a TV series, and I can't wait! Though I've always pictured Irene Bedard playing Kate (as I think Stabenow has too), I'm not sure how that will work out.

Men in Trees, starring Anne Heche, was another favorite. Again, it was full of quirky, fun characters, and a fish out of water story much like Northern Exposure. I hated that it got canceled when it did.

One of my current favorites is actually a reality show set in Alaska, Deadliest Catch. This show is full of interesting characters too, but they're real people doing the deadliest job in the world. When Captain Phil Harris died this year, it wasn't just a character viewers lost. It was a real man with a real family. This show illustrates the harshness of the seas off of America's last frontier. I've always been a fan of stories that pit man against the elements, so that's part of the appeal of this show and many other stories set in Alaska.

Is there a particular setting that calls to you as a reader or TV/movie viewer? If so, what is it and why does it appeal to you? One commenter today will win an autographed copy of Winter Longing.

64 comments:

barb said...

woo hoo mine again

barb said...

Hi Trish

I love to see snow on the TV or in movies but afraid I don't like to live in it. It is nice when it first falls but horrible when it thaws, it gets slushy and is very cold and wet ... I was bought up in the UK so we often had snow. I would rather go to the Greek island where they filmed Mama Mia especially if Pierce Brosnan was there LOL

Helen said...

Well done Barbara I will be down later for a cuppa

WHOO HOO Trish

Congrats on the new release and the book sounds awesome I too would love to visit Alaska my favourite season is winter although I have never lived with snow and am not sure how I would go living with it all winter I would still love to visit a place where it snows and one of the places that I would truly love to visit and love reading about is The Scottish highlands and of course the thought of Men in kilts adds a bit to it also LOL.

Again congrats Trich

have Fun
Helen

jo robertson said...

Hi, Trish! Congratulations on the release of WINTER'S LONGING. It sounds wonderful and you have the most beautiful YA covers. I love them.

I'm a beach girl. I like warm sands and water and waves. I've always been fascinated by the ocean.

Virginia said...

Congrats on your new release! I would love to read your new book. I love all types of settings in books, i switch around a lot. As far as Alaska goes I would love to read about it but I don't think I would want to live there. I don't like the cold and the snow. I can't say I like the hot weather like we have had this year, but just leave the snow and ice in Alaska and I will read about it or watch it on the TV.

congrats on the rooster Barb!

Blodeuedd said...

It depends, I like all kinds of settings. Those were they are all over the world, some historic setting, yup everything works for me

Congrats on your release!!

PinkPeony said...

Hi Trish!
Congrats on the new release! It sounds fantastic and Alaska is a great locale for a novel.

I spent my teen years in a small town in rural CA. Not a Macy's within a two-hundred mile radius. I freaked. However, I love small towns as locales in books and I like writing about them. Go figure!

Way to go Barb!

Kim in Hawaii said...

GR is surfing his way to you, Barb!

Many military families here in Hawaii have also lived in Alaska. Although the environments are day and night (literally), many have enjoyed Alaska.

For the moment, anything Hawaii calls to me. It is exciting to have the Disney crew filming the next Pirates movie in Kaneohe Bay (even if No. 3 was not that great). And we are eager to see the premiere of Hawaii 5-0. Even if it can't live up to the original, I am curious to see how the producers showcase Hawaii.

I am also enjoying Rizzoli and Isles because it takes place in Boston - my first assignment in the Air Force.

Maureen said...

Congratulations on your new book Trish! I do like an Alaska setting as I've watched all the shows you've listed. The setting becomes a character in itself.

MJFredrick said...

Whoo-hoo! Congratulations!!!!! Y'all, this book is AWESOME. I sobbed the whole first half. (Hm, maybe not the best endorsement, huh?)

I like books set in the jungle, or lately, small coastal towns.

Barbara Monajem said...

Alaska calls me, too. I've read many of Stabenow's stories and have been a member of her fan group, the Danamaniacs, for years. Another Alaska mystery author whose work I love is John Straley. So glad you've written an Alaska book too, Trish!

PJ said...

Congrats on the release of your new book, Trish! It sounds like another winner.

I've been interested in Alaska since I was a young girl. My childhood best friend lived there for four years (her dad was USAF) and their stories and photos were fascinating.

I was a huge fan of Northern Exposure and Men in Trees. I love the "man against the elements" and "fish out of water" aspect of both shows.

As a reader, the Scottish Highlands always call to me but so does Alaska. Some of my favorite books and series from authors Debbie Macomber, Stef Ann Holm and Marie Ferrarella have been set in Alaska.

traveler said...

Congratulations on your new release. I do not care for winter, snow or cold as I lived in a northern clime most of my life and found it difficult. Now I live in a moderate and sunny area which is wonderful. I enjoy settings which feature summer and spring locales especially in Italy and Southern France.

petite said...

Your book sounds great. Congratulations. A favorite setting for me would have to be summer at the shore. It is what I enjoy the most.

Emmanuelle said...

It's out eventually !!! Congrats.
I love small towns wherever they are. I've visited so many of them through the books I've read. Whether in texas or Vermont or Alaska, I love those small towns and the close knit community that goes with them.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Barb, I'm with you. Snow is pretty on TV. :) And the Greek Isles look gorgeous. My husband's aunt went there a few years ago and loved it.

Congrats on the bird. :)

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Thanks, Helen. Oh, I'd love to visit the Scottish Highlands too. It's one of those places that speaks to me too. And kilts can't hurt. :)

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Jo, thanks. I love my covers too. I've been very lucky in that regard.

I love the beach too, particularly when it's cold here and I'm seeking some warmth. I've been to several beaches though, so they're not the "exciting great unknown" now.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Virginia, I'm sensing a theme about the cold and snow. :) I don't think I could live there either. But I'd love to visit in the summer. Of course, I'd have to take an industrial sized can of bug spray because I hear the mosquitoes are thick and monster sized.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Blodeuedd, thanks. There are so many settings around the world that are interesting. I've always had a fascination with Australia too, and ancient China, and since the Lord of the Rings movies, New Zealand has been added to the list.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

PinkPeony, I grew up in a small town. We had to go an hour to get to a mall or a movie theater. There were two stoplights in the entire county and you could see them from each other. I write a lot of small towns, but they're always more interesting than the one where I grew up. :)

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Kim, my husband's cousin is currently stationed in Fairbanks. The thought of living in Fairbanks in the winter sounded awful to me. Extreme cold and barely any light at all. Ugh.

I've never been to Hawaii either, and it might take drugs considering there would be a flight involved. But it looks gorgeous. All those locales on LOST were stunning. I'm looking forward to checking out the new Hawaii 5-0 too. And I didn't know Pirates 4 was filming there. I'm sure I'll see it, but I can't muster up as much excitement for it because Will and Elizabeth will be absent. I'm a big fan of their story.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Maureen, I totally agree. I love those settings that are so three-dimensional that they are a character themselves. Some of these stories wouldn't be the same if set anywhere else.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

MJ, you're sweet. And y'all, Mary's jungle books are great too, particularly Don't Look Back and Beneath the Surface (Okay, that one is more ocean than jungle. Jo, you'd like that one with the ocean love.)

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Barbara, you're a Danamaniac. How cool! I've never known one before. I've not made that step, but I do love that series. I liked her Liam Campbell series too.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

PJ, I knew I liked you. :) Thanks for stopping by.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

traveler, those locales sound great. And I can understand the wanting to thaw out after years in a northern clime.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

petite, summer at the shore sounds like as long as it's not baking hot. There is something so relaxing and freeing about being at the beach though. The sound of the waves, the laid-back lifestyle, just the entire culture, especially of small beach towns.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Emmanuelle, you are not alone. The small town stories are very popular right now. I wonder if it's because they offer a sense of security and belonging too in a world that seems more and more disconnected at times.

Lee McKenzie said...

Congrats, Trish! So looking forward to reading this one.

I miss Men in Trees. Loved that show!

Marie-Nicole Ryan said...

Congrats on the new release, Trish. Hope you have many sales.

PS: I do the TiVo thing for research, too.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Woot! Woot! Congrats Trish! Sounds like this book is a winner to me. I am not a big tv watcher but my books take me everywhere. I have watched the fishing shows for Alaska, wouldn't I just love to take a shot at some of those big fishies.

If I would be forced to pick a favorite setting for my reading it would be historical England/Ireland/Scotland, sorry, that is a far as I can narrow it down. If I am reading contemp I do enjoy reading about other states in the US.

Gannon Carr said...

Partay!! Huge congrats, Trish!

I love books, movies or TV shows set in Alaska. The rugged beauty, the snow, the vast terrain....beautiful. One of these days I would love to go there.

The green hills of Ireland and the craggy Highlands of Scotland hold a huge appeal to me always. I've been lucky enough to go to Scotland twice, and it really is breathtaking. Ireland is at the top of my bucket list....some day. :-)

TerriOsburn said...

Congrats on the new release, Trish. Add me to the "nice place to visit, wouldn't want to live there" group regarding Alaska. Though I also liked that show Men In Trees and have read books set there and loved them.

Though I didn't grow up near the ocean, coastal settings call to me. And now I live in a beach town and rarely go to the beach. Go figure. Anything set in Italy or the UK calls to me. I SO want to get to Europe soon.

Since I'm never sure about the YA vs. Middle Schooler stuff, would this book be appropriate for my 11 yr old daughter?

Annie Solomon said...

Congrats on your book launch, Trish! As for settings, one in particular always calls my husband: the prairie. He grew up around the Canadian prairie in Alberta and will watch anything--and I mean anything--set in that locale. He doesn't even care about the story, as long as there are lots of shots of the tall grass. And if there are mountains in the way distance, even better.

catslady said...

I'm pretty open to any settings. Alaska is still pretty unknown which makes it fascinating. But then I enjoy hearing about any place I've never been and then I enjoy reading about places I have been too lol.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Thanks, Lee. And me too. It was like getting to visit Alaska every week. And you never knew what new mess she was going to get herself into.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Marie-Nicole, thanks. TiVo has changed my world. And add in Netflix streaming on my new one, and there's even more possibility.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Dianna, there are lots of wonderful stories told in those settings. And I think it's a distinct talent for a writer to not only bring a setting to life but also a slice of history.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Gannon, I'm jealous of your trips to Scotland. I have Irish heritage, so I'd love to go there too. Probably the closest I'll get to either for a good long time is Scottish Highland Games. I need to get to the ones at Grandfather Mountain one of these years.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Terri, I think the book is fine for you daughter, especially if she reads up. There's no sex in this one. The book as billed as for ages 12 and up. For my first one, Heartbreak River, I tell parents ages 14 and up since there is a reference to sex.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Annie, I love those prairie settings too, particularly for historicals. As you know, my first foray into fiction was an Oregon Trail story. Lots of prairie in that one. :)

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

catslady, I'm totally with you. I love reading about places I've not been. And then visiting them. Seriously, I love visiting pretty much any place I've not been. I'd be the person stopping to see the world's largest ball of twine or Carhenge.

Gannon Carr said...

Trish, the games at Grandfather are awesome! It's about 25 min. from my house, so if you ever come this way my door is open. :-)

Minna said...

I like all kinds of settings, although tropical one is one of my favorites.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Gannon, maybe I can manage it next year, especially since National is way earlier than normal.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Minna, I would imagine tropical settings would be very inviting if you live in a colder climate. Plus, there's something inherently romantic about them.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

CONGRATS, Trish!

Cabana Boys, PASS THE BUBBLY! It's time to CELEBRATE the release of Trish's fabulous book!

I've been to Alaska twice, but it was on a cruise both times, so only saw the coast, not inland. I must say the scenery is breath-taking, and I was actually surprised that it was NOT cold. Wet, yes. Cold, no. ;-) Of course, this was in May and Sept. One of these days I hope to make it to Danali Park.

I love books set just about anywhere, as long as the author can place me squarely there. But if it is someplace I've been, and the author gets it wrong... LOOK OUT! Wall-banging time. :-P

AC

Joan said...

If Alaska ever called to me, it went to voicemail cause I have to say....not particularly keen to visit...even if you can see Russia :-)

And then there are those Grizzlies, rogue moose, rabid Alaska squirrels.

Congrats on your new release though! It sounds fabulous!

Monica McCabe said...

I already have my very own copy of Winter Longing and I can't wait to read it! I love anything Alaska, love the unlimited adventure the state offers and the scenic views. I spent 4 years there and it wasn't near long enough.

Oh, and I adored the show Northern Exposure. Never watched Men In Trees though, I think I missed out.

Congrats on your book release, Trish!

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Aunty Cindy, my in-laws took a cruise to Alaska several years ago and loved it. They took one on one of the smaller cruise lines and went up the Inside Passage from Vancouver. It was a teaching cruise, so there were lots of presentations on things like the flora, fauna and indigenous cultures of Alaska. They'd both been teachers, so they loved it. Except for the really rough crossing of the Bay of Alaska.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

LOL, Joan. One of my absolute favorite places is Yellowstone National Park, and I imagine Alaska to be Yellowstone on steroids. :)

Donna MacMeans said...

Trish - Congratulations on WINTER'S LONGING release. WOOHOO! I love the cover of this book. Hope it flies off the shelves.

I, too, miss Northern Exposure and Men in Trees. Maybe it was the hunky men, competent with a chain saw and hammer, that I liked. Definitely enjoyed the small community where everyone knew everyone's business - though I'm not sure I'd like to live there.

Adding another movie to your Alaska settings - The Proposal with Sandra Bullock. Not sure where it was filmed, but it was supposed to be someplace in Alaska.

As for me - I'm good with just about any setting as long as I can immerse myself in it, the characters and the conflict. I'm easy (grin).

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Hey, Monica! Everyone, Monica is the Alaska-dwelling friend whose brain I picked for this book. You should check out her website for more tales from her Alaska days.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Donna, I saw The Proposal. Cute.

I do like those outdoorsy guys in the shows.

Nancy said...

Barb, congratulations on the rooster!

Trish, congratulations on your new release! I'm off to find it today.

I actually lobbied to honeymoon in Alaska, where we could, I supposed, see the tundra I'd read about in school. My betrothed, however, was not in favor of Alaska and had frequent flyer miles for two tickets anywhere in the lower 48. So we settled for San Francisco and had a marvelous time. But I still want to see tundra someday. Also fjords and a lava beach and Ayers Rock.

I've been to the town in Washington where Northern Exposure, which we also loved, was filmed. It was pretty cool.

Any setting in England calls to me. I love Norse or Greek period pieces as well.

TerriOsburn said...

Thanks, Trish. I'll definitely add this one to our list. She's always in the middle of something, so it helps to keep up with demand. :)

Tami Brothers said...

Oh man! I can't wait to read this book, Trish. It sounds awesome!

I LOVE Deadliest Catch. In fact, we got a couple of friends of ours hooked on the series this past year. They don't have cable (they started watching the episodes on NetFlicks) so we started having Deadliest Catch parties every other week at our house. They come and bring dinner and we do desert or vise versa. It's a hoot. The hard part is ignoring my co-workers talk about the series at work. This past month was especially tough with Phil dying. They were always talking about that in the surrounding cubicles but I was good and just walked away..grin...

I also loved Northern Exposure. I miss that show.

Alaska is definitely one of the places I want to visit. Maybe it's the idea of it being so untamed. I don't honestly know, but I love reading about the location.

Again, congrats on the new book. Will grab it this weekend.

Tami

Kirsten said...

Hey Trish! I'm just back from a weekend away -- so sorry I'm late to the party! Let me tell you all that Winter Longing is AWESOME (I got to read an ARC, lucky me!). And I thought that you had spent time there, Trish, with all the great details you included. Amazing research!

I think I'm with Barb -- visiting that Mama Mia island would be awesome. Yes indeedy.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Nancy, I plan to visit Roslyn, Washington, where Northern Exposure was filmed, the next time I'm out that way. I just never had time before.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Thanks, Tami. So, which boat/crew do you like best? I'm a Time Bandit gal myself. :)

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Kirsten, hope you had a great weekend getaway. And I'm so happy you liked the book. Back atcha, babe, for The Candidates.

Lady_Graeye said...

Congrats on your new release!! I would love to go to Alaska. It's a long time dream of mine. I remember all the different shows, magazine and books about the eligible Alaskan men and their need for women. Even if I wasn't married I probably won't take anyone up on that; it's way too cold. It would be a nice place to visit but I like my sunshine and temps above 70 degrees. LOL

Laurie said...

I always enjoy stories set in the Australian Outback. Man against the elements!! I also like Australia's more cosmopolitan areas too, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane!