It all started with a writing contest held by one of readers' favorite romance authors, Lori Foster, that lead to.....
~Today I'm chatting with a very classy and sweet lady, LuAnn McLane, and her adventures in romance writing. March happens to be a good month for LuAnn, with it being her birthday month and the recent release of her newest romantic anthology "Wild Ride". Happy birthday LuAnn!
SA: I've been a fan since your story in "Wildest Dreams". Do you have a story of the heart, one that touches you more than most?
Stacy, I think that Cabin Fever in "Wildest Dreams" will always be one of my favorites because like the character in the story I too discovered that I could write the "steamy" stuff. I surprised myself and just kept laughing when I reread the love scenes. I've never had so much fun writing a story. The book of my heart though is definitely "Dark Roots and Cowboy Boots", my first romantic comedy which will be out this coming August. I love Jamie Lee, the heroine because she is such a down to earth character that I think small town girls will really relate to. There's a lot of sex in the city kind of stories our there and this one is for small town girls....okay redneck girls! LOL I dedicated this book to them!
[Note: thanx to country singer Gretchen Wilson, who wouldn't want to be a redneck woman? It sure sounds like a whole lotta fun!]
SA: Cowboys and baseball - two of your passions. I know you've done a lot of research on both for your stories. What have you learned since writing stories about characters that are so ingrained in American culture?
My savvy agent, Jenny Bent understood that my strong point was my hometown sexy southern voice. With three sons and an alpha hubby I love strong, athletic men and we are seeing more of that in romance. I actually went to a championship bull riding competition for research for "Hold on Tight" in the "Wild Ride" anthology..... and wow was I ever impressed. Not only are these guys amazing athletes but they are fearless as well....oh and a bit crazy. And did I mention sexy? And I go to Nashville, Tennessee a couple of times a year for my cowboy/country music fix. You will see much more of both in my writing.
SA: Having met you a few times in person, you are so down-to-earth and friendly. How do you feel about attending seminars and conventions, and are you ever nervous to meet your fans?
I've always been a little on the shy side, but since turning 40 (several years ago) I decided that it was time to come out of my shell and go after what I want. Today, I am much more self-assured. I love meeting readers! Nothing makes me happier than to learn that someone enjoyed one of my stories.
SA: As a reader, who are some of your favorite authors? Do you ever get star-struck?
Susan Elizabeth Phillips is one of my favorites and I was all a-flutter when I met her at a conference but of course she is so friendly that she managed to put me at ease. Recently I met another favorite, Karen Robards at a party at RWA. I am a huge fan and an editor at NAL led me over and introduced me because I was too nervous to go over on my own. Since we are both from Kentucky and also have three sons, we had a lot in common and again she was so gracious and friendly that I relaxed and just had fun.
SA: Okay, you knew this was coming. James Denton and Keith Urban are two of your favorite hotties, yet both are different from each other. What would you say, other than their good looks, makes them so appealing? (And might I compliment you on your excellent taste ;) )
James Denton, reading "Taking Care of Business"
Yes they are both so different but I really like that they are quiet...almost shy and seem so sincere. They both also seem to have a bit a bad-boy wild side that they've managed to tame. James Denton is such a family man and Keith Urban also is a one woman guy and neither seem to be caught up in the whole celebrity thing.
Another reason to appreciate country music: Keith Urban
SA: What are the kinds of stories you want to tell? What keeps you going back to the keyboard day after day?
I love to make people laugh. You won't get any angst from me. My goal is to entertain, to put a smile on the readers face...and hopefully get a sigh or two. Romance is about hope...about believing against all odds but most of all about love. That's what keeps me coming back. I can honestly say that if I won the lottery I would still *have* to write. (But it sure would be nice to have an office with a view of the ocean).
SA: As a wife and the mother of teenagers, how does your family impact your writing? How old will your daughter be before you'll let her read your stories? What would you say to your children if they wanted to follow in your footsteps and write for a living?
My family still comes first but it is fun to have another identity other than just "mom". One of the fun things about waiting until now to pursue my writing is that it fills the gap now that my kids don't need me around all of the time. As for when I'll let my daughter read my stories? Well, I read way over my head when I was a teenager, but since it's my writing I would have a hard time having her read a love scene that I wrote.....sheesh! I don't think any of my kids will ever write. I do have a son who is artistic so we have that in common. I think I scared them away from writing!
SA: LuAnn, you always look so classy and well-dressed, but you don't come across as high maintenance. Are you a clothes horse? Is shopping one of your vices? If not, what would be?
Oh my thank you! As you know my big thing is coloring my hair...I'm now red and loving it. But no, I'm not high maintenance at all. I do love clothes but I don't get the time to shop often. If I had a vice it would be boots and bracelets...love them both.
SA: You also seem to have a bit of a wild side, what with changing your haircolor and wanting to ride the mechanical bull in June. Do you think your writing has made you more of a free spirit?
Oh definitely and instead of being a wild teen...I'm a waited for middle age. Instead of driving my parents crazy I drive my husband crazy. LOL I basically just love to have fun and yes my writing has helped make me more of a free spirit. I can be very quiet and the next minute I can be dancing on a table....
SA: Speaking of wild, what is something you've always wanted to try? Sky dive? Swim the English channel? Act in a movie?
Someday....I will get a tattoo! I want to get one at Miami Ink in South Beach.
SA: What is the inspiration behind the roller coaster attraction? Are you afraid of heights? Have you personally done research for writing those scenes?
My brother-in-law worked for a company who builds roller coasters and I was always fascinated with the stories that he told. I wanted to do something different and interesting and my editor liked the little tid-bits of trivia about roller coaster in Wild Ride. For the really fun scene that my editor wanted me to do (if you don't know what I'm referring to you can guess) I had to do lots of online research....how fast, how long is the ride, what happens if you turn upside down....LOL you get the picture.
SA: Name three things in your life that are important to you, not counting your family because that's a given:
My writing :-)
SA: Writing love stories for a living, what has love taught you and what would you like to pass on to your children about love?
I see trend in my stories where the hero and heroine *think* that some things are important and can't be overcome.... some are opposites in personality or have careers that are very different or seem to want different things out of life but love always ends up being the most important thing in the end. Again, overcoming obstacles, having love winning against the odds and just having faith that things will turn out if you just hang on tight and believe....that's what I want for my kids. Giving up is not an option. I've been married 25 years and it hasn't been a walk in the park but never giving up....oh and having a sense of humor will get you through the darkest of times.
Thanx LuAnn! You are a peach!
~ As you can see, LuAnn is just as sweet as you'd imagine her to be. Check out her books - you won't be disappointed! ~