Monday, April 20, 2009

Five for Tricia Mills

The fabulously awesome, Tricia Mills, was kind enough to take a break from her super busy writing schedule to answer questions about writing, her new book, and famous people. Tricia's book, HEARTBREAK RIVER, dropped last week and it's garnering some amazing reviews. My brand new copy is staring at me right now and I can't wait to dive in. 
1. I love your story regarding perseverance (Tricia wrote seventeen full manuscripts before she sold her first two YA novels to Razorbill). What was the road to publication like for you? What advice do you give new writers who want to give up? 

I began writing my first novel manuscript when I was in college, but it went in fits and starts because of school. I got serious about writing and submitting for publication in 1996, when I started submitting to editors and agents. It took me many manuscripts before I finally sold my first book in July 2007. I'm a huge believer in perseverance. I can't tell you how many successful authors I've heard relate their "darkest before the dawn" stories -- about how they were on the verge of quitting right before they sold. I would hate to think of anyone who wants to be published quitting one step before reaching their goal.

2. HEARTBREAK RIVER’s main character’s family owns a Colorado rafting business. Do you like to raft? Where did you come up with the ideas for HEARTBREAK RIVER?  

I've actually never been rafting. Like the heroine in the novel, I struggle with fear of the water. I came up with the idea while traveling through Colorado on the train. For about 200 miles, the train (Amtrak's California Zephyr) meanders along the Colorado River, where lots of people raft in the warmer months. I wondered what it would be like to own one of those rafting businesses, always meeting new people there to have a good vacation on the river. I combined that with my own fear, and the rest of the plot sprang from that.

3. What is your daily writing schedule like? Do you write everyday?

Depends on my deadlines. Some days are heavier on the writing side; some days are light on the writing but heavier on promotion or brainstorming. But I do something related to my writing career every day.

4. Besides writing, what is your dream profession? 

Part of me would like to be an interpretive park ranger with the National Park Service. Another part would like to have a part on a regular, fun TV show, maybe something sci fi/paranormal since I'm a fan of shows like Supernatural, Battlestar Galactica, Legend of the Seeker, Smallville and Stargate Atlantis.

5. Who is your fave celebrity? And/or if you could have dinner with any three people (dead or alive) who would they be? 

Fave celebrity, hmm...Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles. :) Three people to eat dinner with -- Jon Stewart, Joss Whedon and J.K. Rowling. Huh, look at that - everyone's name starts with a "J".

Here's the HEARTBREAK RIVER synopsis: 

Alexandra Landon once loved running the Grayton River through the Colorado canyons near her home and couldn’t imagine doing anything else with her life but continuing the family’s river rafting business. But that was before her father died in a rafting accident and she developed a full-fledged fear of drowning. It’s been nearly a year since her father’s death, and the arrival of another summer means Alex has to face the river, the question of whether she can ever recapture her love of rafting, and the return of co-worker and former boyfriend Sean Kenley. One way or the other, this summer is going to change Alex’s life forever.

Thanks, Tricia! Love your alliteration dinner. :) 

Pretty Tough Tuesday: Get caught up on this week's softball news here

Have a fabulous day, everyone! 


beth said...

Love the interview! Wow...a decade to I'm getting close to my decade, I'm totally feeling the pain of that right now!

(Also: I'm stealing her dinner partners--that's about the perfect combination!)

Alyssa Goodnight said...

Now I'm curious about the Amtrak California Zephyr...and I really want to try river rafting. Class I would be just fine with me.

The 'J Dinner' would be very interesting...

PJ Hoover said...

Great interview! And that does sound like persistence! It's inspiring!

Keri Mikulski said...

Thanks, Beth! I know. Tricia is amazing. :) It will happen! I've read some of your writing and it's fabulous. Keep going. :)

Hi, Alyssa! The J Dinner does sound fascinating. I've never been river rafting either and I'm with you about the curiosity regarding the Amtrak.

Hi, PJ!! I do find persistence very, very inspiring too. We've all been there. :)

Anonymous said...

Wow - the book sounds fascinating and I do love perseverance stories!

And love traveling by Amtrak in the west - spectacular scenery!

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Beth, just keep at it. I'm big on preaching perseverance since it took me so long to get published.

Alyssa, I really like traveling by train. You get to see some very pretty country while you're kicking back reading or even writing.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Thanks, PJ!

Hi, Keri! Thanks for having me here today. I'm glad everyone is liking the idea of the "J" dinner. :)

Kathy -- Yay! Another Amtrak fan.

Angela said...

Wow! Congratulations to Tricia!

Kelly said...

Great interview! My dad rafts the Colorado river. I'd be too chicken! Sounds like a great book!

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Hi, Angela and Kelly -- thanks. Kelly, I'm too chicken too. :/

Keri Mikulski said...

Thanks for stopping by, Tricia!! :)

Hi, Angela! :)

Hi, Kelly! I know... I would probably be a little chicken too. :)

Kelly H-Y said...

Great interview, Keri! Thanks so much! Perseverance ... that is key!!!

Stephanie J said...

Great interview! The book looks great! :)

I'm such a huge fan of perseverance stories! It's so important to fight for your dreams.

Anonymous said...

Yay for perseverance!

Loved the interview - thanks. Heartbreak River sounds great.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Kelly, Stephanie and Shari -- thanks so much for your comments.

adrienne said...

I can't hear enough about perseverance - those stories are always inspiring.
And what interesting dream jobs!

terri.forehand said...

Great interview. A friend of mine actually married a guy who runs just that kind of business in Colorado. What fun! Thanks for the reminder that it takes a long time to get published, and in this economy maybe even longer. Best of luck to all of us working for that same goal.

~Virginia~ said...

great interview! love that cover--very sultry. :)

Keri Mikulski said...

Hi, Kathy! Perseverance is key. Especially in this business. :) I love stories that motivate others, like Tricia's. :)

Hi, Kelly H-Y! Totally agree. :)

Absolutely, Stephanie! ;)

Thanks, Shari! ;)

Me too, Adrienne! And I agree. :)

Hi, Terri! Absolutely! :)

Hi, Virginia! Love the word 'sultry'. It definitely defines the cover. :)

L E L said...

I really like Tricia's story!! It's very inspiring! :)

The book looks really good, and the cover is very unique! It looks great! =)


Stacy Nyikos said...

Gees, 17 manuscripts and only one darkest hour?? That is inspiringly positive perseverance. I've already been published and I still have moments when I'd love to chuck the whole thing, go down to the Caribbean and sell sea shells on the seashore. Bad, Stacy!

Angela said...

Great interview--I always like reading who people would like to meet/have dinner with. Such interesting choices.

Lenore said...

Guess I need to change my name so it starts with a J ;)

Keri Mikulski said...

Hi, Lauren!! Tricia is amazing. :)

LOL, Stacy!! Me too. :)

Thanks, Angela!! :)

Love it, Lenore!! :)