To celebrate our new blog, we had an exclusive chat with our fabulous romance author Lynne Graham to find out what she’s currently working on, her favourite romance hero and her top writing tips…
So, Lynne, what’s your next romance project?
The project I’m currently working on is my Vows for Billionaires series. Keep an eye out for the first book, THE SECRET VALTINOS BABY which will be out in January 2018. The trilogy is about three very different brothers. They all have different mothers, and have hugely different life experiences, but nevertheless are still close. I was inspired by the idea of setting these three gorgeous heroes an individual challenge to overcome…a challenge that features their heroines, of course! It’s been such fun – I love writing linked characters, and these men have been no exception… I’ve been plotting out their storylines whilst I’ve been on holiday recently, and I can promise you they have been getting up to all sorts!
What do you enjoy reading the most?
I read very widely, so my favourite author changes regularly! At the moment, I’m reading a lot of Alison Weir’s historical fiction, I’m really fascinated by the Tudors. I also love reading sci-fi, crime and paranormal fiction. Sometimes when I’m reading romance, I find it hard to turn off my own internal author voice, which can disrupt the experience. But what I love about these other genres, and what they all share with romance, is the ability to build an authentic, compelling world that the reader is dying to step into.
Who is your ideal romantic hero?
Easy – Mr Darcy! There’s something about his reserve, his pride (and the good looks, of course!) that epitomises the romantic hero to me. I’m a huge fan of every Pride and Prejudice adaptation out there – from Laurence Olivier and Greer Garson in the 1940 film, to Bride and Prejudice in 2004. Although Colin Firth in the BBC adaption will always hold the #1 spot for me!
Explain your writing process – what inspires you?
I’m inspired both by the calming beauty of nature, but also the everyday family experiences I’ve lived through. A key part of the romantic fantasy is thinking ‘maybe this could happen to me!’, so it’s important my readers recognise aspects of themselves and their lives in my stories.
How much of yourself would you say is reflected in your writing?
I put a lot of myself and my core values into my writing – it’s hard not to when you’re writing about love. I like the moral universe my characters live in to be fair – it’s important to me that the good guys win, and the baddies get their comeuppance. This is key to making the happy-ever-after feel extra-deserved.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
There’s always a bump in the road waiting for you when you’re writing – I always have a moment where I question where I’m going to go next, or wonder how I’m going to fix a scene! What helps me get through these moments is having enough content – characters with enough emotional obstacles, storylines with enough scope – to be able to go the distance.
What advice would you give to aspiring Mills & Boon authors?
You have to keep trying and learning. It’s important to find your unique voice, but also to hone your craft. Reading lots of Mills & Boon books is a great place to start, but you should also challenge yourself to understand, unpick and use structure. Our books aren’t long, so understanding how to make every word and scene work as hard for you as possible is essential!