Spotlight on …. Miranda Liasson

I’m pleased to welcome Miranda Liasson to A Writer’s House this week. A quick introduction…

Miranda Liasson-2-2Miranda Liasson loves to write stories about courageous but flawed characters who find love despite themselves, because there’s nothing like a great love story. And if there are a few laughs along the way, even better! She won the 2013 Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award for Series Romance for the book which became This Thing Called Love, which released May 1st from Montlake Publishing, and also writes contemporary romance for Entangled Publishing. She lives in the Midwest with her husband, three kids, and office mates Maggie, a yellow lab, and Posey, a rescue cat with attitude.

Thank you for being with us Miranda. You’ve really hit the bookshelves firmly with both feet this summer. Tell us about your upcoming release.

Heart and Sole is a lighthearted contemporary romance about a desperate graphic designer who wins her ex, a handsome venture capitalist, in a charity auction in a last-ditch effort to bring him home to their small town to save her family’s shoe company. Between their families’ feud and their own unfinished business, tempers—and emotions—run hot. Too hot. Because kissing with the enemy is a guaranteed shoe-in for trouble…

Shoe-in for trouble…I love it! The title is a great play on words on words also. What was the inspiration behind the book? 

It started with two words: bachelor auction, which came from an editor’s wish list. Then it grew into a story about family loyalties, a mysterious old feud, some crotchety grandparents, and a love that just won’t die (my favorite kind of story.

I have to admit, it’s my favorite kind of story as well! Second chances are sometimes the sweetest. What would your 12 year-old self think about where you are now?

My twelve-year-old self would just love it! That girl wrote Start Trek fan fiction and endless other stories based on TV shows too old to mention. But she gave up at fourteen when a story was rejected by TEEN Magazine. My story has many morals. Number one, don’t give up! Number two, seek out people more knowledgeable than yourself to help guide you. Number three, know what you want. Number four, don’t take anything personally! And number five, as you grow in knowledge, use it to help other people achieve as well.

Star Trek and some great lessons…don’t take this the wrong way but I think I love you. Sorry! I couldn’t resist. Anyone who loves Star Trek is top-notch in my book. And you’re right on target with those lessons, especially number five. Writers are some of the most generous people I’ve met when it comes to sharing what they know. The chapter where you and I met – Northeast Ohio RWA – is a prime example of that. I know I wouldn’t be published without all the help I received from other writers How long did it take you to become an overnight success? 

I think I entered the Golden Heart seven times. I remember sitting down at the computer trying to write a book and thinking, this is impossible. Who can do this? Every day I still have to keep telling myself over and over yes, yes I can. Every day when I sit down to write, despite it being the scariest thing I’ve ever done, it is also the most joyous and I can’t believe I get to do it.

I can feel all the writers out there nodding their heads in agreement. It is a scary job we’ve chosen, but it’s also one of the best. What advice would you have someone who has “almost made it?”

Maybe you’ve placed in one contest, or twenty. Maybe you’ve sent out a thousand queries and almost, almost got a couple of bites. Maybe you have been there, done all that and just can’t seem to get to the next step.

My experience—and it’s been mine, so take this for what it’s worth—is that sometimes you can only get so far on your own efforts. You can have fabulous critique partners and every craft book written sitting on your shelves, but if you are truly struggling to get to the next level, my opinion is to treat getting published as if you are getting a masters degree in writing. My turning point came (after writing four unpublished manuscripts) when I enrolled in a six-month class with a published author mentor (which still cost less than one college class) who got her hands on my poor pitiful work and showed me how to turn it into something saleable. A corollary to this is to be open and willing to adapt your work as needed, and to listen to criticism. My agent wanted to represent me but not the magnum opus historical romance I was trying to sell at the time. Know why? Because the middle sucked and there was no market for it. Be flexible and open because you never know where you’re going to end up!

That’s some wonderful advice, Miranda. Is there a quote that keeps you focused, that sort of sums up the advice in your last answer?

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Winston Churchill.

Very sage wisdom! Thank you for being with us today. I know our audience is appreciative of your time and experience, so I’m glad you were able to join us.

Thanks so much for having me today, Maggie, and congrats on your new release!

Many thanks! Now for the fun stuff! Keep reading for an excerpt from Miranda’s next release. Don’t miss this heart-warming tale available soon from Entangled Publishing. Be sure and keep up with all of Miranda’s books and appearance at her website.

bookshelf-book-cover-B3Heart and Sole, available July 14, 2015 

Maddie yanked the blanket off the bed. “You can take the bed,” she said, then threw it down on the hard, short banquette.

Nick should have let it go, let her go, but his heart compelled him to act, and he flew after her in two barefoot strides. His arm caught her elbow and whirled her toward him.

Her eyes glinted with anger; he saw it even in the dim light. It was hard, even now, not to gather her up and kiss her senseless, drag her down onto the bed and not come up until he’d finished exploring every last curve and valley.

His muscles actually trembled. Why was he always a flash of a second away from losing control with her? Like that one fine night when they couldn’t keep their hands off each other. Years and years of bound up feelings finally let loose. For that one and only time, he’d felt a glimmer of hope that maybe the past didn’t predict the future, that there really was forgiveness and mending and fresh chances.

But that had only lasted until the phone rang at dawn.

Maddie stood there staring at him. His hand still clung to her arm as though he feared she would bolt like a scared rabbit out of the camper and into the woods. She shrugged it briskly away. “Business is business, right, Nick? From now on, let’s just keep everything else out of it.”

She thought he was unfeeling, some kind of sociopath who pulled family businesses out from under people for pleasure. She couldn’t have been more wrong.

His gaze locked on hers. Raw emotion registered, lust and sadness and torment, and for a raw, brutal instant, Nick felt it all run through his heart like a blade.

He did feel, and she had no idea how much.

He tugged the blanket from her hands. “I’m taking the seat. Good night.”

As soon as this god-awful weekend was done, he’d force himself to forget her. It would be easy, because she’d hate him for real when all was said and done.

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23 Comments

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23 responses to “Spotlight on …. Miranda Liasson

  1. mirandaliasson

    Thanks for having me today, Maggie, and congrats on your new release. Sex and Insensibility is the best book title I’ve ever heard!

  2. I loved your last book and look forward to this one! And I agree 100% with the advice you gave. Especially about being flexible. I wouldn’t have sold either without listening to our agent! Crossing fingers for mega sales. Now off to find this book!

  3. Yay Miranda! What a great excerpt! I can hardly wait to read the whole book!

  4. leekilraine

    Love the excerpt, Miranda! And your Churchill quote! Can’t wait to read the book!

  5. mirandaliasson

    Hi Sheri! Thanks for stopping by!
    Heart and Sole is a special book for me. It was great fun to write characters in such conflict with one another.

    I know you interviewed Maggie on your blog yesterday…so for a great excerpt (snark and humor and high emotion, all my favorite things!) of Sex and Insensibility, check out our humble host here:
    http://sheridanjeane.com/2015/06/interview-with-maggie-preston/

  6. Loved the excerpt, Miranda. Can’t wait to read Heart and Sole!

  7. Miranda –
    Ever since I saw your amazing cover I have been counting the days for this book to be released and now that I have read the excerpt…I am even more excited. Thanks for the interview!
    AE

  8. Wonderful post, Miranda! I still remember when you won and it feels like yesterday that we were just picking our Lucky 13 name!

    • mirandaliasson

      Hi Sharon! Seems like just yesterday! I’m excited to see all the Luckies in NY–thanks for stopping by!

  9. Cannot wait for this book, Miranda! Love your writing. And the excerpt is fabulous, Congratulations on your next release!

  10. Miranda, I’d say the biggest takeaway advice in your answers is persistence, determination, and being willing to push yourself to the next level, however that needs to happen. I’m so glad it’s worked so well for you! I vividly remember your win that night, and now look at you, with books out from Montlake and Entangled! (Love the title Heart and Sole.)

    • mirandaliasson

      I think persistence is right. Hey, not many of us are born Michelangelos but we can be gritty and learn a lot and keep trying.

      I love the title, too. My daughter thought of it, and Entangled kept it!

  11. Love so many things about your post, Miranda! The line “kissing with the enemy is a guaranteed shoe-in for trouble,” the Star Trek mention, nodded my head (big time) on writing is both scary & joyous–but most of all I loved your excerpt!

    • mirandaliasson

      Hi Jacqui! All fellow trekkies unite 🙂 🙂 :). I have seasons one and two of the original Start Trek on DVD…now if only I had the time to watch!!

      I often think of your advice of getting up out of our chairs and actually acting out a scene when I get stuck. It helps!
      Thanks for stopping, Jacqui!

      • I’ve done the same thing – acted out the scene. Of course, since I often write at the library or while having dinner at a restaurant, I get some strange looks. 🙂 But it really helps with body language, the logistics of body parts, setting…very good advice.

  12. Ahh! I love this, Miranda! Such a fantastic excerpt, and am head over heels (ha! couldn’t help it) for the Heart and Sole concept! It’s been a joy watching your career soar, Lucky sis! 🙂

  13. Sounds like a fantabulous book, Miranda! Can’t wait to get my hands on it. And I appreciate you sharing about your investment in your writing. Good for you (and great for the rest of us, who can now enjoy your books)!

  14. Hi, Miranda. I’m coming up for a breath of air from my deadline mania. I can’t keep up with you luckies. I really like your list of morals. That would be an excellent tool to keep in mind for character development, also. Great excerpt. Congrats!

  15. Barb Heintz

    Great interview Miranda. I’m loving that excerpt, have to put it on pre-order. I love how you stayed strong and didn’t quit. There are times when I figure why bother. Then an inspiration hits and I’m off again.

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