Today I’m interviewing fellow historical author Roseanne Bittner. Please welcome her and find out a bit more about her writing and her life!
Hello to all visitors to JENNA’S JOURNAL. I enjoy being invited to visit other blog sites and will do my best to answer most of your questions.
My name is Rosanne Bittner and I’ve been writing over 35 years, with 59 books in print and #60 coming next summer! I absolutely love writing, especially stories about American history and particularly about this country’s “Old West.” It’ my favorite subject, and my love for history and America’s grand western landscape shines through in my books. If you go to Amazon and check out some of the readers’ comments about my books, you will see that my research and my deep love and respect for the 1800’s Old West era really shines through in my stories. The biggest comment I get is that my stories seem so real that some readers actually write and ask me if this or that really happened and if any of my characters really lived!
I have won numerous writing awards, and my husband and I have traveled the West extensively for over 30 years. Many of my titles are now published in foreign countries – Germany, Italy, France, Norway, China and England. I am from Michigan and have been married to the same man for 49 years. We graduated from high school together, but we never dated until almost two years after that.
My most current work (book #59 above) is DESPERATE HEARTS (Sourcebooks). The gorgeous and rugged hero, Mitch Brady, is a Montana vigilante who falls in love with a young woman who’s come to the little gold town of Alder, Montana (a real gold town) under mysterious circumstances. It’s a great, wild-west, fun and romantic read you will really enjoy! I would like to someday write a sequel – and also a sequel to PARADISE VALLEY, which is a sweeping western set in Wyoming that was published in July 2013, also by Sourcebooks. Actually, I see a sequel in everything I write, because I love the characters and I don’t want to leave them. That’s what led to my 7-book SAVAGE DESTINY series, and I’ve written several trilogies.
You asked about my characters’ names. All character names are special for me – and I can’t start a book without a title that I love and without names that immediately help me picture the hero or heroine in my book. Everyone has a few name “hang-ups” – maybe someone they hate has a name they don’t want to see in a hero or heroine, but of course I can’t help that because I don’t know what other people like or don’t like. I just try to use names that fit a bold, rugged, able pioneer-type man – and a lovely, brave woman who stands fearless against the dangers of settling America’s great West. And, of course, I have to be careful not to use names that sound too modern.
My typical writing day is – EVERY day – cramming writing into every nook and cranny I can find. I love to write, love my subject/genre, love my heroes and love every story I work on. Once I am going full tilt on a book I can write it in about two months, then I go back and fill in things I momentarily left out to look up later – and do a lot of tightening, changing, editing and so forth. Three to five months is pretty much the full time it takes. You asked how long it takes to write a sex scene. Not long at all! I am right there with the hero. LOL!! I just try to make it beautiful and sensual – and as hot as possible without being crude. I am mad about a really good love story – love that holds two people together against the dangers and challenges of settling in an untamed land. And I love a rugged, able hero who is respectful and gentle and loving toward the woman he holds dear.
I don’t need any particular inspiration to write, and no one book takes any different process than another. I just write, write, write. My own personal love for American history and the West is all it takes. My brain is constantly brewing up another western romance. I have never had writer’s block! I prefer to write with music in the background but don’t have a favorite place to write. Once I am zeroed in on a story, it doesn’t matter if I’m in my bedroom, at the kitchen table, on the couch, or at my big, beautiful office at the family business, where I keep all my equipment and research books. And it doesn’t matter what’s going on in the background. If the TV is on – doesn’t matter. If people around me are talking – doesn’t matter. My mind can shut down everything around me and I’m in the middle of a range war. I managed to learn how to shut out the outside elements when I wrote at home evenings after working all day – in a very small house with the TV about three feet away and two sons wrestling on the living room floor. You just do what you gotta’ do.
I just finished, my 60th book – called DO NOT FORSAKE ME. It’s a sequel to OUTLAW HEARTS, which will be reissued next June with a new cover, followed in July by DO NOT FORSAKE ME. The two books comprise a grand love story you will long remember, and I am totally in love – truly, literally in love – with the hero Jake Harkner. I can’t wait for everyone to read these books! I will celebrate that one with a big on-line contest and a full-color cover ad in Romantic Times magazine. I wanted to write DO NOT FORSAKE ME for the past 20 years and finally was able to do so. The story just poured out of me, and it’s a fabulous love story full of redemption and forgiveness and the hero finally facing demons from the past that have always haunted him.
My favorite romantic hero would be a toss-up between Jake Harkner (DO NOT FORSAKE ME) and Zeke Monroe (SAVAGE DESTINY). They are both the ultimate alpha man – rough and rugged on the outside, vulnerable and looking for love on the inside. They are super heroes in my mind.
The first romance I read was A LANTERN IN HER HAND by Bess Streeter Aldrich. No sex – a very simple love story, but extremely touching. You will cry for sure! Then I read THE PROUD BREED by Celeste de Blasis. A great generational saga set in California and a truly magnificent love story!
The best advice I have for aspiring authors? Again – LOVE WHAT YOU WRITE – RESEARCH WHAT YOU WRITE – BELIEVE IN WHAT YOU WRITE – LOVE, LOVE, LOVE YOUR GENRE. Don’t write for what’s popular at the moment. Write what’s in your heart.
My favorite amusement park ride? None. I hate amusement parks and only go because my grandsons like them, but I don’t go on any rides. At my age I get dizzy!!
Coffee or tea? – COFFEE!!! All day long.
Pepsi or Coke? PEPSI!!
I get my nails done – don’t like French manicures – I get color, with a touch of sparkle.
Mountains or beach? Are you kidding??? MOUNTAINS!!
Chocolate or vanilla? CHOCOLATE – DARK, DARK CHOCOLATE!
Boxers or briefs or commando? Briefs – commando in bed, of course. LOL!
Men’s hair color? Very, very dark – AND LONG! Love the Native American hero!
Skydive or scuba dive? NEITHER ONE!!
Vacation – VEGAS, OF COURSE! We have a condo there and go out there every winter for about two months.
The one thing I would never do? Cheat on my husband – ever – ever – ever. And neither do my heroines cheat on their men.
That about covers it! I hope you will look for DESPERATE HEARTS, and be sure to pick up OUTLAW HEARTS and DO NOT FORSAKE ME next summer! Keep an eye on my web site – www.rosannebittner.com – and my blog – www.rosannebittner.blogspot.com – for news about what’s happening and what’s coming next! I’m also on Facebook and Twitter and Goodreads and a ton of other social networking sites! Enjoy the beautiful fall weather, and happy reading!
SHE’S A WOMAN WITH A SECRET
Elizabeth Wainwright is on the run. Accused of a murder she didn’t commit, she has no choice but to cut ties with her old life and flee West. The last thing she wants is attention, but when her stagecoach is attacked, she suddenly finds herself under the fierce protection of one of Montana’s famed vigilantes…whether she likes it or not.
HE’S A MAN WITH A CODE
Lawman Mitch Brady is sworn to uphold justice in the wild lands of 1860’s Montana. He’s never met a man he’s feared, and he’s never met a woman more desperately in need of his help. Something’s shaken the secretive Elizabeth, but as he gets to know the beautiful city belle, he finds the only thing he wants more than her safety…is her trust.
“I really don’t want to dance,” Elizabeth protested, half yelling above the whooping men and loud piano playing. “It hurts my shoulder.”
“Just one little dance, lady?” her partner begged.
“Really, I …”
Suddenly a big fist rammed into her partner’s jaw, sending him flying across two tables. He landed against a bar stool and everyone backed away from Elizabeth. She turned to see Mitch Brady standing there with a dark look of rage in his eyes. “The lady said she didn’t want to dance!” He scanned the room. “Everybody here understand that?”
The man Mitch had clobbered rolled to his knees, groaning.
“Stu was only wantin’ a dance, Mitch,” another man spoke up. “Ain’t no harm in that.”
“There is when the woman was dragged in here against her will and never agreed to the dance.”
Everyone backed farther away, and Elizabeth could see no one in the room was about to give Mitch Brady any more trouble. … He took hold of Elizabeth’s arm and led her toward the swinging doors at the saloon entrance. “Let’s go,” he said.
Elizabeth followed him out.
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