Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Interviw and Giveaway: Leigh Michaels

Please join me welcoming Leigh Michaels back to Debbie's Book Bag today. Leigh is here to talk about her latest release, The Wedding Affair. The publisher is sponsoring a great giveaway, see details at the end of the post.

DEB: Leigh, tell us what you’ve been up to since you were here last?
LM: On my last visit, my first Regency-period historical, The Mistress’ House, had just been released. The Wedding Affair is my third Regency, and I’m excited to have all three books out now.

DEB: Tell us a little about your latest book, The Wedding Affair? Is this book a single title or part of a series?
LM: In The Wedding Affair, guests have gathered at a country estate for a wedding, but they pay more attention to their private affairs (and I do mean affairs!) than they do to the bride and groom.

Each of my historicals stands alone. The only things they have in common are the time period and one continuing character (she’s a secondary character, but it’s fun to have her walk on stage in each of the books). However, each one of my historicals includes three heroes, three heroines, and three romances.

DEB: One of the things I have enjoyed about your latest books,is the fact that you choose to tell three inter-woven stories. What made you decide to take on so many characters and stories at one time?
LM:  After 83 published novels and another 15 or 20 non-fiction titles, I need a new challenge with each book in order to keep me excited. Stories about a group of friends or sisters or co-workers are done fairly often in women’s fiction, but not in romance.  I’ve found that it’s a great way to subtly carry out a theme, by showing the different ways that characters react to desperation, for instance, as in The Wedding Affair.

DEB: When you are researching for a particular book, what kinds of resources do you use and what is most helpful to you in finding out what you need to know for your novel?
LM: I have a good-sized library of Regency resources, including books about the period (biographies, sociological studies) and from the period (novels, diaries, reprints of guidebooks and maps). I was also fortunate enough to live in London for a short while, so I was able to walk the city and see many things that a Regency-era heroine would have seen. That experience also helped me to understand distances and geography, and I got to see the countryside as well.  The internet helps too – especially with things like tracking down pictures of costumes. It’s still hard to find specific details, though, because many of them were such common knowledge that they weren’t written down.

DEB: A lot of my readers are writers and they are interested in how you first got started writing. What gave you the confidence to try to sell your manuscript?
LM: Pure dumb determination. Actually, I sent my first submission in the hope that I’d get a rejection letter which started off, “No, but here’s why” – and then I could make the next book better. As it happens, that submission landed in the hands of my first editor, who saw promise in my work. She made suggestions and asked for revisions, and a few months later she bought that book. I worked with her for several years, through about 25 books.

DEB: Do you have advice for new writers?
LM: Persistence is every bit as important as raw talent in succeeding. Don’t just write one book—when your first is ready to send out, write another book and send it out, too. If the answer is a Yes, editors always ask what else you have. If it’s a No, having something else out there, something that might be the first sale, helps to take the pain away.

DEB: My readers are also interested in you as a person. Name one pet peeve that you have?
LM: People who freely share their opinions that romance novels are trashy or pornographic—without ever having read one.

DEB: Tell us one thing that readers may not know about you?
LM: I love tiny things, and I have a miniature house: a Georgian-style manor house that would have been a possible home for my Regency characters. You can see pictures of it at's%20house.htm

DEB: If you could travel to any time period when and where would it be?
LM: Only ONE? Oh, dear. I’d have to put work first and go to the Regency era, to solve those research problems which continue to nag at me. But if I had another choice, I’d like to know what really happened in Dealey Plaza in November 1963.

DEB: What books are you most interested in that are coming out in 2011? Your own and other writers.
LM: I read cozy mystery as well as romance to relax, so I’m trying to find time to read Tempest in the Tea Leaves by Kari Townsend, and I’m waiting for the release of Liver Let Die by Liz Lipperman and Who Do, VooDoo? by Rochelle Staab. And I recently finished Awaken the Highland Warrior by Anita Clenney, who’s a former student of mine.


Sourcebooks is sponsoring an awesome giveaway here at Debbie's Book Bag today. Two winners will each win a copy of all three of Leigh Michaels books, The Mistress House, Just One Season in London and The Wedding Affair.

~ You must be a Google Friend Connect follower to participate.
~ US and Canadian Addresses only (Publisher Request)
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST October 12th.

1. Please leave a comment in appreciation to the author on THIS post.
2. Please fill out the FORM.


June M. said...

Thank you so much for the great interview and giveaway. I would love to read these books. I love that this last book has 3 different stories tied together (as does the first, unsure of the second).

Leigh Michaels said...

Am having trouble posting so my apologies if this appears twice. Thanks for stopping by, June... my second book also has three interconnected stories; it's Just One Season in London and it's the love lives of the Ryecroft family as they try to save the family home!

Kari Lee Townsend said...

Awww thanks for the plug, Leigh. And right back at ya :-) Leigh's books are amazing! I only hope I'm half as successful as she is some day.

Taryn Browning said...

Great interview, Leigh! And great advice for new writers. Congrats on all your success. I am honored to be in the company of such fabulous writers in the BC family. You're an inspiration :))

Leigh Michaels said...

Glad to see my fellow BC Babes here -- we share an agent, the wonderful Christine Witthohn of Book Cents Literary Agency. Thanks for coming by!

Liz Lipperman said...

Wow! What a pleasant surprise to see my name mentioned along with your great books, Leigh. Thanks for the plug. It still amazes me that you have published so many books and can still think up plots.

I will definitely add this new book to the others in my TBR pile. One of these days, I'll have time to really read again. I hate deadlines that cut into my reading time!!

Donna Cummings said...

Great interview! And Leigh, I hadn't thought about those missing research details being everyday info that everyone would know. That makes perfect sense!

I've really enjoyed these books, and like how the three couples give you a chance to see how they react to a certain theme. Brilliant. :P)

Leigh Michaels said...

Isn't that the truth, Liz? Even when I don't have a deadline looming, I don't read as much while I'm writing -- it's just way too easy to get involved in a fictional world someone else built for me and not want to do the work involved in building my own!

Exactly, Donna -- a lady might well have written to her friend about her great new dress, giving every detail, but she wouldn't likely say that under it she wore X number of petticoats... and in what order she put her underthings on!

Thanks for stopping by, ladies!

Tiffinie Helmer said...

Leigh, love your books and getting you know you better. Sitting next to you are dinner during the 2010 RWA conference was one of the highlights of the conference for me. I agree with Liz, and think you need to write a blog on how you keep coming up with ideas after 85 books.

How do you keep inspired?

Anita Clenney said...

I loved this interview, Leigh. Thanks so much for mentioning my debut book. I just can't believe how many books you've written, and as one of your former students, I can say you're as great an instructor as a writer.

Myra C said...

I enjoyed the interview and thanks for the giveaway!

Leigh Michaels said...

Tiffinie, that was a great dinner - a memorable part of the Orlando experience... I get inspired by characters and problems, and I can't stay away from writing for too long or they begin to nag at me. I just love happy endings, I guess...

Thanks, Anita -- you're one of my rock star students!

Myra, thanks for stopping by!

Good luck to everyone on the giveaway...

justpeachy36 said...

Thank-You to everyone who stopped by to support Leigh... This is such a great book and the giveaway that Sourcebooks is providing is great for my readers.

And Thank-You Leigh it's always great when the author takes time to stop in.

*yadkny* said...

Oh I love Regency! Interesting all of the research that you put into your writing... makes me as a reader appreciate that much more what you do:) I'll definitely be adding your books to my wishlist! Thanks for the giveaway!

*GFC Follower

Tore said...

Thanks for the giveaway. I can't wait to read your book.

misskallie2000 said...

Hi Leigh, I am sorry to say I have only read 2 of your books yrs ago but am back to reading more and looking forward to reading more of your books. I did not realize how many books you have written. I love series and trilogys and know I will enjoy all your books.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Pam S (pams00) said...

Thanks for sharing such a great interview! And also enjoyed your review Debbie!

This series sounds wonderful. I am intrigued on this latest having three stories interwoven together... really curious to see how that turns out.

pams00 @

Julie said...

Awesome interview, Leigh! I am really looking forward to reading this book:)
jwitt33 at live dot com

Theresa N. said...

Sounds like another great book by Leigh Michaels.
Theresa N

holdenj said...

What a great interview. Congrats on your success Leigh, and I hope to dip into these books soon!

lag123 said...

Love the interview and I love historical books. I love the fact that you do so much research Leigh.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

winnie said...

Thanks for the interview. I like the sound of interwoven stories.


Di said...

These look like fabulous books - Love the Regency period!

sallans d at yahoo dot com

mamabunny13 said...

Hi Leigh! I like that the books can be read as stand alones but I'm happy I will recognize someone in kind of makes you feel at home!
mamabunny13 at gmail dot com