Interview- Merline Lovelace

Posted by Misc. Muse | 10:17 AM | 7 comments »

Merline Lovelace is retired Lt. Col. from the Air Force. She was stationed many places included Viet Nam. She was commander of the Women's Squadron at Eglin AFB, FL - that is where I met her. I remember her as outgoing personality and energy. After she retired from the Air Force, she chose to have a writing career. She is married, her husband is also a retired Lt. Col. They live in Oklahoma.

When and why did you begin writing?

I've always been an avid reader. I worked part-time in libraries all through high school and college. At one point, I thought about becoming a librarian. Then I toyed with the idea of opening a bookshop -- kinda like a chocaholic opening a candy store.

When I retired from the Air Force in 1991, tho, the idea of working out of my own home, setting my own hours, and NOT being responsible for payroll or personnel was toooooo tempting to resist. So I decided to try my hand at writing books instead of selling them.

I knew I'd made the right choice the first time it snowed. There I was in my sweats, sipping hot chocolate and lost in a fantasy world with my characters while the rest of the working world slipped and slid down the hill on the slick roads!

What inspired you to write your first book?

I love history and had once walked along Hadrian's Wall in northern England on a cold, misty April morning. I didn't know then I'd become an author, but when I decided to write, I thought that would be a perfect setting for a historical novel that featured a Roman centurion and a fiery Celtic queen. I loved being able to combine my insights as an officer and leader with that fantastic setting.

The title of that book was ALENA. It was still circulating to editors and agents when I wrote a couple of contemporary romantic suspense novels that again drew on my military experiences. They sold first, and ALENA soon followed.

How many books have you written?

I'm working on number 71 now and still having a ball! My husband and I love to travel, so I'm always researching historical sites or exotic settings. I've got at least another 70 books swirling around in my head

Tell us your latest news.

I'm particularly excited about two new projects. I'm doing a series called HOLIDAYS ABROAD for Silhouette Desire that debuts in November 2008. I'm having a blast setting sizzling romances in some of the wonderful places I've visited over the years.

I'm also excited about a time-travel series I'm doing with my fellow RomVets. RomVets is a group of romance authors who have also served on active duty in the military. Lindsay McKenna and I proposed a series of time-travels to Silhouette Nocturne and are thrilled that we're getting to do the first four books with fellow vets PC Cast and Cindy Dees.

What is your daily writing routine?

I'm a morning person, so I'm up with the sun and write until mid-afternoon. Later, if I'm on deadline. Somewhere in there I'll take a short break for a power bar and a work-out on the treadmill.

Between books, I try to take several weeks to a month off to travel and recharge my batteries. That's when I get ideas for new books, whip up proposals, and zing them off to agent and editors.

Who and what has influenced your writing?

Without question, my military background is the single biggest influence on my writing. My heroines tend to reflect my personality -- they're adventurous and eager to travel to exotic places.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about his/her work?

I got hooked on Georgette Heyer 'way back in college. I've read all her books so many times the pages are falling out of my copies. I *love* her incredible characterization -- the hero and heroines come alive in every book.

Among present day authors, Nora Roberts is also a master when it comes to crafting really great characters. I especially enjoy Eve Dallas and the hunky Roark.

Since I write plot-driven action books I have to really work at the characterization. Heyer and Roberts have helped me immensely in that area.

Any advice for other writers?

Finish the current masterpiece-in-progress, zing off a bunch of queries, and get to work on the next! I know too many aspiring authors who polish the life out of their stories by trying to make them letter perfect. Can't be done. And you'll never sell if you don't get your work out there. I had dozens of queries floating around when I sold my first book.

Plus, you learn with every book. I certainly did. So just write, write, write!


  1. Sherry Morris // January 29, 2008 at 11:15 AM  

    Hi Merline!

    Thanks for sharing a glimpse into your secret world, and for giving your sister writers a kick in the behind!!

  2. Beth Trissel // January 29, 2008 at 12:46 PM  

    Great interview from a real go getter! I needed this as I'm feeling deep into hybernation mode.
    I can't get over how many books you've written. Wow, lady!
    Thanks so much for sharing with us.

  3. Nightingale // January 29, 2008 at 2:26 PM  

    Prolific writer! Thanks for the advice in the interview. Enjoyed!

  4. Mona Risk // January 29, 2008 at 3:25 PM  

    Hi Merline,

    You are living my dream: travel and write. I did the travel part and I'm still winding my way through writing with only one published ebook. You are a great example.

    Great interview.

  5. Liz Jasper // January 29, 2008 at 6:43 PM  

    Seventy one books! I'm exhausted just thinking about all that typing. Means I'd better get cracking, huh?
    --Liz, putting nose back to grindstone.

  6. Georgie Lee // January 30, 2008 at 2:35 PM  

    I really enjoyed the interview. It's very inspiring

  7. Helen Scott Taylor // January 31, 2008 at 6:00 PM  

    Hi Merline,

    Great advice to keep writing and getting the queries out. I find it's easy to get bogged down with one book and unable to move on to the next.